Hello all! Valentines Days is coming up, so here are some of the cutest treats from around the web to get you inspired.
Hope these give you some inspiration for the big heart day!
Hello all! Valentines Days is coming up, so here are some of the cutest treats from around the web to get you inspired.
Hope these give you some inspiration for the big heart day!
Happy Tuesday and Happy New Year!
Did you make any caking resolutions for the new year? If so, I’d love to hear them.
Mine is to try to be neater when I work
One of my messiest jobs is when I make my American Buttercream. Powdered sugar everywhere! (You too?)
But sometimes I don’t want to use ABC; I want a lighter meringue-like buttercream. And when my lazy bone flares up, I don’t feel like going through the long process of making Swiss Meringue or Italian Meringue.
That’s when Hybrid Buttercream (HB) comes to the rescue!
I call it a hybrid because it’s a cross between a meringue and American buttercream.
It’s really the best of both worlds…
You get the light, fluffy, buttery taste and texture of the meringue type, but it’s much easier and faster to make.
No sugar syrup!
And it’s even a bit more stable due to the little bit of shortening and powdered sugar in it.
I’ve got a FREE VIDEO for you this week on how I make my Hybrid Icing. I’ll show you step by step how to make it to get the best results.
It’s really easy, utterly delicious, and frosts and pipes beautifully.
These two cakes are examples of flowers piped with HB.
CLICK HERE to get to the video.
I’d love to hear your experiences with it; drop me a note if you try it.
Until then, happy caking!
Today we have a guest post from The Fondant Flinger. Check out this cool technique using a decorating tip you can find anywhere!
Ah, the leaf tip. Its just such a versatile piping tip and one I’ve been using quite a bit these past months. Most recently, I used it on this cake as part of a large dessert table for a church event.
I’ve used this technique on a few of my cakes so far and it is perfect for when the budget may be smaller or time does not allow for a full fondant ruffle technique done on an entire tier.
Its very similar to the technique used on my “Welcoming Spring” cake (below), however the angle of the tip is altered so that the tip is pulled up vertically, there was a bit more ruffling done during the piping and the rows are done a bit different to create the overall look of grass sprouting upward.
For the Great Gatsby cakes that were created earlier this year, the “feathery” look of the buttercream was achieved with the same leaf tip. I wanted to play off of the gum paste feathers that were painted gold and used as accents so with a quick change of the angle, the piped feathers were formed. Instead of pulling the piping bag up and slightly ruffling each one, I pulled the tip straight out from the cake and completed the rows in that way so that the tips of the “feathers” were predominately what you saw when viewing the cake.
Clearly, the color of the buttercream plays a tremendous role in varying the look of the cake as well.
Basically the only thing I changed for this past weekend’s cake for a dessert table is the top portion. Instead of pulling the leaf tip straight out from the sides of the next tier, I pulled them up vertically to give the cake a bit more “poofiness” (that’s a word, right?).
I used a Wilton leaf tip.
And when I got to the top of the cake after piping the feathers, I began making each leaf more vertical (sorry for the not so great photo. My hand had quite a bit of shakiness after all that piping!).
When it was done, it gave the cake a full and textured appearance .
Thanks to Rachel, The Fondant Flinger!
Hi sugar babies! I hope these treats from around the web get you inspired for the Christmas season!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!
Hey there! Turkey Day USA is just a few days away!
Here’s a few of our favorite Thanksgiving treats from around the web to get you inspired!
That’s it for the round up! And I hope you got some inspiration from these tutorials.
I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I get asked all time in my online school and Facebook group about shipping cakes. Since this is not something I’ve done myself, I’ve enlisted my friend Rachel of The Fondant Flinger for help.
In this post she shows us how she’s successfully done it. Three times! Impressive!
Enjoy the post — Sharon
What happens when your friend lives states away and is having a baby shower for her FIRST baby?! Why, ship her a baby shower cake, of course! And that’s just what happened. Back on Kodiak, I met Astrid who over the years became not only my best customer but also a dear friend. Our husbands got their orders (Coast Guard) the same spring. They were moving to Louisville, Kentucky and we were being transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana. But the move didn’t stop Astrid from ordering cakes. We have had 3 (counting this one) successful cake deliveries! Here are the basics to how we have managed to keep our cake friendship going with states separating us.
I always use very stable cake recipes for my cakes with quite extensive support work. So the cakes are very sturdy. What I would have done differently and plan to do next time, is to get a center dowel that actually goes through the base board. I think what would work best is if I used a center dowel of all-thread and secured it to the base with a nut. This would be heavier and thus the shipping would probably be a bit more costly, but I do think that the stability would be worth it.
After I complete the cake, I wrap it in cling wrap and freeze the entire cake (preferably overnight but at least several hours).
This ensures that the cake is not going anywhere during transit and you won’t have to worry about the sides getting dinged up during the packaging. While it is freezing, I prep the packing box. Again, this is still a process that I am fine tuning but here’s what I did this time around. The cake itself was on a 10″ foam cake board and was approximately 10″ high.
