Welcome to our blog!! We are learning to decorate cakes and loving every minute of it!! Join us by following our journey of cake designing and decorating! Thanks for your interest and let us know what you think of our cakes by leaving a comment!
-- Margie and Joy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Camo Cake with Shotgun Shells

camouflage cake with shotgun shells
 We have made several of Ty's birthday cakes, but this was one of our favorites!  The cake is a chocolate cake with a peanut butter frosting that is soooo flavorful!  We covered the cake in a chocolate fondant (the taste and texture is very similar to tootsie rolls...  yummm!!)
gumpaste leaves and acorns
We made simple gumpaste leaves and acorns to add to the 'fall' season of the cake, but our favorite is the shotgun shells that Joy worked so hard to make! They look so real but are just red gumpaste hand designed with the tops spray painted with gold food coloring. The bright orange is for the bright orange colored vests they wear hunting.

Ty has been able to go hunting with his dad this year and will probably love hunting as much as his dad!
camouflage fondant ready to be rolled
Here you can see the bits of different colored fondant laid out on saran wrap ready to be rolled out to cover the cake.  This was harder than it looked, and especially hard to get it to become one blob that would stay together!  It took a bit of work, but we were happy with the results!!
camouflage fondant ready to be placed on cake

Red Ribbon Wedding Cake

Joy and I swore up and down we would never make wedding cakes for other people... But, some friends from Fareway asked for a simple smaller wedding cake and we decided to do it!

Derek and Jeri are friends of my kids and we have enjoyed getting to know them as well over the past few months as they have come over occassionally for lunch.  They even came the day after I fractured my leg and brought over lunch, a dessert and a card! (I was quite insistant that I was still going to cook lunch, but was also a little oblivious to how bad my leg was and what my limitations were at that point.  No one let me get up to cook...)

They wanted a two layer marble cake with a cream cheese frosting. (The small top layer is a 'fake' layer) We put red ribbon around each layer and added gumpaste roses and small daisies that have been 'spray painted' with food coloring.

We wish them many happy years together!

Red Velvet Cake with Mock Whipped Cream Frosting

 My family loves red velvet cakes with a rich cream cheese frosting. As we were working through different recipes planning for Garrett and Becca's wedding, we found out that Garrett's grandma used a different frosting.  We got her recipe and experimented on a cake for something at church.  The frosting is a very creamy frosting that is similar to my mock whipped cream frosting. The only difference is that it uses shortening to make the frosting more stable and much more easy to frost and decorate as well!!  We all fell in love with this recipe!  Below is her frosting recipe and a variation that I use to make it!  Enjoy!
Red Cake Icing

1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a double boiler cook the milk and flour until thick. Set aside to cool. With electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar with 1 cup shortening at high speed until light and fluffy. Add cooled thickened mixture until mixed. Add vanilla and blend.

I usually do 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening, but if you want it more stable in hot weather, keep it all shortening!

Pumpkin Roll Cake

Fancy Pumpkin Roll Cake
Our family LOVES pumpkin rolls!!  BUT, I don't always like baking them and rolling them, because somewhere along the way I end up cracking the cake, and then it doesn't always look as pretty (although they always still taste GREAT!)

So, instead I doubled my cupcake recipe and baked them in two 8" round pans. I used the cake leveler to torte the cake adding the cream cheese pumpkin roll filling between each layer. I then frosted it with my cinnamon caramel frosting and decorated it to look like fall, using all simple techniques from Wilton's course 1. I absolutely LOVE fall, fall colors, pumpkins, and everything with pumpkins; whether in desserts, salted/roasted seeds, or as decorations! This was soooo rich (and probably fattening too) and was enjoyed with one of our Sunday lunches!

The only problem with this cake was that it needed to be kept refridgerated, and doing it this way took a lot more space than a simple cake roll!  Thanks for looking!

Package Baby Shower Cake

Gumpaste Bow Package Cake
Making gumpaste bows is something we had to teach in Course 3 of the Wilton Classes...  This bow was made in class and then used for a baby shower for a special friend. This is a chocolate cake (her favorite flavor) with buttercream frosting and LOTS of blue dots for a baby boy!

Happy Birthday Post Card Cake for a Special Family Get-Together

Paul and Debby L had a special day when a LOT of their family would all be together at the same time. We all have family come and go at different times, but for so many family members to be able to get together at the same time is always a special occassion!

Paul is well-known for his birthday and Christmas post cards, so he wrote out and designed this postcard cake. There is one initial for each person that was at at the get-together.  It is also a full size sheet cake, so everyone could enjoy a LARGE piece of cake - half being a marble cake and the other half a yellow cake with buttercream frosting on top.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Banana Cake with Browned Sugar Frosting

 This is a cake I absolutely LOVE!!  I got the recipe from my son, who got it from someone at work...  the flavors blend so well!  At first I thought browned butter frosting sounded gross...  but I made the cake for my son and we all absolutely fell in love with it!

