Big Love in a Little Barn {homemade cupcakes for a whimsical wedding}

This past weekend was my good friend Anna’s wedding.

(Photo courtesy of Katie Dolan)

(Photo courtesy of Katie Dolan)

From suspenders hand-sewn by the groom, to whimsical lighting in the barn’s rafters and cookies handmade by the bride – this was a DIY wedding at its best.

This was a festival of love. Of family and friends. Of local foods. Of dancing barefoot in the barn. Of sustainability to it’s core. 

The food was a diy collaborative effort by several of the bride’s friends: incredible fresh garbanzo bean salads, mounds of arugula, spinach, and homemade salsas; a gluten-free cake, brownies, and miniature spiced cupcakes for the gluten-free bride; and fresh cupcakes by yours truly.

You may not know this but I make a mean cupcake.

Lila is always such a good little helper at my feet - she makes sure the floor is as clean when I'm finished as it was when I began.

Lila is always such a good little helper at my feet – she makes sure the floor is as clean when I’m finished as it was when I began.

This wedding was 3-1/2 hours away from my kitchen, so I simply baked them the night before and piped the frosting on at the venue. Unfortunately my cooler cooled the buttercream down a bit too much on the trip there which made it mighty tough to pipe, but two ruptured piping bags and a whole lot of arm strength later, they turned out looking mightly swell.

Piping the frosting onto the "Country Blossom" cupcakes

I made two flavors: Country Blossom and Golden Treasure. The Country Blossom cupcakes were yellow cake with my traditional buttercream and topped with edible flowers (I used an assortment of organically-grown pansies).

The Golden Treasure cupcakes were a chocolate cake with golden raspberry buttercream and embellished with white pearls. As with any “flavored” buttercream I make, I use only real fruit (no artificial flavorings). So for this recipe I simply stewed two quarts of golden raspberries over stove-top, strained off the liquid, and let it come to room temperature before adding it to my traditional buttercream recipe. Easy peasy and oh so yummy!

wedding cupcakes with edible flowers!

I also made labels for all the deserts using corkboard, pieces of burlap sack, metallic-yellow scrapbooking paper, and little clay rose embellishments (all of which are from Michaels in case you’re interested).

The music was also spot-on for the venue. They had Foot Notes playing live, which is where all the barefoot barn dancing came in. It was wonderful. If you ever have the opportunity to go to one of their dances, don’t you dare miss it! And no worries if you have two left feet like Brandon and I – they are always really great about leading instructions through the beginning of some songs and even if you’re still not so sure what you’re doing, that’s okay! That’s half the fun and nobody’s judging.

dancing it up to the Foot Notes band

All in all, it was a great weekend. The best part is that getting away from the regular grind for a weekend reminded Brandon and I how much fun we always have in our old college town and the importance of keeping in touch with old friends. The morning after the wedding while sitting in the old cafe where I used to study and cram for tests, we talked through a list of things that we used to enjoy but have since gotten out of the habit of doing, and things we have been wanting to do but haven’t set as a priority on our to-do list. So in my little sister’s words, we created a “Summer Bucket List” and we are so excited to get back to our roots through exploring nature a little more, taking spontaneous trips to our college town, and catching up with friends more often.

beautiful, locally-sourced flowers decorated the barn

So that’s our summer bucket list. It’s broad but wonderful.


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