Pink Ombré Chevron Cake

It has been a full week of decorating a baking at my house and I just looked up at the calendar to see that Easter is just next weekend!  Crikey!  Part of the baking extravaganza was a cute baby celebration cake I made. Pink Ombré Chevron Cake

I’m rediscovering the star tip after years away from it.  Here, I used a 16 to create an easy chevron effect with three different colors of pink buttercream icing. Pink Ombré Chevron CakeI freehand piped the chevrons which ended up slightly uneven at the back, but pretty good for not laying it out beforehand!  I wish I’d make the pinks a bit darker, so you could really see the color gradient, but overall I was pleased with the effort.

The best part was when we cut into the cake to see the ombré effect in the cake layers too! Pink Ombré Chevron CakeDefinitely worthy of a celebration of a new little baby! Pink Ombré Chevron Cake — Martta

Green and Blue Star Cake

Happy Birthday Marilyn! Thanks for coming into town and giving me an excuse to make this adorable cake for your birthday!  Green & Blue Star Cake

The bottom is two six inch round layers and the top is two four inch round layers. For decoration, I whipped up seven different icing colors: Leaf Green, Kelly Green, Royal Blue, Cinderella Blue, Sky Blue and White. Green & Blue Star Cake

I decorated the cake with a number 16 and 21 star tips.  Green & Blue Star Cake

It’s a pretty easy cake, the toughest part is trying to get a random pattern! But totally adorable in the end. Happy Birthday Marilyn!

–Martta

Oreo Owl Cupcakes

I Pinned it, and made it! Yes, I love Pinterest, and have thousands of Pins, but how many have I actually made? Maybe 20-ish. The teeniest drop in the bucket, when compared to how many Pins I’ve saved! I don’t think I’m alone in this either. So no judging, just do it!

My Mom actually emailed me this Pin, but of course I had seen it all over Pinterest… cutest cupcakes!! And because I am not so talented in the confectionary creation department, I go for the easy decorations. Frosted cupcakes, Oreos, and Reese’s Pieces? Easy.

Here is the Pin I saw…

Here is the original post from One Charming Party…

http://onecharmingparty.com/2010/10/21/halloween-school-party-food-station/

And here is my version… boxed cake mix, with homemade frosting… Yum!

Of course my kids had free license when it came to decorating, but I did strongly encourage they have normal owl eyes this first round. My son added yellow cheeks and a brown piece of hair, and my daughter went with two tufts of blonde hair for her sweet owl. Mine, of course is the boring one on top. 🙂

I used this recipe for the frosting, but made a couple of small changes. A whole stick of butter instead of the 6 Tbsp, and heavy cream instead of sweetened condensed milk. I recommend doubling the recipe if you want to cover a whole batch of cupcakes.

Here are a couple more pics, just for fun…

Make these with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or just neighbors and friends! They are so easy, and just plain fun!

Happy Fall Y’All, as they say here in the South. 🙂

-Heather

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

For Jack’s 8th birthday he requested an Angry Birds cake.  I know that he and Caroline play the game obsessively, but that’s pretty much all I know about it.  So I had to do some serious research online to come up with a design.  I decided in this case, it was time to go big or go home.  So here is the cake on it’s very own 2′ by 3′ cake board.To make this little gem, I baked two chocolate half spheres from the Wilton Soccer Ball cake pan and one 8″x8″ square chocolate.  I then whipped up 12 cups of icing and tinted various portions in: Red, Black, Sky Blue, Brown, Orange, Kelly Green, and Yellow.

I started decorating by carving one of the half spheres into a triangle shape for the yellow bird.  

I gave him a quick coat in yellow icing and put him into chill a bit before adding the first round of details to his face. While he was chilling out, I worked on the structure they were planning to destroy.  I created the launcher and eight planks out of the chocolate square cake.  I then iced all of them brown and set them to chill as well – here are a few of the planks in process.I covered the other sphere with the red icing and put in the first round of details on the red bird before turning my attention to the massive cake board.  My design calls for a sky and grass background so I covered the board with a thin layer of blue and green. Here’s my in process picture with the sky in place.I then placed all the pieces and added in the details like a few tiny pigs to come up with the final creation. The birthday boy requested the addition of movement lines and I think they add just the right touch.  Happy birthday Jackson! And no, the boy’s not drinking – that’s the wine I needed after finishing this cake in only three hours!  And just to keep it real, here’s what my kitchen looked like after a fast three hour cake assembly: The other side is just as messy!  Thank goodness Heather was there to help me clean up!!

–Martta

Cupcake Carrier Remodel (How to get you cupcakes out of the carrier without ruining them)

I have a fabulous cupcake carrier.  I love it.  I can carry up to 36 cupcakes at a time!  This is perfect for a cupcake-a-holic like myself.  But here’s my dilemma: I can get all my little lovelies in to the carrier perfectly, but I almost always stick a finger in the frosting trying to get them out!

