Sunday, May 25, 2014

May Birthdays, Part 2 (aka There's A Hole In This Cake)

My dear friend Leah, whose wedding cake I did last fall, had a birthday a couple weeks ago and we're just now able to celebrate.  She requested a spice cake, which I've never done, so I spent a week or so figuring out what recipe I wanted to use--I ended up going with Rose Levy Beranbaum's white spice pound cake recipe from The Cake Bible.  Rose Levy Beranbaum is the OG of cake bakers and I've never had a cake of hers that wasn't fantastic--I hadn't made this recipe before, but I trust her implicitly.  She knows her shit.  The recipe calls for a loaf or bundt pan so I used it as an excuse to buy myself a bundt.  Please pause a moment to watch the relevant bundt cake scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Thank you for your time.

Anyway!  I clearly have no idea what I'm doing as far as frosting bundt cakes goes, so I slathered a mountain of cream cheese frosting over the top, swirled it to echo the shape of the cake, and covered it in sprinkles.  Like you do.

It ain't the prettiest thing going, but it was made with a lot of love and a new pan and plenty of sprinkles and it hopefully tastes a lot better than it looks.  That's all we can ask of birthday cakes.

Once again, Cait used her awesome photo skills to make my cake look awfully pretty, and I appreciate it a whole whole lot.

(Two days later edit: the cake was tasty!  I still need to learn how to frost a bundt but that's secondary.)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May Birthdays, Part 1

Because life is busy and crazy and we are flexible people, we're doing two May birthdays backwards.  Cait's birthday, which is Monday, gets a cake this weekend, and Leah's birthday, which was last weekend, will get a cake at some later date.  People tend not to complain as long as celebrations are involved.

Cait requested a cake along the lines of John's epic sprinkle groom's cake, the leftovers of which ended up living at her house after the wedding.  As I still have sprinkles leftover from that whole undertaking, I was happy to oblige.

This is what I ended up with!  I forgot until the cake was already on the board that rolling a sprinkle cake requires a board the same size as the cake (in this case, a 6" board--this is on an 8") so I improvised and ended up with something still happy and colorful, with sprinkles inside and out.  The green things are Sixlets and the little colorful dots in the piped spots around the side of the cake are individual sprinkles stabbed in there.  The inside is funfetti cake with a healthy layer of vanilla frosting and sprinkles between the layers.  Happy Birthday, Cait!

edit: Cait is a much better photographer than I am and took some pictures of the cake on their lovely picnic table.  Here it is, looking much nicer: 

I like this picnic table's style.

You can see more of Cait and her husband's house projects, adorable dogs, and other fun things over at My Old Kentucky House.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Cake for my Mom

I have a totally fantastic mom, you guys.

Here she is in circa 1982, looking fly.

Here we are last weekend, geeking out at Phantom of the Opera.

She is great in every way and I try and remember that every day, but of course on Mother's Day I try and do a little extra.  Every year we go to a local garden center and buy plants--sometimes they make it, sometimes they don't, I'd like to think we have a little bit better than 50% mortality rate but nobody's really keeping track.  This year we went a few weeks early so she could get the plant of her choice, which was a good decision because this weekend is mostly 100% rain.

This year, of course, I am celebrating All The Things with cake, and this is no exception.  I made her a wee ladylike cake with some piped flower-type things for her sugary enjoyment:

You would not believe how many people at Trader Joe's were buying flowers. 

I love it when the little cakes fit in the little boxes.

What we have here: the world's shortest two-layer 6" Earl Grey Tea cake (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens via Sprinkle Bakes) with honey vanilla Swiss Buttercream frosting (which is just a standard Swiss Meringue Buttercream with less sugar at the beginning and some honey added at the end).  It was a little too short to do the roses all around the side but I like how it turned out with a wreath of the roses on top and some other random little piped bits scattered around.

I haven't tasted it yet but it did make the kitchen smell AMAZING, so there's that.

Edit: good cake!  The tea flavor came through nicely and I'll definitely use the base to experiment with other steeped flavors in the future.  Here's one more picture:

Friday, May 2, 2014

For a Non-Cupcake Blog, Here's More Cupcakes

Look what I'm springing on Jenna tomorrow!  Top to bottom, starting on the left:

Burnt sugar cake with salted caramel buttercream filling and brown sugar buttercream
Same as above, drizzled with more salted caramel
Burnt sugar cake with salted caramel buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream
Same thing but with more caramel drizzle

Chocolate mud cake (chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, chocolate crumbs)
Chocolate cake, marshmallow filling, chocolate buttercream

S'mores (graham cracker cake*, toasted marshmallow filling, milk chocolate ganache) with brown sugar buttercream
S'mores with vanilla buttercream

Let's all wish her luck.  She's coming in the morning, so this is breakfast.  If there's a better way to start the day, I don't know what it is.

Edit: I forgot to mention that there are MORE cupcakes to the left of this picture, out of the shot.  Those included sweet potato and ginger cake with marshmallow filling and vanilla and brown sugar buttercreams.

Tasting went great, I sent both tasters home with nine cupcakes each and there are still more in my kitchen.  Someone help me, please.