Thursday, March 15, 2012

Train Cake

I can't believe I made my boys 2nd birthday cake.  Not the fact that I made it... the fact that it's their 2ND ONE!!  It's not suppose to go this fast is it ;) ... yeah, yeah I know the answer to that already. 

I normally take pictures during the entire process of the cake building but this time was different.  This cake was for my boys party so I already had the house decorated and half set up.  I didn't have very much space to put cake supplies and cake to take pictures.  So instead of taking pictures during the entire thing I only took finished product.  Oh and when I thought about taking pictures I decided not to because I thought the cake looked HORRIBLE... then it was finished and if I do say so myself think it was out of this world! 

Disclaimer... This is NOT an original idea.  I searched online for train cake pictures.  When I make cakes I normally get an idea from the client (invitation, decorations, ideas, etc.) and then search for other peoples creations.  After seeing a few I take (what I think are) the best parts from each and incorporate them into mine.  However, when I was searching for train cakes I came across this one and right away knew that I wanted to duplicate it!

These are the little accessories to the cake.  I LOVED how there were 2 engines.  How perfect was that.  One engine for M and one for G!

Normally when I make figurines I do it completely out of fondant or gum paste.  This time I decided to do the figures out of Rice Krispie Treats and then just cover them in fondant.  I didn't want to wait long for the block of fondant to dry and stiffen so I thought I would squish some treats to form cars.  It was SO easy!

The cake is made out of 2 10 inch rounds and 2 8 inch rounds.  I cut a hill (or spiral) down the cake to form the train track.

I piped brown buttercream to make the spiral look like a track.

I piped green grass around the edge of the track and edge of the bottom of each cake.  Then I piped some trees and made some fondant clouds.

I love the steam coming out of the train.

I definitely think there is an easier way to carve a spiral.  I think next time I ever have to make a spiral cake I will 'waste' more cake.  I don't love the seam of the two different sizes.  If I use larger circles I think I can avoid some of the dislikes I have.

Here's the cake the day of the party with it's candles all ready to be lit to sing to M and G.

G (left) and M (right) blowing out their 2 candles.  M actually blew out BOTH of his candles on his own.  G was blowing perfectly but the air was angled the wrong way so Mommy helped a little bit (I don't think he realized... I hope not anyway because they were having SO much fun blowing out the candles).

Train Cookies

I decided that I would take step by step pictures of the cookies I made for the boys birthday party.  I quickly changed my mind.  

I started off doing 'ok' but adding that one more step of taking pictures just made the task almost unbearable haha.  I was in the zone and didn't want to be bothered (or completely forgot) to take pictures.  

The them of the party was trains so of course I made train cookies.  I started with outlining the main color of the train.

and then I stopped taking pictures.  Oops.  I know, it didn't last long.  I do have some random ones so I will leave them for you. 

After piping the outline of the cookie I filled the cookie with the red.  Then I moved on to the other colors on the train.  Most of the cookies were train engines.  I had 3 'special' trains.  I did 3 large engines,  3 passenger cars (pictured above), and 3 coal cars (2 pictures below).

I also made 2 different signs.

The white and black railroad crossing sign (above) and the yellow RR circle sign (never took a picture).

This is where I stopped taking pictures all together.  I didn't even get a good picture of all the cookies on the cookie tray.  OOPS!

This is the best shot I got, but instead of seeing the cookies you see the label.

I remembered that I didn't take a picture of the cookies and I was able to click one real quick before too many were taken.  Sadly this picture is missing the large engine.

Of course I had to get pictures of the birthday boys eating their train cookies.


Most of the kids that ate the cookies did a great job.  Mine on the other hand LOVE to eat all the icing off before actually biting the cookie.  Their cookie beards grew as they were enjoying their cookie.  

After taking the pictures off of my memory card I realized I never got a picture of the cookies so I grabbed the few that were left and threw them on a plate so you could get an idea of what they looked like.  

There were some really nice looking ones.  Of course I don't have pictures of those because they were the first tray I set out.  When they were eaten I started to replace them with the lesser ones.

I read that sometimes red, black, brown, and orange icing doesn't dry well.  I was so excited that I figured out how thin the icing should be the last time I made cookies.  I thought these would come out perfectly since my filling icing came out so great last time.  Again, some did... but others stayed tacky looking.  They look like they didn't completely dry (they were).  O'well, most of them were eaten anyway :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Birthday Cake for Husband

My husbands birthday was February 2nd.  Every year I make him some sort of cake that has chocolate and peanut butter.  I use to make him a cheese cake for his birthday but in one of our old apartments our oven was so horrible that I could never get it right.  So I moved onto the chocolate and peanut butter.  This year I decided to add the cheese cake back into that list.

I made him a cheese cake filled chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese icing topped with chocolate shavings.    

This was my favorite chocolate cake recipe I have ever made.  Every year I try different recipes for his birthday.  This one called for a cup of fresh brewed coffee.  I don't like coffee or chocolate cake for that matter.  OH but this chocolate cake!  YUM!  I think it will be my staple chocolate cake for now on.  Or at least for a little while :)

Baby Girl Baptism Cookies

These cookies were made for a girlfriends little girls baptism.  

I'm finally getting better at filling the cookies.  Every time I decorate a sugar cookie I make the royal icing thinner.  Each time I think it's gotta be thin enough.  Each time it's not.  This time I finally got it right.  Sadly I did the bulk of the cookie before I did it right.  The white of the scalloped cookie is finally the right consistency.  Now I know to make the icing so thin that I think it will be too thin and it should be perfect.  

God bless little Avery and her family.  I hope they have a wonderful time on Sunday.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Now that it is Fall I have been craving some pumpkin anything. I have always HATED pumpkin pie, but since I have been getting older I've begun to like pumpkin flavor. Every Fall I get a little bit more courageous and try something new that is made with pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie mix.

I came across this awesome pumpkin cookie recipe last year and fell in love. I made them 3 or 4 times during the fall. I thought I would make them today. I dug out the recipe and checked to see if I had all the ingredients. I didn't :( I had no brown sugar. I don't know how that's possible but I didn't have any.

I searched online and found a pumpkin cupcake recipe that had the same frosting (icing) as the cookies I made last year (my favorite part). Again that recipe called for brown sugar. Bummer

I decided to just take out the can of pumpkin puree (which ended up being pumpkin pie mix not puree) and make something up on my own. I did NOT want pumpkin pie (still not a huge fan). As I was looking at the can I saw yummy cupcakes on the label. I pulled off the label and looked at the ingredients to see if I had everything. Again NO. One ingredient listed was cake flour. I actually did not have any of the either. I did have a box of yellow cake mix. Why not use that.

The recipe said to make a streusel topping for the cupcakes. I decided not to. Which is surprising, I love streusel topping. Who doesn't! But I was still craving that icing from the other two recipes.

After the cupcakes came out of the oven I tried one and decided not to even make the icing. They were so good, and I didn't have all the ingredients for that either. I think someone needs to go shopping!

They are SO YUMMY!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Banana Streusel Muffin

I bought a huge bushel of bananas the other day for my babes. They eat so many so quickly. The just purchased bushel of bananas went from green to brown over night. So sad. In the morning my little guys were asking for bananas and I didn't have any to give them. I decided to make some muffins with the brown bananas. Now they keep asking for cake. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Golf Themed Grooms Cake

This is a golf themed cake personalized for a groom. What a lucky man to have a woman that surprises him with a cake just for him.

This cake is filled with buttercream and cut up Snickers.

The groom has a springer spangle named Calli and the Bride ask if I could try to make her. I tried. I think it came out ok.