Jan 10


Red Velvet Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Icing

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Playing with legos, playmobile, doing puzzles at the cottage, staying up late playing “Go-Fish” in the dim light of our camping lanterns (sorry Dad, that’s why the batteries needed constant replacing), spending hours in the summer creating towns and elaborate roadways in the sand of our beloved sandbox and in the winter months, fashioning slick tobogganing runs and jumps for the sleds, are just a few of the things I think of when I think of Thomas, my older brother, and our time growing up together.

We both enjoyed reading and could often be found with our noses stuck in a Nancy Drew (me) or The Hardy Boys (Thomas) book and we later became quite competitive with our grades, always happy to come home and show our parents when we got A’s. Fighting over who had to wash the dishes and who had to dry (drying was the coveted preferred of the two), was a nightly occurrence, but other than that I can’t remember us being cross with one another, although maybe I’m sure Mom and Dad remember it differently.

An extremely good role model, Thomas paved the way for my younger brother and I, striving to get good grades to get into his University of choice and then excelling in the world of business. His adventurous nature eventually manifested itself into his career as well, when his full time job became working with Arctic Kingdom, the premier provider of Arctic Expeditions.

Fast forward to October 25th, 2014, the wedding day of Thomas and Lisa, a day where I couldn’t have felt happier to see these two beautiful people wed. Lisa, a picture of grace and beauty, radiant in her golden gown, and Thomas, whose expression of joy looking at his bride beside him I won’t forget.  I can see how wonderful they are for each other, how they complement one another, and how equipped they both are to travel their new journey together.

Lisa and Thomas – I’m so happy for you both, and wish you all the best in your new adventures together!

Thank you to Hamstra Photography for the beautiful photos of Lisa and Thomas!

Wedding Cupcakes

For the wedding I made a cupcake tower filled with cupcakes of four different flavours. You can click on the links below to find the recipes if you like:

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (recipes at the end of the post).

Because I was pressed for time to make all the cupcakes, decorate them and set them up at the venue, there aren’t a lot of photos, so all I have of the red velvet cupcakes is the photo of them, below, on the tray before assembling the cake tier. Over the cream cheese icing on each cupcake is a circle of fondant and gum paste decorations. The bows were made using the largest cutter of this JEM Bow Cutters Set  and the letters were made using FMM Alphabet Tappits. A how-to on using the tappit cutters can be found here.

Lisa chose a gold and ivory theme, and loved the damask, filigree and various gold cupcake wrappers we saw on Pinterest.

If you’d like them too, you can find them here:

*Damask Cupcake Wrappers

*Gold Glitter Cupcake Wrappers

*Ivory Filigree Cupcake Wrappers

*Round Gold Crown Baking Cups

*Beige Polka Dot Embossed Cupcake Wrappers

Arranging them ahead at home to play around with which liners I would use, helped save time for set-up on the day of.

Lisa and Thomas’ invite was of a chalkboard theme so I made similar cupcake flags to label each type of cupcake and make it easier for guests to find the flavour they preferred.

The hydrangeas were made of gum paste using this hydrangea flower cutter and veiner set and were made in advance.

I love using mattress foam to let the hydrangea sugar past flowers dry and for transporting to the venue – I kept them on the foam sitting on a baking tray and lightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

I didn’t manage to get many photos, but I also made some dogwood sugar paste flowers using cutters and veining mats from Sugar Delites Sugar Art & Supplies. A little more info. on tutorials and equipment I used to make the dogwood flowers themselves can be found here.

I’m still working on practicing my gum paste roses, but I found this tutorial by Cakes by Francesca on emrldsky’s YouTube channel quite helpful – my favorite way to make large roses so far.

The adorable i do cupcake flag is made by Laurel of Go Against the Grain on Etsy.

Notes – Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Use the best quality ingredients you can for the best flavour, especially the cocoa powder.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute by making your own. There are many recipes available on line; here’s one with excellent reviews overall.
  • If you prefer metric measurements, you can find my baking conversions here.
  • Be careful not to over bake the cupcakes… bake them just until the middle isn’t wet anymore (you can check with a toothpick, skewer etc.)

Happy baking and decorating to you!



Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Icing


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: Approx. 24 cupcakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bottle (1 oz) of Wilton red (no-taste) food gel coloring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin tin with 24 regular sized baking cups.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa and salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until mixed. Slowly add the eggs; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the red food color and vanilla and mix slowly until incorporated.
  3. Stir the vinegar into the buttermilk.
  4. On low speed, beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture just until mixed, then beat in 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture until mixed. Repeat beating in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk just until mixed. Beat in the baking soda until mixed. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into the cups.
  5. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan, cool completely and ice.


Cream Cheese Icing

Yield: Enough to generously ice approx. 24 cupcakes


  • 1/2 lb cream cheese
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb icing sugar (powdered sugar, confectioner's sugar), sifted
  • *1 tsp white food gel coloring (optional)


  1. Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Add 1 tsp white food gel coloring and mix until incorporated.
  4. Once cupcakes have cooled, ice as desired.


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  1. January 11, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Stunningly beautiful work and photographs, Marian! Thanks ever so much for sharing, my friend. 🙂 Wishing you and your family all the very best in the New Year! xo

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Stacy! Happy New Year 2015 to you as well!

  2. Marian N
    January 11, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    You’re back! Yeah! Happy New Year and thank you for this heart warming post, not to mention the lovely cupcakes.

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Yes, I’m back! 🙂 Happy, happy new year to you Marian N!

  3. MCFS
    January 11, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    When do you add the vinegar?

    • D.J.
      January 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Step 3…I missed it the first time I read it too.

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      You are both right, I forgot to add it in and edited it – thanks MCFS for letting me know.

