Decorating: Birthday Edition!

My friend had a birthday party coming up this weekend and I wanted to make cupcakes for him. There would be a lot of people so I had to do something fairly simple because I was making 2 dozen. I made my chocolate chip cookie dough icing cupcakes and decided to make little flags on top and add some colorful sprinkles (he requested them!)

I was really really happy with how they turned out. The flags took a while but they made it super cute and festive. I’m starting to really love decorating and coming up with ideas.

Here is what they looked like:

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St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes – Mint Chocolate

I love baking for holidays. It’s my favorite! I decided I wanted to do mint-chocolate cupcakes because I usually associate mint and the color green. I used my regular chocolate cake recipe, and regular icing recipe, and added a little bit of peppermint extract and voila! Came out wonderful!

I added little plastic gold coins on top for an added bit of festivity! What do you think?

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Results:

Cake: 7/10 – tasted great, but for some reason it didn’t rise well. I think I forgot to add more baking soda.

Decorating: 8/10

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough on a cupcake!

I wasn’t feeling well tonight but I was in the mood to bake something but I didn’t know what. I went on Facebook and saw a friend post a picture of a batch of cupcakes she made that had chocolate chip cookie dough icing on them. I knew this would be my adventure tonight. I’ve been wanting to try a different icing out recipe of the norm and this fits the bill.

Chocolate cake is my basic chocolate cake recipe.

Icing recipe here.

I followed the recipe pretty exact. I added less milk because I was able to achieve a nice fluffy icing without adding that much. Be careful adding the brown sugar and the butter; your Kitchen-Aid will be put to the test! Also, I added a little extra vanilla for flavoring (I have a cold now, so it could have been fine but I can’t really taste anything!)

Results:

I think it came out incredible!!! I wasn’t sure how fluffy it would be, but it really is amazing. And it tastes just like dough!

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Grades:

Icing: A

Cake: A

Decorating: B (I never like how I decorate without a tip)

A cupcake…a GIANT cupcake!

So I got this cupcake cake pan for christmas and have been dying to use it. My sister-in-law asked me to make my niece’s first birthday smash cake and I knew this would be my mold. Keep in mind, her birthday isn’t until, April, but I wanted to start practicing for the big day. This pan is from Nordic ware.

I decided to use my basic chocolate cake recipe and buttercream icing. I am not great decorating cakes and making the icing look smooth, so I found a different way to decorate the bottom half. After the cake was done baking and cooling and pan was cooled, I melted chocolate melts (I bought green ones) and i painted the inside of the bottom part of the pan with chocolate and let it sit. I suggest putting it in the fridge. Also, I did 3 coats when I only needed about 2. You need enough so it won’t break and not too much so the cake won’t fit.

To assemble, I did have to cut a little bit off of the sides of the bottom to have it fit in the chocolate.  I then put icing on top and put the top of the cupcake on top of it. I then decorated the top. I used a star tip to make roses and filled it in with stars around them. I added pearls for an accent.

Here is the chocolate mold and cupcake parts:

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Results: better than I thought! I should have painted the chocolate higher on the bottom because it wasn’t smooth at the top and I had to fill with icing to hide it. I think I’m getting better at roses so that part is exciting! I really like the way it looks, especially with little accent cupcakes around it!

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Grades:
Cake: A
Icing: A
Decorating: B+

Moist Chocolate Cake

Moist Chocolate Cake (for 12 cupcakes)

1.5 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1. tsp. salt
3 tbs. cocoa powder

(mix those together in a separate bowl.)

Then mix together:

1 cup of sugar
1 tbs. white vinegar
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of oil
1 tsp. of Vanilla

Then add the flour mixture to the second mixture and you’re set!
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees

Valentine’s Day Festivities

I love holidays!!! Nothing makes me happier than having a celebration to decorate for, and to bake for! This week’s occasion was Valentine’s day. I had all intentions of making something eloquent, but I realized my boyfriend doesn’t really eat baked goods and all I wanted was regular cupcakes. So this recipe isn’t new, but I wanted to share the festivity. I did a basic chocolate cake recipe with cream cheese icing.

here is the recipe for my basic chocolate cake recipe: (It’s super moist!)

Moist Chocolate Cake (for 12 cupcakes)

1.5 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1. tsp. salt
3 tbs. cocoa powder

(mix those together in a separate bowl.)

Then mix together:

1 cup of sugar
1 tbs. white vinegar
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of oil
1 tsp. of Vanilla

Then add the flour mixture to the second mixture and you’re set!
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees

Cream Cheese icing

For 12 cupcakes, I used 2 packages of cream cheese. I whipped the cream cheese in my mixer and slowly added powdered sugar until I thought it tasted good. I also added a pinch of vanilla.

