pirate ship cake

pirate-cake

Have a pirate longing for a swashbuckling good time? Invite the crew to weigh anchor and follow the treasure map to this fabulous pirate ship cake from parenting.com. It’s the perfect addition to our pirate ship birthday party or pirate skull birthday party theme.

Here’s the ingredients and supplies you’ll need:

  • 1 (13 by 9-inch) cake
  • 1 can (16 oz) dark chocolate frosting
  • Yellow food coloring
  • ½ can (1 cup) vanilla frosting
  • 1 plain breadstick (8 inches long)
  • 16 yellow mini-candy-coated chocolates
  • 6 PepOMint Life Savers
  • 1 cup blue coarse decorating sugar
  • 2 thick pretzel rods
  • A bread knife
  • A serving platter
  • A fork
  • Scissors
  • Black and white construction paper
  • Glue

For all the “how to” details and a template for cutting out your cake, visit parenting.com. Happy baking matey!

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bridal shower cookie cake

showercakeThis cake idea is a beautiful way to shower your bride-to-be with something sweet. And if you’re not comfortable with tiers, this would also be very pretty as a one tier. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 white cake mixes
  • 2 cans white icing {cream cheese is my favorite!}
  • Edible flowers (e.g., day lilies)
  • Sugar cookie dough {a roll/stick from the grocery works just fine; no need to make this difficult}
  • Gel food coloring
  • Icing tips
  • Resealable bags (freezer weight are best)
  • Tip connectors
  • Cake cookie cutter {scroll down the page for a cake cookie cutter and diamond ring cookie cutter}
  • Two 8″ round cake pans
  • One 6″ springform cake pan
  • 10″ pedestal cake plate
  • Freezer paper
  • (Note: You could also go with 10″ and 8″ pans depending on the number of people you’re planning to serve.)

My advice, bake your cookies and decorate them a few days before the event so that you don’t feel rushed. As a matter of fact, you can bake your shapes and freeze them (without icing) up to a month in advance.  As for decorating your cookies, I’m not going to go into great length in this post, but if you’re not familiar with flooding cookies or baking sugar cookies for that matter, make sure and check out previous posts with my tips on how to make sugar cookies keep their shape and my tips on flooding cookies.

As for the cake:

  1. Bake your cakes and allow them to cool completely before starting the icing process.
  2. Place freezer paper on your cake plate in two or three sections that you can easily remove after icing your cakes. This will keep your cake plate tidy.
  3. Place your first 8″ cake on your cake plate, ice the top and stack on your second 8″ cake. Now apply a thin crumb coat to the entire cake. Repeat this with your 6″ cake and allow both to set before icing your top coat. This will keep cake crumbs from appearing in your beautiful icing work.
  4. This cake has a very smooth icing, not fondant, but a skilled hand at a smooth coat. If you want this effect, use an icing spatula and work in one direction with even strokes. But, you could also have a more whimsical effect with your icing and it would look just as beautiful. Don’t be afraid to make this cake your own.
  5. Once iced, embellish your cake with your sugar cookies. If your icing has set, just use a fresh dollop as glue to hold your cookies in place.
  6. You could further embellish with edible flowers or you could even pipe on your own.

Remember, don’t be afraid to be creative. Happy baking!

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microphone rock star cake

micphonebirthdaycakeToday we’re launching our new “rock star” birthday party theme complete with cool and creative décor (that would be perfect for any American Idol party). In honor of this new custom invitation, check out this fun microphone birthday party cake. I have to say, parenting.com did an exceptional job with creating a series of super fun birthday cakes!

Here’s what you’ll need for this one:

  • 12 colored ice cream cones
  • 1 large bag jelly beans, M&M’s, or other preferred small candies
  • 1 can (12 oz) whipped chocolate frosting
  • 12 baked cupcakes, paper liners removed
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate sprinkles
  • 12 (3-inch) lengths of black licorice laces

Check out parenting.com for the how to! Happy baking.

