My True Passion: Cake!

I am an amateur cake decorator. I absolutely love to make cakes, if I could do it full time, I would. I have no formal training of any sort, just a decent set of Wilton icing tips and a passion to spend my free time making sweet stuff.

I thought I’d show you this technique I used to make what turned out to be my most awesome creation to date. My nephew turned 6 and for his gift I made him a cake I hope he’ll remember for years to come. As per his request, it was a chocolate Wolverine cake.

I made the cake and icing from scratch and I’ll post those recipes shortly.

Ok, step one:

Find the art you want on your cake. Now this wolverine image was quite detailed and the most difficult one I have attempted. I don’t really think this technique takes a whole lot of skill, just a heck of a lot of time and patience. This cake took me about 8 hours, but that includes baking time and making my icing from scratch. When choosing your art, keep in mind how many lines there are and the level of detail.

Step 2: Size the picture to fit on the cake you are going to make. Get a piece of wax paper, a fine tip pen, and your picture.

Step 3: Trace the picture onto the wax paper. Using the cake pan, make sure the image will fit on your cake.

Step 4: Flip the tracing over so it is a reverse image. Tape it down to a cutting board. Don’t forget to flip it, the icing will soak up the ink of your image and the finished product will be backwards from your original print. Keep your original print nearby for reference.

Step 5: I know I said I made my icing from scratch, but for the tracing purposes, buy a can or tube of black frosting. You will not be able to create the texture or even color needed for this part. For this cake, I used this stuff:

This can came with tips for piping right out of the can. Don’t waste your time. You will need the finest tip Wilton makes, tip 1, and a piping bag.

Step 6: Carefully trace the image with icing. I’d recommend starting from the top down or from the center, out. Careful not to rest your hand in it or you’ll be starting over.

Because this was such a detailed picture to work with, with icing at least, I used a toothpick to clean up my lines and make sure important parts, like his face, were perfect.

Step 7: Start filling in your image. Think of it like a stained glass window. I started filling in the black since I already had it going.

*After you are done tracing and after filling in the tiny spots, you can use a bigger tip to speed up the process. I used a number 3 tip for most of the filling in.

Then using your prepared butter cream frosting, fill in the rest.

Keep in mind, what you are looking at will be the back, so keep layers in mind. Under the face I already filled in his mouth and the black lines of his face are still there.

After you are done filling in, put one more layer over the entire thing and make it all as even as possible.

Step 8: Put it in the freezer for 2+ hours. You can make this a day ahead and keep in the freezer overnight. Prepare the cake for decoration.

Tip: freeze your cake before you frost. It is 10 million times easier to frost a frozen cake than it is a non-frozen one. Put a ‘crumb’ layer on your cake. A crumb layer is a very thin layer of frosting, and then frozen. This will keep all crumbs off of the surface icing.

You need a perfectly flat top of cake. To achieve this, make a cake from scratch, they do not rise the same way box mixes do and you’ll have a more level cake to work with. Use a knife to even out the top if needed. When stacking layers, make sure your top layer is “bottom side up.”

Step 9: Take your frosting transfer out of the freezer and carefully put it on the top of your cake.

Carefully peel off the wax paper.

Finish up by frosting the sides of your cake.

And, we are all done!

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Too Busy to Blog!

Hello friends, I must apologize for not blogging in over a week! Forgive me, I’ve been so busy moving. Packing, packing, my entire kitchen is in boxes as we speak. But I’ll be back at it toward the middle of next week. All of these frozen dinners and take out is making my mouth water for some good California food.

While I’ve been away I threw a baby shower for a good friend. Her theme was sweet pea so I made these cupcakes. Again, I just used a box and spent my time decorating. I used fondant for the pea pods, which is pliable like play dough so it was pretty easy to do, just a little time consuming. But they turned out super cute!

Busy Birthday Business!

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog this last week because I’ve been planning my daughter’s 1st birthday. She is having a cupcake theme and I have been baking and shopping all week. I made these super cute cupcake pops for party favors, from this awesome blog and baked 4 dozen cupcakes and a giant cupcake cake for the baby to dig into. Unfortunately, I have no great recipes to share, I just used boxed cake mixes and spent my time decorating. But it all turned out so cute I thought I’d share some pictures.

Brownies From Scratch, using Cocoa Powder

Brownies. Oh Brownies. Anyone who knows me, knows my affinity for sweets and more specifically, chocolate. And at the very top of my favorite things of all time is the corner piece of a brownie, the fudge-y kind, not cake-y. I’m famous for a few different great brownie recipes using unsweetened chocolate but found this when a sweet tooth attack hit and the only thing that resembled chocolate in my pantry was a tub of cocoa powder that I normally use for hot chocolate.

I have to say, while slightly less attractive on the top, they tasted just as great. But if you’d like, make the frosting to go on top and then they will be beautiful. It is my opinion that if a brownie is moist and chocolate-y enough, there is no need to put frosting on it. That, and I was out of powdered sugar.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or coat well with cooking spray) an 8 inch square pan. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in cocoa,  flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the optional frosting:

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Combine butter, cocoa, honey, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These are the easiest cookies ever. Not only are they fool proof but they take about 15 minutes from start to finish and that includes baking time. You probably have all three ingredients in your kitchen right now, so why not make them tonight? But be careful! These are so rich and peanut buttery, it would be a shame if you were out of milk.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven at 350. Mix ingredients, spoon onto a baking sheet and use fork to create the famous peanut butter cookie criss cross pattern. Bake 8 minutes. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes. It is important to allow these to cool, they will appear to be quite doughy and the cool down time allows them to firm up into a fantastic cookie. This recipe only makes about 20 cookies so double or triple recipe as needed.