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Thursday

No-Bake Valentine's Cheesecake



Valentine's Day is this weekend and many of us are looking for those quick and easy desserts that we can whip up in no time. Well you've found one! I usually don't like instant cheesecakes, however this is like no other. It's simple with only a few ingredients - and it tastes heavenly. Feel free to jazz it up with different extracts and flavorings.



For the video tutorial & my taste test (along with my mom's) watch the tutorial video above.


Happy Valentine's Day
This recipe is for 4 medium sized cups. If you're making this recipe for two, simply cut it in half.
For 4 Cheesecakes- You'll Need:
1 8oz. Cream Cheese
1 Tub Cool Whip
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 C. Sugar
Vanilla Cookies (I used almond vanilla)
Red Food Color
Toppings: Candies, Cookies, Sprinkles, etc.
--
4 Cups (plastic or glass)
Piping Bag
Rolling Pin
Sandwich Bag
Directions:
In a mixing bowl:
Add the package of room temperature cream cheese, along with the 1/2 C of sugar.
Using an electric mixer, mix for at least 4 minutes to disintegrate the granulated sugar and remove any chunks of cream cheese.
Add vanilla extract, and mix for another minute until smooth and incorporated.



After the mixture is smooth and creamy, add the cool whip.
Mix the cool whip gently by hand to keep it from losing too much air.
After a couple of minutes, add 2 to 3 drops of red food color, and incorporate.


In a sandwich bag:
Add a few cookies and close tightly, removing large amounts of air.
Lay the bag on a flat surface and crush the cookies using a rolling pin. When rolling over the cookies - be careful not to puncture the bag.
Place a heaping teaspoon of crumbs into each cup. Place an extra cup inside of the dessert cups. Press firmly to compact the crumbs and create a crust. If you don't have a cup that fits within your dessert cup, use the back of a spoon.


Fill a piping bag (no tip needed) with the cheesecake filling.
Fill each cup about halfway with the cheesecake filling. Then top with cookie crumbs and gently pat with the back of a spoon. Continue to pipe cheesecake filling until you've reached the top.
If you don't want two layers - leave out the center cookie crumbs.


Decorate your cheesecakes however you'd like. Chocolate drizzles, candies, cookies, fillings, flowers, etc.
I topped these with Pocky Sticks, Licorice candy, Chocolate hearts, Cookie Crumbs and Cookie pieces.
I hope you guys try out the recipe and enjoy!
Happy V-day.

 Couture in a Cupcake. Bye Guys!

Monday

Football Party Cupcakes & Marshmallow Pops


The Superbowl is coming up very soon and I thought what better than to do some football party cupcakes! So I grabbed my mom and we did a D.I.Y. tutorial on these delicious treats. We had so much fun making these. 

We also made football marshmallow pops which you can find in the video tutorial above. By the way, if you haven't experienced a chocolate covered marshmallow, I think now is the time.



You'll Need:
Cupcakes (Baked & Cooled)
Frosting: White, Black, Green & Chocolate Frosting
Piping Bags
Piping Tips- Ateco Tip #2, Wilton Tip #233, Wilton Tip #5
Tootsie Rolls
Directions:

Step 1: Play by Play Cupcakes 

Start by spreading an even layer of black buttercream over the cupcake. Make sure that the entire cupcake is covered.
Using Ateco tip #2 and white frosting, pipe your "play" onto the cupcake. To do so, pipe a few x's, o's and arrows.
Lastly, using the green buttercream and Wilton tip #233, pipe a grass border around the edge of the cupcake.

Step 2: Field Cupcakes


Cut off the dome top of the cupcake to create a flat surface. Using Wilton tip #5 and the white frosting. Pipe one line in the center of the cupcake. Once again with the "grass" tip and green buttercream, pipe grass on both sides of the line. Fill in the cupcake completely with grass to make sure none of the cake shows.

Decide how many yards you'd like to pipe onto your cupcake. If these are for a birthday party, consider piping an age on the cupcake. Whatever yard line you choose, remember to pipe one number on the left and one on the right side of the line. As seen in the picture.


Remove the tootsie rolls from the wrapper and place on a microwave safe plate. Melt the tootsies in the microwave for a few seconds (about 10) until soft. Carefully (it will be hot) knead the tootsie roll into a ball, then pinch two sides to form into a football. Place on the cupcake and pipe football lines onto the mini football.

