Saturday, August 28, 2010

Drum roll please!!

So it turns out that coconuts are not only for Monty Python to make horse clop noises after all!

When I was younger I lived in Germany with my family. Military brat :-) One happy memory I have is going to Globus and dad would buy these awesome candies. They were called Raffaello. There were three little confectionery bits of heaven in a wrapper and I always got one of them. After reading a blog from Willow Bird Baking I had an awesome idea. This idea involved making a cupcake to feature this fantastic candy.

First I will say if you have not checked out Willow Bird Baking to go do that, seriously, finish reading this blog and then click as fast as your fingers will click and go check out her site. This site has some awesome recipes and makes even the novice baker feel like she can make amazing things like croissants.

For these cupcake I used her "Ugly as Sin" cake recipe and the pastry cream that went with it. The flavor was amazing. I did use Splenda instead of sugar as both my hubby and father are diabetic (so bad when there is a baker in the family haha)

On top I also used the cream cheese frosting that I got from the Joy of Baking site that I have used with my red velvet cake. This was WONDERFUL!!

So while this all tasted amazing there were a few things I would do differently next time. The actual cake batter while very yummy and tasty did not work so well as a cupcake. I don't know if it was the fact that I used Splenda or what but the cupcakes did not rise as well as I had hoped. It was also difficult to get out of the cupcake wrappers. Next time I will most likely use a different cake recipe.

The pastry cream was absolutely AMAZING!! In fact I used to be able to buy this phenomenal coconut pie but the store I got it from discontinued it. What I liked was that it was not the traditional custard pie and it had such great flavor. Well this pastry cream is IT!! I am sooooo going to use this as a pie filling as well. So be looking for that post.

Lastly, here are the recipes used. Please don't forget to go check out Willow Bird Baking.

Cake :
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
13 1/2 ounces (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature (I left this out accidentally; still worked great)
6 large egg whites, at room temperature

To bake the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle of the oven. Grease and line with parchment two 9×3-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Mix the coconut milk and vanilla, set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes (scrape down the bowl). Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add half the coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Continue to add the flour and coconut alternately, ending with flour. Add sour cream and mix until incorporated. Set aside in a large bowl if you don’t have a spare bowl for your mixer.

Beat the egg whites in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment (if you are using the same bowl, be sure it is VERY CLEAN or the whites will not whip up. Any fat on the bowl will prevent the whites from foaming). Beat the whites on high speed for 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Don’t overdo it or the whites will get too stiff and not fold into the batter smoothly. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining whites into the batter.

I got about 36 cupcakes from this recipe. I baked them for about 10 minutes at 350. While still warm I scooped out part of the cake from the top (just enough to put the cream in later)

Coconut Pastry Cream :
1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

To make the coconut pastry cream: Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Once the cream is hot, remove the vanilla bean, scraping out any remaining seeds and returning them to the cream. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light.

Once this is done spoon into the cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting :

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

Step one:

In your food processor, or with a hand mixer, process the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Step two:

Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm enough to spread.

The end result looks like the picture above.

I put this in a decorators bag and this spiraled it onto the cupcakes and over the pastry cream.

Last step is to top with a Raffaello candy!!

ENJOY, I know I did :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

New adventure coming!!

If you are like me and think the candies pictured above are the most amazing thing EVER made then you wont want to miss the post that will be coming next weekend.

I was inspired by a blog done by Willow Bird Baking and as soon as I get my stuff I will be making some new yummies!

Be sure to check back!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Italian Cream Cake

I so could not eat all of this :-)

I needed a stress release so I decided to bake a cake this evening. Baking is one thing that just inevitably makes me happy.
After a visit with some friends while on vacation last weekend I have been craving an Italian cream cake. I looked up recipes and finally decided on this one from Emeril Lagasse's Food network page

Here is the link

This was an absolutely wonderful cake. VERY rich and full of pecans and coconut. The only thing I did differently was frost the entire cake versus just the top of each layer. To get enough to cover the entire cake I doubled the frosting recipe.

It will definitely be a cake that I make again. I know my dad will love it!

Here is the actual recipe I used:


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. With the mixer on low speed, add the sifted ingredients in batches alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold into the prepared batter. Add the coconut, pecans and vanilla and fold into the batter. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared cake pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of each cake. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. When the cakes are completely cool, stack the layers with the frosting and frost the sides and top.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the nuts and fold together. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to frost the cake.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Winner Winner!!!

So I used a random number generator at to pick who would win the cake tattoos. The winner is Missy!!! YAY Be sure to shoot me an email with your address and I will get it mailed out. I am sure you will love the product.

