Category Archives: Cakes

Snow globe Cake

IMG_1191Tonight was difficult!  It’s going to be that way for the rest of the month.  It’s just something new that we have to adjust ourselves to. Jared has tithing settlement all this month and so we don’t get to see him at all on Sundays. Tonight was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional which the kids and I got to watch, in full!  It was quite the accomplishment especially since I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks with the kids and their behavior.

The devotional had great stories and thoughts about how to make our Christmas experience better.  They talked about being a good receiver which I thought was really important for the kids to hear.

As the devotional was finishing up and I was getting leftover cake prepared for after dinner, Jacob asked if it was for daddy.  I said it was for them, the kids.  Emma must have over heard because she came in and agreed with what I guess Jacob was trying to say.  She said we should bring it to daddy since he was working hard and wouldn’t be home ’til late.  I asked the boys if that was okay and everyone was on board.  We gussied it up a bit and within 10 minutes we had a beautiful snow globe cake with the baby Jesus at the center.  It would be the perfect dessert to give the bishopric after hearing the devotional and to kick off our Christmas holiday.

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Filed under Cakes, Christmas, Church Stuff, Jared, Kids

13th Birthday Owl

A sweet girl in my ward turned into a teenager today!  She is an amazing young lady and I’d only be too happy if my daughter turned out to be as thoughtful, funny, and well-rounded as her.  Her mom had asked me to make a cake to celebrate and mentioned the all too well-known fact that she loves owls!!!  I had picked up a ridiculously cute owl necklace that I was going to give to her anyway but I thought it would be fun if I could incorporate it into her cake.

I set out by making the main part of her cake just a regular stacked cake.  I then used the same technique/approach I used to make my little nieces’ first birthday cake several months ago.  With the mommy owl made and the nest decorated I set out covering two extra-large plastic Easter eggs with fondant.  That was a little trickier than I had anticipated but it was well worth it because once they hardened a bit you could open and close the eggs.  I decorated the outside and then placed the baby owl necklace inside one of the eggs for her to open up later!  I added a sweet little butterfly to the edge of the nest and sent it off to be devoured!

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20th Birthday Cake

I spent the bulk of last night finishing this cake!  I think it turned out spectacular especially since there are so many personal aspects to it for the young lady who it was for.

She is an avid mountain biker and had a great trip with her mom right before her birthday.  I had heard the story in great detail and portrayed it through the fondant and frosting work.

My kids were so thrilled to look at all the details that I had pipped on there and asked about them.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out! 🙂

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Nana’s Birthday

Several days ago my dad had approached me about my mom’s birthday.  He wanted to see if we could do a family dinner.  I thought it would be a great idea.  He then asked if I could make the dinner and a birthday cake for her!  With dad at work and mom at home it would make it impossible to have dinner be a surprise unless I made it.  I agreed, as long as we could do it at my place.

I planned the meal around her favorite Olive Garden special.  She always orders the Pasta Fagioli with salad and bread sticks  so that’s what I made.  Dad picked up some bread sticks on his way home from work and a bottle of their famous salad dressing.  While I was cooking and setting the table the kids were writing menus and signs for the front door.  I had made her cake the night before so that I wouldn’t be swamped with trying to make that at the same time.  My mom LOVES German chocolate cake!  The only problem is that she’s the only one that likes that kind of cake!  I remember making her a German chocolate bunt cake for her 50th birthday and thinking that it looked like a big mound of something not very delicious 😉 .  This year I made my version of German chocolate with homemade Coconut-Pecan Cajeta frosting.  It was delicious!!!  I’m lucky we got any of that stuff on the cake.

After dinner and we cleaned off the table we pulled out the cake and sang happy birthday.  Nana wouldn’t let anyone touch the cake for about 10 minutes while she dug into it.  The kids kept trying to get a piece or a bite and she, jokingly, kept shooing them away.  It wasn’t until the kids started to get really upset and some even cry that she finally relented and allowed them to have a piece.  I think she ate about half the cake all by herself 🙂 .  That’s when you know you did something right!

    

When we were all sufficiently stuffed, we all made our way over to the couches and enjoyed Star Wars Episode IV.  I was really impressed because my mom is NOT into the whole sci-fi thing but she watched the movie with the kids and I think she really enjoyed herself.  It was such a wonderful evening.  The food was wonderful, the cake was a hit with everyone, and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves.  I love that my house was able to accommodate everyone and that it create a wonderful inviting spirit where everyone can enjoy themselves.  It was a very fulfilling moment to look at everyone in the family room and see them truly relaxed.  The kids were lounging on the floor or the ottoman, Nana and Papa sat on the couch with some of the kids going back and forth from the floor to snuggling, Michael fell asleep on the couch for a bit, Jared and I got to sit together and watch all of this… it was just perfect!  I’m so grateful that my husband has been able to create this wonderful life for us where I can stay at home with the children and that we are able to have the gospel in our lives and have that reflect in our home!

