Friday, July 31, 2009

Last Cake Standing...Final Cake Class

Okay well I am totally kidding about the last cake standing part, all of our cakes looked awesome, but this was the last part of Wilton Course I. Lets start with the cake, my cake was a peanut butter cupcake recipe I found on TastyKitchen (Thanks Pioneer Woman!) When I tell you that this cake was amazing I am not exaggerating...the peanut butter flavor is not overwhelming and the chocolate ganache I used as a filling (from the Candy Bar Cookbook) perfectly complimented it. (recipe for both below) My mom's cake was a chocolate 4-layer cake with a marshmallow cream filling. Super moist and awesome, however since we made and prepped the cake a day ahead of time the marshmallow filling seeped into the cake. This did make the cake even moister but you were unable to grasp the marshmallow deliciousness of it. We are not sure if this is a good thing yet....Unfortunately I still can not get my mom to give me those recipes.

Now for the decorating portion; we had to prep nine Wilton roses and 20 swirl flowers 3 days ahead of time so they were dry when it came time for class. We made them out of the buttercream recipe in class but they can also be made with royal icing to cut the drying time.
This picture is of a few of my roses drying...the tops were a little cracked but other wise they were amazing (not to toot my own horn or anything)
To fix the cracked tops you can add a little piping gel to the stiff consistency buttercream or a spritz of water.

close up of the roses...

Now for the swirl flowers...those did not take as long to make as the roses did but we kept making them until we got twenty which were perfect.Close up of some swirl flowers...

To make swirl flowers you put tip 2D on a piping bag without a coupler and fill with buttercream (or royal icing). Start with your hand and wrist turned inward and apply constant pressure with the tip of the bag directly on the cake or wax paper. As soon as the frosting starts to come out rotate your wrist clockwise. Release pressure and pick up the bag. Then use tip 3 to create the center dot.

I iced my cake in chocolate buttercream while my mom iced hers in vanilla buttercream. I recommend using chocolate because you were not able to see the crumbs.

Now for assembling the cake...first came the rose bouquet.We began by apply a heaping amount of the buttercream we used to frost the cake and then pressing a rose into this mountain. (excuse the quality of these photos...I took them with my mom's iphone)
Next, on each side we made another glob of buttercream and placed a rose at a 45 degree angle on each.We completed the rose bouquet by adding two more globs of frosting and roses between the two roses we already had laid out (total of 6 roses on the outside and one in the middle)

Next we added dots to the cake for decoration. I took my chocolate buttercream and added some more white to create a light brown. It looked like it should taste like coffee or peanut butter, but it didn't: ( I tried to make mine in a cool pattern...doesn't look like it worked though.) If anyone has a good tasting buttercream recipe please share! As pretty as this buttercream is, it tastes to commercial.

So ignore the fact that the border and swirl flowers are on there already for now please.
But as you can see there was a lot of negative space were you saw the brown buttercream holding the roses together. To fix this we added leaves. I choose to do the basic leaf with tip 67. Other options were the stand up leaf (my frosting was to thin for that) or the ruffle leaf (which I still have not mastered yet)

The border I chose to put on the cake is shells. Every three shells I took some buttercream and glued the swirl flowers on. I did not need to add the extra buttercream but I wanted to insure that the flowers stuck because we had a 20 minute car ride home before I could take photos with a real camera.

I also had a lot of extra swirl flowers so I took four and placed them on the upper border of the cake (again using buttercream as glue). After I made some leaves on the swirl flowers for some additional texture.
All of the cakes!!!! Our class has come so far!

Now that I'm done with telling you how we made this delicious and beautiful cake here are some awesome pictures!
And for the best part...the insideThis is my peanut butter cake with a chocolate ganche filling, the ganache hardened but tasted oh so amazing.
And this is my mother's chocolate cake with marshamallow creme filling...notice how you can not see the white but oh boy is it there.