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soccer ball cupcakes

soccercupcakes_widrigI found these on about.com submitted from baker, Johanna Widrig, and wanted to share. The cupcake itself is not difficult, it’s making the fondant soccer ball that might take a little time and okay… some patience. But you have to agree that the outcome is awesome. Plus, your guests can just lift off the ball and eat the yummy cupcake!

A tip on the ball, you can buy boxes of pre-made fondant at your craft store. Roll your balls by hand. Then, tint some black with gel food coloring (the other is water-based and won’t do as well). Roll out the black and cut out your shapes with an exactor knife. If you have to use a kitchen knife make sure it isn’t serrated. Now apply your black shapes with a touch of icing and connect them with a black cake writing pen.  

Here’s what the baker, Johanna, had to say. “These are just a few of the soccer ball cupcakes I created for an 11 year old soccer fan’s birthday. I did both vanilla and chocolate, with butter cream icing using a Wilton grass tip. I made the soccer balls by hand using fondant. They were a labor of love, but the end result was exactly what I was hoping to create!”

Happy baking!

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princess tier cake

princessbirthdaycake_parentingThis idea for a princess birthday cake (have a look at our invites and décor) from parenting.com takes the cake. {smirk} A little decorating talent is needed, but mostly patience will be the key. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 5 sugar cones
  • 2 Kids Cones (mini-ice cream wafer cones)
  • 3 pink ice cream wafer cones
  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • ½ cup pink decorating sugar
  • 1 (8-inch) round cake
  • 1 (9-inch) round cake
  • 1 jumbo cupcake, paper liner removed
  • 2 cans (12 oz) whipped vanilla frosting
  • 1 roll Bubble Tape
  • ¾ cup Smarties
  • Orange and pink Runts
  • 2 bags sour gummy Life Savers
  • 2 rolls Necco wafers

Read all the directions and see a template for the cake sections on parenting.com. Happy baking!

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purse cake

pursecake1

It was like parenting.com made this cake for me. It’s pink and brown, my company’s colors, and it has my initial on the front… {wink}. We could even go farther and talk about the magnolias that they embellished it with. I mean, I did graduate undergrad from Mississippi State University. It’s the state flower for those of you who don’t know. I’m just saying!

Anyway, enough of me, here are the things you’ll need to make one of these incredible cakes for your little shopper.

  • 2 (8-inch) round cakes
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 Tootsie Roll Giant (2.25 oz)
  • 10 brown M&M’s
  • 8 to 9 marshmallows
  • 6 Whoppers
  • 1 sheet green fruit leather
  • 2 Tootsie Rolls
  • A bread knife
  • A resealable sandwich-size plastic bag (Ziploc)
  • A serving platter
  • Scissors or a small letter-shaped cookie cutter

To trim the cakes:

  1. Place the cakes on a clean work surface. Using a bread knife, trim the tops to make them level.
  2. Spread a small amount of frosting on one cut surface. Place the other cake layer on top, cut side down and sandwich the cakes together.
  3. Cut a 1-inch strip from one side of the layer cake. Cut a 2-inch deep slice from the opposite edge. (Check out template on parenting.com.)

For the pink frosting:

  1. Spoon 1/4 cup of the untinted vanilla frosting into a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining frosting to tint it a light pink.
  3. Place the cake on a serving platter, deeper-cut side down. Spread the pink frosting all over the cake and make smooth.

To decorate:

  1. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe dots along each thin side of the cake and attach the brown M&M’s.
  2. Bend the Tootsie Roll Giant into a “C” shape to make the handle and place on the top of the cake.
  3. Cut the marshmallows with clean scissors, crosswise, into 4 slices. Arrange the marshmallows as flower petals along the top of the cake, adding some vanilla frosting to help secure them to the cake. Attach the Whoppers to the center of each flower with a dot of frosting. Cut small leaf shapes from the green fruit leather and tuck them underneath the marshmallow petals as leaves.
  4. Heat the 2 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds to soften. Roll out onto a sheet of wax paper and cut out desired letter using clean scissors or a small cookie cutter. Press the letter onto the front of the cake.

