Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brown & Blue

Brown, Blue & Polka Dots seem to be popping up all over the place these days! I absolutely love polka dots, so I was so excited when I found out this was going to be the design theme for a recent baby shower cake I made.

It was a 3-layer Oreo cake with chocolate buttercream. YUM!

The requirements were brown icing with light blue polka dots. Simple enough. I decided to stick with only one size for the polka dots to make a more uniform looking cake.

With a "T" on top for the baby's name "Tristan"...such a cute name.

The polka dots and "T" were made out of rolled fondant.

I used a Wilton #5 round piping tip to make a bead border around the bottom edge.

This cake would also be cute using brown & pink for a little girl, or even yellow for a gender neutral party.

On a side note, my cousin just found out today she is having a girl! This will be her first child and I'm already trying to think of cute desserts that would be perfect for her baby shower! The baby is due on Christmas Eve, how special is that! You can guarantee I'm going to start researching now for some adorable baby shower themes and dessert table ideas. I'll be sure to keep you updated on all the details and show pictures of whatever sweet treats I make for her special day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


And the winner of the $60 CSN Store Gift Certificate is...
Comment #24 - The Stokley Family: "I would have to go with some new bowls...I never seem to have enough serving type bowls!!"

Congratulations Stokley Family!

Please email me at crave4cake@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Hello blog readers! Have I got a surprise for you! The great people at CSN Stores have offered to giveaway a $60 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers!

CSN has 200 + stores with a variety of items such as kitchen tables (where I assemble, decorate and photograph all of my baking creations) to dining sets, bistro tables, bar stools and much more.

Some of their other great online stores are:

http://www.cookware.com/ (featuring great name brands of pots & pans, bakeware and all sorts of kitchen essentials)

http://www.luxebycsn.com/ (featuring the latest fashion trends in shoes & handbags, you are sure to find something great for the fall season!)

http://www.allmodern.com/ (featuring trendy furniture and decorations for every room of your house, the baby stuff is absolutely adorable)

I could honestly spend hours looking around at all their great online stores making a wish list for things I would love to have around my house!

So for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway here's what you need to do:

1.Become a follower of Crave. Indulge. Satisfy if you aren't already, or leave me a comment letting me know you are a follower
2.Go to one of CSN's online stores and shop around for something you want
3.Come back over to Crave. Indulge. Satisfy and leave a comment telling me what you would buy with your $60 gift certificate

You have until Sunday, September 5th 12:00PM (CST) to enter the contest.
Any entries received after this time will not be considered.
One lucky winner will be chosen and posted sometime on Monday, September 6th.
Winner will be chosen using random.org

Good luck & happy shopping!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Mother Goose Themed

This weeks cupcake a week feature are some recent cupcakes and cupcake toppers I made for my friend Stacie's baby shower! The theme was Mother Goose. A baby boy is on the way so I thought it would be fun to decorate in blue and yellow to match the theme of the invites. I actually scanned the Mother Goose image from the top of the invite that had been sent out and used that as the focal point for the cupcake toppers!

In addition to the cupcakes I made some red velvet cake lollipops dipped in yellow and blue melted chocolate and sprinkled with white nonpareils.

Since the theme of the shower was Mother Goose, there were 10 different nursery rhyme stations set up throughout the party. I thought it would be fun to incorporate the different nursery rhymes into the lollipops by typing them up on paper and then tying them with a ribbon.

Stacie's baby is due Sept 11th and the name is yet to be revealed, these parents are doing a great job at keeping it a secret!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicago Cake

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend! I ran 15 miles and my sister, Emily went to Chicago to celebrate her hubby's 40th birthday...which option sounds more fun to you? I was definitely jealous I couldn't spend a few days in Chicago but I will get my chance to visit the windy city in October for the Chicago Marathon so I'm super excited!

So as I promised from the red velvet cone cupcake post I told you I would be back to share pictures with you of the cake my sister made for her husband's 4oth bday. Since she was surprising him with a trip to Chicago it was only fitting to make him a Chicago themed cake right?

So she found a clipart image of the Chicago skyline on the internet, scaled it up and printed it out. After cutting around the buildings she placed the cutout on top of some aqua blue tinted rolled fondant and traced around the shape.

Ta da! The print out and the fondant replica, they look identical to me!

Since I am not much of an artist myself and a lot of the time you can't find a cookie cutter resembling the design shape you need, I love going to the internet to find inspiration and templates to use for cake decorating ideas! Just scale up the graphic you need, carefully cut it out and then trace around it over fondant...super simple and budget friendly!

Using some alphabet fondant cutters, she made a personalized bday message.

