Sunday, September 4, 2011

Playing with cakes and a pie cookie

I have done some playing around just for the fun of it baking. Usually on Sunday I feel the need to bake.

I wanted to try a fondant flower. This one is a little to fat so next time I will have to roll it out thinner.

Lemon meringue cookie? It was good, we liked it, we eat them all!
Just because I wanted to make it after seeing a how to on the internet.
Friends invited us over for dinner and I offered to bring dessert. I couldn't decide between chocolate or strawberry so I did both.

Pina Colada cupcakes

I think these are my new favorite. So yummy, fluffy and light.
I found the recipe on Confessions of a Cookbook Queens blog. I altered it to make it vegan.


1 box of Duncan Hines Pineapple supreme cake mix
20.25 oz can crushed pineapple
4 egg whites
1/2 cup vegan butter


1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup butter flavor Crisco
1/2 cup coconut milk (the kind used as a milk replacer)
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
Sweetened shredded coconut for garnish and added yummyness

Preheat oven to 350 and get your cupcake tins ready for goodness.

Strain pineapple pressing gently to get all the juice out. I was able to get exactly the 1 cup I needed from my can.

If you have a kitchen-aid, everyone should have a kitchen-aid, add cake mix, egg whites, butter, and pineapple juice. Beat on low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Turn up your speed to medium and mix another 2 minutes. Carefully fold in your pineapples. I forgot this step and had to add them to the cupcakes right before baking. Not recommended.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Place in the oven and wait for your nose to be sent into a heightened degree of pleasure. Unfortunatly you will have to wait 15-20 minutes before you will get to burn your tongue tasting their goodness. They are better with frosting but still delightful on their own.

Once they are cool add frosting either by pipping or spreading on with a knife. I choose pipping because I was eager to try them. Sprinkle with coconut shreds and enjoy. My oldest son does not like the texture of coconuts but likes the flavor. I left the coconut off the top of one for him.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nephews train cake

A couple months ago I got this idea for a train cake. I had been looking at car cakes and train cakes and this is a collection of different ideas I saw out there. I love the way it came together. My house does not have air conditioning at it was extra hot that day. I learned how important a cool room is for frosting. The green kept sliding down the cake.

Do you think this sweet little boy cared? of course not!

I made the "3" train tracks out of fondant then placed his train on top.
The rocks and signs are made out of fondant as well. For the rocks I combined black and white fondant just enough to get that nice marble affect.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cinnamon roll Cupcakes

I found this awesome recipe here. I wanted to give something special to the teenagers I teach at church since I was no longer going to be teaching them. Here are some of the responses I got. I was told it was "crazy good" "I've never tasted a more amazing piece of culinary art in my life" "Amazing" Giving teenagers treats is the best! They are so lovely with their compliments. I could not eat them as they were very not vegan friendly but they looked delicious.
After I heard such great reviews, Thank you again Cookbook Queen, I had to figure out a vegan version.

I decided to make a small 6 inch cake instead.

Looks messy and gooey and yummy.

Here is my recipe I came up with. Next time I will try to figure out a more cream cheese-ish frosting.

For the Cake
  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) vegan butter, softened (I used earth balance)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (again the kind meant as a milk replacement)
  • 1 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flax-seed mixture, and mix until well combined. Mix in vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir (or beat at low speed) about a third of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in half the milk just until blended. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, then remaining milk, followed by remaining flour.
  • Pour 1/4 mixture into each greased and floured 6-inch round cake pans. I had leftover and made about 6 cupcakes. You could use 8 or 9 inch pans instead.
  • Put half of the brown sugar mixture on top of each pan.
  • With a sharp knife swirl the brown sugar mixture through the cake.
  • Add last 1/2 to the two pans, 1/4 to each pan.
  • Bake at 350° until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes before turning over.
  • Let it cool while you make the frosting and glaze

Vegan Butter Cream Frosting


  • 1 cup vegan butter (Again I used earth balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the kind that is meant as a milk replacement found with the other milk in a carton, not the kind found in a can)
  • 8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Mix shortening, salt, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in.

