Descendants Themed Cake

It’s my Blogiversary! I started this blog 6 years ago and my very first post was an Elmo Cake I created for a friend’s daughter, aka my niece. Since then the cakes have gotten a bit more elaborate and 3 years ago they turned into fondant creations. I normally ask her a month or so in advance of her birthday what theme she’s thinking of. When she told me Descendants for this year I was stumped. I had only heard of Descendants, but had no clue what the deal was behind them. So, it was off to Pinterest to get some ideas. Once I had my idea down it was time to get my supplies and test out a few.

I needed to make sure that the icing was easily pipeable and also to test how thick the piping would be with the tip it came with. I opted to go with a smaller tip.

I also needed to make sure that the flower cut-out I purchased would make nice roses. Thankfully it did.

One more thing, I opted to purchase a dummy cake for the top tier of the cake. I normally do bake the cake, but, it usually doesn’t get eaten because it’s too much cake, so, to avoid waste and a little bit of stress on my part I purchased a dummy cake. In case you are wondering, it’s made out of Styrofoam. No one knew it was a dummy cake once it was covered and decorated.

To prep the dummy cake I covered it in frosting

I then covered it, as well as the actual cake, in fondant.

And after some piping, fondant rolling and cutting the cake came together. I have definitely learned with making these cakes that it’s important to walk away for a few minutes and then come back to truly appreciate the way it looks. So, I take a lot of mini-breaks, if not, I would probably drive myself crazy. One thing I did decide, I am going to avoid covering a cake with black fondant. I find that it tends to dry out fast and inevitably it always breaks. I had a few challenges trying to cover up the imperfections from it.

So, what will my next themed cake be…? Not sure yet. I’ll have to ask my other niece what’s she’s thinking of for her June birthday!

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

For today’s Slow Cooker Sunday post instead of bringing you a meal I am bringing you dessert. I’ve made bread pudding and rice pudding in my slow cooker and I’ve finally made a cake, a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

To begin, I made the cake batter by whisking together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. I then stirred in 2 beaten eggs, whole milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Once that was well combined I then stirred in peanut butter chips.

Next, I poured the batter into the insert of my slow cooker which I sprayed generously with cooking spray.

Per the recipe I set the slow cooker to low, but, my cake was ready way before the directed time of 4 hours. It was more like 3 hours, but, truthfully I probably should have turned off the slow cooker around 2.5 hours. While make cake came out of the insert without sticking to the sides or bottom…

It was a bit hard/burnt along the edges so I decided to cut it in a way that I ended up with pieces that were more like a snack cake as opposed to a cake cake. But overall it was delicious and incredibly moist and paired very well with vanilla ice cream, especially if you warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips

Directions:

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract; mixing until all of the ingredients are well combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

Pour the batter into the slow cooker, spreading the batter evenly. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, until the top is set. Since all slow cookers are different begin checking the cake after about 2 hours to ensure it doesn’t burn, check it with a toothpick or cake tester for doneness. The cake may look a little undercooked in the center. Turn off the heat and let the cake cool uncovered for about 20 minutes. The cake will firm up as it cools.

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Happy Blogiversary and a Trolls Inspired Cake

It’s my 5 year Blogiversary and I am celebrating with a Trolls inspired cake. Okay, not really. But, it truly is the 5-year anniversary of Bead Yarn & Spatula. Boy, where does the time go? And I’ll be honest I wish my blog was further along and had more exposure than it currently does but I know I am part to blame for that. I definitely need to be more consistent with the posting. Hopefully this year I’ll be better with that. As for the Trolls inspired cake, I really did create one. But, it was for a friend’s daughter’s Birthday.

This cake was a three day process. And can I say I am always apprehensive to work with fondant because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s not as consistent as buttercream that’s for sure. But, it does make for a beautiful cake and is worth the extra work. On the first day, which only took about a half hour or so I created the rainbow that was going to sit on top of the cake. I made it a few days early to ensure that the fondant would harden and hold the arch shape. I rolled each color of the fondant about the same width and stuck them together by brushing the fondant with a little water, not too much as I didn’t want the colors to run. I used a 2-inch round cookie cutter as my base for the first arch and continued from there with the other colors. Once the rainbow was complete I stuck toothpicks into the bottom of it so I would be able to stick it on to the cake.

img_0367img_0371

The night before I was to cover the cakes with fondant I baked them. I don’t like baking my cakes too early because I want them to still be fresh when they are cut into. The bottom portion of this two-tier cake was a three-layer chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling and chocolate frosting. While the top portion was a yellow cake that I filled and frosted with chocolate frosting. After letting the cakes cool overnight I frosted and filled them the following morning and then placed them in the refrigerator so they could settle.

