This past week I spent a four days at the Cancer Institute serving as my mother’s care partner as she received IV iron therapy for anemia. Looking around at the cancer patients filling up the majority of the chairs in the room, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that my mother was not there for chemotherapy.
However, our family has had our bouts with the dreaded “C” word. My mother fought and won her battle with Thyroid cancer in 2011, and remains cancer free today. Unfortunately, not everybody can win the fight.
I lost my father figure in 2008 when Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia claimed his life, after more than a decade long battle. Sitting in the chairs in the room at the cancer institute was a grim reminder of the past for both my mother and I. I watched the volunteers come through and offer everyone snacks (crackers and chips mostly). I soon realized that people are here for 3-5 hours on average, hooked up to IV’s. That’s when I decided to make these cupcakes and bring them to patients at the Cancer Institute, in hopes of brightening their day, even if just for a second.
I ran home that afternoon and whipped up some white cake mix! I baked two dozen total cupcakes with the mix. I then filled each cupcake with a homemade fudgey buttercream recipe! There are many methods of filling cupcakes, but I prefer to saw out a small hole with a tiny knife, pull out the cake plug, fill the center, then plug it back up and seal with Wilton’s crumb sealing spray.
Next, I popped all the cupcakes into the freezer to solidify the sealant and make it easier for the next step. Instead of doing a traditional frosting, I decided to melt down some of my homemade marshmallow fondant, dye it green, and dip each cupcake into the liquid fondant. While I waited for the fondant to dry, I began making my fondant daffodils! I only had a 5 petal cutter, so unfortunately these daffodils do not have the traditional 6 petals! Nonetheless, they still tasted pretty fantastic! 🙂
I used golden yellow to achieve the color of the petals. Red and golden yellow combined made for the lovely orange shade for the trumpet centers!
As I finished shaping the petals using both my hand and fondant tools, I attached each trumpet, carefully creating a ruffled edge at the tops of them. Because marshmallow fondant is so soft, this was a definite challenge! I could have added in gum paste or done them entirely in gum paste, but I really wanted these to be 100% MMF 🙂
I left the flowers in the little handmade flower cups I rigged overnight. You can buy flower cups at the store, but in a pinch, I have found that a dixie cup stuffed with paper towel will achieve the same effect. The purpose is to let the flowers dry in a particular shape. Here, I wanted some of the petals to dry slightly lifted up off the cupcakes.
I was thrilled with the final product, and even included tiny printed cards I found online to spread awareness about the meaning of the daffodil. The tray of cupcakes didn’t last more than an hour! Watching the volunteer deliver them to the patients, and seeing the surprise and joy on the patients’ faces was so incredibly rewarding. 🙂
The daffodil is the international symbol of hope for those affected by cancer. Click on the links below to learn more about how you can help make a difference by being involved in the “Daffodil Days” campaign powered by 1800flowers and The American Cancer Society 🙂