Add additional coconut milk for desired consistency.

I used the frosting for the center of my cake and for the outside. Place in the fridge while you make the glaze.

Brown Sugar Glaze

1 stick(earth balance)
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt all ingredients until mixed and pourable but not boiling. Pour over frosted cake and immediately place in the refrigerator to set.

We could not wait and we divided it into 8 pieces and devoured it in a very short amount of time! My stomach hurt I ate so much. Next time I will divide into 16th and only eat 1 piece.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The 6th Love Language

I have decided that their should be a 6th love language. Food. I realize that I tend to love my family with food. When I celebrate them I ask them what I can make for them. I love to cook them yummy healthy food with a delicious dessert thrown in every so often. This is where I am conflicted. I want them to be healthy and learn to not over indulge and yet I find myself wanting to make desserts for them all the time! When they come home from school or from a friends, when they have had a rough day, to celebrate anything, when they have a sleepover. I find myself just wanting to express my love through food. And then through in that I am a vegan and yet I love desserts. Healthy meets not so healthy.

How I am trying to come to grips with this is to teach them moderation in all things. I feed my kids all sorts of vegetables and for the most part they eat what I give them. They will eat all sorts of sea food, fruits, vegetables, sushi, and even drink my green smoothie. Joseph will even choose a salad if we go out to eat over hamburgers or chicken nuggets. My kids don't love fastfood and complain when we have to eat it. So I must be doing some things right. Right? Even if they love desserts as much as I do.

I am also trying to teach them that 1 or 2 cookies is good but more then that is not healthy. That a serving of any dessert tastes so good but to much causes a tummy ache. Really isn't the first bit usually the best anyway.

Wow that was a long tangent. My point? What was my point? Oh that's right that I love with food. We went to visit my family this last weekend and I wanted to make my dad a delicious cake for Fathers Day. My dad is the one who gave me my love for food. As a kid he would have me try all sorts of strange and unusual foods and for some reason I tried them all. From dried squid to snails. I would try most anything once.

I wanted to spoil my dad so I decided on a very chocolate cake. Dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache filling with a chocolate marshmallow frosting then covered with more dark chocolate ganache.

I am going to call it Chocolate Truffle Cake. It tasted like sees candy in a cake form. My only regret is that I did not save myself a bit for the next day.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
1 box duncan hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 cup coconut milk (the kind meant as a milk replacer)
1/3 cup water
1/2 oil
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350

Combine all ingredients in a mixer and beat on medium until well combined, 1-2 minutes. pour into two 8 inch round prepared cake pans. I use the flour and shortening method. Let cook for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clear.

Let cool on cooling rack. While it cools make your ganache.

Dark Chocolate Vegan Ganache
3/4 Cup Coconut Milk (again the kind meant as a milk replacer)
1/4 Cup dairy free butter
12-14 oz Dark vegan chocolate

Melt all ingredients in the microwave on 70% power 30 seconds at a time. Stirring after each 30 seconds until nice and smooth. About 2 minutes.

Pour about 1/4 of the mixture over one of the layers. Add the second cake on top and stick in the fridge while you make the Frosting. Put the leftover ganache in an airtight container in fridge until the very last step.

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting
1 cup butter (vegan)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS coconut milk (the kind meant as a milk replacer)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 bag marshmallows (melted in the microwave 20 seconds at a time until smooth)

Mix butter, vanilla and milk on medium low speed until smooth. In a separate bowl sift together sugar and cocoa powder. Add to mixer and beat until just smooth and fluffy. Add marshmallow cream and beat just until mixed on low speed.

Apply a nice crumb coat on the cake and then put it back into the fridge for an hour or so. Leave it on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Then add the second layer of frosting not being to concerned about smoothness.

Pull out your ganache and reheat it using the same method you used to cook it. This is the easy part. Simply pour over the cake letting the ganache drip down the sides. You can serve warm or let it harden and serve in a 1/2 hour or so.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie brownie cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting.

