Evil Yumminess in the Land of Giant Cupcakes

November 19, 2010

Soccer Ball Cake

Filed under: Cake,cotton candy,sheet cake,soccer — by queenofevilyumminess @ 10:46 AM
Tags: , ,

When asked to make a cake with a soccer ball on it, my first thought was along the lines of, “Urrrgggg!” However, I quickly remember that Wilton makes a 3D soccer ball pan that has the lines indented on the pan so that I wouldn’t have to figure out how to decorate it on my own. I might have had to decline the cake had I had to do it myself. It worked out. I got to buy a new pan, much to my husband’s continuing dismay.

I did a quick search online for some ideas and found one I really liked on CakeCentral.com. Since I didn’t have a 12×12 pan (DANG!), I decided to just use a 9×13 pan. Also, I did it in buttercream because I don’t do fondant, at least not yet anyway.

I did the main cake in three layers (long story short…the cake didn’t rise like it should and I don’t know why. This seems to be a trend recently. Need to figure it out!). Two layers were strawberry and one was blue raspberry. The soccer ball was blue raspberry as well. The icing was cotton candy, with the exception of the white icing. I can’t make cotton candy icing that is white.

I had a horrible time trying to fill and ice this dang cake. I ended up having to dirty ice the cake, which I almost never have to do, which means that I used a TON of icing. Eventually, I got all the icing on the cake and got it smoothed out. Next, I plopped the soccer ball onto the cake and had at it. Luckily, I had the foresight to reserve some of the icing from the last batch so that I could have white icing without having to make more. Also luckily, you can tint green icing black very easily. I had been most worried about how the soccer ball would turn out, but did not end up having any issues which was nice. The grass around the ball gave me some problems. I don’t think I know how to properly use that particular tip the “grass” kept staying on the tip instead of the cake. Deep breath…removed stupid non-sticking grass…try again…

Then came the lettering. I hate writing on cakes. I suck at it and really, really need more practice. And I couldn’t find the correct size round tip. I also discovered that I am much better at doing lover case lettering than I am at upper case lettering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I was really happy about the way the cake looked. There are always some little things that I wish I had done better, but I usually just don’t have the time available to produce a more perfect cake. For instance, you’ll notice that the corners have black icing on them. That is because I seem to be incapable to icing a cake with crisp, even corners, so I just cover them up by piping icing there. Easy fix that looks nice, but it still drives me nuts that I can’t get that figured out!

 

November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Baby Shower Cake

Filed under: Cake,Cupcake,Halloween,spice cake,Uncategorized — by queenofevilyumminess @ 11:42 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Thank goodness this thing is done and eaten now! I always get so excited when I am asked to make a larger cake and want to make the most of the opportunity. This instance was no different. I was pretty much told I could do the cake however I wanted as long as it came out elegant and pretty. My friend was very happy with the end result, Yay!!!

The cake was a spice cake, thus all my overly obsessed blog posts regarding generating a good spice cake, with cream cheese frosting. The thing weighed about ten pounds, I swear! The bottom cake was a four-layer 9″ cake decorated like a basket. I added a candy pearl accent around the bottom and a peachy-pink ruffle around the top. On top of that there was a two-layer 6″ round and then the 3D pumpkin. I added mini cupcakes around the bottom for extra flare. I had originally intended to put the mini cupcakes on top of the bottom cake so that it looked like a basket of flower, but there didn’t end up being enough room on top of the cake to do so. I guess I should have measured or something to make sure that they would have fit. It worked out, though. I also used a ton of luster dust to give the cake some shimmer and shine.

Since I needed to fill in the empty space below the pumpkin, I whipped out a big flower-ish tip and plopped a bunch of flowers into that space. I didn’t like the effect really, but decided that if I added the luster dust it would be okay. I added some of the candy pearls, too, and it turned out looking nice.

I put both peach and white icing in a pastry bag and covered the 3D pumpkin with tip #18 drop stars. I started in the indented parts and worked my way out so that the shape would still show. The green on the top for the leaf, stem and vines got a treatment of luster dust, too, so that they would stand out some more. The pumpkin looked really, really sad without the green and pretty dang good with it.

I started icing this thing at around 7:30 pm Friday night. I took a short break (about 30 minutes) to get my daughter into bed and then dove right back into the cake. I finally finished the decorating, not including the mini cupcakes which I did the next day, at around midnight. I don’t plan to ever pipe cream cheese frosting again if I can help it. It is either too stiff or too soft. There is too small a window when the icing is just right to work with and I’m too impatient.

