Saturday, December 22, 2012

This may or may not be the last cake made in 2012...

I am in love with a little girl named Dakota. She is just three years old and I absolutely love her to pieces. She is tiny and blond and stubborn and picky with what she eats. But whenever she sees me, she comes running into my arms and gives me a huge bear hug and won't let go for several minutes, like she is enjoying every second, like I am! Her mom is terrific and words cannot describe how proud of her I am, and how much I admire everything she has done and is doing in her life.

This is the second year I've been asked to do Dakota's birthday cake. I have made this cake several times, it's quite popular with the kiddos. This one is a chocolate slab, with crispy rice treats for the pillow and headboard and footboard. Vanilla buttercream, and some cute toys to go on top!

Such an easy cake to make, and every time I make it, there are different characters on top! I love it!

So happy birthday to my favourite 3 year old... I know your mom is going to spoil you this Christmas!

On another note, I am contemplating a classy cake for New Year's Eve. I am having a cousin and her family over for some festivities, and haven't decided yet. I will probably go ahead and do it, it just seems like a lot of work to me right now because I have so much to do in the next two days! :)

Whether I do or I don't, I wish you and your wonderful families a VERY Merry Christmas. Much love to you all and I hope you are all able to enjoy some quality time together. Hug your loved ones just a little bit longer this season!

Stay sweet!

Festive Cupcakes!

Last weekend, the cousins of my large maternal side of the family all got together for a dinner. Some of these cousins I haven't seen since we were little, and I've looked forward to seeing them since we first began talking about this get-together.

I made three desserts to bring, I knew many of my cousins would be bringing main dishes or sides. So I made magic cookie bars (recipe below), cheesecake dip (also below), and red velvet cupcakes.

I used my standby recipe for red velvet, and overfilled the muffin pan, so the first batch and a half turned out crappy, but I managed to save the best-looking ones and I indulged in a couple of unfilled and unfrosted, and they were sooooo goood. Light and fluffy!! I filled 12 with cream cheese icing, and topped them with vanilla buttercream, and sprinkled crushed candy canes on top. I even managed to send a few in with my husband when he went to work... he came back with none so that is always a good sign :)

Here they are:

So, here are the recipes for the other two things I made:

Magic Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup non-hydrogenized margarine, melted
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
3/4 package of milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper (I have found that this is the easiest way to remove the bars and cut them without having them stick).

Combine crumbs, margarine and corn syrup in a small bowl until well mixed. Pour and press into lined pan. Top pressed crumb mixture with nuts, chocolate chips, coconut and drizzle entire can of condensed milk on top.

*The original recipe for this actually says to put the milk on top of the crumbs but in my experience, when you cut into the bars, everything fell off, which defeated the whole purpose. So, I tweaked it, as usual :) *

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Let cool for about 1/2 hour and cut into bars. Delicious when warm and melty :)

Cheesecake Dip

1 box Jell-o No Bake Cheesecake Mix
1 container of frozen whipped cream, thawed
1 can cherry pie filling
1 package of graham squares

Combine cheesecake package with whipped cream until light and fluffy. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. On a platter, spoon cheesecake mixture into the center, and surround with graham squares. Top cheesecake mixture with cherry pie filling. Enjoy!

*You can save the graham crumbs from the cheesecake mix for your magic cookie bars!*

Found this recipe on Pinterest... and it was truly a hit! I think that the best-tasting recipes require the least amount of ingredients and fuss!

Enjoy, and stay sweet!

Hi-Tech Cake

Hello again!

The next cake is one for a co-worker's son. It's a vanilla slab cake, decorated in fondant to look like the computer. It was the cake I was most afraid of, with all the details, but the easiest one to actually do.

My husband crafted the monitor of the laptop out of cardboard and construction paper while I took on the details of the keys.

Now, as you can see, the keys are not exact, obviously, but my kids were wowed, and that usually means it's passed the vision test... after, of course, asking if it's "for us". Apparently I don't bake enough for them? Ha, what a crock! LOL

So here it is:

That's it! Very simple, not a whole lot to say about it! :)
Stay sweet!

Catching up...


It's been busy here... aside from cake orders, I have been trying to clean and decorate my house and do some Christmas baking!

