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.)

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.)

this and that

I have been baking up a storm and have so many new designs and recipes to share.  So excited!  Think you can guess what is in this cake?  It’s coming to the blog soon!

surprise inside cake

Since I have been getting quite a few inquires of late I thought I would create a blog post to answer them all.  If you have any additional questions after this, please feel free to leave a comment!

WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR BOOK?

First off, thank you so much for being interested!  If you are in the US you can buy it here.  If you are outside the US, I have this page that shares where most folks can purchase.  If you do not find your country, please let me know.

***Surprise-Inside Cakes is on sale right now on Amazon for $16.50, which is almost half off the cover price!

ARE YOU HAVING ANYMORE BOOK GIVEAWAYS?

Yes, I most definitely will!  But for now I have this PRESS page that lists any current giveaway’s for the book.  That will give you many, many more chances to win!

ARE YOU COMING TO MY CITY FOR A BOOK SIGNING?

Only if you live in Minnesota!  :)  We are doing some local signings soon.  If there is a demand in the future I would be more than happy to!

Other Fun Stuff:

I am having a contest on Instagram!  Take a snap shot of you with your Surprise-Inside Cakes book and post it to instagram.  Use the hashtag #surpriseinsidecakes and you will be automatically entered to win a $50 giftcard!  You can enter up to five times if you own five books, so could potentially win as much as $250!

Instagram Contest Surprise Inside Cakes

 

Winner will be notified on Instagram.  There will be one winner every week for the next five weeks!

I am now an instructor at Craftsy!  (Learn more about it here.)

Decorating from the Inside Out

I would love for you to see first hand how I create my surprise inside cakes.  And just in case you like that Rainbow Heart Cake that is on the cover, I make that cake in the class!!

We have gotten really good feedback so far, which is such a relief to hear.  Having people enjoy it and actually learn something was the goal, and it seems that they are!

I hope you will join in the fun!

And lastly, did you want to get your copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes signed?  If you send it to me I will sign it and return it to you!

Amanda Rettke

PO Box 261

St. Francis, MN 55070

Please indicate who you would like to made out to and if you want any specific message.

THANK YOU all so much for your support!  I am so humbled by your kindness and willingness to buy the book.  It means the world to me!

 

 

gender reveal surprise-inside cake

So I have a little announcement for you that I have known about for a few months now.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

When I first found out I was freaked out.  I mean… this was big news for our family and I didn’t know if I should smile or run into my closet and eat cake.  (In all fairness I eat cake in my closet a couple times a day anyway so that is not a good indicator of stress for me.)

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

OK, ok, I will stop teasing.  I am NOT pregnant!  We are done having kids and are totally smitten with the five we are lucky enough to be blessed with.

However, I AM introducing a new partnership in my life.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

Its with Craftsy!  If you are into crafts or quilting or cake decorating on any level you are probably very familiar with Craftsy.  If you are not please drop everything and go watch some free classes on how to do awesome stuff with cakes.

It’s life changing stuff.

I teamed up with Craftsy to offer some classes on how to make surprise-inside cakes!  My class is called “Decorating From the Inside Out” and it launches March 11th.  The classes are in high-definition and are interactive.  I will be there answering questions and helping you out along the way!  Another fun feature?  Once you purchase my class it will NEVER expire.  You can watch it as many times as you want!

The classes I am teaching are for cakes that have never been taught on my blog! But a couple are in my book, so when you get it and see a cake you want to make just think, “Hey, there is a video of Amanda making this cake on Craftsy and I can go watch it right now!”

How cool is that?

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

And now for this sweet cake.

One of the methods I teach in the course is a twice-baked cake, a method that I first started playing around with in 2011.   You can use shapes or letters and make WORDS!  This particular cake is not in the course (It’s just a special treat for my blog readers!) , but the methods I teach will provide you the knowledge to make any design you can think of.

So can you tell what the fictitious expectant mom is having?  A Baby Boy!  How adorable is that little guy in there?