I’ve tried tilting the tray of cupcakes and going after the cupcakes with Operation-style precision, but nothing seems to work.  The same high sides that keep them perfectly in place prevent me from grabbing them out of the tray when we reach our destination.  Then I noticed that the fabulous cupcakes from Hey Cupcake come in boxes that have little finger dents on the side of each cupcake slot and I began to wonder if I could do a little carrier remodel on my own…..

It was my brother who came up with the break through solution (pun intended).  He suggested if I just drill a hole in the bottom of the cupcake tray, I could push the cake up with my finger thereby allowing me to grab the edges without messing up the icing.  Genius.

Off to the home improvement store to pick up the biggest drill bit I could find to make this happen. 

Here we are ready to go to work!  And before you ask, yes that is my kitchen table that I’m drilling over.  My wooden kitchen table.

Now’s a good time to think about doing this project on a workbench.  But let’s carry on anyway.

So with my 1/2″ drip bit, I began to drill holes into the center of each of the cupcake slots. 

After a bit of trial and error, I found that a slow to medium speed left me with the cleanest holes.  If you drill too fast, you’ll end up cracking the tray and usually leaving a big chuck of  funky plastic chips, like the hole in the bottom right hand corner.

But that’s OK, it’s still totally functional.  I just sanded it down a bit and it’s not a problem.

Now for the true test.  Let’s load her up with cupcakes!  Yup, as you can see, it’s not much of a lift, but it’s all you need to get your cupcakes out freely!  Perfect, I think I’ll go make some more cupcakes.

–Martta

PS – No kitchen tables were harmed in this remodel.  Whew!

Baby Pennant Cake

So last week’s “Book Club” was a celebration of the new additions that will be coming to our neighborhood soon.  We’ve got two ladies who are expecting and we decided to go bonkers for babies in April.  Mary asked me to make cupcakes to celebrate, but I was in the mood for a cake.  And I think it turned out darling, if I do say so myself!

This cake is a two tier stacked cake construction – here’s the nitty gritty for those cake nerds out there:

Tier One

  • Two 9″ layer devil’s food chocolate cake
  • Basic buttercream tinted with Wilton’s Royal Blue
  • I used a 104 petal tip to create the ruffles

Tier Two

  • Two 6″ layer white cake
  • Basic buttercream tinted with Wilton’s Pink
  • I used a 103 petal tip to create the ruffles

This cake came together really quickly and I was super pleased with the ruffles!  The pennants add that cute little bunting touch.  I simply created them in Photoshop, cut them out and taped them to a piece of butcher’s twine.  I then tied the twine to two wooden skewers and stuck them in the top tier.

Here’s a little pennant printable for you to try on your next cake! 

–Martta


St. Patrick’s Day Strawberry Shortcake

The dessert in a jar craze has been all over Pinterest and the blog world for a good year now. I finally bought some small jars from Walmart to make my dessert for St. Patrick’s Day Bunco! I think they were just under $8 for a dozen… not terrible, and something I can use over and over. I believe they are about 4 ounces… I bought the larger size when we were celebrating my son’s birthday in CA last year, and they were much too big for a normal serving. As much as we all wanted to, nobody needs to eat 2 cupcakes and a wicked amount of frosting in one jar!

Strawberry shortcake in a jar sounded perfect to me… I am terrible with frosting, so the berries and whipped cream made this super easy for me to assemble quickly right before my party.

I started by adding some decorative ribbon to my jars… measure the circumference of your jar, then cut your ribbon slightly longer. I used hot glue to attach the ribbon to itself, making sure to pull tightly, so it wouldn’t slip off.

Now make some shortcake!

Ingredients:

Strawberries! I had a huge box from Costco, but if you are making this for a small family, one container from your grocery store is plenty.

Yellow cake – baked in a 9×13 per box directions

Heavy cream, vanilla extract, and sugar – for the whipped cream.

Clean & cut your strawberries into bite sized pieces. Add a teaspoon or 2 of sugar and gently mix them together… this lets the strawberries sweet juices flow!

I turned my cake out onto a large cutting mat, then used an empty sanding sugar container to cut cylinders of cake. If you have a biscuit cutter that matches the diameter of your jars… use it! I don’t have biscuit cutters, and for some crazy reason 2 stores I checked did not have them!! I thought I lived in the South! Thankfully, my cake was slippery enough to come out of my jar, but you may want to lightly spray yours with cooking spray if your cake sticks.

Here is my cake inside the jars…

Next, just spoon the strawberries over the cake and top with whipped cream!

Whipped Cream:

Pour 1 cup heavy cream into your mixer’s bowl (I use my KitchenAid, but you can use a hand mixer as well). I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and about a tablespoon of sugar. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium to high speed for about a minute, or until peaks form. Don’t over whip… you don’t want butter!

I made the picks using kabob skewers I cut down into 4 inch pieces, then taped on the decorative tags. The tags I downloaded for free from The Tomkat Studio… I just used a scalloped 2-inch punch to cut them out, and taped them to the skewers. You can also use popsicle sticks, lollipop sticks, or whatever you can find!

My guests loved the shortcake, and it was something easy to make that made a big impact. Let us know how you’ve made dessert in a jar… it’s always fun to hear new ideas!

-Heather