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5/31/16

Hot Chocolate Mug Cake


Hey cakenistas. These past few week has been rainy and grey. Rainy days can have a tendency of pulling the laziness out of us and usually call for relaxation and a movie. I finally had a break in the middle of finals week and took the opportunity to lounge around and play a few games. 

Of course, I was also in the mood for something sweet but who wants to bake when they're trying to relax? 

Not me. So, I created the ultimate combo: one of my favorite drinks - hot chocolate with a dash of cinnamon (if you haven't tried it, you're missing out) and chocolate cake. Why not kill 2 tasks with 1 stone. I made a couple of hot chocolate mug cakes that not only tasted like decadent hot chocolate, but looked like it also. 

This 3-ingredient chocolate cake is topped with chocolate ganache, chocolate whipped cream and a chocolate smoke cloud. I hope you like chocolate ^_^

Hot Chocolate Mug Cake
Double the recipe for large mugs
Cake:
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 large egg
chocolate chips
Whipped Cream:
1/3 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp powdered sugar
Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c chocolate chips
You'll Need:
white candy melt
sandwich bag
parchment paper
piping bag & star tip
microwave
mug
spoons

Step 1: Cake


Add cake ingredients (sugar, cocoa powder, egg) directly to the cup and stir together until completely combined. Add as many chocolate chips as you'd like and microwave for 1 minute. Add an extra 15 seconds if you'd like.

Step 2: Chocolate Whipped Cream


Combine the whipped cream ingredients (cream, cocoa, sugar) to a bowl and whip for a couple of minutes until stiff peak stage. Once they hold stiff peaks, stop whipping. If you do over whip and the cream begins to break, add a small amount of cream and whip again to bring it back to life.
Put the whipped cream in a piping bag with a star tip and allow to refrigerate until your ready to pipe.

Step 3: Chocolate Smoke


This is what's going to create that perfect little touch to your hot chocolate mug cake.
Completely melt down the white chocolate or white candy melt in a small bowl. I microwave my candy melt in a bowl for 1 minute 30 seconds while stirring everything 30 seconds. Carefully place candy melt in a sandwich bag and cut off a corner.
On a sheet of parchment, create a smoke wave by piping a question mark shape and following through with a smaller wave and long tail (similar to a snake). Set this aside for about 5 minutes to harden.

Step 4: Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan (or microwave) combine the chocolate and cream. If using the stove, heat on low heat and stir slowly until completely melted. It's a small enough batch to do without a double boiler, but be careful not to scorch the sauce.

Spoon the chocolate ganache over the cake and tap the mug a few times to allow for the ganache to settle into any crevasses and create a smooth surface.

Step 5: Putting it together


Pipe a swirl of chocolate whipped cream on top of the ganache.
Finish with a swirl of white chocolate smoke.
Dig in and enjoy :)


5/28/16

Maple Bacon Cake Doughnuts


While I don't eat them too often, I love a good glazed doughnut. I've always wanted to make them at home but usually don't have the time to roll out a dough, cut the doughnuts and allow them to rest. I also typically don't like to deep fry too many foods so I purchased a mini doughnut pan perfect for cake batter.

This maple bacon doughnut recipe is made with a quick one bowl batter recipe that is simple and absolutely delish. The crispy salty bacon and the sweet maple glaze is to die for. The video tutorial above shows everything start to finish along with my taste test (my fav part). I hope you give these a try and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more :)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 lg egg
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 c whole milk (I used soy)
Glaze:
maple syrup
1 tbsp salted butter
1/4 powdered sugar
3 strips pork bacon
You'll Need:
Doughnut Pan
Measuring cups & spoons
Large Bowl & Whisk

Step 1: Doughnut Batter 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) and whisk together until fully incorporated. This helps to make the batter light without having to sift.





Make a small well in the center of the flour mix and add all wet ingredients (milk, egg, vanilla, butter). Stir until just combined.


I then used a measuring cup to pour my batter into the mini doughnut pan.


Bake for 10 minutes of until springy to the touch.