There are a couple of cakes to post about, so I will begin with my anniversary cake! I began with making vanilla cake from scratch... since we were eating it at home, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out a cake from scratch. It tasted really good, but wasn't as light as it could have been, so I need to practice the recipe and tweak things.

I made four layers of vanilla cake, and froze them. Then I made red velvet cake from scratch and broke it all up. Then I made buttercream frosting using a new recipe including butter, not vegetable shortening. I ended up with a delicious but very rich icing. I would make it again, for sure!

I took two layers, put them together with some icing and carved out the top part of the heart. In retrospect, I should have used a spoon to round it out a bit better, but hey, for a first time, I was pretty proud of myself. Then I took the last two layers, and carved out the bottom of the heart. I filled each cavity with the crushed red velvet cake and froze each half of the cake for about an hour. Then I carefully put the two halves together and did a crumb coat.

I had to freeze the cake for a couple of days because this cake was a surprise for my husband, and since he's been on days, it's harder to hide things from him LOL! So, I sent him out with one of his buddies on a weeknight and completed the cake. I used a ribbon technique to decorate the cake, and used colours from our original wedding cake. This is what I ended up with:

Pretty classy, huh? I thought so too! So everything was grand until he asked me who the cake was for. He had found it. I was so disappointed :(  But there was still one aspect I could surprise him with, he didn't know about the inside of the cake! This is what it looked like:

We ate it for breakfast on our anniversary, and our oldest son wasn't up to taking advantage of the situation, he was trying to tell us to eat a real breakfast first, and have a slice on the side! We nixed that one! LOL!

It was delicious, and massive, it took awhile for us to eat it!

I'll post about the other cakes seperately because it's just too much to scroll through! :) Stay sweet!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Frozen Buttercream Transfers

Back again!

I promised on my Facebook cake page that I would post about doing frozen buttercream transfers.

The invitation below was what I was given as a guide for a bridal shower cake.

I thought it was very pretty and fitting for fall. So my first thought when I saw this was brush embroidery with royal icing. I was excited about trying out a new technique, but when I sat down three days before the deadline to actually do it, the icing was not cooperating with me. I will win that battle, just not this time around. :)
So then I figured I would freehand the flowers using the invitation. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the flowers to look the same, plus there was no guarantee that the flowers would survive the transfer from waxed paper to cake, which is why I did three sheets of random flowers! LOL While they did look cute and were the right colour scheme, it just wasn't cutting it in my eyes.
In frustration, I messaged a friend from cake decorating class. Mostly just to vent, I still wasn't sure what the heck I was going to do. I explained the issue and asked if she had come across anything similar. In her reply to me, she mentioned doing a search for frozen buttercream transfers. So I did. I was wowed. Why didn't they teach us this in our classes? I felt kinda dumb to be honest... like the kid who doesn't get told that school is cancelled for the day. There's me, standing at the doors wondering where everyone is! LOL I need to be doing more research clearly!
So here is how to do it, if you don't already know.
I scanned the invitation and blew it up. I wanted it to be bigger, to cover the cake and so that it would be easier to pipe overall. Bear in mind, my hand and wrist were still in pain from the royal icing episode. Once I had a printout of the size I liked, I placed in on a flat, edgeless cookie sheet (airbake!), and placed a sheet of waxed paper on top. I had made up a new batch of buttercream, made my orange and brown, and reserved half of it as white.
WOW! Soooo much easier to trace it! I could have used piping gel, as we were taught in class but I was never a huge fan of that technique. The results were never great.
I traced all the flowers and leaves in their appropriate colours, filled them in and piped the delicate lines in the leaves (probably the most detailed part of the project). Now if I had listened to the tutorial I had viewed online, I would have tinted the white to match the icing I planned to use on the cake, which was a slight off-white to match the invitation. But I'm clearly a rebel, as you can tell from the photo:

The next step, after the main design has been piped, is to cover the entire piped area with matching buttercream and spreading it carefully on top, using light pressure to fill in the cracks. This would be the white I used instead of the actual colour I was going to canvas the cake with. I should have used a bit more pressure, but I was afraid of smearing the piped icing below. Lesson learned. Do it anyway!

Leaving the waxed paper with buttercream on the baking sheet, the entire pan went into the freezer overnight. You could freeze it for 45 minutes to an hour if you don't have that kind of time to wait.