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Filed under Brithdays, Cakes, Family, Nana and Papa

Halloween Brownies

I have had this urge to bake and bake and bake ever since conference. I think it’s this time of year and the cooler weather that gets me all fired up. I have a list, an actual list, of things that I want to make for my family, friends, and things to create with my kids. One of the first things was these brownies! I’ve seen them all over Pinterest and I am a sucker when it comes to all things chocolate and mint, especially when the two are combined! I just put a little spin on it and made them a little more whimsical and inviting to the kids although what kid is not going to want to eat any kind of brownie!?!

I had planned on making these for Joseph’s kindergarten Halloween party so I thought I’d do a dry run and make sure I could do it. After going through the entire process I’m sad to say that they are a little to time-consuming for such a small party like that but it was fun to do and even more fun to enjoy. It was the perfect FHE treat and I’m glad the kids got to enjoy them because so many times I make things and they don’t get to enjoy them because they are for others.

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
* 1 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 32 miniature chocolate peppermint patties, like York
* melted white chocolate for decorating

 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter and 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter, sugar, and bittersweet chocolate over medium, stirring frequently, until smooth.  Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in eggs and vanilla, then let cool to room temperature, 10 minutes.

2. Transfer batter to pan.  Press 16 peppermint patties evenly into batter and, with a small offset spatula, evenly spread batter to completely cover patties.

3. Bake until cake is puffed and just set, about 35 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack, 25 minutes, then top with 16 peppermint patties.  Let cool 25 minutes more, then decorate peppermint patties with candy eyes and chocolate chip ears.  Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 5 minutes.  Using parchment, lift cake from pan and cut into 16 squares.  Decorate with icing pens.

I made just a few changes to the above recipe by making it larger but it’s key to make sure you wait for it to cool during the aloted time.  If you don’t wait long enough the brownies will be too hot and will melt the patty all over.  You’re just waiting long enough for the patty to slightly melt (you can see how shiny they are in the pictures above, showing the chocolate is melted but still retaining it’s shape).

I decided to add some fangs to the other half of the brownies and then they looked more like bats the kids said. So I guess either way you do it and depending if you want to spend an extra two minutes on this treat you can have yummy cats or yummy bats!!!

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Filed under Brianna, Cakes, Holidays, recipes

86th Birthday Cake

My friend called me the other day asking if I’d make a special cake for her friends’ 86th birthday.  This is supposed to be his final birthday seeing as how he’s only supposed to be with us for 8 more weeks.  I wanted to help her celebration go well and wanted to make it as special as I could so I accepted.

She wanted a special picture of him and his girlfriend on top but I couldn’t find a way to print it on fondant or rice paper with only a few days before she would pick it up.  I simply had a picture printed off and cut it to fit the cake.

I did some nice piping work to cover the edge of the picture and give more character to the cake.  I used one of my grandma’s tools that she had given me a few months back.  This was the first time I had occasion to use it and I thought it added a nice stripped detail!

Happy Birthday, Chuck!

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Painter Cake

My friend called me up at the beginning of the week asking if I could make a 30th birthday cake for another friend of hers.  She didn’t give me much to go off other than mentioning that her friend was a painter.  I find it much easier to have a clear vision of what they want or like because I can always find a way to make it work.  Like the last time my friend called me up for an angry bird cake for her little guys birthday that was pretty easy to conceptualize and execute.  I had WAY too many ideas for this cake and I think I bit off more than I could chew.  Making and building the cake wasn’t the problem it was the idea that I had created that wasn’t executed as well.

I toyed with the idea of making a cake with a paintbrush and easel on it but then I thought that was going to literal, and slightly childish.  The girl was turning 30 and didn’t need a big bright rainbow of colors on her “sophisticated” cake.  I did a little Facebook stalking and found the friend that was turning 30.  I looked through a bunch of her art work that she had displayed in her photos and came up with the idea of incorporating two of her paintings into the cake.  I picked paintings that had similar color concepts and had the right kind of angles and images that I could recreate in frosting/fondant.

 

Right there should have been a big red flag!  You should never try to recreate someone elses creation because you’ll always fall short!

 

I made several chocolate flowers using the black, white, and yellow coloring of her painting.  I was just going to make the flower heads to make a nod to her painting and not recreate the entire thing.  Those were more difficult than I had imagined.  I need to work on my chocolate skills!  I then made black fondant and created her city mural.  That was pretty fun especially since the kids watched me sketch it on paper and then watched how I used that template to make the black fondant city.

I put everything together and was really happy until I took a step back.  It didn’t work the way I had thought it would.  I probably should have used gray frosting instead of keeping it white.  More importantly, I didn’t know if she’d get it!?!  I didn’t want to be presumptuous and assume that I could recreate her art work and I wanted it to be something fun for her (how often do you get to eat your artwork) but I just didn’t know how it would go off.

Her father picked up the cake and seemed pleased but I’m still a little nervous about hearing the birthday girl’s critique!

P.S. Doesn’t it look like Gotham City!?! CRAP!!!

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