Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cake Decorating Course 3

In course 3 we were introduced to fondant icing and learned how to cover cakes with it and make a fondant rose and bows. We also learned a few new borders and more royal icing flowers including easter lily, poinsettia, morning glory and petunia. I am not crazy about the royal icing flowers, but I love the fondant rose, even though they are very time consuming.

Here are the cakes we made in Course 3:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Birthday Lunch Part 2

We had 2 birthdays in April and since one was a milestone birthday we celebrated them seperately. I've been dying to try royal icing on sugar cookies, so I made baseball cookies since the birthday person is a Cardinals fan. When I went to make the sugar cookies I realized I did not own a circle cookie cutter. I stopped by my mom's house later that day figuring she had one. Little did I know my mom has decided to store all her cookie cutters in the decorative cookie jars she has scattered across the top of her cabinets. After emptying the 4th cookie jar I decided it would be much easier to just use a drinking glass. :)

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

I found this recipe on and the title does not lie, these cookies are outstanding. The recipe also makes a ton of dough, so I generally make a batch and use half of it and freeze the other half.

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

The icing I used is royal icing. You can buy it in a bag and add water, but it is pretty tempermental and you have to work quickly. This dries as a hard coating on the cookie. Before I was introduced to royal icing I used this recipe for a glaze:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush. Make sure you let them dry completely before stacking them.

Rocky Road Cake

I saw this in a Taste of Home magazine and just had to make it. I posted a picture of it on a cake website and it has received tons of comments. It was pretty easy to make, but I ended up with peanuts, marshmallows & chocolate all over my floor!

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
1-3/4 cups dry roasted peanuts
1-1/2 cups miniature milk chocolate kisses
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

In a large bowl, combine peanuts, chocolate kisses and marshmallows. Lightly press chocolate mixture over sides and top of cake.

Friday, April 16, 2010

First Cake Order!

I sold my very first cake! This was for a 40th birthday and I was really excited about how cute it turned out. :)

I made the "40" out of chocolate because I still don't trust myself to write directly on the cake.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cake, Cake & More Cake!

I have been trying to practice my cake decorating skills that I have learned. These are some of the cakes I have made the past couple weeks.
Cardinals cake for Opening Day. The logo is made out of royal icing and I was bummed when it broke into about 5 pieces when I put it on the cake. Oh well, icing works well as glue too! This was my first attempt at making my own marshmallow fondant and a white almond sour cream cake. We haven't learned how to properly cover a cake with fondant yet, but I think it looks pretty good.

My friend Katie's birthday cake

Cupcakes for the 17 birthdays my family celebrate on Easter

For my cousin's 30th birthday party. The 30's are made out of chocolate and I decorated them with sugar pearls too.

My dad kept whining that everyone else gets to eat my cakes but he never gets one, so I made this one in order to practice my violets and then took it to his house.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Birthday Lunch

Our April birthday lunch at work was for a 5oth birthday, so I wanted to do something fun. I probably got a little carried away, but I had a lot of fun making everything.

Dirt Cake

I had to rub it in a little bit that this was a milestone birthday. Although I had to be careful since I have my own milestone birthday in October and paybacks are hell. This cake was really rich, but in my mind you can't go wrong with pudding and cookies.

1 - 20 oz pkg Oreos
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
8 0z cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 1/2 cup milk
2 packages chocolate pudding
8 oz whipped topping, thawed
clean flower pot
gummy worms
Crush the oreos in a large plastic bag using a rolling pin. Cream together butter, cream cheese & confectioner's sugar. In another bowl, cream together milk, pudding & whipped topping. Combine the 2 mixtures and mix well (need a very large bowl).
Use a clean flower pot as the container. Fill pot with alternating layers of cookie crumbs & pudding mixture, beginning and ending with cookie crumbs. Place a few gummy worms throughout and on top for decorations. Keep refrigerated.
Notes: I used fat free milk, fat free whipped topping and low fat cream cheese and you couldn't tell the difference from using regular ingredients.
Sopapilla Cheesecake
My friend Sara sent me this recipe and told me I had to try it. I was skeptical at first because I really don't care for cheesecake at all. However, the ingredients to this sounded good, so I decided to give it a try. I think I have found a new favorite dessert because it was SO good. Almost everyone at the luncheon asked me for the recipe and everyone loved it. It was really easy to make too.

3 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 (8 oz) pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Honey and/or almonds

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat the cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the vanilla in a bowl until smooth; set aside. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each sheet into 9x13 inch rectangles. Press one sheet into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough.

