You've no doubt seen this image by now. Whether through one of my email blasts or social media posts. I have been working on cupcake bouquets for years. Since the beginning! What a beautiful and delicious concept, but I have to admit very tricky to execute when assembling and ensuring a safe transport. Today's Mother's Day bouquet came after several trial and errors. There was even a period I stopped offering them after a heartbreaking disassembly that happened at the event of one of my client's, but vowed to revisit the idea at some point and resolve the issues.
How it started and where they're headed
What you're seeing above are the first bouquets to hit the menu back in 2017. Yes, I've been around that long and trust me when I say, I didn't think it would still be a thing 6 years later, but here we are and I have to give myself a little credit here. Coming from zero culinary background and having hated anything to do with the kitchen/cooking, these came out pretty nice looking! Albeit, beautiful it was so difficult to keep the cupcakes in place. Mostly, I was using toothpicks back then. They sat beautifully so long as I left them on the table never to move them. When it came time to deliver, my heart was always beating out of my chest as my cousin drove. Any pothole, speedbump, or sudden stop, and those cupcakes would start shaking and threatening me with their demise. My poor cousin. I had him so stressed out too making sure he wasn't going too fast or making too sharp of a turn. It was precious cargo and at times I even had us going with hazard lights on. I laugh thinking back on it now, but I promise you in those days there was no laughing! haha
Before the overwhelming stress of delivery, was the packaging ordeal. I don't know how all those people on Instagram were packaging in a way that would not compromise the actual buttercream design. Even with rods, the cellophane was still going to land softly on some cupcake. Didn't matter where I placed them or matter how many I used. I don't even remember how many methods I tried for this part. In the end, I just wanted a custom box for these until I looked at how much money that would cost. Just the box would cost more than I was charging for the bouquets. I questioned whether it was even worth selling as an item. I mean, I was literally shaking at each delivery from holding them in place the whole route. There were definitely times when a cupcake would fall out of place and we'd have to stop so I could fix it. I was already new to baking and now I had to become a cupcake engineer?
It wasn't until one particular delivery arrived safely(so I thought) and after we left, client called me to come back because they all fell out on her table. She was not happy and I just wanted to cry. Not just because I was mortified, but mostly because she was so unhappy with me - rightfully so. You order a product and it completely falls apart? Anyone would be upset. I had to go home and make buttercream and come back to assemble it as her friends/guests watched. She thanked me for fixing it, but I still felt awful. She did end up leaving an honest review about the situation and it was then that I decided to pull them from the menu. It just wasn't working and the added stress wasn't worth it.
Over the years, I'd get asked for them, but I just didn't have a good system in place for them. I was afraid to try again, but the people want what the people want. I had a client order a set of flower cupcakes and later sent me a picture of how she used them to make her own cupcake bouquet. I thought to myself, no, I can't just not ever make these again. They looked so pretty. There must be a way! She inspired me to look into it again in my spare time - which isn't much, by the way. I ended up finding a great method both in assembly and packaging. So I tried it out at an event I catered for a friend. Everyone thought they were so pretty and complimented them all night, but I actually wasn't happy with them. I knew I could do better. The flowers just looked pretty dull to me and so I set a new goal to have them perfected for the next big holiday, Valentine's Day of 2022.
It was the lowest price the bouquets would ever be and that was mostly because it was my way of celebrating with my clients that I was now able to offer this item again. So many bouquets were ordered that year on that holiday. It made me so so happy. And the transport? *chef's kiss* absolutely stress free! I could even stack a couple boxes and not worry that any cupcakes would be damaged.
Since then, I've been working on upgrading the actual flowers I was putting on the cupcakes. The ones I have out currently for Mother's Day are just the beginning of my new generation of cupcake bouquets. If you were one of my OG clients that ordered bouquets back in 2017, I'd love to see some of those pictures if you have any. I promise to keep working at this so that I may continue offering not just pretty looking flower bouquets, but delicious ones! Here are some of the ones I've made in the past year since.