Monday, August 18, 2008

Cupcakes for Charity

As you may have noticed on my next to last post, I am currently trying to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation as part of their Lunch for Leukaemia month. My friend Adri kindly offered to help out in my quest, so we thought that she could raise some donations by selling cupcakes at her work.

I baked a batch of Malteaser cupcakes (Nigella's malteaser cake being one of my favourites), and I found that the recipe made 18 cupcakes, filled about half to three-quarters full. Remembering that the icing just covers the whole cake, and that cupcakes need more icing than regular cake, I increased the quantities of the icing by 1.5.

Baked malteaser cupcakes; icing in the processor; messily piped icing; completed cupcakes.

I tried piping the icing, but as you can see, my piping was rubbish, and besides, whenever you piped brown icing it just looks plain wrong. I then spread out the piped icing with a knife, and dotted each cupcake with 3 malteasers. I'd still recommend piping the icing out then spreading it, as it's a lot neater, especially when the cupcake paper extends beyond the height of the cupcake itself.

I then whipped up a batch of Magnolia's vanilla cupcakes, and used Donna Hay's buttercream icing recipe for the icing. The Magnolia buttercream frosting is unbearably sweet - (8 cups of sugar to 1 cup of butter), and Donna's had approximately equal amounts of butter and sugar. I had a go at piping the icing, which a) was incredibly stiff and difficult to pipe and b) looked terrible. Let's face it, people, I cannot pipe! The good old pipe and spread method again came in handy. The recipe made 30 cupcakes; I used 12, had a couple of samples, and stashed the remaining 16 in the freezer.

Messily piped icing; extra cupcakes packed and ready to be frozen; one completed cupcake; completed cupcakes packed in a tin and ready to go.

I was hoping to use my Decor 2-storey cupcake-container (specifically bought for this purpose!) to give the cupcakes to Adri to sell, but the iced cupcakes did not fit! WTF? How can a 2-storey cupcake-container be too short for 2 storeys of cupcakes! I didn't even ice them that high. The cupcake container just managed to fit 2 layers of un-iced cupcakes, so I used it to stash the un-iced cupcakes in the freezer, and distributed the completed cupcakes amongst other containers.

Sample malteaser cupcake...

Adri and I decided to sell the cupcakes for a donation of $4 each, which we both thought was reasonable, and comparable to store-bought cupcakes. There were 28 cupcakes to sell, and if we managed to sell them all, we'd get $112.

We gave our friend JZ 6 of those cupcakes to sell at his office, and Adri took the remainder. However, at first they didn't sell well at all. By 11am, only 2 had been sold. Uh-oh. People thought they were too small, and too expensive. We didn't realise that the canteen at Adri's work sells muffins for a mere $1.60, and even though these cupcakes were for charity, people just weren't interested. Accountants must be damn kiamsap, man! Do you know what's really kiamsap (tightarse), though? Someone at JZ's office TOOK a cupcake without paying. I mean, fair enough if you think $4 is too much and you choose not to purchase a cake. But who steals a charity cupcake?!?!?!?!? We didn't figure out who the culprit was, but luckily some extra donations managed to cover it.

In the afternoon, Adri went desk-to-desk to sell cupcakes and solicit donations, which worked a lot better than just leaving the cupcakes in the staff kitchen. And in the end, she managed to get rid of them all! It wouldn't have been a great hardship for us to eat the remaining cupcakes, but our aim was to raise money! Wahoo! She also found that some people just wanted to give a donation, and not take a cupcake. Excellent.

So, after a slow morning, the cupcake sales actually went really well, thanks almost entirely to Adri's amazing selling power. We ended up raising over $120. Great work!

Anyhoo, the malteaser cupcakes sold a lot faster than the 'plain' vanilla, probably because they look a lot more exciting, even though the vanilla ones taste better. The general reaction was that the malteaser cupcakes were a bit too sweet, whilst the vanilla ones taste good. (The exact word that came up, which seems to crop up every time I make cupcakes, was "moist". It's an unfortunate word, but totally appropriate).

We're going to have another bake-sale next week, prior to my lunch on Saturday. This time we'll sell something a bit cheaper and simpler. Maybe lemon slice?

5 comments:

Anna said...

Ooh, Sarah, they look so good!
But a cupcake thief?? Oh dear!!
xx

Kelly-Jane said...

Beautiful cupcakes and for such a great cause too.

Anonymous said...

I'm really proud of you for doing this :-)

Bridgett said...

Congratulations on a successful sale. Maybe here is a new career path of cupcake catering? They looked delicious. Send some to California and I definitely will pay $4 for a great cause.

Vida said...

Well done Sarah!!! Pity about some people and their dishonesty but you did so well with the honest ones... and you know what they say "what goes around,comes around"... good things for you! V x