The next day, I put the cake together. It was scratch lemon cake with lemon buttercream. The cake would have looked great with just being canvassed and adding brown and orange trim but that wasn't the goal here.

When everything was ready, the transfer came out of the freezer, and some of the edges were trimmed off of the frozen buttercream, to make room for the trim I still had to do around the top. invert the transfer and place it on the cake. Use VERY light pressure, as you don't want to break it if you can help it, gently press into the cake. To be honest, I'm not sure you even need to, because as the buttercream thaws, it should settle.

I filled in some areas I had missed and applied thin piped buttercream to the outer edges to secure it to the cake better. Then I applied the top trim and applied some drop flowers on the trim.

I am so thankful to Pauline for suggesting this method... I have learned something valuable and even though my first attempt was not perfect, I will definitely be doing this technique again.

You can see where I should have spread more white icing... I ran out of icing! I filled it in with the off-white a bit but it didn't camouflage anything! LOL

Overall, I am happy with the cake and it was a terrific learning experience! The next one will be better!

Until next time, stay sweet!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sugar 'n' spice...

Hey my sweets, what's happening?

It's been quieter in my little cake corner lately but it's been a good thing, as we've been going through some transition as a family unit. It's definitely a positive thing, but it's taking some time to get our groove, know what I mean?

My amazing husband has been working overnight shifts for close to six years, to be at home during the day with our youngest son, Caleb. We've never liked the thought of putting our kids in day care, for several reasons I won't get into, so he made the sacrifice and since Caleb has begun grade one this fall, he has been able to switch to day shifts. Bonus for us! Our oldest son, Tyler has just been amazing. He is growing up to be quite a responsible kid and helps out sooo much. Without him, we wouldn't be able to make this whole thing work, as he helps Caleb get ready for school if my husband has to go in before they leave for school.

But getting back to cakes, it's just been good that there has been some free time for us to adjust. However, now the season is upon us and the orders are coming in... it's exciting, seeing what's on the horizon :)

So this is the most recent big cake I've made:

The cake itself was simple. The bottom was white cake with vanilla buttercream, and the top was chocolate with chocolate buttercream. Nothing fancy there. The fanciness was in the decorating.
This cake was for a young lady turning 16... and I haven't seen her since she was about 5, so imagine how old I felt taking this order lol! She has a love for music and girly things. I browsed several pictures and sent some to the client, who was arranging the party for this young lady. This one was the winner, and I was excited to recreate it.
I will quite openly admit, I am definitely my own worst critic. I know where all of the imperfections are and I just hate that point when I'm putting things together and it's "done" but I don't feel it's truly DONE... but there comes a point where you just can't do anything more, and time runs out and the client is coming to pick it up.
This cake was deceptively heavy... as are most fondant cakes. My biggest fear with tiered cakes like this is that the top cake will sink and the bottom tier will collapse. I was so worried about this cake, I checked it again the morning it was being picked up, before work just to make sure it hadn't collapsed. And of course again upon returning home from work lol. I used three pieces of wooden dowel to help support it and I realized that I need to do this to all my tiered cakes, there is just no support without it, and you can't get away from needing that support.
All in all, I am proud of it, and it scored me two more cake orders! Speaking of which, I need to finish up an order for tonight :)
Take care all, stay sweet!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bittersweet August

Autumn is bittersweet for us.. in it is our final vacation week, and while we look forward to it all year long, and the countdown begins in March... it's over in the blink of an eye and before you know it, the kids are back in school and we're in our regular routines once again.

We go camping in Algonquin Park every August. The kids are beside themselves with excitement.. well, okay... not our 12 year old anymore, but he looks forward to it a lot. Our 6 year old though... wow, a couple of weeks ago we brought peanuts home from our grocery trip, and he went ballistic! "We're really going camping!!!" he exclaimed. Yes buddy... did you think we were faking it all these months? LOL

August means get the last of your summer activities done because fall is on the way. I'm a total summer person... I can't stand getting bundled up to go outside in the slush and the snow and the ice. Hate it. But I have another reason to look forward to it, since I've begun decorating cakes... it's finally cool enough to turn the oven on (yes, I've mentioned this before, I'm sure, but with no central air, you can see why this would be an issue in my home lol) The fondant won't warp, the icing won't melt and I don't need to rush to complete a cake because of the temperature in the house.

