Sunday, May 21, 2017

camouflage inspired polka dot birthday cake



I usually make my husband some sort of camouflage inspired cake for his birthday, and last year was no exception! I had seen a fondant polka dot cake on Sweet and Saucy's instagram account, and I thought it would be so cute in camouflage colors, but with the polka dots done with frosting instead of fondant!

I baked up four 6-inch layers of fluffy chiffon cake, which I let cool while I prepared the filling. My husband is from Hawaii and has fond memories of eating freshly picked lychee from his grandmother's tree, so I decided to make him a cake with lychee filling. Unfortunately, fresh lychee is hard to find over here, so I had to use canned lychee, which I let drain over a strainer while I whipped up some fresh whipped cream. Then I chopped up the lychee into little pieces.


Once all the components were ready, I assembled the cake. I filled each layer of chiffon cake with freshly whipped cream, which I smoothed out with a spatula, then chopped lychee, and then more whipped cream on top before adding the next cake layer.


For the frosting, I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese buttercream, and frosted the top and sides of the cake with it. (I typically frost my cakes with a quick crumb coat, let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes, and then frost it with a final coat, with I smooth out with an offset spatula).


Then it was time to pipe my polka dots! I divided the remaining frosting into four small bowls and colored them black, brown, dark green, and light green. Then I used disposable pastry bags fitted with medium round tips, and started randomly piping different colored blobs of polka dots.



While it started out looking really ugly, I kept piping polka dots and eventually I wound up with a kinda cute cake!


I still think I like the petaled camo cake the best though! ;)


Stay tuned to see how this year's cake will turn out!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

unicorn cookies


To go along with the unicorn cake in my last post, I also made unicorn cookies as favors for Melodie's 7th birthday! I had received this awesome unicorn cookie cutter from Cookie Cutter Kingdom a while back, and now was the perfect time to use it! (Thanks Cookie Cutter Kingdom!)

As always I made my favorite sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), rolled it out to 1/8 inch thick, cut out my shapes, and baked them at 350F until golden brown (about 10-12 minutes).


To decorate, I whipped up a batch of royal icing (recipe also in my book!) and used stiff white icing to pipe at outline around each cookie (using a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small round tip).


Then I filled them in with runny white icing and let them dry for several hours.


For the horn I used medium (in between runny and stiff) golden yellow icing, and a mix of Wilton violet and Americolor violet to color the medium icing for the mane and tail (the violet by Americolor was a little more on the blue side, so I had to mix in violet by Wilton to make it more purply).


I thought they were pretty cute, but needed something to jazz them up! So I used a little bit of royal icing to "glue" on a few edible gold stars onto each unicorn.


They added just the right amount of sparkle!



Hope you enjoyed your cookies, Miss Melodie! Happy birthday!




Sunday, May 7, 2017

unicorn birthday cake


My daughter Melodie LOVES unicorns. She is always drawing unicorns, has unicorn stuffed animals and toys, has unicorns on her backpack, and always says she wishes she could ride one. So for her 7th birthday this past December, I knew I had to make her a unicorn cake! (And this time it wouldn't just be piped on like last year's Toki Doki winter unicorn cake, or the pink Toki Doki funfetti unicorn cake the year before!)

I've been seeing this unicorn cake design all over Instagram and Pinterest lately (although I first saw it on Sweet & Saucy's instagram feed), and it's so cute I knew she would love it. So a few weeks before her birthday, I started making the fondant unicorn horn. I used white fondant, which I tinted with gold gel-based food coloring, and then I formed a long cone shape and used a toothpick to add the "unicorn horn" spiral details.


Then I let it dry on a curved plastic surface to keep the cone shape in place.


The night before her birthday, I started on the cake. I baked up two 8-inch vanilla cakes (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!) and sliced them in half horizontally, giving me four cake layers. Then I filled each layer with freshly whipped cream and sliced pitted cherries.



Then I frosted the top and sides of the cake with cream cheese buttercream (recipe also in my book!), doing a quick crumb coat first, the chilling it for 30 minutes, and then doing a final coat smoothed out with an offset spatula. Then I let it chill overnight.


In the morning, I was ready to decorate!


Using black frosting in a disposable pastry bag and a small round tip, I piped smiling eyes, complete with long lashes.


Then I used gold luster dust mixed with clear vanilla extract to paint over the unicorn horn, giving it a shimmery look. (I forgot to mention that I also made unicorn ears!)


I placed the unicorn horn in the middle of the cake, and then piped a swirling rosette unicorn mane using a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (I filled one side of the pastry bag with pink frosting, and the other side with purple frosting, in order to get the half pink / half purple effect).


Then I added the unicorn ears, which had toothpicks inserted into them so that the ears would stay in place on the cake.


So cute! I loved the way it turned out!




I mean, what little girl wouldn't love a happy smiley unicorn cake?!








Happy birthday my Melodie! We love you!