Posts Tagged ‘birthday


cupcakes and mini bundt cakes

Here are some photos of recent cupcakes and mini bundt cakes.

These are some cupcakes that H and I got at Joan’s on Third in LA.  I think the one up front is the snickers cupcake and the one in the back is the cream filled chocolate cupcake.  I didn’t get to try the snickers cupcake; H probably finished it off in 3 or less bites.  The cream filled cupcake was ok; the filling was very sweet.

Joan’s on Third cupcakes

I brought red velvet cupcakes to work the week before Valentine’s Day.   They had cream cheese frosting and were sprinkled with lip-shaped sprinkles.

red velvet with lips sprinkles

The banana bundt cake I posted before has become one of my favorites.   I’m one of those people who will only eat bananas with very few or no spots.  Once they become spotty, I just leave them alone on the counter and let them get uglier and more rotten looking.  Ugly bananas don’t go to waste in this house.  The uglier they get, the more I look forward to baking something with them.  H knows that I will only eat bananas with very few spots, so when he sees me buying a big bunch of bananas, he knows that I have an ulterior motive.

I finally decided to try out my mini bundt pan that I received as a wedding gift (almost 4 years ago!).  I registered for the pan, but never knew what I should make in it.  Go figure.  I wasn’t sure how much batter to put in each mini bundt and ended up slightly overfilling each one.  I was shocked when I checked on them at the halfway point and saw cupcakes!

they look like cupcakes…

…but they’re not!

Fortunately, their little bottoms weren’t so puffed out that they couldn’t stand on their own.  A nice thing about overfilling them slightly was that instead of having a hole in the middle of each bundt for the lemon icing to run through, there was a small cavity to hold it all in.

drizzled with lemon icing

I recently made chocolate cupcakes for a friend’s birthday.  I made a last minute decision to make the caramel ganache frosting from the book Baked.  I really liked the caramel ganache and it was so easy to make!  I also got to use the Valrhona chocolate pearls that I recently bought at a restaurant supply store in LA.  I was having trouble piping nice round swirls and was too lazy to squeeze out all my frosting just to change tips so I ended up just piping out small mounds of frosting.  It’s not the prettiest because the frosting wasn’t smooth enough; next time I’ll use a star tip.

chocolate cupcakes w/ caramel ganache frosting and crunchy chocolate pearls


where to begin?

It’s been so long since my last real post that I don’t really know where to start.  I’m still working on a new header and it looks like I might have to go back and fix some of my previous photos to work with the new template (yeah…we’ll see if that happens).  Unfortunately, since it’s been so long, I can’t remember what some of the stuff is that I made and took photos of.  Oh well, I’m going to post them all anyway.

I’m planning on posting recipes now – not all of them, but a few here and there to make things more interesting.  H said that people don’t want to just look at food photos, they want to know how to make them, too.  True.  I look at a lot of baking/food blogs and I love it when I can get some recipes.  My first one, which I’ll post later, will be of some chocolate chip cookies I made a few weeks ago.

Well, I have tons to show you, so I better get started. (I promise, this ‘months of recapping’ won’t be a yearly thing…)

June 2009

pineapple upside down cupcake

vanilla cupcake w/ chocolate glaze and sprinkles

July 2009

This is a birthday cake I made for one of the older ladies at church.  I can’t remember what kind of cake it was or how I made the buttercream :(.  The flowers look kinda funny because this was my first time trying to make roses this way (not the way I learned at my Wilton class).  For these flowers I took a small ball of fondant, pressed it into a petal shape and layered it.  It wasn’t the best time for me to experiment, but I thought it would be easier than it turned out to be.  My fondant was way too soft for this.

happy birthday!

banana bundt cake w/ lemon glaze

the lemon glaze was a surprisingly nice contrast to the banana flavor

My friend asked me to make some bridal shower cookie favors for her friend’s bridal shower.  The theme was orange and purple.

