Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 21 :: Let Them Eat Cake!

This week I had three cakes requests--whew!!  I had so much fun making them but I am worn out.  There are a few tricks to share with each cake in case you want to try making them on your own, but as always, if you have any questions feel free to ask....

Happy Baking!

Cake 1 ::  Life's a Beach!

This cake is a small two tiered cake that serves about 20 people.  The figures are made out of fondant and the sand is made out of mashed up graham crackers and buttercream icing (I am particularly proud of thinking of this on the fly).  For the eyes I used a Gourmet Writer which is a food coloring pen.  I used these pens again on the other cakes I made this week.  You can also use them on dried royal icing and many other edible surfaces.  The figures dried for about 36 hours before I attached them to the cake--careful with the octopus legs, they break easily.

Cake 2 :: Vegas Baby!

This cake is a larger two tiered cake that serves about 40 people.  It's pretty straight forward, but there are a few details that are a challenge.  First, to make the blue support for the sign on top I stuck two skewers into a thick ball of fondant.  I then rolled the fondant out with the skewers in it.  I then cut out around the skewers to get the shape I needed.  I did this instead of poking the skewers in later because they can push around the fondant and mess up the shape you were going for.  I also used the Gourmet Writers to write on the sign.  Everything gets glued together with piping gel--an edible super glue of sorts.  The coins I painted in antique gold luster dust and let them dry for about 24 hours.

Cake 3 ::  Drum Machine!

Let's be honest--I had NO idea what I was doing here.  I don't even know what one of these things does.    But a sweet friend asked for this cake for her boyfriend so I did my best dang-it and this is what came out.  The Gourmet Writers came in REALLY handy for all the detail of this cake.  All the buttons, etc. were made out of fondant.  By the end this cake weighed about 30 pounds....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 20 :: Camo-dream Graduation Cake!

Another special request!  A friend asked for a cake for her nephew's high school graduation this week and I know how special nephews are.  This was a super busy week so I didn't get to do as much detail as I would have liked to, but it still turned out great and got great reviews!

I had to "wing-it" when it came to making the camo fondant, and there was no going back once I started but it worked!  First, I colored fondant black, brown, and hunter green.  Then I pulled each color apart and rolled them into smaller balls about the size of golf balls (no need to be exact) and flattened them out.  I mixed the colors up and grouped them together in the middle of my mat.  I put the top on, rolled them out, and ta-da!  Here ya go:

Happy baking!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week 19 :: Cutout Cookies for Dogs!

This week my sweet dog Napoleon and I made some dog cookies!  They are really easy and Napoleon loves them but then again he eats bugs and dirt. Here is my handsome man posing with his cookies:

Doggy Cookie Cutouts

::Prep Time:: 10 minutes
::Cook Time:: 2-4 minutes

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add egg and stock.  Mix until moistened.
  3. Form dough into a ball and turn out onto floured surface.  
  4. Roll out dough and cut as desired.
  5. Place cutouts on microwave safe plate and microwave for 2-4 minutes in batches.
  6. Allow to dry and cool completely. 
 Here is a pile of all the cookies we made!  And don't judge, but yes, I did try them and they aren't bad :o)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Week 18 :: Carrot Cake for Mom!

Happy Mother's Day!!

This week I made a carrot cake as it is one of my mother's favorites!  I used what I had to make a new cream cheese frosting and it turned out awesome (and super easy!).  Some people suggest mixing the pecans in to the frosting but I chose to decorate with them, either way is fine.  I certainly recommend trying this spring-time recipe while it is still in season.  Happy Baking!

Carrot Cake
Prep time :: 10-15 minutes
Bake time :: 40-55 minutes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2-1 cup pecans 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour (2) 8-9-inch round cake pans, (3) 6-inch, or (1) 9x13-inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together.  Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl beat eggs, add oil, vanilla extract, and sugar and mix well.  Add to dry ingredients.  Fold in carrots and pecans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time :: 5 minutes

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 cup pecan pieces (optional)

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract together until smooth.  Slowly mix in powdered sugar.
  2. Fill and ice cake as desired, decorate with pecans if desired.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week 17 :: Baby Shower Cake

I've been on a cake kick for a while now because there have been so many special occasions for friends and family. I have to admit I love it that my friends trust me with such special events in their lives! This week I made a baby shower cake for a boy.  No new recipes but I added a few "tricks" below.

1. If you're not getting the straight lines and edges you want with the crumb/dirty coat, let the coat sit for a minute then take a paper towel and place on top of the cake or around the side of cake...use your hands to rub the paper towel and smooth out the buttercream....pull off the paper towel slowly and ta da!
2. If it is going to be rainy or humid, start a couple days early. Fondant and humidity do NOT get along and it takes for-ev-er to dry!  I made all of the buttons, the bow and the baby days before--anything that is not going to be eaten, give it time to harden.
3. The lid is made out of a rice crispy treat. You can mold them into any shape that you want....they are a great support and perfect for little accents like the lid. You can also use them in the base of a cake for extra support and height.