Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Wedding Cake

This Fall-Themed Wedding Cake was made for my husband's best friend and his lovely bride.  They requested a White Vanilla Buttercream rustic-looking cake, with branches and edible leaves.  The cake was very simple and fun to make! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rustic Country Wedding Cake

I made this cake in a hotel room, in Las Vegas, NV!  A very dear friend of mine got married in Vegas, and she asked me to make her wedding cake.  Of course I said YES, but then the question of logistics came up- how would I transport a wedding cake to Las Vegas from Southern California (a 4 hour drive) in the middle of summer, and have the cake #1: Survive, and #2: Taste good.  A good friend of both of ours had a timeshare I was able to use, so I had a functional kitchenette, and a table to use for assembly and decoration.

The cake you see is the finished product, without the topper.  I'll have to ask the bride for a photo with the topper, and hopefully a photo with the beautiful couple cutting the cake.  Hopefully more photos to come!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Maroon, Silver and Black Graduation Cake and Cupcakes

My cousin graduated from high school! I remember when she was born- I was a freshman in high school, and I got to watch her grow up as I went to her house after school.  Her school colors were maroon, black and silver.  The graduation cap on the top of the cake was made out of cookies and cream chocolate wafers in a chocolate mold, and the flowers were made of fondant and each had a black dragee placed in the middle. The 2012 on the top of the cake were sparklers that lit up and really made a fun impression when they were lit!  I also made about 100 cupcakes with a graduation cap and a small silver and black flower adorning the top of each.  What a fun project for a wonderful person!  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Engagement Party Sugar Cookies

This is going to be a quick post- I know, you're thrilled! :)  I just wanted to post my wedding sugar cookies- well, actually, engagement party sugar cookies.  They were made with the most awesome sugar cookie recipe from Cookie Crazie's Blog (this woman is awesome and does her missionary work using the funds she raises decorating cookies- she is truly talented and a real Proverbs 31 woman- inspirational!).  Here they are- I hope the bride-and-groom-to-be enjoy them!

I also made a set of wedding dress and tuxedo chocolate covered strawberries for the same event :) 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Wow- it has been a while- sorry for the delay in posting everybody- life has been crazy busy but crazy good too :)

Tonight I started practicing a Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting.  For the cupcake I used the standard WASC recipe, but used Red Velvet mix and added a 4th egg to try a new texture (which I must say I like better than the normal 3 egg recipe).  Instead of Almond extract, I just added an extra teaspoon of vanilla. I got a thumbs up from hubby which is a good thing- because he hates red velvet.

The cupcakes were great- but the reason I REALLY made this post was to highlight the cream cheese frosting.  I scoured the Internet for a cream cheese frosting recipe that would be heat-stable (due to the fact that this wedding is Mid-July in California- what was I thinking?! Lol) but still tasty and not over-sugary.  After reading MANY blog, forum and website recommendations (too many to even count at this point)- I decided to branch out and try my own mixture in hopes that something stable yet tasty would come out of it.  I think I might have something worth keeping- but I'll know better tomorrow after the cupcakes have been sitting out for a day on my table in this lovely California heat-wave we're having (tomorrow should be 91 F, so that will be a good test I hope).
Cream Cheese Cupcake Frosting Recipe
2/3 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Butter (Unsalted, room temperature)
8oz Cream Cheese (I prefer whipped)
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 drops concentrated Cheesecake extract 
4 Cups powdered sugar (you can sift after measuring to avoid lumps)

1) Blend together all ingredients (except the powdered sugar).  Mix long enough to get the lumps of butter/cream cheese/shortening out of the mixture- but not so long that the mixture starts to break down- approximately 45 seconds on high using a stand mixer- about 1.5-2 minutes using a hand-mixer.
2) Sift the powdered sugar, if desired, into another bowl.
3) Mix in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer set on low, until all powdered sugar is incorporated.
4) Pipe onto cupcakes immediately, or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to pipe.

