In a time crunch, frost cupcakes in the car!!!? ...wait
So, here came Easter, and we really wanted to make carrot cake from scratch. So, I decided to do cupcakes to make it faster and easier. Here's the problem, I ran out of time to finish them before leaving for our family get together (...what a surprise...sigh...working on it!). SO, we have an hour drive...DING! Frost them in the car on the ride there! BRILLIANT! Or...maybe not so much. It seems like no matter what the activity is, I think, "OH! I can do that on the ride there!" Why do I always forget about how bumpy it actually is? Well, it's really that you don't realize how bumpy it is until you try to do something that requires a more steady hand. "I'm going to write this card on the drive over!" NOPE! Looks like you can't write. Oh well, it's the meaningful words that count! "I can wrap this gift in the car!" Oops, oh yeah, a flat surface is really helpful. "I want to do my nails for this event. I'll do them in the car on the way there!" NOPE! Not gonna happen! It's horrific. Trust me...So, getting back to frosting cupcakes in the car. The same thing happens. It's just too bumpy for steady hands, but fortunately if you're not too picky on how the final results look, it actually works. Plus, it was really helpful that I wanted to sprinkle chopped pecans on the tops of the frosted cupcakes. Crisis averted!
This video is quite funny because it shows all of my complaints during the process :P If you're interested in seeing videos of the full process, let us know by sending us a message!
STEP 1: Bag the Frosting
Obviously the real first step is making the cupcakes and frosting themselves, but we're talking about frosting cupcakes in the car at the moment ;P But I have included a link at the end of this post for the full recipe ;) ...If you are going to venture frosting in the car like I did, this first step I advise to do at home before you leave; so you don't have dishes from the frosting in the car...Start out by using a large baggie. A zip-top bag was very helpful and easy for this situation. Insert the decorating tip into a corner of the baggie, and cut a small hole for it to poke out through. I used a medium sized decorating tip, but if you don't have any decorating tips, you can just cut a hole in the corner of the bag in the same location that the decorating tip goes. I advise to not cut the hole until you are ready to frost, for the travel convenience of having a securely closed bag (I have a decorating tip cover that I used for transporting). Also, don't cut the hole too big; it squeezes out thicker than you may think, especially if it's a refrigerated frosting that will get softer as it warms up out of the fridge. With using a decorating tip, it does not fit into a baggie corner snugly like it does a piping bag. So, I had to tape the tip on, as you can see in the photo. Hmm..come to think of it, I wonder if I could have used a decorating coupler. I'll have to try that if there is a next time ;) I also learned that it doesn't hurt to put a little extra tape on there, because my bag got a hole in it while I was frosting. So I was lucky to have the tape to patch it up!
STEP 2: Prepare the bag
Push the frosting down toward the exit tip of the bag (not too much to squeeze it out the tip!). This helps with air bubbles and holding the bag. Then twist the top of the bag to make a nice handle to pipe the frosting with.
STEP 3: Frost the Cupcakes!
Here is the "fun" part. Make sure your cupcakes are cooled down enough so that they won't melt your frosting and have it start to slide off the tops. My hands started hurting after a while, because the frosting was still firm from being refrigerated. I didn't have time to think, just frost! Haha..but if I had thought about that fact, I could have frosted them in less time with less aches if I had waited for the frosting to warm up a little bit to soften some, but you also have to keep in mind that the softer it is, the less it will hold the created pattern of the cake decorating tip as it is squeezing out. Also, as mentioned above and shown in the right photo below, my bag got a hole in it. I had to patch it up nicely in hopes of not getting another hole! A tip for if that happens to you, make sure to clean the frosting off really well to get it as oil free as possible and that the outside of the bag is dry so the tape will stick well to patch the hole. After we reached our destination, I then sprinkled the chopped pecans onto the tops of each cupcake. As a side note, if I had used buttercream frosting, this may not have worked since buttercream frosting starts to dry and harden a bit on the outside when it is exposed to air. Therefore, trying to sprinkle nuts, sprinkles, or something of the the sort on top of the frosting will not stick like it can with the cream cheese frosting that stays moist.
STEP 4: Share, Eat, and Enjoy!
So, here's a photo to show how they turned out. Obviously there were some that were prettier than others, but in reality, they really did turn out pretty well as a whole. If you're a pro cake decorator or connoisseur, you may be looking at them with horror in your eyes ;) but I was happy with them under the circumstances :) and it didn't affect the taste! YUM!