Monday, December 26, 2011

Baby Shower Spice Cake Cupcakes

The second treat featured at the baby shower were these Spice Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting, blue sugar crystals and cupcake picks. I used blank 4x6" index cards and created the circles and words in Microsoft Paint to make the cake picks. I printed them out in doubles, cut around each circle then glued them together with a toothpick in the middle.


I also created the signs for the treats and folded them in half. I did not get a chance to make fresh cinnamon buns-from-the-oven however, I was too exhausted from two days of baking and decorating to pull that off.


I used the 1M Wilton swirl technique with a 10" decorating bag and a star tip 195 (?). The cupcake stand is a cardboard, assemble yourself Wilton kit that I added some of the same It's a Boy! ribbon to with a hot glue gun.

I grouped the cake picks on each level of the cupcakes and voila!

Baby Shower Sugar Cookies

My sister had her baby shower at 23 weeks on December 1st. We decided to have it so early because she is due in March and didn't want to have people driving in the snow in January. I volunteered to do decorations and make the sweets. The baby's nickname is Sugar until she can pick a name for her little boy. The nursery is going to be guitar/rock 'n roll theme. So her best friend and I decided we would do sugar and spice and everything nice, snips and snails and puppy dog tails, and focus more on the boy theme of it. We also incorporated a playlist based around the sugar theme and Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar on Me (since it is a baby shower for the mom) was our rock 'n roll choice.


My idea was already set around sugar cookies and some kind of spice cake. I had seen some baby onesie cookie cutters and the cookies were made into pops. I knew that would be fun! I used Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (1 large and 1 small bag) to make 20 cookies total since we were unsure of a final head count. I used Wilton color flow mix and followed the directions for regular consistency and flow consistency. This was dyed blue with Wilton food coloring in royal blue. I used tip 1 for the outline and once the icing was thinned a used a larger petal tip to fill in and a toothpick to spread to all the edges.


I was going to add Baby and the snaps to the onesie once the color flow had dried but I had spent 8 hours working on these cookies and gave up. It took a lot of flour on the cutting board and rolling pin to keep from sticking. I rolled the dough out to 1/4", cut the shape, placed it on the cookie sheet with parchment paper, placed a stick 3/4 of the way up the length of the cookie, cut another and placed it on top. Make sure to get out any air bubbles between the layers and around the stick or your baby will look like it has a hernia.


Once the cookies had cooled enough to be iced, that was allowed to harden for a few hours. The next day I wrapped them in treat bags and tied a ribbon around them to tie them closed.


At the party we couldn't think of a cute way to display these so we just made a pile with a cute sign in front.


Aren't they adorable? They were a hit and since the turnout was small, everybody took some home with them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

NBX: Allie's Wedding Cake

My little sister got married this past week and I of course volunteered to make her cake. She searched the internet for a style she liked and came across this Nightmare Before Christmas themed cake and decided that it was the one. We have always said that would be her wedding cake theme because it is her favorite movie of all time (she played it so much I'm not sure the VHS still works). I didn't have a stand like the one shown, she didn't want names on it, just the stars, and the cake topper shown was, gulp, a $189 collector's item. So I tweaked it a bit and came up with a few designs stacking the cake, using a different cake topper, adding the stars differently. She like them but still wanted the layers to be separate so she suggested pillars of some sort. I found the globe pillars on Wilton's website, made up a final sketch for her and we both loved it. A design that she liked and it wasn't out of my skill level.

The final sketch:

There was a lot of shopping and planning ahead involved. My sister lives 2 hours away, so this meant I would be baking the cakes at my house, driving to her house and frosting/assembling them there to avoid melting and damage. I packed a huge box with all the tools I needed. I started baking cakes on Sunday night, then started the decorating Monday night and the wedding was Tuesday afternoon. The bottom and top tiers are Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge, middle tier is DH Classic White, all leveled and torted with DH Vanilla frosting. Cake pans were 3" high 12" 8" and 6" tiers. I used Wilton Sugar Sheets in black and dusted them with a mixture of matte purple and silver color dust using a dry paint brush. I measured and cut these into strips and affixed to the frosting. Next I cut the pillars to size with the globes and left the tiers separate to store in the fridge. I kept the bottom 2 wrapped on their plates with a small trash bag and the top tier (since it needed to stay the freshest to be preserved for their anniversary) in a cake keeper. I started this as soon as the baked cakes were cooled and rewrapped each layer until we got into the restaurant. The stars were all cut from white fondant 1/8" thick and threaded with floral wire. I left a few white and dusted a few with purple and silver color dust, or purple sparkling sugar. The cake topper was part of a collector's set but very inexpensive at just $15. Jack came in 9 pieces and Sally in 4 and these things were only a few inches high, kind of a pain to put together. The stars and cake topper were attached on site after the cake was assembled. I'm really loving the outcome, and congrats again to my sister!

