Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Bunny/Faux Carrot Cakes!

I really should be working on a couple cake and cookie projects right now.  But as I wait for my little ones to drift off into dreamland, I can't help but try and catch up on my blog.  I do love my blog... even though it might think I love Facebook more. :)

First, a huge thank you to Kris of Buglet and Monkey's Cakes, for sharing her bunny and carrot cake with us all on Facebook.  It simply is the cutest cake EVER!!  I mean, cuter than the sacrificial lamb cake I grew up with (and now sacrifice/make for my own family).  

Really... super cute!

I just had to ask her if she wouldn't mind if I made one myself.  Was so excited when she gave the go-ahead!!

I was in even more luck when a neighbor saw my comment to Buglet and Monkey's photo and wanted me to make her TWO for Easter. :)

I happily said YES YES YES!  and here they are....

I used a smaller chocolate bunny for each and made two "mini" cakes, although they are each on a 9"x 13" tray.  If you can believe it, they were each longer in the beginning, but I cut the carrots down to a more proportionate size after I crumb coated them.  For each cake, I baked a 9 x 13 cake, drew a carrot template, and cut two templates out of the cake.  Then I filled it with buttercream and layered them.  Next, I crumb coated it.  The next day, I whittled away at them to get to a size I was happy with and applied the orange-colored buttercream.  The leaves are an edible grass candy I found at Michaels.  I cut a hole in the cake down one layer and wedged the bunny in.  Using a flat tip (I don't know which one or what it's called), I piped orange buttercream to make it look like the bunny was popping out.

One cake is a vanilla cake and the other is a sprinkle cake, 
using my (now favorite) recipe from Sprinkle Bakes.

I tried to recreate as much as possible what the original cake design looked like, but made a couple small changes here and there.  

I loved my little bunny/carrot cakes before I had to deliver them. :)

Kris' original cake takes the carrot, though!

My "fancy" cookie cutter's a keeper!

A neighbor was so kind as to order four dozen cookies for her nephew's wedding a week ago.  She had a specific design in mind - a white cross with two interlocking gold wedding rings.  Very elegant and very doable.  

However, the only cross cutter I had was very plain (see below).

This was my first wedding cookie order and I wanted something a little more "fancy"...

I found this little number at, along with gold sanding sugar, which I used for the wedding rings in the center.

Here is what the final cookie design looked like...

Now that's elegant, simple, AND fancy!

Guess what the official name of this cookie cutter is?
"Cross Cookie Cutter (Fancy)"

Now here's another part of the story - 

I shared the above photo to's facebook page, and they submitted it as an entry in their Easter Cutter Random Drawing Giveaway.

Guess who won first prize??

Here's another part - 

My sweet neighbor shared a photo of the cookies displayed around the wedding cake, sent me a testimonial, and recommended my cookies to everyone on our Neighborhood Yahoo Group site.

Download 100_2553.JPG (993.7 KB)

Her testimonial:

Kara—I just wanted to say THANKS for the wonderful cookies you made for my nephew’s wedding.  Everyone thought they looked wonderful and then when they tasted them they were blown away again!  The cookies really added a special touch to this special wedding day.  If you ever need a recommendation, please let me know.  Thanks again—Peace, Kathleen

I also used this cutter to make Easter cookies, pictured below:

(The designs are not original and the sayings are old favorites, but I think it's a pretty display of what Easter is all about)

I'm telling you, this cutter and I were meant to be!

My first purchase at, and it certainly won't be my last!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Science Baby shower cake

This little baby peeking out of a lab coat was made last week for a chemistry/biology teacher's baby shower.  It was my first attempt at a molded fondant figure and blocks.  I wanted to do more, (like beakers with bottle nipples) but the baby and coat took up a lot of room. :)  I'm not too happy with how the blocks turned out, but I was loosing my patience by that time.

The mommy-to-be loves funfetti cake and buttercream frosting.   I wanted to grant her wishes, but didn't relish the thought of making a Funfetti cake mix.  So I searched online and came across this WONDERFULLY DELICIOUS recipe by Sprinkle Bakes, found here.  It truly is a keeper -- a homemade funfetti cake!!

Can you believe my son has decided he likes THIS recipe more than my (grandmother's secret recipe for) chocolate cake??  The cake that I grew up on as the family birthday cake??  Heck,... I don't blame him -- what's not to love about colorful sprinkles in a cake?  It's a chemical miracle!  :)

In a couple of weeks I get to do a cake for a physics teacher's baby shower!  
Now THAT should be interesting!

(The pink frosting is buttercream - just the baby and blocks are fondant)

My first two-tiered cake

This cake was made for a gal turning 39 this week.  They wanted a two-tiered cake - something that really would make a statement at the party.  They chose a design similar to this, and I tried to recreate as much as I possibly could.

It is buttercream frosting on a 10" round 2-layer vanilla cake and 8" round 3-layer chocolate cake.  The accents are in marshmallow fondant and the black icing is done in royal icing.  It was my first time doing a two-tier cake, and I used dowels to support bottom cake.  It was very educational and a lot easier than I had expected (not faster than I had expected, just easier!).  I think because the design was so simple and the diamonds fit around the bottom cake perfectly!  It WAS a big cake, though!

Rock Wall Cookies

These were made for a birthday party held at an indoor rock wall climbing facility.  Susan, from The Painted Cookie, graciously let me use her "Climb High" cookie design.  I added the background mountains using an Americolor black food marker (which worked perfectly!).

