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These Snowmen Don’t Melt! – Holiday Themed Cupcakes and Cookies

22 Dec

Happy Holidays! Need to bring some yummy and cute cheer to your holiday? Make these easy confections and you will be the hit of any party!

Snowmen Cupcakes

The actually all look different like a little family!

I found these on a great website Confessions of cookbook Queen. I mean she has all sorts of things on there.

Make your favorite cupcakes and frost them. I put a little extra on the top of  mine so the the hat would have some support. To make the hat, cut the bottom quarter off of a large marshmallow, and attach the larger peice to an Oreo with Candy Melts. Once the marshmallow is attached securely, I dipped the whole thing in melted Candy Melts (I used black, but you could also just use chocolate or any other fun color), sprinkled with shiny sprinkles ( or any other fun snow like topping) and set on wax paper to harden. *You can get candy melts and the eyes in the cake decorating aisle at Walmart  ( not the baking aisle this one is near all the party stuff) or Michael’s, Joann’s or AC Moore.

I found the covering of the hats to take a while because the dipping left finger prints and smudges all over. I used the back of a knife or a smooth edged spatula to smooth the chocolate around the sides. Just looked lumpy if I dipped it. After they are dry place on top of frosted cupcake. Finish the cupcakes with the eyes and red nose. My nose was a red sour ball ( I only find them in Walgreens for some reason) I did not want to use the red hots because these cupcakes were for kids and I personally don’t like them. But you could also use fondant, skittles or cut pieces of starburst and roll them into a ball after warming for 10 seconds in microwave. There you go Snowman cupcakes!


photo

Christmas or Holiday Tree Cupcakes

These were easier than the snowman cupcakes !

Bake your Cupcakes,  color your frosting Green.Use a 2D tip perpendicular to the cupcake to frost. Let the frosting stack up upon itself as you slowly pull the frosting bag up and there you have it a tree! Top your tree with some holiday colored sprinkles I used red but you can use larger round balled sprinkles to look like ornaments. No Christmas tree is a tree without a star! I used yellow fondant to cut out stars and place them atop my trees. DONE!

Tip from the Scientist: If you are Jewish no worries use white  or blue frosting and a blue or silver star with silver sprinkles.

Holiday Tree Cupcakes

 

Snowflake Cookies

What winter holiday is complete without cookies! Make your favorite roll and cut cookiedough. I make them from scratch but the baking aisle has cookies in a bag that can be used for this complete with instructions on how to make the batter into roll and cut dough which is a bit harder than drop cookie dough. Roll out your dough out putting a good amount of flour on the surface so the dough does not stick. Get your favorite cookie cutters, I used snowflakes.  Cut out the shapes, bake and cool. I find putting the cookie dough in the fridge when I am not working with it helped the dough stay firm.

This is my first time putting designs on cookies. I normally just smooth on the frosting as best I can with a spatula and call it a day. However one must challenge themselves in the kitchen! I was inspired by one of the blogs I follow Carrie’s Creations . She is an amazing cookie baker and decorator ! So I got out my piping bag using a #3 tip and made some snowflakes. Here are just a few!

Christmas Cookies

Thanks again for stopping by! Please help me get to 100 likes on my  Facebook page. www.facebook.com/bakedbyselene

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Happy 60th Birthday Cake!

11 Dec

Carved 60 numbesThis weekend I made a wonderful almond cake in the shape of a 60! It is so wonderful when you get a referral client. I made this cake for a person that attended, the Movie Cake party, the Tre Chic Party AND the Jungle Junction party. That just warms my heart that she though of me to make the cake for her fathers 60th Birthday! Feeling very blessed!

I recently came to the realization that I started doing this in April 2012. I started taking the wilton classes in January finished the 4th course in april and here I am 9 months later!!! Just amazing it almost seems unreal!

Anyways back to the cake! This recipe was to die for. I have always just added almond flavor to my vanilla cake recipe and voila Almond cake. I thought I would really try something different this time around. I found this great Almond Pound cake recipe from Paula Deen. If you are looking for an almond cake please try this recipe! On a side note my room mate and boyfriend ate all the cake scraps after carving with left over buttercream!

After baking I got to carving (see here for my post on how to do this). This time it was much easier that the Movie cake because I had a bit more experience (always bodes well) . That took about an hour to get all the pieces cut and frosted and assembled on the board. Then I covered in fondant and decorated it.

