Sunday, March 4, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Key Lime Shamrock Cake

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day a little early this year.  Last night we had a big corned beef and cabbage dinner for friends of ours who are expecting baby #3 right around the 17th.   We didn't want them to miss out this we decided to get an early start on things!  That being said...this is likely to be my only holiday related post that will actually "post" prior to the holiday it was made for.

I made the Key Lime Shamrock Cake that I saw on Bird On A Cake. I stumbled on this blog post a few weeks ago and knew right away that this year I would try this cake.  Last year I made a Chocolate Stout Cake but as I mentioned before, my good friend is SUPER pregnant.  Seeing as the corned beef is boiled in beer for hours on end and I served cheese with Irish Whiskey in it, I thought that it might be a good idea to nix the alcohol in the dessert!  

Both the cake and the frosting had key lime juice in them.  Quiet yummy.  Thank you Bird On A Cake for the Inspiration! 

P.S. - I just love the beautiful photos of this cake as seen HERE...but I am not that patient of a person when it comes to food photography.  I forgot about the "inside" picture until it was almost too late!  And really...isn't this messy mess a sign of a good cake! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mardi Gras Cupcakes - Half Birthday Celebration

Last year for my son's half-birthday I made him a "HALF" Birthday Cake.  This year he got to celebrate his half birthday in school because his real day occurs during the summer.  His big day to celebrate was on Fat Tuesday.  I thought long and hard about what to make for his class.  I was going to make train engine cookies because anyone who knows my son knows that he LOVES trains.  When I realized that it was Mardi Gras I managed to twist his arm into letting me make these multicolored cupcakes.  I had a lot of fun making them.  New recipe - new icing technique - new way to make me fat and bring a smile to my kid's face!

The cupcakes were three different colors inside.  Green, Purple and Gold...the colors of Mardi Gras.  I attempted to get all three colors of icing on them, but only two colors cooperated at a time.  I wrapped each color separately in saran wrap and thread them into my piping bag.  Getting two colors to come out at once was simple, but the third color just gave me problems every time.  Time was running out, so I decided to just alternate them and settled for two colors on each.

Valentine's Day Donuts

Can’t believe that February is almost over!  While I know that I didn’t keep up with my blog for the past seven months…I have kept up with the baking.  There are so many fun things that I want to share and I suppose that I better just jump right back in! 

These are the donuts that I made for my son’s class for Valentine’s Day.  I stumbled on a recipe for baked (not fried) donuts and simply had to give it a go.  I think they came out really well.  I’m going to at least post the pictures for now…all the details will shortly follow…I promise!!

I also made little "centerpieces" for the classroom tables.  The kids LOVED the chocolate dipped marshmallows and candy.  There was NOTHING left!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fourth of July Flag Cake!

I can't believe a year has gone by since the last time I tried to make this cake.  This time around I think it came out SO SO SO much better!  Last year I made cake from a box...this year, given all the cakes I've been working on, I decided to do the whole thing from scratch.  While I'm still on the search for the perfect white/yellow/butter - call it what you wish - cake...the recipe that I stumbled on in the May issue of Real Simple certainly did not disappoint! 

I made five - nine inch cakes to pull this one off.  The blue layer was baked all at once while the red and white layers were split into two 9 inch cake rounds and then sliced in half. 

This is such a fun cake to make and I just love how surprised people are once it is cut open.  At first it looks like a very simple...maybe even boring cake.

Then...TA DA!!

Hope you all had a Happy Independence Day!!

Now...on to make myself a birthday cake!! 

P.S. - Here's a peek at what the cake looked like last year...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Week 15 - Chocolate Chip Cake

We were invited to our neighbor's house for dinner and naturally, I had to bring a cake!  I cheated a little on this one...if it wasn't for me telling you my secret, no one would ever know!  Last week's Baptism cake didn't require as much actual cake as I had thought.  I still had frozen chocolate cake left and decided that I would somehow use it.  I cut the cake up so that I would have two square layers.  It was perfect.

