Husband’s birthday cake: vanilla

Hello everyone,

I’ve been away for a while: life got completely insane. Between traveling to Portugal to baptize my daughter, random toddler tantrums, dog parasites, and moving to our first house next week, I barely had time to breathe let alone bake!

But, at the end of April it was my husband’s birthday. And I, of course, made him a nice cake. I wanted to be creative with flavors… but he asked for vanilla cake. Sigh, so boring! I did give it a little spin though with fresh strawberries as filling and lemon zest in the batter. Unfortunately I had to use the same old recipe from Wilton but it is turning out better as I pIMG_0396perfect measuring, timing, and butter/eggs temperature (room temperature of course!).

So, here’s a picture of my vanilla cake, with strawberries, and a whole lot of my husband’s favorite vanilla frosting (again, this man is as vanilla as it gets! And by the way, he ate the entire cake. In TWO days. I used the same Wilton tips to make leafs, flowers, and hand write “Happy birthday”.

 

Advertisements

Gaming cake, auction win!

Hello everyone,

In the spirit of finding excuses to make and decorate cakes while maintaining my healthy weight, I volunteered to bake a cake for a silent auction for a mid-school in Silver Spring, MD.

The final result wasn’t totally perfect (mostly because I still haven’t figured out how to make sharp edges with fondant!) but I think it’s a great start for anyone out there looking to surprise kids with their favorite video game: Minecraft.

So I used this chocolate cake recipe (no changes, and honestly they aren’t kidding – this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made!) with betty crocker chocolate chip triple fudge frosting. Can you tell this is a cake for kids? haha

Cutting the squares was not hard, specially because I froze the cake so the crumbs wouldn’t ruin the edges. I used frosting to “glue” them all together and then frosted the sides with chocolate frosting. The top was done with my regular vanilla frosting and Kelly green food dye from Wilton. Decorations were done copying the pictures from the internet with the Minecraft characters (hopefully I won’t get in trouble for the copyright!)

The cake was a success, the kids loved it. And with this I donated $20 to the mid-school. Pretty awesome, ahn?

And there you have it! Do you like it? Do you have any suggestions?

Happy Saint Patrick’s day!

Hello everyone!

I know I’m a couple of days late to show you my creations for Saint Patrick’s day but you know how family drama can get in the middle of things, am I right? Needless to say it involved a lot booze (the drama, not the baking!) because, well, Americans get really drunk on Saint Paddy’s. I just don’t get it… Irish people go to church and celebrate their patron. How did this crazy drinking become a thing?

Anyway, off to the baking. So this week’s posts combines a couple of cupcake sets I made. One of them was for a family dinner that included a gluten-free family member and the other was for St. Paddy’s. Since the recipes are fairly similar (both chocolate and vanilla based) I am combining them in one post. You can mix and match however you like!

For the regular chocolate cupcake, I used this very simple Allrecipes recipe that is basically fool proof. I must confess I forgot to put in the vanilla extract and they tasted yummy, so there you go! For the gluten-free cupcake I followed this recipe to the last detail. I am not used to cooking gluten-free and wanted to make sure the cakes turned out as delicious as described in this post. They did. Honestly, they tasted better than the regular batter!

For the frosting I used exactly the same recipe as my previous post. EveryoneIMG_0036 likes this frosting but I think I might try Italian merengue buttercream next. I want to start making my cakes taste a bit more professional.
So, on the right side you have the gluten-free chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, topped with a fondant flower (you can buy these pre-made or hand make them like I do!). I used the 3M tip from Wilton to frost the cupcake and give it a clean professional look.

On the left, you have my St. Patrick’s cupcakes with the chocolate cake and vanilla frosting. I was going to frost them with mint but given the high allergies we have within our group of friends, I decided to go with basic flavors that had been pre-approved. For the blue frosting, I used 2 drops of cornflower blue from wilton gel coloring IMG_0072system. For the rainbow I bought sour patches (they taste horrible, at least to me, but they look so much like rainbows!). For the pots of gold I used milk chocolate candy melts, melted them for 1 minute on the microwave and with molded it into a cylinder using parchment paper; after it solidified I cut around 1 inch high pieces. Using leftover frosting, I put some on one side and dipped it into golden sparkly sprinkles from Wilton. And voila! Pots of gold at the end of the rainbow! I got the idea from this website, but I changed some things to make it less likely for my friend with food allergies to get a reaction.

I hope you like this post and you give these recipes a try! They’ll be the hit of the party: I PROMISE! Check my instagram for other pictures and cakes! Ask me you need help with setting up your cupcakes!

