It’s Time For Some Funfetti!

Wow – it has been WAY too long since I’ve written an update (and yes, I know my last post starts the same way).

Anyway!

To kick start myself back into the baking (tis the season), I decided to formulate my recipe for funfetti cake – mainly because I had a groom’s cake with that cake type ūüôā

For those of you who don’t know, funfetti is a great cake – basically a plain vanilla cake, but with some rainbow sprinkled mixed in to give all these little points of color within the cake when you cut it. ¬†I swear it tastes better than regular vanilla cake… but I’m part of the funfetti generation, so I’m a wee bit biased!

The groom for this cake is a vanilla lover, so he requested vanilla with a simple vanilla buttercream. ¬†Enter Kat – Funfetti cake with some Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream. ¬†I’m excited for this cake – this was going to be my first fondant-less cake for an event. Continue reading

An Ode to French Buttercream

Remember the first time you tasted your absolutely favorite food?  The feeling you got when you took that first bite, had all the tastes run across your palate, and just fell in love with this marvelous culinary masterpiece?

That’s how I am with French Buttercream.

Sigh. ūüôā

French Buttercream (FBC)¬†is the oft-overlooked but oh-so-good kind of frosting/filling that has you taking more than anyone’s fair share of licks as you work on your cake.¬† (Or, in some cases spoonfuls.¬† But I don’t know who that could be.)

One of my favorite restaurants in Chicago is this place called Sushi Toro¬†(or Toro Sushi, depending on what website you find).¬† One of their specialties is called the “Oh My God Roll”, because after you try it, it’s your first reaction to say “Oh my God!”¬† No joke.¬† It seems to happen every time I’m there with anyone new.

I think French Buttercream should just be renamed Oh My God Buttercream.  Continue reading

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

I have a confession.

As a child, I hated cake.¬† The only part I liked was the royal icing flowers on top.¬† I think I still ate¬†funfetti cake and the like, but that was it.¬† Whenever we had birthday cake, I would just turn up my nose and eat my royal icing roses (which, by the way, my mom/aunts had to always ask for a specific number of those so there wouldn’t be fighting among us cousins).

Oh – and I also didn’t like chocolate.

Whew.¬† That’s a¬†huge weight off my shoulders.¬† Feel free to throw words at me like “are you insane??”

Now I’m normal and like both chocolate and cake (a little too much for my own good, in my opinion).¬† I guess that’s one of the good (bad?) things about getting older, your tastes changing.

When we had the double baby shower at work this week, I knew one of the women was a chocoholic, so I decided to make the same cake I made this past weekend for the christening cake. 

One of my favorite memories of high school was Market Day.¬† Does everyone remember that?¬† That “grocery” service through the school where you paid a semi-crazy amount of¬†money for what was basically a bunch of junk food?¬† Mmmm¬†Italian Dippers.¬† My favorite thing we got were these frozen Chocolate Puddin’ Cakes.¬† They were slices of a super moist but not super chocolatey cake, riddled with chocolate chunks.¬† Sometimes I wouldn’t even let a slice thaw – I would just eat it still frozen (and it was still amazing). Continue reading

Christening Cake

Happy Monday – it’s cake time!

This past weekend was a christening in my family.¬† I’m not exactly sure of the link – it’s my dad’s cousin’s son’s son… is that my second cousin once-removed?¬† Something like that… I think… but regardless – this new lil guy is my cousin! ūüôā

Trying to figure out what to do for a christening cake was a feat unto itself… try googling it. Seriously.¬† You get everything from cross-shaped cakes to cakes with teddy bears to cakes with booties and balloons.¬† Basically, it seems like whatever is blue works well, and most people seem to shove the religious part by the wayside.¬† After spending days and days searching for something to give me inspiration, I gave up, feeling no more inspired than when I started.

Then I ran across a forum post on Cake Central (if you are a baker, check it out, it’s awesome!).¬† For billowing fondant.

And I was hooked.

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Dreamy Creamsicle Cake Part 2 – Frosting & Filling

Happy Thursday everyone! ¬†If you haven’t melted yet, the flavors in these two recipes would be enough to refresh you… I had to stop myself from eating the whole bowl of the orange-flavored one!

I get to take a trip for work over the next couple days, which is the main reason that I’m doing this cake in pieces… well, that and the fact that I’m learning doing this in sections is much¬†easier and less stressful (note to self: keep splitting it up!)

For this Dreamy Creamsicle Cake, I wanted to make two different kinds of frostings and/or fillings (I haven’t decided which one is which yet). ¬†One is a Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (CCF), and the other is an Orange Italian Meringue Cream Cheese Buttercream (that is seriously¬†a mouthful and will hereafter be referred to as Orange IMCCB).

Continue reading

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.

Cakes From the Past

Gallery

This gallery contains 45 photos.

Even though these aren’t cakes that I’ve baked recently, I thought it would be fun to include them here – these are all the cakes I’ve made in the past couple quarters at school. Strawberry Bavarian Cream Dobos Torte Tiramisu¬†– … Continue reading