Spring is here!!! It’s time to embrace bright colors and the newness that spring brings. Here are some tutorials from around the web to help get you in the spirit!
I hope these tutorials inspire you! Happy Baking!
Spring is here!!! It’s time to embrace bright colors and the newness that spring brings. Here are some tutorials from around the web to help get you in the spirit!
I hope these tutorials inspire you! Happy Baking!
Our Sweet friend, Naomi Hubert of Tea Party Cakes, has a new book!! We’re so excited and it’s just in time for Easter!
The newest book from The Cake & Bake Academy is now out ready for Easter and I am so incredibly excited because our dear friend and contributor to our online school, Naomi, has step by step projects in the book.
I can personally assure you that this book is wonderful,
and all of the tutorials are top notch.
GREAT Spring and Easter projects.
The book is available in paperback on Amazon or if you can’t wait and want an instant copy you can order a pdf ebook here:
I hope you all love the book!
Congratulations, Naomi!! We love the book too! (and you!)
It`s Spring! It`s Spring! With Easter a bit later this year, we`ll finally have a chance to see the flowers and trees in bloom while celebrating! Speaking of celebrating – I`ve rounded up some super cute ideas that I`d like to share with you to make your Easter table very festive! Please enjoy!
From SugarEd Productions:
From The Partiologist:
By Montreal Confections:
From Taste Of Home:
From Hungry Happenings:
From Kailo Chic
Happy Easter everybody!
Today we have a guest blog post by the very talented Ashley Verhagen. She shows us how to make her precious Easter Bunny cake:
What’s more fun than sweet little bunnies lounging near Easter eggs? Perhaps they’re all dreaming of the lovely Easter candy to be had soon? Let’s learn how to reproduce this cake, shall we?
Cake: 9” round iced in yellow, 6” round iced in white
½ ” Foam-core board, cut in a circle with a 14” diameter, covered with wrapping paper of your color choice and food safe cellophane
Tip 5, 104, 233
Various round tips
Fondant tinted in your desired colors
Gel colors (pink, lime green, purple, yellow)
Small Daisy gumpaste cutter
Small rolling pin
One larger and two smaller styrofoam egg shapes
FMM ribbon cutter
Decorative ribbon to match your cake
Hot glue gun
After you’ve assembled all of your tools and supplies, it’s time to decorate your cake board. Take your ½ ” foam core board and rest it on your counter top. Roll out a small fist sized ball of pink fondant thinly (I like to do this ON the board). Using your exacto knife, trim the fondant in an undulating pattern around the edge of the cake board. Then, using the fondant extruder and a small round disk, extrude a band of hot pink fondant and attach it to the undulating edge with gum glue. Tip: to make the fondant easier to extrude, knead some shortening into it.
Now that we’ve got the housekeeping out of the way, it’s on to the fun part… the cake! Take your 9” yellow round and transfer it carefully to your board. Dowel, then stack the 6” white on top of this centered evenly. Take your piping bag fitted with the 104 tip and fill it with yellow icing. Beginning at the back of the cake, begin to pipe the border. The technique to make the border is basically the same as that of piping rose petals… just repeated across the bottom edge of the cake. Do this for the base of both cakes. Now, fill a piping bag with white icing and fit it with a 5 tip. At the top of the petal border, add small dots of icing. Tip: For a polished look, go back with a finger dipped in powdered sugar and touch the top of each dot lightly to knock down any icing tips that may have formed.
Let’s make flowers, y’all! Rub a small amount of shortening on your work surface to ensure the fondant doesn’t stick. Roll a small ball of white fondant thinly. Using your flower cutter, cut several blossoms and set them aside to air dry for a few moments. Take a good bit of your plastic wrap and bunch it up tightly, then open it back up a bit. Shape is not important, we’re just using it as a flower former. Using your Dresden tool (or a toothpick), draw a line down each daisy petal. Roll a small ball of yellow fondant and attach it with gum glue into the center of the flower. Lay it carefully to dry somewhere in a crevice of the plastic wrap.
It’s on to the eggs now! Take your egg and rub it with a bit of shortening so that the fondant adheres well. Roll out each base color of fondant to less than ¼” thickness. Lay the fondant over each egg, working it down the sides. Don’t pull the fondant, just guide it down the sides. If you end up with too much excess fondant along the bottom, trim it away with your exacto knife. Since covering round 3D shapes with fondant is tricky, you might have to use scissors to trim away some of the side excess as well. When trimming with scissors, try to get close to the edge of the egg. Continue smoothing your fondant over the egg until it is all covered and trimmed.