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pop star guitar cake

guitarcake_ff1I’m planning a major baking session this weekend and was scouting around for inspiration when I came across this pop star guitar cake from Family Fun Magazine. (They give the original idea credit to Christina K. of Fort Worth, TX; Great idea Christina!)  This is simply too cool if your birthday kid is into Rock n’Roll or even Hanna Montana. And it goes perfectly with out “rock star” invitation and party decor! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Guitar template
  • 19 x 13″ cake pan
  • Red, blue and neon blue food coloring
  • 2 ½ cups vanilla icing
  • 1 cup dark chocolate icing
  • 3 pastry bags, with 1 small round tip and 1 medium round tip
  • 1 Kit Kat
  • 6 brown M&Ms and 12 yellow M&M Mini’s

And here are all the easy steps:

  1. Cut the cake using the template and assemble.
  2. Make purple frosting by stirring 12 drops of red food coloring and 8 drops of blue into 1 1/4 cups of vanilla frosting. Spread the frosting over the guitar body.
  3. Lightly press a medium-size drinking glass into the frosting to mark the sound hole. Spoon 1/2 cup of the chocolate frosting into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Pipe frosting to fill in the circle. Use the rest of the chocolate frosting to cover the guitar neck and head as shown.
  4. Place one section of the Kit Kat about 2 1/2 inches below the sound hole. Spoon 1/4 cup of vanilla frosting into a pastry bag. Use the small round tip again to pipe on lines for frets and strings, then place the yellow M&M’s Minis as shown.
  5. For tuning pegs, put three brown M&M’s on each side of the head of the guitar, then pipe vanilla-frosting pegs leading to them.
  6. Stir 12 drops of neon blue food coloring into the remaining vanilla frosting. Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with the medium round tip. Pipe on dots and curlicues as shown.

And for those of you who love this idea, we’re in the process of developing a fun new Rock n’ Roll themed invitation and thank you card so make sure and check back with us in about two weeks. Happy baking.

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fun flyer cupcakes

Fun Flyer CupcakesThese little cuties were on the back of my M&M’s bag. {wink} Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 bags M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Candies for Easter 1 18.25-oz. box yellow cake mix
  • 1 16-oz. can vanilla frosting
  • Green and yellow food coloring
  • Black licorice laces
  • 3 12-cup mini cupcake pans
  • 36 mini paper cupcake liners
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Spatula

And here are the simple steps:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 (12 cup) mini cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared cupcake pans. Bake approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, spoon 1/4 cup white frosting into resealable bag. Tint remaining frosting green and use to cover cupcakes.
  5. Use photograph as decorating guide for cupcakes. Arrange four M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Candies for Easter, as photo shows. Pipe white frosting body in center and use licorice for antennae.

These would go beautifully with our bugs and butterflies custom invitations and party décor! Happy baking.

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baby rattle cupcakes

babyrattlecupcakesHere’s a unique twist on the traditional cupcake for your next baby shower (invites and decor). I love how simple these are to make and how easily you can adapt the design to any color scheme.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cake mix and required ingredients
  • 24 cupcake tins
  • White or cream cheese frosting
  • Decorating icings, tubes
  • Candy sprinkles
  • 8 yards curling ribbon
  • 24 lollipop sticks
  • 24 small gumdrops

And here’s how you make them:

  1. Bake your cupcakes according to the box instructions and allow them to cool on baking racks for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Frost your cupcakes with a base of white icing, pipe on your desired designs and add sprinkles.
  3. For the rattle, insert a toothpick in the side of the cupcake. Tie the curling ribbon around the center of the lollipop stick and add a gumdrop to one end. Insert the other end of the stick into the cupcake.

Image: Betty Crocker

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princess cupcake castle video

I had a great time on NBC4i’s Daytime Columbus this week. Gail Hogan is a very gracious host and lets me just talk and talk, which of course I love to do. {wink}

Here’s the video to go with our step-by-step instructions I posted earlier. Happy crafting!

 

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