It doesn't take a lot to make a simple recipe looks gorgeous and fun (and like it took forever to do...). I took one of Giada's strawberry mascarpone filled cupcakes and tweaked it for my own needs, since my pregnant friend is allergic to strawberries.
I subbed blackberries + raspberries for the strawberries, made the cupcakes from scratch instead of from a box, and used store bought frosting instead of the lemony icing since I wanted to decorate the cupcakes! V is having a boy so making little oceans with a rubber ducky on each one was so perfect.. But, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
The cupcakes going into the oven:
The filling ingredients, which I made while the cupcakes cooled:
The cupcakes filled (some of them overflowed. The trick is to be VERY GENTLE when filling the cupcakes through the bottom with a pastry tip):
The decorated cupcakes in my new cupcake caddy! Just have fun with a pastry tip + ziplock bag acting as a pastry bag:
The finished product, all set up at V's house before her shower:
My friend's half eaten cupcake. See the yummy creamy center?
And, just for fun... my matching gifts! I wrapped the high chair in a ducky bag, and then put lots of little gifts in her baby tub and wrapped them in cellophane!
You don't need to be a trained pastry chef to make an impact. Just have fun, and think creatively, and your baking project will be a success!! I only wish I had saved a cupcake for myself....