Welcome to our blog!! We are learning to decorate cakes and loving every minute of it!! Join us by following our journey of designing and decorating cakes! 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!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bridal Shower Pig Cake

My daughter, Rebecca, fell in love with the kit kat 'pig cake' (or so we call it) from a picture we saw on facebook a few months ago.  When planning her bridal shower, she chose this cake and decided on two pigs sitting together in the 'barrel' of mud!
This was a really simple and quick cake to bake and make!  Joy and I made our pigs and flowers out of fondant while the cake baked and cooled. I also etched a wood-grain look on the kit kat bars to make them look more like wooden slats and to cover up the obvious words! We then frosted it with (don't tell anyone) a canned frosting and stuck on the kit kats, which actually stayed on better than I anticipated, until I was able to get the ribbon around it.

Crushed oreo cookies really make a nice rich-looking dirt and some mud puddles made from melting the frosting helps make it a really 'muddy mess!' The green buttercream grass and blue and pink blossoms definitely help to brighten things up!!   I especially love cakes like this one that are fun and that pull together so easily!!

We also made cupcakes to match!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Watermelon Cake

This watermelon cake was SOO easy to make and tasted even better!  A special self-made recipe using real watermelon gave this cake a unique texture and flavor!  Watermelon frosting, fondant covered, and painted with food coloring makes this cake look almost real!!  The shape of the cake also makes for great first cake covering it in fondant!!  Those  taking classes with Joy or me at Hobby Lobby will get the recipe and instructions on this awesome cake!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Wilton Cake Classes at Hobby Lobby in Moline, IL

I made this cake for a demo at the new Hobby Lobby in Moline, IL. A deeelicious chocolate cake with chocolate Bavarian Cream filling inside with ribbon roses and all techniques taught in Wilton's course 1 classes!

Classes start next week at both Moline and Betterndorf including a new specially designed Course 1 class for kids at the Moline store!!

Prices for September are $20.25 which includes 8 hours of instruction and a course book!  Be sure to sign up at a register!!

Moline, IL Classes - 

* Course 1 is on Thursdays, September 12, 19, 26, and October 3 from 6-8pm
* Course 1 for kids ages 8-13 is on Tuesdays, September 10, 17, 24, and October 1 from 6-7:30pm

Betterndorf, IA Classes - 

* Course 1 is on Mondays, September 9, 16, 23, 30 from 2-4pm
* Course 2 is on Tuesdays, September 10, 17, 24, and October 1 from 6-8pm
* Course 3 is also on Mondays, September 9, 16, 23, 30 from 6-8pm

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Engagement "Stump" Cake

     Today my daughter Becca was engaged to Garrett Billings.  Since we knew in advance, my other daughter, Joy, and I prepared and planned an engagement 'stump' cake for them.  The chocolate cakes were baked before our trip to Michigan, as well as the chocolate frosting and ganache. These recipes were all made from scratch and made as an experiment for one of the cake layers for their wedding cake.  I am still waiting for the two thumbs up from Garrett and Becca, but I think we are close!
     Joy couldn't go on the trip, but helped me by making the two roses and blue and white blossoms. When we got to Michigan Garrett's mom, Lenora and I put the cakes in the freezer and frosting/ganache in the fridge.  It was tough to keep it all hidden from Becca, but Garrett and I stowed them away in a box labeled for Garrett's dad, Greg, and a few things in the center of my suitcase. Greg was also able to hide away all cake decorating stuff until the time needed!!
     Lenora had the perfect cake serving plate (something I had forgotten and kinda glad I did!!)  She also has a beautiful dining room and decor to add to the look of the cake!
 The heart is fondant with Wilton letters pressed into the fondant with also a little food coloring to help darken the letters and to give it a carved look.

I sure missed Joy's help decorating this cake today, she always has a lot of great ideas and the extra set of hands makes it go so much faster!  I actually had to call her for her ideas with one problem of messed up sepals (from traveling) on the roses.

Overall I am pleased with the results of this cake, although I have a few ideas to make it even better next time!!  Thanks for looking!

Thomas the Tank Engine Cake

 When we went to South Carolina to visit family, we had a birthday party for five people.... since my great nephew was the youngest and was turning 5 (or maybe 6), we let him and his mother pick the cake.  It is a double layer sheet cake - half white cake and half chocolate.  We did our transfer technique that I teach for Wilton course 1 to get the outline of Thomas. Then a quick outline and star tip with vibrant colors to make Thomas.
 The smoke and tree tops are dimensional decorating.  The tracks are also made with frosting and a basket weave tip, the rocks are made with tip 7 and of course we forgot to bring the grass tip to make grass. The flowers we added were for my Mom, who LOVES flowers, her birthday is April 1st!  Happy Birthday Mom, Dad, Alijah, Becca, and Andy!  Love you all!!

Quick Simple Birthday Cake for Becca

This year I had to make a really simple birthday cake for Becca.  Her birthday was on the same day as when we had to leave for vacation.  Between packing, cleaning, and making lunch for her, her boyfriend, and a few Fareway friends, the cake was made pretty quick... I didn't even get her name on it!!  Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Brown and blue are her favorite colors, so at least I got that right!!  I always tell my students to put an odd number of flowers on your cake, I kinda messed up there...  It looked too few with three, but after I got the fourth one on, I was worried 5 might be too much.  A small one at the bottom may have worked, but I was also crunched for time. Hopefully my students won't all give me too hard of a time with that one!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ladybug Birthday Cake

Lilly wanted a lady bug birthday cake for her birthday.  Her favorite flavor is strawberry so the main cake is strawberry cake with strawberry frosting.  The lady bug cake is white cake.  The lady bug is covered in fondant and sprayed with Joy's new airbrush.

The daisies are made with gumpaste and the ladybugs are made with fondant.  The ladybugs and flower centers were also sprayed with the airbrush.

The tall grass is a mixture of fondant and gumpaste and the short grass is buttercream tinted the same color as the tall grass.

Lilly chose this design for her personal cake because she loved the cupcakes around the cake.  Joy made this cake and mini-cupcakes, and covered them in fondant. She added a few accents to match the larger cake.

Happy Birthday Lilly!!

Hobby Lobby Valentine Display Case

Joy and I decorated the display case at  Hobby Lobby for Valentine's Day.  It was so much fun to be able to go through the store and pick anything we wanted to use!!  We then made some heart cupcakes and a simple heart shaped cake.

I have a course 1 class starting on February 12th (6 - 8 pm) if anyone lives in the QC area and is interested in signing up!!