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

And it could not be easier to do.

Not only will I teach you how to make a fun surprise-inside cakes, but I will teach you creative and easy buttercream techniques.  Like this very fun and personalized “dot” technique.  I am such a sucker for polka dots and absolutely love incorporating them into everything I do.  When you buy my course you will get to SEE how I make these dots and just how easy it is!

And there is so much more.  Part of me is completely mortified that the sweet folks at Craftsy let me blabber on camera and do weird dances (Yes, I seriously shook my booty, please don’t tell anyone) and the other part of me is so darn excited to share new tips with you that I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO SIGN UP!

Since the class isn’t available for a couple more weeks, I thought it would be fun to give you a chance to win!

To be entered to win simply click on this link:

CRAFTSY COURSE GIVEAWAY

If you already have a Craftsy account then you can use your existing login information to be entered. (If you have trouble seeing the giveaway page, using Google Chrome should help.)

One entry per person, the giveaway is open to everywhere.

This giveaway is open until March 3, 2014.

Official Rules here.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!!

I hope you like my newest original surprise-inside cake and I hope you will love my new course on Craftsy!

Here is a link to the Chocolate Frosting recipe!

surprise-inside cakes available for pre-order!

Surprise Inside Cakes Cover

 

The whole reason I started the “i am author” tab on the blog was because of this little book right here.

For three years now I have been baking and creating and designing and writing and photographing and stressing and waiting very impatiently for it to all come together.

And that is finally happening.

My new book, surprise-inside cakes, is a book full of so many things.  There are of course cakes with jaw dropping designs on the inside, but there are also personal stories and reflections from my life.  Even though I have a blog and have been sharing my life with you all for many, many years… this book is a deeper glimpse into my story.

I have truly never been so raw and real and vulnerable as I have been through this process.  And yes, I know its a book about cake, but for me it seems so much more.

There are more people to thank than I have time for, but I certainly hope I got a majority of them in the book.  I wish I could name each and ever reader by name, as you are the ones that have supported and encouraged me when I needed it most.  But just know… its you.  I am so so thankful for you.

I hope you will enjoy the book.  Here is where you can order it.  Order one (or a few, its a great gift for your loved ones) now!  The release date is March 11th.

Amazon: http://goo.gl/zX1V9k

Apple: http://goo.gl/yxbknv

Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/fmylI5

IndieBound: http://goo.gl/vq6CsU

Books-A-Million: http://goo.gl/HrRbnS

Google Play: http://goo.gl/HwbxbL

Kobo: http://goo.gl/3fRK0f

HarperCollins: http://goo.gl/EZE1nH

Countdown Cake Tutorial {surprise inside cake}

Here is the tutorial for the Countdown Cake!

My timing could be better, I know.  So I am doing something a bit unorthodox and posting to my blog twice in one day, just in case there are any of you who want to make the countdown cake!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Here is a video tutorial on how to make the Countdown Cake.  The complete directions and instructions are listed below as the video is very quick and doesn’t cover the details.


You will need:

(Feel free to use box mixes)

1 chocolate cake recipe

1 white cake recipe

1 chocolate frosting recipe

Optional: Sprinkles

1 set of number cookie cutters, measuring about 1 1/2 inches high

sheet pan

9 inch round cake pan

baking spray

offset spatula

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Begin by making a chocolate cake in a sheet pan.  (You want the pan to be approximately 12 x 18 inches.)  Make cake then freeze cake for at least 2 hours.

Remove cake from freezer.  Using number cookie cutters, start by pressing a ’1′ (or number of your choice) into sheet cake.  If cake feels at all crumbly, put back into freezer.  Press ’1′ into cake and then remove cake from cookie cutter.  Set it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Repeat this process for all numbers.  Make three sets of each number, even though you will only use two in the cake.  The extra set is ‘just in case’.  So you will press out three sets of 10, three 9′s, three 8′s, three 7′s and so on.

