I was asked to make a cake for my niece's third birthday. I was told she had her eye on a castle cake from a local grocery store. I went to check out the cake and knew I could do better. Then there was a heat wave. I'm talking five days of over 90-degree temperatures, with one day coming very close to 100. So I decided to forgo the huge castle cake and make the birthday girl her own personal castle cake. This cake was very easy to make and came out better than expected, despite the weather. My niece loved it and was so surprised!
Friday, July 22, 2011
My cousin is an artist in his spare time. His latest art show featured sea creatures done in ink and mixed media. He asked me to make mini cupcakes for it. Right away, I knew I would make red velvet with brown sugar cream cheese frosting, but I blanked on a second flavor. I wanted something summery and refreshing. The first thing to come to mind was lemonade, so I decided to make lemon cupcakes and top them with raspberry buttercream. They were the perfect summery flavor I was looking for. They were also a hit at the art show, as was my cousin's art.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
As soon as I saw the recipe for these brown sugar oatmeal muffins, I thought of the cranberry white chocolate chip cookies I make at Christmas time. I decided to use white chocolate chips and craisins as my mix-ins. I love that these muffins were a base for any ingredients you want to add. These looked and smelled amazing, but the texture was off. They were very moist and greasy. I double-checked the recipe and thought that it called for buttermilk. That must have been the problem, or the 90-degree weather we've been having. Next time I make these, I'll use the correct milk.
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
Source: Ommy Noms
Ingredients:1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup mix-in of your choice
(I used 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup craisins)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
Mix together oats, milk, and brown sugar and let stand for 15 minutes. Stir in egg, oil, and mix-ins (white chocolate chips and craisins).
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir flour mixture into oat mixture until just moistened.
Fill paper liners 3/4 full and bake 16 - 18 minutes. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool.
Monday, July 11, 2011
I recently was asked to take part in a couple's special day. I was so honored to be asked to make a wedding cupcake cake. After a few weeks of planning and numerous test cupcakes, I was ready for the big day. I spent the week before the wedding making drop flowers for the tops of the cupcakes and side of the cake. Two days before the wedding, I baked a carrot cake and 120 carrot and vanilla cupcakes. On the night before the wedding, I decorated the cake and cupcakes to look like roses. On the day of the wedding, I set up the cake and cupcakes on my new Cupcake Tower, which I love and highly recommend. It was a lot of work, but I was thrilled with the way everything came out and the buzz the cake generated at the wedding. It was a hit! Congrats to Carol and Paul!
Here's a close ups of the cake and the cupcakes:
The white ones were carrot with cream cheese icing and the purple ones were vanilla with vanilla buttercream. I decorated them with white edible pearls and purple and white flowers.
The cake was carrot with cream cheese icing.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I was recently chatting with my hair stylist about the upcoming wedding cake and cupcakes I was making. I told her the flavors and she told me her husband loves carrot cake. She asked me to squeeze in a cake order for her. (What girl in her right mind would say "no" to her stylist?) I added walnut and raisins to my grandmother's carrot cake recipe and decorated it with orange roses as requested. I usually love decorating round cakes, but had problems smoothing the icing on this one. Plus I had shaky hands and was worried about my roses, which were not my best. My stylist and her husband loved the cake, which is all that matters in the end.