I discovered something amazing this last week. Chocolate chip cookies with brownies, then through in some peanut butter, all in one amazing bite? Um yes please! When ever I look at the blog Confessions of a Cookbook Queen I drool and I want to make everything she makes. So yummy looking. She posted this and I knew I had to make it. But of course I made it vegan and I enjoyed every yummy bite. I may or may not have eaten one for breakfast. I am usually really good at eating just one when it comes to yummy desserts but this one I dreamed about.

The first time I made it I made it with chocolate marshmallow cream frosting. That was super good. But peanut butter makes everything better. I will share both frosting recipes because they are both very light and yummy!

Cookbook queen used store bought cookie dough and box brownie mix. Great idea for the non vegan who is not overly picky about cookie dough. I however love a perfect chocolate chip cookie dough and my MIL's is awesome. Granted she has 13 kids and the recipe is huge so I usually half it and it is still enough for this recipe plus extra.

Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookie brownie cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 and line 24 muffin tins or 48 mini muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
I use my kitchen aid and basically just threw it all in

Beat together on medium speed:
1 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
4 egg whites or egg substitute

Add on medium speed:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
5 cups flour

Lower speed to stir and add:
Vegan mini chocolate chips 1/2 to 1 bag depending on what you like.

Fill muffin tins about 1/3 full with the cookie dough. Then mix up the brownie mix.

Brownie recipe made easy:
1 box super moist chocolate cake (did you know it has no dairy or eggs in it?)
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites or vegan egg substitute

Mix all ingredients in a mixer until just mixed.

Spoon brownie mix over the cookie dough about 2/3 full.

Bake for about 15 minutes. I think it took longer then that but you can start checking about then. I think it ended up being more like 20.

While you wait for the yummy smells to fill the air began making your frosting.

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting
1 cup butter (vegan)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS almond milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 bag marshmallows (melted in the microwave 20 seconds at a time until smooth)

Mix butter, vanilla and milk on medium low speed until smooth. In a separate bowl sift together sugar and cocoa powder. Add to mixer and beat until just smooth and fluffy. Add marshmallow cream and beat just until mixed on low speed.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Butter cream (say that 3 times, seriously, it's fun)
1/2 cup butter (vegan)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter. Make sure it is fresh good Peanut Butter. I used organic
2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1-2 TBS almond milk
1/4 bag marshmallows (melted in microwave 20 seconds at a time until smooth)

Beat butter and peanut butter together in mixer until smooth. In separate bowl sift powdered sugar, salt, and cocoa powder together. Add sugar/cocoa to mix beating at a medium speed until fully combined. Add vanilla, almond milk and melted marshmallows and beat until light and fluffy. If the mixture is to creamy add more powder sugar and if not creamy enough add more almond milk. You know if it is to creamy when it won't stick to the spoon and you know it is to dry when the mixer is having trouble with it.

Wait for cupcakes to cool before you pipe on either of these yummy frosting's.

The one on the left is the marshmallow cream and the right is the Peanut butter. I added a little piece of a Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup so people could tell the difference.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Playable Angry Birds Cake Instructions

When I saw this video on you-tube awhile back I just knew I had to make it. I figured it would be the perfect challenge for me since I have not worked to much with fondant characters. When I first watched the video I thought all the pieces were made from cake. That looked rather tricky. Then I was studying it real closely when I noticed they were chocolate covered wafers. I knew I could do that. Then I found his instructions here. I did things a little bit differently so I will explain my version.

I spent one day, maybe an hour, making and coloring fondant for the birds and pigs. If you have a kitchen aid Fondant is actually very easy to make. Store bought is softer and easier to work with but it always has a chemically smell and the taste is not the best.
My Recipe


16 ounces white mini-marshmallows(use a good quality brand)
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds icing sugar
1/2 (Or so) cup Crisco shortening

Melt the marshmallows in the microwave for 30 seconds stir. Keep doing this until melted. The last time I made it I think it was about 90 seconds total. Grease liberally with shortening Then I stick the sugar, 2 TBS water, and melted marshmallows into my kitchen aid and let it mix for 5 minutes or so. If you notice it is sticking to much to the bowl add about a TBS of shortening. If it is to sticky add more sugar, if it is to dry add more water. When adding water be careful to add very small amounts at a time as a little will go a long way.

