Monday, October 28, 2013

Caramel Corn Cupcakes

Halloween is just a few days away! If you need a fun sweet for a neighborhood party or to share with your trick-or-treaters, I've got just the thing for you! These Caramel Corn Cupcakes are absolutely delicious and have fall written all over them! I think my favorite part is the homemade caramel corn on top! I shared the recipe for these sweet treats earlier this month on The Cake Blog, so head on over and check it out! Our check out Carrie's adorable Monster Eye Cake as another super fun and easy option for your Halloween festivities!

Hope you all have a great Halloween! I'm hoping my little munchkin will cooperate and wear his homemade hot dog costume that Gpaw made him, but it's not looking likely right now! What are your kids dressing up as this year?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Craftsy: Basic Fondant Techniques - with Elisa Strauss

I recently was introduced to this great site Craftsy. It is seriously one of coolest sites I have ever seen for those of us who love to craft. It shares videos, tutorials, patterns, projects and supplies for just about every topic you can think of from paper crafts, photography, embroidery, quilting and my favorite CAKE DECORATING! I can't believe I am just now discovering this site! This would have been extremely helpful when I first became interested in cake decorating about 4 years ago.

One of the amazing features of this site is there are online videos with professional cake decorators who provide step-by-step instructions for all kinds of cake techniques from making buttercream, to crumb coating a cake to covering cakes in fondant and even specialty techniques like piping, sugar flowers and sculpted cakes.  I could literally sit at my computer all day watching these very informative videos. I am a hands on visual learner so this site is perfect for helping me learn cake techniques at my own pace. One of the coolest parts about this site are that a lot of the videos are absolutely free! There are also online classes that you can pay for and then will have access to all sorts of new cake techniques and trends.

As you know from my blog I love to bake and decorate cupcakes and cookies and small sweets mainly. But secretly I would love to learn how to decorate all those gorgeous 3 tier cakes you see all over blogs that are absolutely stunning, show amazing detail and are covered in fondant. Fondant, is the one thing that is a little "scary" to me about cake decorating. I love working with fondant when it comes to adding extra small details to cakes and cupcakes, but covering an entire cake, let alone a tiered cake in fondant is something that although I have done a handful of times, I still have a lot to learn. I just can never seem to get my fondant rolled out to the correct diameter, and get it around the cake smoothly without a little bunching around the bottom.  But through the Craftsy site, I watched  Elisa Strauss, the owner of Confetti Cakes, video on Basic Fondant Techniques and she really helped clear up a few areas that I always seemed to have trouble with when covering a cake in fondant. I love the idea of being able to watch a video while at the same time performing the technique that is being explained. When I originally learned about decorating cakes with fondant I was in a class setting with an instructor and 10 other people and it was only a 2 hour class once a week for a month. So it was a very small amount of time with limited help to really grasp the concept and feel confident in my work. However, knowing that these videos are available online for me to watch at any time, and I can stop and pause them as I go is absolutely perfect.

Here are a few pictures of cakes from the Craftsy site using different fondant techniques.

I hope you will check out the details to this amazing and informative online class for Basic Fondant Techniques. I highly encourage you to enroll in this class as well as other classes provided. Elisa really does an amazing job of sharing tips for how to use fondant, color fondant, and to easily cover a round and square cake. After watching this video it really made me excited and not so intimidated to try to cover a cake in fondant again. These videos are a great learning tool because you can stop them while you work and they are available to access over and over.

So what are you waiting for, head on over Craftsy and be prepared to stay awhile because I was absolutely hooked on my first visit to the site and sat a few hours watching videos! I can't wait to continue to learn more cake decorating techniques through this amazing online community!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes

Inspired by one of my favorite cakes, today I'm sharing with you my mini version of a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, cupcake style! These are the absolute perfect dessert to bring to a summer pool party or get together! Not only do they scream summer with the fruity flavors of pineapple and cherries but they are no fuss because you don't even need to decorate them or add icing on top! Hooray for not having to worry about your buttercream melting in the summer heat!

So head on over to The Cake Blog and check out the recipe for these adorable and delicious little cakes. Fair warning: you are going to want to eat more than just one! Afterall, you are saving calories since there isn't any icing so why not indulge in 2 or 3 right? Makes perfect sense to me!

Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cash's Crab Shack 1st Birthday

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was filled with lots of baking and finally getting the chance to go through some of my favorite pictures from one adorable birthday party I recently had the pleasure of working on. I got an email from Brandi, the mom of the birthday boy shortly after she saw the party I did for my little guys Mustache & Bow Tie theme 1st birthday bash on The TomKat Studio in May. Brandi gave me so many sweet compliments on Sam's party and asked if I would be willing to help with a dessert table for her little guy Cash's upcoming 1st birthday since what do you know we live in the same city! Of course I immediately responded with a big YES and through many emails back and forth we coordinated the sweets I would make with the party printables and designs she had planned for his special day. I was super excited when I found out the theme was all about crabs! I have been dying to work on a crab themed party and this was the perfect opportunity, 1st birthdays are just soooo much fun!

Brandi had purchased the Preppy Crab party printable package from Dimple Prints. Super cute right! I love the red and blue colors with the polka dots and stripe patterns. Brandi really used the printables as her inspiration to carry the design throughout all the party decorations. She really went all out on every single detail from the ADORABLE hand painted sign in the front yard, the favor table with sand pails for all the kids, crab coloring pages, and assorted candy cans on all the tables. You can definitely tell this little boy is loved so much by his mama! She did such an amazing job with all the decorations and I was so honored to be asked to help with the sweets. She requested some cookies, cupcakes and an aqua ombre cake with a crab topper!

I hope you all get some inspiration from this Crab Shack themed 1st birthday party. Enjoy!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crab Shack 1st Birthday - {Sneak Peak}

Sneak Peak of one of the most adorable 1st birthday parties - Crab Shack theme! I had so much fun collaborating with the mom of the birthday boy to come up with the perfect red and blue crabby sweet's for little Cash's special day! More pictures and details to come soon, but for now enjoy this tiny peak into what just might be my new favorite party theme!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Chocolate Chips...a baking essential that you must always have on hand, am I right? Let me just warn you now that chocolate chips in cupcakes are just as addicting as chocolate chips in cookies! You can never eat just one, or two. I recently whipped up a batch of these Chocolate Chip Cupcakes for my June feature on The Cake Blog and I must say, they were a huge hit with my family (check out photos below), friends and neighbors. All you really need to do is take a basic white cake recipe and jazz it up with some chips in the batter and a few more sprinkled on top of vanilla buttercream and you've got one amazing cupcake! It was hard to stop after eating 3 in a row, but I had to save some for others!

This cupcake recipe should definitely be on the top of your summer baking, or cupcake list! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Here are a few behind the scenes photos with Sam and his little curious eyes and hands entering the cupcake scene! I LOVE all of these expressions I captured in just a few seconds.

I think he was saying "mmmm" in this photos....look at those cheeks!

I can't get enough of those big blue eyes!

I love that little wisp of hair peeking out behind his ears. His hair is definitely starting to curl a little in the back. Daddy thinks it's time for the first haircut, but I'm trying to hold out a little bit longer!

I hope you enjoyed a few snapshots of my little guy! I can't believe he is 14.5 months old already!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Polka Dot & Chevron - Pink & White Baby Shower Sweets

So it has officially been FOREVER since I have last posted! Let's just say the month of May was pretty hectic in my house. Traveling for work, weekend trips, the AC was out = too hot to bake, Sam got exhaustion set in and baking and blogging took the back seat for a little while! But I'm back today with some fun baby shower sweets I've been super excited to share with you! 

I recently did some cookies and a cake for a pink & white baby shower theme. I always love this color combo! I think onesie cookies are my all time favorites to decorate for some reason! They are just the sweetest little cookie and I've probably made close to a 1000 of them in the lifetime of this blog (here, here, here, here) so they are pretty easy to decorate by now. I always love the way they look in bags with coordinating ribbons! Such sweet favors for party guests.

When it came to the cake for this shower I wanted to incorporate the theme from the invitation which had both polka dots and chevron patterns. I've seen a bunch of amazing chevron cakes recently, but unfortunately my cake decorating skills are no where near the skill level of those amazing decorators so I opted for a more fun, playful, diy version to incorporate the chevron by using some cupcake liners I had on hand left over from when I made these Champagne & Raspberry Cupcakes.

I found a tutorial online from Icing Designs that was so super simple and produced beautiful results in no time. I will definitely be using this cupcake liner flower in the future!

I love the combo of the dark pink chevron and pale pink and white polka dot liners.

So what do you all think of the cupcake liner flowers...pretty cool right? I love the simplicity of this plain white cake with the wow factor of the flower liners on top!

I hope you were inspired by these pink and white baby shower sweets!

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