Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Cake - Cake Decorating Class 2 Final Cake

So I just finished my 2nd cake decorating class this past week - Gum Paste & Flowers.  It was really a very introductory class to gum paste and we didn't do very much with it.  But we did learn about a ton of flowers.  I had a vision of my cake from the 2nd class.  I knew since I would be ending the class right around Halloween I wanted to incorporate pumpkins into my cake.  So when I made my cake I made 3 mini bundt size cakes to act as my pumpkins.  The cake that the 2 pumpkin are sitting on are 2 8" round layers with chocolate buttercream frosting.  YUM!
All of the flowers are made with Royal Icing.  It dries really hard so it's really easy to put the flowers wherever you want.
We learned how to do the basket weaving at the last class and I'm so happy with how it turned out.
Here's just another view of the cake with the flowers cascading around and between the pumpkins.
And a top view of the cake.  I am so thrilled with how this turned out.  We cut into this puppy with my parents and two of my aunts this past weekend.  Of course I sent them home with the rest of it so my waistline can continue to shrink!  Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Super Why Birthday Cake

So have you ever heard of Super Why!? I sure hadn't. It's definitely a kid thing. My little guy hasn't yet seen the Super Why series. But anyways, my friend asked if I could put two of the Super Why character on a cake for her son's 2nd birthday. I was up for a new challenge and appreciated the opportunity.

Here is a link to the Super Why website. I utilized their "design center" to get a poster of the two characters for the cake. Courtesy of the Super Why website this was what I used for inspiration on the cake.

And here is the final outcome of the cake:

My friend also said that her son loves the alphabet so I incorporated the alphabet along the sides of the cake.

The cake was a Chocolate Cake layered with an Oreo Cream Cheese filling. This is a large scale replica of the Oreo Mini Cakes/Cupcakes I posted about yesterday. I used a Chocolate Buttercream recipe to cover the entire cake.

As with every opportunity I get I always learn something new. In this challenge, I tested out painting on fondant. I used Wilton colors and lemon juice to paint with. A few things I realized while doing this was that 1) it is extremely challenging to get a skin color and a very pale pink color with the Wilton colors. 2) There were a LOT of colors for these characters. 3) I was pretty proud of my first attempt at painting on fondant.

I made my own fondant using a Marshmallow Fondant Recipe. I rolled it out very thin since it was just going to lay on top of the cake.

The challenge of the skin and pale pink colors made me be creative and pull in other colors to help mute it. For the skin color I used some yellow, orange, copper and brown. For the pale pink I added some purple and a tiny amount of yellow. When using white frosting it's definitely much easier to tone the color down.

Now I painted with lemon juice because it evaporates and doesn't leave a taste. You can also paint with clear vanilla extract but you will get a vanilla taste and you can paint with vodka which will also evaporate. I just happened to choose lemon juice because it was handy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oreo Mini Cakes/Cupcakes

This past weekend we celebrated my husband's birthday.  I told him I would make him some goodies to take to work.  This was one of the goodies.  I also plan to make him Tiramisu cupcakes to take as well but this is the first round.
 It's a simple moist chocolate cake cupcake cut in half for the Oreo Cream Cheese filling.
 Then I added a small amount of chocolate buttercream frosting with a dollop of the Cream Cheese filling without Oreos and then added a 1/2 Oreo on the top for decoration.
Just look at that wonderful goodness!  I placed the cupcakes back into liners so it would be easier for my husband's co-workers to grab one for themselves. 

This idea I came up with after seeing a cake by Brown Eyed Baker:

I did not use the chocolate cake recipe in the link above but I'm sure it's just as good.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Raisin Bars

I absolutely LOVE fall for the colors, flavors, smells but not for the allergies that tend to arise.  I live in the middle of farm country so now it's harvest season and the tractors are out in full force cutting down the corn making many people's allergies act up including mine.  Even my little baby has to have benadryl now and then.  But besides the allergy factor the awesome food factor and what is so readily available grows. Pumpkins and Apples GALORE!  I'm real big on apple desserts.  YUM!