I am hoping to do a giveaway once a month or so as I try new things and like them or even just things I already love.

Congrats Missy!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cake Tattoo Giveaway!!

Ok ya'll I was so impressed with Duff's Cake Tattoos that I am giving the set pictured above away!!


All you have to do is be a follower of this blog AND comment as to what your favorite cake decorating item is.

It can be a tool, something like the cake tattoos, a specific brand of fondant or recipe.

Anything goes but lets share our favorite things with each-other

This contest will run all week and the winner will be chosen at random Saturday July 24th!

Share with your friends lets see how many comments we can get!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Duff Goldman's cake tattoos

So, tomorrow is my daughters 7th birthday. I was desperate to try something new. Time constraints however did not allow me to be as creative as I desired.

She wanted a funky fancy zebra striped cake but again time constraints did not allow for fondant and all that good stuff. I was going to try but was not sure it would get done.

As I walked through the grocery store I ran across some new products. Duff Goldman from Charm City Cakes has started a line of decorating products to help those of us trying to get the look of professional custom cakes at home.

This was PERFECT.

These are edible tattoos. Basically, it is special food color on edible paper that you wrap around an iced cake. According to Michaels website they only have 2 different versions of the cake tattoos. I found mine at Walmart for $12.99 and they had at least 8 different sets. The sets ranged from bright and colorful to classic black and white. This included 2 sheets of edible art. It will decorate two tiers on a cake, 20 cupcakes or 20 cookies.
It was packaged very well and the quality was great.

I baked my cakes and then used the Wilton decorators icing. The cakes need to be completely cool and level before icing. Mine were cooled but not level and I do not think that it looks as good as it could have. Oh well, ya live and learn. The next one will be better.

The frosting needs to be COMPLETELY SMOOTH!

These tattoos are on paper that just gets wrapped around the cake and it sticks to the frosting. So any little bump or dip will show up. Also if the frosting is too dry the paper will NOT stick so be sure to have a water bottle handy to just mist the frosting NOT the paper.

The first piece of paper I had tore with the heat from my hand so be sure to handle it delicately.

One thing I did not like was that the pieces are not continuous. To get a wrap all the way around the 8 inch layer I had to use 2 full pieces plus part of a third. On the 6 inch layer it was the same and the words did not match up. So to a trained eye it would be obvious.

All in all I really liked the product and will use it again.

Thank you Duff!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

YUMM!! This cake was light and airy but still very moist. My husband LOVED it.

The cream cheese frosting from the previous post was spectacular on it. We also garnished the cake with some shredded coconut however if you don't care for coconut that is easy enough to leave off.

Hubby said this is definitely a recipe to keep around and use again. I don't think I will ever get another store-bought red velvet cake again.

Here is the recipe. Straight from the Joy of Baking website.

Red Velvet Cake:

2 1/2 cups

(250 grams) sifted cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk

2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Red Velvet Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

My husband loves cream cheese frosting. I have not really ever been just wild about it. It is always thick and dense and it just simply is not my favorite.

That being said some cakes just cry out for a cream cheese frosting. Carrot Cake, Red Velvet etc. My husbands favorite cake is red velvet. For fathers day I told him I would make him his favorite but I wanted it totally done from scratch. I was also on a mission to find the perfect cream cheese frosting.

As I am looking around I stumble across Joy Of Baking and their website. I have found absolutely spectacular recipes there before so I did a search and I am so glad I did.

I think I have found the PERFECT cream cheese frosting.

It is light and airy and delicious!

This frosting is done in two steps.

Step one:

In your food processor, or with a hand mixer, process the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Step two:

Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm enough to spread.

The end result looks like the picture above.

Here is the recipe for the frosting:

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The yummiest chocolate cake EVER!

So I always make a birthday cake for my family when the time rolls around. Today was to celebrate my fathers birthday and absolutely loves chocolate. So when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted of course he said CHOCOLATE!

I have made numerous chocolate cakes over the years but this was by far my most favorite one of all. It was immensely rich and moist. I could barely eat all of the piece I cut for myself. Dad of course had no trouble with his ;-)

Anyway, I figured I would share the recipe. The picture was not of the one I made since I forgot my camera but it is a picture of the same kind of cake. I did not add the raspberries when I did mine.


(This recipe courtesy of

Chocolate Cake:

4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup

(30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

1 cup (240 ml) boiling water

2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) milk


5 ounces (140 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

4 cups (1 pound) (454 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted to remove lumps

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The cake bite disaster!

