A party for Christine.

After quite the cupcake-making adventure (or disaster as Chris might put it), we got 36 cupcakes, 20 party favor bags, a mini cake and Christine's birthday present to San Mateo's Safari Run - safe and sound. I have never made cupcakes for so many people and I learned some valuable baking lessons during this process (see below). Thank God for my recent discovery of Spun Sugar in Berkeley, which sells everything you would possibly need to bake anything or make anything you baked look uber professional - including the cardboard cake boxes with cupcake inserts. A very special thank you to Chris who stayed up until 5am making cupcakes with me and running to the store multiple times to get more butter/milk/cream cheese and for helping me solve several cupcake crisises and preventing me from crying into tasteless batter or melted fondant. Sadly, my attempt at using fondant had to be replaced with store-bought Mickey cupcake toppers. In the end, Christine and her parents were very pleased with the chocolate cupcakes and cream cheese frosting and they were even happier with the favor bags. More importantly, the little birthday girl had a blast and so did we! Baking lessons learned: 1. Fondant melts if you don't add gum paste - it doesn't matter how long you leave it out or try to freeze it 2. Always test a new recipe before attempting to make enough for 40 people (or at least get the right coco powder if you're making chocolate cupcakes) 3. Buy extra ingredients! 4. Taste test what you make....before you make 40 of them 5. Party stores can be life savers, but try not to go an hour before the party, and don't lock your keys in the car while you're there

Yes, all of these lessons were learned due to personal experience.

before and after.