Tuesday, June 20, 2017

fondant fan birthday cake

Sometime last fall, my friend Joanne asked me to make a smash cake for her daughter's first birthday. She was going to make a wall of multicolored DIY paper fans for the backdrop of the photo booth, and she wanted the cake to match it! And since her daughter loves strawberry banana, it would be a strawberry banana cake on the inside!

I made a quick sketch of what the cake could look like, and after getting a thumbs up from Joanne, I got to work with making the fan toppers out of fondant. I saw many examples online - some of them were actually folded accordian-style as you would with a real paper fan, but I decided to simplify them by cutting out various sizes and colors of fondant with a round cookie cutter, and then using a toothpick to make the "folds" of the fans. Then I let them dry for several days so that they could harden.

When it was time to make the cake, I baked up two 6-inch rounds of my favorite vanilla cake (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), and after letting them cool I sliced each cake in half horizontally, giving me four cake layers. Then I filled each layer with freshly whipped cream, sliced bananas, and strawberries.

Once all of the layers were filled and stacked, I covered the top and sides of the cake with fresh buttercream (recipe also in my book!). For this I typically do a quick crumb coat of frosting, let chill for 30 minutes in the fridge, and then I do a finally smooth coat of frosting.

After the smoothing out the frosting with an offset spatula, I piped a beaded border on the top and bottom of the cake, and piped her daughter's name on the side of the cake.

Then it was time to attach the fondant fans! They had hardened nicely by now, and all I needed was a bit of buttercream on the back of each fan to hold them in place.

I loved the look of the multicolored fans! And the bright colors made it look so festive!


Hope you had a happy happy birthday, baby Presley!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

pink flower cupcakes for baby's first birthday

Sometime last summer, I made these pink flower cupcakes for my husband's friend, who was having a party for his daughter's first birthday. The theme was pink and gold, so we decided on pink flower cupcakes accented with gold sugar pearls!

For the cupcake batter, I used my favorite vanilla cake recipe (which you can find in my book The Hello Kitty Baking Book). After baking them at 350F for 18-20 minutes, I whipped up a batch of cream cheese frosting (also in the book!) while I waited for them to cool.

Once cooled, I was ready to pipe my flower petals. Using this petal tip in a disposable pastry bag, I turned the cupcake with my left hand, while piping the petals with my right hand. (You can find a tutorial for a similar flower on the Wilton website here).

After my first row of petals, I piped a second row of smaller petals on top, and then decorated the center with gold sugar pearls.


I thought they turned out pretty cute!

Since we would be attending the birthday party, I offered to come a bit early with the cupcakes and help set up. So I loaded them into two cupcake couriers (which I love because the cupcakes stay put and I don't have to worry about them shifting or getting messed up during the drive) and we were set to go! (Each cupcake courier holds 36 cupcakes, and you can buy them here).

Half the cupcakes were decorated with a large star tip rosettes (which you can also use to decorate gorgeous rosette cakes!), and the other half were the petal cupcakes which I described above.

I also brought along my convenient cupcake tower to display the cupcakes! This cupcake tower is awesome because each tier comes apart and can be nested and stacked inside each other, plus it's made of a sturdy plastic so it won't break during the drive, yet it still looks nice!

Hope you had a happy first birthday, baby Winta!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

father's day fruit tart with oreo cookie crust

Usually by the time Father's Day comes around, we have had a ton of cake. In between multiple birthdays (including my own) and Mother's Day, we always have cake. So lately I have been making pie for Father's Day!

This time I decided to go with a simple yet refreshing no-bake cheesecake pie, decorated with fresh fruit. So I used this Martha Stewart recipe, except I decided to go with an Oreo cookie crust instead of the graham cracker crust. (This recipe at Crazy for Crust makes the perfect chocolate cookie crust, in my opinion!)

After letting the pie chill in the fridge overnight, I was ready to decorate with fresh raspberries the next morning. I wanted my raspberries to spell out the word "DAD", so I used cookie cutters to make marks in the pie as a guide.

And then I just fit my raspberries inside the outlines!

So simple! And tasty! The creamy pie filling, with chocolatey cookie crust, and fresh tart raspberries - the pefect combination!

Stay tuned to see what I make for Father's Day this year!

Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

monkey baby shower cake

I can't believe that I'm only now writing about this baby shower cake that I made for my friend Cindy my last year, and next week her baby is turning ONE already! How fast time flies!

Since the baby would be born in the Year of the Monkey, she wanted a monkey cake, so a few weeks before the baby shower I started making a little fondant monkey for the topper. To see the steps, you can check out this monkey cake that I made previously, except this time I added a little pink fondant bow!

For the cake itself, I made a 6-inch vanilla cake, filled with freshly whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries (sorry, forgot to take pictures!) and then frosted it with pink cream cheese buttercream. I usually do a quick crumb coat, then let it chill for 30 minutes in the fridge, and then do a final coat, smoothing it out with an offset spatula.

To finish it off, I piped a white beaded border along the bottom, and the baby's name, Kailie, along the side of the cake.

And then it was time to add the fondant monkey topper!

I added a little buttercream to the bottom of the monkey topper, just to secure it in place.

Hope you enjoyed your baby shower, Cindy!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

camouflage inspired polka dot birthday cake

I usually make my husband some sort of camouflage inspired cake for his birthday, and last year was no exception! I had seen a fondant polka dot cake on Sweet and Saucy's instagram account, and I thought it would be so cute in camouflage colors, but with the polka dots done with frosting instead of fondant!

I baked up four 6-inch layers of fluffy chiffon cake, which I let cool while I prepared the filling. My husband is from Hawaii and has fond memories of eating freshly picked lychee from his grandmother's tree, so I decided to make him a cake with lychee filling. Unfortunately, fresh lychee is hard to find over here, so I had to use canned lychee, which I let drain over a strainer while I whipped up some fresh whipped cream. Then I chopped up the lychee into little pieces.

Once all the components were ready, I assembled the cake. I filled each layer of chiffon cake with freshly whipped cream, which I smoothed out with a spatula, then chopped lychee, and then more whipped cream on top before adding the next cake layer.

For the frosting, I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese buttercream, and frosted the top and sides of the cake with it. (I typically frost my cakes with a quick crumb coat, let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes, and then frost it with a final coat, with I smooth out with an offset spatula).

Then it was time to pipe my polka dots! I divided the remaining frosting into four small bowls and colored them black, brown, dark green, and light green. Then I used disposable pastry bags fitted with medium round tips, and started randomly piping different colored blobs of polka dots.

While it started out looking really ugly, I kept piping polka dots and eventually I wound up with a kinda cute cake!

I still think I like the petaled camo cake the best though! ;)

Stay tuned to see how this year's cake will turn out!