Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Snowman Cupcakes

Do you have room for a little more Christmas Cheer?

I hope so...

Our bellies are overfull, the gifts are unwrapped and we've spent so much time with our family that frankly we're getting a little sick of them. Hehe just joking!

I just couldn't help making one more last minute Christmas fun item, and after seeing a couple of versions of snowmen on Pinterest, I thought that would be just the thing. With some white and coloured fondant, a tooth pick through the middle and some sprinkles, these little snowmen were created in no time.

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks to all who have read my blog throughout 2012...Here's to 2013!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Enchanted Fantasy Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I just want to begin by saying that these are the best vanilla cupcakes (taste and texture) I have made by far. After testing three recipes over the past week, this is the clear winner. I made these to celebrate a young lady's 18th birthday and was given free reign with design, so I went for some enchanted fantasy flowers in bright colours. Who said vanilla cupcakes are plain and boring?

The recipes tested include: 

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes by Glorious Treats - great texture and moist, however lacked that delicious vanilla cupcake flavour even though I used real vanilla beans. If I tried this recipe again I would substitute the oil with melted butter.

A Better Vanilla Cake by Beyond Buttercream - not bad however taste and texture was not my favourite for the classic vanilla cupcake flavour.

Over the years I have also baked many of the traditional creaming method vanilla cupcakes (cream butter and sugar, add flour and milk alternately) - this results in great flavour but the texture can be a little dry.

The winning recipe for me is Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes. It uses the reverse creaming method(mix dry ingredients, then add butter) which helps keep the texture soft, and real butter for great flavour. The changes I have made are to substitute the milk with buttermilk to ensure moist cupcakes, and to use real vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste instead of extract. Oh and I always use Western Star Original butter which is salted, so I omit the salt.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Boozy Margarita Cupcakes

Who wants some boozy cupcakes?
Well, I certainly do.

I am a fan of cocktails, and these cakes contain the same ingredients that any good margarita has - tequila and fresh lime. They're mild enough for a morning or afternoon tea, but an adults only one mind you. Moist cake with delicious frosting, they certainly pack a flavour punch so sit back, squeeze the lime wedge and munch on a Margarita cupcake.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Magnetic Island Wedding Extravaganza

Holidays are a concept that I wholeheartedly agree with. Whether they be to relax, explore, try new things or see new places...I'm in. After a three week holiday involving a trip to the beautiful New Zealand South Island you would think I would be done for a while, however how could one pass up the opportunity for a weekend escape to an island off the North Queensland coast. Certainly not me haha.

I was asked to make the wedding cake for a friends sister who was having a destination wedding at Magnetic Island. Her vision was of roses and lace and pearls and all things nice. Mostly white with splashes of pink, peach, cream and purple.

Scrumptious marble mud cake filled with white chocolate ganache and covered in dark chocolate ganache made up all three 6, 8 and 10 inch cakes. Perched atop the gorgeous white iron and glass stand featuring crystal bead decorations which gave perfect height to the cake.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Family Recipe Banana Cake

This is the one and only banana cake recipe I use. Bear in mind this is NOT banana bread - it is most definitely cake. This is after all Cravin Cake!

The recipe was gifted to my mum via a letter long long ago by a friend, and it was her family banana cake recipe. My Mum has used it frequently ever since. So whilst it has only been used in my family for 2 generations, it is the banana cake I grew up with. My recipe folder still contains a photocopy of the letter complete with weight in ounces, and mum's notes off to the side. This is fair time to finally type it up into an electronic form.

Perfect as is (especially warm just out of the oven), with a smear of butter or frosted with a lemon glacé icing or cream cheese frosting. My mum used to make a double recipe and we would eat one warm or with butter, and one was iced to devour later. With 5 kids in the house, this was a good way to keep us quiet and none was ever wasted. I have recently used this recipe for the top tier of a fondant covered cake and have also started using this recipe to make cupcakes. Soft, moist, tender and so so tasty, banana cupcakes are the perfect ending to a lovely picnic in the park.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tea Party Bridal Shower Cake

Cup of tea anyone?
Well, no tea in this cake...but a cup of tea would go nicely with a slice.

I have wanted to do a crazy tea party cake for a while, and this was the result of a request for a bridal shower last weekend.

Not knowing where to start, I did what I always do and made a list. Then I drew a rough sketch of what I was envisaging in my mind. That part really helps. The picture was beside me for most of the decorating!

Turquoise, lilac, pink and a big splash of gold finished off the colour scheme that whimsical and pretty thoughts inspired. Then what better flavour for an elegant tea party than my yummy white chocolate and raspberry mud cake. With cake in the teapot and cake in the two teacups covered in "tea" coloured ganache, there is enough to share around at a party.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Owls are a Hoot Cake

Two little boys, born on the same day
Celebrate with delight, their baptism and first birthday!

When I arrived to deliver this cake, family and friends were happily bustling around helping out to setup for the double celebration party. Such a fun atmosphere!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Elegant chocolate and pink ribbon and roses cake

Made my first dummy cake last weekend. The top tier is styrofoam, not cake. Don't worry, the bottom tier is delish banana cake. It was just for fun. Not really any different from covering a real cake. Just buy a styrofoam dummy cake from your local decorating store, brush with sugar syrup to make the surface damp, or water -  whatever. Then cover with rolled fondant and decorate as usual.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Moist and Delicious Vanilla Layer Cake

The smell of freshly baked vanilla cake is simply divine. Over the last week I have baked 3 different vanilla cake recipes and this is the clear winner in my books. Sourced from the amazing Bakerella, it has fantastic flavour, tender crumb and is still just as moist 2 days after baking, which is great for a scratch cake.

