Category Archives: special occasion

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!

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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.

Two Shall Become One

At the beginning of August, I had another wedding cake.  I had the tasting set up for March when the bride and groom were home from college.  They wanted something that wasn’t traditional wedding cake but asked to try chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  They decided on the strawberry because it just fit what they were looking for.  The bride had a picture of a cake that she wanted but had ideas of how to make it their own.  They wanted to incorporate the wedding colors of green and gold and she wanted her flowers to be on the cake.

So the florist made a cake topper for me to place and some smaller arrangements to place on other tiers.  The bride’s mother supplied the ribbon and I attached it to the cake and then applied the gold rings which were made out of white chocolate modeling clay.

The cake was all strawberry cake with strawberry filling.  I covered the cake with vanilla buttercream.  I was happy with the finished product.  According the Mother of the Bride, she let me know that a week after the wedding people were still talking about the cake at church!

Chocolate Tiers

Sorry for the lack of posts.  My hard drive went out and since I haven’t learned any lessons on having a computer and important pictures, I never backed up my hard drive.  So it had to go to the computer wizards to get my stuff off of the bad one and put onto a good one and now here we are.  Enough whining, on with the pictures and post, right? 🙂

Wedding cakes are a great place to start, don’t you think?  This wedding was at the end of July.  The bride-to-be contacted me and said she just wanted a chocolate wedding cake.  All of it to be chocolate.  She had a picture of an idea of what she wanted and also added a recipe for Chantilly icing.  She wanted to know if I would try it for the filling because she had lived in Hawaii for a while and missed that icing.  I, of course, wanted to try this recipe.  It turned out to be a caramel-like filling for the cake…and, oh so yummy!

The bride-to-be was pleased, as was her fiance, who really didn’t say much because he was eating.  I like that in my customers! 😉

This is the final product on the day of the wedding…

Three tiers of chocolate cake filled with Chantilly icing.  I covered the cakes with chocolate buttercream and chocolate sprinkles on the sides.  I also used edible modeling chocolate for the curls.  It was definitely a rich cake!

Also, it happened to be the flower girl’s birthday.  The bride-to-be asked if I could put a “happy birthday” to her on the side of the cake.  How cool is that?  I bet the flower girl was on top of the moon with this…

It was fun to be out of the traditional wedding cake box with this wedding!

Simple and Elegant

Yesterday was our first wedding cake of the year.  My customer was the Mother of the Bride.  Since her daughter was out-of-state, she did all the planning and ground work for her daughter’s special day.  She came to the tasting and said, “I’m not a cake person.  I like pie.” and walked away saying, “Wow, I really liked the cakes”!  That’s what I like to hear.  Over a few weeks, we worked out the details of the cake.  Her daughter wanted simple and elegant.  I think we accomplished just that…

They had fresh flowers waiting for me at the reception location.  I stacked the cake and placed the flowers.

The bottom layer was a white 14 inch round cake with lemon curd filling.  The top two layers were chocolate cake (10 inch and 6 inch) with chocolate buttercream filling.  I iced the entire cake with vanilla buttercream.  I added the beaded border after placing the flowers.  I was pleased with how it turned out!

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!

Lemon Tiers

My dad happens to be visiting from Pennsylvania and it happens to be his birthday today.  So we decided to do it right!  My girls decided that lemon cake would be best.  So we made a lemon cake and lemon buttercream icing. 

I also did 4 tiers.  A 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch and stacked them all into the tallest, lemony-ist cake ever!

I tinted some of the lemon icing yellow, orange, and green to make it colorful.  Happy Birthday, Dad!

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