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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Salted Caramel Chocolate Turtle Cake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Turtle Cake
This is a very rich and flavorful, melt in your mouth cake...  and I have dreamed of it ever since I ate TWO pieces on Sunday!

Those that know me, know I have been dieting for some time now, yet on Sunday, my lunch is my crossover meal and I eat a moderate dessert with it most of the time. BUT, this week, I just HAD to eat another piece before jumping back into the diet on Monday.

It is not so much the cake recipe... since it was just a box cake - double fudge I think.  It was more of what we did after we bake it that made it sooo good!!

Read, Bake, and ENJOY!!!

Start by baking a box of chocolate cake mix. We did a fudge chocolate, but any chocolate cake mix should work.  You can substitute milk for the water to have a moister cake, but is not necessarily important with this cake!

Next we have to make the caramel - I made a double batch (I like extra for ice cream topping). You can do this while the cake is baking, since it has to cool (measurement below are for a single batch.)

1 stick of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 T. water
1/2 t. salt

Boil these four until the brown sugar dissolves (may take as long as 5 - 6 minutes).  Mine had a hard time dissolving, but was mostly dissolved.

Turn off heat and add:

1/4 cup of whole milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. caramel extract

Stir, cover and allow to cool to room temperature.

** Remember to always use extract, not flavoring.  Extract will give a stronger flavor than flavorings!! If you only have flavoring, use twice as much.
As both the cake and caramel are cooling, you can make the simple syrup. This is the key to a moist cake!!

In a small pot add:

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Stir and simmer on low until sugar dissolves.  Turn off heat and add:

1/2 t. caramel extract

Set aside.

We will make the frosting next (sorry, no pictures).

In a mixing bowl add:

2 sticks of butter
1 cup shortening
1 t. caramel extract
1 t. vanilla extract
5 T. water or milk

Do not whip, just beat until mixed well.  Then add one at a time:

1/2 cup of cooled caramel (made earlier)
2 pounds of powdered sugar
2 blocks of melted unsweetened chocolate

This should be a medium consistency, if not slowly add water 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time, until you have a medium consistency.  (A good test of consistency is to put 1 cup of frosting in a measuring cup, put your Wilton 9" spatula in the center of icing. The spatula should stand up straight when inserted in, but when moved, it should slowly fall over to the side of the cup.

Cover and set aside...  Now you are ready to put this cake together!!

By now your cake should be cool - cut the rounded part off the top of one layer, turn upside down and set on your platter.  Take a toothpick and poke holes all over the cake (about 1 inch apart).

Brush half the simple syrup over the first layer of cake.  This will make the cake MELT IN YOUR MOUTH with unbelievable flavor!!

Put a ring of frosting around the first layer of cake using tip 12.

Mix together:

3/4 cup chopped roasted pecans
3/4 cup caramel (made earlier)

Fill the center of the cake, being careful not to be higher than the ring of frosting.

Now we are ready to put prepare the second layer of cake.  be sure to cut off the round top of the cake, turn upside down on top of the filling.  Again, poke holes all over the top layer of cake with a toothpick and brush over it the rest of the simple syrup.  By this time the smell of caramel and chocolate made me stop and eat one of the top pieces of cake cut off... adding a little caramel and frosting... ah... okay, now we can finish!!

Frost cake as taught in Wilton Course 1 - if you haven't taken a class yet, sign up!! 
You will learn how to frost a cake smoothly and professionally!!  
Next I had to decorate using some of the new techniques in the new course 1 book. I LOVED how easy this pulled dot technique is with tip 12!  Hopefully one day I will be adding videos on some of these techniques for those who don't have classes near them, or for my students who want to see the techniques demonstrated again.

I made four different colors using Wilton brown food coloring gel. 

On top, I made some 1M rosettes using the triple bag swirl technique in the new book. With all the caramel and chocolate on top, it is hard to see the three colors...  I filled the center with remaining caramel, sprinkled a few tablespoons of pecans and drizzled a little melted chocolate chips (about a 1/4 cup) over the top of everything. Maybe a litte too busy and messy... but the flavor of it all definitely beat out over the looks!!

Enjoy!  My family LOVED it and requested me to make it again soon!!  
This recipe could be made as cupcakes too!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WIlton Classes at Hobby Lobby

Wilton Method cake classes start up again in September at Bettendorf, IA with NEW books and some newer and popular techniques! The price is 50% off the regular price of $45 per course which equals $22.50.  This price includes four 2 hour sessions and a course book (provided the first night of class). Sign up at Hobby Lobby today!

Course 1 will be taught in both September and October, choose what works best with your schedule!
Mondays, September  8, 15, 22, 29 at 6:00 - 8:00 pm (taught by Margie Cain)
Tuesdays, October 7, 14, 21, 28 at 6:00 - 8:00 pm (taught by Joy Cain)
Course 2 will also be taught in October and check back for future dates and times in November!
Mondays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 at 6:00 - 8:00 pm (taught by Margie Cain)
We hope to see you SOON!! 
Have questions?  Give us a call at 309-781-1148.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kid's Map Cake, Animal Cupcakes and Fondant Flower Cupcakes

Joy is absolutely amazing when working with kids and cake decorating!!  
She has amazing patience and has just a love for kids and teaching! 
Here you can see one of her cakes she made in a project class. 
It is frosted with buttercream and uses fun fondant techniques and a simple piping skill to complete.

Fun Simple Fondant Treasure Chest for Kids

Treasure Map Cake
Treasure Map Fun!!

One of Joy's Classes was teaching several piping skills and making animal cupcakes...
The kids loved them!!
Here are the cupcakes she made during those classes!  

Cupcake Class with Joy

Cupcake Animals

In the next two pictures, Joy taught a few private lessons on fondant flowers!  
Katie's grandma gave her a very special birthday present of cake decorating supplies and lesson time with Joy to learn how to make beautiful flowers and put them on cupcakes!! 

Katie did a GREAT job! 
Katie made these cupcakes for her Grandma and Grandpa's wedding anniversary!  

Anniversary Cupcakes make by Katie

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Engagement Stump Cake for Rachel and David

I guess 'the' engagement celebration of each of my children will be with a "stump" cake!  We were able to celebrate together with Rachel's parents and sister a week and a half after the official proposal.  These first three pictures were taken by Rachel's sister Caitlyn Warner - an amazing photographer!!  

David and Rachel

Full Picture of the stump cake - picture taken by Caitlyn Warner

 David asked for a triple chocolate cake with triple chocolate frosting and the filling is rich chocolate gnache.

 The flowers are gumpaste

We even made the roots of the tree come out.
 I love making wooden planks and trees and any kind of wooden objects.  This was simply put on with tip 789 then dragging a knife over it to make the bark look more natural and gnarled. 
Gumpaste flowers w/ buttercream leaves, stems and grass!
Gumpaste Flowers climbing up the stump!
Close up of the frosting bark.
 So rich and FATTENING!!  but so worth it!!

Cow Cake - Happy Birthday Rachel!

My sweet daughter-in-law-to-be had a birthday in April.  Rachel loves cows, so Joy and I had a fun time planning and making this one!!  We started by making fence posts and flowers out of gumpaste

Joy had the neat idea to do a marble cake so that even the inside of the cake had cow spots!!

I made the cows by hand with fondant using instructions online with the Lucy Cow... 
 I tweeked it to make a manly looking bull for David! 

 The top of the cake was blue so we did the writing and the clouds in white...
 I don't think I got a picture of the cake as a whole... like duh, but...  
 You can see by putting all the pictures together what it looked like!
 Aren't they cute? 

 Thanks for looking!!  

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!