four ways to frost a cupcake with an open star tip

Today I am sharing four easy and beautiful ways to frost a cupcake using any open star tip.

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

I am a huge huge fan of the open star tip.  I use it on 90% of my cake designs and 99.9% of my cupcakes.

Today I thought I would show you four really easy techniques to decorate a cupcake.  There are, of course, unlimited possibilities as to how you can use an open star tip.  I could probably do three more posts just like this one!  But for now I will just stick to the basics.

For these cupcakes I recommend a great white cake recipe as well as an amazing chocolate buttercream recipe!

The first is the Rosette technique

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating #rosette

 

1.  Apply slight pressure  and make a dollop in the center (without releasing pressure).

2.  Still applying pressure, slowly move tip out from center and start to circle around center dollop.

3. Make sure tip remains at a 90 degree angle.

4. Complete one circle around the center and then release pressure.

Variation:  Applying extra pressure will create a little “ruffle” along the edges of the rosette.  You can see that here.

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating #rosette #rosecupcake

 

As you can imagine, this technique looks wonderful in pale pinks, yellows, and whites.  Or covering an entire cake! (Rose Cake)

The next technique is what a call “fluff” frosting

It’s a billowy cloud of buttercream deliciousness!

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

 

 

1.  Start by applying pressure to the frosting bag in the center of the cupcake.  Tip should be straight up and down.

2.  Apply more pressure and raise tip just slighty.

3. Let frosting spill out and fill in by using pressure only, do not move tip around. (If you can see in the images above, my tip barely moves throughout the whole process.)

4. Release pressure and lift tip straight up.

Variation: Use two-tones of color in frosting.

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

 

By far one of my favorite ways to decorate a cupcake, but be warned that it is a lot of frosting.

The next is a mini flower technique

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

 

1. Start at outter edge of cupcake and hold bag at 90 degree angle.  Apply slight pressure to frosting bag.

2. Moving tip upward quickly, release pressure on the bag.

3. Repeat that same motion around the entire cupcake, then place mini flower dollop in the middle.

Variation: Twist bag as you are applying pressure.

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

I especially love this technique with cream cheese frosting on a red velvet cupcake.  I am not sure why. ;)

The last technique is what I call the “tall ruffle”

This is my go-to method when I am making cupcakes for events.  People never fail to oohh and aahh!

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

1.  Apply slight pressure  and make a dollop in the center (without releasing pressure).

2.  Still applying pressure, slowly move tip out from center and start to circle around center dollop.

3. Make one complete rotation around the center then start around again, only making your circle slightly smaller while you are moving up.

4. Move tip around in one final small rotation (three tiers in all) , then quickly move tip up while releasing pressure on the bag.

Variation: Apply extra pressure to create a bit of a “ruffle” on the edges of the frosting.

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

 

I like this specific method because you can make a “clean” version and a really really ruffly (thats totally a word) version.  See here! And on a cake here!

 

So what is my favorite?

I think this one!

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

 

Which of the four is your favorite?

Four Easy Ways to Frost a Cupcakes with an Open Star Tip! #chocolate #buttercream #cupcakedecorating

 

I share many of these techniques  (as well as others!) in my new book surprise-inside cakes.  Every cake has a fun and creative frosting technique with detailed step by step instructions on how you can achieve it!  You can get a copy of surprise-inside cakes here!

 

easter “dump” cheesecake

I have a confession.

I don’t do Easter baskets. We just never have!

It’s not like my kids suffer or anything.  I mean I do make cakes and sweet treats 300 days of the year.

When we ended up coming home with huge bags of candy anyway, I decided to do something different with it.  Instead of the bags sitting in the kids room and them munching on it whenever they wanted, I made a cheesecake.

Easter "Dump" Cheesecake #cheesecake #candybarcheesecake #eastercandyideas

 

Not just any old cheesecake, but one with EVERYTHING in it.  All the candy.  Well, all the chocolate candy. (The sweet tarts and other candy are safety tucked away in a drawer.)

The recipe was easy enough.  I was inspired by the recipe for Snickers Cheesecake as well as finding this Caramel Cookie Cheesecake recipe on Real Simple.

