Happy Halloween 2017

A Mummy Halloween to you! I’ve made these little guys before, but made double batches again this year both for a neighbor’s party as well as a work potluck – Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese mummy frosting and sugar eyeballs 🙂

I actually initially made two batches of the same recipe I’ve used multiple times before and was not happy at all with them! I’m not sure if I did something different, or it was the difference of our convection oven… so found a new recipe and I was much happier with how they came out.

From plastic container….

… to full on fall layout! I love the oranges and greens in this image, along with the warm walnut stained display box that my Dad made for our wedding cupcakes 🙂

Merry Cookie Christmas!

This year was my second Cookie Exchange Extravaganza, and I made sugar cookie Christmas sweaters and mittens 🙂

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For the sweaters I used Sweet Sugar Belle’s royal icing recipe again and separated the icing into red, green and white. As the planning continued, my strategy got simpler and simpler… Maybe another time I can make all of them customized and silly with santas, snowmen, reindeer, presents, lights, sleighs, chimneys etc.

Since the royal icing takes a number of hours to set, I baked and created the background icing layers one day, and piped the detail in white another…

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Voila!! So many….

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I packaged what I had up into baggies of 6 each…

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And off to the exchange I went! Look at the piles of amaaazing cookies that everyone brought!

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For my NEXT three dozen (remember–strategy got simpler and simpler… eight dozen sweater cookies, ok six dozen sweater cookies, ok only two base colors and white decoration, ok actually three dozen sweater cookies and three other dozen of something else…that will be faster to bake and decorate)….. I made mitten cookies dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and garnished with little cookie stars and snowflake sprinkles! There were a few I tried edible glitter, but the glitter got away from me… :/

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Just dipped!

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November Bachelorette

I had fun creating these custom bachelorette themed cookies for party favors this week! I used my Grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe and SweetSugarBelle’s royal icing recipe again 🙂

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I had a little extra time, so I started experimenting with some additional arrangements….

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I’ve noticed some of my favorite blogs use cups and mugs of steaming hot beverages in their overhead shots. I like the warm, cozy feeling the beverage gives to the shot, and I had the perfect dish towel to go with it… I’ll work on adding more to my layouts to pump them up!

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And some fun with minis <3

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A Woodland Baby Shower

Boy, December sure has been a busy month!! Before December ends, I want to try and catch up on a few posts that I haven’t had time to get to because… well, partly because I have been baking! 😉

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Acorn cookies

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Toadstool mushroom cupcakes

A college friend of mine is having a baby boy soon, so I helped bake a couple of treats for her woodland themed baby shower in early December. Among the rest of the delicious spread complete with baked stuffed mushrooms, orzo pasta salad, green salad, spiced nuts, cheese, crackers and fig spread, and an outstanding (and delicious I must say!) chocolate cake baked and decorated to look like a tree stub by another friend, were these toadstool mushroom cupcakes… 

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trays full of yellow cupcakes and tinted vanilla frosting to look like toadstools… it took a little time to get just the right orangey-red. And placing each spot took some effort too!

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Home habitat…

Before packing these up for the party, I used a few items that I had to create a quick home habitat to snap a few shots of these little ‘shrooms.

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Toadstool mushroom cupcakes in their “true habitat” for the party! The habitat was pretty much set when I arrived and made the perfect backdrop for these little red mushrooms. Thanks to Sheena for this picture!

And for the acorn cookies, I baked up a batch of my Grandma’s sugar cookies and dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate for the little cap. Mmmmm! I contemplated sprinkles on the chocolate part, but decided that I liked the simplicity as they were…

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Dancing on the cookie sheet

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acorn swirl… getting packed and ready to go

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One acorn…

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Two acorns!

Octobery + Halloween

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What is more Octobery than pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?!

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And my nod to the Halloween holiday, just around the corner… mummy pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting wrap and candy googely eyes 🙂 These are inspired by a picture I saw in Target!