Place cut out cake numbers back into freezer.  You want them to be frozen when inserting into white cake batter.

Prepare white cake batter and pour HALF of the batter into a prepared 9 inch round cake pan.  To make this easier I pour my cake batter into a 4-cup measuring cup, then pour out approximately 2 cups into my cake pan.

Starting with the 10, place the 1 and 0 into batter filled cake pan.  Make sure there is at least 1/2 inches between the number and the edge of the pan.  Place two 10′s back to back so that its about 3 inches thick.  Now place two 9′s in pan directly behind 10.

Continue placing numbers into pan in a circle, working back from 10.  Once you are about half way around the pan, check to make sure that you are working on the number 5.  10-6 should take up half the pan and 5-1 should take up the other half.  If you have any extra space, simply fill in with 1′s.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Mark your pan so that you know where the 10 is.  You can either make a dot with a black permanent marker or drop a small piece of chocolate cake on top of the batter where your 10 is.  (This will most likely be trimmed off when/if you level the cake.)

Carefully pour remaining batter over numbers making sure to cover them completely.

Bake cake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Keep an eye on it and test to make sure center is completely cooked.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then place in freezer for at least an hour. (You can freeze the cake up to 3 months, just make sure its properly covered.)

When ready to frost cake, remove it from freezer.  If needed, level cake.

Make note of where the “10″ is on your cake then remove cake from cake pan.  Place on cake stand and mark where your 10 is.  You can use a piece of tape on the cake stand to mark.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Cover cake in chocolate buttercream and then sprinkles, refrigerate until ready to serve.

When you are ready to cut into your cake, just make sure you make your cut where the ’10′ is.  Cut each piece about 2-3 inches thick.  You will then be removing the pieces in descending order.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know!

Countdown Cake {Surprise Inside Cake}

UPDATE:  Full tutorial now posted!

This is cake is one of my “crazy” ideas.  I didn’t really think it could happen.  But then it happened.  And it wasn’t that hard.  And I am super excited to share it with you!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

I didn’t take any step-by-step pictures because this was my first time making this cake.  Normally I like to make it, test it, make sure to get the kinks in the recipe out, then share it with you.

But I was just so excited that it worked so well I cast all precaution to the wind!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

For the “surprise inside” this cake I created descending numbers.  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.  Just like you would countdown New Years!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

I started by cutting into the cake at the 10.  The next piece was the 9 and the next piece was the 8, and so on.

This is where I forgot to take a lot of pictures because it was so exciting.  And if you are a stickler for details you will see that the 4 is missing above… I have no idea how I could have forgotten 4!  But rest assured he was there.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

For the top I just sprinkled some gold and chocolate sprinkles.   Easy.  But fun!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

And of course, the very last piece is the 1.  Happy New Year!

I am hoping to get a tutorial together in the next couple days just in case anyone wants to make this cake.

Hope you are having a great Christmas holiday!!

Find the tutorial for this cake here!

The Ugly Truth About Instagram

UPDATE: Why Not to Freak Out About the New Instagram Policy Dec. 18th, 2012

Let me start by saying I am not a lawyer and I wouldn’t know how to think like one even if I tried.

What I am is an honest blogger who is feeling duped.

When I started my Instagram account I was instantly smitten.  Everything about it was wonderful… the ease of uploading and processing my pictures, the convenience of posting my pictures to other forms of social media.

I even wrote posts about it and made a cake in honor of it!

Most of all, I loved looking at other peoples streams.  The talent and content was mind blowing… what people can do with a camera phone is truly awesome!

 

But there is a dark side.

People take images off the internet and repost them on their Instagram accounts.  With no attribution.  Essentially, they are creating their own ‘Pinterest like’ boards through Instagram.

This is a violation of the terms of use by Instagram, as they clearly state here:

You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Instagram Services or otherwise have the right to grant the license set forth in this section, (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Instagram Services does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights, intellectual property rights or any other rights of any person, and (iii) the posting of your Content on the Site does not result in a breach of contract between you and a third party. You agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owing any person by reason of Content you post on or through the Instagram Services.

