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Baby Shower Cake

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

I had an opportunity to make a cake for a friend who, after having three boys is now blessed with not one, but two girls! Twins! (I see a mini van purchase in the near future). Today was her baby shower and she asked me to make a cake, using a couple of pictures she found online as inspiration. I was especially pleased as she started to unwrap the gifts because most of the clothing, blankets, bibs, etc. matched the cake. Lots of pink and brown! There’s something about that color combo that is so cute! Maybe because it reminds me of Baskin Robbins?

So, the first for me on this one was the fondant bow on top. I formed all of the pieces the day before so they would have time to dry and assembled it at the last minute. I had a hard time getting it to look seamless since the pieces had no give. (Notice the blob of fondant holding it together in the center…) I think next time I’ll put the bow together before the pieces are completely dry so they’re easier to adhere. That’s the fun part about being given some leeway with design; it allows you to experiment, and worst case scenario, switch to plan B if it doesn’t work.

I also planned to try out a quilted pattern on the top tier, but was afraid to try after putting the cake in the fridge. I just knew if I didn’t do this while the fondant was still soft it would probably crack, so I played it safe and left it alone. Next on the project list – a wedding cake for Wednesday and cupcakes for the following Sunday. Super excited!

"Be Mine" Valentine’s Day Cake

Friday, February 17th, 2012

After overcoming some technical difficulties I’m finally able to share the picture I tried posting on Wednesday. Computers and I don’t always get along. Anyway, this is the second cake that I made this week for Valentine’s Day. I love the pink and brown color combination! It was my second attempt at making fondant roses and this time I worked in a couple pinches of gum tex, which helped them hold up much better. Turned out well I think!

Heart Shaped Box Of Chocolates - Made With Cake!

Wednesday, February 15th

I’m having a tough time getting good quality photos to post, since the only camera I have is the one on my cell phone; and an old cell phone too! But still, I’ll share them anyway. This idea was inspired by Bakerella; a heart shaped box of chocolates, made with cake. It’s a 6 inch chocolate cake, filled and frosted with chocolate buttercream. I covered the top with red fondant, then cut a strip about ½ inch taller than the cake and wrapped it around the bottom. This created the space for the “chocolates” to sit, which were actually cake pops (minus the lollipop stick). I used the little bit of fondant I had leftover to decorate the tops.
Of course, every cake I’ve made has posed at least one challenge. Frustrating at the time, but in hindsight I’m grateful because this is how I learn what to do (or not to do) the next time around. The biggest struggle with this one was the fondant. So much food coloring has to be used to achieve that rich red color, which breaks it down and makes it difficult to work with. But after adding a bit of water and Crisco, and spending some extra time kneading it, I was able to get it to come together. As far as what to do differently next time? I’m not sure to be honest. I’ll have to do a little online research. Any suggestions?

I hit another snag with the candy melts that I used to cover the cake pops. I wanted to use both light and dark cocoa melts for a contrast of color. I covered half the pops with dark chocolate, and then used white icing color to try to lighten up a second batch. It instantly seized up and was useless! I didn’t have time to run to the store for light cocoa melts which wasn’t a complete disaster since I had enough finish the cake. Unfortunately the end result was chocolates that were all the same color. Oh well. Another lesson learned!

Fondant Roses

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

One of the cakes I’m making for Valentine’s Day is going to be decorated with fondant roses. Something I’ve never done. So, today I had a little practice session, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to make! The only thing I’m worried about is whether or not they’ll keep their shape. I’ll let them dry for a couple days and see what happens. If they don’t hold up I’ll mix some gum paste into the fondant next time. Maybe I'll add an extra petal or two. Not too shabby for a first attempt though. What do you think?

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (and bike rides)

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

I’m trying to be more active these days, and finding fun things to do to get my heart rate up is definitely a challenge. To explain it simply –
I loathe exercise.  I envy those who enjoy sweating and pushing their muscles to the point of exhaustion. I hope to become one of those unique creatures one day. But other than golfing, I haven’t found a single type of exercise that I find enjoyable. To all you nay sayers; yes, golfing is exercise! Just ask my sore muscles the day after I play a round.

Today I decided to try out biking (as in bicycle, not motorcycle), which is something I haven’t done in I don’t know how long. Let me tell you; whatever that saying is about never forgetting how to ride a bike isn’t true. At least not for me. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Hopefully nobody witnessed me wobbling down the street. However, I didn’t fall off, so I think I can fairly say it was a successful ride. Maybe I’ll try again once my embarrassment subsides.

Anyway, the carrot cake turned out amazing and wasn’t affected at all by adjusting the measurements. The recipe I’m going to share with you today is for the small version; a 6 inch cake. I chose to divide the batter into two pans since I’m not the best at splitting layers. Perhaps I should invest in one of those gadgets that look like a saw with feet. The recipe can be doubled or tripled to make a larger cake. Enjoy!

Carrot Cake:

Makes one 6 inch cake (2 layers)


2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ¾ cup finely grated carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Makes enough to generously frost one 6 inch (two layer) cake.


¼ cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 6 inch cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Add half of the dry ingredients; mix until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Fold in carrots until thoroughly combined. Be careful not to over mix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until top of cake slowly springs back when pressed. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto counter and cool completely before frosting. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for longer storage.

To make frosting:

Mix butter, cream cheese and vanilla with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition, until fluffy.

Cake For Two

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

There’s ten days left until Valentine’s Day and I’m going to be making "cakes for two” – adorable little cakes in assorted flavors and covered in fondant. Since these are going to be so small I wanted to do a test run by scaling down one of my favorite recipes; just to make sure that after adjusting the measurements the outcome stays the same. I kept the decoration extremely simple, since this one isn’t going any further than my kitchen, but the others will be more elaborate.  Looking forward to a slice for dessert tonight! Fingers crossed it’s just as yummy as the large version. Here’s a photo…

Cake Test Run

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

For Valentine’s Day I’m making “cakes for two”; small fondant covered cakes to share with your sweetheart. (Cakes will actually serve 4 – 6, but “cakes for four to six” didn’t sound as appealing). Anyway, I have a carrot cake recipe that I’ve used to make a 13 x 9 inch cake, and today I’m cutting it in half. It’s tricky when you start adjusting measurements in baking since it can drastically affect the outcome. Why? I don't know. That's the thing about baking; it's so scientific. Or maybe it's just me.

My absolute favorite cake, hands down, is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Not too sweet, heavy on the carrots and even heavier on the frosting. Pure perfection! Today is a test run cake, so why not make my favorite? If it turns out well I’ll feel confident about making changes to other recipes. I’ve just wrapped the cakes and put them in the freezer. (I’m freezing them because I won’t have time to assemble until Saturday). I’ll post a photo when it's done. See ya'll then!