I hope this one holds up to the heat- I'll let you know what my findings are tomorrow!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

For those of you who loved the Creme Brulee cupcakes- you HAVE to try this Creme Brulee cheesecake bar recipe- mixing fired up crunchy vanilla sugar AND cheesecake- talk about a winning combo!

Here is the recipe for Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

1.5 boxes (about 115) crushed Vanilla Wafer cookies
1/2 Cup melted butter
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

(Note- you can cut the crust recipe in half if you prefer a thinner crust- this recipe gives about a 1/3"-1/2" crust).
Step 1: Mix all crust ingredients together and press into the bottom of a greased 9" x 13" pan.
Step 2: Bake at 350 F for about 6-8 minutes.
Step 3: Allow crust to cool for 5-10 minutes before filling.

4- 8oz Packages cream cheese
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup sour cream
2 Whole eggs
4 Egg Yolks
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 Vanilla beans, scraped (optional- I just love the look of vanilla beans in pretty much anything dessert-like)

(Note- you can cut the filling recipe in half if you prefer a thinner cheesecake- this gives about 1" of filling on top of the crust- just make sure to decrease the baking time if you decrease the filling amount.)
Step 1: Mix the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream together until smooth.
Step 2: Incorporate the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.
Step 3: Pour mixture onto cooled cookie crust.
Step 4: Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes until the cheesecake mixture is firmly set in the center.
Step 5: Allow cheesecake to cool for 1-3 hours by refrigeration or longer if time permits.

1/2 - 1 Cup Vanilla sugar (lightly pulsed in a blender or food processor for up to 30 seconds)

Step 1: Just before you are ready to serve, put a light coating of vanilla sugar (or regular granulated sugar that has been pulsed a couple of times in the blender if vanilla sugar is not available).
Step 2: Cut into Bars or slices before torching the sugar.
Step 3: Using a kitchen torch (this is the fun part!) - torch the sugar until it turns a darker brown color by melting the sugar and allowing it to form a crystallised layer on top of the bars.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

What is better than a chocolate cupcake? A chocolate chocolate cupcake.  'What does that mean?' you may be asking... it means this is one of the most chocolate-y cupcakes you'll ever indulge in! Adapted from the amazing "Cupcake Project" website... this is truly my new cupcake inspiration go-to site!

Here is the recipe for the Chocolate Chocolate cupcakes that are a new crowd-favorite.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups vanilla-infused sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk (or Heavy Whipping Cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add eggs, beating until well combined. 
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder to the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Mix in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full (I prefer to use a Large Cookie Scoop from the Pampered Chef).
  7. Bake at 340 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not bake too long- cake can dry out too much.
While the cupcakes are baking, you can make this simple ganache that is great for filling and frosting your cupcakes.
  1. 1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  2. 1/2 Cup 62% (or greater) Dark Chocolate chips (you could also substitute white chocolate if you prefer)
  1. Heat the whipping cream until lightly boiling (constantly stirring so as to not burn the cream).
  2. Put the chocolate into a glass or metal bowl.  
  3. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Stir the chocolate/cream mixture until the lumps smooth out.  
  5. Place in a pastry bag with a round tip, and inject the chocolate ganache into the cupcake as filling. 
  6. Next, pipe the warm ganache on top of the cupcake, and smooth with a knife or spoon (I hold the spreader or knife in the same position and spin the cupcake in a circle to coat the cupcake).  Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before moving to prevent the chocolate from dripping.
  7. Serve with an iced cold glass of milk

First Birthday Party

My adorable, wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, amazing (I could go on and on- but this blog is short) niece and godchild turned 1 this year!  And I got to make her cake, cupcakes and cake pops! (And my husband and I got to buy her saddle to go with the miniature horse grammie and grandpa got her- mini-horse can be viewed at the end of this post :) ).  Here are some photos that captured the event of the year! (Note: I don't know how I didn't get photos of the pinata- it was huge!)

The kids' table- coloring books, bubbles and toys.

       What first birthday would be complete without a jumper for the kiddos?
Some decorations my sister came up with- paper lanterns wrapped in clear plastic for a "candy" appearance.