I added the cookie topper instead of a ribbon, because of the large shape of the cookie, and also as a way to thank guests.

My recent work week

A couple months ago, when a friend came to pick up her order of cookies, she noticed all these yellow post-it notes on my kitchen cabinets (they were reminders of upcoming orders) and thought it was funny.  "You should take a picture of that!" she said.  I never did take that photo, but I did keep all the sticky-notes (I'm silly like that).  Anyway, after this past week, I decided to share the system I used that helped me get through it.  

Are you ready??  

Here it is.............!

 (names have been blackened out for this post)

Instead of stick-notes, I compiled it all on a piece of paper and STUCK IT TO MY CABINET!  After each task was completed, I checked it off.  Pretty high-tech, huh?  That's me - a paper and pencil kind of gal.  Because my computer is upstairs, kitchen's downstairs, the less running up and down those stairs I have to do, I'll take any day.  
Plus I'm used to the eraser - it's a must-have with me.  One of my art teachers always sang, "Erase, eraaassseee, I'm so in love with yooooouuuu!!"  
(really.  she really did. teachers are silly like that... and this was in college.  really.)  
Well, the song stuck.  I am never without an eraser.

So here is this week's grand total:
(not counting the 30 Luigi and Yoshi cookies on Monday)

roughly 18 1/2 dozen cookies (224 to be exact)
3 1/2 dozen cupcakes
2 cakes (one 3D, one two-tier)
1 dozen cake pops
1 dozen fondant cupcake toppers

That's 7 birthday parties, 3 class parties, and one wedding!
Whew!  I can hardly say that without taking a breath!

...and my sanity's still intact!  Thanks to my paper system above, I was able to push through.  And from the feedback I have received so far (so far!!  fingers crossed!!),  my clients were pleased with their products.   My husband has not left me, my boys still love me (we had a "Day Out With Mommy" today, just me and my boys).  I DID have to miss my BodyPump class on Monday and Friday - okay, THAT was a bummer!   I've learned my lesson, though - know when to politely decline.  I just like decorating for events SOOOOO much!  
It's a hard pill to swallow.

Yes, I would love a swankier type of system, but it's tough to learn new habits.
It works for me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Lamb Cake

This is my first lamb cake, made this week.  
Lamb cake at Easter has long been a family tradition at my house growing up.

My mother made one every year -  we grew up on coconut wool, green-dyed coconut grass, and jellybean eyes.  I also remember at my 3rd birthday having a lamb cake and went digging through old photographs to find the pictures.  Not only did I find those, which are here:



I found several others that involve a lamb cake and my birthday, as well!

Sometimes my mom couldn't get the cake to stand up, 
and it didn't always have coconut wool...





I think it was because my birthday and Easter fall around the same time.  A two-for-one kind of deal.

NO WONDER I like lamb cake so much!
And hopefully, my boys will like it, too!

Did you know I'm not the only one with this issue?  

Apparently, if you google "Easter Lamb Cake", 
you'll find a whole flock of lambs ready for the slaughter!

Poor little cute lamb!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bridal Shower Cookie Bouquet

Since learning about RSS feeds and cookie decorating bloggers, I've come to follow quite a few.  One of my first and favorite blogs is by Loren over at The Baking Sheet.  Loren is so welcoming and friendly!   Yesterday, she posted on Facebook that she was going to be giving a private lesson that day.  

Sadly, it was not to me (she lives in NY and I'm in VA).  Boo-hoo!! :(

BUT, in honor of her private lesson, I decided to learn a thing or two from this amazing lady and took her ribbon rose tutorial, found here, where she was a guest decorator at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.   I needed something to pazzaz these bridal cookies up, and the purple ribbon roses were just the thing they needed.  I can't believe how amazing they look!  And the roses are far from perfect, but they do make a statement! 

Thank you, Loren, for your (somewhat) private lesson yesterday!

I'm all happy and smiles now! :) :) :) :)
And I hope the recipient of this cookie bouquet will be as well!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peace Out! :)

Subtitled: A Tip Worth Having :)

This adorable Peace cake went out to a sweet girl's birthday tonight.  She was having her first sleep-over with her best friends -- isn't that the cutest??  I remember having sleep-overs!  Lots of giggling, talking, dancing, music (remember Shawn Cassidy? :) Loved him!)...  I hope that this cake and cupcakes can help when their late night snack attacks hit. :)

Here is the Peace cake that I made a few weeks ago for another little girl:

"Julia" saw the photo of "Megan's" Peace cake and said "I want that one!" :)  Awww!!   It's so nice to be loved!  Your wish was my command, Julia!  (as you know, I have no qualms against repeat orders... :) they help with the learning process!)

I did learn from the first time making this cake, which made the decorating easier.   The first thing I did was mix all the colors and put them in decorating bags.

What I DIDN'T do was get more star tips.  Tip #24 to be exact.  This is my only tip #24:

I had to use this same tip on ALL the colors!  Which meant I had to wash it out after each color application.  Talk about making life hard!  Why do I do this to myself?  It seems I am always cutting cookies by hand, freehanding designs, and using one tip when CLEARLY I needed 7 (or even 3!!).  They only cost 99 cents, people!  What was I thinking??

Clearly I need to stock up on #24 tips.

Peace out! :)