Posts Tagged ‘celebration cake’

Old Fashioned “Ice Cream” Cake

Monday, June 29th, 2009
Old Fashioned "Ice Cream" Cake

Old Fashioned "Ice Cream" Cake

I am always curious when someone provides a new unique recipe to try.  I had overheard my friend Katie talking about her father’s favorite childhood cake, an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Cake. Katie’s  Aunt Theresa sent her the recipe and she was going to surprise her Dad with this cake for Father’s day. 

Typical me, I asked for a copy so I could make it too.   The name alone intrigued me, Ice Cream Cake, yet there was no sign of ice cream.  The recipe was originally pulled from Readers Digest and soon became a fan favorite with my friend Katie’s family. 

Old fashioned cake recipes always appear to be simple to make, this was not the case for this cake. The prep and process proved to be anything but easy.  I started the same as always when trying a new recipe - First, I make sure I have read through the ingredients and steps a few times.  Second, I pull all ingredients out. Third, I get the oven heating and grease and flour any pans I may need.  Ready to work!

It would be wise to start with the Ice Cream Cake Frosting (boiled milk frosting) if you plan on making this one…it needs time to cool.  Constant stirring is the key to avoid large lumps.  Do not skip the straining part!  Once frosting base is made, set it aside to cool and start sifting the flour…seven times that is.  I am assuming the flour needs to be sifted so thoroughly due to the fact there is no leavening agent in this cake, and it is eventually folded with egg whites.  While the sifting marathon is going on, I had my egg yolks beating with sugar in a stand mixer until they where a ribbon consistency. 

This cake recipe only calls for the juice and zest of one lemon, although next time around I would zest two lemons for extra pizzazz.  There are so many eggs in this cake that it has a very eggy taste and smell; more lemon may have offset this.  Texture-wise this cake was lovely, light and airy.  Taste-wise, I felt it was missing something.   I had a piece for breakfast the following day, it tasted like a whole different cake – it was much less eggy and the lemon flavor was much more apparent.  Conclusion…make a day ahead and store in the fridge before serving! 

Aunt Theresa’s Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:
  • 11 eggs, separated at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 heaping cup flour + 3 tablespoons, sifted 7 times
  • The juice of ½ a lemon and the rind

Preparation:

1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.) Prepare two 10 inch cake pans with butter and flour
3.) Beat egg yolks and sugar until they are thick and lemony yellow.
4.) Add lemon juice.
5.) Add lemon rind to sifted flour.
6.) Add flour one tablespoon at a time.
7.) In another mixing bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
8.) Fold in about a tablespoon of flour.
9.) Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
10.) Pour into prepared cake pans and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Cool on racks.

Fresh Out Of The Oven

Fresh out of the oven...

Ice Cream Cake Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 sticks of unsweetened butter
  • 1 – 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

1.) Boil ½ cup milk in a saucepan.
2.) Meanwhile mix remaining ½ cup milk and ½ cup flour in bowl with a whisk.
3.) Add mixture to boiling milk. Whisk thoroughly, cooking until thick.
4.) Press through a strainer to ensure smooth filling.
5.) Cool completely.
6.) Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.
7.) Slowly add milk and flour mixture…blend till smooth

Happy Birthday Nathan!

Nathan celebrates his birthday with an Old Fashioned "Ice Cream" Cake!

Marshmallow Fondant & a 21st Birthday Cake

Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Autumn's 21st Birthday Cake with Marshmallow Fondant

Autumn's 21st Birthday Cake with Marshmallow Fondant

My friend violet called me with a quick birthday cake request over the Memorial Day weekend.  As I see it, I was already going to spend the weekend baking what was one more cake?  Her niece Autumn, was turning 21 and needed something girly to commemorate this special birthday.  Autumn wanted a marble cake with white buttercream…simple and to the point.

I dressed the ¼ sheet cake with pink, green and gray accents, and of course a cosmopolitan martini.  Up until recently I have been buying Wilton Fondant to decorate cakes with.  This time around I used a homemade marshmallow fondant and love it!  It’s quick and easy, plus has a much more palatable taste…give it a try!

