December 26, 2013

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

I just love fun flavored cakes and cupcakes, don’t you?

I have a friend whose children always request off the wall cake flavors.  It is so much fun to research and experiment to find the perfect flavor combination!

Today’s cake flavor is root beer float!  These cupcakes are so yummy and they’re dairy free, so they’re perfect for people with special diets!

December 20, 2013

Gingerbread Houses {2013}

Wow!  The Christmas season is sure going fast!  Today was the last day of school and now it’s only 5 short days until Christmas!

As our yearly tradition, here are our 2013 Gingerbread Houses!  (clickhere for last year houses & method).

First up, the kids’ gingerbread houses.  Goal: as much candy as possible…check!

December 11, 2013

Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Men

I have to confess, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to making this year’s Christmas cookies.

I was just uninspired.

That is, until I picked up the December copy of Taste of Home.

There, on the cover, just staring at me were their gingerbread people.  It was never mentioned in the article, but they were all wearing hideously ugly sweaters.


December 5, 2013

Chocolate Mint Cake {Movie Clapper Cake}

This cake was for a friend’s 9 year old’s birthday party.  My friend always throws gorgeous Pinterest-worthy parties that I completely envy.

So for her son, she turned her den into a movie theater, complete with all of the concessions 9 year old boys could ever hope for.

November 30, 2013

Gobble Gobble 2013

Okay, so I had intended to post this before Thanksgiving, but then I got busy packing, and traveling, and glutting myself, and never quite got around to it.  So do me a favor, and pretend it’s last week…

When I was younger, I loved to make place cards for everyone at Thanksgiving.  And even though there was never “assigned” seating and no relatives that needed to be kept apart at all costs, my parents indulged my need to participate in the holiday and Thanksgiving place cards even became something of a tradition.

November 28, 2013

Tinkerbell Cake

This pretty little Tinkerbell cake was for another little 3 year old girl.

The bottom and top layers were Strawberries & Cream Cake (but without any actually whipped cream filling since it wasn’t going to be consumed right away) and the middle layer was dairy free strawberry cake, since the little birthday girl, when asked what flavor of cake she wanted replied, “pink!”

The layers were covered with MM Fondant and the topper was a Tinkerbell doll.  She was going to be sitting on the cake but she wasn’t…ahem…very lady-like.

So instead, I wrapped her legs tightly in plastic wrap and shoved her into the cake.

See my inspiration for this cake here.

November 21, 2013

Sofia the First Cake

This fun Sofia the First cake was for my little neighbor’s 3rd birthday.

I just love that by age 3 children get so opinionated about their cakes.  Many know exactly what they want.

November 14, 2013

Hand Turkey Place Card Cookies

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in November 2012.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love going home and spending time with family.  Playing games, eating, and laughing together. 

I started out with the iconic hand turkeys, only made them in cookie form! (You can find my inspiration here).  I added names so these cookies can be used as place cards too.  And so my boys can’t hoard all of them.

November 7, 2013

"Pumpkin Pie" Cookies

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in November 2012.

Last year I had such fun making Thanksgiving cookies!  First up were little Cookie Pumpkin Pies (inspiration here)!  The slices have a little dollop of “whipped cream” because you have to have whipped cream with pumpkin pie, right?

October 31, 2013

Great Pumpkin Cookies

With a hectic fall and only just getting over morning sickness, I just haven’t had the time to make any fall cookies {yet}.

So I thought I’d share this year’s version of a Halloween Classic, Great Pumpkin Cookies!! 

My boys felt very strongly about choosing pink and blue for their colors this year (maybe they’re thinking baby?)  And they had a blast decorating with Halloween colored sprinkles, bones (I think I found then at Michael’s last year), and eyeballs!

 Happy Halloween!!

October 20, 2013

Fall Leaf Cake

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in October 2012

I recently shared a delicious from scratch pumpkin cake, but I know not everyone likes to take the time (or hunt down all of the ingredients) to make a cake from scratch.  So if you’re short on time and only want to use a handful of ingredients, this is the pumpkin cake for you!

This cake was made for a fall themed bridal shower, along with some fun fall cookies!

I chose to use the doctored cake mix for this one because the cake had to travel 300+ miles and wait a day or two before being eaten. 

Did you know that a fondant covered cake can stay fresh for 3 days?  As a rule, I make and decorate my cakes just before pick up, so they’re as fresh as possible.  But in cases like this, it’s nice to know that the cake will still taste great even several days after baking and decorating. 

Because I knew it would be sitting out for a day or two, I also chose to frost this cake in a basic (Crisco based) buttercream frosting, topped with MM Fondant.  If this cake were to be eaten immediately, I would probably frost it in cream cheese frosting instead!  Either way, this cake is a delicious fall treat!

Easy Pumpkin Cake
Recipe from my Aunt, original source unknown

October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in October 2013

I bake a lot of cakes, but I’m typically a doctor the cake mix type of gal.  But every once in a while, a recipe shows up that looks so incredible that I take the extra time a whip up a cake from scratch.