Easter "Dump" Cheesecake #cheesecake #candybarcheesecake #eastercandyideas

easter “dump” cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of candy bars, chopped
  • 1 8-inch chocolate cookie piecrust
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and eggs and beat until smooth.
  2. Remove bowl from stand and stir in chopped candy bars.
  3. In a small bowl combine the Oreo pie crusts and the butter gently with a fork.
  4. Prepare a 6-inch spring-form pan and then press the Oreo mixture into the pan and up the sides.
  5. Pour the filling into the pan and bake until set, 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees.
  6. Set the pie on a wire rack and let it cool completely. (at least 4 hours)
  7. Cover cheesecake in any remaining candy and serve.
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Easter "Dump" Cheesecake #cheesecake #candybarcheesecake #eastercandyideas

 

I left some bars whole (didn’t chop) and then threw them on top.

Now let me tell you why this worked well for us.

The kids were NOT happy when I told them I was confiscating their candy for a cheesecake.  After they saw it, saw all the candy bars and mini eggs and Oreo crust, they were more than satisfied.  They got a decadent dose of candy once, we dealt with the sugar high, and now it’s over.

Well.  Mostly.

Easter "Dump" Cheesecake #cheesecake #candybarcheesecake #eastercandyideas

 

There might be a couple pieces left for me.

 

perfect rainbow pancakes

My original Rainbow Pancakes have been quite controversial, but hopefully that is all done.  I am sharing a slightly less technicolor version of them today, AND sharing tips on how you can great the Perfect Rainbow Pancake, just in time for Easter!

Tips for the Perfect Rainbow Pancake! #pancakes #rainbow

 

Here are a few tips!

Have lots of bowl on hand.  By far the most time consuming part of rainbow pancakes is creating six batters in six different bowls.  I suggest enlisting the little ones in the entire process, and then allow them to help with clean up afterwards.  I have found that this helps them understand that this is a “special” event and not something we do everyday.

Tips on how to make the Perfect Rainbow Pancakes! #pancakes #rainbow

Cook low and slow. I often cook my rainbow pancakes at 250 degrees F on the griddle.

Do not use butter to grease pan.  I do not use anything to prepare the pan, I simply use a a griddle that is non-stick.

Tips on how to make the Perfect Rainbow Pancakes! #pancakes #rainbow

Make all of one color at once.  I prepare all of the pink, then the orange, then so on.  I place finished pancakes on a warming plate in the oven, and that way I can serve all of the pancakes hot and in rainbow color order!

If you want to make shape you can place batter into a pastry bag and cut off a tiny bit of the corner.  Make an outline and then quickly fill the shape in.   This can be esepceially fun with you have so many different colors!

I do not recommend using cookie cutter to get the designed shape you want.  The average person (like me!) does not have 5 of one shape cookie cutter, so this means you are making one pancake at a time.  You also need to spray the cookie cutter before each use and be careful because it gets very hot!  I have yet to find a way to make this method  be efficient.

Use a “good” recipe.  I put good in quotations because what I really mean is use a recipe that is ideal for creating beautiful looking pancakes.  The following recipe is one that tastes delicious, but is slightly runnier.  When you are making colorful pancakes you do not want them to get too brown, so having a pancake that will cook faster (and therefor allow you to flip sooner) is ideal.  This recipe uses a lot of baking powder so it still fluffs up nicely.

If you want to make sure your pancake is done, let them cook on one side a bit longer.  It is just fine if one side is more brown, just serve that side down.

I slightly adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com, but any basica recipe will do.  Simply add more liquid to achieve better results.

perfect rainbow pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Pour in milk, egg and oil and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour the batter onto the heated griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
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Tips on how to make the Perfect Rainbow Pancakes! #pancakes #rainbow

Use a good food coloring.  With this recipe specifically you can use liquid food coloring with great success!  It’s also a great time to get your teacher hat on with the kids, and help them to figure out what colors you need to combine to achieve orange and purple and green.

Enjoy the process.  Most of all, enjoy this time in the kitchen with your little ones.  They grow up so fast!

 

 

easter egg surprise-inside cake

I have been so inspired by this never ending winter.  Not to make surprise-inside snowflake cakes, but to make flavorful and beautiful cakes that are reminiscent of Spring.

And warm weather.  And sunshine.  And warm weather.  And flowers.

And warm weather.  We got 14 inches of snow last night.  Please send warm weather.

Easter egg suprise-inside cake!

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours

Cook Time:      1 hour

Cake:

2 packages (2-layer size) white cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Strawberry Extract

   McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye

   McCormick® Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye

 

Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

2 to 4 drops red McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye

1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

 

Egg Surprise Inside Cake

Prepare one of the white cake mixes by following directions on box and adding strawberry extract. Divide cake batter evenly into five bowls. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of food color to each bowl. Add neon pink to one bowl, orange to the next (1/4 teaspoon yellow, 1/4 teaspoon red), yellow to the next, green to the next, and blue to the last bowl.

