How to Make a Ruffle Cake

… in four minutes flat.

I shared this image awhile back.

Decorated Cakes by iambaker.net

 

Many of you asked for a tutorial on the chocolate ruffle cake and here it is.  However, I must mention something.  I sorta got a crazy idea and it ended up not going as planned so this tutorial is going to be a little different.  See, I decide to help add a visual aid so I did a 15 second video tutorial and posted it on Instagram.

Insert dramatic music here.

Since I had to film it with one hand and pipe with the other… well.  It wasn’t pretty.  Or very effective in terms of being a “tutorial”.

Lets just say this; if you take the time to actually pay close attention to what you are doing and apply even pressure and be consistent, you can get the pretty ruffles like above.  If you rush through it and have your four year old turn the cake stand while you are trying to simultaneously film and pipe you may end up with a wonky ruffle cake like I am about to show you.

Moral of the story:  Do as I say and not as I do.

Thank you.

Quickest and Easiest Ruffle Cake Ever!!

The concept is very simple!

Place crumb-coated cake on a cake stand.  Fill a pastry bag with a 127 tip and your choice of frosting. (I like this perfect buttercream as it is very white!)

Starting at the bottom edge of the cake hold the tip very close to the base of the cake.  With one hand, start applying pressure to the bag of frosting.

Start turing your cake stand with your other hand.  Keep applying pressure and move around base of cake.  When you have gone around the cake once simply move your hand (the hand holding the bag of frosting) upwards about an inch and continue piping, making sure to overlap.  You will continue this up and around the cake.

When you get to the top, repeat the same process, just making your circle smaller and smaller until you reach the center.

How to Make a Ruffle Cake in Five Minutes!

Now.  Scroll back up and look at the picture with the chocolate ruffle cake.  I did that cake in five minutes too, I just tried a bit harder.  This white ruffle cake is a bit sloppy for my taste, but I hope you get the jist of it.

Next time  I won’t do three things at once.

Who am I kidding.  I am a mom of five, I will always be doing at least three things at once. :)

Christmas Ruffle Cake Tutorial

If you want to add some extra fun, trying making it a Christmas layer cake!

Christmas Ruffle Cake Tutorial

And that is my wonky ruffle cake with red and green layers.  Feel free to check out my 15 second (really, what was I thinking?!?!  A FIFTEEN SECOND tutorial???) tutorial on this on Instagram. :)

frilly cake {a tutorial}

I had no idea what to call this cake… and after much thought frilly cake to mind.  I thought “frilly” seem to vague, so I looked it up in the thesaurus, hoping to find a better word.  But then, listed right below the synonyms for frilly were the antonyms.  And they were: plain, simple, unadorned, unfancy.

So yeah.  Frilly wins.  Cause this cake is NOT plain or unadorned!

Frilly Cake: Full tutorial by iambaker.net #frillycake #cakedecorating

And here is the best part… this decorating technique could not be easier!  Slip a 1M tip into your pastry bag, fill it with frosting of choice, then wiggle your bag back and forth up the side of the cake.  Easy!

Now.  The only (and I do mean only) setback to this method is the sheer amount of frosting.  After having made it a few times I decided that a smooth top was the way to go.

Frilly Cake Decorating: Full tutorial by iambaker.net #frillycake

 

First start by getting as smooth of a top as you can.  (I talk a bit about that in my post on How to Build a Layer Cake) You can leave the sides with only a crumb coat as they will eventually be covered with the “frills”.

Now bring the frosting up the side of the cake (more details below) and then swoop the tip of the frosting bag down.

Frilly Cake Decorating: Full tutorial from iambaker.net #frillycake

As you can see, once I got to the top of the cake I guided the bag over and down to the side of the piped row and then released the pressure.  Repeat that every time you reach the top of the piped row.  You will cover up the end of the frosting with your next piped row.

And now for the row itself!

Frilly Cake Decorating:  Full tutorial on iambaker.net #frillycake

 

This couldnt be easier.  Simply start at the base of the cake and apply pressure to your pastry bag.  (You will be using approximately a 2-inch width for your row, but this can vary depending on the size of your cake)  Move your tip up and back and forth at the same time, applying consistent pressure to the pastry bag.  When you reach the top bring the tip down and over as I have shown above.

