Monday, March 6, 2017

Unicorn Cookies and Cupcakes

This year my daughter wanted unicorn-themed treats for her 4th birthday. I was more than happy to deliver because we all need a little magic in our lives, and it's such a fun, whimsical way to celebrate.

Almost too pretty to eat, these unicorn cookies were a blast to make! I made my favorite sugar cookie recipe and used this cookie cutter set. To get that luscious mane and sparkly horn, I used a small star tip and painted on this gold airbrush color.

These adorable unicorn cupcakes are easy to create by sculpting a horn and ears out of gumpaste. Add a rainbow frosting swirl, and you have a truly magical cupcake.

These treats will delight the imagination in any little dreamer. Unicorns may be real after all...well, at least in dessert form.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Superhero Party

Because last year's Peter Pan Party was such a magical success, I was *SUPER* excited to plan this year's theme for my kid's joint birthday party. Thanks to a lot of inspiration and ideas from pinterest, I came up with an amazing DIY superhero party.

When the kid's arrived, they put on capes and masks. I bought packs of men's white T shirts and dyed them blue , yellow, and red. Then, I cut out the the capes and hot glued a velcro fastener around the neck. I made the masks out of felt and elastic. The telephone booth is a washer box painted red.

Everybody created cute little superheroes out of popsicle sticks while we waited for the pizza to arrive.

After lunch, I gathered all the kid's around for web shooting practice. I taped up some pictures of Disney villains for the kid's to take turns spraying with silly string. This was a huge hit!

For decorations, I tried to stick to just 3 colors: blue, red and yellow. I have to give a shout out to my grandfather, who became my personal party planning assistant. He was box cutting out city skylines, cutting strips of tinfoil tape for the windows, blowing up balloons, and hanging streamers. He superhero!

For their birthday cake this year, I wanted to keep it simple and put all my energy into the standing gumpaste figurine toppers. I used this tutorial as a guide to make them. I daringly tried a new vanilla cake and swiss meringue frosting recipe without trying it first and, lucky for me, it was delicious!

This party was action packed and filled with fun! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fake Cake Tutorial

My favorite part about cake decorating is the actual decorating. I do enjoy baking, but sometimes I don't feel like waiting for the oven to preheat, waiting for the cake to bake and then waiting again for it to cool off. With fake cakes I can skip these steps entirely and dive right into the fun part--decorating. 

Fake cakes, also called foam cakes or dummy cakes, are actually pretty common. Not only are they used in bakery display windows and photo shoots, this cake illusion is used a lot at weddings too.

Here's how it works: The "cake" part is actually styrofoam that comes in all different shapes and sizes--and can even be carved. For the frosting, you have few different options; if you want your fake cake to look like a real fondant cake, you can still use fondant over your foam. If you want a buttercream look though, you will need to use royal icing, perma ice, or light-weight spackle. Yup, you read that right: you can use spackle from the hardware store for perfect-looking “buttercream."

As a Certified Wilton Method Instructor, I needed to make a cake display for my local Michael’s (where I teach) to encourage customers to sign up for my classes. I wanted to make a cake that represents some of the techniques you can learn in Course 1: Buttercream Basics, so I decided to make a two-tier Cinderella cake with ruffles and rosettes. To that end, I needed the following supplies: 2 round Styrofoams (one bigger than the other), light-weight spackle, and a "glass slipper."

Fake Cake Blue Print
The first step was to tint my spackle. I used the Wilton Gel Colors to do this, but I heard acrylic paint works too. Next, I attached the styrofoams together using 4 toothpicks stuck in the bottom of the top tier and pushed it into the top of the bottom tier. Then, I applied a thin layer of the tinted spackle to my fake cake. Now I was ready to pipe. I started at the bottom tier using tip 104 to make ruffles. Then I moved on to the top tier, using tip 1M to make the rosettes. When I was done, I put it someplace safe to dry.

This was so fun and easy to make! The hardest part about making this fake cake, was making sure my kids didn't try to sneak a taste of the "frosting."

 “Opinions expressed are my own and do not express the views or opinions of Wilton Brands LLC”.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Princess Cookies and Cupcakes

 My daughter recently turned 3 and my son will soon be 5. I loved putting together their combined birthday party last year, but I really enjoy making their actual birthdays special and full of fun memories. 

When it comes to a few of Addison's favorite things, "princess," "cookies," and "cupcakes" are high on that list. So I decided incorporate all three into some whimsical treats she could enjoy.

These cookies were so much fun to make. I found this
video tutorial  for the snow white cookie and used her instructions as a rough outline to make the other princess dress cookies. 

How clever are these princess cupcakes? To make this enchanted dessert, I googled my favorite Disney princess images and re-sized them before printing. I then laminated and cut them out before hot gluing each image on to a toothpick. Once dry, I stuck them into the frosting. I tried my best to make the frosting color match the color of each princess's dress.

We all had so much fun celebrating Addison's birthday, she definitely got the royal treatment. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Peter Pan Party: Part 2

Never overlook the importance of a birthday cake and candles to make a wish upon! Since this Peter Pan Birthday Party was for my son AND daughter, I wanted to make sure the cake would be special for BOTH of them while staying within the party theme.

I decided to go with a mermaid/treasure map cake. The mermaid tail in the waves symbolized my daughter and the "x marks the spot" was for my son. I crushed nilla wafers in a blender to make the sand for the island. I used fondant for the mermaid tail and "X."

I made the mermaid tails and "X's" about a week before, so they had plenty of time to dry. I made extras just in case I wanted a different mermaid tail color or an "X" broke the day of the party. (Which it did.)

I thought treasure map cookies would compliment the cake well and look great next to each other. (And I was right!) They were also super fun to make; I tried to make a different map on each cookie.

Making A Wish

Peter Pan and Smee

The party was magical!  My kids were over-the-moon excited and happy with how I made their dreams of Neverland come to life. It was an awesome "Mom Moment" for me!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Peter Pan Party: Part 1

"All it took was faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust" to dream up this amazing Peter Pan Party for my kids' 2nd and 4th birthday!

Smee, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, & Tinker Bell

This is really the first party I've ever actually planned. Their past birthdays consisted of just a few balloons, streamers, colorful plates, and...dare I say… store-bought cake. I wanted to go all out this year with decorations, costumes, games and desserts. It was surprisingly easy to pick a gender-neutral theme because they BOTH have insisted--every single day for the past year--on watching the 1953 Disney's Peter Pan. I'm thrilled that my kids love pirates, fairies, and mermaids as much as I do, so I had a great time putting this all together.

When the guests arrived they were greeted by a a big "Welcome to Neverland" sign and picked out either Peter Pan hats or fairy wings to wear.

Everybody got to decorate their very own treasure chest while waiting for the pizza to arrive.

 After lunch, I gathered all the kids to play Tic Toc Croc Ring Tossand pin the feather on Peter's Shadow. I put out a Giant Cardboard Pirate Shipthe kids could play in while waiting for a turn.

For decorations, I cut out shadows of Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, Wendy, John, and Michael put them in the windows. I painted a map of Neverland and hung it above the couch. I also painted a Mermaid Lagoon and taped long strips of blue and white streamers along the bottom to look like water.

The treats were awesome! I go into delicious detail in Peter Pan Party: Part 2.

For the goody bags, I used simple brown paper bags and attached a red-paper feather. Inside each bag, I included chocolate gold coins(Captain Hook's treasure), pixie sticks (more like pixie dust), and two glow-in-the-dark stars("second star to the right and straight on till morning!")

The party was a huge hit! Everything went so smoothly... all the planning, crafting, and baking were so worth it!

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