Category Archives: Creative Cakes

Fourth of July

We are settled here in Utah now.  Not sure what we are doing about the business at this point but I’ll keep you posted.  It’s similar to living in Colorado to this point.  We are a little lower in elevation but still have to make the adjustments so things don’t bake out of the oven or crisp on the bottom.

One sign that I am settled is that I can bake and want to bake.  It just so happens that worked out to be the same time as celebrating America.  So thanks to ideas on Pinterest. I decided to use my own vanilla cake recipe to make a fun and festive cake for the fourth.

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I decided on vanilla because it’s light and it’s so darn hot around here.  Plus everyone loves it.  So I added blue coloring to 1/3 of the vanilla batter and red coloring to another 1/3 of the batter.  I put them into 8 inch pans and baked them up.  After the cakes cooled and I leveled them, I used a 4 inch circle cookie cutter and cut the centers of each cake.  So I had small circle of each color, red, white and blue and a large outer circle of each color, red, white, and blue.  Are you following me?  I should add here that I double my vanilla cake recipe to have enough cake.

Then I place the red center in the blue ring and put it on the cake board.  After a layer of vanilla buttercream, I added the next layer of the blue center with white ring and covered it with vanilla buttercream.  I add the last layer of white center and red ring to the top and covered the cake with vanilla buttercream.  I used the star tip (tip 18) to place 2 rows of white stars followed by 1 row of blue stars (tip 21) all the way to the top.  I used a star-shaped cookie cutter (4 inches) to make an outline for me to follow and did the outline in blue and filled it in with red tinted buttercream stars (tip 18).

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My critics (the kids and husband) were all about it.  They loved the way it looked and the taste, of course.  I knew they would love the taste.  I like how it turned out.  We had way too much cake leftover the just the 5 of us but it was festive and just what I need to relax after all the unpacking!

Commissioning

The commissioning ceremonies at USAFA took place on May 28.  For those of you who are not military, this is when the seniors (or firsties) are commissioned from cadets into the air force becoming 2nd lieutenants.  It’s a big deal.

I was asked by two different cadet squadrons to make goodies for their ceremonies.  First I will show you the order for cadet squadron 10.  They ordered 2 half-sheet cakes.  Each cake had two flavors and specific decorations.

First cake was half strawberry and half vanilla with vanilla buttercream.  I was asked to put the AF patch and the squadron’s Tiger Ten patch on the cake.  I think they turned out pretty well…

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The second cake was half chocolate and half red velvet with cream cheese buttercream.  They wanted it to be a red, white, and blue cake congratulating the new “Lts”.

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They were fun to make.  Congrats Tiger Ten Class of 2013!

Next up, the order for Squadron 6.  This is the squadron my husband was the AOC (Air Officer Commanding).  They ordered 300 cupcakes in 3 different flavors.  So I made 9 dozen chocolate with chocolate buttercream, 8 dozen red velvet with cream cheese buttercream, and 8 dozen vanilla with vanilla buttercream.  I didn’t get a picture.  And, quite honestly, if I don’t see a cupcake for a little while I’ll be able to live with it.  But it’s nice to know that I can make that many cupcakes.

They also wanted to have a cake just for the seniors being commissioned.  I was asked to make it vanilla with vanilla and look good.  So I tried.  I made one 10 inch square layer and one 6 inch square layer.  I torted each layer and filled them with vanilla buttercream.  I covered the cakes with vanilla buttercream.  I used silver tint for the 2013 and red to congratulate the class and then used red, black, and silver to design a Bull for the top.
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IMG_0005Congratulations Ragin’ Bulls class of 2013! We are proud of you and look forward to seeing you again in your AF career.

Lily Wedding

My nephew got married over Mother’s Day weekend.  I was asked to make the cake.  I was so excited to be part of their special day!  My new niece was very specific about flavors.  She wanted the base to be chocolate mint with chocolate mint filling, the middle layer to be strawberry with strawberry filling, and the top to be vanilla with chocolate filling.  The whole thing needed to be covered with white icing.  I used Italian meringue.

My crafty new niece made the topper.  And asked for bling on the cake.  And lilies too!  I sent lily petals and leaves to PA hoping they would make it.  I ended up with enough to make 9 full lilies!  I was happy.

The disaster that happens with wedding cakes happened when I pulled the first layer of the base out of the oven and had it cooled.  I flipped it over to a board and walked it to another area to finish cooling when I caught the edge of the door frame and sent the cake flying to the floor.  It was early enough in the day to replace the layer with a freshly baked cake but wow what a start!

No worries though.  It turned out great.  I iced the cake smooth and applied the ribbon and let them set for the wedding.  When we arrived at the church, I stacked the cakes and finished the design.  Then I inserted the lilies and topper.

