Monday, 30 November 2015

Happy Retirement!

Everyone deserves a time in their life where they can sit back, truly relax and celebrate all the hard work they’ve done.

Co-workers of Kathy wanted to show their gratitude and help Kathy celebrate her retirement with cake!

This was a half and half cake. Half vanilla butter cake and half double chocolate. The cake was iced with vanilla buttercream and all decorations were made with coloured vanilla buttercream.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sports Themed

A little boy was celebrating his 4th birthday and his mother ordered a sports themed cake. She told me a little bit about him, what sports he loved the most and what some of his favourite colours were. From there I created a two tiered birthday cake, featuring baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer. I also made cookies to match the cake (showcased in a previous post).  The bottom layer was my vanilla butter cake, a rich cake and perfect for stacking. The top was a batch of my double chocolate cake. Both layers were iced in a vanilla buttercream and covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. All the decorations were also made out of fondant and painted with food colour.
The caked was loved by the family and especially the little boy. He had a great party playing with his friends and of course eating cake!


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Gourmet Anyone?

Simple cupcakes are great. The ratio of moist cake to creamy buttercream generally hits the spot and it is difficult to find a person who would say no to a cupcake. While reflecting on how wonderful cupcakes really are, I started to ask myself..."can they be improved?" Of course they can!

A client was having a fancy party and wanted cupcakes to help celebrate but not just any cupcakes. She needed something with a little flair. So I came up with these three gourmet cupcake recipes, all with filling and all with an extra little somethin' somethin' on the top.

The first flavor started with my salted caramel chocolate mudslide cupcake. These are always my best seller and I don’t ever doubt their flavour factor. People love them. Instead of doing a vanilla buttercream with a hint of salted caramel mixed in, I did a swirl of chocolate buttercream and salted caramel butter cream on top and then to take it over the edge I made circles of dark chocolate lattice and while the chocolate was still wet I sprinkled them with large flaked sea salt. After the chocolate hardened, I graced the top of each cupcake with the decoration. These were excellent. My gourmet twist on an old flavour has now become a new best seller.

The second flavour was a fresh lemon cupcake with a lemon buttercream. These cupcakes tasted like sunshine. If you like lemon flavoured sweets, these are the cakes for you. I took these over the top by making creamy vanilla custard to fill the center of these cupcakes and topping them off with a wedge of lemon candy and some yellow sanding sugar.

The third flavour, a new favourite of my official taste tester, Vanilla cupcakes filled with white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and topped with a fresh raspberry buttercream and a slice of raspberry. I started by baking a crustless white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. It was a velvety cheesecake, swirled with homemade raspberry preserves. After doing some research on cheesecake stuffed cupcakes, I decided to bake the cheesecake portion twice, by placing slices of cooked and cooled cheesecake in-between layers of cupcake batter and then baking off the cupcakes. The buttercream couldn’t be fresher tasting. I literally threw a handful of fresh raspberries into the mixer while making my vanilla buttercream. The raspberries created a beautiful dark pink colour and added their wonderful tartness to the flavour. I topped each cupcake with a piece of raspberry so people had an idea of what they were getting into.

All three of these cupcakes added that extra flair to the party planners were going for with their stuffed insides and the small treats gracing their tops.  


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

'Tis the season

Summer is the time for celebrations. There are a lot of people getting engaged, having babies, getting married, buying houses...
Family and friends gather together to shower the guests of honour with beautiful gifts and love. They eat finger food and sip champagne punch. They play silly games and share words of advice. I'm sure we've all been to a shower where you save all the bows from the gifts and make the guest of honour wear them as some sort of hat. In fact there are pictures somewhere of me wearing said hat...
I think the food and drink really can make or break the party. Guest look forward to munching on
things like spinach dip, fruit trays, cucumber sandwiches and desserts. Traditionally a cake would adorn the food table ready to be cut into and shared, but lately cupcakes have been gaining popularity. They are the perfect size for snacking and create less mess as you don't have to worry about a cake knife and forks for everyone.
I was asked to make cupcakes for a wedding shower, something pretty and girly. I ended up making 4 flavours, vanilla, salted caramel, pink satin and pink champagne. I think pink champagne is a perfect cupcake (or cake) flavour for a shower, even the name sounds celebratory. The decorations were delicate and feminine. Most of them had tiny sugar flours atop the buttercream, but I choose to decorate a dozen of them in a quilted fondant pattern. Cupcakes or cake are meant to sit out at a party and be part of the decorations. I wanted to make sure they fit in with the theme.
When people take a big step in their life, it calls for a celebration and what better way to celebrate than with cupcakes? After all, I always say 'A party without cake is just a meeting.'

