Vanilla Almond Buttercream Frosting

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Vanilla Almond Buttercream

This weekend I wanted to play a little with baking a cake and decorating it since it has been a while since I’ve made and decorated one. I decided upon a vanilla cake, baked it, then the big decision was what kind of frosting I would use. I prefer buttercream, but it doesn’t set up as well as the frostings I’ve made with shortening. I really don’t like the frostings made with just shortenings, so I decided to do a mixture. The recipe was inspired by the recipe I found on I Am Baker‘s website.

To make the buttercream, you will need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening (I realized I put in a whole stick when I only needed half, but it still turned out pretty well with the whole stick)
1 two pound bag of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup milk (I used Vanilla Silk Milk)

Directions:
1. Put the butter, shortening, vanilla extract, and almond extract in the mixer and cream together about 30 seconds.
2. Dump the entire bag of powdered sugar in, along with the milk. Mix until creamy and desired texture. You can add more milk if you’d like your frosting to be thinner.
3. Enjoy!

I kept my frosting a bit stiffer since I knew I’d be decorating the cake using rosettes.

Vanilla Almond

Baking love,
Heather

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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

Gluten-Free Cake Pops

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Finished Cake Pops

Tomorrow I am taking a photography class from my friend, Beryl. Like I mentioned in a previous post, she asked me to make a little something for the participants coming to the class. We settled on the camera cake pops and I decided to make them gluten-free so she could also enjoy in the deliciousness. To make the cake, I used the same recipe as I used for the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes. The recipe for the cake can be found at food.com.

To begin, I gathered all my ingredients. I started by mixing my dry ingredients in the stand mixer.

Dry Ingredients

After the ingredients were mixed well, I added all the wet ingredients one by one, using a spatula to push down any batter stuck to the sides of the bowl.

Wet Ingredients

Then, I poured all the ingredients in my pan that I had prepared by spraying with cooking spray and powdering with gluten-free flour. The cake was in the oven for about 33 minutes, until it came out looking like this:
Finished Cake

I let the cake cool, then followed my normal cake pop procedures! First, I broke up the cake.
Broken Up Cake

Then, I used a gluten-free frosting to mix with the pieces- I only put in about half of the container, since this cake was a bit smaller than what I usually make, and ended up adding about a third of what was left to the mix to make it the right consistency.
Frosting Container

Cake with Frosting

Frosting Jar

I mixed everything up…
Dough Mix

Then molded the batter into cameras!
Cameras on Pan

I put the cameras in the freezer to set and set up my decorating area while I was waiting.
Table Prep

After about 15 minutes, I pulled the cameras out of the freezer and got to work- first with the sticks, then completing the rest of the camera!

Cake Pops with Sticks

Camera Cake Pops

I did find that the consistency of the cake was a bit different than the cake mixes that I normally use and had a tendency to fall apart when I was trying to tap off the excess chocolate. I had a few casualties so, to remedy the situation, I put the cake pops back in the freezer and they were much easier to handle. In the end, I have plenty of super cute camera cake pops for the participants!

Finished Pops

Baking love,
Heather

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes and Cake Decorating Week 3

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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