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I was pleased with it and so were the bride and groom!  Congratulations Joey and Jenny.  I wish you the best!

Purple Star

My middle child turn 9 today.  She ordered up a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  The icing needed to be purple.  Oh and she wanted it to be a star.  So I made her a simple star cake.

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I piped stars around the sides of the cake and tinted a little purple icing a little more purple to put her name on the cake.  She told me later that she really liked that I put a star for the dots above the letter I.  It takes so little to impress her!

Baking

Here’s what’s been going on at Stahrs Cakes.

December:  There were lots of goodies made.  Peppermint bark, peanut butter fudge, cornflake wreaths, lots of cookies.  I attempted a cookie I saw on Pinterest.  Chocolate Melted Snowman.  Copy (1) of IMG_0006

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I used my own triple chocolate cookie recipe and white royal icing for the snowman but I used the same design I saw on Pinterest.  I used a mini peanut butter cup for the hat and some red and green sprinkles for the eyes and mouths.  They were cute and the kids say they are part of the Christmas cookie line up.

 

January started out with a Chocolate cola cake.  That’s what my husband asked for our New Years dessert.  So moist, chocolaty, rich.  I dressed it up a little with miniature chocolate chips on the glaze.

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Then my husband’s birthday with his red velvet cake with peanut butter buttercream.  I’m not sure what my obsession is with mini chocolate chips but it does dress up a cake…

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Since there are only five here, I made a six-inch round and torted the layers so it was a tall cake but still small to not waste.

Then my oldest daughter turned 11!  Aside from her first birthday (which was chocolate cake), she has always asked for strawberry cake with strawberry icing.  This happens to be the pinkest cake ever.  This year she had a hard time deciding.  She actually wanted to have peanut butter fudge.  But when she asked if she would get her star-shaped cake (a tradition I’ve been doing since she turned one) and was told no, she decided on chocolate cake with strawberry icing.

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And, yes, she got her little star…

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I also had an order for a special birthday.  Twin boys who were turning 11!  Mom wanted them to have individual cakes but similar and didn’t want a lot of cake left over.  So we decided on 6 inch one-layer cakes.  Mom also said that boys were, well, boys and didn’t really have any ideas on what they want their cakes to look like.  She had a picture of a cake she thought was neat and decided on gold, purple, and black for colors.   I tinted chocolate icing black and covered and filled each layer with it.

I rolled out purple fondant for straight ribbons and white fondant for curvy ribbons.  I used edible gold spray on the white.  I also used a star-shaped cookie cutter for some star confetti.  While I still used the same decorations, I wanted the cakes to be different for each of the boys.  So I purposely placed the fondant decorations differently.

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I finished the cakes off with Happy Birthday and their names in gold gel.

Can I get a beat?

My 8 year daughter’s drum teacher had a birthday (in October, *gasp*) and his wife wanted a drum set for his cake.  My daughter was so excited because she had to tell me about each drum and what it does and where it’s placed.  To say she was a tough critic is putting it lightly.  The cake had to be perfect.

The cake part was pretty easy…white cake and white icing.  They wanted the drums to be red since it’s the birthday boy’s favorite color.  So I used red fondant to color the drums.  I colored dowel rods with edible silver spray and used edible gold spray on white fondant for the cymbals and high hat.I rolled red fondant around two small dowel rods to make sticks.  The only things that were missing according to my daughter were a china cymbal and a look-alike Peter who should have been sitting on a seat behind the drum set.  Oh if only I would have had a couple of extra days and a few more pounds of fondant…I was pretty happy with the cake and it was a hit at the birthday party.  I hear my daughter is thinking of a set of her own for her birthday!

Hot Air Balloon

My middle child turned 7 yesterday.  She wanted a balloon cake.  After discussing it in detail, she decided that she really wanted a hot air balloon that stood up.  So that’s what I attempted. 

I started with rice krispie candy molded in a pail and a Pyrex bowl to make the balloon part of the cake.  After it was completely cool and formed to the bowls, I put them together with dowel rods and covered it with purple fondant.  After finishing the rainbow that my daughter wanted for the balloon, I added some stars in the same colors on the top of the balloon and 7s around the balloon with purple edible marker.

I then made chocolate cake (my daughter’s favorite) in 6 inch square pans.  I did a basket weave with peanut butter icing (again my daughter’s request) to make the squares look like a hot air balloon basket. 

To make the balloon attach to the basket, I sharpened the ends of dowel rods to make them stick into the cake board covered with fondant.  I drove them into the rice krispie candy and then put it into the cake.  I was so happy with how it turned out.  Jamie was thrilled that it stood up!  Thanks to my engineering husband who helped me with the design!

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