Valentine and Housewarming Cake Pops!

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Valentines Day and Housewarming Cake Pops

I was asked to make some cake pops by an acquaintance, and I happily said yes! She was looking for me to make her ones for Valentine’s Day and for some to give as a housewarming gift. We both looked online to see what might be best and she chose owl and cupcake Valentine cake pops and a mix of houses and purple ball cake pops for the housewarming gift. I set to work and this is what I came up with! These were so fun to make, I really just want to make more cake pops!! Unfortunately, I did not take pictures through my cake pop making process, but I’ll include a list of items needed for each type. I made a mix of vanilla cake pops and cookies and cream cake pops, using a box mix and store bought icing to mix it with. If you’d like to see how I make the cake for the cake pops, take a look here! For all of the cake pops I used my Oxo small cookie scoop to make sure they all used about the same amount of the cake/icing mixture. You will also need the sticks, bags, and ribbon to package all of the pops.

Owl Cake Pops
Owls

For the owls you will need:
*Red, white, and pink candy melts
*Chocolate chips to make the ears
*White sprinkles and a food writer to make the eyes (or the eye sprinkles that they sell)
*Orange sprinkles for the nose
*Pink and white hearts for the wings
*Star sprinkles for the feet
*Flower sprinkles for the bow

Cupcake Cake Pops
Cupcakes

For the cupcakes you will need:
*Red, white, and pink candy melts
*Valentine colored sprinkles
*Small hearts and round red balls to put on top

Housewarming Cake Pops
Houses

For the houses you will need:
*White and black candy melts
*Food writer for the windows, door, and grass (I like the Americolor writers)
*Flower sprinkles

Purple Cake Pops
Purple ball

For the cake pops you will need:
*Purple candy melts
*White sprinkles

I now have cake pop fever and am pinning tons of cake pop creations that I want to try!

Happy cake pop making!
Heather

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Up Close Detail with words

Over the weekend, I met up with my friend Beryl (after her superhero adventures) to bake some gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. I’m taking her Momtographie Online class (which is awesome!) and she wanted to get some video footage baking with a friend for one of the lessons. I was happy to be the friend to help her out with this!

We decided on a Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake from Cupcakes Take the Cake with a Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life.

To make the cupcakes, I followed the recipe from Cupcakes Take the Cake, but made a couple of changes. Here is exactly what I did!

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Position rack in center of oven. Place cupcake baking liners in a 12-cupcake baking pan (this recipe really makes the perfect amount for 12 regular sized cupcakes). In a medium sized bowl, stir flour blend, salt, baking powder, and guar gum until mixed. Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed for one minute. Make sure your mixer is on stir and add the bowl of dry ingredients slowly until mixed. Continue on stir and add oil, vanilla soy milk (I really think this made a huge difference in the vanilla flavor) and vanilla until ingredients are mixed well; beat at medium speed for one minute (the batter will be pretty runny). Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in center of oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until center springs back when touched and cupcakes are very lightly browned. Cool on rack for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan onto rack and cool completely before icing.

DSC_0198

To make the frosting, I did the following:

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (your finger should be able to push into the stick, but the butter should NOT be melted!!)
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. With your mixer on stir, add 3 cups of powdered sugar slowly until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream while still on stir (so they do not splash) and then beat everything for 3 minutes at medium speed. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add more sugar (I would add 1/2 cup at a time until it is the consistency you’d like). If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to your liking.

At first, I was worried that I wasn’t going to have enough frosting for the cupcakes because it didn’t look like much, but it turned out to be way too much for the 12 cupcakes!

Once everything was ready, Beryl and I decorated the cupcakes using some store bought flowers, roses I had made, and sprinkles. What was really great about the whole experience was that since we were making the video for Beryl’s photography class, I got some one-on-one time with Beryl to ask questions about my camera and take some great pictures of our freshly made cupcakes! Here are some of the pictures that I took while learning!
Rose Up

Rose Over

Up Close Detail

Rose Details

And all of the cupcakes together…minus the few we ate before we took the pictures!
All Cupcakes

These cupcakes turned out to be so delicious, none of us (my husband wanted to taste-test too) could tell that they were gluten-free! Like I said before, I think the vanilla soy milk made all the difference! The big test for these cupcakes was how they tasted the next day…and Beryl let me know that they were still moist and delicious two days after we made them!

It was such a fun day of baking, decorating, and photographing with a great friend!
Baking love,
Heather

Super Bowl Fun!

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Football cupcakes

This Sunday we had a few friends over to watch the Super Bowl and, of course, I took this as an opportunity to bake! First, I made vanilla cupcakes from a recipe I found at Everyday Occasions website. The cupcakes were quite delicious!! I also made the buttercream from the recipe on the same website, which was pretty tasty, but it was a bit too thin to make the grass on the cupcakes. I tried to make it a bit thicker by adding more powdered sugar, but it just didn’t work out! It all just ended up blobbing together in a melty kind of way, which still looked cute, but not quite the effect I was going for!

For the football on top, I used a chocolate buttercream recipe which can be found at Savory Sweet Life‘s website. Let me tell you, this frosting was DELICIOUS!!! It also came out a bit too thin and, when I added extra powdered sugar, it turned to a perfect consistency to pipe the footballs on the cupcakes.

These were fun to make and everyone seemed to enjoy them!

Football cupcake

Since we were having people over, I decided to also make a trifle which I found on Pinterest and linked to indulgy.com‘s website.

Cookie Trifle 2

To make the trifle:
1. Crush a whole package Oreos.
2. Cream together 8 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix 2 small boxes vanilla pudding and 3 cups COLD milk. Chill until set.
4. Fold 12 oz thawed Cool Whip with the set pudding.
5. Add the cream cheese mixture.
6. Layer in a trifle bowl, starting and ending with the Oreo’s.
7. Chill until ready to serve…then be ready to be addicted to this deliciousness!!

This trifle was definitely the hit dessert of the party!

Cookie Trifle

Baking love!
Heather

Cake Decorating Week 2

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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…