Another thing I need to mention is how proud I am of our son, Tyler. He's our oldest, and he has floored me this summer... truly. He has shown such responsibility this summer (for the majority of the time, he needs to let loose and goof around at times too). He has babysat his younger brother for the first "real" time while my husband and I have gone out for the evening. We've trusted him for short periods of time and he's been keeping an eye on Caleb while my husband sleeps during the day (working nights sucks!), but this really impressed me. Not only were there no problems, he thought he had to stay up to wait for us! That melted my heart! He has also stepped up and helped Caleb out with his reading with flash cards I bought. Caleb has shown vast improvement over the last two weeks, and that's only from working on it for about 15-20 minutes a day! My sons rock!

Okay, so here's the recent cakes I've made...

The yellow and pink cake (chocolate raspberry truffle with raspberry mousse filling) was for an engagement/birthday and the bottom one(white cake with whipped cream filling) was for a 4th birthday :)

I look forward to the business fall will bring... I already have clients ordering for Christmas and near Valentines Day :)

Have a special occasion coming up? Want to surprise someone special with a sweet treat? Let's talk!

Until then, stay sweet!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Helloooooo! How are things with you?? I've been busy, busy!

If you're reading this, you've seen this cake on my cake page or as a reshare on Facebook. This was a lot of work, not gonna lie, but at the same time, it was a ton of fun!

The bottom is a ten inch chocolate raspberry truffle cake, which is technically a rich chocolate cake with a generous amount of raspberry jam thrown into the batter. The center is filled with raspberry mousse and it's lightly iced with chocolate buttercream.

The top tier is a simple chocolate-vanilla marble eight inch two layer cake, filled with whipped cream and iced with vanilla buttercream.

I did this cake during some extreme heat, and I have zero air-conditioning, and while that doesn't exactly earn me a medal by any means, there is something to be said for keeping everything from melting or warping. Fondant and heat do not do well together.

This cake was done up for a friend at work, for her daughter's birthday. I saw this cake almost two years ago and sooo wanted to do it... I bought a lot of the supplies for it because a client was interested in having this cake made for her daughter. Plans fell through, but I vowed that someday, I would get to make this cake.

My co-worker purchased the real Mermaid Barbie but gave me the Barbie portion of the doll, kept the tail for after the cake was eaten. She also purchased  plastic sea creatures for me at the dollar store, and bought seashell chocolates.

Once the cakes were baked, filled and iced, I put it all together the day before the event. I covered each tier in blue fondant. The tricky parts were trying to decide if I should decorate the tiers seperately, or after they were put together... I decided on the former. I did the bottom first. I made four balls of various colours of fondant, and made sea "greens" and sea sponge, rocks, seashells and flowers out of pink and purple... per the little girl's preferences. Then I added some of the plastic creatures and chocolates and added golden brown sugar for sand. Into the refrigerator it went.

Then I completed the top, but this time I didn't have to worry about the sand, and could decorate the top. I had a hard time trying to decide whether to put the doll partially IN the cake, which was the original plan, but ended up sitting her on top of the cake. I wrapped a piece of fondant around her legs (took a few tries and a cuss word or two because it fell apart and stretched). I really am thankful for my husband's input and help. These big cakes definitely need two heads!!! I managed to get the tail on right but then I wasn't sure how to get the design onto it. My wonderful husband was messing around with a fondant cutter for flowers and developed a nice scaly pattern on her tail. I finished it off.

After everything was in place on both cakes, I dusted all the fondant accents and plastic sea creatures in pearl dust to make them stand out just that little bit.

Once again, I needed my husband's help in trying to place the small tier on top of the bottom one. We managed, and then the tail tip fell off. GREAT! So I pieced it back on, fixed the pattern and added a couple of fondant flowers to it.

It had to be picked up right away because we had just done groceries and had no room in the fridge! the cake was a hit, I was very happy to make this little girl's wishes come true :)

Even though I have boys, they were quite impressed to see the detail work on the cake :)

That's all for me! Stay Sweet!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Big, deep breath!