Step 2: Bacon 


Use as much bacon as you'd like here, after all they're your doughnuts!
Cut the raw bacon into small pieces and cook on low heat to slowly render the fat. Once your bacon is done, remove from the heat and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

Step 3: Maple Glaze 


The glaze is very easy. You'll make as little or as much as you need for your doughnuts. The consistency is also up to you. Start with melted butter, then stir in powdered sugar. Add the maple syrup a couple tablespoons at a time until it reaches the consistency you'd like.

Step 4: Dip and Top 


By now the doughnuts should have slightly cooled, the bacon is ready to go and the glaze is perfect. Now dip those babies in the maple glaze and immediately top with bacon pieces before it sets.

Like all doughnuts, these are best warm so eat up and enjoy!





5/25/16

May Showers Cake - Made My Bakers Box


Most of can agree that one of the best parts of May are the beautiful blooming flowers. In celebration of the May flowers and my Mother's birthday/ Mother's Day I decided to do a flower wreath cake.


Click to watch the video tutorial.

If you haven't yet heard of a flower wreath cake, it's simply a cake decorated with buttercream flowers in the shape of a wreath as seen in the picture. Of course I took it a step further by painting a grassy border for a fun Spring scenery. I was inspired by this Months Bakers Box which had baby blue frosting, sugar lady bugs decos, sugar honey bee decos, green fondant and other fun goodies.





You'll Need:
Cake (fully prepped and ready)
Gel Dye: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red or Pink, Brown
Edible sugar ladybugs and bees
Paint Brush
Flower Nail
Parchment or Waxed Paper cut into squares
Cake Scrape/ Bench Scraper
Piping Bag & Tips: Tip #1M, #127
Toothpick

___________________________________________________

Step 1:
I started with one big bowl of white vanilla frosting.


Color half of the frosting sky blue. Cover the entire cake in the frosting by starting with a large amount on the top. 

Use a cake decorating spatula or large knife to spread the frosting evenly on the surface in clean swipes. Bring that frosting down the sides of the cake and use the cake scraper for a smooth and clean finish.



Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until buttercream has hardened.
Divide the rest of the frosting into as many colors as you'd like for your flowers. I had a bowl of yellow, red, and the rest of the blue.


Step 2:
I recommend watching the video above if you've never attempted buttercream flowers. Using these 2 tips give a great variety.
Fill the piping bag with the frosting color of your choice. Starting with a petal tip ( there are many, I used #127) always allow for the thick side of the tip to be inward or at times touching the rose nail. The thin side gives the flared edge of the flower which should be outward at all times.
Flower 1: Pipe a small dot of frosting onto the rose nail to attach a square of parchment paper. Start a rose piping a small mound in the center. Pipe one small petal around the mound, bringing it fully to where you started. Pipe another petal the same way and continue turning the nail while piping. Use this method to make the flower as large or small as you'd like. Carefully remove the flower from the nail and set aside.



Flower 2: Pipe 2 layers of ruffle petals while turning the rose nail. I piped 3 petals per row. As seen in the top 2 pictures on picture 2.
Flower 3: Pipe 5 small petals flat onto the rose nail while turning as needed. Do this by starting in the center of the flower nail, while piping slightly go outward and bring it back in to the center. Slightly overlap the next petal onto the previous one and continue.




Flower 4: Using the same tip (picture 3) make a closed flower by piping a small mound and surrounding that mound with petals. Each petal should be piped inward and not flared out. This is a very easy flower once you have the flow down.



Flower 5: Using the #1M tip (picture 4) make a simple rosette flower by starting in the center and piping outward while turning the nail.



Flower 6: Use the same tip and hold it directing onto the flower nail. Pipe a small amount of frosting while turning the rose nail. Stop piping and keep slowly turning the nail - pull up quickly to help make that perfect space in the center.
Optional: Using other colors and tips, fill in the centers of a few of the flowers.