I have made enough of these cakes now to know that you can achieve different results when applying different pressure and speed.

Frilly Cake Decoration:  Full tutorial from iambaker.net #frillycake

 For instance, in the cake picture above I moved slower and didnt apply as much pressure.  I tried to be consistent with my movements. (But got a tad sloppy with the very top part… whoops!)

Frilly Cake Decorating: Full tutorial from iambaker.net #frillycake

 

In this picture, I applied greater pressure and moved a bit more erratically, going for more of a “ruffle” look.  And yes, this is the same cake, I just made the sides different as an example!

Frilly Fluffy Cake!  Full tutorial from iambaker.net #frillycake

 

Here is another cake I did with the same technique.  I used my best Crusting Buttercream Recipe (dont read the comments if you dont like drama) on the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe ever.  Since this cake was a bit smaller (2 layers vs. the 4 layer cake above) it was easier to choose the “frillier” option of lots of pressure and quicker movements.

The Frilly Cake: Full Decorating Tutorial from iambaker.net #frillycake

 

Hope you like this quick and easy way of decorating a cake.  But I must warn you… you will use a LOT of frosting.  For this 4-layer cake I used three of my Cream Cheese Frosting recipes. Three full recipes!  But, I happen to love frosting so I hope you will forgive me.

Let me know if you have any questions!  Happy Cake Decorating!

 

 

Candy Corn Cake

This cake is completely inspired by candy corn.  But not the  regular candy corn, Brach’s Indian Corn.


Have you seen this type of candy corn?  With the chocolate on the bottom?  I found it to be the perfect cake inspiration! (picture below)

But I went wrong on this cake.  I was in a hurry.  A BIG hurry.  I needed to have this cake done and be out the door in 57 minutes.

So I used all box mixes (which is fine with me!) and canned frosting (horrible mistake).

Something happened.  I sampled the canned frosting and thought it tasted like cardboard.  Even the chocolate.  They were all just awful.  I wouldnt feel comfortable serving this cake to anyone.  Is it just me?  I used to not mind them at all!  (To be fair, I stuck to one brand.  It could have just been that brand.)

I am a huge proponent of supporting  peoples choices in baking… if you want to use canned frosting I would never bat an eye.  Heck, I would support and encourage you for choosing to bake!

But for me, I think this was my very last time.

And also, I didnt do a pictorial tutorial frosting the cake because I was planning on doing a video tutorial but then something came up and I didnt.  I think I have developed a really, really easy method of this type of graduated layer decorating, and cant wait to share!  Seriously, even my kids can do this with great success!

So please be patient with me.  That video is on the top of my to-do list, I promise!  Well, right after homeschooling.  And finishing my book.  And laundry.  But its up there!

 

Candy Corn Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 3 containers white frosting (or three cups)
  • 1 container chocolate frosting (or 1 cup)
  • Optional: Orange extract

Instructions

  1. Bake chocolate cake in 8in round cake pan. One cake will be used, so you can wrap the other 8in round cake and place in freezer.
  2. For the white and orange layers, simple prepare white cake batter as you normally would. Divide batter in half and tint one half orange. (Add orange extract if you wish)
  3. Bake white cake batter in 8in cake pan and bake orange cake batter in 8in cake pan.
  4. For frosting, take one container of white frosting and tint it orange. I used gel food coloring and about 4-6 drops.
  5. To assemble cake:
  6. Place chocolate cake on cake stand. Place thin layer of chocolate frosting.
  7. Place orange layer on top and cover in thin layer of orange frosting.
  8. Finally, place white cake on top and cover entire cake in crumb coat.
  9. Decorate as you wish.
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http://iambaker.net/candy-corn-cake/

In my instruactions for preparing this cake I ended with, “Decorate as you wish.”  Um, lame!  But since I cannot possibly leave you hanging completely, I will share this link with you.  Sweetapolita has a great video on how she does this style of decorating.  Her method (while very different from mine) is flawless perfection.  She is a master!