You want it to be a nice playdoh consistence. It should not break apart to easily when you pull it and it should not feel sticky. Roll the fondant into a ball and grease it with crisco. Wrap in plastic wrap then put it into an airtight container. You should wait 24 hour or so before using.

I made all of my fondant on a Friday. At this time I also colored the fondant. I made red, yellow, green, and blue. I had left over black I had bought for the superhero cake I had made. Black is so hard to get the right color I was ok using store bought. I used Satin Ice if you are wondering.

Then on Monday I made the birds and pigs bodies. I let them sit overnight. I had made a practice bird a few days earlier and found that the bodies would squish when I tried to add on the details. And squishy birds pre-flinging isn't really what I was going for.

Monday we also made the cake board. I say we because it required power tools and as of yet this is not one of my skills. Some day I will tackle that one and I will make amazing things like cupcake towers and cake pop stands. The board was one piece of fake wood flooring. You can get a sample from places that sell flooring for super cheap if not free. My Father-in-law happened to have one I could use.

Ryan made two holes using a super cool tool. He then shoved the pre-cut dowels in. I don't really know how big they were. I want to say half a foot. My husband is so awesome. I was just going to use one of Jared's slingshots but it was going to be way to powerful. So he made this one out of felt, iron-on backing and two hair rubber bands.

On one piece of felt he folded it in the middle to create a pull-type thing (my technical terms amaze even me) It had the iron on backing already on it so it would stick to itself when he ironed it. Then he stuck it to another piece using the stitch witchery (that's really what it is called) He then cut small slits in the sides and knotted the rubber bands on. It worked so perfectly.
Monday I also covered the board in green frosting. In hind sight I would have done this right before I put on the cake but it worked good enough. Any frosting recipe would work for this. I used a basic vegan butter cream cause I was out of shortening. I think this is my new go to recipe. I then tinted it green using Duff Goldman's food coloring. I love it the best and I can buy it at Micheal's. It is this stuff. You can use less food coloring and still get the desired color.

Vegan Butter Cream Frosting


  • 1 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Mix butter, salt, almond milk, vanilla extract, and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat until mixed through.

Add additional almond milk for desired consistency.

I just slathered it all over the board. Then with my spatula I went over with an up and down motion lifting the frosting up. So much quicker then the original plan to frost it on using the hair/grass tip.

Tuesday morning I made a spice box cake because that is what Jared asked for. I had intended on frosting it with chocolate frosting but when it came out such a perfect dirt color I left it. Granted it was dry this way but the boys at the party were not interested in eating the actual cake part of the cake. If my son liked cake I would have made cupcakes for the party guests to eat instead of knocked down cake pieces.

Here are the awesome store bought finds that made this cake so easy to make. I didn't use many of the mint cookies because they ended up being an odd shape. The boys did devour the cookies. What I didn't use for the cake I had on a plate for them to enjoy. They were even eating the ones that had become angry birds casualties.

I really had no structure planned in my mind when I put this together. I have played the game a few times and every level is so different I don't really think it matters to much. As I built it I did keep in mind that I needed places to place the pigs. The angry birds ended up being easier then I thought. I would take one style at a time. I would design one and use it as my model. Then I would make each piece in sets. I made all the eyes first since that was the easiest. I used a decorating tip with a medium size circle I think it was a #10. But really just look around your house and see what you could use to get the size you want. a pencil could be traced or a pen cap. I then flattened it with my finger to get the size I wanted.

To attach the parts to the birds I used a paint brush and water. A little water goes a very long way. If you use to much it will smear the colors and cause them to bleed. I stuck my paint brush into the water then shook all the water off leaving a very small amount on the brush. That seemed to work best.