You know how you plan and plan for that one big day, say it's your wedding day... and all you can think, leading up to it, is Oh My God... if I can just through through THIS, I'll be all set. Well that was me with this week with the ginormous order I had. And another aspect I felt for the first time was similar to how they feel on the cake shows on tv... where they play up all this drama and will they get the cake finished in time for the event, and you think it's just for ratings, but oh no...  I felt this way on Thursday night and there ARE no ratings! LOL

I don't want to make it sound like I am complaining, not at all. It was a divine cake to work on, a testament to my skills.... if I could just do THIS, I can do anything. It was just a lot of pressure because it was going to be in a venue, and I'm working out of my tiny kitchen LOL!

So, I knew about this order roughly three months ago. When I broke it down, and there was simply no other way to work this cake, it was way more manageable. I like to have my cakes done the day before the due date, but that just was not possible this time around. The major reason was that I simply did not have the space to store them.

The cakes were a half slab each. I've done half slab cakes from home before, but not with fondant, and it's only been one cake, not two, such as the case this time around. I make a lot of cakes from mixes (sorry to spoil anyone's image of Denise's Custom Cakes) however, I have been slowly venturing out and making my own flavours from scratch, which I admit, is way more satisfying... so when I got this order, I panicked... but the web is a useful tool to the cake decorator!

The client wanted a red velvet and cream cheese cake for one of them... no problem, I already had a tried and true recipe for that. The other one sent me into panic mode, chocolate raspberry truffle... which sounded so decadent. Could I find something online for that? Could I make that and have it turn out well? Wow... and I would need to test the cake and have the client over for feedback. Big event, I wanted her to be SURE of the choice.

So I found 3 recipes online and went to work making it. I thought I would have to do several cakes, but I took one basic recipe, and just modified the icing and the filling... and made one cake into two different options. As posted last time, the testing was a success and the client was in awe... couldn't wait for the event!

So a week before the event, I had to get started. I had all the supplies and ingredients, and got to work on one of the hottest weekends we've had yet... but I paced myself by baking a cake or two each day. Then I took one evening after work and filled all the cakes and returned them to the freezer (any smart decorator knows that canvassing a cake is easier when it's frozen, and produces fewer crumbs!). The day of the pick-up was the day everything had to be put together and completed. Thank God my husband gave me a hand with mixing buttercream, cleanup and helping to shape the cakes by handcutting them. The cakes were being picked up at 9, and we were done at 8:45.

All the hard work paid off, she was enthralled and ecstatic with the results... and asked for business cards to hand out at the event. I am happy about that, but I can definitely wait for the next big one like that! LOL

So here is the final result of the cakes in their final resting place... I hope the party went well!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Do or Die!

Today marks the beginning of the biggest cake order I have to date and I'm freaking out! LOL I know I have the flavours down perfectly, the taste testing went amazingly well... but I want everything to be perfect and most of it needs to be put together RIGHT before pickup. No stress!

It's for a 40th birthday party and the cakes are absolutely stunning. I am sure I'm just freaking myself out but I can't help it!

Wish me luck... I have cakes to bake!

Stay sweet!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New & Improved... or is it just New or Improved? ;)

I had an awesome day yesterday! I have my biggest and most expensive cake order coming up, and well, folks, I have to admit, I was VERY intimidated by it. Two cakes, one being a flavour I have never made before, and the magnitude of this cake compared to everything else I've done thus far... wow.... scary! But I forged ahead, did some research and produced two versions of the cake for the client. She came over Wednesday evening to taste test them, and while she LOVED both, she picked one and went on her way.

So, I obviously had leftovers of the cakes, which I decided to bring in to work to share. My coworkers all know I bake, and I've sold cakes to many of them. When I began talking about this flavour though, I had them drooling... lol.. so I had to bring it in. Besides, the more I share, the less that ends up on my butt, right?

A repeat customer of mine tried it, and remembered that she wanted to ask me to do a shower cake for her daughter-in-law (how sweet, right?), and another co-worker reached over for a forkful and fell in love. Sometimes, it's hard taking compliments... especially after having some indifferent or negative people in your life, but it was so great to hear that my creation was not only liked by the client, but also by others, who placed orders! And it was merely by fluke, which makes it even better. I guess I have a bigger market at my fingertips than I thought!

So what was the flavour, right? Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Yes, it's truly as divine as it sounds. I made my best chocolate cake recipe, and added 1/2 cup raspberry jam to the batter. I wasn't sure if it would be enough, and will be adding probably another 1/4 cup to the final cakes, because we wanted the flavour to be a bit more pronounced. It left a nice lingering chocolate raspberry aftertaste, a nice blend of flavours on the tongue.

