Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

oohhhh yes...and they are GOOD!

I served these little cupcakes during a Halloween party and everyone ended up wanting the recipe! :) So I figured I'd share since I copied it from Martha! :) I found the recipe on marthastewart.com and added the chocolate chips at the end right before I put the batter into muffin cups. Chocolate chips are great with anything...even pumpkin spice cake! I used 3/4 of a bag of the Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips, but you could use anything! I topped each cupcake with a swirl of cream cheese Italian meringue buttercream. I made 4 cups of Italian Meringue Buttercream and added 4 oz of softened cream cheese at the end.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Quantity: I made 12 cupcakes and a 9" cake pan with the batter - so it would easily make 24 cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
    *Stir in 3/4 bag of chocolate chips right before baking

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Monday, October 26, 2009

OSU Beavers Baseball Hat Cake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY AMAZING HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!
I have THE best husband in the world!!! I am SO blessed that God allowed me to marry this man - he is the man of my dreams!!! He is the best daddy, the most loving and patient man I know!! I love you and wish you the best birthday honey!!
He told me NOT to make a cake - since I just got done making Jordan's, but I couldn't resist because I've been wanting to make a baseball hat for FOREVER! So, I copied his most beloved Beaver's hat (Oregon State University)!! It's made with his favorite vanilla cake and a new favorite - butterfinger buttercream! OOHH yummmy! I just gave him a bite and he said, "WOW, that tastes just like the candy bar!!" - his favorite. I carved it from 5 - 9" layers of cake and then made a little foam riser to raise the front of it up off the plate like a real hat would sit. It was perfect and I really really liked how it came out...especially for my first one! Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jordan's 1st Birthday Cake

And here it is...
What a fun cake! I really liked how it turned out! - it's a slight variation from my original sketch, but I think it's better - so that's okay! :) My sister loved it too, and that was what mattered most!!
A few new things for me...First time putting on horizontal stripes and first time doing an argyle pattern. BOTH much harder than they seem!! :) Getting horizontal stripes straight is tough! And this was only the second time I've EVER piped on a cake! WHEW - I need to practise! That is one skill that is practise practise practise!! I think I need to practice making royal icing too. Since I don't make it very often, I'm still unfamiliar with the consistency being KEY when doing piping. This stuff was too stiff, but worked! Next time I'll be able to get that better, I think...
Here's a close up - but don't look too close! :) Unfortunately the pics are a bit blurry since I was shaking from not eating breakfast and trying to hurry!!! :( You might notice in the top pic that the "1" is crooked!!!! These top two pics were taken at home as my kids and husband were waiting in the van - engine running! So I slapped the "1" on top, snapped some pics and took off! On the way down to Salem, I realized the crookedness of my "1" and fixed it...so here you go to prove I did fix it before the party started!! :)

I had to show you! :) Small details are as important as big ones!!


I made two flavors. The top cake was vanilla with black raspberry buttercream and the bottom was chocolate with vanilla buttercream. My buttercream of choice is Italian Meringue Buttercream, so that's what both of these cakes were filled with. OHHH they were so tasty! Just zoom in to see that yuuuummmy thick layer of buttercream under the fondant!! Buttercream is just the best part of a cake (in my humble opinion), so I'm loading it in there!!

All in all a fun cake, new techniques learned!! Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My sweet find!

I have a new addiction! - cake stands! As I look around for inspiration and ideas for cakes, I've come across various cake stands and ways of presenting cakes. There is the typical fondant covered boards (yes, the ones I use), plexi-glass (which I actually like because the cake looks like it's floating), funky stands to simple ones, foil covered boards (yuck-to me it cheapens the cake) and elaborate silver plated stands. I am in love with clean, classy, vintage, urban, feminine design! I'm seeing those styles everywhere - especially in fashion...and now in cakes. I was out shopping for a plain white stand for my next cake and found these treasures! You may not like them, but oohhhh, mama likey! I have several sketches for simple, feminine, vintage inspired cakes that will go beautifully on these little stands!!! One of the stands is 10" (perfect for an 8" and 6" tier) and one is 7" (perfect for a 6" cake - or cupcakes!) . So, stay tuned...hopefully in the next couple months - especially Christmas time when Ben will be home - I'll have time to get my sketches from my head and onto cake!!! :)

Don't even ask where I got these...I'm not telling! :) Don't be mad at me - I've got to keep some things a secret...especially because I'm trying to find more! :) hehe


Friday, October 16, 2009

An upcoming birthday cake

I thought I'd post a picture of an upcoming cake...I might make this a tradition since I always design and sketch out my cakes before I make them. There is tons of pre-planning involved before I even turn my oven on! :) So, this will give you blog stalkers something to look forward to seeing in a week or so...the actual cake!
I came up with this design for my nephew's first birthday. He is turning ONE - which is crazy!! Time flies! They wanted a "non-theme" and so I went with his bedroom colors since those are their favorite colors...baby blue, white and red. My brother in law is an avid golfer, and they dress Jordan in the argyle patterns often, so I figured let's use that for inspiration! The bottom tier will be a 9" round with the blue/red argyle pattern on it. Jordan has horizontal stripes in his room...so, the top tier will be a 6" round with two horizontal stripes. I'm making a big cupcake for the top, with lots of frosting on it, so Jordan has something to smash into his little face!! Should be so fun!! The cake is due next Saturday, the 24th, so stay tuned for actual pictures. The only thing subject to change from the sketch is the way I place his name...I might do his name on dots on wire, or mini cookies spelled out on the top of the cake, so we'll see.
See you in a week or so! :)
Yes, I don't know how to spell raspberry! :) Well, actually I do...I just didn't in the sketch - for all you spell checkers out there! :)


Sunday, October 11, 2009

A few inspirations...

I stumbled upon these websites through some other links and fell in love!
This first lady is so incredibly talented and I love her style...very modern, chic, fashion sensative, innovative...just amazing!
I do dream of cake...so, this is such a fitting website name!! And I love how she obviously cares about every detail...down to her amazing website and all the poems and quotes on it! LOVE it!
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This next lady I found through a food network challenge. I LOVE her style because it's so clean, graphic, minimalistic and fun!! Her style is right up my alley too!!
Very cool inspirations!! - it puts my work in perspective...I have a LOT to practise! :) Perhaps within the next 5 years I'll be working on this level of design and detail with clients!! I'm ready...if you're out there, I'd love the challenge! :) - it's the best way to learn!! :)