Saturday, July 28, 2012

Joaquin's 3rd Superhero Birthday

POW! We're talking superheroes now! I recently met a cousin of mine who just turned 3 and my aunt asked me to make his birthday cake for his party.

Happy Birthday Joaquin!

Half sheet pan 11x15x2" takes 11 cups batter, most cake recipes or mixes yield between 4-6 cups batter, so you can either double a recipe to get roughly 8-12 cups or triple the recipe and measure out the 11 cups and use the remaining to make taste tester cupcakes. I just doubled the recipe for each layer and baked 2 layers. The strawberry glaze is torted between the layers. The entire cake is frosted with the whipped cream frosting. Borders and designs are all buttercream. 12 hours of work total, phew!

Vanilla Cake (doubled)
2 cups butter, room temp
3 cups sugar
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
6 egg yolks
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups low-fat buttermilk

In mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift together with a fork. In mixer add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Add flour and buttermilk, alternating, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Spray half sheet pan with misting oil, coat with flour and line with parchment. Make sure to get corners well. Pour batter into pan and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Move onto wire cooling rack and allow to  cool for 20 minutes before releasing from pan. Run the edge of a plastic offset spatula around edge of pan to release sides then invert onto rack. Continue to cool to room temperature and move into fridge to chill. I did 2 layers so each layer consisted of the double recipe above.

Delicious strawberry glaze.

Strawberry Glaze
32 oz fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. In a medium saucepan, add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice, bring to boil for 10 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture and lower heat, simmer for 3-5 minutes. I added 1/4 tsp of no-taste red food gel to make sure this came out a true red and not a pink. Strain if desired, but continual stirring will break down any remaining chunks and leave a pulpy glaze, which I like. Refrigerate.

Whipped Cream Frosting
4 cups  heavy whipping cream
8 tbsp powdered sugar
16 tbsp clear piping gel
2 tsp clear vanilla extract

In mixing bowl with whisk attachment, add heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar, beat on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Add piping gel and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Use immediately and refrigerate cake after frosted.

 Frozen Buttercream Transfers
1-1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup shortening
1 tbsp clear vanilla extract
12 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp milk

Cream together shortening and butter. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add milk. Divided into parts to make red (use red-red, no-taste red gel colors and mix in a little bit of the glaze), blue, green, yellow, white, and black. Print out or draw a mirror image of the design you would like to use onto paper. Tape this onto a flat sheet like a cookie sheet. I used a cake board cut to fit into the freezer. Tape a piece of waxed paper over the image. Draw outlines, then fill in with colors. Move to freezer and allow to chill for 20 minutes to an hour. Press onto cake and lift away waxed paper. 


BOOM @?*!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Jaiden's 3rd Princess Birthday

Princess castle themed cake!

Chocolate Cake
3-3/4 cup sugar
2-1/4 cup butter, room temp
1 tbsp vanilla
9 eggs
6 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp salt
3 cups milk
18 oz semi sweet chocolate baking bars, melted and cooled

18 oz of chocolate. mmm. chocolate.
In mixing bowl combine sugar, butter and vanilla. Add eggs and beat for 1 minute. Add melted chocolate. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add milk. In 6x3" round and two 10x2" round baking pans,  spray with oil, coat sides with cocoa powder and line with parchment paper. Divide batter between pans and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. I rotate my pans after 20 minutes to ensure even baking. Cool to room temp on wire rack then move to fridge to chill before frosting. Cakes are leveled and torted with buttercream.

Black Cherry Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1-1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
1-1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
1 tsp cherry Kool-aid powder
12 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6 tbsp milk

Cream together shortening and butter. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add milk. This makes a pretty pink frosting. I divided it in thirds, added kool-aid to make 1/3 pink, added blue and violet food coloring and more kool-aid to make the purple frosting, the remaining 1/3 was only vanilla, to make green, brown and blue detail work.

The castle turrets are a regular ice cream cone sprayed with color mist, with a waffle cone inverted set into it and attached with buttercream. The waffle cones were painted with melted white chocolate and rolled in pink  and purple sprinkles. The flags are pink fondant cut into flag shapes, rolled onto a toothpick. Allow to air dry overnight with toothpicks threaded in to give them shape.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I met a lady last week and somehow we got to talking about cakes. She asked if I could make one for an upcoming client meeting she had. She specifically wanted my UV Cake vodka whipped cream frosting, a vanilla cake and fruit. I drained the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries and added the remaining vanilla vodka from the "Corduroy" cake, the remaining cake vodka leftover after the frosting was made, a little water to cover and some sugar; soaked while baking and frosting. The vodka's I buy are shooter sized, perfect to have enough for individual cake recipes. The cakes were baked in 8" rounds.

Vanilla Cake
1 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp clear vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and yolks one at a time. Add vanilla. Alternatively beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture until just combined. Divide batter between two 8x2" pans greased, floured and parchment cut to size. Baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

UV Cake Vodka Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy whipping cream
5tbsp powdered sugar
1tsp Wilton Color Flow mix
2 tbsp UV Cake Vodka

Whisk together cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add color flow and vodka until combined.

Drunken Cherries
6 oz maraschino cherries, juice drained
3 tbsp Vanilla Vodka
1 tbsp Cake Vodka
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Add all into the jar with the cherries. Soak as long as needed.


The newest addition!

My best friend had her baby shower today. I wasn't originally set to make her cake but the lady that was supposed to be making it had to back out due to family visiting. I was more than happy to take her up on the offer. I was given the instructions that the color theme was blue/green, the character is Corduroy the bear, and she wanted the message to be welcome baby boy. What could be more fitting than a 2 tier cake with Corduroy and his buttons? I was also told no chocolate; she prefers vanilla, white chocolate, cream cheese and the sort. So I decided on a white chocolate cake with a vanilla buttercream frosting. I used the frozen buttercream transfer method to make white buttons for the sides, outlined a white bear, and did the message "Welcome Baby Boy Campbell!" around the top button and even left holes just as a real button would have. I used food coloring diluted with vanilla flavored vodka to hand paint Corduroy on the frozen buttercream. The alcohol evaporates, leaving the vanilla flavor behind. Cakes were torted with buttercream also.

White Chocolate Cake
I used this recipe but for 18 servings. This was enough for one 6x3" round, and two 10x2" rounds*.

3-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
9 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup hot water
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
2-1/4 cups white sugar
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In saucepan melt white chocolate with hot water, allow to cool. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in flour mixture alternatively with buttermilk. Mix in melted white chocolate.

*Since I use my Wilton pans, they come with instructions of how much batter to use for each pan. Pans are misted with oil, coated in flour and parchment is cut to fit the bottom. Bake at times listed for pan size 350 degrees.

Vanilla Buttercream
Doubled the recipe to have enough for all the colors, torting and frosting.

1 cup solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp clear vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons milk

Cream together butter and shortening. Add vanilla. Add sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down bowl periodically. Add milk, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Separate into smaller dishes and add gel food coloring until desired color is reached. I used 1/2 cup for black, 3 1/2 cups white (to torte and crumb coat) and divided the rest into blue and green.

Frozen Buttercream Transfer
Made a large button outlined in black, with green writing that said "Welcome Baby Boy Campbell!", then filled it in with white buttercream. Just follow her directions and remember to use the mirror image!