So when I saw my Surprise Inside Heart Cake posted on an account with over 174,000 followers, I was upset.  I left a comment on the picture saying, “This is my picture.  I did not give you permission to post it.  Please remove it from your feed.”

I was ignored.

I reported the picture to Instagram.  See, I read this post and thought they had my back.

I was ignored.

As it stands there are over 24,000 “hearts” on that picture.

There are comments like, “Cool!  How did you do that?” and “Recipe please?”  ”How did you get the surprise inside that cake?”

The people who posted my picture (proprietors) also submitted my picture to various contests and photo galleries.  Never once, anywhere, did they ever credit me or even imply the picture was not theirs.

To this day, the picture is still there and I have never heard one single word from Instagram.

There is another account (around 60k followers) that posted my rainbow pancakes.

I asked the proprietor to remove the image from her feed and she all but laughed in my face.  Some of the comments I got when I asked her to remove the picture:

(from the proprietor herself)

“I got the images from weheartit.com a picture sharing website.  I feel no shame for taking a picture off a website and reposting it, like hundreds of millions of people do.  And that picture is not your picture, unless you uploaded it to weheartit.com yourself, which was your fault because it’s a photo sharing site.  Once you upload it there, you cant get upset when someone else reposts it because that’s the whole idea of the website.”

For the record, I have never uploaded a picture to weheartit.com

“If she (the proprietor)  gets them off google anybody can take them and if she takes it from u it just means u had a good pic…”

“She (the proprietor) doesn’t have to do anything!  She doesn’t know you! What is your problem?  Its not like anyone would just take your pics.  GET A LIFE!  Don’t you have better things to do?  Oh wait, I guess not!”

“Once you put ANY type of media out on the Inernet, it is no longer yours.  Its anyones to use, repost, or “steal”.  And none of those things are any type of actions that are illegal.”

“Dont flip out *** dang!  Those pictures are all over instagram and pinterest.  Stop being a baby.”

“You do know its not copyrighting unless she sells it or takes credit for it, right?  Oh wait, you don’t know.  Its basically like printing off a picture from the internet for a school report.  All your classmates see it, and its not copyrighting.  Thats just the same as Instagram.  Read (the proprietors) bio.  She didn’t claim credit for them.  Get your facts straight.”

Clearly people were not happy I asked for my images to be removed.  I am continually getting harassing comments and being insulted.

(These are just two examples, there are many more ofenders)

So why do I bother?

I work hard on taking pictures and publishing things on my blog.  Taking pictures does not come easy to me and its often a labor of love.  I have invested time and money into every post published.

When I published that picture on my blog, per my disclaimer, I immediately had copyright.  I own my pictures.  I have the right to say if someone can post it or not.  Furthermore, I have legal recourse if someone posts it without my permission.

Except with Instagram.

Because even though their terms of service indicate that you need to own a picture before posting it, there are thousands of accounts that do not follow those terms.  These accounts have huge followings, and are full of images that the proprietor does not own. (see below)

And, in my personal experience, Instagram has not done anything about it.

Under the Proprietary Rights in Content on Instagram section on their legal terms page it states:

Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.

So even if someone takes my pictures and distributes them, Instagram is not responsible.

If  you read on further, Instagram also claims your picture as theirs.  They can use your image(s) around the world and owe you nothing.*

They, and all of their users, can use your pictures for whatever they want whenever they want.

And there are no consequences.

*I am not saying I wouldnt be honored to have my pictures deemed worthy enough to distribute.

I could contact an attorney and pursue legal action, but right now that would be out of anger and hurt feelings.  I want to make sure if I pursue this its for the right reasons and would help the greater good.

I also want people to understand that just because they found a picture on google doesn’t make it their property.

I hope that when people post on Instagram that they have either taken the picture themselves or are willing to pay royalties/give credit to the appropriate source.

