Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mommy Cake

My mom’s friends recently threw me a baby shower and made this “mommy cake".  It’s a diaper cake with a surprise hidden inside.  Can you guess what it is?  A bottle of wine!  I thought this was very cool, so when I took it apart I decided I would post instructions on how to make one. 

 First, you will need a bottle of wine and a platter to put the "cake" on.  You can use a cake board or a platter that you have at home.  Place the wine in the center of the platter.  Next, prepare all of the diapers by rolling them individually and wrapping them with a rubber band.  You will need approximately 78 diapers for the entire cake (size 2 diapers were used for this cake).  For the bottom layer of the cake put appx. 10 rolled diapers around the wine bottle to form the first row.  Next, put appx. 16 diapers around the first row of diapers and then put appx. 20 diapers around the second row of diapers.  After you place all of the diapers for the first layer, wrap one large rubber band around to hold them in place.

For the middle layer of the cake put appx. 10 rolled diapers around the wine bottle to form the first row.  Then put appx. 16 diapers around the first row of diapers.  Again, after you place all of the diapers for the middle layer, wrap one large rubber band around to hold them in place.

This is what your cake should look like at this point with the bottom and middle layers surrounding the wine bottle.

For the final layer of the cake put appx. 6 rolled diapers around the stem of the wine bottle and wrap one large rubber band around to hold them in place.

 Here is how your cake should look now with all three layers in place.

Now, it's time to decorate the cake.  You will need some ribbon and flowers.  You can use any ribbon or flowers of your choice.  Take a piece of ribbon and wrap it around each row to cover up the rubber bands.  You can use a stapler to hold the ribbon in place. 

 Next take a few strands of ribbon and drape them over the cake as shown in the picture above.

Lastly, take some artificial flowers and place them on the top of the cake and sporadically throughout the layers of the cake.  Now your "mommy cake" is ready to serve!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Congrats Jenna!

A friend of mine recently got engaged, so at our girl’s night get together I made some mini cupcakes for the occasion.  I didn’t have a lot of time so I made the cupcakes using a store bought white cake mix. 

First, place cupcake liners in a mini muffin pan and fill them about 3/4ths full with batter.

I found this cookie scoop at Kohl’s which I used for the cupcake batter.  Using a scoop like this will assure that you get the same amount of batter in each cupcake so that you end up with uniform sized cupcakes.
The part I enjoy the most is decorating so I did take the time to make homemade frosting.  Some of you may be fa Buddy Valastro, otherwise known as the Cake Boss on the popular TLC show.  Buddy now has another show, Kitchen Boss, on TLC.  For Valentine’s day he made cupcakes with homemade frosting.  I decided to make this frosting for my cupcakes and it is DELICIOUS!  It’s very light and creamy with vanilla flavoring.  You can find the recipe on the following website:
As Buddy, suggests be sure to use unsalted sweet cream butter.  I found organic sweet cream butter at the grocery store which worked perfectly.  Mix the frosting per the recipe and then add food coloring if you choose.  I colored half of my frosting purple and left the other half white.
For the frosting you will need:
1 C. Butter (room temp.)
2 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 tsp. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Fine Sea Salt

 I chose to do three different designs.  For the first design, start by putting a squirt of colored frosting on each cupcake. 

 Then using a butter knife spread the frosting evenly over the cupcake.

Next, pour some sanding sugar onto a plate.  I used purple sanding sugar for a monochromatic look.

Dip the cupcakes into the sanding sugar to coat the entire surface.

For the second design, pipe white frosting onto the cupcake with a Wilton 2D tip.  This is very simple, and looks elegant.

For the third design, I started by spreading purple frosting evenly over the cupcake as previously described and then added a white flower.  To pipe the flower use a Wilton 2D tip.  Hold the piping bag straight up with the end of the tip just touching the surface.  Squeeze the piping bag to let the icing build up, and slowly twist your wrist.  To dress up the flower add a White Pearl Nonpareil to the center.

Now that the cupcakes are completed, place them on a serving platter.  I placed a small cake stand on a sparkly silver platter for a unique two-tiered look. 

My friend happened to bring a bottle of wine that went perfectly with the cupcakes.  What a cute logo!  Cheers!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Happy St. Paddy's Day! What better way to celebrate than with chocolate Guiness cupcakes topped with Bailey's frosting. These cupcakes were a hit with my family and friends. If you want to make some of your own you can find the recipe on (search for the Chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes). I opted to not include the whiskey ganache filling, but I'm sure that would be delicious as well. May the luck of the Irish be with you, Slainte!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

King Cake

In celebration of Mardi Gras I decided to bake a King Cake for Fat Tuesday.  Traditionally, the King Cake is served for the Feast of the Epiphany, otherwise known as "Kings' Day", which is celebrated January 6th.  Today, in New Orleans, the cake is served throughout the Epiphany season, which is also Mardi Gras season. 

Start by letting the sweet bread dough rise.  In many of the recipes I found, the dough is handmade, I however decided to take the easy route and used Rhodes Sweet Bread which can be found in the freezer section at the grocery store.  I wanted to make several miniature king cakes so I let two loaves of dough rise and cut them in half to make four cakes. 

Using the dough for one cake, roll into a large rectangle. 
To prevent sticking, sprinkle flour on the rolling surface and the rolling pin.

Cut the dough into three even pieces.  Once cut into three pieces, spread butter over the entire surface and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  As seen in the picture above, leave about 1/4" on one side of each piece uncoated so that when you roll the dough it will stick together.

In one of the rolls you are supposed to hid a treasure.  Typically, a tiny plastic baby is hidden inside the cake.  The person who receives the slice of cake with the baby is supposed to continue the festivities by hosting the next King Cake party.  I didn't have a tiny, plastic baby on hand so I used a jelly bean in my cake instead. 
Next roll each of the three rectangles, which are covered with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and pinch the dough together so it remains closed.

Braid the three rolls of dough.  Once braided, place on a baking sheet and bake @ 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Here is a picture of the baked King Cake.  Looks delicious!

While the bread is baking, you can start making the frosting.  For the frosting mix the following:
2 Tbsp. Butter (room temp.)
1 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbsp. Milk (add a little at a time)

Mix the ingredients until the frosting is smooth and creamy.  Drizzle the frosting over the entire cake.

Now comes the fun part, decorating!  Use sanding sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors; green, purple, and yellow.  Purple represents justice; green, faith; and gold, power.  I bought sanding sugar at Willams Sonoma.  It comes in every color and the containers are stackable.   
After the cake is iced, sprinkle the sanding sugar over the cake.  You can dress up your cake by placing Mardi Gras beads around the cake, on the platter or table.  Enjoy!