Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Weddings

I have had the great honor of creating cakes and cupcakes for two weddings this summer.

I thought you would appreciate if I shared them with you.

I started the journey planning to make 300 cupcakes and a wedding cake for both. I ended up with 500+ cupcakes for both. Hey! You can never have too many cupcakes! Imagine if we ran out! Better to have too many than too few.

The first wedding was I was asked to create a Navy and Burlap type cake.
Here is what I came up with......

Unfortunately I was so busy baking and such that by the time I thought to take pictures they were not the greatest. Sigh...

Next the tower of cupcakes....

The flavors were:
Lemon and Key Lime
Double Chocolate
Blueberry with cream cheese frosting
Vanilla with Vanilla Bean frosting

The next wedding I was also the Matron of Honor so I had all kinds of fun!
The bride had a Vintage Fair theme for the reception. Pinwheels were a big part of it so that is where I drew my inspiration.

The Cake...

The pinwheels were made with fondant. The flowers were made with cupcake liners. This was a fun cake to create and the bride truly let me have creative liberty with it. I think I redesigned it 3 or 4 times. I finally figured it out the night before the wedding. Her main colors were teal and orange.

On to the cupcakes....

The flavors were Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate and Vanilla Bean.

I also made an Oreo grooms cake.

They dipped an Oreo in milk and then fed them to each other.... I know, too cute!

I just want to give a shout out to all who helped me! I couldn't have accomplished these creations without my AMAZING friends.

Baking from my heart,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kindergarten Graduation 2013

My first school year is over! One down.....a bunch more to go!

My sweet boy graduated from Kindergarten, what a great year.

There is a reception after the graduation and I wanted to add a bit of color.

I asked the other K5 parents what they thought and the response was overwhelming... Yes!

I had so much support and help!
The Lord has really blessed us with a wonderful school, teacher, classmates and their parents.
We all agreed we wanted to do something extra special for their reception.

Here is the end result! What colorful fun!

My son always says his teachers favorite color is the rainbow. That is what we used for inspiration.

Here is what the room looked like.....

I will break down all the ideas and how we did them

This ceiling tent effect was made with plastic tablecloths. We laid them all out on the floor and then gathered them all at one end and tied them with a rubber band. My sweet husband hung it from the ceiling with a hook. Then we hung the poms from the middle. It added instant color and depth to the room. Of course, found some inspiration on Pinterest. 

There was an area to take pictures so we just added some pizzazz. My sweet friend made the pinwheels for the backdrop. We lined the back of the lattice with green plastic tablecloths, then twisted some light blue streamers down the front, added balloons and finished it off with a cute little bench!

The same sweet friend made this fabulous 2013 with black and white photos from the school year. She cut out the 2013 from cardboard then hot glued the pictures on. She did a GREAT job and everyone loved it. Another tablecloth was used for the backdrop and helium balloons for color.

We made a cute backdrop for the cake table. That same friend found rainbow streamers, fantastic! We lined the back with more tablecloths. Wow! Who knew plastic tablecloths could be so handy!

My sweet Kindergarten graduate modeling the cake. I only had my cell phone camera for the cake photos, but he is still a cutie.

The cake! Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. Decorations made with marshmallow fondant. I used an edible marker to write all the names of the students. I dipped a cupcake and a graham cracker in white candy melts to make the hat. 

What a great night! Me on the left, fabulous K5 teacher in the middle and my sweet friend on the right. Thank you to all who helped make the night so memorable for our sweet graduates! 

Bring on Summer!

From my heart to yours,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring Cake Happenings

It is finally spring around here!

I thought when my oldest son started school I would have more time to bake and blog, but alas.
I got busier! Imagine that. Now I have had school parties and snacks to think about.

Believe it or not, when teachers, parents or students see me coming they wonder if I have brought goodies.
I'm officially a "treat lady". I secretly love it. I love to bring smiles to faces and here the "this is so good".
Oh yeah, changing the world one snack at a time.

Unfortunately my blog has suffered. I just haven't had time to sit down, type and post pictures.
Frankly, when I do get a chance to sit down I fall asleep. Don't judge, you have been there.

I have made a few cakes recently and have a couple more in the works so I thought I would share some cuteness with you.

I have been using less and less fondant in my cakes. Only using it for accents etc. I like the buttercream look and am honing my smoothing skills.

First Graduation Cake of 2013!
The theme was specifically requested. I do love when people are specific. As much as I like to be creative, sometimes it is good to know what is expected.

"Oh the Places You'll Go!"

My sons 4th Birthday!
He asked for a motorcycle jumping over his cake. Here is what I came up with. He also loves peanut butter and chocolate, so I covered it in that two. Chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream.

Tennis Cutie!
My friend and I saw a photo on cakeplanner.com. We fell in love with the cute little tennis girl sitting on top.
We have been waiting for a chance to create one for ourselves. She was having a lunch with some of her tennis girls, perfect time!

Thanks for sticking with me!
Only two more weeks of school left. It will be bittersweet, but I am looking forward to the summer and SLEEPING IN!

