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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Strawberry Cakes

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I made two strawberry cakes this past week. Every time I have a chance to bake a cake, I try to experience with a new technique. The only thing constant every time I bake one is the fact that I’m reminded of how little I know and how much I still have to learn. Here is the buttercream cake I was given the opportunity to bake for a 9 year old little girl’s birthday. Her request was a vanilla cake with strawberries. I had seen this rose swirl cake on Pinterest several months ago and always wanted to try it. I created the swirls with the 1M icing tip. This also gave me the opportunity to practice on getting my buttercream smooth. I also got to practice my cake penmanship (which is a lot harder than it looks especially on the sides of cakes). I had always avoided writing on cakes as much as possible because I have seen too many times how an otherwise beautifully decorated cake can quickly go from “wow” to “meh” with poor handwriting or bad spacing. I am taking baby steps and used this technique here which begins with writing the inscription with a toothpick. I cheated by using a very small round icing tip and tracing over the letters with many little dots instead of writing in one smooth motion. I am very pleased with how the cake turned out.

Buttercream Strawberry Cake

Earlier in the week, I made this basket weave cake with whipped cream icing. Whipped cream is a lot harder to work with as it doesn’t hold its shape for long but it’s not as sweet as buttercream and has less calories. Disregard the overripe strawberries, it was all I had in the fridge and it was just a “practice” cake.

Basketweave CakeA closeup of the basket weave technique (first attempt).

Basket Weave Whipped IcingThe first time I filled the icing bag I filled it almost to the top. I noticed after about 5 vertical lines, the icing was losing shape so I started with a new bag and only filled it about 1/4 full. This way, I was able to use the icing before it melted and didn’t have to waste any. Later I read online, how it is also helpful to keep a cold drink nearby to cool your hands with so they don’t heat the icing too much. Another great learning experience and the kids LOVED this cake!


New York Style Cheesecake

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Got an imperfect cheesecake with cracks? Here’s how I decorated mine to hide the cracks on top. In my defense, I have only made two cheesecakes. The first one developed cracks right away. I did a little research and followed some tips online and the second time around I thought I would end up with a perfect cheesecake but halfway through the cooling phase it developed some. Next time I will try the water bath method. I topped it with chocolate-dipped strawberries and chocolate curls in both milk chocolate and white chocolate. I made the curls with a vegetable peeler.

Chocoloate Dipped Strawberry CheesecakeYou can’t see the cracks at all and the cake was absolutely delicious. I used Chantal’s New York Cheesecake recipe here and followed some of the tips in the comments (modifying the crust). This cake has gotten the most raves than any of my cakes. My Tres Leches cake was a close second but this one was “prettier”. Everyone loved the taste and look. My husband is not a fan of cheesecake but really liked this one. My mom, who has baked cheesecakes for many, many years, LOVED it and thought it was not only beautiful but tasted “divine”. A friend who tried it said it was “an $8 slice of cheesecake”. This recipe will not disappoint!

A slice of this yummy cake.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Igloo Cake with Penguins and Snow Display

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Here is the igloo cake I made for my son’s birthday. It was pretty easy but a little time consuming (because he wanted the penguins too). The recipe for the cake and trees is here.

Igloo CakeSugar cone trees with buttercream icing:

IMG_7817The penguins were made of gumpaste. Here is the tutorial I used. I, of course, modified my penguins.

Gumpaste Penguins
Here is a closeup of the penguin and igloo. The igloo was covered with white chocolate candy coating topped with sparkling sugar. The sugar gives it a more realistic ice-look.

Gumpaste PenguinFor the display, I used these containers to add varying heights for a more interesting look. These little containers are so practical, I have used them for many things like mixing paint and icing colors. Best part? I get tons of them for free when I order take out.

Display RisersOnce I found an arrangement I was pleased with, I covered the containers with white cotton candy. I then placed plain sugar cones on top to determine the tree placement.

Sugar Cone PlacementAnd lastly, added the trees!

Igloo Cake with Trees


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