Here's the final cake! I love how she chose a chocolate buttercream to be the background for the aqua and lime colors to make them pop off the cake!

Have you ever been surprised with a cake for your birthday?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Red Velvet Cones

Today is the BIG 40 birthday for my brother-in-law Rob, and as a birthday treat he requested I make him some red velvet cupcake cones! So of course I fulfilled his birthday wish and made these yummy cupcakes a few days early for him since I just happened to be in KY last week for work and was able to visit my family as well! So he got a pre-birthday sweet treat...and then he got another treat today from my sister.

While I was in town I helped my sister (well I really supervised her, by being a bossy older sister standing over her shoulder telling her what to do) make a fondant decoration for a cake she was going to give to him today for his actual birthday. The fondant topper was going to reveal her present to him...a surprise trip to Chicago for the weekend! How cool is that! She was going to take some pictures of the final cake and send them to me, so I'll be sure and update with the final product soon! I think my love for baking and decorating is slowly starting to rub off on her b/c every time I come in town now we find ourselves in the kitchen together working on special baking projects. I keep telling her we need to open a cupcake shop together, but there's only one problem...725 miles is separating us! Well maybe 2 problems, she bakes from a box mix...and I prefer to bake from scratch and I'm not sure I will ever be able to change that about her!

But anyways, back to Rob's cupcakes...they turned out to be absolutely adorable and oh so delicious! I've even got a few tricks to share with you on how to make sure these cones don't topple over in your oven.

If you have a mini muffin tin this works perfect to hold the cones in place and keep them stable while in the oven. I have tried just placing the cones on a cookie sheet before and you have to have some steady hands getting those babies into the oven to keep them from falling over. The muffin pan works wonders because these cones aren't going anywhere. I placed the cones in every other hole to allow enough room for baking and so the rims didn't touch.

Next transfer your cake batter into a large measuring cup and use the spout to pour batter evenly into each cone.

Fill batter to the top of the base of the cone, or slightly less. Do not fill the batter all the way to the top or you will have cake oozing all over the sides of your cone.

For the most part the cakes baked up nice and fluffy, but as you can see the 2 in the back I had a little too much batter in and they started to drip down the edges.

Next is the fun part, adding the frosting in a swirly motion to resemble soft serve ice cream. I used a Wilton tip 1A to pipe on the frosting.

And no ice cream cone is complete without some rainbow jimmies.

I have made several versions of red velvet cake before, but for these cupcakes I decided to use Bakerella's red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting recipe. I have been wanting to try her recipe for awhile now, and let me just say I would definitely use it again, delish!

Using her recipe I was able to make 12 cupcake cones and then an 8 x 8 pan of cake (I used the extra cake to make some red velvet cake lollipops...my fave!). I baked the cones for about 18 minutes.

Happy 40th Birthday Rob! Hope you had a great day and enjoy your weekend in Chicago, I'm jealous!

Have you ever made cupcake cones? Do you have any tips and tricks you want to share, or tell me about your favorite flavor, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

I'd like to introduce you to quite possibly one of my favorite cakes ever. It includes peanut butter and chocolate...anyone's mouth watering yet? I was looking for a cake recipe that included peanut butter and came across this amazing recipe on Smitten Kitchen. My friend VV is getting ready to move away and I wanted to make her a special cake since she is a peanut butter lover! I had made her Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcakes for her birthday before so I wanted to go a different route with a new peanut butter flavor combination this time.

When I discovered this 3 layer chocolate cake with a peanut butter icing and then a chocolate peanut butter glaze on top of that I knew this was going to be just the perfect dessert for VV!

Let me just warn you this is one RICH cake. Make sure you have a tall glass of milk to wash it down with.

I love the dripping look of the chocolate glaze over the peanut butter frosting. A double dose of icing...YUM!

VV is in peanut butter heaven with this cake! She even went back to eat more of the peanut butter icing after she finished her slice of cake.

So for all you peanut butter and chocolate lovers out there, you have got to try this cake recipe, it doesn't get much better than this! I've also used this same recipe for mini cupcakes before and they were just as delicious!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1 Year Blogaversary & A Giveaway!

UPDATE: And the winner of the cupcake goodies...
Comment #7 - Mollie
Mollie said: Happy Blogaversary! I know it's generic, but I LOVE chocolate cake!
Congratulations Mollie!
Please email me at crave4cake@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Wow how the time has flown by since a year ago when I first started this blog to track my baking & decorating adventures. I really had no clue what a blog even was until I stumbled on to Bakerella's site and my eyes were opened to a whole new world of baking, decorating & photographing. Not long after finding Bakerella I discovered the amazing dessert tables of Amy Atlas, talk about some remarkable sugar displays! These two ladies have absolutely changed my world and inspired me to follow my true passion for creativity, baking and bringing happiness to others through my sweet confections!