This cake was so amazing!  It was very reminiscent of carrot cake; moist and dense and delicious with a healthy slathering of cream cheese frosting.

Many times scratch cakes are criticized for being dry, but the pumpkin in this keeps it moist, making this a great place to start if you’ve never made a cake from scratch.  And it scratch cakes still aren’t your style, stay tuned, I’m sharing a cake mix pumpkin cake next!

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting
Adapted from Eat Cake for Dinner

August 18, 2013

Piña Colada Cupcakes

This recipe originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in September 2012.

Since I started making tropical drink inspired cakes and cupcakes, my mom has been asking for me to make piña colada cupcakes.  So when we went for a visit recently, I brought along these cupcakes.

At first I wasn’t overly thrilled about these cupcakes, since I have no love of coconut and prefer to avoid it.  But the coconut flavor was so beautifully subtle in these cupcakes (and in the frosting) that even I enjoyed a few! 

That said, these are a real crowd pleaser, especially if you are serving these to guests that aren’t huge on coconut.  But if you are a coconut lover, I recommend adding a teaspoon of coconut extract to the cake batter and frosting and/or adding some shredded coconut to the cake batter.

August 11, 2013

Easy Mickey Cake

As a cake decorator, it’s easy to get caught up in my own vision of how a cake should look.  Which works, since most people aren’t overly specific about how they want a cake to look.

Except for my boys.

My boys have a very specific vision in mind when they ask for a cake.

For example, when I made my 5 year old’s Pirate Ship Cake in January, his first comment was, “the cannon is facing the wrong way.”  Little critic!

August 4, 2013

Dresden Files Cake

Last spring, a friend and I were discussing our favorite books.  I talked about my love of Harry Potter and Codex Alera among others.  And he told me about the other series by the same author as Codex Alera, The Dresden Files, which is his absolute favorite series.

July 28, 2013

Lannister Lion Cake

Earlier this past spring, I started reading Game of Thrones.  I was instantly enthralled and completely taken by the storyline and characters! 

After I read the first 3 books (starting the 4th soon!), I started watching the HBO series and it was amazing to see this world come to life!

July 21, 2013

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake on a Stick

When I was younger, I went to a street fair in my hometown.  It was a sweltering hot day and one booth had what appeared to be ice cream bars.

But when I got closer, I found it was actually chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick!  I bought one and it was amazing!

July 14, 2013

Polka Dot Cookies

Last month was my Grandma’s birthday.

I always have trouble thinking of a great gift for my grandma.  She is after all, the one who taught me everything I know about baking, so she deserves something special!  But she doesn’t need a lot of “things”.

July 7, 2013

Fuzzy Navel Cake

This Cake originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in April 2012.

This elegant, Tiffany-style cake was for a lovely bridal shower.  Since the shower was adults only, we decided to have some fun and create a Fuzzy Navel Cake!

July 4, 2013

God Bless America

Have a safe & happy 4th, everyone.  Click the photos above the view the recipes!

Image Map

June 30, 2013

Beautiful Bow Cake

This cake originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in February 2011.

This cake will always be near and dear to my heart. 

June 27, 2013

Baby Elephant Cake

I made this cake for a baby boy baby shower waaay back this past fall.  While I’m not overly thrilled with how the fondant work turned out (if I recall, humidity was a big issue that day), I am still in love with the baby elephant topper!

June 23, 2013

Orange Sunrise Cupcakes

This recipe originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in July 2012.

These cupcakes are the kid-friendly counterpart to the super delicious adults-only Tequila Sunrise Cake.  !

The cupcakes fit right in with the Luau fun and beachy party décor.  Plus, the guests loved the swirled colors inside the cupcakes.

June 20, 2013

Mini Cheesecakes with Spiked Blackberry Sauce

I love cheesecake, but usually don’t want the temptation of having an entire cheesecake around!

Mini cheesecakes are the perfect solution!  Plus, add a little spiked berry sauce and these are the summertime patriotic treat!

June 16, 2013

Dr. Seuss Hat Cake

Keeping on with my little Dr.Seuss theme, today I have a super fun Cat in the Hat Cake!

This fun cake was for a baby shower for a Momma-to-be who is expecting twin boys later this summer!

To make this cake, I baked a full recipe of White Almond Sour Cream Cake (tinted sky blue).  I baked the cake into 4 ½ 6-inch cakes and 1 ½ 8-inch cakes.  After carving the hat shape a bit, I added a layer of buttercream, and covered it in MM Fondant. The stripes were painted in with some watered down gel food coloring.

June 13, 2013

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Cupcakes

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in September 2012.

These fun Thing 1 & Thing 2 Cupcakes were for a little girl's Dr. Seuss themed 3rd birthday!

The birthday girl wanted Thing 1 & Thing 2 cupcakes with lots of fun swirls!

