My boys turned eight (eight?!) over the weekend. Their birthday party had a spy (or secret agent) theme.
I made this super simple magnifying glass cake for the party. All you need is white and black frosting, and two or three round icing tips. It couldn't be any easier!
What You Need: Cookies & Cream Cake Recipe
(I used the exact recipe as you will find on my link above. However, since the cake was a large 9x13, I doubled the cakes, and made 1 1/2 times the icing recipe.) Black Decorating Icing
(You could even purchase 2 or 3 tubes of black icing to make it more simple.)
Crushed Oreo or other cookies
Piping Bag and Icing Tips #3, 7 & 12
What You Need: For the Crust & Topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 tsp. salt (if using unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
For the Filling:
2- 8 oz. block cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Note: I think I would like to have more filling, but my husband and children insist this is enough. If I double it, and like it, I'll report back.
I visited my friends at Fox 9 this morning to do some fun, simple decorating... and to promote some of my upcoming classes.
Below you will find the links to register for the classes and for the techniques I showed and talked about on the show.
My baby sister is 12 years younger than me... and somehow they allowed her to get married!
She isn't the world's biggest fan of cake. So, she wanted a s'mores bar at her wedding reception... which she had. But my mom really wanted the traditional cutting-the-cake pictures. So, I agreed to make her a wedding cake.
I generally don't do wedding cakes, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they're a LOT of work. And for this one, I was working out of my other sister's kitchen, which is really fine in size and amenities, it's just not mine! (Please forgive some of the photo quality. Not working in my own kitchen presented some lighting challenges, so some photos are a little - uck!)
The Quilled Sunflowers are made of gum paste, and were designed to match my sister's invitations (above), which she made of quilled paper herself.
What You Need: For the quilled flowers and ribbons:
Gum paste (16 oz. pouch of Wilton brand is what I used and had plenty left over.)
Fondant ribbon cutter (or a pizza or pastry cutter)
Ruler or measuring tape
Clear vanilla or vodka
For the cakes:
Two 10" x 2" round cake layers
Two 8" x 2" round cake layers
Two 6" x 2" round cake layers
Triple batch of my Rich Vanilla Icing
Food-safe dowel rods
Cardboard cake circles (one each 10", 8" & 6")
*Note: I used cake mix as a base for these cakes because I was away from home, and needed to simplify things as much as possible. Click the link to see how I Make Cake Mix Taste Homemade.
Okay, so I love this cake... like L-O-V-E love it!
I was jumping up and down around the kitchen when I finished it, I was so happy with it.
My sister's wedding reception was held at a nature center. And she and her hubby love to do all kinds of nature-y things. So, when I was trying to think of a way to bring in the groom's favorite kind of cake (chocolate with raspberry filling), I thought of this, realizing that you could "carve" the ganache to look like bark, and it would not be all that hard to make.
What You Need: Cake
This was one 10"x2" round layer, two 9"x2" round layers and one 8"x3" round layer Milk Chocolate Ganache:
- 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
- 32 oz. milk chocolate (I thought any darker of chocolate made the bark look too dark) White Chocolate Ganache:
- 4 oz. heavy whipping cream
- 2 oz. white chocolate
I remember my Aunt Carrie making fruit pizzas for us when I was a kid. I loved them.
I took this one to a church gathering, and it was gone before any of the other desserts. Everyone loves fruit pizza!
What You Need: For The Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
For the Icing:
1- 8oz. block of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 tsp. vanilla
Assorted sliced fresh fruit for toppings Yield: 1 pizza (approx 12" round pizza pan or 8"x12" rectangular pan)
Note: You can go the super easy route, too, and use a store-bought refrigerated sugar cookie tube, and canned fruit, drained.
It's the end of the season for my boys' baseball team.
The All-Star Game is in town.
So, I made an easy baseball cake.
Simply cover the cake with white icing. (Click the link to see my tutorial: How to Frost a Cake Smooth.)
I use my Decorator's Butter Cream Icing Recipe. (Although, I did use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening instead of all shortening.)
I used the lip of the cake pan to make the marks on the cake for the laces so that I could keep the lines even and straight.
If you don't want to do a cake, I have lots of other ideas for you...