The Ultimate Birthday Cake

It seems like a lifetime ago, but I took cake decorating classes. They were the Wilton ones through Michael’s Craft Stores. And I loved them all at the same time they felt overwhelming. Almost to the point, I really didn’t do cakes for a long time. Every now and then, the special occasion I could be talked into it, but for the most part, I avoided it like the plague.

A year ago, I got convinced to do a birthday cake for a friend’s friend. Gosh, I was so stressed out I thought I was going to cry. Then… something changed. I can’t explain it, but I made my dad a birthday cake with the help of my girls. Then we made my mom a birthday cake. Then Abug and I made my aunt a birthday cake. And slowly cakes started coming back into my life.

And then one day in May, I decided I was going to make birthday cakes to take to the lake for Memorial Day Weekend. Somehow, somewhere I got hooked on a blog called Liv for Cake. Her cakes really and truly impressed me. And that passion, that desire to decorate cakes just came back. Sure, I can buy icing in a jar (although I don’t) and a box cake mix and make a cake. But there was something about her website that drew me in. It was nuts!

I knew there would be a lot of kids at the lake, so I was afraid that they may not like the Chocolate Dulce de Leche, and that’s when I also found a funfetti cake recipe to try… but I was all the sudden hooked. Even with the few mishaps that happened.

And lately, my husband has been feeding this “addiction” for lack of better word. I upgrade my cake turntable to the above picture. I got some 6″ cake pans along with a few more 9″ and bam, I’m cooking up a storm, mistakes included. (more…)

Unicorn Cupcakes

At our house, it seems like birthdays just go on and on. That is no different for the Abug. She had her birthday party, we took birthday cupcakes to the lake (here), and then she got to go out to lunch and dinner on her birthday. And since you need a birthday cake on your birthday, she got one of those too.

We learned early on that going to the lake with birthday cake, cupcakes are easier. You don’t have to have a knife and plates to cut up and serve birthday goodies. Now… earlier this year, we actually had cake at the lake (Funfetti & Chocolate Dulce de Leche), but for her birthday it’s a little different. Why? Well, usually we are celebrating it at the lake during the Underwater Safari Hunt. That is just a crazy day anyway, so cupcakes are definitely the way to go.

Initially, I wanted to do the horse/unicorn head cupcake I saw on Facebook earlier this year for our cupcake, but since I decorated on Friday, I was afraid that heading to the lake with it already decorated, they could potentially move and that would be sad. Then I ran across Cupcake Jemma’s YouTube video on Unicorn cupcakes and I was sold on that idea. I already had some fondant at the house for the Unicorn Cake horn and ears that needed to be used up. Easy Peasy! (more…)

The Unicorn Cake

AKA… the Cake that Tried to Kill Me…..

Before we get started on the cake that tried to kill me… Can I tell you a little side story? I couldn’t sleep last night. When I have things to do the next day, you know, a to-do list… I have nightmares about it. My brain won’t shut down and I lie awake wondering a) if I’ll get it all done and b) should I get up now and do it so I’m not wasting my time since I’m just laying here staring at the ceiling?

Although… sometimes food haunts me I think. After I watched Julie and Julia for the first time, I couldn’t sleep. All I thought about was food that night. Learning how to be like Julia. I think I have problems :). But last night all I could think about were the cupcakes that I needed to get done today. The icing, the decorating, the icing. Oy! For over an hour. Then I was hot, but my knees were cold… something weird with me… It can be 110˚ in the shade and my knees will feel like they just came out of the freezer. It hurts like hell! Pardon my language.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out, we’ll call it confessions, let’s look at the cake that tried to kill me… btw I didn’t dream about this cake. Maybe that was my problem… (more…)

Piña Colada Cake

I feel like I fell off the face of the earth last week. Last week was such a blur… I spent all day Tuesday making French Macarons and all day Friday making a Unicorn Cake. More on both of those experiences later… but first, let’s back up and look at the Piña Colada Cake I made a couple weeks ago. Boy was it yummy!

So why did I make it and how did it come to be? Good question! So I mentioned with the strawberry dulce de leche cake that I made, my friend Dan hit me up about making his wife a birthday cake for her birthday. Wow… is that a repeat. haha! Anyway… when I asked him what she liked, he told me chocolate and coconut. So I went on the hunt for something with either or both. I then proceeded to send him about 10 different cake recipes. (more…)

Strawberry Dulce de Leche Cake

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Dan hit me up about doing a cake for his wife for her birthday. He requested we bring it to dive club meeting last week. I said, okay… any ideas. He said no. I said, okay what does she like or what doesn’t she like? He told me chocolate and coconut. That immediately made me think of German Chocolate Cake. But I wasn’t sure, so I went on a hunt for cakes.