Peanut Butter Cupcakes (adapted from mommyskitchen on
1. ⅔ cups Shortening
2. 1-½ cup Granulated Sugar
3. 3 whole Eggs
4. 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
5. ¾ cups Milk
6. 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
7. 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
8. 1-¾ cup All-purpose Flour

1. Cream shortening and sugar together.
2. Add eggs and beat well.
3. Add peanut butter and beat well.
3. Add milk and vanilla extract alternately with the baking powder and flour.
4. Using a ice cream scooper fill the muffing liners about 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack and frost with peanut butter frosting

Fudge Frosting (adapted from The Candy Bar Cookbook):
1. 16-18 marshmallows
2. 2-1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 oz each) -I used Schaffenberger Bittersweet Dark
3. 1/3 cup butter
4. 1-1/4 cup sugar
5. 1/3 cup milk
6. 1 Teaspoon vanilla
I also added 1 tablespoon of Meringue Powder to thicken it up, but I tihnk that it would thicken without the Meringue Powder as well.

1. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate and the butter together and stir until smooth
2. stir in sugar, milk and vanilla
3. Increase heat to medium, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for 1 minute, still stirring.
4. Remove from heat and let the mixture stand 2 minutes.

As you notice the marshmallows are not involved in making this part. You are supposed to take the marshmallows and cut them into thirds (still in circles) and place them in warm water for 1 minute and remove. Then, since this recipe went along with a cake, you place the wet circles on the cake and pour the chocolate frosting over it. This does sound delicious but but what I needed.

So still wanted to obtain a marshmallow fudge taste I took 3-5 marshmallows and placed them into the chocolate mixture right after it boiled, and even though it looks like they are not melting when I placed the entire mixture into my kitchen aid and added the tablespoon of Meringue Powder they melted created a thicker filling for my cake.

Now I recommend taking Wilton Course I if you want to learn basics such as icing the cake, writing, and simple designs. Also if you want to continue into Course II and III (which is what I want to do) unfortunately I made a deal with my mom that we will take it if I finish my summer reading book before next Thursday (when class starts) Wish me Luck!

With love and cupcakes,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Second Cake Class: CLOWNS!

At our second Wilton Cake Class we tackled clowns and oh my goodness were they cute. Not to first I was a little skeptical...why clowns, they're kind of scary? However as it turned out the clowns were so cute that any five year old would love them on their birthday cake...or as cupcakes like we made them!
This was a full body clown...not so pretty on the cupcake but it looked great on everybody's cakes.
And this is a half body clown...Perfect for a cupcake! Me and my mom loved making these, and they were a lot simpler too!
These are all of the cupcakes I made at class...How pretty?
(Clock wise from top left: Full body clown, swirl flowers, half body clown, full body clown, half body clown; center: first Wilton Rose with star border)

I will post lots more pictures from preparation and the final cake from our final Wilton Course I Cake Class tomorrow...that's all for now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First Cake Class Cake!

Me and my mom are taking a cake class together and this is the first cake we made. We used a basic wedding cake recipe where you add a meringue to the was very dense and delicious and in between the layer I put chocolate pudding and my mom put vanilla pudding. It made the cake even better!
This is my cake, I wrote dad on it for well my dad...I'm not too good at the writing portion yet, its very difficult! :(

This is my mom's cake, she wrote CHELS for me (Chelsey), she's a little better at the writing portion than I am.
And these are both of our cakes at a funky angle...pretty right? It was both of our first cakes so no making fun!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

My favorite cookies ever were snickerdoodles. Since my mom worked a lot when I was little, she would take Pillsbury slice and bake sugar cookies and dip them into a combination of cinnamon and sugar to create my favorite cookies. When I was reading Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book and found this recipe I knew I had to make them.

And let me tell you…They were everything I was expecting and then some! These cupcakes are highly recommended but I would cut the recipe in half because I ended up with 35 cupcakes and they don’t last too long.

I frosted mine the night before and brought them to work the next day and the guys FLIPPED over them…so I think that if you do frost them prior to serving you will be okay but not too much ahead …they were not as good two days later ☹

I was originally not planning on posting these so I did not take step by step pictures but I plan to do so next time…

Recipe from Martha Stewart Cupcakes or online at

Things You’ll Need:
For Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

For frosting (seven minute frosting):
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

(I did not have cake flour in my house so what I did is took two tablespoons of cornstarch into a one cup measurement cup and one tablespoon of cornstarch to a ½ cup measurement cup and then filled the rest with flour…and it worked PERFECTLY)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers
4. Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla..
5. To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip to pipe frosting on each cupcake: Hold bag over cupcake with tip just above top, and squeeze to create a dome of frosting, then release pressure and pull up to form a peak. Using a small, fine sieve, dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are frosted; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.


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