The SWEET Smell of Roses.

Roses are pink.

This cake was great.

It’s almost a crime how much sugar we ate.

Pink Rose CakeSo, what do you give your mother-in-law for her birthday? You bake her a chocolate cake, of course! I asked my husband if his mother was going to have a cake and offered to make one. I had in mind to try my hand at another ombre cake, with layers of aqua or purple, and this time covered in roses, until a little birdie told me that she wanted a chocolate cake. I quickly had to change my mindset. What was I going to do now? I Googled chocolate cakes and roses and found this lovely cake. I have never done a cake like this… but have no fear, I had my 1M tip near…(corny, I know)

Let’s take a minute and talk about tips & tricks. I knew that I was going to need to use two different piping tips. The large Wilton 1M tip for the roses on top and Wilton’s #18 tip for the rosettes around the base of the cake. Because both of these tips were going to require different size couplers, I was going to have to use two different pastry bags. I was not going to move icing back and forth, so I used the saran wrap method. I learned it several years ago from this blog. Also, when I was watching some YouTube videos on making different types of flowers, I noticed everyone had their favorite way to put icing in a pastry bag. I am showing you what I use. A Pilsner beer glass. Who knew that drinking beer on a business trip would turn out to benefit me later in life…LOL. I like this glass because, as you can see, the tip does not hit the bottom when I am using the large coupler, nor does it tip over. Overall, this glass has been a win-win!

Chocolate ButtercreamCrumb coating a cake, in my opinion, is the part I hate the most. Nothing like having it nice and smoothed and then the icing decides that it likes the spatula more than sticking to the cake. Then you have to get it to smooth back down without completely tearing the cake apart. (Just think of it like that piece of hair that you can’t get to lay down, no matter how much gel/hairspray you use. No matter what you do! Finally, you just say forget it and decide that it is “say something hat day”.) So…enough about the crumb coat. Next is putting on the top layer of chocolate icing (see above pic). Easy peasy. Only takes smoothing and turning the cake and smoothing and turning while smoothing. You get the idea. After that, pipe on some roses and your done…until you look at the sink and surrounding area. Clean-up…Arrgh.

Pink Rose Cake InsideLater that day, I picked the kids up from school and telling them of the “fun” I had icing the cake. I told my daughter that the icing was made with 4 sticks of butter and 8 cups of powdered sugar. She asked, “Are you sure it’s safe to eat this cake?” Enjoy.

LEGOS Are Everywhere!

Lego CookiesLegos have infested my house. Luckily, I have not had the honor of stepping on one and having to go to the hospital…yet. My kids love to take the minifigures and swap out heads, hair and bodies. Also, my son loves to play all the Lego games on the Wii. So, it is no surprise that my son wanted a Lego themed birthday party. I asked him if he wanted cookies, cupcakes or a cake. He said that he wanted all of them. I guess I shouldn’t have given him so many options.

Lego TowerI didn’t feel like making a ton of cookies, so I just made one batch of dough. But, when you are cutting out squares and rectangles, the dough goes a long way. I wanted to make Lego heads too. I searched through my cookie cutters, but couldn’t find anything that would work. So, I just made my own. The one thing that I love about icing Lego cookies is that I only have to use one single color. I must say these were super easy.

Lego Female FaceFirst, my plan was to make black icing and pipe features onto the minifigure faces. Then the plan turned into using a paint brush and brushing royal icing on the yellow heads. Finally, after I got out my KopyKake machine and all was said and done.  I wound up using food markers, which worked like a dream. Especially since my daughter wanted a few of the Lego faces to be girls, which means eyelashes and lips.

Lego CakeHe wanted chocolate cake with buttercream icing. I made a single layer round cake and a dozen cupcakes. I iced a crumb coat and then smoothed out the rest. I used brown M&M’s to make the face. It turned out kind of plain, but cute.

So, there you have it. He got all 3 desserts. We ate leftovers for a few days, which no one seemed to mind. After the party, my house has even more Legos. Enjoy.

Pink Ombre Cake and Flower Cupcakes

Flower CupcakesLayered Ombre CakePink Ombre CakeI was asked a couple of months ago to make cookies for a family baby shower. However, I knew that I would be unable to do cookies at that time. So, I suggested that I make a cake instead.

I have seen ombre cakes on several of the other blogs that I follow. I thought that I would give it a try.

I started the night before the shower because I knew that I was not going to have enough time the next day to bake, cool, and ice. I was going to make a french vanilla cake. However, the cake batter was yellow and when I added pink food coloring, it turned a shade of orange. More like a shade of coral. So, there I was, the night before, with my four bowls of weirdly colored cake mix. I was not a happy camper. I dumped all the batter back into my Kitchenaid bowl, mixed it up a little, and made 48 cupcakes. I wasn’t planning on making that many cupcakes, but I was not about to throw out all that batter just because of a lousy color. Actually, when I mixed all of the different shades together, it turned out to look pink. I was satisfied, for the moment. Now, I had to start all over again with white cake mix. This new batch of batter turned the desired shades of pink when I added the color, so I was back to being a happy camper, again.

It was the day of the shower and I was onto making homemade buttercream frosting. I learned that when making a petal ombre cake that you need to make extra frosting. I own two bowls for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, so I made a batch in each bowl. I pulled half of the frosting out of the first bowl, so I had the white. In the second bowl, I put one drop of Americolor Soft Pink. I took half of that frosting out and put in into a separate bowl. Into each of the two remaining half-filled mixing bowls I added 2 drops of Soft Pink, stirred, and voila! I had my 4 colors.

On to the fun part, icing the cake. I cut the top of each cake layer to make it flat, frosted in between each layer, and put on a crumb coating. Do not throw away the cut off pieces of cake. I will tell you later what to do with the pieces. Now, I did not own enough #12 tips to do this job. So, I just put a coupler in the pastry bag and piped the frosting straight out of the coupler. The coupler has a little slit on the side. I turned the slit facing the side that was going to be pressed flat by the spatula. It worked alright, but I am in the process of purchasing more tips.

After, I finished icing the cake, I iced the cupcakes. I used a #129 tip. This tip has a metal bar inside. So, when I squeezed out the icing, it separated it into ribbons. Also, the bar makes it very hard to squeeze out the icing. It was tiring, but it turned into a pretty flower design.

I said earlier that I would tell you what I did with the extra cake bits. I dumped them all in to one of my Kitchenaid bowls, added all the extra frosting, and mixed it all together. It made a lovely pink ball with a consistency similar to cookie dough.  I put it in a Tupperware bowl and stuck it in the fridge for my husband.  He said it tasted like cake and icing.

As you can see in the pictures, it all turned out really well for my first try. Everyone thought it was beautiful. I had some people say it was the best cake they had ever tasted. Others wanted me to let them know when I started going into business. Everyone was happy, especially the Mommy & Daddy-to-be. That’s all that matters to me! Enjoy.

Ombre Cake and Smash***Well, a year has passed. I was asked to make the baby’s first birthday cake and smash cake. Her parents thought that it would be fitting to have it look like the baby shower cake. So, that’s exactly what I did. Enjoy.***