Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Run for the Roses Strawberry Oaks / Derby Cupcakes

By: Sarah

If you live in Kentucky, especially in the Louisville area, the only thing on your mind since this past Saturday is DERBY DERBY DERBY! Since moving to Louisville back in 2005, this has become my favorite time of year.  Starting with the most amazing firework show (actually North America's largest), the city of Louisville celebrates the upcoming Derby for 2 weeks before the actual race on the first Saturday of May.  During Derby time there are so many fun things to do such as the free concerts on the waterfront, hanging out at the Chow Wagon, the Great Balloon Race, the Great Steamboat Race, and of course the celebration wouldn't be complete without the Pegasus parade.  I love how I can feel the city's excitement building the closer we get to Derby.  Once Derby week gets here, it's like the entire city shuts down to celebrate.  If you ever have the chance to go, jump on it!! It is definitely an experience of a lifetime!

Oaks Day is the day before Derby which is just as exciting and fun.  Since 2009, it has become tradition to wear pink on this day.  According to the Kentucky Oak's website, they encourage the "Pink Out" because it honors the official flower of Oaks, the stargazer lily.  Also, on Oak's Day, they have a special Survivor's Parade to honor cancer survivors.

In honor of the upcoming races, I decided to make strawberry cupcakes decorated by a rose.  The color of these cupcakes was inspired by the Kentucky Oaks while the roses are in honor of the Derby. You may have also heard the Derby referred to as "the Run for the Roses" which originated because of the blanket of roses draped over the winner.

How to Make a Rose
Inspired by the Wilton technique 

You will need tips 12 and 104, a coupler, and an icing decorating bag.   

1.  Create the rose base. 
Using tip 12, hold the icing bag straight up and push steadily while keeping the tip close to the cupcake.  Slowly lift the bag upwards while continuing to push steadily on the bag.  Release pressure once the icing is about 1.5 times the size of the 104 tip opening. Mine are usually about an inch tall.  

2.  Make the center bud.  
Using tip 104, hold cupcake with left hand and icing bag in right hand at 45 degree angle to the flat surface of the cupcake.  The wide end of the tip should touch the icing base slightly below midpoint and the narrow end should point up and angle slightly inward.  To make the tip, you need to squeeze the bag and rotate the cupcake while moving the tip slowly up and down. The icing will form a ribbon that will overlap at the top of the mound, then back down to the starting point.

3. Make the first 3 petals.
With the wide part of the tip touching the mound at about the middle and the narrow end pointed up and slightly angled inward, apply pressure to the icing bag and move the tip from up and down while turning the cupcake.  Continue 2 more times, making sure to overlap the ends, to complete the first 3 petals.  

4.  More petals
Continue to make petals until you have covered the cupcake.  These do not have to be perfect, so no worries if petals aren't exactly where they should be.  


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