Step 3: Grass


Picture of Grass

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Place all of the flowers in the freezers (10 minutes) or fridge (20 minutes) until completely hardened.
Luckily the next few steps are a lot of easier.
Dip the paint brush into the green gel dye and brush directly onto the cake starting from the bottom and going upward. Make some grass strands darker and some lighter. Paint around the entire circumference of the cake until the grass is thick enough to your liking.
Place the candy bees randomly on the sides of the cake. Dip the toothpick directly into the brown gel dye and create a trail behind the bees by dotting a pattern onto the cake.

Step 4: Topping

Picture of Topping



Once the flowers are completely hardened, remove them from the waxed paper and place them around the top of the cake. This should be random. Play around with the placement of the flowers and try not to over think it.
I used a couple of shades of green buttercream to pipe a few leaves throughout the flowers to fill in any gaps.

Lastly top with the sugar ladybugs and pat yourself on the back. Grab the camera and a plate - you deserved this.


4/28/16

Intro to Lavender | Lemon Lavender Cake Recipe


Hey Cakenistas! My Bakers Box and I brought in the Spring with a delicious string of Lemon and Lavender flavors. If you haven't tried this tasty combination, allow me to guide you. Lemon and Lavender together create a perfect Springtime marriage. The zest and freshness from the lemon is beautifully balanced by the floral fragrance of the lavender. 






Just like the rose, lavender is an edible flower that can also be added to savory dishes. I was introduced to lavender as an herb at my second culinary school. I made a lavender honey glaze for sauteed chicken breast and I've been hooked ever since. For those moments when I didn't have lavender in the pantry, I'd use thyme. Thyme isn't as floral, but the flavors are similar when used in savory dishes.

 

Dried lavender can be found randomly in specialty food stores, markets and online (Amazon). I actually found this beautiful big jar of lavender at Home Goods!! Yes I love them. You can also purchase lavender oil, which is the same. 



A little heads-up for those first timers - lavender may be somewhat of a required taste for those who aren't crazy about floral flavors. If it's your first time, just add 1 tsp. of dried lavender to this recipe (or 2 drops of oil). Click below to watch the full tutorial.

 Lemon Lavender Cake Recipe


Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 tbsp softened butter
1 tsp lemon oil or extract(optional)
zest and pulp of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (about 1/3 c)
2 tsp dried lavender

Glaze for loaves:
1/2 tsp lemon oil or extract
1-2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Frosting for cupcakes:
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon extract
1 dash salt
Yellow or Lavender gel dye (optional)



Step 1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment: Add granulated sugar, butter, vanilla extract and eggs. Cream for about 4 minutes.


Step 2.
Add lemon zest, flavorings (vanilla and lemon), lemon juice, lemon pulp and lavender. Continue to mix for a minute until all ingredients are combined.


Provided by My Bakers Box
Step 3.
Add flour while mixer is on low, and add oil. Mix until just combined.




Step 4.
I received some beautiful cake loaf pans and cupcake liners, which I used. Fill the cupcake pan up 3/4 of the way, and loaf pans 3/4 of the way. Of course you can do one or the other. Bake cake loaves at 350 for about 25 minutes and cupcakes for about 16 minutes.






Glaze Icing:

I love glaze because it's so ridiculously easy. Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl and begin whisking in milk. After the first tbsp of milk add drop by drop to control consistency.

Frosting:

In a mixer: Cream butter for 3 minutes or until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add salt and flavorings. Mix for 5 minutes. If needed add a splash of milk or cream. Optional: Divide frosting to color one half yellow, and one half lavender.

Decorate Those Cakes:

Cake Loaves: Once cooled, poke several holes down the middle of the cake and spoon over glaze. Let sit for a minute and add a second layer of glaze. Top with lavender. Using Wilton tip #67 finish by piping a shell line down the center of the cake for added couture.


Cupcakes: Fill two piping bags with buttercream (one with yellow, one with lavender/violet) using tip #22. Start in the center of the cupcake and pipe in a continuous circle until you've almost reached the edge. Instead of stopping, begin to pipe upwards leaving a complete gap in the center. Finish by garnishing an edge with fresh lemon zest and lavender.



If you'd like to purchase your own #MyBakersBox subscription box, visit MyBakersBox.com and enter "Couture Cakes" at checkout for $5 off! Enjoy :)