Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute Holiday Baking

Twas two days before Christmas, and all through my house, oven timers were beeping, cause I was still baking (and I know that doesn't rhyme, but since there is not a mouse in the house to stir, I went with it). yep, I'm still making goodies around here because we keep eating it up (I'll be making my 7th batch of Christmas Crack later). Today I found a recipe, tweaked it a little and made Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes. I found the original recipe at the blog Chuck and Welly. It was for Banana Gingerbread Cupcakes. I decided to add some cocoa and make them chocolate...I love chocolate, and I have been wanting to pair chocolate and gingerbread this holiday season. I have to say, they turned out really nicely. You can put frosting on them, but I'm finding that I like them with just a little powdered sugar on them.

1/2 C butter, room temperature
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp molasses
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 small ripe bananas, mashed
 zest of one orange
 3/4 C milk, room temperature
2  C flour 1 tsp baking soda
3/4 C cocoa
 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
 1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside Whip together butter and sugars. Once combined, stir in molasses, eggs, and vanilla. Add in bananas and orange zest and beat until mixed. Alternate adding milk and flour mixture and stir just until combined. Scoop batter into cupcake pan, lined with cupcake papers or greased, and bake for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Love is still in the air!

Five days after I finished the wedding cake for my brother inlaw and new sister inlaw, I had another family member to make a cake for. This time it was for my husband's cousin Lynn and her fiancé Jason. They were having a much larger wedding than my brother inlaw, but thankfully, only needed a show cake for their reception. They went with a very simple, yet elegant two-tier cake. I honestly thought that the last week of September and the first week of October, would be filled with stress and me cursing up a storm. I am happy to say they were not. Below is the wedding cake I put together for Lynn and Jason.

The bottom tier was lemon poppyseed with a raspberry filling. The anniversary tier was chocolate with raspberry and chocolate fudge filling. The whole cake was covered in a vanilla buttercream.

I am very proud to say that these flowers came from my garden and that I was able to dry them successfully for the occasion. Anyone who knows me knows I do not have a green thumb or much gardening knowledge, so this is truly something.

The bride and groom supplied the cake toppers, which worked perfectly with the cake and their décor. I am happy to say, that Lynn said the cake was exactly what she envisioned. Can't get a better complement than that. Congratulations Lynn and Jason!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Love is in the air!

Ten years ago I meet my brother inlaw Dan at my brother inlaw Mark and sister inlaw Maureen's wedding. This past Saturday, I had the privilege to make the cake for his marriage to my new sister inlaw Melanie. I was so honored that this wonderful couple asked me to make something so important for their big day. In a previous post, I described their cake tasting. Below is the cake we came up with together.

The cake itself was a couple of flavors.  The bottom tier was chocolate with a chocolate fudge and raspberry filling.  The next tier was almond with caramel buttercream and raspberry filling, followed by a tier of lemon poppyseed cake with vanilla buttercream and raspberry filling.  And their anniversary layer was chocolate cake with coffee buttercream and raspberry filling.
The whole cake was covered in marshmallow fondant with fondant pearls.  The wedding topper was Melanie's grandmother's.
I did brushed embroidery detailing in an ivory royal icing on the sides of the cake.
This little cake has a special little story.  Dan wanted the wedding's colors to be camouflage...Melanie said no.  Dan wanted one of the tiers to be decorated in camouflage...Melanie and I said no.  So, to get Dan his camo, Melanie and I talked about a grooms cake for him. I guarantee Melanie that the cake would be decorated to match the elegance she envision for their big day.
Dan is an avid hunter, so to make a cake that truly represented him, I had to put deer on it. And once he cut into his cake, Dan finally got the camouflage he wanted at his wedding. Sadly, I do not have a picture of the inside, but my brother inlaw knew instantly why this little cake was made just for him.
Congratulations to the beautiful couple and thank you again for letting me be a part of your special day!  Love you both!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy 60th Aunt Lue

Back in June, my Mother inlaw and one of her sisters called me to see if I could make a cake for their sister's 60th birthday. It only had to be for six people and I had free reign to create what ever I wanted. Below is what I whipped up.
Chocolate cake, with coffee buttercream and raspberry filling, covered in chocolate fudge rosettes.  The roses are from my garden before the Japanese beetles could attack.  The little bird is made from fondant to finish off the look.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Are you ready for some football!

With the Packers' first home game this Sunday, I thought this was an appropriate post for the occasion. Back in July, my neighbor Lisa asked me to make a cake for her son's birthday party. Even at the tender age of three, Carson is a big Packers fan. His theme for his party was the Green Bay Packers, so his cake needed to reflect that.
It's been a while since I have made a stadium cake.  I love the crowd.
Da Da Da, Da Da Da Da...
No blimp in my kitchen, but here is the overhead view of the cake.  The birthday boy was very happy with his cake and enjoyed two pieces that day.  Hopefully all us Packer fans will be as happy this Sunday, as Carson was that day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day of glamour

So my baby girl turned 8. Very hard to believe that much time has past since she graced us with her presence. For this year's party we went totally girly with a day of glamour. We did manis, hair chalk and braiding, and made a brown sugar body scrub and flavored lip gloss ( thank you Pinterest). And of course no party is complete without the special treats.
These cookies I made and placed in the favor bags for the girls. Everyone deserves to be a princess for a day, right?!
After seeing these goodies on Pinterest, I tracked down the original site describing how to make them.  Let me tell you they are very simple and taste great.  The girls got a real kick out of these bottles of polish.
And what's a day of glamour without rice (krispie) cakes and some refreshing cucumber slices.
And then there was her cake.  Samantha is my child who likes to draw up her own designs, and then lets me interrupt what she has come up to the create the final cake.
The bathtub is made out of rice krispie treat.  This is the first time I have ever attempted creating a decoration like this.  The top of the cake hosted everything from a wonderful bubble bath to a rubber ducky.  And for after the bath, some nail polish, nail file and even the divider for painting your toenails.
I had seen a version of this little girl on a cake and fell in love with her.  I thought she made the perfect addition to our day of glamour cake.
The birthday girl thoroughly enjoyed her day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A cutie patootie cupcake

At the end of June, I had the honor of making a cutie patootie's very first birthday cake. My friend Aimee's little girl was turning one and having a cupcake themed party. After talking over the colors and general concept of the cake, I got to work with no clear decorating scheme in mind. It's very frustrating when this happens, but sometimes, these turn out to be my favorite cakes.  And this one is definitely one of my favorites.

The party invitation had cupcake people on it with the cutest faces. I recreated the face on the main cake.
Since I didn't want to disturb the look of the cupcake person, I chose to put my lettering on the cake board.
Elyse got a little cupcake smash cake of her own to enjoy.
And boy did she ever!