Rachel Allison’s Finger Lakes Picnic Cupcakes

My cupcake decoration theme is “Finger Lakes Picnic.” The idea came together from my love of sharing charcuterie boards and local wines with friends. One of my best memories from this year was when a friend and mentor came to town, and we spent the day visiting different wineries on Keuka and Seneca Lake. I baked a fresh loaf of bread that morning, and we had a picnic lunch, pairing different cheeses and charcuterie with the wines we picked up along the way!

The most challenging part of making the cupcake was piping the basket weave—the angle was tricky, and it took more buttercream than I expected! Making the mini picnic foods was my favorite part, especially the cake truffle salami. I originally planned to make all the picnic foods out of chocolate but using a mix of ingredients ultimately created much more interesting textures!

—By Rachel Allison