Dreamy Creamsicle Cake – Part 1 (cake)

I think every baker dreams of the day of when they make up their first recipe. ¬†For me, that day is today! ūüôā ¬†(or I guess technically¬†it was yesterday. ¬†But still.)

I was talking with my friend The Culinary Cheesehead about various cakes that you can make for summer – especially in this insane heat that we are having here in the Midwest. (In case you have missed it, in Chicago we just broke the record for the highest “low” – we never got below 80. ¬†And today is supposed to be 99 with a heat index of 112. ¬†Sigh.)

In the midst of our chatting, Paula mentioned an Orange Creamsicle cake, which sounded absolutely delectable… and after she mentioned it, it just didn’t leave my mind at all.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Luau Cake!

Hello there boys and girls, it’s time for a recipe-less update!

This past weekend was a surprise party for my aunt, and I got hired to make the cake (wahoo!).¬† When I asked, I was told the theme was “Hawaiian luau”, so that of course¬†led to¬†millions of ideas instantly going through my head.¬† In my first iteration, it was a cake with a lei gracefully draped down the side.

Until I thought it through.

While leis are beautiful, the amount of gum paste flowers I would have needed for this image in my mind was… extraordinary.¬† So… that idea kind of got kicked to the curb of my brain.¬† After that I just started Googling like there was no tomorrow.¬† Unfortunately, when you look up “Hawaiian Cake” or “Luau Cake” under Google Images, most of them look like the creators took every single piece of Hawaiian plastic/decor the could find and stuck it on a cake (seriously – most of them should be on Cake Wrecks, just for the amount of weird stuff on the cake)

Eventually I started sketching out some ideas, and this is what I came up with:

It’s a little hard to see as I sketched lightly so I could erase easily, but it’s just a simple topsy-turvy cake with some Hawaiian accents.¬† I figured this would be easy enough for me to do, as it was my first topsy-turvy cake, and still impressive enough for all the non-bakers out there.

The weekend making this cake was unreal.¬† I only had one of each size cake pan, so I had to waste time baking one layer of each tier¬†at a time (luckily they were only two layers!).¬† It was a weekend and cake full of new things.¬† New vanilla bean¬†recipe, new chocolate recipe, new fondant recipe, and new cake construction.¬† Looking back on it now – I was kind of an¬†idiot for doing this, because had one thing gone horribly wrong, I could’ve¬†lost it (very very easily).¬† In the midst of fondant that kept tearing, I decided it would be fun to break the faucet head off the sink and spray the entire kitchen (seriously – it was a blast! (pun intended)).¬† But after all of the work and craziness, the cake finally got finished.¬† My feet ached from standing, but I was very proud of what I got done:

For this, I made a vanilla bean cake for the bottom tier and the island (courtesy of my friend Paula, aka The Culinary Cheesehead), and found a recipe for a moist chocolate cake for the second tier¬†on Kitchen Addiction (doubling the recipe and switching the milk for buttermilk).¬† I made my own version of a strawberry mousse filling topped with diced strawberries, coated the cake in Italian Buttercream and Michele Foster’s Fondant.¬† I purchased some Mercken’s candy melts and made little chocolate seashells (on top of the green layer) and the flip-flops, flowers, and palm-tree are all made of gum paste.

Double Salted Caramel Cake

Just writing out the headline to this starts to make me drool a little bit.¬† I feel like every post I write “so this is one of my favorite flavors!”, but honestly… salted caramel?¬† It’s just amazing.¬† Put it into cake form?¬† Even better!

I have to thank the SprinkleBakes website for this – she made a Triple Salted Caramel Cupcake (that, by the way, looks absolutely gorgeous!), and I just converted/adjusted that recipe to make a cake, and oh. my. goodness.¬† It was delicious.¬† I was actually told this was the best cake I’ve made so far.¬† It was gooey and caramely and crumbly and just plain yummy.¬† I would make this again in a heartbeat if I had more people to eat it!

Continue reading

Blueberry/Raspberry Yogurt Pie

It’s been a sugar-filled weekend… lots and lots of baking (well, and freezing).¬† It started with the Strawberry Rhubarb Tart, then the Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, now my dad’s traditional birthday/Father’s Day¬†pie.

This pie has been made since before I was born (I think)… and when I became old enough to hold a spoon and stir things, my mom turned over the pie duty to me. Continue reading

Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake

One of my all-time favorite flavors is hazelnut.¬† I love hazelnut cake, I love hazelnut frosting, I love Ferrero Rocher, I love Nutella… the list goes on and on.

When my dad’s birthday came around, I asked what kind of cake he wanted, to which his reply was “a nut cake”.¬† I tried my hardest to get him to be a little more specific, but alas, I was left with “a nut cake” and nothing else.¬† I had seen this recipe for a hazelnut brown butter cake¬†on Smitten Kitchen a while ago, and had been looking for an opportunity to try it out… and since hazelnuts qualify as nuts (I think¬†they’re not one of those seeds-posing-as-nuts), I had my “nut cake”.

Continue reading

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Well, the beginning of an extreme baking weekend!

My company has summer hours, and that means that the Friday before this holiday weekend was a full day¬†off – a complete welcome surprise! ¬†My dad’s birthday is always over Memorial Day weekend, so I knew I would be going home for the weekend, and decided to surprise my parents with a little baked treat to get the weekend started. Continue reading

Buttermilk Pancake Cupcakes, Maple Frosting, and Bacon Crumble

This week, while waiting for a bus on my daily commute, I decided to see if there were any little cookbooks I could download to my Kindle.  The first thing I found was The Sweet Little Book of Cupcakes by Nicholas Peruzzi.  And man, were there some yummy-sounding cupcakes in this book, with some flavor combinations I had never thought of before!

The first cupcake that immediately drew me in (there were many) was¬† Buttermilk Pancake Cupcake.¬† It is exactly what it sounds like – buttermilk pancake batter, tweaked slightly, and then baked just like a cupcake.¬† And, of course, if you have pancakes you just MUST have syrup, so I added some maple syrup frosting on top.¬† Not one to let breakfast just glide away so plainly, I decided to add some crumbled crunch bacon on top, because bacon makes EVERYTHING better! ūüôā Continue reading