And since I feel so bad for not being organized enough to share my video tutorial with you, I am going to do my best to make sure one of you is as organized as possible!  I am giving away the Decorator Preferred Decorating Set from Wilton!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was in no way compensated for this giveaway.  The prize will be sent to the winner directly from Wilton.*About 400 comments were lost due to a glitch.  Rest assured, I am pulling the winner from the rafflecopter widget, so if you marked that you commented, you will still be eligible to win!  So sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

How to Build a Layer Cake

One of the most common emails I get is “Can you do a tutorial on how to make a layer cake?”

And while I am no expert, I would love to share the tips and tricks that I use!

 

This is the SUPER FAST and EASY version.

Use a good recipe.  This can be a box mix or your favorite homemade recipe.  You are looking for a cake the bakes up flat and even and moist and firm.  Easy right?

Just in case your cake does not bake evenly, have no fear!  You can simply level your cake.  There are three easy ways to do that:

Use leveler or a long serrated knife to skim off the top dome part of your cake.

If your cake has risen above the edges of your cake pan, you can rest the knife on the edges of the pan and use the pan as your guide.

As soon as your cake is done cooking, take a clean towel and lay it on top of your cake.  Press gently and evenly.  Tip: This only works if your cake is done cooking!  So make sure you test it.

Make sure all your layers are the same height.  

Neapolitan Cake

Chill your layers before assembly.  I find that working with a chilled or partially frozen cakes really helps.  There is nothing worse than trying to assemble a layer cake and having it fall into pieces in your hands.  And you totally know I am speaking from experience.

There are many methods to torting, or using frosting in between the layers of your cake.  I like to do what is easiest and whatever method requires as few tools as necessary. (Yes, you may call it what it is.  Lazy.)

I just decide before hand how thick I want my layer to be and then use an appropriate amount of frosting.  One half cup is a nice thin layer on an 8in cake,  but 1 cup of frosting is my go-to amount.  I like frosting.  Lots of it.

I typically use about a cup of frosting on a 6in as well as an 8in cake.  I dont recommend that.  You be normal and use less on that 6in cake, ok?

Place your first layer on your cake stand.  Put  frosting on it and use a small offset spatula to make frosting an even layer.

Place your next layer on top.  Some frosting should “spill out” the sides and that is ok.  Repeat this process;  frosting, layer of cake, frosting, layer of cake, until you have added all your layers.

When making a layer cake it is important to do a crumb coat.

A crumb coat is simply a thin layer of frosting applied to a cake.  The crumb coat is intended to seal in crumbs, hence the name, crumb coat.  I talk more about it here, or you can watch a video here.

Some frosting may have spilled out, or your layers may not be perfectly aligned, or maybe your cake is slightly lopsided.  Doing a crumb coat is a great opportunity to fill in any problem areas.

 

Want to see how this cake turned out?  It’s the New Years Eve Cake in my book, ‘surprise-inside cakes’

Use an offset spatula.  I put a dollop on top of the cake and then use the spatula to bring it down over the sides, making sure to get the frosting all the way to to bottom.

If you have a rotating cake stand, you can place your spatula flat against the cake and slowly turn the stand.  This will help smooth out the frosting and create an even coat.

Once your cake is covered in the crumb coat, I usually chill it.  I like the cake to settle and the frosting to set.

To decorate a cake, I start by putting a smooth layer of frosting on.  This is done the same way as the crumb coat.  Place a dollop on top of the cake and pull it down over the sides using an offset spatula.

To smooth out sides, make sure cake is covered in an even layer of frosting, then place spatula flat against side of cake.  Slowly turning cake, smooth out layer of frosting until you have polished, even coat.

This step takes practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t look perfect.  Just keep at it until you are comfortable with how your cake looks!

I have also placed my cake stand directly on a rotating stand, and this helps me when smoothing out the edges.

In my new book, surprise-inside cakes I share many more details on this method.  I also share techniques on what to do if your cake domes, if it sinks in the middle, and how to do easy (no-fuss!) frosting decorating techniques.  Not to mention over 40 cakes with surprises inside!

Check out Surprise-Inside Cakes now! (It’s on sale for 60% off!)

 

July 4th Cake

I have made a flag cake before.  It was ok.  But I wanted to kick it up a notch.  Make something really wild that no one* had done before.

*There is a reason no one had done it.  Its crazy. 

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I decided to make a cake that was twenty five layers.

