Aug 222013
 

I haven’t been cooking (and blogging) as much lately, but of course, birthday parties are special.  For my younger nephew’s 2nd birthday, the cake team assembled again to make this firetruck.  It was a much smaller project than the Great Train Cake, but still gave us a challenge.  We got most of our inspiration from this video which really takes you through the process step by step.

While I have a great egg free recipe for chocolate cake, we have not found the best recipe for yellow cake yet.  My Mom ended up making two cakes from different recipes.  The first was this recipe from the UK version of the Food Network.  The batter was much too thick so my Mom added some milk, but the cake was still a little dry.  Then she made a marble cake from a box mix, using egg replacer.  That one was very crumbly.  In the end, we salvaged what we could to make the firetruck, but we’re still on the lookout for the best egg free cake recipe.

The video shows you how to slice and stack the cakes to make the shape of the firetruck.  Two things really helped us out here; using generous amounts of frosting, and putting the cake in the freezer a few times to help the frosting harden.  The frosting is just a basic butter/powdered sugar/milk mixture, tinted with all the red food coloring we could find.  The decorations included a pretzel ladder, gum drop lights, Oreo wheels, Hershey’s miniatures as windows, and a licorice fire hose.

 

firetruck cake

 

 

When my nephew saw the cake, he immediately made noises like a siren, so I do think he got the idea.  Finally, the time came where he got to blow out the candle and actually eat some cake.  I think our firetruck cake was a success.

 

ethan2cake

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Apr 012013
 

We had a fun Easter dinner, but I think the best part was dessert.  So many Easter recipes feature eggs, but I found this Egg-Free Chocolate Cupcake recipe with Orange Buttercream Icing.  I should have made the icing a different color, to avoid the ‘Halloween look’, but these were great tasting cupcakes.

The cupcakes use basic ingredients like flour, and sugar, and cocoa powder, with chocolate chips for good measure.  You don’t need flax, or chia or any other egg substitute; the recipe just works.  They are so moist, they stick to your fingers when you eat them.

The frosting is a basic butter/powdered sugar blend, with orange juice for flavor and gelatin powder for color.  So you really could make these any flavor and color.  This will be my new go-to recipe for holiday cupcakes!

 

 

 

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Nov 272012
 

After Thanksgiving dinner, everyone is usually way too full for dessert.  But you just can’t resist having something, right?  These Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters from Skinnytaste give you a small taste of something sweet, and they’re also adorable!

I followed the recipe as written, and was able to make the filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.  Of course, I had to try it out to make sure it was acceptable for our guests.  The pumpkin cheesecake was really good, but next time I would increase the amount of pureed pumpkin for a more intense flavor.

A few hours before serving, I piped the filling and whipped topping into the glasses using the tried-and-true Ziploc bag with the corner snipped.  We tried out a few different sized glasses including a regular shot glass, a larger cordial glass, and limoncello glasses.

 

You really don’t need to buy any special glasses; use whatever you have around.  Just remember that if you use a really narrow glass, you also have to provide spoons that can reach the bottom!

These are a fun option for Thanksgiving dinner.  And if you’re lucky enough to have a few leftover, you can feel very fancy enjoying one the next day after your turkey sandwich.  🙂

 

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Nov 262012
 

Although my birthday always falls near Thanksgiving, we still manage to find time for birthday cake.  My request this year was for a chocolate cake with pink frosting.  This Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting fit the bill perfectly!  The recipe is from Joy the Baker, and she almost rivals Smitten Kitchen for great recipes.

 

 

You might be thinking – “beets…creative!”  But you might be thinking – “beets….yuck!”  Let me assure you that you can’t taste the beets in the cake or the frosting.  They only serve to make the cake moist, and the frosting a bright pink.  It helps to roast and grate the beets a day ahead because that’s really the messy part of the project.  After that, it’s a pretty straightforward two layer cake recipe.

My Mom did the majority of the work for the cake, and had my older nephew help with the frosting.

 

Later he got to decorate the cake with sprinkles, and then it was time for his favorite part, the candles!

With his little brother already in bed, he got to be center stage to help sing and blow out the candles.  Thanks to my family, it was a fun night and a fabulous cake!

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Oct 082012
 

For my nephew’s 3rd birthday, the cake team decided to go with a sports theme.  Even though baseball season is winding down, we thought it would be fun to make a baseball cake.  The birthday boy actually got to help pick the flavor of the cake this year and he requested chocolate.  (Actually, he requested “grape cake” first, but I am pretty sure he was imagining a big platter of grapes and not a grape-flavored cake!)

My Mom baked the chocolate cake using the Hershey’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe.  We considered baking the cake in a Pyrex bowl so it would be a half sphere shape, but some Googling revealed that it can be difficult to make sure the center of the cake is adequately cooked without burning the edges.  So we baked two 8″ round cakes, and then used a simple butter and confectioner’s sugar frosting to ’round’ things out a bit.  We used red cookie icing to decorate the cake with the stitching and a “3”.

This may have been our simplest cake project yet, but it was still a great cake and we had fun making it.  And yes, the cake was served with fruit salad which included grapes.

 

 

 

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