April 23, 2017

Surfer Cake


Apparently I'm on a cake kick because it seems like they're all I've been making in the past few weeks.  Case in point: this post is my fourth in a row about it.  I can't help it...lots of occasions to celebrate I guess!

My friend Marcelo was having a party to celebrate not only his birthday, but also house warming.   He and his wife Juliana recently moved out of SF and found a house in the suburbs that was more dog friendly for their mini Australian shepherd.   Marcelo loves to surf and their house is just a stone's throw from the beach so I thought a surfing themed cake seemed appropriate for the celebration.

The cake consists of three layers of carrot (with pineapple and coconut mixed in) filled with boiled milk cream cheese frosting and decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream.  Ring a bell?  It should since it's basically the same cake flavors from my last post, found here.  

For the sandy beach I used graham cracker crumbs, the ocean is made of colored buttercream, and the beach towel and beach ball are made of tinted fondant.   I really love how it turned out and hope the birthday boy enjoys it too.

Yuhuuuuu....surf's up!  Happy Birthday Marcelo!!!!


April 8, 2017

Confetti Carrot Cake


I made this cake for Julia, who not only had a baby recently (check out the baby shower cake I made for her here) but was also celebrating a milestone birthday.  I wanted the cake to be something happy, blissful and festive.  I think a Confetti Cake checks all the boxes.   The rainbow of colors can't help but bring cheer to any occasion, no?


Julia's  favorite cake is carrot with cream cheese frosting so I turned to weelicious' awesome recipe.  It's the easiest thing to make and tastes fantastic!  For the cream cheese frosting I turned to my absolute favorite one from Cook's Country which uses a boiled milk paste.  Trust me when I tell you it's AMAZING and probably unlike any cream cheese frosting you've had before...super light, fluffy and not too sweet.


The best thing about this cake is how easy it is to decorate.  Once you fill and frost the cake just press the confetti sprinkles to the sides.  This technique hides a myriad of mistakes so you don't need to be a master decorator at all to get fantastic looking results.   Give it a try, you'll see!

January 21, 2017

Oh Baby Shower Cake


My friends Claudio and Julia are expecting their first baby this spring, a girl.  For their baby shower they asked if I could make the cake and I was more than happy to oblige.  These are the exact occasions where I love to put my baking skills to good use.  

For the cakes themselves Julia had requested her favorite, carrot, for the bottom tier and I suggested red velvet for the top since it was Claudio's favorite.  As for the theme Julia had in mind something similar to this pink and grey themed creation she found on Pinterest.   Lucky for me it didn't look too complicated once you deconstructed its parts. 


Don't be intimidated by the design because it's a bit easier than you might think.  Once I filled and crumb coated the three layers of carrot cake I simply piped large rosettes all around the outside with pink hued Swiss meringue buttercream.  For even the novice baker this is achievable with beautiful results.  Admittedly, the top tier of red velvet did require a bit more patience and skill in order to get the buttercream perfectly smooth and even.  Once that was achieved I decorated with grey and pink fondant circles and applied a thin fondant ribbon at the bottom.  

One trick I did learn from watching numerous episodes of Ace of Cakes is to use large boba straws as supports when doing a tiered cake.  This provides structure so that the top tier doesn't sink in to the one below.  The straws are so much easier to use than wooden dowels and they're super cheap too.  I picked up a packet of 50 straws from the local restaurant supply store for under $1!

Congratulations Claudio and Julia!

January 13, 2017

Zebra Bundt Cake


If you peeked in to my pantry you'd think I was trying to set up my own kitchen housewares shop.  I can't help it - I'm the first to admit I'm a total addict.  Call me a sucker for the latest cake pan or baking equipment out there.  

The inspiration for this Zebra Bundt Cake stemmed from my recent acquisition of NordicWare's Kugelhopf pan.  I'm a huge fan of this company and love all their bundt pans.  Over the years I've amassed quite a collection because they never seem to fail in terms of quality and aesthetic.  I call it effortless baking when the pan does all the cake decorating work for you.   


My intention was to make a marble cake and when I happened upon Bakers Royale's Zebra Bundt on Pinterest it immediately caught my eye.  I just love how the alternating stripes of vanilla and chocolate batter make the cake look so interesting and inviting.  When I took a closer look at the recipe I was even more pleased because it was based on one from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book.   Tish's cookbook is one of my favorites so I knew it was going to be a winner.  I wasn't wrong.

The crumb on this cake is really incredible, so tender, moist and melt in your mouth.  I was a tad bit concerned that the depth of the bundt pan would require extra baking time, leading to a drier cake, but this was not the case at all.  I'll definitely be making this recipe again!


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