That afternoon I removed both cakes from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. You don’t want to place fondant on a cold cake because fondant is at room temperature and if you place it on a cold cake you will end up with a bunch of air bubbles; that can be quickly remedied with a pin but, why go through that if need not be.

For the bottom tier of the cake I covered it with yellow fondant and then with neon colored fondant I cut out flower designs to adhere to the cake. And to cover up any fondant imperfections along the bottom of the cake I opted for a half circle design around it in pink fondant…

img_0373

Which matched the top tier of the cake that I decorated to mimic the headband that the Poppy troll wears in her hair.

img_0374

I placed both of the tiers back in the fridge until the following afternoon when I completed the top tier of the cake by placing the rainbow on top of it and used marshmallows to mimic clouds. They stuck together and to the cake with just a few drops of water. That’s also how I stuck all the flowers and such to the cake. Once again though with not too much water so the colors don’t begin to run.

img_0375

And this cake wasn’t complete until a few trolls were placed on it. Of course Poppy and Branch, the main characters from the Trolls movie and a few of their friends. And if you haven’t seen the movie I highly suggest you do so. The message behind it is good for all ages to learn or to be reminded of.

img_0389

And there you have it… My 5-year anniversary post and an adorable – if I do so say myself – Trolls inspired cake. The Birthday Girl loved it and that’s really all that matters to be honest!

 

Cake, Cake and More Cake!

So, if you follow me on Instagram or if you take a peek at my Instagram feed on the lower right-hand side of this page you’ll notice that I post more of my baking adventures on there than I actually blog about. It’s for various reasons… Sometimes I’ve already blogged and shared the recipe or as this post is about, its pictures of cakes that I have made and decorated and don’t blog about because I am really bad at taking pictures of the step by step of decorating them. So, I decided that since I made a fair share of cakes this summer I would compile them into a post and give a little description of each.

Up first, a Lion Guard themed birthday cake that I made for a friend’s daughters’ 2nd birthday. Whenever I create these themed fondant cakes quite a bit of thought goes into them and a bit of Pinterest surfing. A week before I actually made the cake I did some prep work by cutting out all the leaves, flowers and animals and stored them in my refrigerator.

img_00631

And then the following week it was time to bake, frost, roll fondant and assemble. After covering the base cake with yellow fondant I painted it orange to give the effect of a sunset. To do so, I combined orange gel color with vodka. I didn’t completely mix the two so I would get different shades of orange as the gel color diluted into the vodka. Once the color was dry I attached all of the cut-outs I made the week before to the cake and topped it with some Lion Guard figurines I picked up from my local Disney Store.

lion-guard-cake

For the 4th of July I created this patriotic cake.

4th-of-july-cake

The inside was patriotic as well…

img_01791

As a belated birthday gift for a dear friend I made this adorable cake topped with a bright big sunflower and some cute purple flowers that I am not sure the name of. To decorate the sides of the cake I piped ruffles vertically using a 1M tip.

img_02531

And finally, this past weekend I made this cake for another dear friend’s birthday. It was truly a death by chocolate cake… A chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and the filling was the mocha cream that I used for the Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake I blogged about last week. I knew I had to use that delicious cream again for something and what better way than with chocolate cake. I created the dark and white chocolate toppers for this cake by melting Wilton candy melts and then piping them into small drops using a Wilton 6B tip and then placing them in the refrigerator so they could set. The other drops are the mocha cream which I piped using the 6B as well as a 4B tip.

img_02881

And there you have it… My summer shown through decorated cakes!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Desserts

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with delicious food and joyous times with loved ones. This year I spent the day at a friend’s house enjoying said delicious food and joyous times – although I did cook a turkey the following day. At this point though I am kind of turkeyed out! I didn’t go empty handed to the Thanksgiving celebration though; I brought the dessert… three pies, a cheesecake and a chocolate cake. What can I say, I love to bake!

Among the pies was a Pumpkin Pie that I decorated using Fall themed pie cutters. Then there was a Sweet Potato Pie that I decorated with a leaf border. I made this pie because I had never tried sweet potato pie and was curious what the fuss was all about, it was good, but, I am partial to pumpkin. And finally an Apple Pie that I gave a nice twisted pie crust design.

