Tag Archives: Frosting

Cupcake Decorating

This past month or so, I’ve been on a little kick of decorating cupcakes with a little pizazz. My sister Maggie’s birthday was this past month and I wanted to take advantage of my spurt of creativity and make her something a little different. When I was trying to come up with an idea for her, the only thing that came to mind was pugs. Maggie loves EVERYTHING PUG.

When it came to the fondant situation, I decided to make my own based upon watching someone about a year and a half ago make some for a wedding cake. It just seemed easy enough. Right?? If you buy fondant in the store, it can get quite expensive and I did need a few different colors. Well, after about 4 or 5 hours of mixing fondant, playing with colors, cutting out a million different shapes and playing around a bit, I had 6 pug cupcakes. Six. Which was the original plan, because I thought have 6 cupcakes with just some green grass would be balance out the plate.

Pug Cupcake Collage

 

For my first adventure into SERIOUS cupcake decorating, I would say they came out pretty well. I definitely took a few notes on what would have make this project a little easier and will make sure I have everything I need the next time a doggie cupcake needs baking. And Maggie loved them.

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The second cupcake that I wanted to do was for Christmas. I really wanted to make something that was more simple and easy. Chocolate shapes. For this one, I topped them off with my own buttercream frosting and went to work on drawing with melted chocolate on wax paper. This wasn’t as easy as I anticipated. In my mind, tracing cookie cutter shapes would have been an easy way to get a nice shape. NOPE. Epic fail. Instead, I ended up free handing them, which I don’t think came out bad at all. I also used shaved coconut flakes on several to make a snow effect.

Christmas Cupcake Collage

 

Just the beginning, but I think a good start!

Blueberry Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Buttercream Frosting

Sunday night was also my Dad’s birthday and birthdays are kind of a big deal in our family. There are a few unique things that I think make a birthday in this house a bit different than what you might see elsewhere.

  • There are usually 7 of us, and now with Brent there are 8. So, it’s loud. Picture the stereotypical Italian family getting together and multiply that by 6 girls. Seriously loud.
  • Dinner is all out. The birthday person gets to pick what they what for dinner and that is what is whipped up. This time was a seafood pasta.
  • When singing Happy Birthday, sing as loud and as out of key as possible. Ear splitting high notes, piercing notes and anything else you can make your voice do. This is usually when the dogs run away in terror. If we have company, they think it’s weird at first then they join in with something we’ve never heard before. We all think it’s hilarious.
  • When picking out a card, it NEEDS to pop up. If it doesn’t pop up, put it down and find another. If you can find one that sings AND pops up, you probably have a winner. There is a competition for the best card and strangely enough, we have never shown up with the same card. Only every once in a while from year to year. Those immediately lose. Sorry.
  • Have fun. Obviously.

For my Dad’s birthday, I decided that I would make the cake and his favorite thing in the world is blueberry. So I decided to make a blueberry cake. Originally it was going to be a Blueberry Lemon Cake, but he didn’t really like that idea. He wanted chocolate. Chocolate it is.

Chocolate Blueberry Cake

 

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Flour 1 Cup Sugar
6 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Water 1/2 Cup Blueberries, melted
1 Egg

 

Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Butter, softened 4 1/2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla 3 Tablepsoon Milk
1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries, thawed and drained

 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, stir the dry ingredients. Then, with a blender, blend the blueberries, egg and water.

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2. Whisk the wet ingredients in with the dry. Be careful not to over mix the batter.

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3. Bake in a greased round 8 inch pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I made two of them in order to stack them for the cake.

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For the Frosting:

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Then gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar. Lastly, mix in the blueberries, and milk. Use the milk to get the consistency that you would like.

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Easy! When the cake is completely cooled, COMPLETELY cooled. You can start frosting it. Just know that it needs to be stored in a chilled area because the frosting is made of butter.

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I was struggling a little bit with the icing of it. But that’s a skill that I will pick up eventually 🙂

We all sat down for dinner and Maggie gave us a mini wine lesson on the two that she had picked out for dinner.

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We sat down and had some seafood pasta with a delicious red sauce.

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As we were sitting down, I grabbed one of the naked rigatoni still sitting in the strainer just to munch on. I was talking at the same time, and decided to goof around a little bit, so I blew through the rigatoni…IT WHISTLED! I felt like a five year old that just discovered the best thing ever! Why I never realized this when I was younger, I have no idea. I know I would have driven my mom nuts if I did figure it out earlier.

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So fun! You just have to pinch the sides of it a little bit to restrict the air flow and it will make this loud, high pitched whistling noise. 🙂

 

After dinner, the cake came out and I was honestly a bit nervous about how it was going to go over. I have never made one of a birthday cakes and this one was a bit different in itself. I don’t know if you noticed…it has NO OIL. There is no butter, no canola oil, no nothing. The icing obviously has butter but the cake itself. Nada. It’s a healthy chocolate cake. YUP.

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But it was delicious! The cake itself was really rich. The chocolate flavor really came through in it. The blueberries were also really apparent in the frosting. Big hit!

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It was even better the second day. The blueberry flavor came out a lot more the second day.

When cake was finished and we were starting to clean up, my dad brought over the wish bone that I had been waiting to dry out for a few days. Brent and I broke it and I guesssssss my wish won’t come true. MER.

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Happy Birthday!!

Do you have any weird traditions in your family??

 

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Yesterday afternoon finished up with some Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies. I was really in the mood to bake considering I hadn’t really been home for a long period of time and it was still snowing. The sugar cookie idea came from the desire for something simple…and that just developed into something a bit more festive.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

 

Ingredients:

2 3/4 Flour 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder 2 Sticks Butter, Softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar 1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:

1. Blend the butter and sugar until smooth. Then add in the egg and vanilla.

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2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Then gradually add it into the wet mixture.

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3. Roll the dough out flat and cut into the shape you want. I obviously chose hearts!

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4. I covered my cookies sheets with tin foil. Then, bake it at 350 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes. Be sure to watch them closely because you do not want them to turn brown.

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Let them cool before you put the icing on them.

 

For the Icing:

Ingredients:

2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar 1 1/2 Tabelspoons Meringue Powder
3 Tablespoons Warm Water 1 Drop Red Food Dye

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Then whisk in the water until consistent throughout.

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Just spread it on the cookies when they are cool and top with any sprinkles you like! If you want a thinner icing, add a tiny bit more water.

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Originally, I was making these solo, then Mama C joined in the icing part of it. But after about 25 cookies, she wasn’t really interested in helping any longer. Brent had just walked in the door and I asked if he wanted to help with the sprinkles portion. Simple and easy.

I finished icing the first one, handed it to Brent and as I was topping off the second, I glanced over and saw this monstrosity:

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Easy on the Sprinkles Brentley!

He ended up munching that one pretty quickly.

For a quick and easy sugar cookie, these ended up being great to take up an hour or so in the afternoon. AND, I have cute cookies ready for V-Day!