So on the 1st anniversary of my blog I'm excited to share with you a fabulous new cake recipe and my very 1st GIVEAWAY! This is my way to say THANK YOU to all of my amazing readers that follow my blog regularly or even those of you that are new to this site. I hope you enjoy the recipes, photos and ideas that I have been sharing with you over this last year and I hope you continue to stick around for many more to come!

So let's eat some cake to celebrate!

I have created a cake like I have never seen before and it enormous and delicious! A few months ago I made some Neapolitan Cupcakes so I decided to take this cupcake idea a little bit further and create a 3-layer strawberry, vanilla and chocolate cake! We are talking about 3 cake & 3 icing flavors all layered together into one cake. Do you think you can handle this? So for those of you that often crave something both chocolate and vanilla or something with a hint of fruit...this cake is the ultimate solution because you can have all those flavors in one bite!

This recipe is definitely a little labor intensive since you are making 3 different cake and 3 different icing flavors, but one bite and you will realize it is definitely worth every second of the prep and extra dirty dishes to make this delicious 3-striped cake!

Neapolitan Cake

Makes one 8" 3-layer cake

Strawberry Cake Layer
-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 egg
-2 egg whites
-1/2 cup strawberry puree
-pink food coloring

  • Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl, set aside.
  • Using electric mixer beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  • Mix in strawberry puree.
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternating, starting and ending with flour.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring and mix to give it a deeper pink color.
  • Bake at 350 degrees in 8" cake pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray for 30 minutes or until cake tests done.
Vanilla Bean Cake Layer
-1 1/2 cups cake flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup milk
-2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
-1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl, set aside.
  • Using electric mixer beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternating, starting and ending with flour.
  • Beat in vanilla bean paste.
  • Beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
  • Bake at 350 degrees in 8" cake pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray for 25 minutes or until cake tests done.
One Bowl Chocolate Cake Layer (adapted from Martha Stewart)
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup cocoa powder
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-3/4 teaspoon baking powder
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-2 eggs
-3/4 cup milk
-3/4 cup warm water
-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in bowl of electric mixer.
  • Add eggs, warm water, milk, oil and vanilla and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Bake at 350 degrees in 8" cake pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray for 25 minutes or until cake tests done.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing (makes enough to frost 1 layer of cake)
-4 oz cream cheese, softened
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
-2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
-2 tablespoons strawberry puree
-pink food coloring

  • Mix cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until creamy.
  • Gradually add confectioners' sugar and mix well.
  • Mix in strawberry puree.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring for desired pink color.
Chocolate Buttercream (makes enough to frost 1 layer of cake)
-1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
-2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-2 tablespoons milk
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • Beat butter with electric mixer until creamy.
  • Gradually add confectioners' sugar and mix well.
  • Add milk and vanilla and mix.
  • Add cocoa powder and mix until well combined.
Vanilla Buttercream (makes enough to frost entire outside of 3 layer cake)
-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
-7 cups confectioners' sugar
-1/4 - 1/2 cup milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Beat butter with electric mixer until creamy.
  • Gradually add confectioners' sugar and mix well.
  • Add enough milk and mix until desired consistency.
  • Mix in vanilla.
Whew! I know that was a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps but you are going to be in cake heaven once you eat a slice of this, I promise!

Here's how to assemble the Neapolitan Cake layer by layer from the bottom to the top:

Chocolate Cake
Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing
Vanilla Bean Cake
Chocolate Buttercream
Strawberry Cake
Vanilla Buttercream (outer layer of frosting)

So who's ready for the giveaway? As you all know by now I am a huge CUPCAKE lover so what better way to celebrate than with a cupcake themed giveaway featuring some of my favorite products.

Giveaway Includes:

-What's New Cupcake book
-75 cupcake liners (red, yellow, blue)
-1 jar of Rainbow Nonpareil Sprinkles (my favorites!)
-#21 Wilton Star Tip
-#2D Wilton Flower/Shell Tip
-#10 Wilton Round Tip
-#233 Wilton Multi-Opening Tip

To participate in this giveaway join my blog as a Follower if you haven't already and leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite cake flavor is!

Winner will be chosen on Sunday, August 15th at 11:00PM (CST).
Any entries received after this time will not be considered.
Open to US residents only.
Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.
Winner will be chosen using random.org.