 Cake pops! White cake with pink vanilla buttercream frosting, and pink and white sprinkles.

Cake pops- chocolate cake with pink vanilla buttercream frosting and white sprinkles.

Vanilla cupcakes filled with vanilla buttercream, topped with vanilla buttercream and green sixlets. 

Miss Avery with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Lena- smashing her neon pink smash cake (her mom picked out the pink buttercream, I just put it on some cake for her- I accept no blame for the fluorescent pink color that is shown covering her face, hands and dress in this photo!)

 The smash cake- neon pink, with green sixlets and white gumpaste rose.

 Avery's miniature horse- what every little girl wants- and bows in her hair for this special occasion!

Baby Shower- Monkeys (and other Jungle Friends)

My Great Aunt threw a baby shower for her daughter, and I was blessed to be asked to cater the event for Megan and baby Blake!  It was so much fun thinking up "jungle" themed foods- then getting to serve the food at my Aunt's wonderfully decorated themed shower was absolutely amazing.  Here are some photos of the big day- it was so much fun to plan out the menu and see it all pull together with the help of a few wonderful relatives of mine :)

Chocolate covered jungle critter pretzels

Chocolate covered coconut candy and jungle-animal cut-out rice krispies for fondue dipping.

Individual servings of Monkey Bread

Salad with various fruits and berries for dipping in fondue....chocolate...yum.

Snack table with monkey sugar cookies and jungle pretzels.  Also, look at the bowl on the left- cookie dough dip with animal cookies... also yum!

 The whole shebang of the dessert table- from the left- cake pops, monkey bread, cupcakes, cookie dough dip and animal cookies, monkey sugar cookies and chocolate covered pretzels.

Cupcakes! Chocolate and Vanilla- both with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Annndddd the most important part of the day- Mommy-to-Be! Congratulations to you, Chase and Baby Blake!

Ok, and one more photo of the monkeys :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I was aimlessly wandering the Internet the other day when I stumbled upon a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cake.  I decided then and there that I had to make this cake- but for whom was I supposed to I bake it? I didn't have an event or any sort of meeting planned- so I decided to make two cakes (by doubling the recipe)- one for my hubby and me, and one for my office.  This cake was moist and dense and tasted just like a cinnamon roll- the only request my co-workers had was to bring a gallon of iced cold milk the next time I make this tasty concoction!

I modified the recipe I found online to suit my tastes- here is the original recipe- and below you will find my version.

Cake Ingredients
3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla (preferably pure vanilla, not extract)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1) Mix everything together except for the butter.
2) Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased spring form pan or a 9×13 pan.  (Do not place in oven yet)


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 - 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

*Note- I made two cakes- 1 cake had pecans only, and 1 cake had pecans and mini-chocolate chips- my preference was the cake with the pecans only.

3) Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop nickel-sized pieces evenly over in the batter and swirl the pieces into the batter. Bake at 350 F for ~35 minutes in a spring form pan, or 28-32 minutes in a 9x13 pan.


Glaze (Make this while the cake is baking)
2 cups powdered sugar

5 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (I prefer pure vanilla over vanilla extract)

4) While the cake is still warm, drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gluten-Free Toasted Coconut Scones

I was blessed to be asked to help make scones for a recent women's event at my church (Faith Bible Church in Murrieta, CA).  I was given a recipe for regular scones which I got to make my own - researching various flavor combos- what a great adventure that was!  But then I remembered that some of the women at our church are on Gluten-Free (GF) diets, and I wanted to accommodate them so they could enjoy the breakfast at the event as well.  Several women have asked me for the GF recipe, so here it is!