That lead me to send him 10 different recipe ideas. Okay, now, which one? He narrowed my 10 down to 2. One was a Cannoli Cake and the other was a Strawberry Dulce de Leche cake from Life Love and Sugar. I looked back and forth and finally decided on the Strawberry Dulce de Leche cake. (more…)

Funfetti Birthday Cake

Last week I described the cake on the left of the above picture. If you need a reminder, that’s a Chocolate Dulce de Leche cake. Yum! It really was an exceptional cake and I was extremely pleased with how it turned out. Although… maybe the bright birthday candles on it look weird… who knows.

Right now I’m sitting here watching recorded shows of Best Baker America. Their challenge was a mind-bending cake with Vanilla being present. Looking at my cakes above… I fail. Oh well! haha.

But today, let’s focus on that Funfetti cake on the right. And wow, there’s a lot of thoughts covered above in just a short period of time. haha… some days that’s how my mind goes. My husband jokes that I am the queen of Random! (more…)

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cake

I made Dulce de Leche last week. Guys, it’s EASY! It takes a little time, but it’s super easy. Why oh why haven’t I done this before? Oh that’s right, because I didn’t have any reason to, until now. Now? What changed? Well… let’s start at the beginning.

Deb’s birthday was last Thursday. Every year on Memorial Day Weekend we find ourselves at the lake right around Deb’s birthday. We usually have a group dinner on Friday night, but Saturday night tends to be the BIG shindig. Then Sunday night we eat leftovers from the first two nights. It’s a lot of fun.

This year, plans stayed the same! I told everyone I was bringing the birthday cake. We also have another birthday that falls during Memorial Day Weekend, but I’ll focus on that cake later. Today, let’s talk about the Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cake because, oh. my. gosh. it’s amazing! (more…)

Strawberry Birthday Cake

A slice of Strawberry cake sitting on a plate with the rest of the cake sitting on the cake plate behind it.

Today is my daddy’s birthday! Happy Birthday, daddy! I’m not sure though, that a birthday on a Monday is much fun. First off, I’m not sure of many people who like Monday’s… and secondly… read the first statement. Poor Monday does get a pretty bad rap… I wonder if people who Monday is their Saturday/Sunday hate Monday as bad as the rest of most of the world… Just a thought that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my daddy’s birthday.

Eggs

Abug and I have spent a lot of the summer learning (her not me, I’ve been teaching) how to bake. I’ve kind of created a monster really. Whoops. She wakes up a lot of mornings and asks what we are going to bake today. Haha. So I knew that she needed to bake Papa a birthday cake. I set out to decide what kind of birthday cake we were going to bake him. Little did I know, she had her own agenda. I finally decided upon a Cinnamon Roll Cake, but she changed my plans.

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Molten Lava Cakes

Earlier this summer I was so excited when I found this Baking challenge… except, it let me down. Okay, I’ll explain. I was really looking for a reason to get excited about baking. I was also looking at finding new things to bake. Something to learn or a new recipe to try that may be different than what I already bake or something, right? Isn’t that the fun of a challenge? To learn something new… That’s what I thought…

So I was so excited to see September 1 come around. That meant something new on Sally’s Baking Challenge, except I was sorely let down. It was decorating a cupcake. Seriously? I’ve been working on making and decorating cupcakes already. I’ve had cake decorating classes. Decorating with icing and tips is nothing new to me. I wanted a challenge. And all she was doing was decorating a cupcake to look like a sunflower. You choose your own cupcake recipe. Well crap.

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Baking Challenge – Checkerboard Cake

I’ve mentioned a few times that I challenged myself to the “cupcake” challenge this year. You know… the Food Network January/February 2017 cupcake for every month challenge. Then a couple weeks ago I was talking to the hubs and told him that I needed a challenge for next year. He laughed at me saying, “But Nicole, you still have the rest of this year. We’re only at July.” I know, I know, but I’m thinking ahead. My idea was to do a pie for every month. Come on… who doesn’t like pie. And I may still persue that… who knows…

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