After that was baked and cooled, I made a batch of chocolate buttercream. I cut each 8 inch cake in half, because I wanted to do two versions. I piped icing along the edges of the cake to hold the filling, which was a delicious raspberry mousse. I did this for both cakes.

Now here is where I switched things up, and they weren't major changes, but enough to make a difference. On one cake, I used straight chocolate buttercream to ice it. Left it at that.

On the other cake, I lightened up the buttercream by blending whipped cream into it to make it lighter and fluffier. But before I iced it, I melted some chocolate and drizzled it over the raspberry mousse filling. As it cooled, it would harden and give the cake a little chocolate crunch which would be the truffle part of the cake. Then I iced the cake with the lightened buttercream and I was done.

She chose the one with the melted chocolate in the filling, which also happened to be the cake I brought into work. :) What I thought was awesome was how the jam in the batter made the cake denser, richer and made it seem fancier. It would be something you might find in a restaurant.

Another great thing is now I have another flavour to add to Denise's Custom Cakes!

Have a great weekend and stay sweet!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


So... I've been pretty quiet lately, and thought I'd post a couple of pictures! My brother just celebrated his 27th birthday and in his honour, I baked cupcakes and invited him and his gf and her adorable daughter over.

These were delicious! I baked frozen mini Reese peanut butter cups in the center of chocolate cupcakes. I iced them with peanut butter icing and topped them with either mini Reese peanut butter cups or a combo of Reese's Pieces ( I had to hide them or hubby would have eaten them before I had a chance to use them!)

Three days later, it was my son's 12th birthday. I had been looking for ideas online for a couple of weeks and thought I had settled on a Scout's cake for him, but they looked pretty boring, so I checked out some ideas for camping and blew his mind!

I saw an idea online that involved a candle as a campfire.. and I thought it was ingenious! That was the cake for Tyler, for sure!

I baked a white cake the night before. I really should have done more the first night because the night of was busy, with us getting our taxes filed and ordering out for dinner (something we rarely do but I was starving and it was getting late, plus it would be a nice treat for his birthday!). At any rate... I set my husband on mixing and forming rocks out of dark gray fondant, while I took care of filling, canvassing, trimming and decorating the cake.

I took a sugar cone and did green drop flowers all over it, and placed it as a pine tree. I mixed piping gel with blue colourant to create a river and had my husband line it with fondant rocks. I coated two graham crackers with yellow icing and placed them like a tent in the background. My husband made a log out of brown and white fondant, and I put two mini marshmallows on pretzel sticks. He placed the fondant rocks around the tea light and we finished it with writing and rocks on the front.

Once the cake was baked, it took about an hour to finish it, between the two of us, and although it was a little late in the evening by the time we got to present it to him, the reaction was well worth it!

The birthday boy was delighted, the cake was delicious and I am still getting the "Wow!"s from people I show the picture to. I was so happy that we made his day that special, and once again, thankful that I took the courses necessary to learn to do this! (And for the record, his actual gift was a bow and arrow set that he will be learning to use at Scouts!)

So, for anyone who thinks they might be interested in taking cake decorating classes.. it is worth it. Every birthday and special event just brings so much more joy to your heart, because you have helped to make someone happy!!! :)

I have a busy time coming up... a cake on May 24 weekend... and two cakes in June... one I am especially nervous about, because it involves cake flavours I have never done before and the pressure is on because it's for an actual venue. If there is anything to ever make you doubt your skills, it's something like that! However.. this is a repeat customer, and we're doing a cake tasting evening, and I know she trusts me... otherwise I'd be a lot more nervous! The other order is a Mermaid Barbie cake I've been wanting to do for over a year... and I am SO excited to do both of these cakes! Thankfully it's before the summer heat sets in, so that's even better! :)

That's it for me for now!
Stay sweet!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


So... I haven't baked nearly as much as I have wanted to! It's been all about the kids this week, hanging out with them, cooking for them, making sure they are entertained, and have a decent amount of quiet time. They are loving movie nights and camping out in the basement on the pull-out!

On the weekend, my husband and I went through our little guy's room, Caleb, and cleaned out all of his small clothes and junk toys that he never plays with. We cleaned out ALOT! Over a tote of clothes and a whole tote of toys.. mostly toy cars. He's never been into Hot Wheels cars, and we had this big collection... it was so nice to unload the clothes to my sister-in-law, who's little guy, Thomas, will be 1 on June 30th.