Place a medium resealable plastic bag in a tall drinking glass and let the edges of the bag drape around the outside edge of the glass. Pour the pink batter into the bag. Remove bag from glass. Twist bag around, then secure with a twist-tie or rubber band. Set aside. Continue with remaining four colors.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Cut off a 1/4-inch piece from the tip of one of the corners of the pink bag. Pipe a 1/4-inch thick line of batter lengthwise on the parchment paper. Continue with all the colors until the parchment paper is completely covered in stripes of batter. Lines of batter should be touching each other. (Place the bags of batter in separate glasses to keep them upright while piping out each color.) Use a second cookie sheet if necessary so that all of the batter is used.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cake start to brown. Cool completely on wire rack.

Using an egg-shaped cookie cutter (approximately 2 1/2 inches across and 3 inches high), cut out egg shapes from the striped cake.

Prepare remaining white cake mix following the directions on the box. Pour about 1 cup of batter into 9×5 loaf pan sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Place the striped cake eggs standing up along the center of the loaf pan so that the entire center of the pan is filled with a line of cake eggs. (Cake eggs should be touching. Do not leave any spaces between them or the white batter will seep in between.) Carefully pour remaining white batter over the cake eggs, filling in the sides first and then pouring over the top.

 

Here is a quick video to show how I did the surprise-inside!
Bake in preheated 350°F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into white cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

For the buttercream, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in red food color. Frost top and sides of cake with Buttercream.

Makes 12 servings.

Easter Egg Surprise-Inside Cake!

Tips:

  • For ease in cutting out egg shapes, freeze the cookie sheet with the striped cake for about 1 hour.
  • Press cake eggs gently into white batter. Use less white batter under the cake eggs so that they do not float up within the cake.
  • For Fruit-Flavored Buttercream, add 1 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Strawberry Extract or McCormick® Raspberry Extract or 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract or McCormick® Pure Orange Extract. If desired, tint lemon frosting with yellow food color or orange frosting with yellow and red food colors.

Chill cake until ready to serve!

Easter Egg Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

I designed and created this cake on my own, and am working with McCormick to bring you new, creative and beautiful recipes as often as possible!  (I was not compensated for the video.)

peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting {sally’s baking addiction}

Such a fun treat today!

Peanut Butter Cake with Rich Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting! #peanutbuttercake #cake

 

Not only do I get to share an amazing recipe from the new book Sally’s Baking Addition, but I get to give away one copy to a lucky iambaker reader!

If you haven’t yet seen Sally’s book you will want to click on THIS LINK right now and check it out.  It is full of fabulous recipes and ideas!

So go buy it OK?  It is one of those books that you will reach for again and again, and grow to love it more and more.

Peanut Butter Cake with Rich Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting! #peanutbuttercake #cake

 

The second this cake came out of the oven I knew I was in love.  It was pure bliss.

peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • DARK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.Prepare an 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. For the cake: Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  4. With mixer on slow, beat in eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  5. Slowly beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just combined.
  6. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.
  7. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before frosting.
  8. For the frosting:
  9. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside.
  10. With a stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy - about 2 minutes.
  11. With mixer on low, gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla.
  12. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too dark. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
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Peanut Butter Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting

For the top I went to my go-to method for decorating a cake and that is a 1M tip.  I put 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter softened, 1 cup confectioners sugar, and 1-3 tablespoons of milk in the mixer and blended to a nice creamy consistency.  (add more or less milk to reach your desired consistency)

Then simply just piped out little piles of peanut butter frosting bliss and covered in chocolate sprinkles.

Thank you Sally, for sharing such a great recipe!

I would love to give away one copy of Sally’s new book!

Sally Baking Addiction

Simply tell me, “What is your favorite recipe on Sally’s Blog?” (Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Giveaway rules are HERE.  This giveaway is open to residents of the US and is open until April 18th, 2014.

Peanut Butter Cake with Rich Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting! #peanutbuttercake #cake

 

Buy Sally’s book HERE!

 

boston cream pie surprise inside cake™

When I realized what day today was I immediately started baking.

Baking for me is therapeutic.  It helps me to sort out my head and thoughts.Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

I can still remember the moment I heard of the Boston bombings.  Like everyone else, it was shock.  Horror.  Dismay.

