This is one of my most favourite videos that I have done; the reason for that being that I got to make it with my adorable niece, Elsa! We have been inundated with requests for a Frozen themed cake since the movie came out, but I HAD to wait for Elsa to come and make it with me. I couldn’t do it without her as it’s her favourite movie, and Disney clearly named their main character after her.
Elsa is three years old, and she stood on a tiny stool for over an hour while we put this cake together. She was patient, helpful and did an amazing job for any child, never-mind one that is only three! She loved clapping along with me to sync our mics, and when the time came to decorate, or follow instructions, she was right on and eager to do it! Being that my brother and his family live in Minnesota, I don’t get to see them often. I can sure tell that he and my sister-in-law have done an amazing job raising two lovely children. It was such an honor to be able to put this cake together.
To make this cake, you have to learn how to make candy. It’s really simple, despite the fact that you need to use boiling hot, liquid sugar!! Follow my previous post and video tutorial on how to do that here.
I can’t make a video of a Frozen cake without commenting on what a great movie Frozen is. Disney did a great job with appealing to the masses, and the ages. I’m not one to watch Disney, or cartoons much anymore, but with this movie, I loved it so much that I bought it. I loved everything about it, and sang along with each song. Call me crazy. I’ll let it go.
This is one of my favourite cake recipes that I have made. I’m a huge sucker for almond extract! I don’t know what it is about that flavouring, but no matter what it’s in, I LOVE it! My Angel Food Cake has it, my Sugar Cookies have it and they are delicious! Whenever it is included in a recipe, I inevitably get asked as to whether it has to be included . . . trust me, it’s worth buying and trying out.
Last December, my good friend had her first baby . . . and named her London. This baby and I were meant to be friends . . . since she was named after one of my favourite cities! Despite the fact that she spit up all over my new LuLuLemon jacket during one of our first meetings, the love has stayed strong . . . albeit from a distance. I would love to be able to spend time with this little sweetheart.
She is the cutest, and most well behaved baby ever! During her grand first birthday party, she was pretty much the only child under the age of two who wasn’t crying, yelling, or snotting! I <3 her. Other babies . . . not so much!
Now, a year has gone by and she is a one year old!
To celebrate, we provided the sweet treats! I felt a lot of pressure providing the birthday cakes for such a sweet, amazing little girl, but I came through . . . with A LOT of cake, right Janine??
Owl Birthday Cake
The Owl Birthday Cake was for the family after the party.
This was a really fun project! I love doing anything in mini, so as soon as my suggestion of “mini” cupcakes with a spring theme to everything got accepted, I got excited. I knew exactly what I was going to do.
My directions for this order were to have large carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing, mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, 50′s all over the place, and lots of spring flowers.
For the Carrot Cake cupcakes, I went with a new recipe, and though it tasted really delicious, I wasn’t that happy with how it looked. It was actually kind of difficult to bake. I’m not sure if this is common for carrot cake recipes, but I’m still on a search for the perfect recipe that I can use regularly with the Cakery.
Has anyone ever made Ina Garten’s Carrot Cake recipe that can be found on the Food Network’s website? How did it turn out for you? Like I said, it tasted great . . . hearty, sweet with lots of flavour to it, but it’s appearance was less than stellar. I hoped all the decorations and icing would hide it’s “unique personality”. The base of the cupcake was perfectly cooked, but the top was on the crispy side. It was my weirdest baking experience to date . . . except for the one time I mixed up baking powder for baking soda. Boy does that ever make a difference! Who knew!?
For the decorations on the mini’s, I used a simple flower cutter, with a gum paste/fondant mixture. *Note: Whenever you add gum paste to your fondant, the fondant will become much harder that it would on it’s own. The pearls in the middle of the flowers are just pastel coloured dragees. (WTF is a dragee anyway?!?!?). The leaves are cut with a mini leaf cuter and then touched up with a veining tool for a more lifelike appearance.
I’ve heard the birthday was a successful surprise, and that the cupcakes were a great hit! I’m so glad I could be a positive part of the event. Happy 50th Birthday Donna!
