Hats Off Graduate 2018

I don’t take commissioned baking orders very often as they can be challenging to schedule with busy-as-usual-life and a full time day job, but every now and then I jump at the chance to make something special for someone 😉 This was a fun high school graduation cake for one of my co-worker’s daughters, and I am happy with how it turned out.

EVENING 1: Research recipes, select final recipe and shop for ingredients

The request was for a chocolate vanilla marble cake, and I’d never made one before, but felt happy with this recipe I found online. Granted, I wasn’t able to make the party, so was not able to taste it and critique the texture, moistness etc. but I hope the guests were pleased.

EVENING 2: Bake the cake layers and cover completely to chill overnight in the refrigerator to be firm enough to frost

Instructions: Vanilla > Chocolate > Vanilla > Marble with knife 🙂

EVENING 3: Trim and level the cake layers and prepare to stack, crumb coat, frost and decorate!

I didn’t realize the marble effect would be so visible after trimming the cakes in preparation for stacking them – so beautiful!

After mulling over the direction the decoration would take, and having gone through several iterations in my head, I landed on a simple ombre-like effect from red (as red as I could get this frosting! Also–one of the high school colors) to white, a medley of sprinkles (of course!), and some fun starburst-flower-like piping! I’ve seen many cakes use a similar piping technique, and it always seems a bit whimsical and loose and still each one unique.

First round of decoration finished and chilling in the refrigerator… I considered stopping at this point, but decided that a high school graduation cake should have more pizzaz! I also knew what the custom cake topper looked like and decided that it should have a more hefty supporting role below 🙂

Final product! <3

And the custom cake topper that would be united with its cake at the party!

RIce Cream Krispie Treat

I spotted this idea online somewhere recently, but when I went back to find it again, I couldn’t! But the idea is pretty simple – sculpt rice krispie treats into the fun shape of an ice cream cone!

I chose to keep it simple this time and used regular rice krispies and cocoa krispies cereal, but you could add some color and/or flavoring to the marshmallows for other options. For example, pink for strawberry or pale green and chocolate chips for a mint chip ice cream look 🙂 The possibilities are endless! I considered making a red fondant cherry for the top, but ended up only using some sprinkles to add color and festivity to this cheery birthday surprise 😀

First I sketched out my approximate size and shape on white parchment paper over a half sheet pan…

Then covered the sketched parchment paper with a clean parchment sheet and taped it down/used non-slip squares to help when spreading/sculpting the krispies. It was a bit tricky to sculpt as it hardens fairly fast and is also hot off the stove. But butter up your fingers and stay calm and it will work out 🙂 They did remain slightly malleable even at the end for some minor adjustments.

I wanted two cone drips, but ended up settling for one once I got sculpting! Keep an extra pan nearby for the rice krispie mix that you don’t use and ask a helper to take care of that while you put the finishing touches on the design.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this RIce Cream Krispie Treat turned out, and I am eager to try some other “flavors” and maybe even shapes! Donuts? Flowers? Letters? oh my.

Cake Construction & Architectural Construction

After a long hiatus from baking, I’m back! I’ve moved and have a much more workable kitchen with more space, so I am looking forward to keeping up better in the new year!

The purpose and inspiration for this project was 1) To break my baking dry spell and launch back into a layer cake, why not?! 2) My take on looking at how my day job and hobby are similar 🙂

1 – “FOUNDATION & UNDERLAYMENT”

2 – “SITE PLAN”

3 – “FLOOR PLAN”

4 – “ELEVATION”

5 – “SECTION”

6 – “DETAIL”

7 – “PERSPECTIVE”

Birthday desk surprise

Friends at work have gotten into the fun tradition of decorating each others’ desks for birthdays! My favorite part is dreaming up personalized and specialized themes that are fun and fit the person we are celebrating, and seeing what we all bring and how it comes together. The latest was a collection of vignettes that included Easter, candy, chocolate, cute, minis, marathon runners, gluten-free, snow sports…

Birthday desk surprise

I baked this gluten-free chocolate cake from Bob’s Red Mill, and decorated it with fluffy vanilla “snow” frosting, coconut, mini skaters, daring skiiers, a marshmallow snowman and a cute gingerbread house!

End of Summer S’mores Cupcakes

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What better way to commemorate the end of summer than with s’mores cupcakes? Thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction!

These delicious chocolate cakes are filled with a fluff marshmallow creme filling, topped with milk chocolate frosting, sprinkled with crushed graham cracker crumbs, and topped with a gooey, toasty marshmallow!

Let’s take a look:

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Even if summer is winding down, fall is a lovely time of year and presents many scrumptious baking opportunities… stay tuned! 😉

Bundt Cake Winter Wonderland

I’m a bit out of season, but I couldn’t resist experimenting with these ‘littles’ a friend gave me. 🙂 I have been inspired by work like “Minimian” (originally seen here) and Audrey Heller, and creative juices started flowing after the snowstorm earlier this year…

DARING SKIIER….

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ONE ICE SKATER…

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TWO ICE SKATERS…
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THREE ICE SKATERS…

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ANOTHER DARING SKI STUNT

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