Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cornelli Lace & Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

When I picked up my son from school today, we had a little conversation.
(He is autistic and only says a few words at a time.)

He declared, "Go Home!"
We had to go pick up his big sister at her school, so I said...
"Ellany first, home second."
He replied with, "Home first, Ellany second!"
I laughed a little, but again repeated, "Ellany first, home second."
Then he said, "Cake third!"

He didn't know that I had made a cake while he was at school.
But this exchange clearly shows two things...
He is an excellent negotiator.
We have a lot of cake at our house.


And here is my latest one! I used to call this pattern "squiggles".
Now I know it is called Cornelli Lace.




Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (you can make your own by adding 1/2 T. vinegar to 1/2 c. milk)
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree, minus 1/4 cup reserved for frosting
  • 2 t. vanilla
Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, mix together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix well. Pour into two 8 inch cake pans, bottoms lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter (softened)
  • 6 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • orange food coloring
Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and food coloring. Mix well. This frosting is very soft, so you may want to refrigerate it before you frost your cake.


The flavors of the cake and frosting really complement each other well. Yum! And the pumpkin makes the cake nice and moist. I hope you try it!

I linked up here:
The 36th Avenue
Strut Your Stuff Link Party 
Catch A Glimpse Party 
Fireflies and Jellybeans 
Delicately Constructed Friday
30 Days Pity Party  
I'm Lovin' It Friday
Sweet Tooth Friday  
Tatertots & Jello
Once Upon A Weekend  
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Tuesday To Do Party  
Project Queen Link Party

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Harry the Spider


Meet Harry the Spider...


He was inspired by the cute spider on top of this cake. I love how he turned out!
I used a Wilton #233 decorating tip, which does not require a steady hand or a high degree of accuracy. This tip is intended for making grass, but makes excellent hair or fur.

I made the legs with green candy melts.
I made the eyes with some leftover chocolate Easter eggs (don't judge me!)
that I dipped in white chocolate and topped with orange M&M's.

(He reminds me of a Fry Guy. Does anyone else remember them?)


Harry has a little secret.
He isn't made of cake.
He is a giant Rice Krispie treat! A chocolate one, at that.


I recently found this recipe for making Spider Krispie treats.
I can't believe it had never occurred to me to make Rice Krispies treats with Cocoa Krispies. What a brilliant idea! I'm a chocolate lover, so I had to try it out.

To make Harry, I pressed the warm cereal & marshmallow mixture into a bowl.
When it was cool and set, I popped it out and used a knife to make the shape more round.
Then I covered him with purple buttercream frosting.


 It may not look pretty, but it sure tastes good!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Candy Corn Cake

 To make it feel more like autumn around here, I'm breaking out the candy corn!

I need help because we don't really have autumn here in Florida.
The leaves don't change color and our nights don't get cooler.
October is pretty much like summer with Halloween decorations.

But candy corn feels like autumn.  
That simple, tri-colored, quintessential Halloween candy.
Here are those sweet triangles in cake form...
 

If you would like to make this design, here are some specifics:
  • I baked my cake in three 8 inch round cake pans.
  • The candy corn are 2.5 inches across at the base, and fit perfectly all the way around the cake.
  • I piped the dots using a Wilton #5 round tip. Yes, it took a long time!


Just for fun, the white cake layer is vanilla flavored...
the orange layer is orange flavored...
and the yellow layer is lemon flavored.


Don't the colors just make you happy?


Enjoy!

 I share my recipes and tutorials at these fun link parties.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Make A Buttercream Transfer

What do you love about Halloween?

One of the traditions I love is watching the Peanuts holiday special,
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".
I remember when I was a kid, looking forward to the one night it was broadcast each year.
If you weren't parked in front of the TV that one night, you missed it.

Now I watch the DVD with my kids whenever we want!
I love the story, I love the music and I love Linus!
How could you not adore a kid with such passion and commitment?

So, here is my ode to this classic Halloween story.
I made a buttercream transfer of Linus in the pumpkin patch.
Want to learn how to make one too?

 
First, decide what image you want to create. You can find it online and print it, or coloring pages are great templates. Use a photo editing program to "flip" your image before you print it (you want to make a reverse image) and size it for your cake. Tape your template to a piece of cardboard and tape wax paper on top of it.


Next comes your outline. To make black frosting, start with chocolate fudge frosting and add a little black food coloring gel. If you start with white frosting you will need LOTS of black gel...and eating it will give you black teeth! I used a Wilton #3 tip to pipe the outline. If you make a mistake, use a toothpick to remove that part. Notice how I didn't exactly follow the template and added a pumpkin? If your template isn't just what you want, you can just use it as a guide and improvise.


Now you get to color inside the lines! Make a batch of buttercream frosting, then divide up small amounts and add food coloring gel. Starting at the top of your transfer, pipe in your colors one at a time. Be sure to fill in all the empty spaces. For really tiny spaces, use a Wilton #1 tip.



When you are finished, put your buttercream transfer in the freezer. Then assemble and frost your cake. When the cake is ready, get out your transfer. Flip it over and place it gently on the cake. Next, put the whole cake in the freezer! Wait at least 30 minutes, then  take it out and slowly peel the wax paper off your transfer.


Enjoy!
This post was featured!

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The 36th Avenue

Why Is The Bird On The Cake?

Welcome to my brand new blog! I have been blogging for 3 years over at Tales from Tangerine. I decided to keep that blog for my family adventures, and create this blog just for my cake adventures. That way, my family won't be bored by my cakes and you cake lovers won't be bored by my family stories. Now to explain the name of this blog...

I love birds! This may be due to the fact that I share my name with a certain red-breasted bird. Maybe not. But I am one of those people who think "putting a bird on it" will immediately triple the awesomeness of anything.

I love cake! Yummy deliciousness...what is there not to love? I love to try new recipes and new decorating techniques. Cake is like my canvas, and I love all the creative possibilities.

So what happens when you put a bird on a cake?

Epic Awesomeness. 

So stay tuned for lots more cake!


 
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