Thank you!

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In the last couple of days, something amazing happened. My Facebook page grew by over 250 fans. Guys, I am blown away. You have all made me a very happy baker.

And now I want to share the love! So I’m giving away one dozen decorated cookies to not one, but TWO lucky winners!

Click here to see full details and enter the giveaway!

Good luck everyone!

One I Am

I can’t believe that my daughter will be 3 in May. Three going on 15. This one keeps me young 🙂

And I can’t believe that it’s been almost 2 years since her Dr. Seuss birthday party and I have yet to share the details. I wanted to share details of her birthday party so that I could finally give credit to the amazing bloggers that gave me so much inspiration.

Since we owned practically all of the Dr. Seuss books, it was a more than appropriate party theme.

First, the decor. I stuck to teal, red, yellow, and white, which helped me get some basic decorations from Party City. I used white vases that I already had and jazzed them up with ribbon thanks to this inspiration and some twirly vase fillers and boas that I found at the craft store. And the morning of, I sent my Dad out for cheap, simple bouquets to fill the vases.

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As guests entered, they were greeted by hanging Dr. Seuss quotes, thanks to Annie’s Eats and her awesome idea here.

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Every single food item was Seuss related.

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Deviled eggs as “Green Eggs No Ham” and pasta salad as “Oodles of Noodles”. With inspiration from the Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas blog  here, I got the idea to put fruit on sticks as “Truffula Fruits”. And I found the great idea for “Cat Hats” here at Anders Ruff.

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I ran out of time to make a full-blown cake, so I made Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes thanks to the help of some homemade cupcake liners and very high frosting. And the green jello? It’s “Oobleck”!

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The Girl Who Ate Everything has a great tutorial for “Green Eggs and Ham” here.

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“Star Belly Sneetches” thanks to Pizzazzerie’s post here.

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And rolled wrap sandwiches as “Truffula Trees”.

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The Hip Hip Hooray Blog had a wonderful idea for a personalized banner here that really helped liven up the present table.

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And thanks to the wonderfully talented Kristy Makes, I got a fantastic guest book idea here that Jude will cherish for years.

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Waiting for the guests when they left were individually wrapped sugar cookies with a sweet note inspired by Giggles Galore.

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And the birthday girl got her very own Cat in the Hat smash cake 🙂

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I think she had a good time 🙂

Birthday Dessert Table

My first attempt at a dessert table: not so great. But, it should be noted that my head was filled with other planning to-dos for my husband’s 30th birthday party. Add to that a fussy baby and you understand why my dessert table items don’t all exactly match. I keep telling him that next year, I get a cruise for my birthday!

I made a simple cake for his actual birthday cake and dressed it up with matching bunting. I made the bunting by tying twine to two lollipop sticks, cutting triangles out of scrap paper, and using double-sided tape to adhere them to the twine.

I used smitten kitchen’s pink lady cake recipe for the cake. It’s by far one of the best strawberry cakes I have ever made from scratch! I filled it with cheesecake pudding and decorated it with vanilla buttercream.

I made some cake pops to go along with the cake: red velvet with cream cheese frosting and chocolate with milk chocolate frosting. To make the cake balls, I baked the cakes, mashed them up, added the frosting, rolled them into balls, stuck them in the fridge for a while, and dipped them into chocolate.

I also made some vanilla and almond cookies. Since the theme of his party was tailgating games, I decided to make some tailgating cookies. I’ll be honest though, I had a hard time finding tailgating inspirations in my cookie cutters! I used my baby onesie cookie cutter and cut it to make referee cookies, my trophy cookie cutter to make trophy cookies, my thumbs up cookie cutter to make foam hands, and my hand cookie cutter to make hands with drinking gloves (although, I’ll be honest: the drinking gloves ended up looking more like Michael Jackson’s glove).

I’m looking forward to be able to give the dessert table another go in the future!

Sweet Sweet Summer

I made a quick cake for my cousin’s birthday this past weekend. A chocolate berry cake – the perfect summer cake. Yummy.

I used my favorite recipe for a chocolate Guinness cake from Nigella Lawson, filled it and covered it in almond buttercream, and topped it with sweet, sweet berries.

If you’ve never tried a chocolate Guinness cake, do it now. It’s splendid. I can say with all honesty that I never want my chocolate without my Guinness – it’s that good.

Unfortunately, the cake ended up a bit on the drier side this time. Chalk it up to the balancing act of parenthood 🙂

Black & Red Wedding Cupcakes

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I cannot wait to get back to baking! These cupcakes were for a friend’s wedding. I completed the order several days after Baby J was born, although I had the cupcakes frozen, the sugar flowers created ahead of time, and the help of family – thankfully!

This was my first attempt at freezing cupcakes and I was pretty pleased with the results. To freeze the cupcakes, I placed them in the freezer until they were frozen and then stored them in large ziploc bags.

The cupcakes were red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla with vanilla buttercream. I made the flowers with royal icing.

I wasn’t thrilled with the cupcake liners available at the local craft stores so I decided to make my own black and red liners with cardstock and this DIY tutorial.

Along with the cupcakes, I made a small 6 inch cake for the bride and groom. Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, covered in fondant and decorated with buttercream and royal icing flowers.

Congratulations to the married couple!