Searching for the best chocolate cake recipe? Well, I have found it! Truth be told, I didn’t find it on my own, I relied on my favourite talented baking friend, Gretchen’s, advice. This recipe comes from the Hershey factory and is moist and very chocolaty!
I have been looking forward to Friday night since I got the order for this cake on Monday. A castle cake! How cool. To make it even cooler, it’s for a boy! I LOVE doing girly cakes and cupcakes of course, but it’s nice to have a change from pink, pink and more pink.
I started out searching Google Images (of course) and Flikr for ways to decorate this cake. (I was working from Wilton’s Castle Cake pan). I knew I wanted to go black and grey, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to get my icing black. Last night, at my cake decorating class, I overheard my instructor talking to someone else and I caught “Start with chocolate icing to get the black, black colour”. Ah ha! That was the missing piece.
I base iced (aka crumb coated! I’ve started speaking Wilton! Aghhhh!) the cake in chocolate buttercream, and realized that I didn’t need to do this step. Base icing a shape pan actually makes it harder to see where you are supposed to be piping. I recommend not base icing this particular pan.
I started out with a #12 round tip for the turrets in grey. Then, a # 18 star tip for the black part of the castle.
A great tip I learned this week from my Wilton Instructor was to line up your tip when you are doing a star piped cake. What this means is make sure the # sign is in the same direction at all times. This way, all of your stars will line up together perfectly!
This cake took about two hours to pipe. It wasn’t tough, just tedious. I was starting to grow crossed eyed, having stared at the stars for so long! My glasses were needed and I had to bring in more lights!
I used silver candy beads to decorate around the door and to represent the windows.
Using #12 round tip again, I added the birthday boy’s name for completion!
Chocolate Castle Cake
(adapted from hersheys.com)
The first thing you need to note is that the batter will be VERY thin once you add the water at the end. Don’t worry! Just go with it.
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. You can start decorating once the cake is completely cooled.
Now it’s YOUR turn . . . Have you tried baking and decorating with shape pans? What kind of shape pans have you had success with?
Homemade Funfetti Giant Cupcake, filled with Raspberry and Raspberry Cream Icing
. . . . wow that’s a mouthful! Perhaps I should start working on naming my creations
My cake that I got asked to do this week, is my favourite shape to bake. I think it’s because it turns out so cute, and who wouldn’t LOVE a GIANT cupcake.
This was for a 7 year old Lauren’s birthday, and it was pretty much bigger than her head! Her request was “Funfetti, with raspberry cream icing, and some blue”. Uh, it’s sort of hard to tint bright pink naturally coloured icing blue, so I had to improvise.
I also made it more exciting for me, since the only flavour of cake I have made in the last week was funfetti (funfetti recipe here) and I filled the centre of the cupcake with raspberry jam. Mmmmmm, it looked so good. I LOVE how colourful the confetti makes the batter. Before you start icing, remember to level the tops of the two cake pieces as they come out slightly rounded from the pan.
To make the “wrapper” I used chocolate icing and tip # 31. It is pretty much essential that you decorate the bottom of the cupcake first, as the top will get in the way if you put it on first. I iced from the bottom, up to the top.
Here, I added rosettes in between crevices . . . just to add interest (not that you aren’t on the edge of your seat when you look at one of my creations). At this point, fill the top over with icing, and place the lid of the cupcake on top, being careful to line up the sides.
I iced the top with Raspberry Buttercream (recipe here), using tip 1M. You want a stiff icing to keep its shape. Go easy on the liquid. If you are following my recipe, I omitted all of the milk.
And how did I incorporate the request for blue . . . on a pink cake? I went with marshmallow flowers! I was intending to use fondant cut outs, but making flowers from marshmallows is something that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I didn’t have any small ones (which I recommend that you use), so I made them with large. Cut the marshmallows with clean scissors, and dip into blue sprinkles. I let mine dry overnight, in order for them to stay together on the cake.
I love making this cake! There are so many possibilities of ways to decorate a giant cupcake. Despite my own skepticism and doubt on being able to pull off the blue flowers, I think it turned out well.
Candles are little bit much for my decorating style, but when you’re 7, it’s all about the candles. Happy birthday, Lauren!
What is your favourite shape cake to bake? I’d love to hear from you.