Then I would make the beaks. For this I did a typical play-doh move. I made snakes. As a child that was the only thing I was good at. Play-doh was not my thing. I could never come up with anything worth the time and effort to make that didn't end up looking like a sad sad blob. I guess I have come a long way. I digress. Snakes oh wait beaks. I would roll them out long then cut them the shape I wanted. Fold them over so that the top was longer then the bottom. Most of them were to thick at this point so I just cut off the excess to get it nice and thin.

The eyebrows were super easy as well. I rolled out the fondant into a squarish shape. With a sharp knife I cut them into the different rectangle sizes.

For the feathers on top of the red and blue birds I used a similar snake technique that I used for the beaks. But this time I left them thick. I cut them to shape and folded them in the center. If one piece was to long I would break it off with my finger and then roll the end with my finger tip to make it look nice.

Here they are without the eyes drawn on yet. The white parts of the eyes need a couple hours to dry before you can draw on the black dots. My Brother-in-law said they look like zombie birds.

I used a black edible marker. I went to buy it Tuesday afternoon from the local cake decorating store called RoZ's. They only sold them in a pack of 8 or so and they were a little pricy. When I showed her what I was using them for she gave me her old pens. She is really awesome like that. Much better right?
I was a little nervous to do the pigs for some reason. Then when I did them I realized they were easier then the birds. Less detail. I can't really give much tips for the ears. I just form a triangle like shape then use a spaghetti noodle to help mold the center. For the snouts I just molded the shapes with my fingers. Then I used a noodle to poke into the snouts for the nose holes. My girls made the crown and the birthday hat.

I cleaned off my island and then slathered it with frosting, but only the length and width of my board. The frosting worked so good as my glue. It stuck to the table and did not move when Jared was slinging the birds across the room.

I seriously enjoyed the whole process of making this cake. I think that is because I have never done anything like this. My vision for this cake was exactly what I wanted and that is huge for me. Usually I have an amazing picture in my head and it doesn't end up the awesomeness I desired. But with every step of this cake I was giddy because it truly was exactly what I wanted.

Sarah took this picture of me then laughed when she saw it. She says I look like I am really concentrating.

The finished product.

I think I put in about 5 hours worth of work into this cake. Jared teased me that this cake was not really for him but for me. I just smiled cause my son sure knows me well.

With that said He loved it and I knew he would! Look at his face. It was so fun to watch him demolish this cake. He was really into it and Jared said it was easier then he thought it would be. Which was awesome because that means it worked well!
After he had sufficiently demolished the cake he let his friends have a go. It was a big hit. literally. There were angry birds all over the floor.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joshua's superhero cake

My Joshua loves parties. I mean... a lot. He has been planning his party for several months. Picking the theme was easy, Superheros. The first thing he picked out was his cake. He would have me look online at cakes until he decided on just the right style. We ended up doing a mix of several cakes simply because I was not about to make a three tier b-day cake for a 5th birthday party.

I learned a lot doing this cake. Both good and bad. I wish I had taken more pictures of the bad but maybe documenting my mistakes will insure I don't make them again.

Look at this beautiful filling. When Josh said he wanted Strawberry cake for one of the layers I was thrilled to try a new recipe. I found online a recipe from sprinkle cupcakes. I tweaked it a little and it came out looking beautiful! Recipe to come.

Hear was mistake number one, to much filling. Did you know if you put to much filling you will create a nice bulge in the side of the cake that can not be fixed unless you take all the frosting off and start again? The lady at the local cake decorating store explained it to me like this. "When you have fat (excess) on your body their really is no way to cover it up. no matter how many layers you put on over the top of it". I think I tried smoothing it out 3 different times by adding more frosting but to no avail until I had to re-frost it.

Why did I have to re-frost it you ask? While I was at the gym my sweet 2 year old took a handful out of the cake. My husband was very cute about the whole thing. When he told me he said, "I have some news for you and you could take it as good or bad" He knew I was not pleased with the way the frosting had come out and this was I could start over. He helped out by cut a nice slice out of the cake and had it for breakfast. We turned it into a stage for the bad guy to have a place to stand.