Covered 60 numbers

I used gold spray to give a air brushed affect across the top  and cut out some stars in black as accents. My client wanted little messages on the cake about her dad. I made those with fondant and painted the blue onto the ribbon for more of gloss effect and used edible markers for the other text.handpainted gold letters

For the message on the front my client loved the letters in the Jungle Junction cake so I melted down some chocolate and made the letters using one of the Plastic molds I like. I HAND PAINTED every one of them gold with edible luster dust. That took an hour because I had to make sure every spot was colored. Trust me I wished often why no one has invented golden and sparkly chocolate, or I just have not come across it yet.  I laid a thin strip of fondant down and placed the letters across the front of cake. Then I was finally done.

Finished cake 2
Finished cake 1

Jungle Junction

4 Dec

Jungle Junction Cake2

A Jungle Junction Birthday. Remember the Movie Night cake?  Well this same client has another little one and he just turned 3. His favorite show is Jungle Junction. I personally had never seen the show so I took the liberty of watching it  so I could get a feel for the characters. They  re so very  cute! Surprising this cake took a while. The eyes and the wheels although the smallest detail took the most time because they were so small. Everything is made from fondant and the piping and the letter of the name from chocolate.

This was a pina colada cake with a coconut pineapple filling. Delicious. Happy Birthday Christian!

Jungle Junction Cake 1


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High School 10 year Class of 2002 Reunion Cake

3 Dec

High School Reunion cake

Morristown High School Class of 2002 congrats on your 10 year reunion! This was a fun cake to make. I just wish that someone did not bump into the cake box as I entered the venue and bent the letters on the front back:(  Don’t you hate when that happens. The school had a pool and boasted success  in many sports and theatre. This picture does not show but the sides were maroon lockers and there were even hand made books for the classes favorite subjects.

The top tier was a spiced rum cake (recipe here) and the bottom vanilla and red velvet cake. Man was that spiced rum layer delicious.

Here is to another 10 years MHS!

Classy Damask Print Confections

3 Dec
Demo of Damask print

Just what is Damask? Acording to Wikipedia Damask (Arabic: دمسق‎) is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibres, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave. Twill damasks include a twill-woven ground or pattern.

Recently I have been seeing this classy print everywhere  on confections and stumbled on a stencil. There is an sample of the print done with black royal icing in the photo. I really wanted to use it and just so happened that I had a client having a birthday that wanted to showcase this classy print.

You can get the stencils online or any craft store. There are a variety of prints not just damask so have fun shopping,  they are however on the expensive side. Just so happened that a client was looking for some classy damask print cupcakes for her Tres Chic 30th birthday party.

Besides the wrappers, I didn’t know how I would use the decorations on the cupcakes. My clients do not like fondant but I knew I needed something to put the print on. So i made Marshmallow fondant! It is very easy to make but it was sticky fun. Check the recipe section for instructions.

I rolled out the fondant and covered it with damask print. I cut out squares to place as decoration on cup of cupcakes. I also covered some of the marshmallow fondant hot pink to fit the theme of party, and added some royal icing words. I brushed the squares with a little silver luster dust to had a little shimmer. Classy indeed.

Trio Tres Chic cupcakesTres Chic Cupcake decoTres Chic cupcakes box

Later that same week my very good friend Kim called me looking for a birthday cake. She has been a faithful supporter of my confections for a while and i was thrilled to be the person to make her red velvet birthday cake. Now Kim is a very classy lady so this print was perfect for her cake. Once I was done I realized it needed something. So I crafted a ‘K’ out of gum paste and glued on pink and silver rhinestones just for a little sparkle. She loved it!  Happy Birthday Kim!


Damask Birthday Cake

Its a Girl! – Leopard Print Baby Shower Cake and Cupcakes!

2 Dec

Leopard Print baby shower

This was a fun and easy cake to make. I made the spots buy cutting out the brown and black colors and rolling the colors into the fondant. The cupcakes were an almond buttercream with fresh cherries and amarettto cake. The cake was the same also filled with cherry almond buttercream. Boy did I have fun making these!  Cheers, Amaretto sour anyone!