Marshmallow Fondant

What You’ll Need: 

  • 1 bag of white marshmallows (8 oz)
  • Water (2 tbsp)
  • Icing sugar sifted (1 to 2 pounds)
  • Crisco
  • Heatproof bowl
  • Spoon
  • Sifter
  • Food colors or cocoa powder
  • Flavoring optional

Directions:

1.) Heat marshmallows and water in microwave for 2 minutes.

2.) Remove and stir with Crisco greased spoon.

3.) Add desired color and or flavoring.

4.) Stir in sifted powdered sugar until it looks dough-like.

5.) Turn fondant out onto powder sugared work surface and knead until well mixed and not too sticky.

Note: Use this marshmallow fondant right away or rub with a bit of Crisco and store in air tight container.

Chocolate Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Some think Memorial Day Weekend is time to relax, I feel the opposite.  No rest for the Cake Lady!  Grandma Marion is turning 87!  Holy Moley!  My family and I spent our relaxing Sunday celebrating Grandma’s birthday and putting in my mother’s garden. 

I love Sunday’s at my parent’s house, they just feel good.  Growing up, my sister and I spent every Sunday at my mom’s parent’s house swimming with our cousins and then having a huge feast towards the end of the day.  Thinking about it brings a smile to my face. 

Another thing that brings a smile to my face is Grandma Marion.  Chocolate is the way to her heart so I baked her some extra large chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting…YUM!  Once again, Ina Garten provided me with a great recipe which I swear by – Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cupcake Batter

Chocolate Cupcake Batter

The cake comes out just the right, great texture and the perfect amount of chocolate.  Cream Cheese Frosting, who doesn’t like that?  Simple and easy, plus it compliments the chocolate oh so well. These chocolate cupcakes are sure to be crowd pleasers.

More Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

More Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese (not whipped)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 8oz. powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

 1.) Make sure cream cheese and butter are room temperature. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla, blend. 

2.) Slowly add powdered sugar and blend until smooth.  Quick note; this is not a stiff frosting and does not pipe well.  I use this frosting for cupcakes and simple cakes…Tastes great!

Sugar Free Splenda Pound Cake

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
Sugar Free Splenda Pound Cake

Sugar Free Splenda Pound Cake

NOTE: This is not a SUGAR FREE cake – it is made with Splenda for baking, which does contain sugar.

Families face challenges, some harder than others – but the beauty of family challenges is that you face them together.  My family has recently faced some new challenges – mom was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  This was such a shock since although she hadn’t been feeling all that well for a few weeks, she wasn’t displaying any of the classic diabetes symptoms.

So here we are, already a few weeks later and the way we do things has already changed, the way we cook and eat has changed – it had to. But all for the better – these changes will benefit everyone in the family.  We obviously can - and will – still get together and enjoy food, we just will be enjoying healthier options.

This Mother’s Day was our first “Diabetic Friendly” holiday.  I cooked fish in parchment with very light salt, little oil, and lots of flavor – ginger, lime zest, garlic and a bit of heat.  I also made a Greek Couscous with grilled vegetables, pine nuts and cheese.  The recipe was inspired by the recipe for Grilled Vegetable and Israeli Couscous Salad I found on Things Alauna Makes.  My recipe was similar but I omitted the tomatoes and used a sugar free vinaigrette instead.

Jody got the hard part – dessert. She took on the challenge of working with Splenda to create something a bit more health conscious and fine for mom or any diabetic to eat – a Splenda Pound Cake.  Splenda is one of the better sugar substitutes in my opinion, it doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste that Sweet’N Low has.

The batter for this sugar free cake turned out like any other – not nearly as sweet, but the texture was the same.  The cake rose nicely and had a beautiful golden brown color to it.  The recipe states to bake the cake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes, this is far too long.  I set my timer for 1 hour, but took it out after 45 minutes.  Be sure to watch this one!

The flavor was more like a shortcake, my mother thought it tasted like Lorna Doone cookies.  I can’t say it was moist like pound cake either…this could have been due to the baking time, not sure? We served the cake with some beautiful fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and a dollop of Splenda sweetened whipped cream.  Overall, the presentation was beautiful and the taste was pleasant.  There is much work to be done in this new chapter of my baking life…more sugar free treats to come!