That they would post with integrity.

Am I asking too much?

*If you are a blogger or have a website, I encourage you to try searching for one of your more popular images on Instagram.

***********

I just received this from Instagram:

Thank you for your email. Stealing photos is against our Community Guidelines (bit.ly/igcg) and we take it seriously. We want photographers to feel confident and safe sharing their work on Instagram.With regards to your case, we saw flags submitted for these images but we could not confirm the original source of the photos. By the time it was flagged, the image seemed to have reached “internet meme” status and had spread to many different accounts and webpages. This is a testament to how much people enjoy your photo, but, unfortunately, it makes reviewing the image for original ownership much more difficult. In the future, we suggest that when you flag an image you 1. include links to the original source of the file in your flag reporting and 2. email us if the image(s) are not removed within 24 hours with links to your original file and links to all of the images on Instagram where you have seen the photo replicated. To locate links to stolen images, we suggest using a web browser version of our site (http://web.stagram.com/n/USERNAME). You can click the “O” in the top right corner of each image which will take you to an Instagram web page for that photo. Then, you can send us the URLs to the Instagram web pages.Finally, we have reviewed the accounts you mention above and taken appropriate action. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do. 
The Instagram Team
Every single account I mentioned was closed.  Now those individuals know that they were doing something wrong and that there ARE consequences for their actions.  We obviously have a long way to go, but I cannot even tell you how much of my faith was restored in the Instagram community!
 Thank you, Instagram, for handling this issue and upholding your terms of use.  And  thank you for providing further information on how to better safeguard ourselves.
And thank YOU for sharing this issue and providing helpful, informative, and sound advise in how we can all better our online communities!
**********
I have since had other pictures posted on peoples accounts without permission.  I followed Instagrams directions and flagged the images with the details they require.  Again, no action was taken.  I then emailed again and requested some advice in how to handle this.  They removed my image from an offending account, (thank you) but left the account open even though every other image was also stolen.
So, as it stands, I believe Instagram has good intentions, but not good execution.  I feel there is much work that needs to be done.

 

 

Fathers Day Cake

This cake probably looks pretty silly.

With the weird banner.  And funky stand.

But it just happens to be perfect for a very special daddy in our lives.

See, a few months ago I saw this bowl at a Picket Fence Gals sale in Lindstrom, MN.

It intrigued me!  I wanted to make one, but figured I never would.

But then I got to thinking.  Maybe I could make a cake stand!

So I did!!  This cost around $20 to make and took about thirty minutes.  But for my very handy hubby, its the perfect little added detail.

Speaking of perfect little ‘daddy’ details…

My dear husband can fix anything with a Zip Tie.  I found some mini ties (called cable ties) and tied up the forks.

I bought some plates at the thrift store for .50 and then covered them in duct tape.  What guy doesnt love things covered in duct tape?

Finding these really cool long nails (8inches) gave me an idea… why not a manly cake banner?  So with the addition of duct tape and some blue electrical tape we were in business.

Slice into that bad boy, get your handy dandy pointed mudding trowel and serve up dad some delicious cake.

Or… is it cake?

Fathers Day Surprise Inside Cake!

Well, kinda!  Its another Surprise Inside Cake!  This is a Rice Krispy Cake with a blue #1 inside.  (That looks more like a Z, oh well!) I thought it would be nice to make a cake that the kids could help with… to really get their hands and hearts into.

So while this cake is not the most handsome of cakes, and the banner is wonky, and the washer cake stand might be a tad crooked and the duct tape plates dont wash up that well…

Every perfectly planned little detail really tells dad just how loved he is.

Have a Happy Fathers Day!

Shamrock and Mini Heart Cake Tutorial

Here we go folks.  I am again sharing with you a Surprise Inside Cake tutorial.  This time… How to make the Mini Heart Cake and Shamrock Cake !

