Wedding Cake Tower of Cupcakes

As promised, here are some pictures of my sister’s wedding cake that my mom and I created with love for my sister.  Awwwww.

The small cake atop the tower: lemon cake with regular buttercream frosting.

Cupcake flavor 1: wedding white with almond buttercream frosting

Cupcake flavor 2: butter pecan with regular buttercream frosting

Cupcake flavor 3: strawberry with whipped cream frosting

Cupcake flavor 4: chocolate with mint buttercream

Cupcake flavor 5: German chocolate with chocolate buttercream

Cupcake flavor 6: spice cake with pumpkin buttercream

Decorating the top part of the cake

Decorating with help from the other bridesmaids

Close up of cupcakes

Proud of my cake!

Center stage on the dessert table

Side view of the cake

Photos as Promised!

My friend requested two miniature cakes – one for her and one for her sister, the birthday girl.  In the end, I fit two 4-in. chocolate cakes filled with a mousse pudding on a 10-in. cake board (on which I wrote Happy 50th). I also made a “5” and a “0” out of chocolate to stick in the tops of the cakes. I think that they turned out pretty nice…and I know that they tasted AMAZING. I love the explosion of sweetness of a traditional buttercream flavored with almond. It tastes, well, decadent.

Marshmallow Fondant…mmmmm

As I promised myself, I practiced with fondant for my sister’s wedding cake. The fondant was easier to make this time and I was able to get it to look nicer on the cake than last time. However, I would definitely try to chill it first next time before putting it on the cake (one side of the cake didn’t turn as as well as the others because the middle of the rolled fondant began to rip and pull away since it was still slightly warm).

Sam always complains that he doesn’t get to taste the cakes that I make and bring to other people, so I made him his very own loaf of cake this week. It even had his name all over it.  And, if you pay close attention to the sides of the cake, I have answered his weekly (joking) question, “Where is my mother$#%$ cake?”


Birthday Roses…out of cream cheese?

Today is the birthday of a friend at work and I was asked to make a red velvet cake – which, obviously means they are waiting for the cream cheese frosting, as well.  I prefer the traditional buttercream or the whipped cream/cream cheese mix over a traditional cream cheese frosting. However, the design I wanted to try this time – very large, old-fashioned roses – required a sturdier frosting than one with whipped cream in it.

I seem to be having some trouble getting my cakes to rise consistently and on command, but overall the cake didn’t turn out too bad.  Next time, I’ll be sure to make two cakes rather than depend on the one cake (split and filled) being tall enough.  On the other hand, the roses are very large and sort of make the cake look shorter than it really is.

Once again, the cake is MUCH prettier in person than in the photos. I have got to figure out how to take better pictures of my creations.

Little Mermaid Birthday Cake

I mentioned on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that I received my first cake order for a Little Mermaid cake.  Unfortunately, Ariel isn’t the most popular princess right now, so it wasn’t as easy to find toys for the top of the cake as I thought it was going to be.  Ultimately, I bought the same pieces that the local grocery story uses on its Little Mermaid-themed cakes.

A few days before the cake was due, I made starfish using colorflow – and they turned out really well for my first attempt at using frosting in this way.  I also made some crabs (I initially wanted to make Sebastian, but he proved too difficult and was too large for what I wanted to use the decorations for – the sides of the cake).

Once it was time to decorate the cake, I decided on fluffy waves for the top of cake and starfish and seagrass for the sides of the cake.  Up until now, I’ve been focusing on cupcakes rather than cakes, so my handwriting leaves a lot to be desired.   After the third try, I decided to leave it alone and deliver it as it was.  For the first two tries, I used the green frosting – but it was hard to see on the blue background.  For the last try, I firmed up some of the pink I had used for the starfish and it looked much, much better.

Wedding Cake: Practice Effort 1

Only 8 months later than I had anticipated, I tried my hand at my first “wedding” cake effort. It didn’t turn out so great. Don’t get me wrong, the cake itself was pretty, but it was not wedding pretty.  However, I do know what I did wrong.  1) I didn’t cool the crumb-coated cake in the fridge to set it – meaning it was soft (too soft) for the fondant; and 2) I used old fondant (it still tasted right, but it was hard to work with).  The main purpose of this practice round was to see how the rock candy and the fondant worked together.  In the end, I smeared on a thin layer of frosting to “glue” the rocks to the sides of the cake.  I started off gluing them on one by one, but I would still be putting them on weeks later if I had continued with that method.

I have a better design in mind now, so the rock candy (on the cake part) is no longer being considered.  However, I still desperately need to work with my fondant and get that perfected.

Next step: Practice covering cakes with fondant correctly (after setting the frosted cake so that it isn’t soft).

Saturday Morning Treats!

It is officially my friend Molly’s last weekend in town.  And to celebrate? One last BBQ by the pool with our core group.  I’ve decided to make brownies instead of cupcakes to mark the occasion.  Mostly because Sam has been craving them for a few days.  But, plain ole’ brownies are not an option.

I found a new recipe online the (Betty Crocker website, actually) for S’mores Brownies.

It’s really simple and quite sinful!

  1. 1. Make brownies.
  2. 2. Immediately sprinkle the 2 cups of mini marshmallows and 4 graham crackers (broken into small bits) over warm brownies.  Broil about 4 to 5 inches from heat for 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are golden brown.
  3. 3. Sprinkle with pieces of chocolate candy.

Here’s the picture from the website showing how the brownies are supposed to turn out.

Here’s how mine turned out.

Betty Crocker’s photos are much better than mine, but the brownies are delicious.

And the winner is…

Caramel Sundae Cupcakes!

When I went to the grocery store to pick up my missing items for the cupcakes, I couldn’t find chocolate-covered cherries.  Apparently, grocery stores are not the place to go for this kind of candy.  Because it was already after 7:00 and I still needed to bake and decorate, I didn’t have time to go to a second store.  Therefore, I moved on to Plan B.  I decided to go with miniature special dark milky way candy instead.  Before I put the pans in the oven, I placed a mini chocolate candy in the center.

They baked up perfectly – just the right amount of puffy roundness. I ended up making two batches of frosting.  The first batch just didn’t seem to want to be a delicious, fluffy delicious treat.  So, I ended up tossing it and trying round two.  The second batch was DELICIOUS.  I made a traditional buttercream frosting with caramel topping as a flavoring agent.  Note: if you’re making this, you’ll need extra powdered sugar because the caramel sauce makes it thicker though less stiff.  For a little bit of extra decadence, I drizzled extra caramel on top of the frosting. Unfortunately, you can’t really tell in the photo because by the time I made it to the office, it had already sunk into the cake.  If you decide to make your own version of this, I recommend putting the drizzle on right before serving.

For my first official order, they turned out perfectly.  I overheard people in the hall as they passed discussing how good they were, and the birthday girl seemed really happy with the flavor.  She always has caramels on her desk, so it must have been meant to be that the grocery store didn’t have what I was looking for.