Celebrations

Cakes: High Flying Planes and Ruffles

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This weekend I baked up cakes and cupcakes in celebration of two very special little boys – my own nephew and my friend’s brand new nephew.  They didn’t turn out exactly as I had wanted, but I had fun doing it and being able to make their celebrations a little sweeter.

For my nephew, we were celebrating his third birthday!  My sister bravely hosted a house full of young kids so I decided to help out by baking and bringing the cake.  I know most kids are overloaded by stuff these days so my hope is that the gift of my time and talent to make his birthday cake is more valuable then just another toy.

Max is into cars and planes and all things that move.  Last year I made him this construction themed cake so this year I decided to go with the Planes theme and did up this simple blue cake with white clouds and a Dusty toy as the topper.

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The cake was finished off with an inexpensive paper banner flying behind Dusty and a “3” candle from the Dollar Store.

My fluffy white clouds along the sides ended up sliding in transit, but it was easily fixed and overall I was happy with the finished cake.  Max couldn’t wait to get into it and my husband had two slices, so I must have done something right!

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For flavours, I kept things simple and both cakes were chocolate cake filled with a delicious banana creamcheese filling.  As you will see below, my second cake had a monkey theme so the banana seemed fitting.  I also added some Skor bit’s into my nephews cake for good measure and they added a nice little bit of crunch.

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Lucky for me the 2 cakes being for boys also meant I was able to use the same blue icing and save some time (and dirty dishes!) when mixing up buttercream.

The second cake was for a baby shower in celebration of my friend’s new nephew.  When she asked me to make her a cake, I was a bit hesitant because I still don’t feel that my cake making skills are good enough for anyone to actually pay for.  I had done a ruffle cake for my daughter’s birthday cake in May and it turned out pretty well so I suggested that style since I was fairly confident I could pull it off.

I asked my friend to snap some photo’s of the finished cake, but unfortunately she forgot her camera and had a bit of a hectic day so unfortunately my quick, crappy iphone picture  of the finished ruffle cake will have to suffice.  The cake was just a 6″ round, so I also baked up 2 dozen cupcakes to ensure she had enough cake for all her guests at the shower.

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To finish off the cake, I designed a cute paper monkey topper and blocks that spelled out baby’s last name.  For the cupcakes, I incorporated the same monkey into two different paper toppers that got hot glued to striped paper straws to stick into each.

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Happy 3rd Birthday Max and Welcome to the World Baby Zackary!

 

 

 

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Celebrations, Parties, Recipes, Sweet

Cakes: Machine’s and Monkey’s for Max

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This weekend we celebrated my nephew’s 2nd birthday.  My sister and her husband just bought their first home so they have been very busy these past weeks moving in and working on home improvement projects.  She is also 7 months pregnant so I can only imagine how exhausted she is between chasing a 2 year old and unpacking.  Because of all this, and because I enjoy doing it, I offered to bake and decorate the cake for my nephew’s birthday party.

My sister has mentioned Max is into tractors and construction vehicles lately so I knew it would make a good theme for his cake.  I started with a 5 pack of small CAT toys I found at Target for $6 and decided to build a chocolately construction zone for them.  My cake decorating skills can still use some improving, so I loved that the mud and dirt on this cake didn’t require perfectly smooth icing to look good.

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Finishing details included green icing grass and small chocolate rocks.  The “dirt” was Oreo cookie crumbs.  For the final touches, I printed out some construction style signs with the birthday boy’s name and age  to stick into the cake with the “2” candle.

I am not sure the birthday boy ate much of his cake, but he sure did enjoy playing with the tractors and trucks on it so I would call that a success.

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The actual cake was from a mix and the icing was just a basic chocolate buttercream.  Inside was a delicious Oreo cheesecake filling.  I didn’t get a picture to show it in it’s full glory, but trust me it was tasty and definitely worth trying on your next cake.  I *may* have even eaten the leftover filling on it’s own by the spoonful.

Oreo Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 Package of cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 row of Oreo Cookies, crushed

To make filling, blend room temperature cream cheese.  Add in defrosted Cool Whip and vanilla extract, then mix until smooth.  Gently fold in crushed Oreo’s.

 

Max’s First Birthday Monkey Cake

I also had the priviledge of making the cake for Max’s first birthday last year.  I went with a monkey theme and ended up doing a large cake for the party guests and a small monkey just for the birthday boy.  To get the round cake shape, I baked the cake in my Pampered Chef batter bowl.  The cake was also baked from a mix and I used the same chocolate buttercream as the construction cake, with some banana flavored icing for the mouth and ears and melted chocolate for the mouth, hair and eye details.

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I do enjoy cake decorating and love that this gives me a chance to both practice my skills and give my nephew something special for his birthday.  I am afraid I may have started a trend and will now be asked to make the cakes for all upcoming birthdays, but I think I am okay with that!

 

Celebrations

An Apple for the Teacher Cupcakes

My mom just retired from teaching this past spring.  I spoke to her recently and she told me that with September quick approaching she has had a few moments of anxiety over having to go back to school/work, and has had to remind herself that she is retired!

We celebrated her retirement with a small family party and I was put in charge of cupcakes.  It only seemed appropriate to make apple cupcakes so I made these simple cupcakes using gummy leaves and pretzel sticks for the stems.

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They turned out very cute and would be a quick treat to whip up for the first day of school or any other time you want to show your favourite teacher how much you appreciate their hard work.  For mine, I did a cherry chip cake with cherry frosting, but you could do almost any cake flavor with red icing.

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You might also notice they are in the dollar store cupcake carriers I have mentioned before which would make it easy for gift giving!