So I guess that was a failure turned success.
I used the viva paper towel method again and I am such a believer now. I have learned that part of getting a cake really smooth is having a thick, but not to thick, frosting. That helps a ton. Store bought stuff on it's on is to soft and sticky and just doesn't seem to stay put. I have added powdered sugar to store bought to get the right consistency when I am in a hurry.

Another thing I learned was that when layering cakes you really always do need support. Even if it is a small cake. When I put the top layer on it was to heavy for the bottom layer and caused the cake to sink a bit in the back. I am not sure you can tell in this picture but I will always add support from now on.Those are comic book style buildings above and brick wall below. Turned out more like wood but it works. The brick wall was for Spiderman and the building for Batman. The clouds on the top layer were for Superman.

Joshua told me several times this was the best birthday cake ever. My mom says every cake is better with toys on it and I think Joshua could not agree more. He didn't even care that he couldn't play with his presents until after we ate the cake.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day picnic

Today we enjoyed family time with the extended family. I love getting together and visiting with this amazing family I married into. Today I was feeling a little tired so I sat and listened and watched everyone mingle. What I saw was a family full of love and adoration for each other. Many I really do feel blessed. I wish everyone enjoyed their spouses family the way I enjoy mine!

Of course I was thrilled to make the cakes. Ryan's cousin Jimmy will celebrate his Bday tomorrow so I made the big cake for him. He choose chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. Then Ryan asked that I make Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. It was a last minute thing so I used cake mixes and they turned out so wonderful. Cake mixes really are easy and they always do turn out. I did make the vanilla frosting simply because I wanted to frost it good and smooth and you just can't do that with store bought.

I tried a few of the tricks I had recent posted about. I used the spaghetti noodles to test if the cake was done and I wondered why i had never heard of this trick sooner. If the cake is not done you just brake off the part of the noodle you used and try again in a couple of minutes. I also changed the tempurature to 325 instead of 350 and that worked great. My cake was almost level. Much better then having a big huge piece you have to cut off. Since I was in a hurry I didn't even level the cake and it turned out mostly level.

My favorite trick which I will always use is viva paper towels! Life saver!! You crumb coat, let set, then give a nice smooth-as-you-can coat, let it set, then (this is the cool part) you use the paper towel to smooth the frosting. This video shows how I did it. It is kind of a long video but the lady shows it off real well.
You can skip the first 6 minutes if you just want to see the paper towel technique.

Look how smooth, almost like fondant. I am hoping the more I try it the smoother I can get it.

Then I made a bunch of cupcakes for the kids. Since today is national BBQ day, and we were not eating hamburgers, I decided to bring it into the cupcakes. These are mini nilla wafers with chocolate frosting for the patty and red and yellow writing frosting for ketchup and mustard.
Then my adorable husband came home and suggested adding fries. I was trying to finish up the cake before it was time to go so I told him he was more then welcome to make some. Didn't they turn out good? I told him we should open up a bakery together, then we both laughed.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate orange vegan cake recipe

Crème-filled Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

This rich, award-winning cupcake took top honors on Cupcake Wars, making vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli the first vegan to claim victory in a Food Network competition.

By Chloe Coscarelli
Makes 12 cupcakes
What you need:
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
Orange Buttercream Filling (See Recipe)
Chocolate Ganache (See Recipe)

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together orange juice, canola oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Pour wet ingredients into dry mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners until each cup is 2/3 full. Bake for about 17 to 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
5. Once cupcakes are completely cool, fill each cupcake with Orange Buttercream using a pastry bag with a narrow tip. Spread Chocolate Ganache evenly over each cupcake and top with 2 slices of Candied Orange Peel.

Chocolate Ganache

By Chloe Coscarelli
What you need:
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
3 tablespoons almond milk
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil at room temperature
What you do:
Using a double boiler or microwave, add almond milk and melt chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Whisk in coconut oil until smooth.

Orange Buttercream Filling

By Chloe Coscarelli
What you need:
4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup refined coconut oil at room temperature
1 tablespoon orange zest
¼ cup orange juice
What you do:
In the bowl of a standard mixer, combine powdered sugar, coconut oil, and zest. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. With the mixer running, add 1 tablespoon of orange juice at a time, until the desired buttercream consistency is reached.

