Friday, January 20, 2012

Cakes - the beginning...

I have always been a cake box and can of frosting in a 13"x9" pan kind of girl.  That is until I had my own kids.  For my son's 2nd Birthday (he's 5 now) I got an idea.  (By the way, whenever I say this my hubby braces for impact, he also jumps on board, usually.)  I wanted to make a train cake.  Themed Parties need themed cakes right?  So, I went out and got this Train Cake Pan. was it cool!

I like to practice when it comes to decorating so I started 2 months before my son's party.  I got images on line and printed them out, spent way too much time and money on candy to practice with.  The things you learn in a candy store or at a craft store.  You can buy edible spray paint, and chocolate rocks, and white rock candy makes a great smoke stack, oh, and lets not forget Twizzlers, they make excellent railroad tracks!  That was fun.  Lucky for me, I got so much candy I was able to use the leftovers from the practice cakes to use on the actual Birthday Cake.

These are the practice cakes.  I was pleased with them.  I took pictures and wrote a list with a description for each cake for the main event.

Here are the final cakes.I used that green edible spray paint for the bottom, so it looked like grass (meh) and the black for the coals in the coal train.  You can see the Twizzlers for tracks.

Here is a close up of the smoke stack, I got a nice big one for the Birthday boy.  Oh, he loved it.  

I used the recipe that came with the pan for the cakes.  It was pretty good, like I said, I like box cakes, so anything homemade seems heavier to me.   (Can we say homemade = no chemicals boys and girls?)   It held up really well and there was plenty of batter left over to make a little cake.  My hubby was awesome and whipped me up a stencil, then we just used sugar to decorate.

Not bad for the 'grown-ups' cake.  My boy thought it was the greatest!

As you can see, I am still a beginner and I pray to God, I never wind up on Cake Wrecks.  Thanks Brooke for showing me something that is even like that out there.  I am wondering if I should be more careful knowing there is something like that out there. But, I am just a Mom, trying to make things fun for my kids.  

My next cake was a year and a half later for my daughter's 2nd Birthday (she's almost 4 now.)  I wanted to try my go at piping.  (Insert laugh here.)  We were having a flower party, so I borrowed this pan.  I used a Lemon Flavored Cake Box, but this frosting.  I loved this icing recipe for a year or so, I don't as much anymore.  I really like it for piping, I think it tastes great, it just doesn't settle well with me anymore.  Hold your breath... wait for it...

Okay, now you can laugh.  This is my first try at any form of piping. I had never even heard of a crumb coat.  Fortunately I have some nice friends on FaceBook that gave me some tips and pointers and my second attempt was much better.  Then, so was the third.  

What I learned about piping is that it takes practice and some serious hand strength.  For now, I do not have that hand strength or the time to practice and build up the hand strength.  I may take it up again later, but not right now, I need to get my hand to a point where I can shake someones hand with a firm grip again.  :)   

While looking for flower cake pans and flower ideas I saw cupcakes in a basket.  I can't find the orginial person I got the idea from, but here is mine, it is copied and from someone clever I assume. 

So stinking cute!  The bottom of the basket is filled with Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats (not as good as they sound).  Then you add the cupcake layer with 3 regular sized cupcakes and then Mini's all around.  (Lemon again, yes, my favorite.)  I used the same icing as last time too.  You can't see it in this picture, but I got a little wild with the colors of icing and put some white with some colored and got a little stripe.

Since I had some left over cupcakes I decided to still pipe them as flowers and give them to friends.  I loved these little boxes I found at Michael's.

The box was just a little cutesy way of dropping of a little surprise gift to some girl friends here and there.  :) 

There you have it, the beginning of my cake creations.  These will be few and far between.  But, fun, nonetheless.  I hope you got inspired or a giggle, whichever suits your fancy.

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