I grieved for the three precious lives lost and felt such sorrow for the 264 others who were injured and suffered other life-altering wounds.

I sat in disbelief as it became apparent…  Someone did this on purpose.

But over the course of the next few days and weeks something else became apparent.

Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

 

Through tragedy, the people of Boston (and ultimately all of America) were united.

These people; the victims, the survivors, and every single person who stepped into the role of hero not by choice, but by circumstance.

These people are united in compassion and strength and love.

Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

 

I simply made a tradition Boston Cream Pie following this recipe, but made a couple little changes.

There are three layers representing the three lives lost.

There is a heart.

A sweet, small little heart, but that represents the unity and love that the people of Boston share.

I am so humbled by these people who have endured terrorism and hate, yet have chosen to come out of it with solidarity, allegiance and friendship.

You are most definitely #bostonstrong.  You are an inspiration.

“Frozen” Inspired Layer Cake

My daughter is obsessed with Frozen.

And I think there are at least 29,000,000 moms who can say the exact same thing.

Just in case you haven’t heard it enough times, click here to listen to “Let it Go” while learning how to make your very own Frozen Inspired Cake.

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

So I decided to make a cake that would be easy enough for anyone to make, but that would remind little kids of their most beloved movie and characters, Elsa and Anna.

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Even though I leveled each cake and used the same amount of frosting in between each layer, my cake still turned out crooked and wonky.  I hope that it was just a fluke and that your cake will NOT turn out wonky.

I did a few things on this cake.

1. Made it in 6 inch round cake pans, which meant the cake would be tall and skinny.

2. Make it a different color layered cake to match Elsa and Anna’s dresses in Frozen.

3. Made “icicles” on the outside.

You will need:

2 white cake recipes

1 batch buttercream

Gel Food Coloring (see below for exact colors and amounts)

White Sprinkles

To make the I started by first prepared one white cake batter.  My white cake recipe yields about 4 cups of batter (as does a box mix if you prefer) so I divided that between three bowls. (1 1/3 cups batter per bowl)

You can also double the white cake recipe and divide the batter between six bowls.  I chose to make one cake, prepare the three colors and bake the three 6 inch cakes before starting on the next white cake.

To get the layers these vibrant colors I used AmeriColor gel food coloring.  They worked perfectly!

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

For ANNA’S colors I used the Super Black, Fuchsia, and Royal Blue.  I used about 1/4 teaspoon of each, but you can use as much as you want/need to to achieve the color you want.  (While the Fuchsia above looks pink, it turned out very true to the color in Anna’s dress after I added the full 1/4 teaspoon.)

For ELSA’S colors, I used Royal Blue and Sky Blue.  In three bowls each containing 1 1/4 cups cake batter you will add:

5 drops Sky Blue + 1 drop Royal Blue (If you want to have a more distinguishable difference between the layers, you can add 2 drops Royal Blue)

5 drops Sky Blue

1 scant drop Sky Blue

So each different color layer was baked in 6 inch round cake pan for approximately 25 minutes (20-30 minutes depending on your oven) and then cooled.

Once cooled I leveled each cake to approximately 1 inch high.  After adding in frosting between each layer, my cake was about 8 inches tall, which is vey tall!  And now I will show you why I wanted a tall cake.

(My daughter pointed out that Elsa’s original party dress was the same colors as Anna’s.)

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Icicles!  Well, kinda.  More like sparkly wanna-be icicles.  But definitely pretty enough for any Frozen Fan!

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Here is how to made the “icicles”.

First I started by covering my cake in a coat of white buttercream.  This crusting buttercream recipe works really well because it is very white, but you can certainly use your favorite recipe.

Get your icing as smooth and flat as you can.

Place in freezer for at least one hour.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Get out a piece of parchment that is the length of your cake.  My cake was about 20inches around, but you will want to measure YOUR cake.  (You can do this by wrapping parchment around the cake and then marking where the ends meet.)

Lay parchment flat on table and start making icicle shapes pointing down.  There is no right or wrong, but I found that the more icicles the better.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Starting at the top of your sheet, cut the “icicles” out.  (If you used a black marker like I did, be sure to cut out all areas that marker is on.  I did not do that.  The marker bled in a later step.  Don’t be like me.)

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Remove cake from freezer after it has been chilling for at least one hour.  (Again, please make sure you did not leave any black marker spots on your parchment.)

I held my parchment up to my cake to determine the height needed and trimmed a bit off of the bottom section.  I then started to carefully wrap the parchment around the cake.