At first I thought it would be easy to brown butter, I burn it all the time when I don't want to!!!  But it was much more difficult than I thought!  I will post the recipe below for those that want to try it!

The flowers are royal frosting flowers made in course 2 of the Wilton Cake classes. A Pink lily in the center, yellow daffodils, purple violets, and the yellow and purple pansy is from the old courses but I still taught it when we had enough time to squeeze it in.

This is not the easiest frosting to frost with, it has a different texture that must come from browning the butter.  I add meringue powder to frosting to help stabilize the frosting to help it stay up where it is frosted, but this can be left out if you do not have it on hand.

Banana Cake Recipe

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature

Grease two 8 inch round cake pans or one 13x9 pan. Set aside.

Preheat oven 350.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add bananas, buttermilk, shortening and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add eggs, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread batter evenly into the pan(s).

Bake for 20-25 minutes for round pans, 30 minutes for 13x9 pan or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool thoroughly on wire racks.

Browned Butter Frosting

3/4 cup butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
4 - 5 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan heat butter over low heat until melted and continue to heat until butter turns a golden brown. Remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, 4 tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla. Add browned butter. Beat on medium speed adding additional milk, as needed to spreading consistency.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Garrett's Groom Cake - Fish Plaque

Garrett has a lot of hobbies and talents!  Therefore, it was really hard to pick one specific idea for a groom's cake.  We talked a lot about a tool box with tools and also about tackle boxes with different fishing tackle, but, we finally decided on a 'stuffed' fish plaque.  The cake is chocolate, with chocolate peanut butter ganache and chocolate peanut butter frosting.  The fish is hand formed out of fondant with gum tex added to help it stiffen up sufficiently and hand 'painted' with food coloring mixed with extract.  The chocolate frosting has also been 'painted' with food coloring to give it a wooden look.  The silver plaque has their names and silver food coloring sprayed on it to give it an official look.  The nice thing about the fish is, it could be made in advance while I was still suppose to be down with my fractured foot up.  Garrett helped give  me a lot of tips when forming the fish, since I have SOOO little experience with fish and had only flat pictures to go by. We dried it on a board with cardboard wedges holding the back fin and head up to give it a more realistic position.  It did completely finish drying and help up with no extra supports.  Having the fish completed ahead of time made this a simpler cake to finish at the last minute!  Thanks for looking!

Garrett and Rebecca's Wedding Cake

Malibu Blue Wedding Cake with Gumpaste Roses and Fountain
Here is Rebecca and Garrett's "wedding" cake...  well, kind of...  I fractured my leg 6 1/2 weeks before the wedding, and although we were kind of talking about a dummy cake, after I broke it, our only option was to make a dummy cake.  It was hard enough to just make and frost sheet cakes, without the extra hassle of making sure they were perfectly frosted, even, and also stacked without any problems.

So what you see here, are three layers of styrofoam, frosted with sugar crystals on the outside to really give it a sparkle.  The top square is a real cake though... red velvet with a mock whipped cream frosting that literally melts in your mouth!  Joy made the beautiful gumpaste roses you see here as well.

Garrett and his dad Greg made the beautiful wooden base under the cake, which matches many other things that Garrett made for the wedding. Becca decorated the serving tables to coordinate with everything else in the auditorium and foyer areas.  It truly was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony!

Let me share a few pictures of the day:

The Happy Couple
Guest Book made by Garrett
The Wedding Party

The Ceremony

Their First Kiss
Cutting the Cake

Pumpkin Caramel Cupcake Recipe

This past week I had two cupcake classes to teach at the Hobby Lobby's in Moline, IL and Bettendorf, IA.  Since it is November, I decided to make a Cinnamon Pumpkin Cupcake.  When I was figuring out the kind of extract I wanted for the frosting, I decided to add some caramel extract and WOW... I then redesigned a pumpkin cupcake recipe and Cinnamon Pumpkin Caramel Cupcakes became a new big HIT!  I used fall colors and Wilton fall sprinkles to make some fun and festive fall cupcakes!

3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon caramel extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

** Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugars and extracts together on a medium speed until well blended.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together.  Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture until well blended, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Bake approximately 20 minutes (more or less depending on your oven).

Filling:  I simply bought the Marzetti's caramel and stirred in some cinnamon to make a simple but flavorful filling.

Frosting:  This recipe can be used to pipe whatever you want on either cupcakes or cakes!
1/2 cup shortening
1 stick butter
8 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon caramel extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar

Blend shortening and butter together on low speed.  Add water, cinnamon, extracts, and sugar on low until well blended.  Do not beat on high speed. Color frosting, bag up and frost and pipe!