I turned 25 this month! I know a lot of my peers celebrated by hitting the bars or going out dancing, but I wanted to do something a little more intimite and low key. Well, originally, what I really wanted to do was take a beach vacation… Since we are saving up for a huge party and a Nash/Ashville roadtrip this summer, I decided to have a few friends and family over for food and drinks! I just love serving people and entertaining at home : )
Instead of spending all day cooking in the kitchen, I opted to make a couple sides and then order (giant $10) pizzas from our local Costco. I had planned to add some fancy toppings to the pizzas, like prosciutto, spinach, and mozzarella, but I ended up totally forgetting about it because I was having such a great time catching up with everyone! The plain pizzas paired well with some caprese salad and a charcuterie tray.
I made way too many cupcakes, and ended up sending a ton home with guests and bringing the rest to work for coworkers to enjoy! I ate a ton of them, too. Each cupcake had a wine pairing or two. It was difficult to find as many pairings for drier wines, so I made up some of my long time favorite varietals. It ended up working out pretty well. Here are the cupcakes I made and their wine pairings –
- Golden vanilla bean cupcakes with buttercream icing and unoaked chardonnay
- Strawberry swirl cupcakes with strawberry/buttercream twist icing and prosecco
- Funfetti cupcakes with buttercream and a choice of sweet or dry rosé
- Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet blend
- Devils food cupcakes with milk chocolate ganache icing and pinot noir
The cupcakes were made from cake mix! Now, usually when I make desserts, I don’t use mix. However, when making a large quantity, easy is the way to go. To make box mix taste like a bakery, I use butter instead of oil, and use half and half or milk instead of water. To make the cupcakes ahead, I baked and cooled them (on a wire rack for plenty of air circulation) one batch at a time, then froze them. I thawed them (on the wire rack) the night before and iced them all day of. I was a little worried about freezing the cupcakes, but it worked really well! The trick is using the wire rack to cool and thaw, which keeps them from getting sticky or soggy. It is also very important to only freeze and only ice the cupcakes when they are at room temperature. For the icings, I went through so much butter! Totally worth it!
This party was super easy, and relatively inexpensive – a win in my book! Happy birthday to me ; )