What are macarons, you might ask? If you’ve never had one, stop reading this post. Head immediately for the closest French Patisserie and try one right now. When done correctly, they are the most delicate cookie combining the crunch of light fluffy meringue with a chewy almond flour texture and sweetened by soft creamy buttercream [...]
Archive for 'Cake & Pastries'
To celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday and the advent of Spring, I went to the light and healthy tastes of angel food cake and dressed it up with a very simple whipped cream frosting. A few delicate gum paste flowers created some interest with punchy colors and delicate textures.
The design: It took a while to [...]
To celebrate the birthday of a dear friend, I combined all of my most favorite chocolate and raspberry cake recipes and layered them all together in this over-sized and decadent dessert. It was a most satisfying combination! The structure of the cake is four layers of a dense milk chocolate cake with semi-sweet chocolate ganache, [...]
A quick and easy cake design made the perfect whimsical touch for my 3-year old’s birthday party earlier this spring. Rather than spend days before the event buried in fondant and intensive cake preparations, I kept things really easy and did this cake out of a cherry-chip box mix and vanilla buttercream frosting. A few [...]
This birthday cake was a true celebration of all things held dear by my son. Not being the biggest fan of cake, I decided to decorate it with all of his favorite candies and lay on an extra thick coat of frosting underneath, which his his favorite part. He’s also really into his electronics set [...]
The Valentine’s mood has arrived a little early in our house this year. I found myself wanting to try something new and festive in the kitchen, and voila! I stumbled across a great article at Delectable Deliciousness about these Red Velvet Macaroons. If you’ve been intimidated by macaroons, I hope this gives you encouragement to [...]
I took a big leap and and did my most challenging cake project yet – a wedding cake for a dear family friend. I discovered many new things about cake decorating with this one. The biggest lesson is that the simpler the design, the more exacting the decoration needs to be.
The design process was really [...]
Today I met one of my baking superheroes, Bakerella. I caught wind of a book signing happening at a local Williams-Sonoma store and wrangled the family to spend the afternoon waiting with me, in much anticipation, for the glorious moment we got to meet this very talented and inspired baker. For those of you who [...]
Thanks to a most inspirational blogger and French Culinary School student in London at Foodbeam, I was inspired to try my very first French pastry made from scratch. I have a secret and deep-rooted desire to attend pastry school and spend my days making indulgent baked treasures for friends and family. Until life allows me [...]
If you like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as much as I do, you’ll definitely want to try this irresistable cupcake combination. It uses the same rich chocolate fudge cake recipe as I used for the Oreo Cookie Cupcakes. Get the recipe here. I topped these with a light creamy peanut butter buttercream frosting, and piped [...]
These mini cupcakes were the result of my passionate love affair with Oreo cookies and for baking delicious cakes from scratch. Having thought about them for months on end, a summer family camping trip was finally the perfect excuse to indulge! These not only have Oreos blended into the frosting, they also imitate the cookie [...]
It’s been a long and busy month of baking! This is the first of several cupcake posts that will be posted in the next few days. This recipe is from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, an inspirational and absolutely fabulous source for recipes and cake baking technique. I highly recommend it! These are a coconut chiffon cake [...]
Here is the latest cake made for an 8th Grade graduation party and a dear friend. This cake pushed my boundaries in layering, coloring, fondant work, and cake trimming. Many new lessons were learned.
Lesson #1: Cake consistency matters for stability
So far, I’ve been searching for the ultimate moist soft cake recipes for my decorating [...]
This year, we added a new dessert to our 4th of July festivities: cake pops! Having attempted these once before, I invited a group of friends over to learn more about making cake pops together. Many lessons were learned. Of course I must pay homage to THE cake pop original, Bakerella. Her work is inspirational [...]
I am the biggest fan of Bakerella! This is my first attempt at making her cake pops. These were for a spring baby shower, and I was quite happy with the results!
What are cake pops some of you might ask?
Cake pops are made from crumbled cake and frosting mixed into a dough that you shape [...]
This cake was for the daughter of a dear friend celebrating her 4th birthday. It was a wonderful excuse to try lots of new cake decorating techniques.
It’s All in the Details
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in trying to advance my cake decorating skills is that it comes down to detail work. The more time I [...]
