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Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

18 Dec

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I’ve meant to post about these amazing little cupcakes for weeks now, however I have been too exhausted to make myself do so.  Two birthday parties back-to-back almost did me in!  I have never baked so much in my life and I am now on a baking strike until after the New Year.  (I “may” have gone through 8 pounds of confectioners sugar in one weekend.  Eek!)

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

For Jaden’s 10th Birthday, which was two weeks ago, she asked for Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes for her classroom celebration.  I instantly had horrific flashbacks of the last time I made these but resolved to improve upon the last experience.  Surely these cupcakes would not steal my sanity twice!

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

And they didn’t!  This time I decided to not over think it and to just bake the darn things already!

I filled each cake cone 2/3 way full with cake batter and then placed each cake cone in an opening of my muffin pan.  Mind you, you have to be VERY careful when placing them in the oven or they will tip over.  (…and you will curse and shout and tear out all of your hair when this happens.  Don’t worry, that’s normal.)  Once baked, I carefully set them out on a wire rack to cool.  While they cooked, I whipped up some buttercream icing and colored it in two not-too girly yet not too-boyish colors.  (Because Jaden does not like pink.)  Once colored, I filled up my piping bag which I fitted with my largest star tip and went to work.  Starting on the outside edge, I piped in a clock-wise motion as I worked my way toward the center.  And Viola!

Then came the hard part.  Figuring out how the heck I was going to transport these things to school without them falling over.  The last time I made these I constructed this complicated cardboard carrying system with custom cut holes soaked in my tears.  This time I shoved them all into an aluminum baking dish and willed them not to fall over.  Despite driving 0.02 miles an hour all the way to the school, about half of the fell over.  Thankfully the buttercream had developed a bit of a crust to it and thus they weren’t damaged too badly.  Ah well.

4thd Grade children aren’t looking for works of art, they just want to eat something sweet!  :]

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Cake Decorating Party

6 Dec
Mini Cakes

Mini Cakes

This past Sunday, Jaden celebrated her 10th Birthday early by having some friend over for a cake decorating party.  After letting Jaden & Fisher decorate cupcakes for my birthday and having so much fun, I decided that Jaden and her friends would have even more fun decorating their own mini-cakes.  And I was right!

Cake Decorating Table

I baked a 6″ x 2″ round cake for each girl and iced it with buttercream icing.  I sectioned out the leftover buttercream icing and colored each in a different color.  Finally I bagged each color in a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a decorative tip.  I set out the rest of my decorating tips for the girls to use if they so chose.  It only took a short demonstration to teach the girls how to unscrew the coupler and change out the tips.  Once they got that down, they were off to the races!

Child Decorating Cake

And boy did they work hard on their cakes.  They carefully piped on each line and flower.  They studied each angle before apply the icing.  They made sure to use every tip and color available to them at least twice!  As one girl proclaimed, “You can’t rush art.”  So true, girls, so true.

Child's Decorated Mini Cake

We even tested out some spray-on food coloring.  It worked well although, once the girls got a hold of the spray cans, the house was filled with a fine red mist of food coloring.  They got messy with everything in every way possible and cherished every moment.  You should have seen the table after the sprinkles and candy Imperials had been opened.  Yikes!

After making gingerbread cookie rockets for her brother’s birthday party, these mini-cakes were a cinch!  The girls absolutely loved it and each got a slice to eat once they were done.  I’d highly recommend this to anyone interested.  I would definitely do it again in the future.  :]

Dirt & Worm Cupcakes

30 Nov
Dirt & Worm Cupcakes

Dirt & Worm Cupcakes

Tomorrow is Fisher’s 8th Birthday.  He has counted down to it pretty much since his 7th.  To celebrate, I made his favorite cupcakes to share with his class at school today:  Dirt & Worm Cupcakes.  They are super easy to make, taste great and are always a huge hit at school.

Dirt & Worm Cupcakes

Dirt & Worm Cupcakes

I used a box of Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix, but you can use whatever chocolate cake mix you prefer.  Once they have completely cooled, I piped on some chocolate icing, rolled the tops of the cupcakes in crushed Oreo cookies and topped them each with a gummy worm.  Tah-dah!

Even though I used a box mix, I do highly recommend that you make your own chocolate icing.  It is always superior to canned icing that you find at the store and it is super simple to make.  This is my favorite chocolate icing recipe, one that I got from my mother:

Chocolate Icing Recipe:

  • 1/2 heaping cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of butter, softened

Directions:

Cream together the butter and cocoa powder.  Next, mix in the vanilla extract and salt.  Add the sour cream and mix until combined.  Slowly work in the confectioners sugar.  Once combined, mix at medium speed for a few minutes until it is nice and smooth.  I use this time to rinse off utensils and tidy up around the kitchen.  (Confectioners sugar inevitably ends up everywhere when I use it.)

The icing is usually cool from the refrigerated sour cream, so I let it set for a minute or two to let it warm up.  Cold icing is hard to pipe with.  If you want to pipe on the icing, just grab a bag and a large, open tip.  It doesn’t really matter what tip you use as long as it is a large one.  You don’t even have to make it look pretty since you’re just going to roll the iced part of the cupcake in crushed Oreo cookies.  It’s a fool-proof decorating plan!

If you don’t have a piping bag or tips, just grab a spatula or even a butter knife.  Again, it doesn’t have to look pretty.  The crushed Oreo’s hide just about any icing misstep.

This recipe will make enough icing for 24 cupcakes, plus a few extra.  This recipe is also great on chocolate cake.  I usually mix up two batches when icing a two-layer, eight inch round cake.

Enjoy!

Let Them Eat Cake

15 Jul

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It’s that time again.  Time for another cake!  Oh my goodness, I love cake.  (Just ignore me when I’m actually decorating a cake.  The wild hair and fangs are only temporary.  They disappear once the stress of decorating is gone.)  Did I say stress?  Is it possible to love something but to also be stress out by something?  I’m a complicated lady.

This one is for my Father-in-Law’s birthday. It’s hard to find a simple yet masculine design for cake, thus I plaid it safe with plaid.  You can’t go wrong with plaid.  (Unless it’s paired with polka dots and zig-zags.  Then it might be too much.)  ;]

Knocking on 30

25 Apr

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It’s Jordan’s birthday today.  To celebrate, I made him a monster cake.  :]

Happy Birthday, love.

Castle Cake

18 Feb

My co-worker’s daughter is turning four years old this week and I volunteered to make her birthday cake for her.  What kind of cake?  A castle cake.  Because surely, if I can decorate a simple, two-layer cake, a castle cake can’t be all that hard!  (…and relatively speaking, it is not.)

The most important advice I will give to those of you out there who decide to tackle this cake is: Hollow out the castle pieces so that a wooden dowel can be driven through the piece.  This will help anchor it to the cake more soundly and will prevent leaning and other awful cake disasters.  (I happened upon this advice AFTER I’d decided not to hollow out the castle pieces.)  Ah, you live and you learn.  ;]

 

New Territory

5 Feb

I’ve decided to try my hand at baking and decorating cakes.  My mother has always had a knack for making beautiful cakes and I thought: what the heck, maybe it’s genetic!  This is a far cry from her skill-level, but I’m proud of it considering it’s my first attempt.

In other news….dude!  Do you know what icing is made of?  Ooo…I can hear my arteries clogging by just thinking about it.  ;]