Paired with a sweet American buttercream it makes for a yummy birthday cake, perfect for my sister's cocktail celebration this weekend. And after all the cake I've had over the last 7 days, I most certainly still had a slice at the party. I have a cake addiction with no intention of quitting just yet!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Exploding Hearts Cake Takes on a Moo Cow

This was a second request for the exploding hearts cake for a baby shower, and this time the mummy-to-be requested a little cow to take centre stage. Boyish and cute in blue, I love the little moo cow surrounded by exploding hearts.

A very big 12 inch chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache. What a great way to celebrate an impending birth!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Black and White Affair

 Little nephews and nieces are just the cutest and have the inate ability to make you smile on the inside. Plus, you can hand them back when they cry or need a nappy change. Perfect.

After a busy time recently changing jobs and doing some cake decorating, it is nice to take some time out to go on holiday to visit family. Travelling down to the south end of the country also involves a slight change of weather and I must admit I’m quite enjoying the cooler temperatures and rainy skies for a few days. This allows for the wearing of wintery outfits and warming up in front of the fire in the evenings.  Hmmm one sunny day wouldn’t go astray.

 Last weekend whilst still in the North, I created a black and white themed 50th birthday cake for an ex work colleage.  I baked a 3 layer devil’s food chocolate cake, then filled and frosted it with a chocolate buttercream. After letting it firm up overnight, I covered it with white fondant, black stripes, white lid and silver ribbon and bow. I decorated with a hand painted gift tag (paint is made by mixing black powder colour with clear alcohol such as vodka) and a white fondant rose made using the Jem easy rose cutters. Roses are so pretty and these cutters make them easy peasy. The final finishing touch was a few clusters of shimmering pearls and a string of pearls to "attach" the gift tag.

The book Planet Cake by Paris Cutler has step by step instructions for a present box cake (I did mine a little differently), and for making a big fondant bow. Planet Cake have also made this great video on making a bow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plum and Almond Cupcakes with Heavenly White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

What does one do when faced with the dreaded phrase "I don't like chocolate"? Well, in short, you whip them up these amazing plum and almond cupcakes and hope like hell that they don't mind white chocolate in frosting!

I LOVE fruit in cupcakes.

Just had to have that sentence stand alone as it deserves it. Fruit (and vegies for that matter), give cakes a lovely moist texture and great flavour. Banana, carrot, pineapple, berries, pears and plums all make fantastic cakes. These cupcakes are simply divine as they are moist and tasty but not too sweet thanks to the cream cheese in the frosting. They make for pretty little morning or afternoon tea cakes, and dainty minis would be perfect for a do it yourself high tea. Try them, they are quick and easy to whip up and I have not had a single person not like them as yet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Last of the Easter Bunny Cupcakes

Inspired by the fabulous Bella Cupcakes I created these little cakes today to celebrate Easter. The cupcakes were leftovers from a trial run of a marble mudcake recipe so some are marble and some are white chocolate mudcake. I wanted to try to recreate the cuteness of my inspiration with a white, pink and purple colour scheme.

I was also inspired the equally creative Bakerella to try her cute little chick cake pops. These did not go as well as I substituted white chocolate for candy melts as I didn't have any. The white chocolate did not colour very well, neither does it go on very smooth. It's still a little bit of cuteness to brighten up the day.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Best Homemade Easter Hot Cross Buns

Just brought these little bites of joy out of the oven a couple of hours ago. The glaze was quickly brushed over the top, the buns pulled apart and a generous swipe of butter applied while the steam continued to escape. I hurriedly took a couple of snaps before sinking my teeth into what is an amazingly satisfying hot cross bun. Once that was devoured I made up another for myself, this time a chocolate variation. Both were delicious with a warm, soft centre and a slightly crunchy outer. My personal pick of the two however will have to go to my version of the traditional Easter hot cross bun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Planet Cake Basics 101 - Box of Hearts

After a long time of wanting, wishing and waiting, I have now completed my first Planet Cake course - their new Basics 101. I travelled to Sydney for the weekend and on the night before my course walking home from dinner, I felt it was fate to find this very large cupcake in the Louis Vuitton window display.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I See Seashells Wedding Cake

 I enjoy making cakes that are used to celebrate special occasions whether it be birthdays, last days, baby showers and of course weddings. This cake was made to celebrate the beautiful wedding of Stephanie and Grant which was held last Saturday at Dolphin Heads in Queensland. The wet season held off for a bright and sunny day perfect for a wedding by the sea.

I am so happy with how it turned out. Bright, cute and with the topper romantic all in one! Don't you just love the topper? Chosen and supplied by the bride it's a different take on the traditional and looks great. The silver cake stand is a new addition to my little collection and I feel it adds that little something to the overall look.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Exploding Hearts Baby Shower Cake

Since Christmas I haven't done all that much baking. And no cakes for almost a month! I have a bit of a baking addiction and the withdrawals  got a little too much, so it was necessary to make some sort of cake in January to ease the symptoms.

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