Ok so this blog is to chronicle the good, the bad, and the very very ugly of my cake adventures. In the previous blog I wrote about the bowling cake I did for my friend, I have wanted to try these cake pops/bites so this is my attempt.

Getting the cake made was the easy part. I thought, Wow, how hard can this be? I finally got the bowling pins and balls shaped though I was so not thrilled with the pins. I just felt they looked more like gourds than bowling pins. Well I refrigerated them overnight so that I could coat them in chocolate this morning and man I was so frustrated.

I got the candy melted for the coating no problem but when it came to getting the silly pieces of cake coated and looking like bowling pins and balls UGH!!

This was unreal nothing coated evenly and I kept dropping things. I did not have lollypop sticks so I decided to do these just as bites and things kept falling.

I was so disappointed.

They were eaten and everyone enjoyed them BUT I just knew I could have done better.

Oh well, maybe next time.

For now I will just learn from what didn't work and keep on,

Dreaming of cake

Friday, April 23, 2010

Let's Bowl

A friend of mine asked me to make her son's birthday cake. He is having a bowling parting and she wanted a cake that would fit that.

This was my very first cake made for someone other than my family so I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I think it turned out pretty good. I just wish the piping came a bit easier to me hehe.

Happy Birthday Cameron!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010



Our church is having it's missions conference April 28-May1 and on the last day there will be a meal. They asked people to sign up to bring stuff and I already knew I would take my raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, yummo, but with a group this size figured I'd take two just to make sure there was enough. I thought well since I am making two why not make two different kinds??

I thought about what kind of cheesecake sounded good and a key lime one sounded absolutely divine. I have previously made a coconut-keylime angel food cake that is heavenly so I wondered how I could incorporate the two and then I came across this recipe and I can hardly wait to try it.

Coconut Crusted Key Lime Cheesecake



12 servings

2 Cups toasted Shredded Baking Coconut
1/4 Cup Crystal Farms® Unsalted Butter, melted

2 Extra Large Eggs, separated
1 Cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
1 Pound Crystal Farms® Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 Cup fresh Key Lime juice
1 Cup Crystal Farms® Raspberry Cream Cheese
1 Cup Sour Cream

Cooking Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack in center position.
To make the crust, combine the coconut and butter and press into the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch cake or spring form pan. Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees, and let cool.

To make the filling, beat egg whites until stiff. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat for 2 minutes until well blended.

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and egg yolks. Add lime juice and 1 cup sugar and beat 3 minutes until smooth. Fold in beaten egg whites. Mix by hand until smooth. Pour batter into the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Do not open oven door for the first 35 minutes of baking.

Whisk or beat raspberry cream cheese and sour cream. Spread over the cheesecake and bake an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Now doesn't that just sound heavenly??

Friday, April 16, 2010

A little inspiration.

I recently got a book that was written by Colette Peters called Cakes to Dream On. In this book she showcases some of her great cakes and tells you how she makes them. This is one of my favorites. She used a pasta machine and white modeling chocolate for the pasta. I thought it was so cute and unique.

This Mad Hatter Cake was also in the Colette Peters book and was one of Olivia's favorites. She loves Alice in Wonderland and thought this was so cool.

These cakes are just so inspirational and I can only hope to be this good one day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And so it begins

I have always loved to bake. Whether it be cookies or cake it doesn't matter I just love to make sweet treats. A couple Christmas' ago my sister gave me all her shaped Wilton pans. A lot of these pans were ones that my mother had used when we were children. I always loved when mom would make our cakes. They were so special and filled with love. I have done a few little cakes here and there for my children and family members and have absolutely fallen in love with decorating cakes. I have also begun to watch the shows on Food Network like "Cake Boss" and am amazed at what all can be done with a little bit of creativity and gum-paste.

My sister and I have long talked about opening up a pie shop together once she moves back home after her husband is retired from the Air Force. This won't necessarily have to be just pies but all those sweet treats we love so much. I have decided that as well as all of the sweet treats I would like to add in specialty cake's. You know, the cool pretty ones that are all airbrushed and sparkly. The cakes that look like an image of a dream come to life. While I have only done a few little cakes for family so far my goal is to practice at all the awesome techniques out there and get really good at this thing that has taken over almost every thought that I have.


I am so blessed to have a supportive family and a husband who didn't blink an eye when the decision was made for me to quit school in order to focus on this crazy dream. In fact it was kinda his idea ;-)

So here is where it begins, this journey from crazy mom who just bakes for fun, to the crazy mom who makes magnificent cakes full of love for others to enjoy as much as she does.

I am sure that some days will be better than others but for now my mind is full of amazing possibilities and of course