Cake Decorating Week 4

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Week 4 Cake

This week was my final week in the first course of cake decorating and we were able to decorate one last cake. I made the vanilla cake recipe I found at Sweetapolita, but, unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out quite right because I did not have any whole milk on hand. I’ll be trying this recipe again when I do have whole milk! After the cake was baked, I cut it into two tiers and put pudding in the middle.

On to the cake decorating…

We started class by making ribbon roses, which actually turned out to be pretty easy to make. Mine were kind of melty though, because my frosting was to loose. When I make these again I’m going to make sure to have stiff frosting- the people who had used stiffer frosting had much better results!

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to decorate my cake, but I decided to put all of my roses on (the instructor told me after-the-fact that I should put a clump of frosting down on the cake where the roses were going to go to give them more height and dimension). I wrote “Congratulations” on it only because it was one of the things we practiced…I didn’t really have anyone to give the cake to and since I wasn’t completely happy with how the actual cake tasted, I decided I wouldn’t be sharing this cake with others! Decorating the cake was still fun and I’m looking forward to starting the second course next week!

Week 4 Cake 2

Baking love,
Heather

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes and Cake Decorating Week 3

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Nutella Cupcakes 1

Since I knew we were going to be decorating cupcakes this week in my cake decorating class I was on a hunt for a delicious cupcake recipe. I found a Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake recipe in 100 Best Cupcake Recipes and decided to give it a try (especially since it sounded like it was just a Nutella cupcake recipe)!

To make the cupcakes you need:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Nutella, divided
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
Chopped hazelnuts (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 18 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
2. Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Beat 1/3 cup Nutella and butter in a large bowl with a stand or electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.
4. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched and toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
5.Frost tops of cupcakes with remaining Nutella. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Nutella Cupakes 3

I had extremely high hopes for these cupcakes, but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed (as was my husband). They didn’t have quite as much flavor as I wanted and they had a very dense consistency. I will most likely continue to search for a great Nutella cupcake recipe!

Now that the cupcakes were made, it was time to decorate! We learned a couple of new “moves” in class and created a mum flower (although they just looking kind of crazy) and how to make flowers on the decorating nail. Once we were actually able to decorate the cupcakes, I decided to “inject” mine with additional Nutella. Unfortunately, the cupcakes were so dense, not much of the Nutella would stay inside. I also found that when I started decorating the cupcakes, if I was just putting a smooth layer of the white frosting on, the tops of the cupcakes would fall apart in the frosting. All of the cupcakes that I didn’t use a “swirl” on had crumbs in the frosting- another reason I wasn’t happy with these cupcakes!

Anyway, I decorated all of my cupcakes using several tips and tricks that I’ve learned during my weeks in class. Good times, but I think I liked decorating the cake better! I’m looking forward to our final class next week when we get to decorate another cake. Then, I’ll be starting the second class where I’ll learn how to make more flowers using things other than just frosting- so looking forward to learning more!

Here are a few pictures of my creations!
Decorated2

Caterpillar

This was my husband’s favorite!

Decorated1

Decorated 3

Baking love!
Heather

Cake Decorating Week 2

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

This week of cake decorating was exciting- we got to actually decorate a cake! After learning that the canned frosting was pretty hard to work with, I decided to make my own frosting this week. That was an excellent choice on my part- it was so much easier to work with, however, I’d like to try a different frosting recipe than the one suggested by the instructor. It tasted ok, but definitely not the best frosting I’ve ever had.

To begin the class, we cut our cake right in half, put pudding (or another filling) in the middle, then frosted the outside of the cake. I had made a vanilla cake from a box and brought dark chocolate pudding to fill it with.

We had to let the cakes sit so the frosting would dry, so during the time we were able to practice creating some different things with the rest of our frosting, such as leaves and rosettes.

After that, it was time to decorate our cakes! We had to smooth out the frosting, which we did using parchment paper. I wish I would have taken a bit more time to smooth mine out because there were quite a few imperfections. I chose to use an outline that was provided in the supplies for the class and create a cupcake on the top of my cake. I traced the outline of the shape onto parchment paper using sparkle gel, then transferred the sparkle gel to the top of my cake. Such an easy way to transfer the outline to the cake!

Cupcake Cake 1

I also added some dots to the side, along with a shell border.

Cupcake Cake 2

I was really surprised at how little time it took to decorate the cake. It was fun and I’m looking forward to decorating one of my favorite things next week- CUPCAKES!!!! Now to decide on the flavor…

Cake Decorating Week 1

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

This week I started a four week cake decorating class. Today we were just shown some of the basics and learned about the items in our kit. We also saw how to manipulate the frosting/butter cream so you have a perfect looking cake. I’m excited to try out these tricks next week when we actually get to decorate a cake!

We also learned how to create a shell, some squiggles, and a star using the frosting bag and a few different tips. I’m looking forward to trying out all the other tips to see what can be created! I’m glad I had experience using the a bag with a tip to decorate cupcakes and such- I think if I hadn’t I would have been a little lost in how much pressure to put on the bag and how to fill it with the frosting. One thing that made practicing and decorating extremely difficult was having extremely hard frosting, which actually came out of a can. I usually make the frosting when I’m making cupcakes or cakes and it’s always very smooth and easy to pipe. For the next classes, I’ll be making my frosting so I can make it the consistency that I want and then my hand (hopefully) won’t be cramping the entire class!

The best part of class today was being able to decorate some cookies using some different decorating tips. I put the butter cookies I made yesterday to good use!

Here is a sampling of how I decorated my cookies…I can’t say cookies are my favorite thing to decorate, but they were still fun! Some of them got a little messed up because the box I brought to bring them home in wasn’t big enough for all of them to lay flat.

Decorated Butter Cookies

I am so looking forward to making a cake to decorate next week! Any favorite recipes you think I should try? 🙂

Baking love,
Heather