Strawberry cake failure- sort of

This cake turned out the texture of spongy foam. During the cooking process it began to rise then fell and kept on falling

I took the failure and turned it into something super yummy. I added strawberry glaze to the indent and then put a touch of coconut frosting on top.
I will be searching further for the perfect vegan strawberry cake. Joshua wants it for his birthday cake that will be three layers. I have a couple weeks to figure it out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tips to try

I have been reading cake blogs trying to learn all I can. I guess it's my way of going to school since school for me is not really an option with 6 kids. I joked with my older two the other day that I Graduated from the U, youtube univiersity that is. I love all that the internet has to offer.

Here are some things I want to try.
When baking cupcakes raise the temperature 400 when preheating then lower to 350 when you put the cupcakes in
When baking cakes lower temperature to 315-320 to help lower the dome affect.
If you put chocolate chips into cake, coat with flour first so they won't go straight to the bottom
Smores cupcakes with graham cracker crust and marshmallow frosting
viva paper towels to smooth buttercream frosting
floral wire to add pop
use spaghetti noodles to check doneness of cake
recipe replacer- 1 ounce of chocolate= 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
never frost a frozen cake- always let it come to room temperature first

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

88 is a number to celebrate

Grandma June loves lemon cake so it only seemed right to make her this lemon coconut cake filled with lemon curd then topped with lemon curd.

I wish this picture turned out better but isn't she just the cutest thing ever. I only hope I look that good at 88!
Happy birthday Grandma.

Comfort Birthday cake.

Ryan's family is mourning the lose of a dear loved one. We were blessed to get together Saturday to comfort one another and also celebrate His Grandma's birthday.

So when I was trying to decide what kind of cake to make I thought rich chocolate mixed with light vanilla. Comfort foods.

I made my favorite chocolate cake but added in a cup of milk chocolate chips. Then I made a white cake ( I am still on a mission to find the best white cake) I put them together with a yummy chocolate frosting mixed with toffee bits. I obviously did not make it Vegan so I did not get to taste it but it got good reviews.

I was so pleased with the checker board effect on the inside. It looks so fancy but it is so easy. I posted how to do this here
Moist Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (to make it vegan I either use flax seed or powdered eggs)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.) Frost with ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING. 8 to 10 servings.

    6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened I use earth balance to make it vegan
    2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
    1/3 cup almond milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Don't knock it till you try it.

Avocado and Cake? Ryan has served us avocado in a milkshake before and it is actually very good. I think that is the only reason I could see past the scariness of this recipe.

I served this to two different groups this week. Here is what I found. The chocolate avocado cake when served with other frosting was well received. No one could tell it had avocado in it. The avocado actually made it very moist and I will use this recipe often.

Now the frosting was a very different story. Jared thought it was the best frosting ever. Most people actually really enjoyed it if they did not know it was avocado making it green. Once some of the kids knew- they were grossed out and wouldn't touch it. The adults seemed to either love it not care for it.

My opinion? I thought it was not as sweet as most frosting's, which I enjoyed. It had a very light taste and I did like that as well. It does not go under the most-favorite-want-to-make-it-everyday category though. But I will make it again.

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado

makes 2 8-inch rounds or 2 thinner 9-inch rounds

3 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch rounds. Set aside.

Sift together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar. Set that aside too.

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl, including the super mashed avocado.

Add sugar into the wet mix and stir.

Mix the wet with the dry all at once, and beat with a whisk (by hand) until smooth.

Pour batter into a greased cake tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting with avocado buttercream.

Avocado Buttercream Frosting

from Alton Brown

8 ounces of avocado meat, about 2 small to medium, very ripe avocados

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 pound powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel and pit the soft avocados. It’s important to use the ripest avocados you can get your hands on. If the avocados have brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop the meat into the bowl.

Place the avocado meat into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment. Add lemon juice and whisk the avocado on medium speed, until slightly lightened in color and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract until combined. If not using right away, store in the refrigerator. Don’t worry. It won’t turn brown!