Maple Syrup and Birthday Cupcakes

This past weekend a good friend from high school was visiting Boston. K had a conference here last week and stayed to hang out this weekend. On top of hanging out with friends, Butler made it to the Final Four! K went to Butler and is the president of his local alumni club!


On Saturday we decided to partake in some local fun by heading up to New Hampshire to go to a maple house where they boil maple syrup. We had beautiful weather on Saturday. It was a bit chilly but sunny and not a cloud in the sky. After arriving at the Grant Family Maple House, we had some food and got in line to learn all about how maple syrup is made.


What we learned is that the sap from the trees has about 2-3% sugar in it straight from the tree. At that percentage, it would take 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup!! So they first condense the sap until it reaches about 8% sugar. The sap is then boiled to evaporate off the water.


Once the temperature reads 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, you have syrup! The guy in the maple house even explained how they use a baraometer on the wall to get the barometric pressure so they know the exact boiling temperature of water for that given day. It was all very scientific and extremely interesting.


The small bottles of maple syrup were a sample from each batch they had made at the maple house this season. The guy explained that as the season goes on, the syrup tends to get darker due to the change in the amount of sugar in the sap.


Of course, we had to get some maple products while we were there. Obviously, maple syrup. We also got some maple candies, some maple sugar, and some maple pepper. Can’t wait to find creative ways to use the sugar and pepper. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!


Also, since K’s birthday was last week, I made him some cupcakes to celebrate. I went with my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. I love that you can whip these up by dirtying only one bowl and using a whisk! I dipped them in some ganache and topped with festive sprinkles. Aren’t they pretty?

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14 Responses to “Harry Potter Cupcakes”

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    clstar — August 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    OMG, I am in love with these cupcakes! They’re so awesome! I love HP, and I made owl cupcakes when the movie came out. I might need to give these a try before going to see the IMAX 3D movie.

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    thegreatpantryraid — August 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    How cute are those?! And i was wondering how you got the lettering so perfect – thanks for the step-by-step. Lol – I just dragged DH to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry – I’m sure he’ll be happy when the final movie comes out and he doesn’t have to hear about it anymore!

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    thecookingnurse — August 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Great job, how lucky are your friends?

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    Jen — August 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I’m so jealous! My two sisters are going to the exhibit this weekend. I thought about flying to Chicago to join them. Luckily I found out the exhibit is coming here in October. Whew!

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    Erin — August 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    These look fabulous! You did such a great job on them!

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    Katie — August 4, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    WOW JEN!! Those are fantastic!! Better than professional! Seriously, what talent you have to make those! 🙂

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    Jen — August 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Aw thanks Katie – you’re making me blush.

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    Ingrid — August 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I hate when cupcakes do that to me too. Instead of baking up they bake out! 🙁

    Love your Harry Potter cupcake toppers! Very cute and creative!
    ~ingrid

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    Manda — August 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Jen! A friend of mine forwarded me your page for HP Cupcakes and I just wanted to drop in and say that I think they’re awesome and I want to run home now and try to create some fun hp themed cakes! I had done some in the past–cauldron cakes if you will, by buying mini cauldrons and cutting the bottom off so the tops sat just on the cakes and then used a bit of green frosting on the inside. You should join up with the HP-MA crew! We’ve been organizing some meet-ups for Boston Fans!

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    Jen — August 4, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Sounds awesome Manda.

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    nutmegnanny — August 5, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Oh my goodness, what adorable little cupcakes!

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    annieseats — August 6, 2009 at 1:25 am

    So so cute! And yeah, those “HPs” must have taken FOREVER. I have a fabulous vanilla cupcake recipe that never fails me here: http://annies-eats.com/2008/07/18/vanilla-cupcakes/. Also, I recently made Dorie’s perfect party cake into cupcakes and had great results with that as well.

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    bcallegra — August 7, 2009 at 12:47 am

    I love your HP cupcakes! I too am a huge Harry Potter fan but I have to admit, I don’t think I’d be patient enough to make cupcakes and toppings as cute as yours!

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    Karin — April 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    These are so awesome!! I wish I would have seen them and did some of these with the HP cake I did!!

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