  4. January 11, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to Thomas and Lisa ☺️ They are a beautiful couple and their wedding day looked magical. Your cupcakes look wonderful and I’m sure their beauty and taste were enjoyed by all at your brother’s wedding.

    All the best to the happy couple

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Paula,

      Thanks so much! It’s so nice to see you here again btw. I wish you all the best for 2015! xo

  5. Nadine
    January 11, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    So beautiful, Marian! How you could do all the prep work, transport and set up the cupcakes at the venue the day of, and attend the wedding yourself is beyond me. You’re amazing! Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year xoxox

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Nadine,
      I tried my best to be really organized (I couldn’t do it otherwise!) so that it would go smoothly, and it did… except I forgot to put ONE cupcake wrapper on a cupcake right near the top of the tier. 😀
      Happy New Year Nadine!

  6. January 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful wedding! The cupcakes were very classy, love them!

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Julie!

  7. Sarah Godlove
    January 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    These cupcakes are absolutely exquisite with all the amazing details on each…and I’m sure they tasted delicious too! The wedding pics are also breath-taking – I love Lisa’s dress! How special that you could do this for them… What kind of paper did you use for the chalkboard labels? I’ve starting using the LorAnn bakery emulsions which are water-based instead of alcohol-based and seem to have a more intense flavor without any bitter aftertaste. Their red velvet emulsion is great!

  8. Roshini
    January 11, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Love the cup cake tower and the details. i would have preferred keeping only the lace and damask wrappers probably 🙂 it’s just me though! 😉
    Happy new year to you and your family.
    isn’t it the same wedding that you made those lovely cookie favors which you posted a while back?

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Roshini,

      You have a great memory! The cookie cake favours were my other brother’s wedding.
      Happy New Year 2015 to you! 🙂

  9. Maria Theresia
    January 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Beautiful post! Love your family story! Your cupcakes are all gorgeous. I’m sure your brother and new sister-in-law and wedding guests loved them. Congratulations to the couple!
    Thanks for sharing! You are amazing!

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Maria, you are so cute. 😉

  10. Anita
    January 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Hello Marian,
    I love your website. I find my most successful recipes are from your website. For your red velvet cupcakes, is that regular cocoa powder or dutch processed?

  11. Marilyn
    January 11, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Marian, thank you for sharing moments from this special day! Your cupcakes are just beautiful…works of art…as always. I’m going to have to look at those again and again to take it all in. Fondant on top of the cream cheese…wow. I can’t get over the amount of work that went into all of this. The ivory and gold combination is just so elegant. The photos of Lisa and Thomas are so romantic. Happy New Year and God Bless all of you.

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marilyn,

      Thanks so much! I hope you’re enjoying all this snow we’re getting… And brrrr, wasn’t it cold this morning! (Not even going to ask if you’re enjoying that 😉 ).
      Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours for 2015! xo

  12. January 12, 2015 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Wooooow! 🙂

    You two as kids, SO cute, Marian, I wish we could have met back then!

    I am lucky to say I met your brother Thomas and his wife Lisa, and I must say they are a lovely couple 🙂
    I wish them all the best for their new life together.
    That last photo is STUNNING, absolutely beautiful!

    Your cupcakes are the “icing of the cake” – I love that you made them, it must have meant a lot to Thomas. They look SO beautiful, especially the roses: so real!

    Love your talent, Marian, I keep telling you this <3
    Happy Monday!

    Niner 🙂

    • marian
      January 13, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Oh Niner, we would have had such fun! Mini Niner and Marian… Were you a sandbox playing kind of girl?

      I know, I love that last photo too… magazine worthy.
      Happy New Year to youuu! xo

  13. Jodie
    January 14, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marion!
    The pictures are absolutely stunning! congratulations to the lovely couple!

    I made these cupcakes yesterday and they were so tasty! I was just wondering about the amount of icing sugar though. When I made the frosting, it was very loose and barely held its shape. The recipe calls for 1 pound of sugar. Was this supposed to be 1 kg by chance? I am notorious for messing recipes up on my first try regardless of how simple they are, but this has me scratching my head. I’m wondering if I translated the amount wrong when I switched to grams, or if it’s a mistake in the recipe?!? Thanks!

    • marian
      January 15, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Hi Jodie,
      I am so sorry! I did make a typo! It’s half a pound of *cream cheese*. I went and edited it now, thank you for letting me know, and I’m so sorry to have made that mistake.

    • Jodie
      January 15, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      YAY, I’m not crazy after all! LOL! No worries Marion. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • marian
      January 15, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Jodie! 🙂

  14. January 16, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Absolutely gorgeous cupcakes! I love the cupcake liners! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  15. January 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I love the colour scheme of these cupcakes! Such beautiful attention to detail (as usual!) 🙂 Congratulations to the couple!

  16. February 3, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    The cupcakes are beautiful. The wedding pictures are magical though.They look very much in love. Congratulations to all of you.

    • marian
      February 5, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much for your comment Lisa. 🙂

  17. Jayvee
    February 4, 2015 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    I’m so amazed by this post. Just as amazed by the sugar cookie giveaways on the wedding of your other brother. You always create such beautiful work whether it may be in decorating cookies, cupcakes and all the other embellished sweets that you do. Great work, and I’m constantly inspired 🙂

    • marian
      February 5, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Jayvee! 🙂

  18. April 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I simply love this! Must try it at home. Thanks for sharing

    Love from denmark – Cecilie.

  19. Sylvia Stanley
    February 9, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Marian you are the epitome of cupcake decorating!! WOW!!
    Easter is coming and I recently saw your “SWEET LITTLE LAMB” cookies and I want to make them for my Hat Club’s Easter luncheon. It’s unclear to me if you used royal icing for the lamb’s ‘wool. Can you please clear that up for me? They are just beautiful!!

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