Saturday, 1 August 2015

August Cupcake of the Month!

Watermelon is the perfect picnic food...
Watermelon cupcakes are better!!
August Cupcake of the Month...Watermelon Cupcakes!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

I took a new adventure!

Have you ever worked on a project, got about half way through and thought “This is ridiculous! I’m done. I’m not finishing this!” But then you start to feel guilty about not finishing so you finish the project begrudgingly? And then you complete the project and start thinking “I’m a freaking rockstar!”…?? I recently made and decorated cookies and this entire cycle happened to me.

I loved the baking part and used a nice recipe for no spread sugar cookies with a hint of almond flavouring. I then made some really nice royal icing and coloured it in all the colours I wanted.  I even took the time to make little disposable piping bags out of parchment paper. The cookies were to be sports ball themed and I had all my designs ready and since decorating cookies is still rather new to me, I had done extensive research and watched multiple videos on the correct techniques. I got everything ready and sat down at my kitchen table and got to work. I purposely baked extra cookies so I had a few to practice on. A rookie mistake I made was not realizing how much time was needed for a colour to dry before adding more icing. (Apparently it is hours). I also didn’t realize just how spreadable the icing consistency was and it doesn’t always stay in the lines you want it too. I was quite frustrated with myself at the half way point.  I had to do each cookie in stages to make sure the lines on the ball was visible, so I had trouble picturing the end result in my mind and I didn’t like how they were looking midway. I wanted to wipe off all the icing and start over on several occasions but with royal icing on a cookie…starting over isn’t as easy as it is on a cake.  I trudged through the rest of the project and when I got to the end I was so impressed with myself! The cookies turned out exactly how I imagined they would. According to my official taste testers, they tasted great, and the customer loved then and they went over really well at her party!

Would I decorate cookies again? I’d have to think long and hard about it and my arm might have to be twisted a little. They took a lot of time and patience but the end result was great!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

July cupcake of the month!

Nothing beats a cool glass of lemonade on a hot summers day! Pink lemonade cupcakes! July cupcake of the month!

Monday, 22 June 2015

We scare because we care!

Monsters Inc. is one of my favourite Pixar movies and makes a great theme for a children’s birthday party!

I really enjoyed making this cake. Buttercream drawings are how I got my start in cake decorating. I love how vibrant and textured the decorations come out. Don’t get me wrong, fondant creates beautiful, smooth and detailed cakes, but there is something about buttercream that just makes it feel so authentic.

This cake was made for a little boy celebrating his first birthday! They wanted to make sure everyone at the party was happy so they requested the cake be half vanilla and half chocolate. I really like my vanilla butter cake recipe, so I made sure to use that and decided to try out a chocolate butter cake recipe for the other half. Both turned out great. Light and moist.  I used vanilla buttercream for all the decorations and was very pleased to be able to test out my new ‘americolor’ gel paste food colours to create Mike and Sully!


Monday, 1 June 2015

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

This cake is drool worthy. Salted. Caramel. Chocolate. Cheesecake. Cake. Seriously. This cake was sooo good. Basically is a smooth cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of rich chocolate cake, all covered with creamy salted caramel buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache, drizzled with more salted caramel, and sprinkled with sea salt.

I started off by baking moist chocolate cake in 2 round cake pans. I used my trusted double chocolate cake recipe with lots of cocoa powder and coffee to really bring out that chocolate flavour. I then baked a plain cheesecake, no crust, in my spring-form pan. After baking, I put the cheese cake into the freezer for 2 hours before assembling.

While the cheesecake was freezing, I whipped up a batch of salted caramel buttercream and made some dark chocolate ganache. I assembled the cake starting with a chocolate layer, than the cheese cake, then more chocolate cake.

I crumb coated the entire cake with the buttercream and placed it back in the freezer for about 20 minutes. I then put a final layer of buttercream on the cake and topped it with a generous portion of the dark chocolate ganache.