So I was perusing through my Family Circle magazine - it's an old issue - about 2 months ago.  There was a section on apple desserts.  Oh be still my heart!  And one completely caught my attention.  Apple Raisin Bars!  You don't say?!?  Apples and Raisins oh my!  So I decided to make the super quick recipe to celebrate a co-worker's birthday - the only thing that took any time was dicing up the apples.  Otherwise this was the faster desserts I've made in weeks!  I added some powdered sugar to the top because what doesn't go well with powdered sugar?!?

 And I prefer to take my baked goods already cut when I take them to work so it's less fuss for my co-workers.  Look at that yummy goodness!
And here - the snow-capped bar!  Mmmm now if I could only serve this warm with some ice cold vanilla ice cream!  I can only imagine how much the wow factor on these bars would rise!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fire Truck Birthday Cake

Here is the final goodie for the Fire Truck Birthday Party - the main attraction - the birthday cake!!

The red is Homemade Marshmallow Fondant.  All the details were added using Royal Icing.  The Wheels are Oreo cookies - yum!

A tip I learned while taking the 2nd Wilton Cake Decorating course is to lather up your hands with Crisco (vegetable shortening) so that it will not stick to you or your surface when you go to roll it out.  It worked out so well.  Not too shabby for being my second cake that I used fondant on.

Oh and another tip, when I made the fondant I replaced the liquid I was to use to create the fondant with red food coloring.  It made the fondant come out so bright red.  Way better than "painting" it red with Wilton's color.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flames & Fire Truck Cupcakes

I LOVE themed birthday parties!!!  In a couple of months my hubby and I will begin planning our baby's 1st birthday party.  A few themes have been thrown out in the mix but nothing set in stone.

So here I'm making goodies for a Fire Truck themed birthday.  I made some cupcakes to go along with the Fire Truck 3D cake that I'll show in tomorrow's post.  The request was 4 dozen Flame Cupcakes and 2 dozen cupcakes with a Fire Truck on each one.  (Yes if you read yesterday's post - this makes 132 cupcakes in one week!)

Cupcakes with Flames

I made red and orange frosting for the flames and piped out individual "flames" in each color on the cupcakes.
The view of one dozen.
A close up!
An even better close up.
Here you can get the side view effect of how the flames are "shooting" up!

Cupcakes with Fire Trucks on them.  

For the Fire Trucks, I decided to use a Fire Truck candy mold with chocolate candy melts. The mold is roughly 1 3/4" - perfect for setting on top of a cupcake!  For the cupcake I just made a simple buttercream frosting.  Before I piped the frosting out I took a paintbrush and added a line of Red coloring in my piping bag so when the frosting came out part of the cupcake would appear with red stripes.  I figured this would add a little more "pizazz" instead of a plain white cupcake with a truck on it.
Here you can see the stripes of red through the cupcake.
The final view from the front.  

I didn't add all the fire trucks to the cupcakes for fear the chocolate may "sweat" and bleed in to the frosting.  So I'm actually providing the cupcakes and fire trucks separately until the birthday party begins.

The cupcakes are a yummy slightly dense vanilla cupcake.  I'm still on the lookout for that awesome melt in your mouth super fluffy white cupcake.  So if you have a recipe like that, please post a link to it!  I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

60 Cupcake Challenge

So my day job asked me if I wouldn't mind making some cupcakes for our CEO's 20th Anniversary.  First off, my response was that I was beyond honored that I was being asked.  Then I hear how many - 60 - SIXTY!!!  My mouth almost dropped but I kept my composure cool and calm like it was nothing.  When I was bubbling inside with excitement!!!  I don't think people understand how much I really REALLY enjoy baking.  My husband isn't much of a sweets eater which benefits us both.  It means we don't keep sweets in the house because I would be the one to devour them all.  And that wouldn't really exactly help me since I've been on the Weight Watchers Points Plus program for the last 4 months.  And am proud to say I'm down 27 pounds!!  Then comes the - What?!??!  You bake sweets and still lose weight - How?!?!  Most of the time the sweet treats are for my friends, family or co-workers so I'm passing the extra calories aside to others!  :-)  Don't get me wrong - I definitely indulge in my share of sweet treats I just track them in my points!  Well - on to the 60 cupcake challenge!!!!