To make the bows for each egg, roll out and cut 4 strips of fondant in your desired width and several inches long. Using two of the strips, cut your bow tails into the desired length. Notch the ends of one side of the bow tails with your exacto knife, then pinch the opposite side. With the remaining two lengths, cut each one to 1 ¼” long. Pinch each side of each strip, then fold the strip lengthwise, bringing the pinched ends together. You’ve got your bow loops. Set them aside to dry for a few minutes while you decorate your eggs. If you find they’re getting too ‘set’, put them under plastic wrap as they still need to be somewhat elastic.
Using your FMM ribbon cutter and your various round tips, decorate each egg with stripes and/or dots. To attach them, use a small it of gum glue and your paintbrush. Vary up your design and be creative! Use different sizes of round tips to get smaller or larger circles. Use the straight ribbons or the wavy… or even the ones with stitching. Carefully attach each bow tail and bow loop to your egg using small dabs of icing. For the center, slightly flatten a small ball of fondant and attach it to the center using icing or gum glue. There’s no right or wrong way to decorates these cuties!
Now, let’s move on to the bunnies, shall we? They’re actually really easy to do, as long as you can master some basic figure modeling techniques. Most of the techniques used involve forming fondant into ball shapes, then tapering one end of the ball shape into a carrot shape. I do most of my modeling on a styrofoam dummy since I can stick my skewer into the dummy and hold the figure still as I model it.
Let’s start with the yellow bunny for the cake topper. The instructions will be mostly the same for each bunny, with possibly a few exceptions in the way we pose them. Take a small bit of yellow fondant and form it into a 2” round ball by rolling it around in your hands. After you’ve formed the ball, taper one end of the ball by rubbing your hands back and forth along one end of the ball. This will be the body of the rabbit. You’ll want to flatten it a bit so it doesn’t look like a fat little bunny. At this point, stick a toothpick through the body of the rabbit, leaving approximately 1” protruding through the tapered end. This is where we’ll attach the head in a few moments.
For the rabbit’s appendages, you need to shape small balls of fondant into carrot shapes. At the rounded ends of the carrot, you can pinch around the edges to flatten it a bit. Make four of these roughly the same sizes. For each arm, roll a small ball of white fondant, then flatten it out into a small circle. Use gum glue to attach the white circle to the rounded end to make the ‘hands’. For each foot, form three teeny pieces of fondant into round balls, flatten them slightly, then attach them with gum glue to the rounded end to make the ‘feet’. Attach the arms and legs to the main body using gum glue. For the arms, it’s sometimes helpful to flatten the tapered end a bit so you don’t have a lot of bulk at the shoulder Don’t forget to give them some personality when you position them!
For the rabbit’s head, roll a small ball about ½” in diameter into a ball. Taper one end very slightly to almost get a rounded triangle shape. Stick it on the toothpick protruding from body and attach it with gum glue. For the ears, take two ¼” balls of fondant and form them into a carrot shape. Slightly flatten each carrot shape along then entire length of the piece. Take a 1” piece of floral wire, brush it with gum glue, and insert it about halfway into each ear. Stick each wire onto either side of your tapered head and attach it with gum glue. You can position the tips of your ears so one is sticking up and one is curling over. For the cheeks, take two small balls of white fondant and flatten them slightly. Attach them to the face using gum glue near the middle of the face. Use a toothpick to poke small holes in them to simulate puffy cheeks. For the nose, take a very small ball of pink fondant and attach it using gum glue above the cheeks. Use your toothpick to poke small holes for the eyes. You can also use your exacto knife to make eyebrows and eyelashes.
For the pink and purple bunnies, form them roughly the same as you did the yellow one with a few exceptions. Instead of using a toothpick for the body support on the pink bunny, use a skewer cut to approx. 7” long. An easy way to do this is to poke a hole in your dummy and insert your skewer all the way through. Make sure it’s loose enough so you can pull it out easily as you will remove it later. When you insert the body into the skewer, leave approx. 1” of it poking out of the tapered end. If you end up making a larger body and there’s not enough room for the 1” of clearance, you can always insert a toothpick into the body, as well, to hold the head on. Continue making your pink bunny in the same method as the you used with the yellow bunny. For the purple bunny, form it in the same manner as you did the yellow bunny using a toothpick. Since it’s resting on the cake board, it doesn’t need the long skewer. You may simply use a toothpick to hold the body and head together.