Go slow, and smooth the parchment out as needed.  This does not need to be perfect, we just need the parchment to stick to the frosting right around where the icicles will be.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Now get your “white sparkling sugar” or “shimmer white sugar” or “sparkling white sprinkles” (all can be found at grocery stores and Walmart).

Place your cake covered in parchment on a clean baking sheet.

Pour a generous amount of sprinkles into the palm of your hand and start pressing your hand into the cake where the frosting is exposed.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Do this around entire cake.  If you need to, scoop up excess sprinkles from around cake stand base and from baking sheet and press into any areas of frosting that need to be covered.  Also be sure to cover top of cake.

Once you have covered everything, you can either place the cake back in the freezer or you can begin to remove the parchment.  Start by testing a small section; if you pull the parchment and some frosting comes up then the cake needs to be chilled. (Start with at least 30 minutes).  If you can safety remove the parchment without any frosting being removed, then proceed slowly.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

My cake was nicely chilled, so the parchment peeled away very nicely, leaving a nice clean, sharp line. Nice.

Remove all of parchment and discard.  If you have any sparkles left over, they look great right around the base of the cake.

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

You can easily make this cake in 8 inch pans, it will just not be as tall.  (Just make the necessary adjustments for the height of your icicles.)  I would take a bit more care to make your layers neater… mine don’t look as good as I would like. (And I didn’t have time to re-do!)

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

(taken with my iphone)

If you do not want to put that much black food coloring into your cake here are two options.

1.  You can add up to 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.  Doing that can provide a base color, allowing you to add less food coloring.  (This will also give the cake a slightly chocolatey flavor.)

2. You can bake a separate cake that is a dark chocolate cake for the bottom layer.  (I would still recommend using a little black food coloring to achieve the same colors as in Anna’s dress.)

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

And that is how to make a “Frozen” inspired layer cake!

Do let me know if you have any questions.  This cake will lend itself to so many possibilities, and I do hope you are inspired!

today and tomorrow

I just need a moment to breath.

And I have a feeling you do too.

These last two months have been a whirlwind.  I have laughed and cried.  I have been humbled beyond words and I have felt so disappointed that I am ashamed it rocked me to my core.

The highest of highs and lowest of lows, so to speak.

For example, I worked my butt off on a cake.  From conception to completion, every detail was meticulously thought out.  I worked for DAYS to make sure this cake was perfect. TODAY Show CakeI am not kidding you when I say I put my heart into it.  As I placed the final coat of frosting and added the final details, I just knew this cake was going to be amazing.

I could just see it… the TODAY Show producers would see it and mouths would drop.  People would hover around computers to look at the pictures.

The call would be made, “Pack your bags, you are coming to NYC!” TODAY Show Surprise Inside Cake!It turned out beautifully.  Every painstaking detail!

I sat on pins and needles for days.

And days.

And days.

And never heard a word.  Not only were they not impressed, but there was no call.  I would not be making a morning show appearance.

I can’t say for certain why it hit me so hard, but I can’t help but feel like it had something to do with the expectations I had unwittingly placed on that silly little cake.  Its like my entire career as an author and baker was resting delicately on clouds of white buttercream. When reality set it, it was a crushing and embarrassing defeat.

Surprise Inside Cakes Cover

There is just something different about publishing a book.  I know people equate it to childbirth, and I can definitely understand why,  but for me it was very different.

Concerning my children, once they are in the world they are perfect and loved and there is no convincing me otherwise.  They, in their unquestionable perfection, are the greatest thing I have ever had a hand in creating.  And their perfection and amazingness truth is independent of me.  In that, there is no doubt.

With the book, the failure is a direct result of me.  My efforts.  Will someone hold it and understand my heart?  Will they look over the less-than-refined cakes and see the memories I hope will be made or the inspiration I desperately want to share?   Will they understand that I have never in my life been so vulnerable publically and that it’s absolutely terrifying?

KITM-book-signing-amanda-rettke

Well no, of course not.  It would be silly to expect people to read that deeply into my words and hear my heart.  It’s a book about cake.

The truth is, I am not a New York Times best selling author as badly as I wanted to say those words.

And that’s ok.

There have been interviews and reviews and thankfully, the amazing and supportive blogging community has stepped forward and shared some of the most kind and humbling posts I could ever imagine.  Every single one of those posts and a treasure to me! (See them here)

I heard a quote once that has really stuck with me as a blogger, and now author.  (It was said by Ellen DeGeneres and I can’t remember it exactly, so this is a paraphrase.)