Good Luck and happy cake baking!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Sprinkles Inspired

This weeks cupcake is one of my favorites yet...its all about the simple look with a touch of color inspired by the fabulous Sprinkles Cupcakes. The signature of Sprinkles cupcakes is marked by their two-tone circle sprinkles that garnish the tops of these sweet little cakes that are color coded by flavors...what a brilliant idea!

If you have never heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes then you need to drop everything you are doing and head over to their site NOW! Just one look at this website and I was completely in LOVE with cupcakes and have been dreaming of opening my own cupcake bakery ever since I first laid eyes on these sweet little cakes. Candace Nelson is the founder of Sprinkles, the original cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills, and also now one of the main judges on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network.

Although I have never had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into a Sprinkles cupcake I am pretty sure they probably taste as delicious as they look. I am completely in awe of their website and find myself just stopping by to look around quite frequently to check out their latest seasonal flavors. Their cupcakes are beautiful, their flavors sound amazing, their packaging is adorable and the look and feel of their shop is stunning. One day I will walk through the doors of a Sprinkles Cupcake bakery and order at least a dozen of their cupcakes there are so many amazing flavors I am dying to try. The peanut butter chip, cinnamon sugar, red velvet, strawberry and vanilla milk chocolate are at the top of my list!

So since I am hundreds of miles away from Sprinkles in CA and don't see myself getting out there anytime soon, I figured I would make my own version of these cupcakes by using some tinted fondant. One of the girls on Team in Training (TNT) that I am coaching asked me to make her some cupcakes for a fundraiser so I thought this would be the perfect occasion to showcase the TNT colors of purple & green as a simple cupcake decoration.

So if you want to make your own Sprinkles cupcake toppers it's as easy as 1-2-3.

1.Tint some white fondant in your favorite colors.
2.Roll out fondant and cut circles in 2 different sizes using circle cutters or the ends of piping tips.
3.Place the smaller fondant circle on top of the larger fondant circle and place on top of your iced cupcakes!

Happy cupcake baking & decorating!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cowboys! They are on the way....

I can't believe it was back in April when I did the Twins' Reveal Cakes for my friend Kelly and her babies. I had so much fun making the cakes for Baby A and Baby B to celebrate the gender reveal. In just about a month her twin baby boys will be born but we are betting it is going to be sooner than that...Kelly's hoping for Fri Aug 13! So to celebrate their arrival we celebrated last weekend with a Cowboy themed baby shower to match her cowboy nursery! My job was to provide the cake!

A family friend of Kelly's hand painted a dresser for the nursery with each drawer being a different cowboy theme. The bottom drawer is cow print, the middle drawer a red bandanna and the top drawer denim.

So in keeping with the theme of the dresser & nursery, I thought it would be fun to make a cake to match. The top tier was denim with a little pocket and stitched border. This layer was a strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

The cow print was really easy to make, using black fondant and cutting out black spots to place on randomly. This tier was a yellow cake with vanilla buttercream.

The middle tier was bandanna with a piped on paisley pattern. This tier was a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream.

I found the cutest cowboy clothes at Gymboree for the little boys.

And the cake is assembled. This was my first 3-tier cake and I was praying it didn't collapse before the party started. Luckily it held strong until it was time to slice it and enjoy.

I found some wooden letters and thought it would be cute to add the babies' names to the cake.

Baby A is MACK

Baby B is MILES

How cute are those baby names!

Here is the adorable table scape that Kelly's mom put together for the party.

So now that you've seen the cake, I can't wait to show you the sweetest nursery I have ever seen! These babies are going to be in cowboy heaven. Every detail has been precisely thought out to decorate from wall to wall in brown, red and denim...the perfect color combo for any cowboy.

Here's the inspiration for the cake...how stinkin cute is this dresser? This is one unique piece of furniture that is the focal piece in the nursery and brings their room to life.

Twin wooden cribs...

with cow print sheets and Woody from Toy Story.

And you can't have a cowboy nursery without a rocking horse of course, bandanna and all.

Every cowboy needs a cowboy hat. I can just picture Mack and Miles wearing these for their 1 year old pictures...they are going to be the cutest cowboys in town!

And the most comfortable double rocking love seat I have ever seen, newly covered in denim fabric.

Cowboy boot bookends...precious!

The proud mama to be!

Kelly's getting some practice rocking the Woody dolls!

Belly + Twins = perfect plate holder!

Here's a pic of Katie, the shower coordinator, Kelly the proud mama and me the cake lady!

What a fantastic day to celebrate this exciting occasion with Kelly, Mack & Miles! I can't wait to do another post once the babies arrive and I get to make something sweet to celebrate their birth!
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