For the cute little chicks, take a small amount of yellow fondant and form it into a ball. Taper one end very slightly into a rounded triangle as you did for the rabbit’s head. Take two very small pieces of yellow fondant and form them into a carrot shape. At the tapered end, flatten it slightly. Attach the wings with gum glue to the body with the tapered end towards the top and the rounded end pointing down. Take a teeny bit of orange (or pink) fondant and form a small, small carrot for the beak. Attach it with gum glue. Use your toothpick to punch holes for the eyes. Voila! Cute baby chicks.
Now that everything has been made, let’s assemble our decorations on the cake. Fit a piping bag with a tip 233 and fill it with lime green icing. Oh the top tier of your cake, pipe a small circle of grass a bit wider than the largest egg. Take the large egg and place it on the top tier. You might want to anchor it with a skewer for support. Take the yellow bunny and attach him to the cake using a bit of icing, as well. You can choose to stick a small toothpick into the cake and into the underbelly of the bunny if you’d like to further anchor the bunny to the cake. Use a small dab of icing to attach one of the small daises and one chick next to the bunny.
Use the green icing bag to also pipe grass on top of the bottom tier where you’d like to place one of the smaller eggs and the pink bunny. Place the egg in the grass, then take the pink bunny skewer off the dummy carefully and stick it into the cake, as well. Use a small bit of white icing to attach several flowers and a chick around the pink bunny and small egg.
Pipe green grass in a circle shape on the cake board, then place the egg in the grass. Place the purple bunny near the last egg, anchoring it with a small bit of icing. Attach the last chick to the bunny’s tummy with icing. Scatter the remaining daisies around the cake, using icing to attach them.
If you’d like, you can hot glue coordinating ribbon around the ½” cake board lip to complete your cake. Sprinkle the cake with edible glitter for a little sparkle.
You’re done! So simple!
Ashley has enjoyed being in the kitchen from an early age, especially baking with her mother and grandmother. She’d always been intrigued by beautiful cakes, and took her first leap into the world of cake decorating 13 years ago. Currently, she lives in Frisco, Texas with her husband and four lovely daughters. Pictures of her work can be found on her Flickr photo stream.
Hello Sugar Friends!
Easter is just one week away, so I have compiled a round up of some of my favorite tutorials for you, from both SugarEd Productions and some of my favorite blogs.
From SugarEd Productions:
From The Partiologist:
From Hungry Happenings:
From the Pink Whisk:
Marian from Sweetopia shares with us her tutorial for these adorable lamb cookies, as well as her own Easter cookie tutorial round up HERE.
Hopefully you will find some ideas here you would like to try for your Easter/Spring spread. I want to personally wish you all a blessed and happy holiday with your family and friends. I thank you for being a part of the SugarEd family.
The Easter Bunny Is Coming!
But before he can make his rounds, he has all his helpers searching for his missing carrots. And that leaves us to view the cutest little bunny butts ever.
And if you would like to make some of these adorable cupcakes; here is the how to:
Give your cupcake a crumb coat of green buttercream and then cover the entire surface with short grass using a tip 233.
Use a round scoop to form half balls with white fondant, and place them down into the grass.
Cut a circle of fondant and then cut two ear shapes off the sides of the circle with the same cutter. Stick them into the grass and bend them forward at the tips just a bit.
Attach a small ball of white fondant with water to make the tail. Poke it a bunch of times with a veining tool or pointy end of a small paintbrush to give it the bushy texture.
That is all there is to it! Now all you have to do is watch your guests squeal in delight when they see these cuties.
You can make these quickly with things you probably already have on hand at home. So if you procrastinate (like I do), and need a cute treat to whip up fast, these are a great option.
SugarEd wishes our readers who celebrate Easter a most blessed and joyous day. And for those that do not, we wish you a happy and healthy Spring.
Happy Spring Everyone!
Things are starting to turn green and warm up. Easter is right around the corner. In the spirit of the season I would like to share with you how I made this cute blossom bunny cake.
First, let me share with you my inspiration. I was shopping for groceries and as soon as I walked into the store, before me stood the floral department. And right smack in the middle was this paper craft bunny covered with blossoms. It was very striking and pretty, and my immediate thought was “CAKE!”. I did not have my phone with me, so I drove back home, got it, and clicked this photo of it to use as a reference. (Ah, the things we do for the love of cake.)