Um.  Why would one decide to do something that is seemingly impossible and has no historical accuracy or reference?

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I don’t know.

Banging. Head. Against. Wall. Repeatedly.

I think I had too many cups of coffee the day I decided to make this.

 

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That being said, I decided to continue my blogs ‘ruffle’ theme and make vertical stripes on the exterior.

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Pretty little red, white, and blue ruffles.  I think I am addicted.

How does one serve a twenty five layer cake?

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By chopping it in half thats how!

Then I cut myself a slice, hummed at little America the Beautiful and had a bite.

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Red Velvet Cake with White Cake with buttercream frosting.

Here’s to you!  I am hoping you are enjoying your long weekend, that you are soaking up the sun, that you are giving yourself a break and relaxing, and that you are with people you love.

Happy 235th Birthday America! You dont look a day over 200. ;)

*****
See my other patriotic desserts here!

Red, White & Blue Pancakes

Patriotic Cupcakes

Patriotic Rose Cake

Red, White & Blue Surprise Inside Cake

We Party Like Rock Stars. Rocks Stars in their 80′s That Is.

This weekend has been SOOOOOO much fun!

There is just nothing better then good food and good friends… did I mention good food?

Yes.  Yes I did.

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cream cheese covered in finely diced onion, bbq sauce, chopped tomatoes, cheddar and fresh bacon bits

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peppered bacon wrapped jalapeno's stuffed with cream cheese and sun dried tomatoes (just before popping them into a hot, hot oven)

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sliders with buffalo meat

and lots more…

but I sorta was stuffing my face and that makes it hard to take pictures.

We had cake… check i am baker for more pictures…

 
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 but the best part of the day was this girl.

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I put a cupcake in her hands and this is what we saw for five minutes. 

She did not move. 

Her face was attached to that cupcake. 

We heard the occasional sucking sound so we knew she was ok.

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She had so much fun!

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 One of my favorite shots of the day… cousin Leah resting that beautiful preggers belly of hers..

I had such a wonderful time at the party…  I hope all of our guests did as well!!… thanks for all the fun guys!

Halloween Petit Fours

I have never worked with fondant before.

But I kinda liked it.

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I am rolling out fondant for ‘petit fours’.

If you clicked on the link above you saw that I chose the easy version and used Oreo Cakesters.

Now that I have a little experience under my belt, (not to mention a few Oreo Cakesters, yummy!)  I just might try and make them from scratch next time.

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I’m pretty sure that there is supposed to be a smooth edge and no folds at the bottom.

Oh well.

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I have a theme in mind.. can you guess? :)

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Listen.  I have to be honest.

I tried to be hip and cool and make something very festive and seasonal.

But I cant!

I don’t like bats.  I don’t like spiders.  So I knew if I was going to be making them they had to be pretty.

I do not want to eat (much less look at) a scary spider or a rabies infested bat!

So I made them white.

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These are my petit fours.

Halloween style.

I am pretty sure thats an oxymoron of some sort.

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This is my version of a spider.  White fondant covered in white sprinkles.

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Although I think fondant tastes like poo, it was really fun to work with!

In addition, a sweet reader pointed me in the direction of her homemade marshmallow version.

I just might have to try it.

Then maybe, I can actually eat what I make.

A Halloween Cake You Can Bring To Church {Surprise Inside Cake!}

I wanted to make a fun Halloween cake this year… but I couldn’t figure out what to do.

I don’t like skulls. (except when they are protecting that gelatinous mush that is my brain)

I don’t like spiders.  Anywhere.  Ever.

I don’t like ghosts and goblins and witches and all things spooky.

What does that leave me with?

Well, pumpkins of course. (I told you I was obsessed!)

So I made this.

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Its a nice pumpkin.  Its orange.  Its rounded.  Its…well.  Its alright.

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But wait!  There might be a little treat inside…

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Can ya see it?

Here…I’ll get a better shot.

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This is my Candle Lit Jack-o-Lantern Cake.

It is as much fun to eat as to make!

I really like to bake!

Stop rhyming for goodness sake!

 

***********

This is my very first every surprise inside cake.  Who knew it would become something that defines my brand? :)  I love this particular surprise inside cake and hope you do too!  I have a full tutorial on it as well.