June 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cups are seriously one of my favorite candies.  No joke – at Halloween, I sneak all of the peanut butter cups out of my kids’ candy buckets when they aren’t looking and stash them away (hey – they have plenty of other candy!)

June 6, 2013

Tequila Sunrise Tiki Cake

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in July 2012.

Last year, a friend of mine planned a big backyard luau for her husband's 30th birthday!

For the party, I made a fun Tiki Cake!  And because plain old cake is boring, we had a fun Tequila Sunrise Cake.   The cake is delicious, with a moist crumb that absolutely melts in your mouth.  The tequila buttercream is also amazing, especially when paired with the salty pretzels rods! 

Oh and those Hawaiian shirt cookies?  Check out Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle for an amazing tutorial!

June 2, 2013

Mint & Pink Trellis Cake

Graduation season is officially here!

For my second graduation cake, the graduate wanted a sheet cake with mint green and pink and her high school’s logo on it.  She knew she didn’t want a traditional graduation cake, she just wanted something pretty!

May 30, 2013

Campfire Delight Cake

This recipe originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in June 2012.

Independence Day isn’t Independence Day without some toasted marshmallows.  So why not kick it up a notch and enjoy them in cake form?

Complete with a rich chocolate cake, decadent frosting, and an ooey gooey marshmallow filling, this cake is sure bring a smile to your face!

May 26, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven.

Peanut Butter Cup candies are obviously fantastic, so the whole idea translated to cake is amazing!

Need proof?

Three people in a row just asked me to make them peanut butter cup cakes for various occasions!

Need a little chocolate and peanut butter in your life?  Here’s the recipe!

May 23, 2013

S'mores Cupcakes

 This recipe originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in March 2011.

With the warm weather and Memorial Day coming up this weekend, I am starting to dream about S’mores!

I pretty much love S’mores in any way, shape, or form, so today I’m sharing a simple and delicious S’more Cupcake!

With chocolate, graham crackers, and ooey gooey mashmallows, you can just never go wrong!

May 19, 2013

Zebra Striped Graduation Cake

It’s graduation season!

This year, I get to make cakes for 3 graduates!

The first one was for a collage graduation last weekend.  She didn’t want anything that screamed graduation, so we went with a small zebra striped cake!

May 16, 2013

Zebra Striped Wedding Cake

This cake originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in September 2011.

This was one of the very first wedding cakes I made (back in 2011!!)

May 12, 2013

Lego Cake {Peanut Butter Cake}

Lego Cakes.

They seem like they’d be so simple, yet they can go wrong, so quickly.  Just do a little google search, you’ll see what I mean.

So when I was asked to make a Lego cake for an 8-year old’s birthday, I was nervous!

Lego’s are so iconic – I didn’t want to mess it up!

The solution came in the form of a silicone candy mold!  I kept the cake itself simple and clean and then decorated it with candy Legos!  It was the perfect solution for a little boy’s Lego cake!

May 9, 2013

Lemon Cake with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I share a lot of cakes over here.  And while they all have a few imperfections, I consider them successful.

This year, I had a beautiful cake in mind for my mom’s birthday.  It was going to be a tall, 6-layer lemon cake with blackberry cream cheese frosting, with additional blackberries studding the filling.  It was going to be gorgeous.  Then, well, if you follow me on Facebook, you already know that this happened:

For whatever reason, my bottom layer crumbled, and the whole thing started to tip!  I think, perhaps, that I put too much blackberry puree into my frosting.  The frosting was a little on the runny side and I think it just couldn’t hold up the cake!

I was able to salvage the top three layers, and well, the rest was put in mason jars and sent to the neighbors as a treat (it was still delicious after all, just a bit crumbly).

Despite the difficulty and the runny frosting, the mini cake was delicious!

May 5, 2013

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

This post originally appeared on my first blog, Amy's Cooking Adventures, in May 2011.

Since my husband was out of town on Mother’s Day (2011), I decided to host a Mother’s Day Tea at my house for my Mommy friends in the same situation.  For the tea, I knew I wanted to have something fun and pink and super feminine.

Cue Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

These cupcakes were perfect for my grown up Tea Party, but would also be lovely at a springtime bridal shower, baby shower, or a sophisticated addition to a summertime BBQ.  So enjoy and drink up!

May 2, 2013

Fifty & Fabulous Cake

Earlier this year, my friend’s mom turned 50.

She asked for an over the hill cake, but elegant not grotesque.

Instead of making a big tombstone cake (an over the hill classic), I decided to do something over the hill inspired.

The best way, I decided, was to make a simple white cake with lots of black filigree and a touch a black lace.  I also added a pop of purple (my camera hates purple and always make it look blue – ugh), to add just a bit more elegance to the cake.

Over the Hill?  Nope, Fifty & Fabulous!

The cake (again) is my favorite Rich Chocolate Cake frosted in Basic Buttercream and topped with MM Fondant.  The filigree is hand piped black royal icing.  I used this tutorial for the lace flowers, and this one for the purple fondant flower.

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