This cell phone photo does not do it justice.
So next I went on the hunt for the right cake pan. This is the one I decided to use, as I liked its shape the most. It is the Wilton 3D bunny pan:
Unfortunately this pan is no longer made, but I saw several for sale on Ebay and Amazon, and a few other sites. So you should be able to get one if you like.
I baked up my cake in the pan, and it came out really nice. The crust was brown but not overly thick. The center cooked well and the cake was moist. I was very pleased with the performance of the pan. (Sometimes you never know how those 3D pans are going to work.)
Now, I really had my heart set on my bunny having his ears coming straight off the top of his head. I chose this pan because it looked like it should be pretty easy to re-arrange them. (You guys know me; I can’t leave well enough alone.)
In this photo you can see I just cut off his ears in one large piece following the line of his back.
Next I cut the ears into two pieces right down the middle.
They were then too big to sit side by side on the top of his head, so I had to trim them down. I just followed the curve along the sides of the ears made by the pan.
Cut a little bevel off the bottom edge and cut them a little shorter too.
I also trimmed along the curve on the other side of the ear as well. I did the same with both ears.
A skewer put deep into both the ear and the cake will hold them firmly in place.
If you noticed, we gave our poor bunny a lobotomy, so we have to restore the posterior occipital region of his cerebrum and cranium. *I like to use my medical terms once in a while so I don’t get rusty
A cupcake made with extra batter is the perfect remedy for what ails our bunny.
Just smoosh up the cupcake really tightly (similar to cake ball mixture) and stick it to the back of his head with some buttercream. You will notice I also softened up the curve of his back just a bit where I had lopped off his ears.
A nice little crumb coat smoothed with some Viva and our plastic surgery is done.
Now it’s time to stick his ears back in. He was very happy to be able to hear again.
I also beveled the sharp corners of his ears as well to give them a more rounded and natural shape.
Here is a profile pic. See how nice his shape is? I have to admit I was pretty tickled with how it came out. I really had no idea what I was doing, and just winging it as I went along. (I do that a lot, LOL)
So the rest is really easy but very time consuming. Use your favorite blossom cutter and make 80 bamillion blossoms. Lay them on a soft sponge and press the middle with a fat tip of a paintbrush to make them curl up. (*Please don’t look at my funky cel pad. It is weary from wear.)
Thin your buttercream with water and paint on the bunny in small sections, applying the blossoms while still wet. After you place a bunch of blossoms on, push in the middles again with your paintbrush handle to make them bunch up a bit.
Get your coffee pot brewing, turn on the TV to your favorite show, and plan to spend the next large portion of your life making and applying blossoms. Please don’t curse me while you are doing this. But I promise the end result will be well worth it!
Use balls of fondant to make his eyes and nose.
You may not be able to tell in the photo, but I sprayed the whole cake with pearl shimmer after it was done. (Cover the eyes while you do this.) It really just made the cake come to life and added that soft finishing touch it needed.
And don’t forget the bow.
I hope you give this a try. You are sure to get some serious oohs and aahs when you present this beauty. Please send me photos if you do!
I think I might even like it better than the first version. Whew, so glad that worked out, because who ever heard of an Easter basket with no handles?
So all is well that ends well! I hope you guys give this basket technique a try. I would suggest using a lot of tylose or gumpaste in your handle, and give it at least a week to dry if not longer. Or possibly even form it over very sturdy wire that can provide some support. I have made large handles using this method many times with success; I think this time it had not dried long/hard enough.
Oh and make TWO of everything!
Happy Caking Everyone!
I remember my own first communion very well. It was such a big milestone in our young lives. I think we were in the first grade. I was so excited to finally be able to receive the Host. The pretty white dress and veil was such a treat to have in our modest lifestyle. I remember we practiced as a class in the church several times for the ceremony. Where to sit, how to file up to the front, when to approach the kneeler, when to kneel, when to stand. On the very last practice day they even served us unconsecrated hosts, so we could practice accepting it on our tongues (there was no hand communion back then), and to get a feel for its taste and consistency. That day I was SO excited. I mean SUPER excited that we were getting a real host. Of course, as per the curse of those whose last names start with a Z (yes, my maiden name started with a Z too), I was the last one. Last pew, last seat, last in line. I was so very worried that they would run out of hosts before I got up there. As the line moved forward I was just praying… please don’t run out… please don’t run out. Of course they ran out. Story of my life. Another emotional scar I have had to overcome. To this day I practically run out of my pew, knocking people over, to get in line at communion time cuz I am afraid they are going to run out.