You really never can plan too far ahead... and both my sisters-in-law had pitched in and got us a ton of boys' clothes for Caleb when he was a baby, from eBay, which was awesome! So it's nice to return the favour.

I did bake chocolate chip cookies from a cake mix... it's so simple and they are so soft and delicious! I take a box of yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of oil and half a package of milk chocolate chips, and I mix it all up thoroughly. I have this awesome Pampered Chef scooper that is perfect for scooping dough so that the sizes of the cookies are pretty much the same.. so I use that, and pop 'em into the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350*C, and YUM! These cookies never last long in my house! I have also tried the same trick with chocolate cake mix and white chocolate chips! I was kind of in a rush that night so I didn't want to stand around and bake for the whole night... I scooped the dough into an ice cube tray, and froze it overnight... and the next day, I popped the frozen dough into a container and stored it back in the freezer. Perfect for the next time I want to bake some cookies in a flash! That ice cube tray idea was from Pinterest... my newest addiction! LOL We also had ham n cheese crescent rolls today... my husband's reaction to that was that I was clearly putting him to shame because he never is awake enough to make a lunch like that for them lol...

Today, I was working with my son Caleb in teaching him to ride his bike. He is hellbent on his tricycle and doesn't comprehend that he is too big for that thing. We bought a bike trailer a couple of years ago.. and even as amazing as that thing was, it's now too small. Last year, we had to leave it unzipped, because he is too tall for it... lol! Soooo, we had a chat today and I explained to him that he needed to be a big boy and ride a big boy bike like his older brother, Tyler. Our kids measure everything by when we go camping in August, so I also added that into the equation. I said, if he wanted to go for a bike ride when we go camping, we aren't bringing the trailer, so he either sits at the site by himself, or he learns to ride a bike! He is so stubborn, I really have NO idea where he gets it from (smirk)... So he whined and complained about his bum hurting and how much he hated his bike, and asked me if I had ever fallen off a bike.. My answer was MANY times.. we didn't do training wheels in my day... so scraped legs and bleeding ankles was the story of my life when I was bound and determined to learn to ride a bike! That seemed to give me a bit of status in his eyes, so he stuck it out and kept on...

He is not looking terribly thrilled here, but it's nearly the end of the ride home, so he was happy about THAT.

I am really loving my time off from work this week. We actually had a destination today, and it was... work. Ugh! I wanted to replenish some of the clothes we had upcycled (which reminds me, the reason Caleb's pants were so big when we were at that indoor playground yesterday is because they were a size 8, and he is a size 5-6!!! LMAO... I didn't want him to wear his brand new jeans and I knew these particular ones were bigger but I didn't check to see how MUCH bigger they were... LOL.). We did good... and the kids don't look like they are wearing floods anymore... instead, they look like they are about to drown in their new clothes :D Mom's work is done here!

Hope everyone else is enjoying our gorgeous weather/temperatures... savour it... never know how long it will last :)

Stay sweet,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What a fun weekend...

I am so thankful to my clients! Without them I'd be baking for myself and my family and I'd have a butt the size of Texas! :)

I had a request last weekend to do a cake for this weekend for my second cousin's birthday.. no problem! I could handle it! Then I checked on the deadline for another request I had already accepted, for a baby shower cake. They were for the same weekend, lol! No worries... when I was in the bakery, it wasn't unheard of to have 10-15 orders for one day, especially on holiday weekends... but it's different when you are making stuff from scratch, and working with fondant.

So I got to work baking and freezing and filling the cakes... and everything turned out beautifully. Both were picked up yesterday by some very happy clients.

Here is what I made for my second cousin, Jackson:

And this is the baby shower cake:

I was more worried about how I was going to do the Toy Story cake... I had no plan, really, except that it was a road scene with Woody and RC... but as soon as I had all my colours mixed, it was easy to whip together. I was surprised when I was done because it didn't take as long as I had thought it would!