Step 3: Football Cupcakes  



This one is super easy. Spread an even layer of chocolate frosting onto your cupcake. Using the white frosting and Wilton tip #5, pipe the football lines onto the cupcake. I started with the long line going down the center, then a few cross-over lines. End with the two curved corner lines and VOILA!
Watch the tutorial for the bonus marshmallow pops seen in the pictures. Enjoy!!
*Couture in a Cupcake*



Sunday

Hey guys! Happy New Year! I'm late, I know but I've been keeping myself busy. I've dedicated this new year to be filled with new things which I'll write more about in an upcoming post. For now, I've got to share one of my favorite cake ball recipes with you....

 This is one dessert that represents the winter in all it's glory. Snow Ball Cake Balls. I first made these last year, and they were a hit. 

When a few of my chocolate cupcakes got ruined during transportation, I thought what better to do with them than recreate them into snow balls. This recipe is great for leftover cakes or cupcakes that you would like to transform.


 I was asked to make a spur of the moment mini birthday cake and was in need of the perfect edible cake toppers. I had plenty of the snow balls made and decided to use them as toppers for an extra treat. The next batch that I made was lemon strawberry cake with white chocolate. The flavor combination was thebomb.com 
 

You'll Need:
Baked, cooled & frosted cupcakes
Coconut flakes
White candy melt or white chocolate
toothpicks or a fork
Mini cupcake liners
Directions:
  • I used 4 chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. This part can be done by hand. Simply add to a bowl (or food processor) and begin to mash with a fork or blend. After about 5 minutes (if by hand) the crumbs should start to form and come together into a dough like consistency.



  • Next we're going to form the balls. Do this by taking a small amount of cake dough and giving it a squeeze to remove air. Then, form that into a small ball. My cake balls were about the size of a golf ball. Allow the balls to freeze for 30 minutes or longer.


  • This step is optional but definitely noticeable. Add about a cup of coconut flakes to a food processor and give it a few pulses. Just enough to cut these coconut flakes into smaller bits.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt down white candy melts (or white chocolate) for 30 second intervals until melted. Remember to stir between intervals to avoid burning.


  • Using toothpicks or a fork, carefully stick into the cake ball. Gently place in the candy melt and give it a nice drench in the candy melt. After it's fully coated, give it a light tap to remove any excess.


  • Immediately after dipping in chocolate, roll into the coconut. When fully covered in coconut, gently remove the toothpick or fork and place into a mini cupcake wrapper. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze. These treats are tasty frozen as well!.

Enjoy!

Gourmet Holiday Caramel Apples recipe and pics guide


Alright cake lovers, it's now officially the Holiday season and we have to get serious up in here. At this moment, I'd like to talk about something very near and dear to my heart. Caramel Apples. I've made it almost tradition. As soon as October comes and caramel apples hit the market shelves, I have to get a pack. They're my go to snack for my Sunday movies, my after dinner dessert, or just when I'm happy...and when I'm sad. When ever I love something this much, I always think "Why not just make it". So, a couple of years ago, I attempted Ze Caramelle Appelle (fake french accent). I thought that I was about to LIVE MY ENTIRE LIFE. However, ten minutes after dipping my apples, there was more caramel on the counter than on the apple. At that moment, I knew I messed up...lol. 

I've known how to make a good caramel sauce for a while now, but the "good caramel sauce" that you make for other desserts my not be good caramel for apple dipping. So, I did my research and went back to the lab aka my test kitchen. I found out two things. 
1. I washed my apples but never removed the wax. Skipping this step alone might result in the caramel slippage. Easily remove the wax by dipping the apples in hot water for a few seconds and rubbing away.
2. I needed a thicker, full proof sauce and I refused to use the caramel candies. Even though that is an option if you prefer to do it that way. 

You guys know I love you, and this is love. I'm sharing with you a delicious caramel apple recipe that will knock those socks right off. This recipe is for 5 medium large apples. If you're making more, simply double or triple the recipe. In the video tutorial (below) I made 4 caramel apples and had plenty of caramel left over for candy making. The caramel is soft, buttery and melts in your mouth. My mom is now slightly addicted. This is a perfect holiday gift. So instead of going for cookie making. Make a few apples, wrap them up in a goodie or treat bag and hand them out as homemade gourmet gifts! 
Also, follow my Instructables page for more recipes like this one.
Click above to watch tutorial.

Recipe:
1 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Light Corn Syrup
1/2 Can (7 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Stick Butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
You'll also need:
4-5 Apples
Sticks for apples (I used wooden cake dowels)
Hot Water
Towel
Waxed Paper
Shortening or nonstick spray
Optional Toppings:
Chopped Peanuts
Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
Chocolate Chips
Christmas decoration candies

Directions:
1. Add all of the caramel sauce ingredients into a sauce pot and cook on medium low heat. Check the sauce often and make sure to stir constantly to avoid the sauce from burning and sticking.

