Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cupcake Cake Memory Lane

In What Is a Cupcake Cake, I gave you some easy directions on how to create a cupcake cake, as well as how to make a rainbow on one.

To give you an idea how versatile cupcake cakes can be, I decided to share a few of the ones I have done in the past.  I do generally stick to the basic shapes for mine, but remember you can use your imagination here.

For this one, I did use the shape of a baseball field as my base shape.  The figures are plastic.

Cupcake cakes can be decorated in different directions as well, depending on the shape of your decorations.

If you have ever heard me talk about the image I forgot to flip before piping, it was this FFA cake.  Not only did I have to redo the whole image, I ended up dropping me camera on it while taking pictures. 

The image on this one always cracks me up every time I see it.

For this one, I dropped some colored icing (or maybe it was just the gel color) on the white icing and smeared it around.  They were also filled with lemon curd (colored green) for the slime factor.

Here is a slightly different shape than the others.  The hand print is actually mine hand, covered in green colored piping gel.

This was a larger cupcake cake using about 35 cupcakes.  As long as you have a board that will fit you can do as many cupcakes as you want or need to do.

Several of these images were done using the Frozen Butter Cream Transfer (FBCT) technique.  It is a great technique for transferring a more detailed picture onto a cake and giving you a smooth top.  You can google it, as there are many step by steps of it out there, showing different ways of doing it. 

Let me know if you would like to see a blog about it one day? 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What is a Cupcake Cake?

A Cupcake Cake is a bunch of cupcakes that are lined up so that you have a flat top to ice and decorate.  They are easy to serve, no need for a knife or fork, but can be decorated like a cake.

When filling your cupcake papers use an ice cream scoop.  This will give you more even sized cupcakes.

Cupcake Cakes can be generic shapes or shaped to match how you are decorating them, such as like a fish or butterfly.

Play with the shape of your cupcake cake.  You may need to adjust the shape depending on how many cupcakes you have/need.

Place your cakes as close together as you can get them.

Use a dot of icing on the bottom of the cupcakes to help glue them in place.

Now we have that mostly flat time that I mentioned above.  These cupcakes were filled with a peanut butter filling.

I iced the cupcake cakes with a soft medium icing. 

For the rainbow, I drew a half circle with the tip of the spatula to give me something to follow.

Using the elongated piping that we learned in Course 1 Lesson 2, I piped my different colors of the rainbow. 

For the clouds I did piped in a circular motion.

If you are decorating late at night, please pay attention to what you are doing.  You might want to make sure that you do your decorations on your cupcake cake (or any cake in general) are centered.  I did not realize until the next morning that I was not centered.

When serving the cupcake cake, pull your cupcakes straight up.  If you pull them off to the side, your icing may slide off the cupcake.

Please forgive the quality of my pictures in this post.  My camera batteries died during the middle, so some of these pictures were taking with my cell phone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Current Promo, plus April/May Project Courses

Current Promotion for Project Classes: 
Sign up during 4/8-5/12 for Buy 2 Classes and get 1 FREE 

You get a lot of options with this promotion...
- Buy two 4-Week Courses for $90, and get one 4-Week Course
- Buy two 4-Week Courses for $90, and get one Project Class (any price) free
- Buy one 4-Week Course plus one Project Class ($20) for $65, and get one Project Class (any price) free
- Buy one 4-Week Course plus one Project Class ($15) for $60, and get one Project Class ($15 or less) free

- Buy two Project Classes ($20) for $40, get one Project Class ($20 or less) free
- Buy one Project Class ($20) and one Project Class ($15) for $35, get one Project Class ($15 or less) free

- Single 4-Week Course ($45) resigration is 30% off or $31.50
- Single Project Class registration is either $15 or $20 depending on the class.

This promotion is good between 4/8-5/12 on any of the courses, no matter what month it is in.  Save your reciept!

Visit the Current Class Schedule Tab to see the dates for the 4-Week Courses.