“Never believe the worst of what people say about you.  Never believe the best either.”

As much as I want to believe the best of what others say, it holds no more truth than the worst.

What I am learning is that it is important to trust and value the opinions of those close to you.

Flowers from my Husband

 

That when my husband surprises me with flowers and says, “I am so proud of you,” that is something I can let fill my soul.  

So instead of never sharing this cake with the world and acting like everything is fine and dandy and that rejection and hurt don’t come ’round here, I choose to be real.

TODAY Show Surprise Inside Cake!

I made a surprise inside cake for the TODAY show.  And they didn’t care about it one way or another.

But that doesn’t it make it any less valuable or significant to me.  

 

If you would like to support this sometimes maker of pretty cakes and accidental writer, you can get my book HERE.

(And if you want to join in the twitter conversation.)

sugared spring biscuits

There is really nothing better than a lazy weekend morning with the family.  I love waking up a few minutes before everyone else and starting a big hot breakfast.

What I love even more is seeing the smiling faces emerge from their bedrooms when they start to smell the delicious aroma of fresh baked goods.

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

So while I want to make sure I am making something easy enough, mostly I want to make something that looks pretty.  I can’t help it!  Even better when it represents the beautiful pastel and white colors that we so often associate with Easter.   I think that Easter is my favorite holiday!

What’s even better is when I can put something together really quickly, and then sit back and enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee.

It’s all about priorities.

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

To make this easy and fun Easter breakfast start with fun pastel colored sanding sugar. (I got all of mine at Target for under $4)

1 can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits

bundt pan

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

I poured about 1/4 cup of sanding sugar into a bowl.  I then opened my  Pillsbury biscuits and removed the biscuits from the can.  There are 8 biscuits in each can, so I made two of each color.

Simply place the biscuits in the color of choice, then rotate it onto the sanding sugar until every bit of the biscuit is covered.

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

Next, place all the biscuits into a well prepared bundt pan (I sprayed mine with baking spray) and bake for about 12-14 minutes.

Remove biscuits from the oven, allow to cool for about five minutes, then serve on a pretty cake stand or plate.

We enjoyed the biscuits the best when they are still warm!

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

This is such a fun and easy way to spend time with family!  The kids love the sanding sugar part, and we had plenty of smiles and giggles while making ours.

Sugared Spring Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
  • Sanding sugars in pink, yellow, blue, green
  • bundt pan

Instructions

  1. Remove biscuits from can and place on clean surface. One at a time, dip biscuits into sanding sugar. Two biscuits will go into each color.
  2. Place sugar covered biscuits into a well prepared bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven, or 350 degrees in a regular oven.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then serve. (Can be served immediately, but they are very hot, so be careful with kids!)
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Pastel Sugared Biscuits

This recipe was my conception and execution (and pleasure in eating!), but I was given some biscuits to bake with.

Want other great ideas for your Easter celebration?  Check these out!

homemade yellow cake mix

Did you know I bake lots of cakes?  Like, lots and lots of lots of cakes?  I had a homemade white cake recipe that I love, but have been on the search for a good yellow cake recipe.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

There are a couple reasons that I finally ended up in this recipe.

#1 Its a one-bowl recipe.

#2 It uses whole eggs, not 8 egg yolks.

Oh, and one more.

Its yummy.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

homemade yellow cake mix

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Measure flour into quart size mason jar.
  2. Add sugar on top, then baking powder, then salt. Place lid on jar. (My ingredients JUST fit)
  3. When ready to prepare cake batter:
  4. Place softened butter into stand mixer and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Place dry ingredients into stand mixer and combine with butter for 30 seconds.
  6. Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix on medium-high for one minute.
  7. Pour batter into prepare pans. Bake at 350. For 9-inch pans its 20-25 minutes. For cupcakes start checking around 15 minutes. Cool before frosting.
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Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

Making a homemade cake mix is so cheap and easy and the best of all worlds when it happens to be super delicious.

I couldn’t help but pair it with a rich chocolate buttercream, as that is my favorite combination.  (What is your favorite frosting with yellow cake?)

If you want to give this for a gift (I would LOVE this as a gift!) simply print out the ‘wet’ ingredients and the directions and attach to the jar.  Be sure to add some instructions though.  Something like, “After cake is cooled call me and I will be right over.”

Or something like that. :)

Here is the Homemade White Cake Mix we love!