T + J cookies

pile of wrapped favors

Since it was a bridal shower, my friend also asked if I could make a cake just for decoration.  Well, between the two of us, H is usually the designer/sculptor so I left it to him.  His idea was for an open gift box overflowing with bras and panties (geez, I’m embarassed to even write those words on my blog, but just remember – BRIDAL SHOWER!).  The idea seemed ok.  I imaged some classy/elegant lingerie spilling out of this box…and then I saw his creations starting to come to life and my eyes almost bulged out of their sockets.  They were more like Frederick’s of Hollywood than Victoria’s Secret.  Ahhh!!!!!  I am laughing as I write this, but I vividly remember how mortified I was.

Be warned that the following photo may be considered PG-13.  I tried to take the photo from the most “conservative” angle.   I don’t want to explain this cake, but I’m afraid if I don’t you’ll just be examining everything and getting the wrong idea.  Up front is a stacked heart G-string (I never imagined I would be writing that word), to the right is a white one, and the shiny orange thing on the right is supposed to be some leather thing.   I wanted there to be something (anything) classy on this cake so I had him make the pearl necklace.  Are you blushing yet?

H is GREAT when it comes to things he knows about (cars, kung fu panda, thomas the tank engine, etc.), but let’s just say that next time there’s a request for a bridal shower cake, I’ll be doing the designing.

Rated PG-13

Continue reading ‘where to begin?’


Thomas the Tank Engine Cake

H and I made a Thomas the Tank Engine (aka Thomas the Train) cake for a 1st birthday last Saturday.  The Monday before the party I tried to get everything organized so we could work on it in stages.  I printed out a calendar for the week and listed all the tasks we would need to get done each day: make fondant, color fondant, make decorations, make buttercream, etc.  Well, last week work was just as crazy as this week; we weren’t getting home until around 7 and I just felt drained so I had no motivation to do anything.

I showed H how to make fondant on Tuesday so he made 4 total batches on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Each batch weighs about 2.5 lbs. and takes forever to make.  My poor little 5 quart KitchenAid doesn’t have enough power (or space) to mix up a batch so it has to be done by hand.  He was really good at working on the train for a few hours each night whereas I waited until Friday night to make the cake and buttercream.   I didn’t even start until 10 pm!  Needless to say, we stayed up almost all night working on the cake and didn’t finish until right before we needed to leave for the party on Saturday (which has become a typical schedule for us whenever we make these types of cakes).  This was our 3rd 1st birthday cake – I think 1st birthdays are becoming our specialty.

the making of a trainThe cake was a vanilla chiffon cake with strawberry puree and strawberry swiss meringue buttercream.  It was really good –  I liked it more than the perfect party cake I had made the week before.

the cake

The finished cake was adorable.  I loved all the colors.  My favorite part about the cake was the railroad tracks.  At first I wasn’t sure about the color H had made, but I should’ve known better than to second guess him.  The shade of brown went well with the other pastel colors and the tracks were cartoony and perfect.

the details

Even though I was kind of stressing out until the last minute, I had fun making this cake.  I think H enjoyed it too and I know he likes the challenge of trying to create something new.

Thomas the Tank Engine


strawberry birthday cupcakes

My brother and sister celebrated their birthdays 2 weeks ago (they’re 10 years and 353 days apart). I would have loved to make them each their own cake, but seeing as how we were going to be out of town for the weekend and the fact that my family doesn’t really eat all that much, I figured 2 cakes would be a little much. I decided to make fresh strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting instead. Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to make them their own birthday cakes.


cars birthday cake

A few weeks ago I made a birthday cake for a 5th birthday. This was my 4th birthday cake and only the 2nd with a fondant topper. (The first can be seen in my first post; it’s the one with a pink/light pink bear and cupcake on top.)

It was my first time baking such a large cake (14″ round X 3″ high) and I was pretty happy with how it came out.

My husband is the sculptor. I have to say that he is more creative and artistic when it comes to sculpting and shaping. He was also responsible for the pink bear topper on the 1st cake.

This duo has worked pretty well; I bake and decorate the actual cake and he creates the topper. He did a pretty good job, huh?

I’m glad we can work together, but I would love to do a cake with flowers or maybe more piping. 😀