April 2012 Project Class:

Fondant Fun Cookies - Two Session Class
Class cost: $20, supplies not included.
Wednesday, April 25 &
Wednesday, May 2nd

I must have 4 students signed up and paid 48 hours before this class is scheduled to start to run it.  Please sign up at Michaels by Monday, April 23 before

May 2012 Project Classes:

Mommy & Me Silly Monster Cupcakes
Class cost:  $15, supplies not included.
Sunday, May 6th

I must have 4 students signed up and paid 48 hours before this class is scheduled to start to run it.  Please sign up at Michaels by Friday, May 4th before

For this Mommy & Me class it will be $15 per child.  Mommy comes free with paid child. 

Tall Cakes - Wedding Cake Piping Skills Class!
Saturday, May 12 at
Cost: $20 supplies not included.

During this 3 hour class you will learn how to assemble a two tier cake and decorate your special creation. We will cover classic piping techniques including Brushed Embroidery, Cornelli Lace, Sotas, Ruffle borders and garlands, Basic String work, Picot work and embellished borders.

I must have 4 students signed up and paid 48 hours before this class is scheduled to start to run it.  Please sign up by Thursday, May 10th

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peanut Butter Filling

What you need:

1 cup powder sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Blend the first 5 ingredients together, until well combined.  Add the heavy cream until you get the consistency that you like.

I did find that the filling thickened up a little after sitting in the cupcakes.

Original recipe:

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Cake Will Settle

What is the next step after you have stacked up your cake layers and have given your cake its crumb coat? 

You get to take a break.

No really, I’m serious.  Take a break.  You’ll thank me later.

If you haven’t made many cakes you probably haven’t had to really deal with this, but if you do not allow time for your cake to settle you will almost always end up with the dreaded bulge around the middle of the cake.  The bulge, a ring around the middle of the cake where the layers come together, is caused from when the weight of the top layer plus gravity pushes down on the filling.  There is nothing worse than getting a cake finished, coming back a few hours later and seeing the bulge.  Believe me I know from experience on this.

I try to let my cake settle six to eight hours or over night, but even a few hours is better than nothing.

I also feel that it is helpful for you to move your cakes around while you are working with them.  Pick them up and move them around a few times.  If the first time the cake is moved is for you to take it some place, you might find issues, like the bulge or even large air bubbles that form under the icing.

Next you get to move on to the fun stuff, icing and decorating.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Same Color, Different Icing Consistencies

Have you wanted to use one shade of a color, but need different consistencies of icing?  Such as wanting to make purple roses (stiff), purple drop flowers (medium) then write on a cake in purple (thin).

Instead of making the different consistencies and trying to match colors, start with the thickest consistencies you need, color it the shade that you want.  Then you can take out icing from there and thin it down to fit all of your needs.

Stiff to Medium Icing:

1 cup stiff icing + 1 teaspoon water/milk = 1 cup medium icing.
1/2 cup stiff icing + 1/2 teaspoon water/milk = 1/2 cup medium icing.
1/4 cup stiff icing + 1/4 teaspoon water/milk = 1/4 cup medium icing

Stiff to Thin Icing:

1 cup stiff icing + 2 teaspoons water/milk = 1 cup thin icing
1/2 cup stiff icing + 1 teaspoon water/milk = 1/2 cup thin icing.
1/4 cup stiff icing + 1/2 teaspoon water/milk = 1/4 cup thin icing

Medium to Thin Icing:

1 cup medium icing + 1 teaspoon water/milk = 1 cup thin icing.
1/2 cup medium icing + 1/2 teaspoon water/milk = 1/2 cup thin icing.
1/4 cup medium icing + 1/4 teaspoon water/milk = 1/4 cup thin icing

You can always add powder sugar to thicken thin icing up to medium.  I can’t really tell you how much, since I usually go by feel for that.  Personally for stiff icing, I always make it fresh rather than trying to thicken up other consistencies for it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crumb Coating AKA Dirty Ice

A crumb coat, also referred to a dirty ice, is when you take some of your thin icing and just smear it all around the cake.  


The first purpose is to seal in the crumbs, so that they stay out of your way when you are icing the cake.

The second purpose of it is to keep your cake from drying out while it settles and waits for you to do more work to it.  The coating of icing will keep the air out of your cake.