Happy Spring everyone!

 

 

 

 

Personalized Birthday cake – First attempt!

Hello everyone! I’m back with another cake, and this time with more decorations in buttercream and fondant. For those of you that skipped the name of this blog, I work in a lab in the DC metro area. As my labmate’s birthdays are coming up, I am practicing my cake decorating skills on them and (hopefully) keeping everyone happy and fed.

My first birthday cake was for my friend and coworker Caroline. She loves flowers, cats, and science. And chocolate. And nutella. So I put a bit of everything she likes in this cake by combining a couple of recipes and using the flasks we use in the lab as an inspiration for the color scheme. Below are the recipes and the links to the websites where I copied them from.

For the chocolate cake with nuimg_0201tella frosting, I used this recipe. Tip for people that plan on using this recipe: the picture makes it look like this is a decent size cake but it isn’t. I strongly suggest that if you’re making this for more than 3 or 4 people, double the recipe. As usual, I cut a bit of the sugar from the cake recipe (only 1/2 of a cup instead of 3/4). Noone complained, and they still said it sort of tastes like a brownie! Win-win!

For the decorations I used this website as inspiration. I only made the white cat and took artistic liberty with the eyes. For the erlenmeyer flask, I handmade rice krispie treats (as per the recipe on rice krispie box. Message me if you can’t find it and I’ll send it to you) and shaped them into a flask before it got very solid (about 2 hours after flattening it out). I then frosted it once with white buttercream (same recipe as last posts) and put it in the fridge for 1 hour so it could solidify. I frosted it a second time with the final colors you see on the cake. Here’s a picture of what our lab flasks look like!

And voila! I put the cake together and decorated with simple purple flowers (tips 12M and 3 from Wilton), white and orange roses (tip 104), and a simple orange border (Tip 1).

Message me if you have any questions!

img_0195

Super Bowl Sunday

Hello everyone!

I’m back with yet another cake decorating adventure. As we all know, last Sunday was the super bowl 51. I don’t particularly care about American Football but I do like a good party and my friends care… a lot! So I baked a cake. In 4 hours, I made a cake to take our friend’s Super Bowl party and it was a success. Super easy to make, simple tastes, and without most allergy triggers, this cake is great to take to a party because it should please almost everyone. No crazy flavors! And if you have a friend who is allergic to almost everything, it’s as safe as it gets.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-7-23-13-pm

Ingredients (Wilton recipe)
3 cups sifted cake flour;
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder;
1/2 teaspoons salt;
1 3/4 cups sugar;
2/3 cup butter or margarine;
2 eggs;
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla;
1 1/4 cups milk

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans and line with waxed paper or parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream sugar and butter together until light.
3. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating one minute. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Fill and frost as desired. I used raspberry jam for my filling.

For Frosting (Wilton recipe):

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 butter
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 cups of castor sugar
water

1. Beat together the first two ingredients until they change into a fluffy white texture.
2. Add the next three (slowly, otherwise you’ll have a cloud of sugar everywhere…trust me, ask my husband.)
3. Add water until reaching desired consistency.

Split frosting into 2 batches (3/4 and 1/4): one is going to be to frost the main cake – medium consistency with Kelly green coloring; and the other to write and draw in white (thin consistency). Tips used: 104, 3, 32, 1M.

Now, I know this is an outrage but not all of us have a million hours to make a lot of different flavored frostings. So I bought chocolate betty Crocker frosting to make the football… and it was delicious 😉 I also had an old red icing laying around I used to pop some flowers in and some additional color to the cake. But this is my personal taste, you do you!

 

Follow me on Instagram (@blezinha) and Pinterest (baking_mammy) for more updates!

Cake Decorating Wannabe

Taking Wilton cake decorating classes has sparkled my creativity again. Expect a post every couple of weeks with cake/cupcake recipes, decorating tips and fails I’ve had, and potentially a couple of bad science jokes.

These are the first cupcakes I decorated after the Wilton cake decorating class 1 course, for my friend’s birthday.

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting

Original recipe for the chocolate cupcakes is from allrecipes.com but I changed it to have less sugar (1 cup only). They turned out delicious and with less calories.

Vanilla Frosting is from the wilton website .

Wilton Colors used: Rose petal pink, green musk, and cornflower blue.

Wilton tips: 12, 104, 233, 3

To make the roses, use this handy youtube tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YKzh8jWJQY

I can’t promise they’ll turn out great the first 10 tries… but they’ll get better!