But I digress. Let me share with you some of the cakes I made this year:
This one was for a male, and the mom wanted it to be classic, elegant, simple, but no way feminine. No flowers, no colors. This one I iced in white buttercream. I used the diamond impression mat on the sides and put small candy pearls at the intersections.
The same stencil was used with luster dust on the drape and knot. The cross was cut out from fondant with gumpaste, and allowed to dry firm. Later, 4mm pearls were attached to the edge, and the whole thing was airbrushed with super pearl dust after I applied the monogram initial.
This cake was made for sweet little Elizabeth, a close family friend. Lizzy designed her entire cake from start to finish. This was the first custom cake she had ever had, and she was super excited. I did exactly as she instructed me to.
The cake was iced in white buttercream. 8 mm pearls were used for the borders. Satin ribbon was applied around the tiers, and the monogram was printed on an edible icing sheet and backed with fondant.
The cross was cut from fondant, piped with royal, and airbrushed with super pearl. All the flowers were made from gumpaste using this set.
My hubby delivered the cake, and said she was absolutely thrilled and overjoyed with her cake. She and her cousins and sisters were oogling over it, and they even ate the flowers!
Look at this sweet note she wrote me the next week. Just melts my heart:
Here is another one for a young man. He also specified “very simple and nothing girly”. Those boys are very concerned that their cakes be masculine! LOL
Also iced in white buttercream. The lighting makes the cake look as if it is two tone, but it was not. The shaped plaque was molded white chocolate. The chalice and Host were made with a chocolate mold from fondant with tylose, dried and then painted.
Mine did not do the original justice, but Eva was happy. Here are some progress photos:
After a couple of savory challenges, we are finally back to sweets for the Daring Bakers group! Now that’s what I’m talkin bout!
I dressed mine up with tinted coconut grass and a fondant bunny looking for his carrots. It was one of the desserts for our family Easter dinner.
It was tasty, but not the best cheesecake I have ever had. It was very creamy and mild in flavor. I like my cheesecake to have bit more twang to it. My piece was also very soft from sitting out for for a few hours. I think it would have been better cold from the fridge.
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a spring form pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil “casserole” shaped pans from the grocery store. They’re 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.
Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!
Some variations from the recipe creator:
** Lavender-scented cheesecake w/ blueberries – heat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 2 tbsp of lavender flowers and stir. Let lavender steep in the cream for about 10-15 minutes, then strain the flowers out. Add strained cream to cheesecake batter as normal. Top with fresh blueberries, or make a quick stove top blueberry sauce (splash of orange juice, blueberries, a little bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon – cook until berries burst, then cool)
** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel – take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (I usually find one on the food network website – just make sure it has heavy cream in it. You can use store-bought in a pinch, but the flavor is just not the same since its usually just sugar and corn syrup with no dairy).
** Tropical – add about a half cup of chopped macadamias to the crust, then top the cake with a mango-raspberry-mandarin orange puree.
** Mexican Turtle – add a bar of melted dark chocolate (between 3 and 5 oz., to taste) to the batter, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp.). Top it with pecan halves and a homemade caramel sauce.
** Honey-cinnamon with port-pomegranate poached pears – replace 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of honey, add about a teaspoon or more (to taste) of cinnamon. Take 2 pears (any variety you like or whatever is in season), peeled and cored, and poach them in a boiling poaching liquid of port wine, pomegranate juice/seeds, a couple of “coins” of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar. Poach them until tender, then let cool. Strain the poaching liquid and simmer until reduced to a syrupy-glaze consistency, then cool. Thinly slice the cooled pears and fan them out atop the cooled cheesecake. Pour the cooled poaching syrup over the pears, then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.
Some variations from Jenny (from JennyBakes):
**Key lime – add zest from one lime to sugar before mixing with cream cheese. Substitute lemon juice, alcohol, and vanilla with key lime juice.
**Cheesecakelets – put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.
Overall it was a very good and easy recipe and I would like to try some of the other variations in the future. If you make it, let me know how you like it. And check out the Daring Bakers’ blog roll to see what creations other members have come up with.