Sunday, March 13, 2011

Elmo and Cookie Monster!

I know, I know, it's been awhile. I got a job, so I've been a tad busy! But, not too busy to make a cake for my favorite little twinsies, Lorelai and Leighton's second birthday! They are loving Sesame Street these days (what toddler isn't? Barney's got nothin' on Elmo's World!) so of course their creative mama wanted an Elmo themed cake. Or rather, "Melmo" as the little ones call him. Since there's TWO girls, we all decided that Cookie Monster would be a great addition as well!
I made Elmo first...out of cereal treats and buttercream frosting...I couldn't believe how well he turned out! It got me thinking--this is the first time I've made an actual character. In that moment, I FREAKED out, worried that the girls wouldn't recognize him and cry at the big red blob on their cake! At least Elmo is a puppet and not too difficult...they definitely figured out who he was.
So the cake really came together. She wanted white frosting, as their party outfits were too cute to mess up with funky-colored frosting. So I made all the decorations and writing out of chocolate, so it was hardened before I placed it all on the cake. I thought it had just enough pizzazz. Here's the end result!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's a Girl!

So my family planned a small shower for a cousin, and I was asked to make the cake. We know the baby will be a I bought all of the pink food coloring gel I could get my hands on and got started!

Cupcakes have been popular lately so I wantred to incorporate cupcakes with a little cake, like a tower. I figured people would be more inclined to grab a cupcake, especially if I made minis and regular sized 'cakes. Here's what I came up with for the cupcake tower:

The cupcakes were chocolate and strawberry with vanilla buttercream. I found these super cute toppers from Party City and spread them out over each...they really helped complete the look!

I thought my plain 4-tier display needed a little something extra, so I added a little ribbon to two of the fun! The cake was just a 6" round yellow cake, filled and topped with vanilla buttercream. I took some fondant and cut out some fun, groovy flowers and created a cascade around the top and down the side. It added the right feminine touch and really topped off the tower of cupcakes well!

As if I could stop there...I took some of the same ribbon, wrapped it around two pretty glass vases and filled them with...what else? Cupcake lollipops! I melted some white chocolate and candy coating, dunked balls of vanilla cake and decorated with white/pink sprinkles and shaved coconut. They turned out to be the biggest hit! Who doesn't want dessert on a stick?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Pavlova!

I've been wanting to make a pavlova since I got to try it at a Passover seder. It's a huuuuuge meringue, topped with fresh whipped cream and berries. You say "so what?" right? Oh man, it's so good.

I cooked this meringue FOREVER. At a very luke warm temperature (180 deg) for 1.5 hours. It had to stay in the oven for another hour with the temp off to cool down. My patience was rewarded! It was a sweet, crystallized crispy bite into a smooth, light-as-air middle. The fresh whipped cream was perfect, as were the sweet-as-candy strawberries and blueberries. I made a raspberry sauce with raspberries, sugar and raspberry preserves.

Well, my family got a kick out of the funny name, and I got a kick out of exposing them to a very different dessert! Next up: meringue nests for individual desserts. I saw Ina Garten make them, 'nuff said.

Hope everyone had a Happy Fourth!

Friday, June 18, 2010


So, Jeff got me a special mold for my birthday last year...the Big Top Cupcake. I had been curious to try it out, but was so nervous because of the strange shape. How would it bake in the oven? How do I know it's done-done? Oh, the torturous thoughts of a baker.
Fast forward to last week. I got a cupcake cake order! A cupcake lover was graduating U of C business school and so, a giant cupcake was ordered.

I had so much fun! I was super nervous baking it (took over an hour!) but it came out just fine. I layered the batter--chocolate and vanilla--so when you cut it open, it would look really funky. Toying around with piping tips, I piped a buttercup yellow tinted buttercream for the cupcake liner. I was going to smooth it out, but the larger round tip worked well to develop the texture I was looking for. I used a large star tip for the top frosting and placed huge star sprinkles around the frosting. Thanks, Party City, for having a graduation cap!! It was perfect for the top :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NOT Edible, but still cute!

I wanted to share this anyhow...I just thought it turned out great!

My BFF and I experimented with baby tutus last year for her twins' 6 month pictures. Without TOO much effort or time, they really turned out. We even made flower headbands to complete the look.

Well, fast-forward to April, 2010. Another good friend's baby was turning one and she asked if I'd roll up my sleeves and attempt the tutu project again. I think it came out even BETTER than the twins' garb (no offense, L&L).

I found a Juicy Couture Open Weave hat and added the bedazzled flower (on a pin w/a hair clip, so the flower can be removed and even worn without the hat!). I went online and purchased the tulle for next to nothing and put it together in under an hour. I'm not gonna lie, it took a little bit to figure everything out, but the labor wasn't bad at all! And since a baby probably doesn't care much for a tutu, I made a mini tutu on a white bunny to match!

Well, it was so fun to make, I anticipate making everyone tutus for their birthday. I asked my BF if he'd prefer White Sox or Bear's

It's a Dino, not a Dragon (or Turtle, or Snail...)

So my little cousin Sawyer loves dinosaurs. When he asked me to make his 3rd Birthday cake, he said he wanted a dino. OF COURSE I'll make him a dino, how hard could it possibly be?!

Not that hard...just very time consuming. I'd probably do things a little different next time (hah!) but overall, I think it went well.

My favorite are the trees--those twirled cookie sticks w/sour gummy "leaves" really helped complete the ever-expanding landscape of this monster cake. I sprinkled crushed graham crackers and Oreos around to define the sandy/dirty/grassy environment that a dino was sure to thrive in... Right? I probably could have done more research for a more accurate representation, but I figured I could do that if Sawyer's still asking for a dino cake when he's 15 and already learned about the Jurassic period in school. ;-)

I honestly wanted to make a small cake. We celebrated his birthday along with Easter, so I knew there was going to be too much bad!

Oh, and the "spikes?" They're made out of pink grapefruit candies Jeff helped me find at World Market. What a life saver!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What's a 70's Party without a Disco Ball?!

So, I was asked to make mini cupcakes for a 70's party. Needless to say, I had to google what the heck was popular in the 70's. Here's what I found:

      • Smiley Faces

      • Disco

      • Rubics Cube

      • Pet Rocks

      • Platform Shoes

      • Mood Rings

      • Afros

      Uhh...what looks appetizing out of that list? Pet rock cupcake? I think not! So, I decided to make a plethora of minis: smileys, peace signs and disco. I made purple, avocado green, yellow, orange and pink colors...I figured I could take the colors of the 70's and make it fun.

      Slapping a disco ball in the middle (thank you, Party City) made them more than festive for a house party in the suburbs. What a fun time!