The lovely couple and their cake.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Chocolate Covered Strawberries"



How can you go wrong with this combination?! Chocolatey-strawberry yumminess. I made this cake one day out of boredom and a craving. The bottom layer is DH Devil's food pudding cake. A strawberry glaze layer (that I didn't realize was sweetened with splenda, EWWW!) so I sprinkled a little powdered sugar to give it some flavor and real sweetness. Second layer is DH Strawberry pudding cake. Cake is covered in DH dark chocolate frosting. The chocolate covered strawberries used semi-sweet chocolate melted in microwave, dipped and allowed to cool. So good. I need to make more craving cakes. They are always satisfying. Wonder why?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Nichole"

A hobby I recently got into after making my first cake for my friend's wedding: cake baking and decorating! I somewhat served as her wedding planner/coordinator and cake baker. Since then requests have been coming in from her friends and family for birthday cakes and such. A few friends back home in KC are considering using me for their weddings next year. I even had another coworker ask me to make hers for her wedding. And so I did.



This is titled "Nichole" after the bride. Both cakes are marbled Classic White and Dark Chocolate Fudge with Creamy White/Vanilla Frosting by Duncan Hines. The ribbons were purchased by the bride, cut and hem-glued together by me. The sugar flowers were also purchased by the bride, from a company called fancyflours. I spray painted them with Wilton edible food coloring spray. The large cake measured 12" tall before the cake topper (also found by bride and ordered online). The pans used were Wilton 12", 10", 8", and 6" rounds. The smaller cake measured 6" tall and used Wilton pans 8" and 6". Each layer sits on a cardboard base and there are 2 skewers in the large and 1 skewer in the small cakes for support. The top layer of the large cake's cardboard base is wrapped in foil for preserving and I left a note with the instructions on how to cut the cake for serving and how to store the top layer for the 1st anniversary. The bride called just after her ceremony once she saw the cakes and said they were better than she had expected and more than perfect. I'm just so happy I could add this to my portfolio and possibly get a little side business started from it.


"Turtle"

"Turtle" was made for my friend Cleo's sis-in-law's 17th birthday, since they say she looks like a turtle and they call her that sometimes we thought it would be fun to surprise her. The cake is Dark Chocolate Fudge and Devil's Food with Milk Chocolate Frosting by Duncan Hines. There is a Smuckers caramel filling with crushed pecans between the layers. Sand is made from brown sugar and crushed pecans. The turtle hump is formed with hand-molded Rice Crispies Treats and covered with Wilton precolored fondant. The sugar flowers and leaves were Wilton. This was a really cute and fun cake to make. It tasted great and if I were to make another turtle flavored cake, I would mix the pecans into the batter before baking and instead of using the caramel as a filling I would inject it into the baked cake.

"Cleo"

Mmm...wedding cake.



"Cleo" was made for my friend Cleopatra's wedding. This was the first cake I've ever made. Pans used were Wilton 10", 8" and 6". Duncan Hines Vanilla cake mix with Vanilla Frosting. The cake measured 10" tall. The cake topper was from WM by Wilton. Stairs were purchased from the bakery department at a local grocery store for $10. Faux flowers on the stairs and the cake from WM floral department. Ribbons and pearl strands from WM. There are also sugar pearls and silver sprinkles on each layer. I served as wedding planner/coordinator and cake baker for this wedding. It was fun and worth it. We priced different things throughout the week for a Saturday wedding and all of the planning started on a Monday. Since it was a DIY wedding with a very tight budget, I knew there was no way she could afford to spend $300 on a cake from Dillon's, nor did we have the time with a 3 week order notice. So I volunteered to bake it since I watch so many cake baking and decorating shows on TV. Who says it wastes your brain? I think I did a pretty darn good job.