Friday, September 30, 2011

The Rose Swirl

The rose swirl is such an easy way to decorate a cupcake. I've used it several times. I used it to decorate cupcakes for Collin to take to swing choir practice ...

... and then again with a little pink added to them ...

And then I saw a cake using the cupcake rose swirl on an actual cake. The original idea came from iambaker, and has been duplicated by many many many cake decorators all over the world. 

So ... I had to try it to.

Here was my first attempt ...

It won a prize at a potluck ... so I made another one. 

I know ... it looks just like the first one. It was for a different group of people, so I figured it would be okay. The best part is, the inside was lemon and white checkerboard. I forgot to take a picture of it though. :(

This all lead to one of the prettiest cakes I've made. Since the rose swirl looks impressive, but is actually quite easy, I decided to enter this cake in a decorating contest.

It lost to a cake covered in camouflage fondant with a tank on top. Maybe I should have made the roses red, white, and blue.

Oh well ... I'm sure there will be more rose swirls in my future.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Perfect Cupcake

This past August, I created the perfect cupcake. I'm really not sure how I'm ever going to top it. Everything about this cupcake went right ... and that's saying a lot. Usually my creations turn into lessons of what not to do. This one was different.

I decided to make a Mint/Chocolate cupcake. Honestly, peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite combination ... but this was perfect.

I started off by just making some chocolate cupcakes. I then decided to make dark chocolate ganache for the first time. I found a pretty easy recipe and got right to work (I have since found an even easier and still quite yummy dark chocolate ganache recipe). Then I melted down some chocolate chips, added some shortening, and made a big chocolate bar in a loaf pan lined with foil. Finally, I made my regular buttercream, but this time I added some mint extract and a little bit of green coloring. The icing was perfect ... the perfect color and just the right amount of mint flavoring.

Once the cupcakes and ganache had time to cool and the chocolate bar had time to harden, it was time to assemble. I filled each cupcake with ganache and made a beautiful swirl on top with the mint icing. To really make it pop, I took a potato peeler and used it on the chocolate bar to make chocolate curls, which I placed on top. Not only did they look perfect, but they had the most perfect blend of mint and chocolate.

Did I mention that these cupcakes were perfect?

Here they are ... in all of their perfectness.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

I had some extra batter from Craig's birthday cake, so I made these cupcakes to take to a party. Collin (son #1) has declared these his favorite cupcakes. Of course, he has been known to eat this chocolate icing like it's ice cream.


  • 2 cups stout (I used Sierra Nevada Stout)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 19 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

***This will make a lot. I was able to make 24 cupcakes as well as 5 6" rounds.***

Chocolate Fudge Icing
1 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 cup all vegetable shortening
3 t. Pure Vanilla extract
2 lbs. (8 cups) powdered sugar, divided
1 cup sifted Hershey's Cocoa
1 T. Meringue Powder
8-9 T. heavy whipping cream, divided

Cream butter and shortening, ad vanilla, cream until smooth. Sift together powdered sugar and Hershey's Cocoa. Add Meringue Powder. Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar mixture, beating well on medium speed until blended (keep bowl covered with damp towel while beating to keep powdered sugar in bowl). Add 1/3 of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended. Add 1/3 more of the powdered sugar mixture, beating well on medium speed until blended. Add 1/3 more of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended. Add remaining powdered sugar mixture and remaining heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Cover with damp cloth until ready to use. Keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Can be refrigerated for 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Happy Birthday

My new hobby has made birthdays more interesting at my house. My family now gets cool birthday cakes based on their interests. Collin is interested in music. He wanted a red velvet cake that looked like his guitar. Here is what I came up with...

Jared is into Legos. For him, I made a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing tinted red, a lemon cake with lemon icing, and a vanilla cake tinted blue with vanilla buttercream icing tinted blue. It was a big hit.

My dear husband has his own hobby ... brewing beer. For him, I made a chocolate stout cake ... with the stout of his choosing. I filled it with a yummy caramel filling. He said it was the best cake he ever had.

I can't wait to see what I make for my birthday. :) 

My First Post

I have always loved baking, but I'm always on a diet. My family loves having baked goods around, so I started baking for them. Recently, I decided to try my hand at decorating. I decided to start with a cake ... it pretty much sucked. I'd post a picture ... but it pretty much sucked. I've learned new things along this journey, and have decided that I really like decorating cupcakes. My freezer is always full of cupcakes!!!! These have been the biggest crowd pleaser to date...
Yum!!!! Candy Bar Cupcakes. I made a lot of cupcakes that day to pull this one off. 
The adventure has begun. I may never be a size 8 again.