Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cakes for Charity ... Princess Castle Cake

Next on my list for Birthday Dreams was a Princess themed party.  I found a Princess Castle Cake on Single Mormon Mommy. This was a pretty simple cake to make, I did put a little more frosting then I normally would when I put fondant on.  The little girl requested extra frosting. 



For this cake, you’ll need
- A cake mix (ALEXIS NOTE: I made my own - see recipe below)
- A can of frosting (ALEXIS NOTE: I made my own - see recipe below)
- 4 Ice-cream cups
- 4 Ice cream cones
- Pink icing that comes in a tube (ALEXIS NOTE: I Made Pink Fondant)
- Cotton Candy for the clouds (ALEXIS NOTE: I skipped this part)
- Pillow mints for the castle “stones” 
(ALEXIS NOTE: I skipped this part)
- Toothpicks
- Paper or pink fondant (ALEXIS NOTE: I made Brown Fondant window and door. For Flags I used Birthday ones I picked up at Hobby Lobby)
To make it easy to get the cakes out whole, you might want to line the bottoms of the pan with cut-to-size parchment paper. We actually used regular paper and just greased it. (ALEXIS NOTE: I use Cake Release it works every time!)
After giving both cakes a good crumb coating (How? Microwave about 1/3 cup frosting for 5 seconds & spread a thin layer over everything to keep crumbs at bay) put the square cake on the serving tray and the loaf cake on top, right across the center. If your loaf was a little too long for the square you can safely take a slice right out of the middle, push the ends together, and hold them in place with toothpicks. (ALEXIS NOTE: I used too much frosting due to the request for extra frosting.)
Then cut out out windows door and flags. Be sure the flags are cut on the fold so they’ll wrap around a toothpick. You can “glue” them onto the top of a toothpick using a little icing. To mount the flags, you’ll need to slice the ends off 5 sugar cones, making a hole just wide enough to hold a toothpick. (ALEXIS NOTE: I made some brown fondant and cut the windows and door.  I also made a few pink fondant balls to add a little something special to the cake.)
Now you just need to mount your flags and add your windows and doors. Add pillow-mint key stones and whatever other decorations you like. (ALEXIS NOTE: I skipped the mints.)
ALEXIS NOTES: I used my Sturdy Buttercream Frosting and Rolled Buttercream Fondant.  To get the right Pink I used Americolor Electric Pink Gel food color.


For the Cake I used The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe found on Add a Pinch (See the recipe and pictures below)



Ingredients
  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.


You don't have to bake to help Birthday Dreams, please check them out.
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cakes for Charity ... Pirate Ship Cake

My first cake for Birthday Dreams was a Pirate Ship Cake for a homeless kid.  I saw this cake on a blog hop from Suburban Wife City Life a few days before I volunteered and guess what cake the little boy wanted yup a Pirate Cake.  Perfect and it was really pretty easy to make, love when God leads me that way. 



Supplies Needed:  
3- boxes of cake mix (I made my own cake mix see link below)
3- containers of icing (I made my own frosting see link below)
Cardboard (Alexis Note- I used a Large Cake Board)
Chocolate chips (Alexis Note - I used Wilton Candy Melts in Yellow and Brown)
1- Dowel rod
Making the Cake:

We mixed 2 cake mixes together and used a 9 x 13 and filled it with 3/4 of the mix.  Then filled a loaf pan with the remaining batter.  We used an additional mix for a 9 inch round pan.  Splitting 1/2 and 1/2.  Note:  Make the cakes earlier in the day so they have time to cool.  

ALEXIS NOTES: I'm not a fan of box cake so I made my favorite Yellow Cake.


Cutting the Cake:
Take your rectangle cake and make cut to make the shape of the bow of the ship.  I used the round cake and cut it into a triangle for the front of the ship.  For the back of the ship I took the loaf pan shape and trimmed to fit.  Frost the whole cake, now I used frosting so I didn't put a lot of frosting on.  I used my Sturdy Buttercream Frosting and my Rolled Buttercream Fondant.  I made the fondant black using AmeriColor Black Food Gel.  I rolled it out and covered the 3 cakes. 



Chocolate Railing and back:
We heated up in a double boiler (a bottom pot with water and a top pot with the chocolate) some chocolate chips, with a little vegetable oil to thin it out.
We measured where the railings would be so we would know exactly how tall and long we would need.
Place the chocolate in a plastic baggie, snip one corner and pipe out the railings and back.   