Drizzle the melted butter over the top of the cheesecake. Stir together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Either sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with almonds or drizzle with honey.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Superman Cake Pops
The birthday person is a Superman fanatic so I was trying to find a way to incorporate this into a dessert or cake. And no, the Superman toy we stole from his office and put in green jello, aka kryptonite, does not count. ;) I saw this idea on and still had cake balls left in my freezer from Easter, so I decided to take on the challenge. For instructions on how to make the cake balls, see my previous entry from Easter.

I made the superman logo by printing out the picture from my computer and covering it with wax paper and then tracing it in royal icing. You have to let these dry for a day or two before you can handle them.

To turn the cake balls into cake pops you dip a sucker stick in a little bit of chocolate and then stick it in the cake ball. Place in freezer until set .

Dip the cake in chocolate and then place the sucker stick in a piece of styrofoam so the chocolate can set. Quickly and gently place the superman logo in place before the chocolate sets. When you are finished place back in fridge until completely set. It's best to only take a few out of the freezer at a time to dip otherwise they will start to thaw and fall apart in the chocolate.

I individually wrapped each one, so that it would look more like a sucker. I got the little bags at Michaels and the sucker sticks at Fischers, but I think both stores sell both items.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


French Toast Casserole

I made brunch for my parents and Scott and I on Easter Sunday. My mom had foot surgery a few days before, so I needed something that I could cook at their house and not make a huge mess. At first I wasn't sure how this would go over because my dad hates casseroles, but I think he ate 5 pieces. Sometimes I think he doubts my cooking abilities, but I am pretty sure he liked this one. ;) I served this with hashbrowns, fresh pineapple and a Butter Braid.

1 loaf French bread
8 eggs
3 cups milk
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Cinnamon to sprinkle

Spray 9x13 pan with Pam - cut bread about 1½” thick and lay in pan. Mix eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and a little cinnamon in a bowl. Pour mixture over bread and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Refrigerate overnight.

Next day, put a pat of butter on each slice of bread and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Note: Don't cut the bread too thick or it will take forever to cook. Make sure you cook it long enough since it has so many eggs. Better to cook a little longer to be on the safe side.

Easter Goodies

I took a candy class right before Easter and got a lot of good ideas.

I made everything on this plate, except the edible Easter grass (which is disgusting, by the way, tastes like paper).

Cake balls and chocolate covered marshmallows. (See instructions below for cake balls.)

Solid, flat white chocolate bunnies. The detail was done with a toothpick.

Little eggs are filled with caramel and big eggs filled with rice krispies.

Solid 3D bunnies

3D lamb cake decorated with rosettes and my leftover flowers from my course 2 final cake. He turned out so cute that no one wanted to cut him.
Cake Balls

I stumbled upon a recipe for these right before Christmas and decided to give them a try and they were a huge hit with everyone. The week before Easter I had a cake completely fall apart on me and I hated to throw it away so it sounded like a perfect excuse for another batch of cake balls. I have seen several variations on how to make these, but this is how I do it:

Bake a cake, 9x13 works best and it probably works with any flavor cake, but I have only tried white. Let the cake cool and then crumble it into tiny pieces. Mix in a can of frosting, again you can probably use any flavor but I have only tried vanilla. Put the cake in the refrigrator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with then shape into balls. I use my cookie scoop to get the right size and then roll in my hands. Put the balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Melt chocolate, I use candy coating wafers (from Michaels or candy supply store) and dip balls in chocolate. Retrieve the ball from the chocolate with a fork, lightly tap fork on the side of the bowl and gently scrape the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate and then put on wax paper to set. If you want to put sprinkles on top you have to work quickly because the frozen cake makes the chocolate set very fast. Put the cake balls back in the fridge or freezer until completely set. It is best to only work with a few at a time so that the cake does not thaw before you dip it.

Notes: You can keep the cake balls in the freezer for weeks before dipping them, so you don't have to use the whole batch for 1 occasion (it makes a ton). I keep my chocolate on top of my pancake griddle (set to warm) to keep the chocolate melted while I am working with it. It will stay melted all day long, but make sure it does not get too hot and burn. I also add paramount crystals to my chocolate to thin it out. You can buy these at any candy supply store. You use about 1 tbsp to each pound of chocolate. Basically you want your chocolate to smoothly run off your spoon. If you have never been to Fischers Cake & Candy in Florrisant, it is a wonderful place!

For more details on this check out I LOVE this website, she has a lot of great ideas and she gives step by step instructions with pictures. I wish I would have found this site before I made them for the first time!