A Sweet Surprise

The other day I was on the Village of Pinckney website looking for upcoming events in our area. I started browsing through old newsletters (I’m 2 days over my due date and officially running out of things to do). And lo and behold what did I find?

Remember the Pinckney 175th birthday cake I made? That’s my cake in the bottom right photo! See?

That’s a shot of the bottom tier being cut into post judging. Yes…my name is spelled wrong, but it’s still totally exciting! And check out the wonderful description they had about my cake:

“…to the towering, three-tiered celebration cake wrapped in a flawless fondant sporting hand-painted birds and fish, and topped with a miniature gazebo.”

Yay! Reminds me of how great of a day that was – awesome cakes, wonderful practice for me, and a great day that made me proud to be part of this community. It’s still one of my favorite cakes so far and revisiting it now, almost a year later, just makes my day 🙂

Under The Sea

A friend of mine is having a little boy in June. This past weekend we had a little baby shower for her at BD’s Mongolian BBQ. Since her nursery is based around an ocean theme, I decided to make an ocean theme cake for the shower.

I found the inspiration from Little Cottage Cupcakes’s Octonauts cake, one of the cutest cakes I’ve seen so far! I marbled the fondant and covered the base. I made the sea life out of colored fondant and let them dry before applying them to the cake and the base.

The cake is vanilla filled with vanilla pudding, covered with vanilla buttercream and fondant.

The baby turtle was sculpted out of fondant and placed on top after a dowel was inserted in the cake.

I can’t wait to meet baby Jameson!

I put all my pansies in one basket

What a way to wrap up the last class of the Wilton Method Course 2: Flowers and Cake Design. This cake – whew! – I definitely lost some mojo that day. The yellow and purple pansy combination just isn’t doing it for me. Perhaps it would have been better to have purple be the main color? I’m still not convinced I have the pansy method down either, they just seem too dry to me. On the way to class, the cake shifted and fell apart. Awesome. Once we were all finished struggling with the basketweave, my cake toppled over and part of it got wrecked (the part, conveniently, covered by a cascade of flowers). Fixing the wreck meant I didn’t have enough pansies left to cover the top of the cake and cover my rushed frosting job. So then I filled in the gaps with leaves. A mess I tell ya. But I’m really glad I got to learn the basketweave technique, which is really cute (when done properly). The upside is my husband’s coworkers said this was the moistest cake I’ve made so far. And it’s always nice to see an”after” photo like this:

Yo Gabba Gabba!

My friend’s little boy turned 2 this week. My how time flies!

He is enthralled with Yo Gabba Gabba and Elmo, so we chose a Yo Gabba Gabba theme for his cakes.

I made a vanilla two tiered cake for the adults and a chocolate smash cake for the birthday boy. Since I’ve never watched Yo Gabba Gabba, I looked at several google images for inspiration. I was originally going to make a two tiered cake with fondant Yo Gabba Gabba figurines, but the red one (I believe his name is Muno?) refused to stand up. I still have to work on my buttercream covering – it’s a bit bumpy.

I’m just glad that the birthday boy enjoyed his cake and thrilled that I got to see him dig in!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I know, I know; it’s not exactly a “typical” St. Patrick’s Day Cake. Allow me to explain.

I’ve been taking the Wilton Flowers and Cake Design class. I’m a big fan of their classes, they’ve turned out to be very helpful for me. On day 1, we learned how to make pansies and button flowers out of gumpaste. Being an overachiever (ok, fine: recently laid off with nothing better to do) I decided to practice on some of the flowers this week. I ended up practicing by making 12 button flowers.

Since we were nearing St. Patrick’s Day and I didn’t really have time to make two separate cakes, I decided to make the button flowers green and design a cake around those colors. These button flowers are super simple to make thanks to the Wilton Button Flower Fondant Cut & Press Set. The only downside is that multiple flowers take some time to create, since they need to dry in the flower forming cups (unless you have lots of forming cups).  But…they are simple to make and very adorable. They would be perfect for a baby or bridal shower!

To bring in more of the St. Patrick’s Day theme, I decided to make a Guinness cake. I used Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe. I’ve made numerous Guinness chocolate cakes before and this recipe was even moister (is that a word?) than the other recipes I’ve tried in the past. If you haven’t made/tasted a Guinness chocolate cake before, you must. The smell of the Guinness and melted butter alone is worth it. Or maybe that’s just the 8 months of no beer and no wine talking.

Since I wanted to make some sort of decoration with the frosting, I opted for buttercream instead of the cream cheese frosting. Initially, I was hoping to cover the cake in white and decorate it with leaves and stems. However, once I got the crumb coat on the cake I realized I didn’t have enough buttercream to cover the dark cake and have it be smooth. So, I opted for a ruffled look a la Martha Stewart. I didn’t have a #103 tip, I only had a #104 to use. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out though, it looks almost like a basket – filled with flowers. It must have tasted pretty good too, since one of my husband’s coworkers said he wanted to kiss me 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Make sure you have an extra green beer for me; this expectant mother will enjoy some pop instead!

  • Welcome!

    I inherited my passion for baking from the best baker and teacher I know, my grandmother Elisabeth. Today, I embark on my baking adventures with the help of my trusted sidekick, my sweet daughter Jude. Thanks for stopping by!
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