 So 30 of the cupcakes are decorated with the number 20.  I used Wilton's Pearlized Sprinkles - Sugar Pearls on top of the stars I piped out.
 Here I used Wilton's Pearlized Sprinkles - Silver Pearlized Sugar around the edge and just piped the "ACB"  in buttercream icing.
 A side view of the pearlized sugar.
 This is a little better photo using the flash of the 20 year cupcakes.
And here is just a view of what 1 dozen look like.  30 cupcakes are chocolate and 30 are vanilla.  I used a simple buttercream frosting for the entire frosting and decoration.  Many Congratulations to our CEO!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lightning McQueen Birthday Cake

My sister asked if I could make a birthday cake for her neighbor's 3 year old Great Grandson.  She gave me the option of making a fire truck or Lightning McQueen  I'll be making a fire truck next week so I opted to make Lightning McQueen.

 Here is the cake after I applied homemade marshmallow fondant and the Oreo Wheels.  The fondant actually came out pink so I took some clear vanilla extract, a brush and dipped it into red food coloring and painted the fondant.  It was great because it made the car appear shiny.
 And after all - cars are shiny!  I didn't want to carve off too much cake so I honestly feel like this seems like one of those sports trucks but I was still happy with it.
 And here is the final result.  I replaced Lightning McQueen's real number with how old RJ (the Great Grandson) was going to be.

 I used Royal Icing to make all the details on the car except for the black frosting.  Since black is so challenging to make I buy Wilton's ready made black frosting.  Talk about a major save on coloring!!!!
 Here is the front view.
 The other side.
The rear.
And finally the top view.  I was very happy with my first 3D car cake.  The cake was made of a marble white and chocolate mix with half a filling of vanilla pudding and the rest layered with buttercream icing.  Now to see how next week's Fire Truck cake will turn out!  Plus on top of making 132 cupcakes!!!!!!!  I'll explain later...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cupcakes with Color Mist

So a couple days ago I made a few cupcakes for a co-worker and had leftovers from the batch I made.  I decided to send them off to my sister for the birthday party she went to yesterday.  I decided to spruce them up with a few spritzings of Wilton's Color Mist product in Red and Yellow.  The red cupcakes are filled with vanilla pudding and the yellow cupcakes are just plain but of course I made them better by adding sprinkles!

I just used a simple large start tip to put the buttercream frosting on the cupcake and then did my spritzing and adding of my sprinkles.  Yum!  They are just a vanilla cupcake cupcake recipe that is so moist!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Frosted Sugar Cookies

My sister requested frosted sugar cookies in addition to a cake for a birthday party she is going to today.  I must thank her because it allowed me the opportunity to use a recipe from Annie's Eats (  The frosting is thinner than the frosted cookies you find at the grocery store but it is perfect.  You don't need a lot of frosting for this cookie so it's a great pairing.

I doubled the batch from the recipe and almost had enough frosting from the single batch listed on the recipe.  I only had to make a tiny bit extra.  I ended up getting roughing 60 cookies by doubling the recipe.  My sister wanted 4 dozen and I took the remaining in to work for my good friend's birthday.  I went with yellow for the frosting because it's been rather gloomy this past week with rain and I figured yellow would remind everyone of sunshine!  Silly I know but I wanted to use a color that would cheer people up!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

UNI Soccer Camp Cupcakes

Another co-worker of mine asked for a small amount of cupcakes to go with a cake she was making for her daughter's birthday this weekend.  She asked me to duplicate a logo for the University of Northern Iowa Soccer Camp which her daughter was a part of.  I did the best I could and hope she and her daughter are very happy with it.  Here is the logo and below are the cupcakes I made.

I just used a simple buttercream frosting and hand piped the logo on.