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Peeking out

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Such characters!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Race Car Cake… inspired by true events

My boyfriend and I made a race car birthday cake, reminiscent of our friend’s actual race car. Our friend has been working on maintaining what started out as a 1986 Chevrolet Chevette suitable for racing at events, such as the ChumpCar race that takes place at Portland International Raceway. In his first race, he won the trophy for the “Spirit of ChumpCar”! You can follow his facebook page here!

The car itself has gone through quite a series of transformations as far as paint jobs, decor, tires, other parts and engines are concerned; besides tires, he is even known for switching out engines mid-race!

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We sculpted the double-layer chocolate cake, and decorated accordingly….

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Beginning to take shape…

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Crumb coat complete…

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Final frosting layer complete

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Side 1 View

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Front View

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Side 2 View

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Back View

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Vrooooooom!!

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At the party, he made yet another engine switch….

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…this time with the hatch!

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Baby Shower Cupcakes

A friend and I planned our friend Suzie’s baby shower together… we had fun planning the custom ‘Welcome’ board, and some themed refreshments and games. I originally saw these baby face cupcakes at another baby shower the month before and am still searching for those original images since I stole the inspiration! 🙂 We also decorated with more balloons and had a framed message board for guests to write notes to welcome Baby Han.

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Table display

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Custom ‘Welcome’ Board

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Baby face cupcakes with bonnets!

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Refreshments

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Mystery baby food guessing game…

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Baby food taste test

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Some game prizes (baby food guessing game, pregnant tummy yarn diameter guess, animal baby name match with adult animal name)

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Popcorn snacks

1981 NBA All-star Games Throw Back Cake

My friend, Lia, asked me to help her design and bake a cake that would fit with a themed ‘1981 NBA All-Star Games Throw Back’ surprise birthday party for her husband and brother-in-law.

View from the top

Finished product – View from the top!

Our final design sketch to scale

Our final design sketch to scale

The boys are big fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, so the font reflects that team’s identifying logo, and the entire cake represents a basketball backboard with their names and stars for all-stars 🙂

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This was my first cake using fondant for decoration, and I also used licorice strung on a wire for the rim, and wove the net out of yarn.

Close-up of Reese's basketball and red licorice hoop

Close-up of Reese’s basketball and red licorice hoop

We ran into some complications along the way, for example, we ordered a full sheet from Costco for the main part of the backboard, but they only gave us a half sheet! So Lia and I had to run around to Fred Meyer and pick up another half sheet to make it whole. The two cakes aren’t quite the same height, but oh well; we had to work with what we could get. I baked the three-layer ‘basketball’ portion of the cake, and added a little orange food coloring to the, really yellow, cake to look a bit more basketball-ish 🙂

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‘Section cut’ through basketball at the party

We couldn’t find any ready-made boxes big enough, so Lia spent a long time designing and making the beautiful and gigantic box with the blue base and transparent star on top. The whole thing–box with cake inside–was so bulky, awkward and heavy by the time the finished cake was inside of it, I had to ask my neighbor to help me carry it out to my car!

Custom designed and assembled cake box by Lia

Custom designed and assembled cake box by Lia

Let’s take a look at how we got there………………………………..

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Costco didn’t give us a full sheet like we were expecting…. so we had to run to Fred Meyer and pick up another half sheet so that we had a full sheet size. Variety in flavors isn’t bad, right??

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Transferring these half sheets onto the cake box board was challenging

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One down… one to go

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Second one up…

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Success with minor damage!

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Wax paper edging to protect the final board surface underneath

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3 cake layers, waiting in the wings

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Carving room for the basketball

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Two flavors

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Round cake homemade filling/frosting, and large sheet cake homemade frosting

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First basketball layer down

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Second basketball layer in place

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Second layer frosted

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Third layer down

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Basketball form complete

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Applying basketball (Reeses) detail

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Voila!

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35-red borders!

First fondant borders on

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The big ’30’

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The rest of the custom Blazer-type fondant lettering and finishing touches

38-done!

Done!

40-net creation

Creating the basketball hoop

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Weaving the net

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Ready!

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In the box, ready to go!