Here are the materials I needed:
X-acto knife with new blade
self-healing mat to cut on
a sheet of styrofoam insulation (found it at Lowe’s)
Foam (I used foam about 1 1/2″ thick)
A gazillion fragile stickers (though I’m fairly sure the UPS man ignored them)
I cut the sheet of insulation to fully line the inside of the box, this helped keep the cold in.
In total, I needed 6 pieces; so one for the bottom, 4 for the sides and 1 for the top. I lined the sides and the bottom.
I then cut the 1 1/2″ foam to fit the bottom of the box. This will give the cake some shock absorbency. I cut another square of foam and cut out a circle the size of the cake board.
I then cut that piece into 4 corners to secure the cake base into the center of the box. I removed the cake from the freezer and gave the cake a couple inches of bubble wrap around the first tier (the bubble wrap extended to the edge of the cake board). I then placed the cake into the prepared box and secured the corners using the foam I cut in the previous step.
I wrapped the top tier again with multiple layers of bubble wrap (this not only protects the cake it also helps keep it frozen during transit). I then began filling the empty spaces with chunks of foam again for some shock absorbency on the side of the box. Any empty spaces around the foam was filled with more packing material (bubble wrap).
I covered the top of the cake with ample bubble wrap and cut a larger square of foam to cover.
Make sure any gaps are filled in with bubble wrap. After the cake was completely secured, I placed the top square of insulation on top of the packing material.
I then used heavy duty packing tape to secure it. I went crazy trying to warn the driver of my delicate cargo by drawing random messages on the sides and covering it in “This Way Up” arrows and Fragile stickers.
I had called UPS earlier in the day to find out when the last truck pick up was for the day and dropped it to UPS about 15 minutes prior to that pickup. I used the Overnight Delivery with the Early A.M. option and I will say that it cost a pretty penny. The package was 23 pounds when finished and cost about $175 for shipping.
It arrived early the next morning having spent approximately 15 hours in transit. I gave Astrid directions to remove it from the packaging and let it come down to room temp on the countertop. As you can see, it made it to her baby shower just fine!
I’ll probably keep trying to fine tune this process though, keep in mind your customer has to be prepared to pay a small bundle for the shipping. Had there been a topper of some sort, I would have sent this in a separate package with directions for placement and how to secure it.
Hope this helps all of you who have been trying this method of delivery!
Visit Rachel at The Fondant Flinger website.
Fall is my favorite of year. A little reprieve from the heat and humidity den here in the South. The promise of holidays, family gatherings and great food to come.
And I love Fall colors and decor. And Fall cakes.
So here’s a little tutorial for you for this cute and easy Scarecrow figure. By our very own Rhu Strand, Sugarcraft Teacher, for SugarEd Productions.
bamboo skewer or similar
6” cake drum
small piping nozzles for cutting circles
something to help you make a hole in the board – braddle or maybe a small screw that can be screwed in and out
blue sugarpaste – 100g
white paste – 150g
dark brown sugarpaste – 20g
mid brown sugarpaste – 50g
light brown sugarpaste (straw) – 70g
small amounts of black / red / green sugarpaste
food colouring for painting shirt
note: all sugarpaste has a stiffening agent added – tylose, gum trag, cmc etc
Cover the cake drum with paste. Make a hole in the middle with either a dowel or screw. Fix the bamboo skewer with super glue firmly into the hole on the underside.
Roll two 10g balls from the dark brown paste. Mark a line of stitching and glue to the board on either side of the skewer. These will be the shoes. Roll a 2” x 3/4” rectangle and use the shell tool to texture and cut into paste.
Fan the straw into small circles and place onto the shoes.
Roll 2 x 100g of blue paste into 4 1/2” sausages, or one long sausage and cut it in half. Mark creases into the bottom of the trousers with the veiner end of the dresden tool.
Insert cocktail sticks into the feet to help support the leg. Place leg onto cocktail sticks and glue to the Scarecrow support post (skewer).
Repeat for other leg. Glue top parts of legs together, only using a small amount of glue so that the paste is tacky. Put a stitching detail down the side of the legs – leave to dry.
Tear-drop 50g of white paste to about 21/2” long x 2/1/2” wide at the top. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Mark in creases with the dresden tool, put stitching detail down the front and add buttons with a small piping nozzle. Starting at the neck, gently twist a skewer down through the body to create a cavity.
Slide the body down onto the legs.
Paint a criss-cross of lines onto the shirt body to create a checkered effect, Do not worry over the painting; it does not need to be perfect – it will give movement to the shirt.
Make some more straw and arrange around the neck in a few layers.
Roll a pea-size ball of light brown and pop over the skewer to make a neck. Roll a small rectangle of white and wrap around for the collar; trim to right size. Paint the collar – you will see that I have now decided to paint over the shirt to give a base color too – leave to dry.
Roll 2 x 30g of white for the arms to about 21/2” long – trim these down if necessary. Use the ball tool to make a cavity at the wrist end of the sleeve.
Dip a cocktail stick into some glue and insert into the body at shoulder height. Leave to dry to give it some strength. Glue the remaining cocktail stick and insert arm onto it; glue at body.