ALEXIS NOTES: For the chocolate I took chocolate melts and melted them in the microwave.  I used a tape measure to measure how long I would need each strip and railings, made a marks on a piece of wax paper.  For the back I Made a half Circle.  After you let it dry then you can add it to the cake.  Since I used Fondant I had to use a little frosting to attach.  I used a wood dowel and printed off some pirate flags from Paging Supermom. I added a little personal touch's like some chocolate Bones and Skulls.  I then cut a hole in the center and added some gold coins to look like a pirate chest in the cake.  Don't worry if your cake breaks like mine did use a little frosting like glue :).

Not bad for my first big cake.  
Next time It will be cleaner but I thought it turned out cute.

You don't have to bake to help Birthday Dreams, please check them out.
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cakes for Charity ... Olaf Cake

Some of you follow me on FB and know I love a Charity called Birthday Dreams, they bring birthdays to homeless kids.  I've been so excited to be able to bring a kid a birthday cake. And you know me and my themes, so this is right up my alley.


This was actually the 3rd cake I made for them, but he was so cute I had to share him first.  I found this idea for a Olaf Cake on Fun Finds for Family.  It was so simple for the template I printed out the Olaf template on The Sensible Mom.  Blow up the image to fit the size of cake you would like.

The little girl who requested Frozen as her themed asked for confetti cake.  NOW most of you know me and I HATE box mixes and avoid if I can.  I found Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake on Sallys Baking Addiction.

First Make your Cake I made 2 LARGE round cakes.

Ingredients:

CAKE

  • 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt  (plain or vanilla; or greek yogurt; or sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk (cow's milk; or soy milk; or almond milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles (not nonpareils)

Then to make your olaf cake:

Ingredients

  • Creme-filled cookies
  • Miniature creme-filled cookies
  • Chocolate licorice
  • Orange frosting
  • Black frosting
  • Buttercream frosting (preferably, the easiest homemade buttercream frosting ever)
  • 1 box of cake mix

Instructions

*Note: Leave yourself enough time. When making a homemade cake like this, I start at least 24 hours before I need to present it. This allows time to freeze the cakes before decorating, which is one key ingredient to pulling these together.
1. Bake your cake mix, according to instructions. Use your mix to make two 8-inch round cakes.
2. Allow cakes to cool.
3. Freeze cakes, preferably overnight.
4. Make your Olaf template. I used a Frozen worksheet (see below) that we found at our local library. I traced the Olaf head onto a blank piece of paper. Then (just eyeballing it), I made that traced head slightly larger – large enough to cover one 8-inch round cake.
5. Once satisfied with your Olaf cake template, take your cake out of the freezer and place template on top. Using a sharp knife and small cuts, carefully cut around your template to shape the cake. Remember to go slowly… it’s tougher to add cake back on than it is to cut a bit more off.
6. Put cakes back in the freezer.
7. Mix your buttercream frosting.
8. First, spread your cakes with the buttercream frosting.
9. Refreeze frosted cakes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
10. Here’s what I used:
  • For eyes: Half of a creme-filled cookie for each eye. Use a mini creme-filled cookie for the inside of the eye.
  • For nose: Dollop of orange frosting
  • For mouth: Black frosting mixed with our white buttercream frosting to make a charcoal grey. Tip: We made a separate template for his mouth. We cut the inside of the mouth out, set it on top of the cake and spread our frosting in the middle, using that template like a stencil. When we pulled our stencil, this gave us a sharper edge all around.
  • For tooth: I didn’t want to spend money on fondant for such a small piece. This was a little tough, but I gently scraped the inside of a creme-filled cookie and called it a tooth.
  • For buttons: Creme-filled cookie. Use just half the cookie – or the full.
  • For eyebrows: Chocolate licorice
  • For hair: Chocolate licorice
  • For arms: Chocolate licorice
ALEXIS NOTES: For the nose I took a ice cream cone broke it down to the size I wanted and frosted orange.  For the mouth, eyebrows and inside eye I used black fondant (cut it in the shapes I wanted).  For Tooth I built up my frosting to look like a tooth.  Buttons I used York Mint Patties.  I used my favorite Sturdy Buttercream Frosting that holds up and taste so YUMMY.


You don't have to bake to help them, please check them out
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What have I been up to?

I think Rick may be right (just don't tell him I said so).  I took on a little too much the last few weeks.  Between Caden's party, then 4th of July and then me just over volunteering.  BUT I wouldn't change it for a minute!

What has been happening here:

Mickey Mouse Cake for Charity
Birthday Dreams


For the sister of the little brother I did Mickey Mouse cake I made
Barbie Cupcakes for Charity
Birthday Dreams

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars
made for the workers at the Boys & Girls Club

We also served at the mission doing chalk art with the homeless kids

We bought the new flooring for the whole house!