I didn't take the time to have a crumb you can see some chocolate crumbs peaking through.  Honestly, I didn't think that it looked bad.  I used a brown sugar buttercream that tastes like cookie dough and then went crazy with the chocolate chips.  I even sprinkled mini chips on the buttercream inside of the cake.

We had a great time with our neighbors and judging by how much of the cake was left...everyone liked it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Week 14 - Oliver's Baptism Cake

I still haven’t gotten my act together with these blog posts!  Please bear with me because I have made so many yummy things these past few months.  I have yet to fail my goal of baking a cake a week…it’s posting the results where I fall behind!  I guess it was easier earlier this year when Matt was in Afghanistan.  Now that he is back home, my time isn’t much spent blogging! 

So…here’s what was going on way back in April.  Oliver’s baptism was finally scheduled and our family and friends came down for the big day.  (Side note…Matt broke his hand around 9:30pm the Friday before the baptism!)  So here we are trying to get the house in order for a big party and I was of course trying to get a massive cake prepared.  After all, how could I miss out on this perfect cake baking opportunity!   This was probably the first party I have ever thrown in my life where 99% of the food was not made in my house.  Looking back, thank goodness we planned it that way or else we would have ended up with McDonalds seeing as Matt was down a useful hand!   There needed to be cake though.  At one point I did call my friend Leigh and asked her if it would be ok to just buy one from Wegmans.  Her response was, “Of course it’s ok…but you aren’t going to be happy with that!”  (You know what??? She was right!)

The inside of this cake was the chocolate cake I’ve been baking over and over again.  Beatty’s Chocolate Cake has not let me down yet!  This was the first time that I baked it in a 9x13 pan though.  I used a Wilton flower nail in the middle to help conduct the heat better while it was baking.  I had never done that before and was pleased with the results.  I just happened to stumble on that technique prior to popping the cake in the oven and figure I’d give it a shot!  I baked the cake in advance and had planned all along to cut and decorate it all on Saturday night.  I froze three full cakes earlier that week so it would be all ready to go when I needed it. 

Nothing really went as planned the night before the Christening.  We had lots of family and friends around and there was still much preparation to do.  Matt was pretty much out of commission and I was STRESSING OUT!!  I had the cake design in my head, but had never made a cross before or buttercream flowers for that matter!!!

I spent HOURS Saturday night getting this cake together.  The end result would never have been possible if it had not been for the arrival of my sister-in-law,Emily, on the scene.  She was gracious enough to whip up all of the buttercream that I needed.  And boy oh boy did I use buttercream!!  She must have made about four (maybe more) batches of buttercream.  It was crazy.  We had a blast working on this cake together.  Emily and I in action are quite hysterical.  My mother in law and my sister in law, Tara, pretty much thought that the two of us lost our minds.  We finish each other’s sentences and know exactly what each other needs when in the kitchen.  It’s awesome! 

I ended up teaching myself how to make the roses from watching Wilton’s clip online.  Eventually I finally figured it out.  They weren’t perfect…but I was happy.  I also tried the VIVA paper towel trick with the buttercream.  It really really worked.  I’ll get more into how that works on another post…but the bottom line is that by using the VIVA paper towel on the crusted-over buttercream you can attain an almost fondant look with your cake.  It was amazing.  Emily and I were very excited when we discovered that it worked!
Sometime after midnight early Sunday morning the cake was finished.  I was quite pleased with the end result and truly could not have done it without Emily’s help.  Looking forward to the next time we can bake together.  Only…without the added stress of company!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pre-School Graduation Cake!!!

Ok - I'm WAY behind (again) on my blog posts...I have so many cakes to catch you up on.  But I need to jump ahead to this current week.  I'm quite proud of this one.  I'm putting up the pictures now because if I don't do it now...who knows when I will! 

I will post all the details of this adventure..but for now...I hope you enjoy looking at this creation that I threw together for my little guy's Pre-School Graduation.  Still can't believe it's Kindergarten next year!!! 

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