Monthly Archives: April 2015

Birthday Catch Up

I have been working this week to bring my blog up to date and I realized that I haven’t posted any of my oldest daughter’s cakes in quite some time. For her 9th birthday she had her first slumber party and decided not to have a cake. The kids made monster cookies instead. They took cookie dough and loaded it with tons of candy before baking. The cookies turned out to be about the size of their faces and looked completely disgusting. They loved it!

For her 10th birthday she had a sleepover and pool party the next day. She designed and helped make these cute cupcakes to have at the pool. We used graham cracker crumbs for the sand, fruit rolls for the beach blankets, teddy grahams and life saver gummies for the life savers. We also added some gummy sharks and cocktail umbrellas. This was a super easy and fun treat for a pool party.

pool party cupcakes

When she turned 11 we said goodbye to the slumber parties. WooHoo!! She asked for a bowling party, which was a lot of fun and nobody was sleep deprived or cranky. This was my first attempt at cake balls. They turned out pretty well considering I had no idea what I was doing.

cake crumbsI made a sheet cake and crumbled it into a bowl, then mixed in my buttercream. After I formed the balls, I used Wilton candy melts to coat them. I learned that you have to add vegetable oil to thin the candy and it takes a lot more candy than I expected to have the volume you need for a good coating. I ended up spooning some of it over the cake balls and that was difficult. I don’t recommend it! In the end I had bowling balls that looked pretty cool.bowling balls

The bowling pins were quite a challenge. I made cupcakes and put mini cupcakes on top. On top of all of that I put a cake ball. I used frosting to glue all of the pieces together and then froze them so they wouldn’t fall apart. After the frosting was hard, I covered everything in a final layer of white frosting. I used small strips of fruit rolls to make the red stripes on the pins. I didn’t love the way they turned out, but the kids liked them and it did make for a cute table display for a bowling party.

Step One: Mini cupcakes on top of cupcakes

Step One: Mini cupcakes on top of cupcakes

Step Two: Cake balls on top of the mini cupcakes

Step Two: Cake balls on top of the mini cupcakes

Finished Product

Surf’s Up

Surf's Up cakeFor my dad’s 60th birthday I made a beach themed cake and cupcakes. The bottom layer of the cake is, what my kids call, a Papa Cake. They named this delicious cake after my dad because it is very rich and chocolaty, which is his kind of dessert. It is a chocolate cake with chocolate chips mixed into the batter. The frosting is made from melted chocolate chips and butter blended with powdered sugar and milk. I used chocolate cookies of varying lengths to make a bamboo fence. I also used the cookies for tree trunks.

The flowers at the bottom, the palm tree leaves and the surf boards are all made of gum paste. I frosted the ocean and wave with buttercream and then added some graham cracker crumbs for sand.

My daughter painted the designs on the surfboards. She used clear vanilla extract mixed with a tiny bit of frosting tint. She did a great job!

Painting designs on surfboards for Papa's cake

Painting designs on surfboards for Papa’s cake!

Surf's Up cupcakes!

Surf’s Up cupcakes!

Noah’s Ark

Noah's ArkMy dad asked me to make a Noah’s Ark cake for my mom’s 60th birthday. I had a lot of fun coming up with the design for this one. The bottom layer was made with a standard 8 inch pan and I just frosted it blue to represent the water. I used M&Ms for the rainbow because what’s a Noah’s Ark cake without a rainbow?

The next layer was a two layer 6 inch cake. I frosted and filled it with a chocolate frosting that my family loves. I believe my mom invented this recipe, which involves melting semi-sweet chocolate chips with butter before blending with powdered sugar and milk. This is definitely a family favorite!

The little structure on top is made from graham crackers and held together with the chocolate frosting. Royal icing would have been much sturdier, but I assembled this at my parents’ house and did not transport it anywhere else. So, I didn’t want to make new icing for such a small task.

I covered the chocolate cake and graham crackers with fondant strips that I had prepared ahead of time. I made them a fondant wood planksday ahead and poked the edges with a toothpick, so they would look like they were nailed to the cake. I would recommend making them ahead of time, so they are not sticky when it’s time to assemble. I stuck them to the cake with a very small amount of water applied to the back with a pastry brush. I had trouble cutting them straight, but I think they looked okay on the cake.

The little animal heads peeking out of the ark are definitely my favorite part. I made them out of marshmallow fondant. I sculpted them a few days in advance and let them dry on plates before they were transferred to the ark. I love the way they turned out!

fondant animals