From my heart to your kitchen,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dark Chocolate Almond Joyful Brownies

My oldest son is in Kindergarten and I can't believe the year is almost over.

We have enjoyed school so much this year.. yes.. I said we.

He loves seeing his friends all day, he loves learning, lunchtime, P.E. music... pretty much everything.
I love that he is learning, that he gets this special time to himself. I love that he loves it.

Most of all we both LOVE his teacher. I mean super duper wowzer, as she always says.

She has brought such joy to my son. I don't think she has ever lost her patience and everything is done with a "happy heart". Seriously, she. is. Amazing! Sometimes I think God sent an angel to earth. No human is that fantastic.

All that to say, today was her birthday. I have brought her many a treat this year, but there was one that she couldn't stop raving about. I knew that was going to be the birthday treat. 

I call them Almond Joyful for her, that is just what she is all day! 
She has been such a Joy to get to know this year. She is not allowed to retire until my other two sons go through Kindergarten. I think it should be in her contract.

Here are the treats:
You will need:
Dark chocolate brownies
Coconut filling
Ganache or Chocolate Frosting
Slivered Almonds

Dark Chocolate Brownies
1/2 butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened special dark cocoa (Hershey's)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 or 9 inch square pan.

Blend butter, sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl.
Add eggs; using a spoon beat well.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually blend into the egg mixture.

Spread in greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. DO NOT overbake!
Brownie should be beginning to pull away from edges of pan. Cool completely.

Now we have the brownies! Don't mind the missing edge, I had to taste test to make sure they were good. Everyone does that right. um.. at least in my house. 
Let's talk filler.

Coconut filling:
3 Cups shredded coconut 
7-8 oz sweetened condensed milk
3/4 Cups powdered sugar

Toss the coconut and powdered sugar together.
Slowly add sweetened condensed milk, stir until well blended.

Spread on top of cooled brownies.

Then pour the ganache over top and spread evenly. 

Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top.

 Slice and Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Mrs. Baxter!!!

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Easy Eclair Dessert

Something very important happened while I was recovering from surgery.

My friends went from amazing, to all caps, double exclamation point AMAZING!!

They brought me flowers, cards and food. Oh so much food! I didn't have to cook for weeks. They were scared to make me desserts though... hmm... I wonder why? Because I couldn't eat them? Was I allergic to sweets? Was I gaining weight?! 

No, no and no, well maybe that last one.
They didn't want to make sweets for the one who always makes them sweets. Silliness I tell you.

However, a teacher from my son's school decided to brave a dessert. My family raved about it for days. It is so simple so I thought I would share it with you.

Not the best of pictures, we ate it too fast!

Eclair Cake
2 (3.4 oz) or 1 Large packages vanilla instant pudding mix (dry)
1 tsp vanilla
3-1/2 cups whole milk
12 oz. cool whip
1 box of graham crackers

1 container of chocolate frosting and a bit of milk

Oh yeah, it's that easy. Next time I will try everything homemade, but for now, enjoy the easy.

Blend milk and vanilla pudding mix for about 2 minutes.
Fold in cool whip.
In a 9x13 inch pan, layer graham crackers to cover entire bottom of pan. 

Pour half of the pudding mixture on top of graham crackers and level.
Put another layer of graham crackers on top of mixture to cover entire surface.
Put the second half of pudding mixture on top and level.

Put the final layer of graham crackers on top to cover entire surface. Next time I will probably put the bumpy side down. I did get a little insane about covering this layer tightly. I knew I would be spreading frosting on top.

Put your frosting in a seperate bowl and mix a few tsp of milk in to smooth it. Mix with a spoon, adding milk until it reaches the consistency you need to spread it on top of the last layer of graham crackers.

There, all nice and frosted. Place in the refridgerater overnight or for at least 4+ hours to set.

I told you... super easy.

Thanks friends for all the love you sent me during my recovery.
One of the best moments ever was when my husband brought me handmade cards from my son's Kindergarten class.

Sipping hospital coffee, reading the Kindergarten cards... so sweet.

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Candy Cakes

Where have I been?! 
I mean seriously! How long has it been since I blogged last?
I don't even know.

My excuse? Birthdays... Christmas... Parties... New Years.... Surgery.
Yes, surgery is my latest excuse. 

I took a break for a while to spend time with my family during the busy holiday season and then the surgery put me down for a few weeks.

I did manage to photograph a few things before I went MIA.

Candy Cakes! Yes! Cakes with candy in them, on them, around them.
Takes cake to a whole new level.

This one I did for New Years.
Super Yummy.

It all started with this cake for my son's birthday.
I didn't get a great picture, but it was so delicious I had to make it again.
My son's birthday was on Christmas by the way.
Fun, fun!

In case you were wondering it takes 5 king size Kit Kat bars to surround the whole cake.

The inside was yellow cake with fudge frosting.
It went SO well with the Kit Kats. 
I want a slice of this cake now.

Just make sure you watch your M&M's when making this cake.

One last cake with candy.
Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.
With Reese's cups in the middle and on top.
One word, Yum.

I will try not to stay away too long again. I know how much you missed me.
At least in my world you missed me greatly, there may have even been tears.

You all are so great!

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,