Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pandas?!

My niece is having a baby. This past weekend I helped her mom and step-mom throw her a baby shower. During the planning she said, I want a panda theme. A what?! Pandas?! How do I make a panda themed cake? Off to Pinterest I went and low and behold Bakerella saves me again. I had to mix things up a little, but here's how it went. First I started out making black and white cupcakes. Half chocolate, dyed black and half vanilla, dyed white.

Once they were baked I started with the icing. I used the same swirl technique that I used on the lamb cupcakes a few months ago.
(Sorry I don't know why it is posting these side ways)

I added extra to hold the ears on.

The ears were mini Oreos

Next I added mini Hershey kisses for eyes


And a chocolate chip for the nose

I painted all three of them with black gel food coloring

Next I added the pre-made sugar eyes. I could have piped these, but this way way much easier.

And finally I piped on a mouth

And that is how I made my panda cupcakes


















Sunday, April 19, 2015

Welcome Little Lamb

My cousin recently had a baby boy. Her sister was hosting a baby shower and I offered to make a cake. They wanted cupcakes instead of a cake, so off to Pinterest I went. Since their last name is Lamb, it was only fitting that the cupcakes looked like little lambs. Welcome to the world Little Lamb!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

TWIX Cupcakes

A friend of mine asked me last week if I had ever made TWIX cupcakes or if I thought it could be done. Of course it can be done! It just was going to take some experimenting and trial and error. I don't use cake mixes often, but when I do I tend to doctor them up.

What's really helpful is the new unwrapped bite sized TWIX. It made for a nice little topper for these cupcakes.

Since there is a cookie on the bottom of this cupcake, yes I said cookie on the bottom, I like to use a heavy weight foil liner, not the thin ones in the regular grocery store. The gold ones I used on these are the Wilton ones, but even those were a little thin for my liking. The red ones that I used are thicker, more like the ones found here.



For the cupcakes

Makes 36 Cupcakes
1 Devils Food Cake Mix
1 5.1oz Box Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
4 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 Cup Fresh Brewed Coffee
1 TBSP Vanilla
36 Shortbread Cookies 
(I used the Keebler, Simply Shortbread Cookies and had to trim them down to get them to fit into the bottom of the cupcake liner)
Preheat oven to 350
Line your cupcake trays with cupcake lines, put a cookie in the bottom of each of the cupcake liners. 

Mix the remaining ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20 Minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before decorating. 

For the Chocolate Buttercream
I always only use C&H Sugar and Land o'Lakes Unsalted Butter
4 Sticks Softened Butter
8 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
2 TBSP Vanilla
1-2 TBSP Milk
3/8 Cup Hershey's Cocoa

Cream the butter. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add the vanilla and salt and mix. Add the Cocoa and mix. Add milk as needed to get to a consistency that can be piped onto the cupcakes.

For the Topping
1 Package of TWIX Bites
Your favorite Caramel Ice Cream Topping (I used Mrs Richardson's)

Decorate the cupcakes with the chocolate buttercream. I used my Wilton's 2D piping tip. Drizzle the caramel on top of the frosting. Top with a TWIX candy bar.


Enjoy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Funfetti Cake

My husband has two favorite cakes, Angel Food and Funfetti. I was on Pinterest on day and found a recipe for Funfetti Cake without using the box mix. I couldn't wait to try it so imagine my excitement last week when I asked Brandyn at work what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday and he said, "Well my favorite is Funfetti." I was happy to hear I was finally going to get to try the recipe I found. Last Saturday I gathered all of my ingredients and set to work. A few tastes told me that I'm not a huge fan of Almond Extract and to always follow my instincts and add more vanilla. I got the mix finally where I liked it and then set out to add the sprinkles. Who doesn't love sprinkles?! So I measured out the 1/3 cup sprinkles, poured them in, stirred and then wondered where the sprinkles went. That was not enough sprinkles! So in went another 1/3 cup and then finally a few more shakes of the container and I was happy with the sprinkle distribution through out the batter. Into the oven they went and patiently I waited. Once they were out I let them cool and finally put them into the freezer. I wasn't planning on decorating them until Sunday and of course it was hot out so the freezer seemed like the perfect place to store them. Sunday I whipped up a batch of Buttercream. Why have I never tried frosting the cake when it's frozen before?! It was so much easier and so less crumbly! I did not have to do a crumb coat. Within 30 minutes I had a completely frosted and decorated cake! All and all it was a success.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Basic Buttercream Icing


A few years ago my friend, Amy, and I took a cake decorating class at Michael's. It was something fun to do together and I never really expected to use the skills I learned. The buttercream icing recipe I use is the Wilton's Buttercream Icing. I do not use shortening when making it though. I hate the taste and greasiness of the shortening. My basics are butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. I have found that I only like the flavor of the CH powdered sugar and what brand butter you use makes a difference too. 

My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe



Chocolate Cake

I don't use a box mix for my chocolate cake except on rare occasions. So most of the time I use this recipe that I found on bigoven.com with a few modifications.

Ingredients
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups All purpose flour
2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
I never measure my vanilla and always use at least double what the recipe calls for.
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
I use half Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa and half Hershey's Cocoa
1 cup hot coffee Freshly brewed
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 large Eggs
1 cup milk
If I have half and half or even better heavy whipping cream I use that instead.
1 stick Butter or margarine unsalted recommended
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
3 cups Powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
If I have half and half or even better heavy whipping cream I use that instead.
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
I never measure my vanilla and always use at least double what the recipe calls for.

Preparation Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9 inch round baking pans with non stick cooking spray. I refuse to use cooking spray on my cake pans. Always, always use Crisco and for this cake I dust the pans with cocoa Combine first 6 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the hot coffee and mix well with a spoon (batter will be thin). Pour batter into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and then remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting. Frosting: Melt the butter and stir in the cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistancy. Add more milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.