As I mentioned before, I think the cake weighed about ten pounds. Between the cake itself, the mini cupcakes, and the whoopie pies that I filled, there was 4 packages of cream cheese, 4 sticks of butter, and 4 pounds of powdered sugar. Plus, add in the weight from the different elements of cake and we are talking one dang heavy cake. I was so afraid I was going to drop it!

On another note, I really need to make a sign to put in the back of my car so that the poor souls that get stuck behind me when I’m delivering a cake know why I’m only driving about 4 miles per hour. I’m thinking something like, “Cake Delivery in Progress…SORRY!”

October 20, 2010

Spice Cake…The Quest Continues!

Filed under: Cake,spice cake,Uncategorized — by queenofevilyumminess @ 10:48 AM
Tags: , ,

Being obsessed with making the old spice cake recipe a success (see Spice Cake…The Quest), I made yet another batch of cupcakes. I also had buttermilk which was going out of date and needed used. I hate going to the local grocery store, the only option in town for buttermilk, and having said milk be out of date in like three days. Very, very annoying, but typical small town life, I guess. Anyway, I decided to add ton more spice into the recipe. Here is the original recipe:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk (aka buttermilk)
1 cup raisins, chopped (which I omitted because I despise raisins)
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (I used allspice since I didn’t have nutmeg)
1 tsp soda in sour milk
2 large cups flour

The second time I made it (after having raided my mom’s spice rack), I used the following recipe:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp soda in sour milk
2 cups flour

I chose to replace half the white sugar with light brown sugar, hoping it would give the cake a richer taste. I added in the ginger, which made the cake taste a bit sweeter. Personally, I think the addition of the ginger made the biggest improvement on the flavor of the cake. This time, the cake was much darker in color, although still not as dark as the box mix cake. I didn’t take any pictures, unfortunately. This recipe was also not quite as intensely spiced as the box mix cake, so if you are wanting a really spiced cake, I would recommend adding larger portions of the spices. I would also recommend using cloves instead of just allspice. The allspice container says that 1 tsp of allspice equals 1 tsp of cloves, but I’m wondering if it would be better to use both 1/2 tsp of allspice and 1/2 tsp of ground cloves. I guess I’ll have to wait and try that the next time I make the cake from scratch.

Something else that occurs to me as I’m typing up this post is that some people may like (or need) the actual instructions for preparing the cake. I sometimes forget that not everyone is experienced enough in baking to NOT need the instructions. So, here are the instructions for how I mixed the cake.

  1. Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly eat time.*
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour and spices together into a separate bowl.
  5. Measure out the buttermilk and then add the baking soda to the buttermilk. Stir so that the soda is incorporated.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour and spice mixture to the batter. Mix BY HAND** just until all flour is incorporated into the batter***. Then, add in 1/2 of the buttermilk, mixing again until incorporated. Repeat process, making sure to end with the addition of the remaining flour and spice mixture.
  7. Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees.

Please note: This recipe made only about 18 cupcakes instead of the usual amount of 24. So the batch is a little smaller than normal.

* Make sure that each egg is mixed thoroughly, meaning the batter shouldn’t be slimy looking, before adding the next egg. This is a good rule in general for preparing cake and cookie batter.

** I read somewhere that mixing in the flour and buttermilk by hand makes a difference in the texture of the cake. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I choose to complete the mixing of the batter by hand.

*** I read somewhere, probably in the same place as the previous footnote, that it is really important not to add either buttermilk to a batter when then flour has not been totally mixed into the batter (and vice versa).

July 21, 2010

Tiramisu Cake = Mmmmm!!!

Filed under: Cake,coffee,mascarpone,tiramisu — by queenofevilyumminess @ 3:37 PM
Tags: , , ,

My mom LOVES tiramisu, but I’ve never made it before because frankly it looks like a pain in the rear. So, when I found a recipe for a tiramisu cake, I was thrilled. It looked way easier than making a real tiramisu. I did still have a couple of obstacles, though, because I don’t drink coffee and I don’t drink alcohol (not much anyway). So, I didn’t have any coffee or coffee flavored alcohol. Luckily, a quick trip to the supermarket fixed both problems. I bought some instant coffee and the only coffee flavored alcohol the store had. I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to make this cake.

The next set back was that I bought an instant coffee that wasn’t in a powdered form. It was more like granules that needed to dissolve, but it actually turned out well in the end. I chose to kind of follow the directions as far as the baking went. I divided out one third of the batter and added the coffee. The directions say to cook the cake in three separate pans. I didn’t have three round pans that were the same size, so I just baked the white cake part in one pan then split it after it was cooled. The only issue with this is that you have to watch the coffee flavored one because it will get done sooner.

