Friday, March 27, 2015

Making Cupcakes with Abby & Cate

Just thought you would enjoy the results of our "playing" with decorating cupcakes.  Just for fun!  Grandkids always love doing these kinds of things.  Patricia Perry, my dear friend, was helping too.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Abby's 7th Birthday - Ninja Turtle Cake

Okay, okay....this is a cake for my Granddaughter, Abby.  She is unconventional.  She is in Martial Arts and loves Ninga Turtles, however, she likes being a girl so when she told me she wanted a Ninja cake or short notice I did the best I could to make a Ninja cake feminine.

Again, a trip to Walmart produced the Ninja toy atop the cake.  It came out really cute and, of course, she just loves it!

The cake is a chocolate cake (cheated with Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Fudge) with chocolate frosting (homemade) and filling - a chocolate lovers dream.  Don knows it's in the fridge and I think there could be a chunk carved out of the back.  An empty glass of milk with cake crumbs hanging on the rim by the sink is slightly suspicious.

Cate Bug's 5th Birthday - Princess in Pink Cake

My Cate Bug loves, loves, loves pink, princesses, and twirling.  She's in ballet and loves it, of course!

When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said she wanted a princess.  Her family went to Disney World and celebrated both her and her sister Abby's birthday.  So princesses were fresh in her mind.

I took her to the store and told her I wanted a princess that was a girl like her, not an adult, because she was only five.  She agreed and picked out this doll.  She does look a lot like Cate.

I didn't use fondant on this cake, just butter cream frosting.  It is the Old Fashion Butter Cake with chocolate filling.  I put that recipe in Davy's 6th Birthday post.  Making this cake was much faster than using fondant.  I can do more things with fondant but I enjoyed doing this cake.  She loves it!

Davy's 6th Birthday - A Toothless Cake

What a cutie!  
My Grandson, Davy, decided that he wanted a "Toothless" cake.  I was bewildered!  "What?"  He explained it was the dragon from "How to Train Your Dragon".  Uhhh.....I need to go to the movies with my Grandkids to keep up with the times!

I didn't have much time to make this cake so it was just going to be simple.  However, Davy wanted trees and a castle too.  I haven't seen the movie so I'm not sure if I got close.  I made the trees from fondant and gum paste mixed together.  I used luster dust to paint them and Royal Frosting for the leaves.

As a gift to each Grandchild I put a toy on their cakes.  In this case I went to Walmart and got "Toothless".  

I made the cake from scratch and this one really worked with the high altitude adjustments I used.  It tasted great.

Davy loved the cake!  "Grandma, this is the coolest cake ever!"  They say that every year. I love it!

The cake is an Old Fashion Butter Cake adjusted for altitude with a chocolate frosting that is super easy to make and way better than any store bought can product!  Here's the recipe:

Old Fashion Butter Cake

2 cups all purpose flour (measure after sifting)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs - room temperature

High Altitude Adjustment: add 2 tablespoons flour to the 2 cups of flour, cut sugar back to 1 cup, cut baking powder to 2 teaspoons, and add 2 tablespoons milk to the 1 cup milk. Follow the directions below.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) or 325 degrees (F) for high altitude.

Grease and flour two 8 inch by 2 inch cake pans and set aside. (I use parchment paper cut the size of the bottom of the pan to help the cake not stick and come out easier.  First spray the cake pan, lay in the parchment, spray again and then flour.  For the right cut of parchment just set the pan on the parchment paper and draw around the base.  Cut it out and it fits perfect.)

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  (Yes, this makes the second time you sifted the flour. I sift the flour before measuring and again when combining the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.)

Add butter, milk, and vanilla.  With a hand or stand mixer, beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time until just blended, then beat for 2 minutes more.

Divide batter equally between the two pans. Spread with spatula and then lightly tap the pans on the counter to let up any air bubbles.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (40 to 50 minutes for high altitude). If you put a tooth pick or knife in the center it should come out clean. I use a knitting needle.

I use cake boards that I buy at Walmart to fit the size of my cakes.  As soon as I take them out of the oven I carefully run a knife around the edges.  Then I place my cake board over the top and turn out the cake gently banging it on the counter.  I know that sound rough, but it works.  I do this hot because all of the moisture hasn't escaped yet during the cooling process. Then I cover it loosely with commercial grade or heavy plastic wrap.  If you cover it too tightly the heat will cause it to pull in the edges of the cake.  Let it cool that way and than put a second layer of plastic wrap around it and put it in the freezer for a few hours or until you need it.  Using this method keeps the cake moist and it is easier to frost when it is cold. (You can frost it as soon as it cools don't have to wait if you're craving dessert!)

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon good vanilla

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more half and half if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2 cups.

I let the beater really work on it for at least five minutes.  Makes it really glossy and spreads well.