3 Cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix (or your own favorite all purpose GF Flour blend)
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
2/3 Cup granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar - sugar infused with vanilla beans- but regular sugar is fine too)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 Cup Cold Butter (sliced thin- in 1/2 Tbsp or smaller increments- or sliced using a food processor)
1 1/3 Cups Buttermilk
1 Cup Toasted Coconut (bake on a cookie sheet with a rim at 350 degrees for 10 minutes)
1 Teaspoon Coconut Extract (optional but preferred)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional- I just love vanilla so I add my homemade vanilla with vanilla beans to the recipe)
STEPS: (I find this easiest using a stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer if you prefer. Be careful not to overmix this dough as it will get stiff).
Preheat oven to 380 degrees F

1) Blend together flours, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. 
2)    Add sliced butter 2-3 pieces at a time, until you no longer see large pads of butter. 
3)    Add toasted coconut (leaving about ¼ cup for the topping) (and extracts if you decide to do so). 
4)    Incorporate buttermilk 1/3 Cup at a time until dough starts to tighten up. 
5)    Turn dough out onto a floured cutting board (I prefer to use the coconut flour), and lightly need (if necessary- just to make all dough stick together).  Then cut the dough into ¼ths. 
6)    Make each 1/4 dough into a ball, and flatten with the palm of your hand, until diameter of the dough is about 6”-8” round and about 3/4” – 1” in height (this recipe doesn’t rise very much, so make it as tall as you want the scones- but for GF I prefer a little thinner than traditional scone height due to the texture and consistency). Sprinkle 
7)    Cut the dough into 6 pieces (these make small scones- like the ones at the women’s event. If you want them larger- then cut the initial dough into 1/3rds instead of 1/4ths). 
8)    Bake at 380 degrees F for about 16 minutes- scones will be a light golden brown (pan does not need to be greased- I prefer to use parchment paper to line my pan, but it is not necessary). 
9)    Allow to rest 1-2 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lemon Souffle Panckakes

I have loved pretty much everything that contains lemon since I was a little girl with a giant meyer lemon tree in my back yard.  This recipe is no exception!  I found this recipe through Pinterest, on blogger kokken69's blog and must say that I am happy that I did (and so is my husband- I got 2 thumbs up!). 

The ingredients are simple and it takes only a few minutes to whip this batter together.  I modified kokken69's recipe slightly to suit my own tastes.

Lemon Souffle Pancake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Nonfat Milk
4 Egg yolks (Save the whites for later)
5 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Butter (melted)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp Baking powder
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
A pinch Salt
4 Egg whites

1. Mix egg yolks, milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add melted butter and mix well.

2. Gradually mix flour, sugars and baking powder with milk mixture until the dry ingredients are moistened. Be careful not to overmix.

3. Place egg white in a separate bowl with a pinch of salt (make sure the bowl is oil free) and beat until soft peaks are formed.  Fold in egg white into the batter.

4. Melt a small portion of butter in a heated griddle or non-stick pan.  Pour batter into the pan and cook until the cake is golden brown on the underside then flip and cook the other side.

5. Serve pancakes with any of your favorite toppings- I would recommend raspberries, strawberries, honey or powdered sugar (or any of your favorite combinations).

*This recipe yields approximately 10-12 three inch pancakes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No-Cook Coconut Candy

I love the combination of coconut and chocolate. I also love candy. That is exactly why this mix of sugar, coconut, chocolate and what should be France's official food- Butter- is absolutely amazing.

1 C melted butter
4 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (milk or cream of coconut can also be used)
5 C sweetened or unsweetened coconut
2 C Chocolate candy melts

1) Mix all ingredients (except the chocolate) together until the mixture is well moistened.
2) Roll into bite-sized portions using a tablespoon or cookie scoop (you will have to roll quickly because the heat of your hands can make the mixture sticky). 
3) Place the rolled coconut balls on wax or parchment paper, then stick in the fridge or freezer until firm (about 15 minutes).
4) Melt the chocolate while the coconut candy centers firm up.
5) Take the candy centers out of the freezer/fridge, then dip in the melted chocolate. Place dipped chocolates on wax or parchment paper until candy coating has dried.  As a garnish, add 2-3 flakes of coconut or create a design in the top of the chocolate using a fork or toothpick (before the chocolate has dried).

*Store in an air-tight container for up to 3-months in a freezer, or serve immediately.

**Note: I found a similar recipe to this on the Internet some time ago, but I cannot find the original source- I have made some modifications to tailor the original recipe to my own tastes.