Results:

Tasty as always! I wanted to practice making roses with my icing (on some of them, others I did a regular icing design). I think it turned out okay. I could definitely use some work on that part. Overall, I was pleased with the festive part!

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Grades:

Cake: A

Icing: A

Decorating: A-

Birthday cake for all!

So this week hasn’t been easy. I found out early this week that my Grandma passed away, so needless to say it hasn’t been great. But when my boyfriend’s parents said they were going to come for dinner this week, I jumped on the idea to bake a cake.

I decided to go with a basic 1-2-3-4 cake and buttercream icing. The recipe is my grandma’s, so I knew I had to make it!

It’s so easy.

1 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of flour
4 eggs
3 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp of vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs. Then the rest.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Here is my Grandma’s recipe (note the gorgeous handwriting!)

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So… funny story. I made this yesterday but I took it out of the oven too early because I was confident it was done. Nope! It wasn’t until I was cutting the top off that I realized it wasn’t. So today I baked a new one. I kept mine in for 35 and it was perfect.

Basic buttercream icing: Cream 3 sticks of butter and slowly add powdered sugar until it tastes right. add a pinch of vanilla extract.

Decorating: I used a star cookie cutter to keep the sprinkles in that shape. It looks great!

Ratings:
Perfect! My boyfriend’s family said it wasn’t too sweet, and it was very moist! Also, the buttercream icing was so fluffy and not overly sweet!

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The decorating wasn’t my best. I learned I truly don’t enjoy decorating cakes because it’s so hard to get a smooth icing all the way around, especially the sides! But it didn’t look terrible. Certainly not up to my cupcake standards, though. I also can’t draw a straight line apparently because my circle stars around are so not circular!!

Ratings:
Cake: A
Icing: A+
Decorating: C

The Easiest Cookie You’ll Ever Make (With Nutella!)

Have you ever just wanted to bake a cookie but you didn’t feel like breaking out all of the measuring cups? Well, I have a cookie for you!

3-Ingredient Nutella Cookies!

Here it is:

1 cup of Nutella
1 cup of Flour
1 egg

Mix the nutella and egg together, and then simply add the flour. The batter is really thick, so don’t freak out. Roll a tablespoon sized ball and put it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on and then use the bottom of a glass to push it down. I added chocolate chips to garnish the top.

Bake at 350 for 7 minutes, or until the outside is baked and the center is slightly soft. You can easily overcook these, so watch out!

When they came out of the oven, I heated some chocolate chips mixed with butter on low on the stove and drizzled the chocolate over the cookies. Tada!!

Result: 

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Drool!!! They are amazing. And so easy. I am in love.

Grade:

A

Strawberry Shortcake

Today was quite rainy, and I wanted to make  something to bring the mood up. I still had some leftover strawberries from the cake i made last week, so I decided strawberry shortcake would be perfect! Since the best shortcake I’ve ever had was from my mom, I asked her to send me her recipe. Here it is:

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I followed it precisely. I found the dough a little crumbly so I had to add a little extra milk. I may have added too much flour.

Results:

Delicious! The cakes were a little funny looking because I didn’t have a cookie cutter, but it was still tasty. Highly recommended.

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Grades:

Cake: B+ Had I had light cream, I think it would have been a little light. still tasted great!

Tres Leches Cake

I’m lactose intolerant, so it seems crazy that I would make a Tres Leches Cake. But my boyfriend has begged for it for about a year now and I wanted to surprise him. Let me tell you something, Tres Leches Cake isn’t easy.

The cake involves separating the egg yolks and the egg whites and slowly folding them together once everything is ready. After it’s baked, you have to pour this mixture of 3-milks (hence the Tres Leches) on the cake and basically soak it. Then you top it off  with a whipped cream icing.

Here is the recipe I followed.

Some notes:

  • It wasn’t as hard as I expected.
  • The cake itself was really easy.
  • You don’t have to make as much 3-milk cream because I only used about 1/3 of it tops.
  • The whipped cream icing was fairly difficult to make and hard to put on the cake without it falling. I don’t think I whipped it enough, but I was scared of making it too liquidly.

Results: 

It looks nice! Better than I thought! I can’t comment on the taste, because I can’t have it. But I will report back what the boyfriend says!

edit: Boyfriend and his friends loved it. They ate it about 2 days after I made it so it could have been a little more moist (or maybe I could have poured more milk onto the cake…) but overall they loved the flavor. Three men devoured half a cake in an hour!

Side Note: It was my first layered cake! That’s exciting!

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