Sugar Free Splenda Pound Cake With Berries and Whipped Cream

Sugar Free Splenda Pound Cake With Berries and Whipped Cream

Sugar Free Splenda Pound Cake
Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups SPLENDA(R) Sugar Blend for Baking
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Nutrition Info:

Per Serving

  • Calories: 306 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sugars: 16 g

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
  3. Combine flour, SPLENDA(R) Sugar Blend for Baking, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. (This procedure may be done with a mixer at the lowest speed. Cover mixing bowl with a clean tea towel to prevent spattering).
  4. Combine eggs, sour cream, and vanilla in a small mixing bowl; add 1/4 of the egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Grandma Garretson’s Chocolate Cake

Friday, May 8th, 2009
Grandma Garretson's Chocolate Cake in Cupcake Form

Grandma Garretson's Chocolate Cake in Cupcake Form

I love receiving recipes – so of course, I was pleasantly surprised when my sister in law, Geri, sent me the recipe for her grandmother’s chocolate cake. 

My sister came over to help me prepare the cake – we decided to make an evening out of it.  We called this evening a  ”study in gum paste” since we were going to decorate the cupcakes with gum paste flowers. 

The evening started with a quick trip to the local Hobby Lobby for gum paste making tools.  Cupcake wrappers, gum paste mix, gel food coloring, and a set of gum paste tools and we were out the door.  I already had the gum paste flower cutters from a previous occasion.

Then, off to the local grocery store for snacks and wine – yes, I did mention we made an evening out of it ;-)

Wine of the Evening - Oberon

Wine of the Evening - Oberon

Once we were home, Jody began preparing the cake batter, which we must note, turned out very thick – almost similar to a brownie batter.  We decided to do cupcakes instead of cake, since cupcakes are so much cuter.   

Very Thick Chocolate Cake Batter

Very Thick Chocolate Cake Batter

We smoothed the batter out with a spatula – then into the oven.  At that point, I was already working on mixing up the gum paste.  I have worked with gum paste in the past, but had forgotten how labor intensive it really was.  We dyed it four colors with the gel food coloring – green, two shades of blue and an orangey-yellow. 

Colored Gum Paste

Colored Gum Paste

Jody then prepared the icing for the chocolate cupcakes that were now cooling on the stove.  This icing comes out very shiny – similar to a ganache.  The end result is a very delicate looking cupcake.    The chocolate cupcake was very chocolatey and very tasty, and suprisingly moist for how thick the batter was.  If you are a chocolate lover, these are for you.

Overall, we found that working with the gum paste was harder than we expected…but as you can see from the photos – they were adorable.  I have a new appreciation for gum paste or sugar flowers – it truly is an artform.

Thanks again Geri for sending me this recipe – we are sure it will be enjoyed by many.

Gum Paste Flowers on Chocolate Cupcakes

Gum Paste Flowers on Chocolate Cupcakes

Grandma Garretson’s Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. boiling water
  • 1 cup cocoa

Directions: 

1.) Mix sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until blended.

2.) Add flour, buttermilk, soda and salt. Mix well.

3.) Combine the boiling water and cocoa in a separate bowl. Add to large bowl and mix.

4.) Spoon cake batter into cake pans. Cake batter with be thick, so you will need to smooth it out with a spatula.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes out clean in center. For cupcakes, our cook time was about 15  – 18 minutes.

Chocolate Icing
Ingredients: 
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa

Directions:

1.) Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.

2.) Place on med heat until it comes to a boil. Let boil for one minute.

3.) Spread on top of warm cake.  Decorate how you like.  Enjoy!

Our Cute Flowered Cupcakes

Our Cute Flowered Cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Who wants a cookie?  I do, I do!  No one ever turns down cookies at my house.  The boys have been giving me plenty of great ideas when it comes to new and creative cupcake flavors.  Not only that, but they have become my ultimate taste testers.  I am honored when they ask me to bake for class room parties…simply because it gives me a chance to show off! 

Today’s challenge was to incorporate that classic combo, cookies and cream.  I must admit it was easier than I thought.  I took a classic white cake recipe and added a bit more fat (sour cream) and crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies.  Simple white buttercream frosting tops them off and half of a cookie to give them a bit of crunch.