I poured the caramel into a piping bag and drizzled it over the top of the cake and then sprinkled it with large flake sea salt.

Everyone raved about the cake and I will definitely be making this again.

This would be the perfect cake for a special birthday or celebration, especially for those cheesecake lovers!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Cupcake of the Month

Dads and Bacon go together like cake and icing! Perfect Fathers Day treat! June cupcake of the month!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Every mother deserves flowers!

Mother’s Day always makes me think of flowers. I think about the cards children make their mothers in pre-school using finger paints to make flowers on the paper. I think about all the bouquets being sent around the world to Mothers who might live far away. I think about my Mother, whose mother’s day wish was her 3 children helping her garden.
Well I don’t garden. I refuse to. I do not enjoy it at all and you will never see a pretty flower bed at my house. Unless years from now I can convince my own children to garden for me…

 I bake though! I thought this year…why couldn’t I incorporate flowers into my baking? I found some recipes for lavender cupcakes and some dried lavender buds at my local health food store and got to baking.

These lavender-honey cupcakes are delicious! You get that beautiful, flowery smell from the lavender, but it definitely is not over powering. The cream cheese buttercream has a touch of honey which really adds sweetness to the overall cupcake.

I really enjoyed trying something new and unexpected and the results were fabulous and having the lavender colour in them just put these cupcakes over the top! These cupcakes would complement any summer celebration.  

Notice my new cake stands? They were a little side project. They are old pottery wheels that I took apart and sanded, repainted and put back together. They are heavy duty, made of metal and the tops spin. Good find!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

All Smiles

I am not a big fan of ladybugs as a bug, but in cake form? Adorable! Another little lady was celebrating her first birthday and after seeing a picture of the first ladybug cake I did, her family wanted to order the same theme, but a smaller version. This cake was inspired by the very top layer of the original cake.  

The cake itself was funfetti flavour, a rich vanilla butter cake filled with sprinkles. It was iced with a layer of chocolate buttercream before the fondant layer went on. All decorations were fully edible except the antenna. Those were made out of pipe cleaners.

I sat the ladybug on a green cake board and added some grass and a few white flowers around it to create a more natural surrounding. She was topped off with a big smile and a little pink bow!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

May cupcake of the month!

Just in time for Mothers Day! Lavender and Honey! A beautiful bouquet in the form of a cupcake!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Give a dog a bone

Let’s face it, my boy Bentley is probably one of the most handsome dogs you’ve seen...

...and he deserves lots of yummy treats (based purely on his good looks as he is not a good listener)! In reality he doesn’t get a lot of treats, usually it is only once a day at bedtime, but I still wanted to make sure I was giving him something healthy. I put thought and care into the food myself and my husband eats, why wouldn’t I do the same for my dog?

Just before Christmas I started experimenting with some homemade dog treats and had successfully made cheddar cheese biscuits and sweet potato biscuits. Now Bentley would never tell me something didn’t taste good but I do think he enjoyed the cheddar cheese ones best.  We are just about out of those biscuits so I figured I better make some more. I love making new things so I searched for a new recipe.  There is a lady from Australia whose entire YouTube channel is about dogs. How to properly care for them, how to make them food and of course treats. The recipe I settled on was from her. Here is the link to that video!

Peanut butter dog treats…and Bentley loves them!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Easter Bunny was here!

The month of April is lucky enough to have Easter weekend and I don’t know about all of you, but our Easter weekend is always full of family…and food. This year we stuffed ourselves with roast beef, turkey, ham and all of the fixings. We also had dessert. Homemade lemon meringue pie, ‘Stained glass’ cake, and it wouldn’t be an Easter without carrot cake. After all that is the Easter Bunny’s favourite kind of cake!

This year I decided to make the traditional carrot cake into cupcakes. I left out the raisins (several people in my life refuse to eat them…strange, I know.) and added in some toasted walnuts. I put in some crushed pineapple and found that it really kept the cake moist. The cupcakes were topped off with a swirl of cinnamon cream cheese icing and a sprinkle of more toasted walnuts.

They were definitely a hit and would make a great treat any time of year!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Ladybug Theme

It looks like those cute little ladybugs I had made a while ago found their way onto a cake!

A little girly was celebrating her first birthday and needed a cake to match her adorable smile. Her Aunt ordered her birthday cake for her as gift and wanted it to match the ladybug theme of the party. She had sent me a picture of what they wanted the cake to look like, so I was able to use that as a reference and add my little twist of creativity to it.