I think the cake is better once is has had a chance to sit in the fridge for a day or so. The cake gets more moist and everything  just kind of gets to know each other better. This is one rich, decadent cake. In my opinion, it could have used more of the mascarpone filling. I also opted to leave off the garnish since I appear to be incapable of making chocolate shavings/curls.

The picture just does not do it justice. This cake is totally awesome!!!

Ingredients

CAKE:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur
  • FILLING:

  • 1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
  • FROSTING:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
  • GARNISH:
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans.
    2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan.
    3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.
    4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
    5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
    6. To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
    7. To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

    July 14, 2010

    It’s Raining Cupcakes – Part 2

    Now, for Part 2 of this tale. After I had committed to the bridal shower order discussed in Part 1, I volunteered to make the cake for my cousin’s baby shower. I did NOT have the sense to ask WHEN the shower was being held before I volunteered my services (not that it would have mattered because I probably would have done it anyway, but aaaannyway). Turns out, the bridal shower was on Friday and the baby shower was the following Saturday AND that there were going to be around FIFTY people there! This meant that I had to bake the following all in one week: 2 giant cupcakes, 64 regular cupcakes, 2 star cakes, and 30 + cake pops. I’m proud that I managed to get it all done in four days and without a total breakdown, too. Who needs sleep, right!?!

    I had been wanting to make this particular giant cupcake for quite a while, but had no excuse to do it. Instead of trying to explain exactly what it was that I had in mind, I’ll just show you a picture. Trust me, it is much easier this way!

    The lighting was very dim in the church, so I didn’t get the best picture of the cake. It was a chocolate cake. I used a big basket weave tip to make the bottom part look like a wooden washtub. If I had more time (and more frosting) I would have added a few more accents, like the iron bands, etc. to make it look more realistic. I dirty iced the top of the cupcake with white icing and then slopped on a bunch of the sparkly blue piping gel that Wilton makes. Next, I plopped on a bunch of marshmallows to look like bubbles and then topped it off with a patriotic rubber ducky. I was so excited when I ran across those star marshmallows and I think they worked out really nicely. The little red stars were added at the last minute and were made from cherry slices. I rolled them flat, re-sugared them, and cut them out with a teeny star fondant cutter. I also used the piping gel on the bottom of the cake board and dressed it up with more marshmallows.

    Now, if you hadn’t figured it out yet, the theme for the shower was Red, White, and Blue. I decided to bake a star cake and use pillars to suspend the giant cupcake above the star cake. I also wanted to make the star cake had a tie-dyed effect. The first cake was kind of a flop. I used the Better Crocker gel food colors and the blue really wasn’t all that blue. Also, I had just spooned the different colors into the pan and when it baked, there were huge cracks from where the different colors didn’t fuse together. I’m not sure if it was from air being present or maybe it was because of the spray I used to coat the pan getting between the colors. Who knows, but it wasn’t the best looking cake and I decided that I really had to redo it. Here’s the end result for the first star cake. I hadn’t planned on using it at all, but I had some chocolate frosting left over so I figured, what the heck! You can see some of the non-blueness of the blue part in the picture.

    The second try for this star cake turned out way better than I had hoped. Since I wanted to avoid the cracks again, I used a different method for tie-dying the cake. I mixed up the batter, divided it into even potions, then dyed one blue and one red. I used the Wilton food coloring gel this time and had much better colors. I then dumped everything back into the original bowl and folded it a few time to slightly mix the batter up. Then, I carefully poured it all into the pan. This was how it turned out. VERY tie-dye, I think.

    And here’s what the inside looked like.

    I think this method has way more of a tie-dye look than just spooning it into the pan separately.

    I wanted to try out using the frosting plug technique that SeriousCakes demonstrated recently in one of her many fabulous videos on YouTube. Check that video and many other out here. I am incapable of filling a piping bag with more than one color and having it come out correctly. This frosting plug thing was a dream come true. I was able to use red, white, and blue icing all at once without it blending together. You’ll be able to see it a little better on the regular cupcakes.

    I wanted to keep with the red, white, and blue theme for the cupcakes, too. I opted to make red velvet cupcakes since I was already making some for the bridal shower. I also made blue velvet cupcakes. I used a from-scratch recipe for red velvet and instead of adding red food coloring, I added royal blue food coloring. The cupcakes came out a really awesome color of dark blue. They were all decorated with the left over icing I had from when I did the star cake. Some had more blue, some more red, and some more white, but the design was the same.

    Okay, so after having slaved away at the oven all week and flaring up my carpal tunnel with all the piping, I finally had everything finished. I was so excited to get all this stuff set up at the baby shower. This is how it all turned out…

    Here are a few more pictures…

    Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.