Repeat the paint effect on the arm and insert straw into the wrist cavity.
Roll and cut some small rectangles for the dungaree bib and pocket. Add stitching detail and glue to body. Cut three narrow strips, add stitching detail, and glue two for the straps. Then add on the waistband. Make two buttons with a piping nozzle.
Roll 40g of light brown paste into a ball. Add eyes cut from black with a piping nozzle – the white dots are also cut from a piping nozzle. A red nose – very small triangle and mouth from finely rolled black. Add in stitches and pink dusting powder to the cheeks.
Cut skewer down to accommodate the head. Add more straw around neck if necessary. Add a strip of straw around the head for hair. Choose a circle cutter larger than the head and cut a circle from the mid brown colored paste. Shape over the head and add a strip to define the crown.
Cut some squares and add as patches.
Have fun using these techniques to create your own scarecrow!!
Self taught with a background in creative crafts, sugarpaste became Rhu’s chosen medium after rediscovering it making her children’s birthday cakes. Founding Pimp my Cake with Mama Rhu in 2009, Rhu was soon asked to teach at a local college, and this progressed to teaching from home in 2011. She now teaches full-time in the UK, as well as being invited to teach internationally.
Hi sugar babies! It’s Fall!! Here are some of our favorite treats from around the web to get you inspired for the season!
I hope these tutorials inspire you to get into the season!
by Krista Heij-Barber of Cookies With Character
for SugarEd Productions
Choose any shape you like. My favorite of all time is the versatile plaque shape!
The colors I chose for this tutorial are a “vintage-ish” teal color scheme. The key is to start with an ivory base. Then I added Americolor Teal and Sky Blue. If you feel it’s getting too strong or bright, add a bit more ivory. *I tend to use ivory a lot with my colors. I love how it can change colors drastically. Muting the vibrate pinks etc. Love it!!
Base flood your cookie and allow to dry at least 24hrs. If it is not dry enough, your finger will indent the cookie during the stenciling process. (Note: see our Cookie 101 tutorial in our online school to learn about icing and flooding cookies).
Then lay your chosen stencil onto of the cookie and look at all areas to make sure the stencil “ends” off the cookie the way you like. Layer on a rather thick coat of icing with an offset spatula. I recommend using a metal spatula. They are more sturdy and give you a cleaner edge for stenciling.
Wipe the spatula on a wet paper towel. Using the edge of the spatula, in long swipes, remove as much excess icing as possible. This may take 3 or 4 passes. Don’t worry about the ends, we will fix them later.
Gently remove the stencil in one quick movement.
Afterwards, you will notice these little wiggles of excess icing that have fallen between the stencil and the cookie. Use either a toothpick to remove the excess or…
… the tip of the spatula to quickly scrape off the ends.
You may also want to use only a section of a stencil. Here, I wanted to just use one line of my damask stencil. Using scotch tape, mask off the top and bottom of the area you want to stencil. I have also heard of some using “Press and Seal” wrap to mask off areas.
Repeat the process above, trying to keep the icing in the center of the area we masked off.
Remove excess icing with spatula or toothpick.
Smaller stencils do tend to be easier to use at first. Mainly because a lot of them have a small “tab” on the side that allow you to hold it easier.
Stenciling can give you that big bang for little effort. Think about your colors and shapes ahead of time and the process goes super quick!
Merging her lifelong love of art and baking with a career in illustration and design has given birth to Krista’s immensely popular cookie business and blog. After working in illustration for 15 years, she married that skill with her affinity for baking, and Cookies with Character was created. Krista’s fun yet refined designs have helped put her stamp on the cookie world.
Krista’s pages: Facebook, Website, and Etsy shop
— Krista’s full bio here
I saw these cookies on a wonderful blog, The Repressed Pastry Chef, and knew I had to make them. So, in my quest to procrastinate from doing my cake prep last night, I figured that was the perfect time to make them. My son J and I both love pumpkin, and he likes to bake, so we made these together.
And since it is now September, we can officially commence the pumpkin recipes!
Iced Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F, line cookie sheet with silicone mat.
Cream shortening, granulated sugar and pumpkin. Add egg and mix well. Add the baking soda, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour and mix well. Using a small-to-medium sized disher (cookie scoop) or generous tablespoon, scoop batter onto cookie sheet. Using a wet finger, smooth points/peaks and gently press down tops. Bake 15-18 minutes then remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack and cool about 10-15 minutes before icing. To Make Icing: Cook butter, milk, and brown sugar until dissolved. Cool and add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Place a sheet of waxed paper under the cooling rack, take the cooled cookies and holding one at a time dip upside down into the icing, invert and place on cooling rack. Decorate with sprinkles while icing is still wet.
I made some a little larger than others, and I liked those better, as they were more moist. I liked them even better the next day, as they softened up a little. These are seriously dangerous to have around. They are very soft, cake-like and almost melt in your mouth. Very quick and easy to make too. Hope you try them!
OK, back to work for me! Have a great week!