We've been hit with a heat way of temps over 95
So we went to my parents house a few times to swim and cool off

And I hit the gym!
down 20 of the 40 I gained back!!
Keep the good prayers coming

And we did some swim lessons

And I'm a little exhausted now ... lol

If you're looking for great charities to support. 
Please look into Birthday Dreams
Both of these two help so many and do it with so little money!

Hope you all have a GREAT Weekend.

We plan to have movie night Saturday with my bestie's family
Then NOTHING is planed!

ON our plan for the Movie:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heat Wave and Coffee

Yes I am one of those crazy people that love coffee all year round.  Currently we are getting a heat wave and I'm dying working from home in a house with no AC.  BUT would you think I would do ice coffee ... no way I'm all about the hot coffee.  Yes I'm sitting in my leather chair sweating and drinking my coffee in my happy place.

LOL Hope you all are staying cool in this weather.  A funny for us  hot coffee drinkers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Despicable Me Birthday ... Squid Launcher's & Welcome Sign

And as promised we are finishing up our Despicable Me Party.  These last two items were so simple but pulled the party together.  

We start with a Welcome Sign, I found this idea on Somewhere in the Middle.  She has some great party items on this post you have to check out.


I made a sign with Gru (see below a link to the printables I used)

What You Need:
White Card Stock
Photo Frame (BOGO at Hobby Lobby)


And we end with Squid Launchers!  I found this cool idea on Precious Moments with The Morrow Family.   I searched for a while and found the perfect orange squirt guns on Ebay.  I have seen some at Dollar Tree but I didn't have luck of course when I need them.

What You Need:
Orange Squirt Guns
White Card Stock
Photo Frame (BOGO at Hobby Lobby)


What you need:

At the Party:
Yes that is rain not water from the guns

My Despicable Me Printables I put together click HERE.

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Despicable Me Birthday ... Box of Shame

This was the EASIEST thing of the party I made.  YUP the highlight of the party is the one thing that took me about 2 minutes to MAKE!  NOW finding the box was the hardest part!  I went on search a large box like a stove or something but no luck and none of my friends had one they could give to me either. 1 day (YES ONE DAY) before the party I stopped at Cash and Carry and saw this box for cups and asked if I could have it and they were like sure! Phew God love them!

What you Need:
Box (Garment Size would be best, Mine was too short)
Razor Blade
Sharpie

Take a razor blade (or scissor) and cut a hole for the face to show.  Then take your sharpie and write Box of Shame!  BAM done!

My Despicable Me Printables I put together click HERE.

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Despicable Me Birthday ... Minion Bucket

I promise this is the last week of the party goodies!  LOL I just had so many things I made that I had to break them up in all these post .. I know I just can't help myself.

Next on my list is a Minion Bucket that I made, after the party I carefully cleaned it out and now it hold toys and lego's in Caden's room.  I found this idea on Hoyby Crafts, her's was done in felt.  I did mine with heavy card stock using my Cricut (Personal Electronic Cutting Machine) and my George and Basic Shapes Cartridge.


What you Need:
Yellow Bucket (found at Dollar Tree)
Googly Eyes
Heavy Card Stock - Black, White, Grey and Red

I cut the circles for the eyes (Large Grey, Medium White and Small Black).  I cut a large strip of black to make the eye strap.  I cut a moon for the mouth in black.  Ovals in white for the teeth, cut them in half to make teeth. Red round oval turned sideways for the tongue.  Black rectangles for the hair.  I then took my hot glue gun to glue all the pieces onto the bucket.



My Despicable Me Printables I put together click HERE.

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday Caden

Caden had his actual birthday on the 10th, we had his party a little early so it was closer when school got out.  Here is a little recap of the birthday boys special day!  And I promise I'll end the Minion post next week with the last of our items made ... lol

Who would think that the last weekend in July would rain like Heaven opened up and we were waiting for Noah to come by and pick us up.  But I must say AGAIN I have the BEST friends a girl can have.  They showed up and STAYED for almost 4 hours and partied in the rain, under tents and in the water.  I was in tears the morning of when the rain wouldn't stop but I shouldn't have worried because it was a GREAT day.

The kids and a few adults had fun in the water!

Most of the adults had fun on the land :)

Caden's favorite part: PRESENT TIME :)

Kids and adults enjoyed our fun Glasses

And lot's of food:

Happy 7th Birthday to my cuddle bug:

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recap of the 4th of July Food

We did our annual fourth of July party this year and I had to make some yummy treats.  I had my die hards show up this year, but sadly most of our friends were away or could not make it.  I was left with a ton of food, which my dear friend took over to the neighbor's party to share.  I keep telling myself I need to not do so much, but I can't seem to help myself .. lol.

