February 26, 2013

Crème de Menthe Cupcakes

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

Today’s recipe is a delicious Crème de Menthe Cupcake.  A chocolaty, minty cupcake topped off with a simple vanilla icing that's perfect for anytime!  Tint the frosting green and these are perfect for St. Patrick's Day!  Or leave them as is for an elegant baby shower or Mother's Day treat! 

Recipe Notes:
*I used Girl Scout Thin Mints in this recipe, but you can use grasshopper cookies or other mint cookies
*I used Andes Crème de Menthe Baking chips for the mint chips in this recipe

February 21, 2013

Ladies' Hat Cake

My grandma has always loved hats.  So when she turned 85 this past summer, I just knew that I wanted to make her a hat cake!

The cake was a white almond sour cream cake with raspberry jam and chocolate fudge filling.

February 19, 2013

Wall-e Cake

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

I made this cake 2 years ago for my older son's 3rd birthday.

At the time, he watched the movie Wall-e nearly everyday so I knew he'd love a Wall-e themed cake.

Super Moist Doctored Cake Mix {Dairy Free}

1 package of cake mix (any flavor)
            Eggs, oil, and water as indicated on the cake mix

Additionally, add

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup canola oil
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease the pans you plan to use (I used two 9-inch pans and they were full)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Blend on low until ingredients are combined, about one minute.  Scrape the side of the bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Pour batter into the prepared pans.

Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes.  If needed, continue baking at 5 minutes increments until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes on wire racks in the pans for 10 minutes.  Then run a knife along the edges of the pan and invert.  Cool the cakes completely.  Then decorate as desired with buttercream & MM Fondant.  

Yield: 6 ½ cup of batter or two full 9-inch pans.

February 15, 2013

Pirate Ship Cake

Anyone else have the Pirates of the Caribbean song going through their head right now?  No?  Just me?  Alright then...

A couple weeks ago, my older son turned five, FIVE!  It’s so hard to believe I already have a five year old.  It seems like just yesterday, I was bringing a little 4 pound bundle home from the hospital!  Well, my little bundle of joy has grown up into such a funny, intelligent little boy!

And what my little boy really wanted for his birthday was a Minnie Mouse cake.  Yep Minnie.  Mickey was not acceptable.  You see, when I made the Minnie cake for my friend, he immediately thought it was for him and decided right then and there (in October) that he was going to make a Minnie themed party for his birthday in January.

February 12, 2013

Love Letters & Hearts

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

I love cookies, but I can usually take ‘em or leave ‘em unless they involve chocolate or lots of frosting.  So how about the best of both worlds?  A chocolate roll out cookie covered in royal icing…yum!

Recipe Notes:
*I used natural cocoa powder.  Dutch process cocoa powder will also work in this recipe.

February 8, 2013

Minnie Mouse Cake

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

A good friend of mine recently threw a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party for her daughter who was turning 2 and I had the privilege of making the cake for the occasion!

Since two of her four children have dairy issues, this cake was dairy-free.  If you need to make a dairy free cake, just check the labels carefully for a mix that doesn’t contain dairy.  Some Duncan Hines cakes are dairy free (but not all).  I’ve also had good luck with some generic brands.

February 5, 2013

Xylosaurus Cake

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

For my son's birthday party this year, I was inspired by Threadcakes.  A contest in which bakers can make and submit a cake based off a Threadless T-shirt design.  

When I saw the Xylosaurus, I was in love!  How cute and whimsical for my baby’s first birthday!

This was my first sculptured cake, so I got to try several new techniques.

I started off with a Funfetti cake mix doctored up using this recipe.  I baked it in two 9x13 pans at 375 degrees F, for about 25 minutes.  Once cooled, the cakes were cut and stacked with butter cream in between the layers (sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step!)  There were 6 layers, ranging from 4 ¼ inches wide to 2 ¾ inches wide.  This was then wrapped carefully with plastic wrap (still on the cake board) and placed in the freezer overnight.

February 1, 2013

Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant

When I need to cover an entire cake in dark brown or black, it is useful to start with chocolate fondant and use far less food coloring.

At those times (or anytime you’d like chocolate flavored fondant) I like to use Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant.  As an added bonus, Chocolate MM Fondant tastes a lot like Tootsie Rolls!

Here's a little sneak peek of my Chocolate MM Fondant project.  

Any guesses?

Recipe Notes:
*Chocolate MM Fondant uses the same method as regular MM fondant, click the following for in depth photo tutorials on the making of MM Fondant and how to use it.

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