October 26, 2010
My friend Leslie asked me if I could make a cake for her friend’s baby shower, and I was happy to! The mom-to-be and her mother requested a chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream icing. They also gave me the picture below as inspiration for the cake decoration.
I made two 9×13 cakes that I would then stack to make a quarter sheet cake. I had made chocolate chip cake once before, but while that cake was good, it was SO buttery that the cupcake liners were greasy. I looked around for another recipe to try this time, but I had a hard time finding anything. I ended up using my normal yellow cake recipe and adding about a cup of mini chocolate chips to each cake.
For the filling, I made a single batch of chocolate buttercream. For the icing I made a double batch of vanilla buttercream. I had plenty leftover but I prefer to have too much rather than too little!
For the decorations, I made up 6 different colors of fondant (blue, green, yellow, tan, white, and brown). I used letter cutters for the inscription and circle cutters for the “bubbles”. For the feet, I enlarged the inspiration picture and printed out a copy. I cut out the feet and placed it over the rolled out fondant and cut around it.
October 13, 2010
My 3 college roommates and I got together last week for a dinner that was partly a belated birthday celebration for Jeanne (whose birthday was in September) and partly just a chance to catch up. Jeanne asked for some birthday cake so I decided to bring her cupcakes.
Remembering that she is a fan of the chocolate peanut butter combination, I got this blog post from Annie’s Eats out of my Google Reader. A chocolate cupcake, with a peanut butter filling, and peanut butter frosting. Yum!
The chocolate cake was a new recipe for me and when it came out of the oven, I thought the cupcakes were beautiful and I LOVED the way they looked. The cake was a little on the dry side for my taste, but I’m not sure how the peanut butter filling would have held up inside a more moist cake, so maybe this was perfect.
I really wanted to try the icing from Annie’s post, but it had cream cheese and whipped topping in it and I wasn’t going to be able to refrigerate these so I had to try a different recipe. I started with this recipe and altered the ingredients just a bit as described here. It was very good, but I still want to try the cream cheese one another time!
October 11, 2010
My sister-in-law, Jen, asked me to make a cake for a baby shower she was having for a coworker of hers. The mom-to-be is expecting a girl but Jen didn’t want the cake to be too PINK. She showed me the inspiration picture below and asked for purple and pink butterflies, and possibly combed sides on the cake.
For the butterflies, I used a technique from Hello Cupcake! – a book with tons of creative cupcake designs. Annie, of Annie’s Eats, posted about these cupcakes last year and I basically followed her directions with a few modifications.
I used white chocolate candy melts (because I stopped by Walmart instead of Michael’s and they only had white) and I colored them using Violet and Rose Wilton gel colors. This type of color isn’t exactly what you’re supposed to use on candy melts and after the wings were set, the color wasn’t very solid. But it worked out okay in this case given that the wings were swirled and not smooth anyway. I made 8 butterflies.
The cake is an 8″ round white cake. I tried a new white cake recipe this time and I was very pleased. I read this blog post from The Way the Cookie Crumbles that compares 3 different white cake recipes. I went with Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake and it was white, moist and delicious. The only issue I had was with the height of the cakes. One recipe made 2 8″ rounds and they were each barely an inch tall. Once I leveled them, the cake would be very short. I ended up making one more 8″ round and making this a 3 layer cake. It came out to be about 4 inches tall in the end.
This cake had a raspberry filling. I had planned to make the filling from scratch, but I was short on time, so I used raspberry jam. I put a very thin layer of buttercream under the filling to help prevent the filling from bleeding into the cake.
I also used a new vanilla buttercream recipe that I found in this blog post from Annie’s Eats. It’s butter and powdered sugar, and no shortening. It also has a couple tablespoons of heavy cream. It was nice and fluffy, tasty, easy to work with, and crusted well. I will definitely be using this recipe again!