So a quick round up of some food I made, for our small get together ... lol (small doesn't even cover it compared to past year .. yes I'm working on getting over it ...hehe).

RED, WHITE & BLUE WHOOPIE PIES:

Red White and Blue Whoopie Pies found on Ambrosia Baking (I also made a 2nd batch that I took to the staff / volunteers at The Boys and Girls Club).  I got so many compliments on these cookies from them!

Ingredients

For the Whoopie Pies


2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
red and blue food coloring (I used Wilton gel colors)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners, and set aside. 


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  


In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add the brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, ending with the flour mixture, making sure to beat after each addition (I just did 1/2 of the flour mixture, followed by all of the buttermilk, and then the remaining half of the flour mixture).  Beat only until just combined.


Evenly divide the cookie batter into two bowls.  Add red food coloring to one bowl, and blue food coloring to the other bowl.  Mix the food coloring into the cookie batter until it is evenly mixed and the cookie batter reaches the desired shade of color.  

While the cookies are baking and cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract, and beat on high speed (start on low speed first and then increase the speed, otherwise you'll have a mess of sugar all over your kitchen!) until the frosting comes together and is completely smooth.  

To assemble the whoopie pies, simply spread a little cream cheese frosting onto the bottom side of a cookie, and top it with a cookie of the opposite color.  I decided to pipe the frosting onto the cookies with a large open star tip, but spreading the frosting on is totally fine as well.  If the cream cheese frosting seems a bit too runny to spread, simply let it sit in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.  Once all the whoopie pies have been assembled, store them in the fridge until ready to serve, and allow them to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before eating. 
ALEXIS NOTE: I found when I did the second batch I didn't do the drop method I pipped them as circles to keep their form.  These came out a lot nicer and I had a uniformed size.  I took my circle cutter traced it onto wax paper and then pipped the dough in the circles.

FLAG CUPCAKES:

Red, White and Blue Flag cupcakes found on Reena Treats.  I loved how this turned out!  I used my basic moist white cake recipe (click for recipe) and my sturdy buttercream frosting recipe (click for recipe) using AmeriColor food coloring in Royal Blue Soft Gel and Super Red to tint the frosting.

ALEXIS NOTE: I frosted 10 white cupcakes, 10 red cupcakes and 4 blue cupcakes.  On the blue I added some white stars I had (sprinkles in several colors in the shape of a star, I picked the white ones out).

BALD EAGLE BROWNIES:

Bald Eagle Brownies found on Hoopla Palooza.  These were perfect since my parents have a mom and dad set of bald eagle's that live in their tree with their babies.


Brownie Pop Silicone Mold (Found mine at Michael's)
Box Brownie Mix
Orange Mini Starburst

I use a box brownie instead of scratch to help things go faster for me.  I wish I would have planned this a head of time and would have bought the set from Amazon got 2 silicone molds for almost the price I paid for one.  I was able to get 16 brownie's out of the one box mix.  I put mine in the fridge to cool them and make them ready to go in the melted Candy Melts.  I dipped the brownie's and took my knife to make look the the melt was feathers.  Before the melt dried I added 2 eyes and the mini starburst that was cut in half to look like the beak.  I kept mine in the fridge until it was time to pack my car to head to the lake.

WATERMELON RICE KRISPY TREATS:


Watermelon Rice Crispy Treats found on Gingerly Made. I did this even though it's not a red, white and blue themed but it fit the time of year.

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Butter, divided
1 bag (10 oz) Marshmallows, divided
6 cups Rice Krispies, divided
Red & Green Food Coloring
Chocolate Chips

Spread out a sheet of wax paper on your counter and set the side of a spring form pan on top. You won't need the bottom portion of the spring form pan. Over at the stove, slowly melt 1.5 tablespoons butter & half the bag of marshmallows. Add 15 drops green food coloring. Combine with 3 cups rice krispies.

Spoon the green rice krispies into your spring form pan in a circle. It almost looks like a wreath. I used an additional sheet of wax paper to help me mold the rice krispies in place with out it sticking to my hands. Wash your saucepan and repeat with the other half of the ingredients except this time you'll be making red rice krispies.

Before pouring your red rice krispies into the pan, add some chocolate chips to the bottom. Fill with red krispies. (And try not to drip any excess marshmallow mixture on your "rind" like I did.) Add more chocolate chips on top. You'll have to press these in a bit. Refrigerate. When cooled and hardened, remove and cut into slices.

ALEXIS NOTE: I kept the bottom in my spring pan to hold it on our travels.  I put the chocolate chips on the top of the red once it was patted down into the mold.

There you have it, a few simple recipes that went with our theme (yes I know I'm a nut about themes).

Hope you all had a safe 4th of July

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