Over the weekend, I got a chance to go to a fun Fall Festival here on St. Croix! I was super excited because, as I’ve mentioned before, I love the change of seasons, so it was nice to attend an event that was centered around everything that makes Fall wonderful, like pumpkin picking and candy apples!
This particular festival was a ‘Bark’tober Fall Festival sponsored by the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center. The money spent on all of the various games and crafts went to benefit the center! Not only was it a fun day, but it was for a wonderful cause!
One of the fun ways to help out the Animal Welfare Center was a bake sale. Anyone interested could donate at least a dozen homemade cupcakes, decorated for the season, to be sold for three dollars a piece. A friend of mine here on island knew I’d have fun participating in the bake sale and invited me to join in. I’m so glad she did! It was a great way to get back in the kitchen after a long, sad, and exhausting last minute trip back home these past couple of weeks. I’m a huge animal lover, and there are so many absolutely adorable stray dogs here on the island. It’s next to impossible for me not to bring them all home, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that I was able to help in my own small way!
For my cupcakes, I chose to do a Halloween theme: Monsters!
I knew the cupcakes would be outside, though, so I kept them simple and stuck with basic buttercream (I had grand aspirations of making beautiful fondant puppies in their own Halloween costumes to top each cupcake, but let’s be realistic, those poor puppies wouldn’t have lasted long enough to show off to anyone).Â These little guys were super fun, and very simple, to make! They could certainly be a lot more elaborate, but the beauty of them is that they don’t have to be, and they’re still adorably awesome!Â I chose to make one of my favorite basic chocolate cake recipes, then set to decorating.
To help keep things simple, I divided my frosting up and only used three colors (plus white). Normally, I’d have made a nice black for detail work, but I seriously had to keep the weather in mind and knew black would be very unattractive if it started melting into the other colors. I simply spread a little frosting on each cupcake, then grabbed my decorating tips and went to work!
I love how they each have their own little personalities! Since I only made one dozen of them, I had a great time making each one individual, but if you’re making more than that, you could easily make little clones of your favorites!
There were lots of other great cupcakes at the bake sale, so I had to share a couple.
Someone else donated delicious caramel and candy apples for the bake sale and I died. Seriously, I love candy apples so much I can’t even express! Ironically, I’ve never attempted making them. Maybe they should be added to my list…
Besides the bake sale, there were great crafts and games to join in on! This table was a cookie decorating table. Um, yeah. Yum! They provided the cookies, frosting, and all sorts of great toppings, candy, and decorations!
Just look at this totally awesome cookie! The most adorable little ninja made this, and I was hard pressed not to shove him out of the way and bolt with it. Alright, alright. Not really. I mean, sort of. But the point is I didn’t. I let him enjoy his cookie in piece and wandered back to the candy apples.
There was also face painting, and this little boy was hilarious! He was getting a bat painted over his eyes, and he took the whole situation very seriously. People were stopping and watching and asking questions, but he was very focused and wanted nothing to do with any of them. He was like a little statue, so that he wouldn’t mess the painter up! It was adorable!
The people doing the painting were great. They weren’t professionals, but they had all sorts of pictures of various face paintings printed out for people to choose from, and they did a fantastic job recreating them!
There was a small pumpkin patch where kids could pick out a pumpkin to bring over and hand paint, rather than carve (carved pumpkins on the front step would last about as long as my fondant puppies before moldering).
Finally, and most importantly, there was this handsome little sweetheart. This is Harpo and he is one of the beautiful dogs up for adoption at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center. He was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever encountered, and I didn’t think I’d be able to get our boy out of there without him! There are lots of beautiful animals like Harpo at the Center, waiting for homes, so if you’re local and looking for a companion, make sure that this is your first stop. You’ll not only find a great new friend for yourself, but you’ll be giving a loving animal a home and a life that wouldn’t have had otherwise. If you’re not in the market for a new furry friend, but you want to show your support, you can do so by donating or buying one of their great tees on their websiteÂ (even if you’re not local).
Thanks to everyone who supported this great cause, and I hope you give the monster cupcakes a try! I promise they are really fun and incredibly easy! Enjoy!