IMG_9940

For the Cheesecake I stuck to a basic recipe that was a hit and topped it with sugared cranberries. The cranberries were so good that I ended up eating the leftovers like they were candy.

IMG_9938

And finally, the Chocolate Cake. The cake had a pumpkin spice mousse filling – it was super simple to make and delish thanks to a box of Jell-O Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix – and frosted it with chocolate frosting. And to give it a Fall theme I topped it with white chocolate leaves in seasonal colors.

IMG_9928

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Week, 3 Cakes & 48 Cupcakes!

Recently I was elbow deep in flour, sugar and butter for the better part of a week creating some lovely cakes for some momentous occasions – a friend’s daughters’ first birthday and her older daughters’ pre-k graduation.

To kick off my week of cake baking & decorating I made a 3-tier 9-inch white cake layered with vanilla mousse and covered with pink tinted vanilla frosting. I didn’t just simply frost the cake though; I opted to decorate it with buttercream ruffles. To create the ruffles I used a No. 125 Wilton Tip, which is considered a petal tip. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the process, only the final product. I began by applying a thin layer of frosting to the cake so the ruffles would be able to stick to it. To ensure that the ruffles would be evenly spaced and the same width throughout I used a straight-edge to score the cake. Since I had placed the cake on a cake board that had half-circles around it I used that as my guide to create the lines. Once that was done I scored lines along the top of the cake towards the center. I made those lines double the width of those along the sides of the cake. I then filled my pastry bag that was fitted with the tip and began creating the ruffles. With the thicker side of the tip against the cake I began making the ruffles starting and ending the ruffle when I hit one of the score lines. This video shows the process I used.

IMG_7895

And once I got the cake to its intended destination I topped it with a cake banner topper I made. I did receive one complaint about this cake… It was too nice to cut. I was very happy with how it came out; it looked just like how I envisioned it. But, more importantly it was delicious. The Vanilla Mousse filling was perfect and the frosting wasn’t too sweet, and lastly the cake was incredibly moist and light.

IMG_7917

Next up was another cake to celebrate that first birthday. This time it was a two-tier fondant covered Mickey & Minnie Mouse themed cake. I actually had a bit of anxiety to make this cake. You never know what’s going to happen when you are working with fondant – mainly will it tear!?!? Thankfully there were no tears whatsoever, but, there was an air bubble here and there that was quickly remedied with a needle.

IMG_7976

And to go along with the cake there were cupcakes that followed along with the Mickey & Minnie Mouse theme. These cupcakes actually did cause me some stress. Initially I was planning on using Mickey Mouse themed liners, actually I did use them to bake the first batch of 48 cupcakes but those liners were on the smaller side so my cupcakes all looked like they had been nibbled a little around the edges once I took them out of the cupcake pan. Definitely not something that was presentable and couldn’t be masked with frosting. So, I baked another 48 cupcakes (this blog title should really read 96 cupcakes!) using white cupcake liners that I picked up at a restaurant supply store quite some time ago. It’s a package of 500, so I’ll be using them for quite some time. But, thankfully they turned out perfect cupcakes that I then topped with vanilla buttercream frosting – the same frosting I used for the first cake. I then topped them with Mickey Mouse picks and Mickey Mouse sticker button picks (I made these) to ensure the theme traveled through to the cupcakes. Oh, and since not everyone is a sprinkle lover like myself, I only covered have of the cupcakes with sprinkles.

IMG_7965

The cake and cupcakes together…

IMG_8001

And finally, a cake to celebrate a Pre-K graduation. The young graduate requested chocolate, so I made a Triple Death by Chocolate Cake – Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Frosting. It was a lot of chocolate but delicious nonetheless. To decorate this cake I opted to cover it with rosettes using a No. 22 Wilton Tip. Initially I was going to use a 1M Tip, but my rosettes just looked too sloppy so big. And to finish it off I topped it with another cake banner topper that I made.

IMG_8088

After a week like this I think I’ll take a break from cakes and cupcakes and stick to cookies for a bit!