I tried out some new recipes and techniques this time around. I baked a vanilla butter cake for the bottom layer as well as the large ladybug on the top. I looooooved this recipe. It was such a nice cake to torte and barely had any crumb. I think it would be a great cake to carve with. I also baked a chocolate butter cake for the middle layer. This layer was delicious but definitely more crumbs.  I made a simple syrup mixture and between each layer of cake I brushed on the simple syrup before spreading a layer of buttercream. This is a great trick to keeping the cake moist! I received rave reviews from the cake eaters at the party, they loved the new recipes! I will definitely keep them in my repertoire.

I covered all three layers in a simple vanilla buttercream before covering them in coloured fondant. The red and black fondants are store bought as those deep colours are so hard to make, but the rest of the colours are all homemade marshmallow fondant.

The parents also wanted a smash cake for the birthday girl so she could really get messy! They requested a sugar free cake, so I made a sugar free banana and apple sauce cake. Even without the sugar, it still tasted great! My hubby thoroughly enjoyed my test run cake!  I baked it in my giant cupcake cake pan and decorated it to look like a simple bouquet of flowers.  I tied it into the larger cake with both the colour theme as well as the little lady bug and leaf decoration.

Everything on the cakes is edible, minus the boards between the layers and the dowels used for structure. I think they turned out lovely and made a great addition to the party!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spring Sweater

My nephew turned 3 at the beginning of this month and to celebrate his parents threw him a party. It was a lot of fun visiting with family, eating some good food and especially watching my nephew open all his gifts. He got some pretty cool toys...
Of course we had to be the boring Aunt and Uncle that bought him clothes, but I found some really cute shirts and pants at Old Navy and couldn't resist.
I wanted a sweater or jacket to go with the clothes I had bought and searched my pattern books until I found a hooded knit sweater. My husband picked out the yarn colour and I got to work.

It is a fairly plain pattern but would look great with some jeans and provides that perfect warmth for those early spring days.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Little Ladybugs

These cute little Ladies are fully edible. They were created with black and red fondant with just a touch of water to glue all the parts together.

I rolled out the red bodies and black heads separately, trying to keep them relatively the same size but not identical. I like when things still look 'Homemade' and not cookie cutter.
After attaching the heads to the bodies I rolled out a very thin snake of black fondant and attached it down the middle of the back. I then marked 3 spots on either side of the back and attached the black dots and after creating tiny little balls of black fondant I placed them on the back of the bug and patted them flat with my finger.
I think they are just adorable and would compliment the top of any cake or cupcake!

Sunday, 8 March 2015


Everyone gets excited when they hear that a new baby is on the way. You may even get extra excited when that new baby is going to make you and Auntie or and Uncle for the first time! That is exactly what was happening to the customer that ordered this baby sweater. She wanted to make sure she spoiled her soon-to-be nephew and knew that one of the best ways to show her love was to wrap him up in something homemade.

This is a crocheted sweater, made to fit 12-18 months. Both the colours and pattern were picked out by the customer. I love the green and cream together. The stripe pattern was made unique by the raised white stripe (easiest to see evidence of this on the collar).
The sweater was finished out with matching large buttons, attached with the green yarn to make them really pop.
This sweater would compliment any outfit for an infant and would make a great spring/fall jacket for those days that are not quite warm enough for a t-shirt.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Chocolate, Chocolate and More Chocolate

We were invited to a friends for dinner the other week and they requested that we bring dessert. My dear husband didn't let me know that we needed to bring dessert until a few hours before we had to leave. This meant I needed to find a recipe that was easy, fairly quick and one that I would have all the required ingredients on hand.
While scouring my cook books and Google I remembered that a new bundt pan was given to me for Christmas from my wonderful Mother-in-law and I had been waiting for a chance to use it. Now was the perfect time!
I settled on a triple chocolate pound cake. A scrumptious, dense chocolate cake drizzled with a smooth and rich chocolate ganache and then sprinkled with white chocolate shavings.

The weather ended up to be pretty nasty that afternoon and sadly our dinner plans were rescheduled. I was disappointed that we couldn't share this yummy dessert with our friends, but my official taste tester was put to work and we still got to enjoy a slice after our dinner at home.