 

I will be writing out the instructions for the Shamrock Cake, and put the (brief) instructions for the Mini Heart Cake at the end of the post.  They are very, very similar so you should be able to determine how to make the mini-heart cake from these pictures.  However, if you have any questions please just leave it in the comments and I will answer as soon as possible!

 

I used this white cake recipe and divided it into two six inch pans.  Bake cakes then remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Place cakes in freezer for about six hours, or until very firm to the touch.  You do not want a crumbly or soft cake.

Start by making your cake mixture.  You need a golf ball size portion of green and a very small amount of white.

You can either bake an additional white cake to get excess cake (for the cake mixture) or you can level your six inch cakes and use those scraps.  To make the cake mixture take one cup of cake crumbs and add one teaspoon of frosting.  Blend together until you get a play doh like consistency.  Feel free to use more frosting as needed.

Take 1/4 of the green mixture and roll into a ball.

Roll it into a snake.  I use a fondant smoother to roll mine, but you can certainly just roll out a snake with your hands.

You want the snake to be about 12 inches long.

Repeat this four times so you have four snakes all approximately the same length.

Now we are going to shape the petals of the shamrock.  To do this I simply take my finger and press down one side of the snake.

Then take a butter knife (using the dull side) and make a indentation on the wide side.  Roll out a VERY very skinny snake from the white cake mixture and insert it into the indentation you just created.  The white snake will virtually disappear when you cut into the cake but will help provide a little extra stability in the petal of your shamrock.

Do this the three of the snakes.  The final green snake will be the base of your shamrock.  Instead of making an indentation, simply press it a little flatter.  You want to create a three dimensional triangle.

Remove cakes from freezer and center a four inch round cookie cutter on the cake.  Press in about a 1/2 inch.

 

Gently dig out a half inch section of the cake and set aside.  Be careful with it as you will be reusing it.

Pick up the green snake that you are using for the stem of your shamrock.  Gently tuck it into the crevice of the cake.

Now take the extra white cake piece that you just removed and cut off (approximately) 1/4 inch from the exterior circumference.

Nestle it back into the cake.

Do this to other side of cake.  You can use any of the three green snake as they should all be the same.

Now place the next green snake around the cake, matching up pointy end to pointy end.  (indentation side, the side that you have filled with the white snake, out) Place the last green snake around the interior.  Place other cake on top and dont press too hard.

Chill for a couple hours. (or overnight)

 

 

To decorate the exterior:

Cover cake in crumb coat and chill for a little bit. (anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight)

Place a frosting tinted green (I used my favorite buttercream recipe, only I used 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter) in a pastry bag with a coupler set attached.  Put the #32 tip on.

Starting with the bottom of the shamrock, apply gentle pressure to bag near the bottom of the cake.  Slightly move tip from side to side and create a wider base, then move up.

Do this same thing on the right side, only do it twice.  This helps create the two petal shamrock leaf.

Continue around entire cake.  I also put a large shamrock on top of the cake using the same method.

 

 

FOR THE MINI HEART CAKE:

Use a quarter size of red cake mixture and roll into a snake.  Make your red cake snake about 12 inches long.  Pinch down one side to create the bottom point of the heart.  Using the back of a butter knife, create a slight indentation in the top of the heart.

(Using the white filler snake in the above tutorial is optional, I did not use it on my Mini Rose Cake)

Place round cookie cutter in center of cake.  Press slightly.  Insert red heart snake into cake with the pointy side down.

Place other layer cake on top.  Place crumb coat on cake and decorate as you would like!

 

 

TIPS FOR SUCCESS:

Take your time!

Make sure your cake is very chilled prior to cutting into it.  If your cake is room temperature you might squish the shamrock.

If this is your first ever Surprise Inside cake, you might want to try the mini heart first.  I have made over 100 surprise inside cakes and the Shamrock is the most challenging by far.  I really had to be as precise and as intentional as possible.

Have fun with it!  Its just cake.  Even if it doesnt turn out you can still eat it. :)