 

 

 

Frozen Themed Birthday Cake

Oh, where to go begin! So, unless you have been completely unplugged from the world for the past year or so you most definitely have heard of Disney’s Frozen and the two heroine sisters of the movie, Elsa & Anna. At some point you must have also heard the song “Let It Go,” or the more playful “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” Hence it came as no surprise that when the time came to make a birthday cake for a friend’s daughter the theme would be Frozen. This cake and post is a special one as well since it marks my blog’s third blogiversary! It all started with a 2nd birthday cake for the same little girl this cake was intended for in the shape of Elmo’s head and ever since I have been blogging about other delicious treats I have made and some lovely knitted/crocheted items and handmade jewelry. But, I digress, back to Frozen. By far this was the most ambitious cake I have ever made and required numerous steps over the course of a few days.

IMG_6626

On the first day I made sky blue and violet marshmallow fondant. Thankfully I had done a test run of the process a few weeks prior so I pretty much knew what to do and what consistency the fondant needed to be. I lightly coated the fondant with shortening and wrapped it tightly in clear wrap and then placed it in a Ziploc bag to ensure it wouldn’t dry out. I then put it in the refrigerator so it could “rest.”

IMG_6559

I also made some white chocolate and dark chocolate molds of snowflakes, the number 5 and plaques by melting Wilton candy melts and pouring the melted chocolate into the molds and refrigerating them for at least 15 minutes and then tapping them out on my counter.

IMG_6566 IMG_6571

The following day I made hard candy by dissolving sugar in water and light corn syrup by stirring it over medium heat. Once the sugar was dissolved I raised the heat to high and brought the mixture to a boil without stirring it to a temperature of 300 F.

IMG_6576

Once it reached 300 F I added a few drops of blue dye to the mixture and poured it into a greased rimmed cookie sheet and placed it in the refrigerator until it hardened – about an hour.

IMG_6578

I then unmolded the hard candy onto a sheet of wax paper and broke it into pieces so I could use it as a cake topper for Elsa’s ice castle.

IMG_6579 IMG_6580

With all of the decorative pieces done it was finally time to bake the cakes. I started with baking the larger of the two cakes – a three-layer 9 inch chocolate cake. The recipe I was following was for a two-layer cake so I whipped up the batter twice and for the second batch I baked one layer and 12 cupcakes.

IMG_6582 IMG_6588

For the smaller of the two cakes I baked a two-layer 6 inch yellow cake.

IMG_6583 IMG_6585

Once I leveled the cakes I frosted the layers and the sides and tops of both cakes with chocolate frosting. I placed both cakes in the refrigerator overnight so the frosting could harden.

IMG_6599

The next day it was finally time to put the entire cake together! I began by rolling out the sky blue fondant…

IMG_6600

Which I used to cover the 6 inch yellow cake. After rolling out the violet fondant I covered the larger chocolate cake. I did end up with an air bubble on the blue cake and while at first I was upset and frustrated with it I soon realized it wouldn’t be a big a deal as I was going to mask it with the candy pieces and figurines.

IMG_6601

Then it was on to decorating… I wrapped the bottom of both cakes with silver speckled ribbon which I attached to the cake with double-sided tape. Next I attached the smaller chocolate snowflakes to the cake with small dabs of vanilla frosting – I rested the larger snowflakes against the cake. To create the ice castle I pushed down a few pieces of the hard candy onto the top of the smaller cake. And finally I placed the Frozen figurines – which I was lucky enough to find on the Disney Store’s website as they were sold out in all stores – on the cake.

IMG_6607

Here’s a close-up of the top tier of the cake…

IMG_6615

And after carefully transporting the cake – thankfully I wasn’t driving too far – without any of the decorations on it but the small snowflakes I “glued” on  I reassembled the entire cake to perfection once again!

IMG_6627

And of course there were Frozen themed cupcakes that I baked in Frozen themed cupcake liners and then topped them with white decorative sugar and a chocolate snowflake!

IMG_6591

This cake was a hit in appearance and as this picture suggests (and I can attest to as well) in taste!

IMG_6672

And if you are wondering, yes, all of this work was worth it! The Birthday Girl was absolutely thrilled with her cake and she enjoyed a nice slice of the chocolate cake!

 

Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients:

1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows

2-5 tablespoons water

2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Directions:

1. To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

2. Place 3/4 of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners’ sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

3. It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

4. When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.

5. To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners’ sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.

 

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan(s)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan(s)

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter the pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with cocoa, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – approximately 25 to 30 minutes for two 9-inch rounds. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

 

Yellow Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 6-inch round cake pans and knock out the excess flour.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. (If you’re using the organic sugar, the texture of your mixture will be quite gritty.) Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.

3. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each pan and smooth the tops evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until light golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then unmold onto wire racks to cool completely.