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French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes

Friday, May 1st, 2009

French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes

French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes

You’ve heard the expression, “everything is better with bacon” – well, who knew that this included cupcakes.  Frankly, I don’t believe I have ever met a person who can resist the magical powers of bacon.  The scent, the flavor, just thinking about bacon makes my mouth water.  It’s funny how bacon plays well with so many other flavors and types of foods. Bacon can instantly take the everyday sandwich or salad to a new level.  Bacon wrapped steak, scallops, chicken livers, or dates…the possibilities seem to be endless.

Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel did a episode on Portland, Oregon.  Voodoo Doughnut was a strange local shop that specialized in unique donuts, one being a maple cream stick with crisp bacon.  This is where the idea of the French Toast and Bacon Cupcake was born.  Savory and sweet work so well together, and since I already drown my bacon in maple syrup, why not?  Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit more vanilla are the key extras in this yellow cake recipe that give it a French Toast feel.  I should note, these cupcakes smell amazing while baking!

I whipped up a Maple Buttercream to frost them with and finished them with the crown jewel…crispy bacon.  For aesthetics I left the bacon in one piece, but would prefer it crumbled for easy eating!  Enjoy!

French Toast Cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • Maple Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
  • Crisp Bacon
  • Equipment: A six cup jumbo muffin pan or 12 cup regular muffin pan
French Toast and Bacon Cupcake Ingredients

French Toast and Bacon Cupcake Ingredients

Directions:

1.) Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

2.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)

3.) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.

4.) Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.

5.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.

6.) Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside. Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.

7.) Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

8.) Remove the cupcakes  from the oven and cool completely.

Maple Buttercream Frosting
Yield: about 1 2/3 cups, enough for 6 large or 12 regular cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple extract

Directions:

1.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)

2.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream and maple extract.. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Crisp Bacon

Bacon works well for me baked in an oven at 425 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 12-15 minutes, drain grease, and bake another 5-7 minutes or until crisp.  You can do it in a pan as well.

Finally – Frost the cooled French Toast Cupcakes with the Maple Buttercream Frosting and top with a Crisp piece of Bacon!

Inside of a French Toast and Bacon Cupcake

Inside of a French Toast and Bacon Cupcake

That’s One Big Nose Spray…Cake!

Sunday, April 26th, 2009
Afrin Cake for Miss Vicki's Birthday

Afrin Nose Spray Cake

My girlfriend Vicki has a love affair with Afrin Nose Spray, let’s just say they’re stuck like glue.  I thought it would be funny to present her with one giant Afrin shaped cake…for the ultimate relief!  

I used a 9×13 pan to create the body of the Afrin Nose Spray.  After frosting the cake I proceed to cover it in white fondant.  I created the tip of the spay bottle out of the remaining fondant and used a bit of gum paste to detail the rest of the nasal tube. 

With a toothpick I mapped out where I would paint the details on the base if the cake.  I used gel food coloring as paints for the cake  and a bit of shimmer to give it that pearly shimmer!  The cake was hilarious and Vicki loved it!

Yellow Cake

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract  
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk

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Baby Bluebird Cupcakes

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Bluebird Cupcake

Bluebird Cupcake

This year while scrolling through Martha Stewart’s website I came across the cutest baby bird cupcakes.  I immediately knew I was going to make this for Easter Sunday.  What better than baby birds in a toasted coconut nest to represent Sping and the Easter holiday. 

I chose a very basic Yellow Cake for the cupcakes and used my favorite Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Martha’s served only for inspiration, the recipe and technique were all mine. 

I used disposable piping bags for the frosting and just cut the tips off at different points in order to get different thicknesses.  The nest was a simple circle of frosting with and extra layer to give it height. 

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Nurse Themed Cake

Monday, April 6th, 2009
Nurse Cake with Fondant Stethoscope

Nurse Cake with Gumpaste Stethoscope

This cake was created for a girl who recently passed her nursing exam. I was concerned this cake wouldn’t come out all that well due to the fact it was last minute.  However, I am coming to realize some of my best work is spur of the moment.

This time around  I decided I would try my hand at decorating with gum paste. The nurses cake is decorated with several “nurse related” items.  The stethoscope, pill capsules and bandages are made out of gum paste.  I baked a very basic 1-2-3-4 cake and filled it with apricot.  The frosting, swiss meringue buttercream, is my all time favorite!  All in all I think the results were good!

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