This birthday cake was an experiment all around. I researched several rainbow cakes that were carved, trimmed and decorated to look like rainbows or were covered in rainbow colors. I wanted something different. This was my best attempt to capture a rainbow in its most classic form and incorporate it with cake.
The layers of [...]
This is my latest experiment making a whimsical cake. This cake was inspired by the original topsy-turvy cake designer, who also did my wedding cake years ago, Polly Schoomaker in Portland, Oregon. Although she is no longer in business, her cakes leave behind a legacy and a source of inspiration for all cake decorating fanatics.
For Valentine’s Day this year, I made a twist on a long-standing family favorite. A few drops of food coloring and some heart-shaped tools like cookie-cutters and cake pans gave these ordinary treats something special.
I used a heart-shaped cake pan handed down to me from my father-in-law. He started a family tradition of making a [...]
Three new recipes go head to head in my latest tasting. Try these combinations at home. They all tasted scrumptious!
The Chocolate Guiness Cake
The cake recipe came from Cooks Illustrated. Mayonnaise added soft texture and coffee gave an amazing flavor that complimented the beer flavor very nicely. Once the cakes are baked, whip up a batch [...]
What an honor to attend New York’s first ever cake convention! These are just a sampling of the incredible artistic talents that were gathered for this event. Cake competitions varied in theme from Martie Antoinette to Winter Wedding and Christmas Holiday cakes. There were live competitions between guest celebrity chefs, demonstrations, classes from renowned pastry [...]
I’m almost speechless. The Autumn Cake has won the competition hosted by The Daring Kitchen. My husband and I get to enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to New York to attend the first annual cake convention in January!
This cake was my biggest challenge yet. It was inspired by and made for a decorating competition hosted by The Daring Kitchen in October, 2009. I couldn’t resist the autumn theme, my very favorite time of year, and the grand prize trip to New York to attend the New York Cake Convention.
Here’s how the cake [...]
What do you do for a bride and groom who don’t like cake? Donuts! I take no credit for this cake other than assembly. The bride found photos and inspired the concept. This was quick, easy, and completely fun to put together. The support structure is made of cardboard cake rounders separated by styrofoam cake [...]
This custom-designed birthday cake was for the boyfriend of a good friend. We had a blast coming up with a design that paid homage to his love of hunting. Everything is made of fondant. The bullets are flying on thin wire inserts. The antlers were formed around wood dowels, textured with a toothpick, and painted [...]
We originally discussed making the whole cake in the shape of a duck, but I thought it might look more interesting if a duck was featured swimming in a tub on top of a cake. The cake itself is very simple – two round cakes separated with pillars that were covered in fondant to [...]
My dear brother got to be the recipient of this experiment in building a whimsical cake. This cake is finished in fondant and buttercream piping. I started with standard round cakes and trimmed the sides to give each layer a unique shape. The over-sized candles made a perfect topper.
Here you can see some of [...]
There are no frills about this cake. The goal was to create the absolutely best tasting piece of chocolate cake. I used Toba Garrett’s chocolate fudge cake recipe, which bakes up really dense and flavorful, much like a brownie. It has become a family favorite. The frosting is basic buttercream enhanced with lots and lots [...]
What a fun theme to work with! I actually sat down and watched an episode or two to get ideas for decorating this theme birthday cake. These little stars were my favorite element. I used the color scheme from some Dora themed party plates I found online.
This cake was designed for Mom’s birthday celebration that happened to fall on Easter Sunday. I couldn’t think of any better suited theme than spring chicks!
The chicks on top were the the focal point. The simplicity of the design didn’t call for too many details. They are made of rolled fondant.
This cake was for my cousin’s wedding in March. She wanted something small and simple to share just with the groom. I took the opportunity to do more work with gum paste making flowers. The roses on top turned out very life-like. My singular source for gum paste work is a fabulous book by Toba [...]
These cakes featured my very first work in gum paste. I found it surprisingly easy to work with. You can buy gum paste from any craft store pre-made or as a mix that you add water to. Both have worked great for me. These were rolled, cut with a flower-shaped cutter, shaped with a wood [...]
Thanks to the very talented ladies at Beaverton Bakery and instruction crew at Sur LaTable, I was able to learn the basics of buttercream piping techniques. After just two classes, I was able to make cakes that looked close to what you’d find at the bakery. So much fun!
The next step will be making [...]