January 11, 2012
[pictures from Kristy]
I made a baby shower cake last October for Benjamin’s mom, Kristy, when she was pregnant with him. It’s one of my all time favorites! So when Kristy asked if I could make cakes for Benjamin’s first birthday I was happy to do it AND she had a great idea. We used the pictures below (click on them for the sources) to come up with a plan for a 1/4 sheet cake and 2 dozen cupcakes.
I decided to use the yellow cake recipe I found over at Smitten Kitchen. I’ve used this recipe once before and I know it makes a nice dense cake which would be great for carving since the plan here was to carve the sheet cake into a #1. I added chocolate chips into the mix since Kristy wanted a chocolate chip cake.
I made up 1 batch of chocolate buttercream icing to fill the sheet cake and I made up 2.5 batches of vanilla buttercream for the top of the cake and the cupcakes.
For the fondant decorations, I used white and black fondant to make 25 sets of googly eye balls. I also cut out some large dots in red, orange, green, and blue for the cake. I used mini Chips Ahoy cookies for the cupcakes.
For the Cookie Monster topper, I decided to make it out of blue fondant and then use royal icing for the fur. I was sort of winging it here because I wasn’t sure if the royal icing would stick to the fondant, but it did. I used a grass tip (Wilton’s #233) for the fur for both the Cookie Monster topper and the cupcakes and it worked perfectly.
I made these cakes and their decorations over the course of 4 days. I meant to count how many hours I spent on it, but it was hard to tell. I took lots of breaks to take care of my son so that made counting hours tricky. I think it was about 8-10 hours total though.
As much as I am happy I took on this project and as proud I am of how it turned out, it reminded me that I do not have the luxury of 8-10 extra hours in a week for cake baking. It’s really hard to make it work these days. I am in awe of those moms out there who work full time, take care of munchkins, and still have time for a time-consuming hobby like this….’cause I really don’t.
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.
July 31, 2010
Yesterday morning I delivered cupcakes to my first repeat customer! I asked my husband if that was a good sign and he assured me that it is!
I made the IU engagement cake for Tyler back in February and a few weeks ago she asked if I’d be willing to whip up some cupcakes for her pregnant sister-in-law. Now since I have a baby shower cake for this weekend also (stay tuned for that post!), normally I wouldn’t take another order in the same week just to save my sanity. But I thought that they wouldn’t be too difficult and the cupcake idea was so cute that I couldn’t resist taking the job 🙂
Tyler showed me these inspiration pictures from Georgetown Cupcake.
She asked if I could top the cupcakes with little turtles and though I don’t own (and couldn’t find online) a small turtle cookie cutter, I was sure I could use what I did have to come up with something cute!
I tinted some plain white fondant light brown and green. I used various icing tips (and upside-down icing tips) to cut out the shapes I would need to create the turtle. I used the lid on my container of toothpicks to cut out the perfect size brown circle for the background. I am nothing if not resourceful!
For the actual cupcakes, Tyler asked for chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate ganache, and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream…oh my! Someone is a chocolate lover! I was excited to make the chocolate chip cupcakes because that was a new one for me. I used a recipe from Annie’s Eats. This recipe is for chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, but I just used the cake recipe. Honestly, I thought they were good, but VERY buttery – probably too much so. For the chocolate cupcakes, the chocolate ganache icing, and the chocolate buttercream I used recipes that I have used before.
I purchased an extra large round icing tip (2A) intending to pipe giant blobs of frosting on each cupcake. But, can you believe it, the tip wasn’t big enough! I must need a really HUGE one for those blobs. Side note on the blobs: I see this on a lot of bakery cupcakes and I honestly thought, how boring. I mean it’s just a big blob of icing (have I used the word “blob” enough?). But I must admit that when tasked with actually piping a giant blob (one more time, sorry) it was harder than I thought! I ended up using my 2A tip to pipe rings of icing on the cupcakes that were then covered with the little turtles. The effect was pretty similar so I was pleased with it.