 Using a candy thermometer,cook the sauce until it reaches a temperature of 235 degrees OR just cook the sauce for about 30 minutes until it's thick and creamy!



2. While the caramel sauce is cooking, this is a great time to remove the stem of the apples and add your sticks. I used wooden cake dowels that I cut in half. You can also use Popsicle sticks, actual sticks (this looks beautiful and rustic) or perhaps a long lollipop stick.

Once that's done, place your apple one by one in the hot water and allow to sit for about 10-15 seconds to melt the outside wax. Using a clean towel, gently rub away that wax. You'll know the wax is gone because the apple won't be as shiny. Without this step, the caramel might slide off.

3. Grab a plate or counter space and lay down some waxed or parchment paper. Apply about a tablespoon of shortening to the waxed paper or a good amount of nonstick spray to prevent the apples from sticking.

If you haven't done so already, prepare all of your toppings in bowls.

4. This is the best part. Now that your caramel sauce is ready, remove it from the stove and place with the rest of your setup. Carefully dip an apple (holding it by the stick) into the caramel sauce and roll the apple to coat the entire surface. Hold the apple over the sauce, allowing some to drip away. Immediately dip the apple into the toppings of your choice and place on the parchment paper.


Do this for all of your apples. Be aware that the caramel sauce will start to stiffen up. Get it back to it's consistency by placing it back on the stove for a couple of minutes while stirring, then continue.

5. Drizzle your caramel apples with white chocolate, dark chocolate or colorful candy melts. For a Christmas theme, try drizzling red and/or green candy melts onto the apples. The caramel will stiffen pretty quickly, so if using sprinkle candies apply them with haste or sprinkle into a bowl to dip the apple into.
Allow the apples to sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to ensure that the caramels holds onto those toppings.

6. Turn these apples into gourmet gifts by tying a silk ribbon around the stick and placing into treat bags. I highly encourage you to recreate this recipe rather than melting caramel candies. The quality of the caramel is to die for.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday

Bloody Brain Cake



Halloween is near and everyone is looking for that perfect dessert. Well, this bloody brain cake will give you both a trick and a treat. Spook your guests with this easy brain cake that you can whip up in no time. Click the video to watch the tutorial.


You'll Need:
A metal bowl
Cake batter
Fondant colored light brown (use three drops of brown gel dye)
Burgundy or Maroon gel dye
Strawberry pie/cake filling
Vanilla Frosting
1/2 Cup Water
Long knife

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large metal bowl as you would a cake pan. Pour your batter (1 box or enough for two 8" cakes) into the bowl and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 and bake for 20 more minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
2. Once cooled, remove the cake from the bowl and carve away two sides (across from one another) leaving a curved edge. Continue to round the edges of the cake by carving away little pieces until you get a brain shape. One end will be slighter wider than the other end. Similar to the shape of a chicken with no legs or wings....does that help?
3. Frost the cake with vanilla frosting only applying enough to coat the cake. Then, using a large knife, mark the center of the cake lengthwise. This line will mark the left and right hemisphere of the brain.


4. Create a tan colored fondant by using a 2 to 3 drops of brown gel dye. Once ready, roll pieces of fondant into logs about 1 cm. in width, or as thick as a Crayola marker. Create different lengths.

5. Begin to add your fondant pieces to the cake at random but working on one side at a time. Remember not to cross that center line. Curve some of the fondant pieces that are closest to the line for a more realistic brain.

6. Similar to a puzzle, fit the pieces of fondant together keeping them as tight as possible to avoid gaps. Every once in a while, lightly press the fondant to flatten the surface and push the pieces closer together.
7. Once you've covered the entire cake. Use a large knife to create the center gap and separate both hemispheres. We're not cutting the cake, just using it as a spacer, you can also use a ruler for this.
8. In a bowl add 1/2 cup of strawberry cake filling, 1/4 cup of water and a couple drops of burgundy or maroon gel dye. Mix to combine. Depending on brand of filling, another 1/2 cup of water may be added to thin the sauce out. It should be a jelly like consistency but slightly runny.
9. Spoon the sauce down the center of the brain, and fill in any small gaps between the fondant pieces. Allow some of the "blood" to drip down the cake and also smear some on the cake plate.
Top with a knife!

Happy Halloween
Click above to watch the video tutorial.