Saturday, March 24, 2007

Baby Dragon Cake

After my previous Dragon Cake, my oldest son decided HE wanted a dragon cake as well. I looked through all sorts of design books and one day my son came up to me with a design by Debbie Brown in her Magical Cakes book. That was the inspiration for this baby dragon cake.

The main difference between the two is the lack (actually a complete absence) of fondant (sugarpaste) in my cake, but you can definately see the similarities.

This cake was made with a box of cake mix, buttercream icing, Wilton Candy Melts, Candy Clay, a marshmallow (large) and some black gel decorator's icing. The marshmallow was trimmed down a bit, so what you see as the eyes is really one piece of marshmallow.
My son wanted his dragon to be blue, so I colored it with a cornflower blue gel.
Instructions to follow...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dad's Cookout (Grill Cake)

Once again, the cake making opportunity strikes. I should call this cake "Grandpop's Cookout" since it was for my father-in-law and 9 times out of ten, during the summer months, he's grilling dinner. But, this idea came straight from Wilton.com, so I am keeping their name on it and including the link to the recipe and assembly instructions. Whatever you do, please do not compare my version to theirs. I AM still an amateur decorator. And I AM proud of my cake - even though it started to drive me nuts aroud 9pm the night before the party...
I used buttercream icing on the entire cake and a cake recipe I got from my old 1967 copy of The Joy of Cooking (which, by the way, was a GREAT recipe). I have also decided that I dislike black icing almost as much as red.
I would like to note that the burger patties are formed using a heavily scrubbed Playdoh mold. Tristan loved this cake because he thought the "flames" were actually grilled shrimp - and he loves his shrimp!

I didn't actually get to go to my father-in-law's birthday party (had to work) so Will got to drive the cake to their house and worry about having the cake slide around the floorboard of the car the whole way there (in it's carrying container, of course). I heard it arrived just fine and everyone loved it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bumblebee Cupcakes

Nothing could be cuter than a swarm of bumblebee cupcakes at your party! These cupcakes are quick and easy. They don’t take much more than a box of cake mix, some colored icing and marshmallows. If you want to add the wings, you’ll need some vanilla candy wafers or some white chocolate to melt down.

Ingredients:

1 standard box of cake mix (whatever flavor you prefer), baked in 48 cupcake liners and cooled. If you need assistance in baking and cooling your cake, please refer to these video tutorials on “How To Bake A Cake”.
How To Bake A Cake (Part 1): Preparing Your Baking Pans
How To Bake A Cake (Part 2): Mixing & Baking Your Cake
How To Bake A Cake (Part 3): Testing, Removing and Cooling Your Cake
Yellow gel coloring or food coloring
1 container of chocolate icing
(or black colored icing)
1 container of vanilla/white icing, colored yellow using the yellow coloring
48 miniature marshmallows
– each one cut in half
Vanilla flavored Candy Wafers or White Chocolate (optional if you want to add wings)

Tools:


3 sandwich sized zipper sealed bags
Spoon
Scissors
Wax Paper -
(if making wings)
Microwave-safe bowl or Double Boiler - (if making wings)

If you have not already done so, bake your cupcakes according to package directions and cool completely. If they not cooled, your icing will start to melt and slide off the cupcakes.


First, fill one Ziploc sandwich bag (or similar brand) 1/3 full with some chocolate icing. Push the icing toward one of the bottom corners of the bag. Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag with your scissors. Twist the excess bag to create a decorating “piping bag”. Place the “twist” in the joint between your thumb and the rest of your hand. Close your hand over the rest of the bag. View a video tutorial for this step if you are unsure how it should be done. To decorate your cake, you will squeeze the bag. Try it a little on some wax paper to get used to it.

Now, following the design on the picture, “pipe” an outline for the head of the bumblebee. Fill in the head with chocolate icing. Leave a small space and pipe another 2 rows of chocolate icing. Leave a second space and pipe the rest of the way to the edge of the cake with chocolate icing.
Now, fill a sandwich bag 1/3 full with yellow icing. Just as you did with the chocolate icing, push the icing toward one corner and cut a hole in the corner. Fill in all the areas of the cupcake between the chocolate that still have cake exposed.

For the eyes, place 2 halves of a miniature marshmallow close together at the front of the cake on the chocolate “head”. Then, pipe chocolate "eyes" onto the marshmallows.

For the wings (optional), melt down your candy wafers or your white chocolate. This can be done in a double boiler or in a microwave. Place the melted chocolate in a sandwich bag and snip off a tiny hole in the bottom corner. Using the melted white chocolate, “draw or outline” pairs of wings (separately) on a piece of wax paper. They should look like the letter “B” or a sideways “heart”. Do not fill in the wings as this will make the wings very heavy. A simple outline of wings will do.

Allow the wings to cool and harden. Gently remove them from the wax paper and place upright in your cupcakes.

With the wings done, your cupcakes are finished!

Bumblebee Cake

After making the ladybug cake, I had to keep going. But, there is only so much cake this family can safely eat without developing eating disorders or high-tailing it off to Weight Watchers...so I had to wait.
Even though we have 4 March birthdays to celebrate in this family, I couldn't wait much longer to make another fast and easy round googly eyed cake like the ladybug...

Introducing the Bumblebee...instructions coming soon...


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