Gumpaste crown

The crown was a pain in the  butt. I could have purchased a crown but I wanted to try making the crown from gum paste. I used a large round bottle and drew out my stencil on paper. I taped it onto the bottle  and covered it with saran wrap. (see picture)  I went to building. It was fine putting it on the bottle but once it was hardened it was hard to remove and all the parts did not stick together. It was very fragile so  I had to repair it over and over and over.  Every time I fixed a spot another place broke.

I guess the only thing I would have done differently is add more spots and also ditch the print on the cupcakes. I hand piped them on and then smoothed over using the viva paper towel method. It did not however come out as nice as I wanted. I want to make my treats neat and it is a constant battle. Next time if I had something similar I would make the decorations out of marshmallow fondant. As always when you are a baker you learn form mistakes. These mistakes are opportunities to get better.

Tip from the scientist: I find it hard to make a true black fondant and if you do a 50/50 gum paste mixture to get hardened designs mixing in white gum paste lightens the black. So once my designs are hardened, I hand paint them with black die diluted in water. This way the designs look truly black and not grey or green.

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Get your Zebra on…The Train!

5 Oct

Remember the fashionista cake I made a few weeks a go? The person that ordered that cake for her boss, is having a birthday party, and she chose me!  So here is the story of the classy cake for my client Naketa. She wanted a two tiered pink and black cake with the bottom tier in zebra print. I said no problem. This was not the first time I had done zebra print. I did a baby shower cake that was similar, so I was ready. I was working like a well oiled machine, and was very impressed with my work. I must say this cake process gave me ZERO problems!

Wait…. just kidding, I should have known something was amiss. As I was walking out the door to deliver this masterpiece. I call the client to ask her if she is sure I need to drop the cake off at her job and that I had no problem delivering the cake to her party location. She says… No worries I am taking the TRAIN. Say again the TRAIN!!!!! Now you know I had a mini-freak moment. This wonderful lady was going to take my cake… well her cake actually onto a moving train????? Two tiers and all. ( Thank goodness i put dowels in!  Cake makers out there you know what I mean. The last thing you want to hear after you do your follow up call is, that the cake never made it… or it got damaged.  So I offered to drive her home! Yes I am that dedicated. After making that decision, we both realize it is an hour drive  to her place and that is without traffic! This is friday 5:30pm, so unfortunately that was just too far.

So that is right, you guessed it! She travelled home with the cake on the train! I have great news… She and the cake made it noooo disasters and here is the picture in her kitchen to prove it!!!! Kudos to the Brave Naketa, cake deliver extraordinaire!

Tips from the Scientist: Traveling with your goodies. Best to put them on the floor of your vehicle because the seats are slanted. Use the non-slip mesh put into drawers or under rugs to prevent your treats from sliding when you hit the breaks! Happy transporting.

Are you a Fashionista?

30 Sep


Two weeks ago  made this cake for a my sisters co-worker’s boss! I was told she was a fashionista! So I made her a fashionista cake! Red velvet with cream cheese frosting in Pink and Green. Her favorite colors. I had some pieces left over from leveling the cake off, OMG delicious. I used Paula Deen’s recipe and man it just never fails!

I used these Fashionista cutouts i ordered from amazon for $5.00 to make the fondant decorations. I used edible marker to write on the ” I ❤ Shopping” and even personalized the purse and dress with pearls. I finished of the cake with a happy birthday and carefully places pearls all over. She was very Happy!

I just had one Challenge. SMOOTHING THAT FROSTING!

Let me tell you I think I HATE frosting cakes, I just can’t get the darn things smooth! How do those bakeries do it! I am going to source a nice cake smoother because I just can’t take this anymore! I will not let these cakes beat me. I know the key to smooth frosting is  the consistency of the icing, room temperature and technique. Something must be off. I know the wilton frosting is perfect and while learning i had no problems with it, but I just don’t like how it tastes. So i have been using my homemade recipes. It is one thing to just do the decorations but I want my cakes to be delicious and beautiful.  Just another challenge I WILL master!

 

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One Option to Fondant Cupcake Decorations… Chocolate!

14 Aug

Chocolate Disks

Melt your chocolate, color it if you need to using color gels (not food coloring, water chocolate are not friends). Spread it out on wax paper. Let it cool until  a little crusted to the touch. Cut your shapes out and LET THEM COOL. It’s hard to wait until it cools. Have patience then, carefully push up on bottom of paper and pop out your shapes. They are easy to break so make extras.