The baby shower cake was time-consuming, only because of the fondant pieces. I was up late the night before working on them because the pieces for the bow had to dry. I hadn't done a bow since my cake classes, and I needed to pull out my books and make sure I was doing it right... but it all came back to me and turned out awesome :)

The cake was HEAVY too! Four layers of cake, with filling and icing and fondant... I am always surprised on cake shows when they say how much the cake weighs. Really? It's JUST a cake! I mean, okay, so it's the size of a body- building bouncer, but really... how can it be that heavy? But cakes can really weigh alot if they have multiple tiers.

So yes, it was a successful weekend, and even though I am still worried about the baby shower cake sinking (I need to rely more on dowels!!!), I am very proud of what I've done, and thankful to my clients for choosing me to make their special cake instead of going somewhere else. :)

Stay Sweet!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm lovin' it!

No... not McDonalds! I love that business is picking up again... and I knew it would happen. Check out my latest creation:

This is a chocolate 1/4 slab with whipped cream and strawberry jam mousse filling. I used chocolate buttercream and lightened it up with whipped cream. Trimmed and decorated with buttercream flowers, butterflies and hearts, not to mention silver dragees to make it extra fancy.

What isn't pictured on the cake is:

Yup! Cake pops! Chocolate cake mixed with buttercream, rolled into balls and a lollipop stick inserted. Dipped in chocolate candy melts, cooled, then decorated with more candy melts. Unfortunately, I couldn't put them altogether because it still needed to fit into the box... so they were delivered separately.

I figured it was time to delve into the world of cake pops because I've been seeing them everywhere, and knew that sooner or later, people would be asking me to make them :) Gotta keep up, right?

Some of you may know that I used to work in a bakery department, and I was recently asked if I missed it. Truth be told, not at all. I had little desire to spend quality time on a personal cake order when I got home from decorating cakes all day. Now when I am asked to make a cake at home, I look forward to spending time on it. Definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made, to step out of that department.

Anyway, things to do, so I must go. Until next time, stay sweet!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I know it's a bit early, but I'm planning ahead :D

How's it going with you? Life is quiet for me and the fam right now... The only baking I've been doing lately is cookies and such for my kids so there haven't been any updates on the Facebook page, but it's coming! I have some cupcakes to do for Cubs this week, and a special surprise cake for a family member who is a chocoholic like me! :) It's going to be so yummy! I'm also going to do strawberry shortcake for my sweetheart, since he's not as much into the whole chocolate aspect as I am :( Talk about depriving a girl!

I talked in my last post about the break I've had after Christmas and looks like it's continued. I'm sure it's mostly because of New Year's resolutions... but it's a good thing! :) I want to lose a few pounds myself and have been watching what I eat lately. It gives me a great opportunity to scope out new ideas!

The break is short-lived though, I think. I've had a lot of orders for the next few months coming my way. Two in March so far, one for June and one for July... I like people who plan ahead! I have a gender cake to do, a baby shower cake to do... one is a 40th birthday and another birthday cake.. and that's not including my own kids!

One thing I've been doing in my spare time is checking out Pinterest! Have you checked it out? It's by invitation only (I can invite you if you are interested) and there are sooo many amazing ideas out there! One really cool idea that I can't wait to try is making a garden out of a skid! I know it's sounds bizarre but since I live in a townhouse, and we want to eventually build a deck, this space-saving idea is right up my alley! You really DO have to see it to understand how cool it is lol!!! Great ideas for hair, gardening, home, cooking and baking.. totally amazing! It's a site that 'pins' great ideas up from it's members, people who have scoured the internet for great ideas, and it's all in one place! Definitely worth a gander!

Well, that's it for me for now... take care and stay sweet!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy New Year! Better Late Than Never!

How was your New Year? It was good here... but I have to admit, I am so glad the holidays are over and my house is back to normal, with normal routines! The chaos of the season is incredible and I am thankful for time with family, but it's just SO much!

I realized I didn't post a picture here of the cake I talked about in my previous post... so here it is!

Looking back on the entire disastrous evening... I am darn proud of this cake and think that even though it sucked going through all that, it was worth it :D

So things have settled down all around... including the cake-making. It's been a nice break, I have to admit... but I think I am ready to get back into it again. A few birthdays are coming up, and of course Valentine's Day! I am planning a special cake for my valentine! I am pretty excited about it! And a baby shower cake in March (yes, people are planning that far in advance and I LOVE it!)

So, if you have a special day coming up, let's talk! I can help you plan the cake that will keep your guests talking for months!

Stay sweet!