Cupcake club has members getting creative

The group will sell cupcakes to donate to local animal shelters.
Sophomore Ashley Crockett examines a freshly-made cupcake Sunday in a friend's apartment. Crockett, president of MU's new Cupcake Club and a Maneater staff member, said she always tries to bake from scratch.

Cupcake enthusiasts gathered for the first ever Cupcake Club meeting Sept. 29 to learn decorating basics by making cat and dog designs. Vice President Brynden Gibbens baked about 40 cupcakes the day before the first meeting.

"She walked us through how to put icing into an icing bag and do the techniques to put it on a cupcake and decorate it," junior Shelly Valvero said.

Valvero said she joined the club because she loves to bake, but has little opportunity to do so while living in her sorority house.

At the moment, the club does not have a meeting place. Members are not allowed to use university-owned facilities; therefore, they may need to rely on members' homes to bake the pastries.

According to Treasurer Melissa Roadman, the club does not currently have a budget. Funding for ingredients and other supplies comes from member donations.

"We have member dues of $10," Gibbens said. "We're trying to get people to pay that because right now we don't have anything."

The club will apply for a budget from MU next semester. The money from this budget cannot be used to buy food, but it can be used to buy reusable supplies, such as cupcake tins, Roadman said.

In the future, the club will hold decorating contests as well as recipe contests. The winner will earn a small prize, and then teach other members how to make the prize design or recipe.

"I think the idea of coming up with a really cool idea or finding a really cool idea for a cupcake, to present it to the club and everyone can do it together, I think that would be fun," Gibbens said.

Many club members have experience in baking and designing cupcakes, but anyone can join the club. Roadman encourages students with little or no experience to join because it is an easy and fun skill to learn.

"I just hope that it gives everyone an opportunity to explore baking and see how much fun it can be and how creative you can be," Roadman said.

Cupcake Club members have many plans, but are facing a few difficulties because the organization is still in its beginning stages.

After the club really gets its start, members will hold monthly bake sales to benefit local animal shelters. The plan is to alternate donations between Happy Tails Animal Sanctuary, Columbia Second Chance and Central Missouri Humane Society.

Although the club specializes in animal designs in honor of local homeless pets, its cupcakes will also feature seasonal designs. At the next meeting, cupcakes will be iced in Halloween-themed designs.

"We just thought it would be a good way to give back to the community and do what we like to do," Roadman said.

Central Columbia Humane Society won a $1 million makeover from Zootoo.com, but it still needs donations. Although the prize money can be used for renovations, it does not cover the cost of everyday operations.

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