Spread with off set spatula or the back of a spoon

Place them on parchment or waxed paper, store in fridge until ready to use.

Chocolate Candies

I LOVE THESE… no need to make intricate cupcake decorations out of fondant. Melt chocolate spoon into molds tap on counter a few times to get air bubbles out place in freezer for a few minutes…. DONE!!!! If you want to use many colors I used a paint brush to burst in colors first then fill after with second color. Oh yes and these taste better, You can also fill with royal icing if someone does not like chocolate.  ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Blocks for a Baby Shower!

14 Aug

This past weekend I made a beautiful pastel baby shower cake and 72 cupcakes. It was a 8 inch cake on a tiered display. When I first got this order I thought ” I think I will make baby blocks and rattles and cupcakes this should be easy.”  The client sent their inspiration picture and I was off.

THE BLOCKS

It had been a while since I made rice crispy treats, so I decided I would make my blocks out of that and have some extra snacks for myself. Somehow I managed to make them and not take pictures 😦 of the actual treats.  The one error I made was putting fruit loops in the rice crispy treats.  Years ago I was short on rice crispy cereal and added fruit loops to make up the volume. They were such a hit I automatically put fruit loops in my rice crispy treats.

If you look carefully you can see the fruit loops color showing through the white fondant. Oops! So I covered them twice with fondant to fix that problem. I watched this YouTube video to help me figure out the process.  I also realized unless you have a super sharp knife its hard to cut them perfectly, so my blocks were a little uneven. It took me two hours just to put on the stripes. Maybe I am a perfectionist but I wanted them perfect (well as close to perfect as possible) make the corners was the hardes? Afterwards, I cut out letters and cute shapes for the blocks sides.

The rattle was the easiest to make. After watching this YouTube video , I saw how easy it was. I covered a straw with fondant to make the stick and stuck the straw into the ends of the rounded fondant balls.

*Tip from the Scientist: next time I will purchase a square cutter or use square cake cut outs my blocks were a little uneven and not all the same size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAKE

Yummy yellow cake with butter cream frosting.  The cake is moist and fluffy.

I drew out a scalloped design on paper, first tracing the top rim of cake pan (not bottom it will be too small). I used a ring to draw the semi-cirles along the outline. I places the paper cut out over the rolled out fondant before cutting it and placing on cake.

The hard part was getting the semi-circles to be large enough to go around the cake withough a portion of a semi circle being left at the end. The other challenge was centering it on the cake without tearing. I had to cut and roll it three times!  Once secured with a little water around the edges I was done.

Last step, adding the lettering and circles. The only problem was the purple fondant kept ripping. I don’t know why! So I had to patch it with purple butter cream and hide  some tears with the circles and the lettering on the front. Unless you were looking for it no one would have noticed. I must figure out how to get fondant on my cakes with no issues. I am becoming an expert patch artist!

* Tip from the Scientist: Whenever I cover a cake with fondant I keep a little butter cream a little darker tinted than the color of the fondant to patch holes. Buttercream dries lighter than fondant.

THE CUPCAKES

There is always a challenge when you have to do cupcakes AND a cake. I completed most of the cake and then left time to work on the cupcakes. I had the most fun with these. I made chocolate discs from white chocolate. See my blog post on how to make these discs.  People don’t love the taste of fondant, so someone recommended using chocolate. Because cupcakes are so small, fondant can be overpowering.  I piped booties and teddy bears onto the flower discs (which I didn’t take a picture of) and made sculpted chocolate rattles and pins.

It was easy to make the disks. See my post on how to make the chocolate disks. Took me about 45 to make 35 circles and 35 flowers. Why so long… you have to wait for the chocolate to harden in between.

Make extras they break easily!

I used a #5 tip to pipe the booties. Once crusted I used the end of paint brush to make hole in bootie and piped on bow and top stripe. It took about me 30 min to mix the color and Pipe the booties. I put them in the fridge to crust and finished them to next day. *I made them all ahead of time, but these can be easily piped onto the cupcakes the day of, just leave time to dry to poke holes

I used a plastic chocolate candy tray. I purchased it from Michael’s a while ago to make party favors. A great buy because I kept finding multiple ways to use these!

ALL TOGETHER

And the final setup… I made my own display because they are expensive to purchase, not alway quite what you want, and unless you are at the event to get your display back, they just throw it away.  See my post about how I made this display for under $25.00!

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