Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake

This was my first tiered cake. It was a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, frosted in buttercream. I made several big mistakes. The first was in thinking that greasing and flouring a pan would be enough to keep the cake from sticking. I've had cakes stick before, but I never learn. This time, the cake layers completely fell apart when I took them out of the pan. Since they were so crumbly, I wasn't able to level them; hence the slightly wonky look to the cake.

My second big mistake: I underestimated the amount of frosting I'd need for the star tip layer of frosting I'd planned. I'd used a ton of frosting to compensate for the woodgy cake shape, so I ran out of green. You can see where I had to re-mix (cue record scratching) the green color. I missed the mark a little.

The fun part was doing the swags. I'd never done them before; they're very delicate. I broke a bunch of strings before I got the hang of it. They look a little bumpy, but that's because they're on top of star-tipped frosting. I finished the cake off with white dots painted with gold pearl dust and a star cookie.

All in all, I mixed six batches of frosting between the cupcakes and this cake. SIX!! By the end of my two-day baking binge, I practically had powdered-sugar lung.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Cake Pops

For my family, I made Christmas Cake Pops. Cake and frosting were dark chocolate and the pops were covered in red, white, and green candy melts. For the first time, I succeeded in getting a nice smooth coating. And they were delicious!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Snowman Cupcakes

Snowman cupcakes for my parents' neighbors. Each house got a family of four.Cupcakes were chocolate, snowman heads were rice krispie treats covered in buttercream. I formed the rice krispie treats into balls, stuck a pretzel stick in each, and stuck the other end of the pretzel stick into the frosted cupcake. The frosted cupcakes were dusted with white sparkling sugar. The nose were orange banana runts (they were called "crazy bananas!" at the candy store--whoopee!), the scarves were fondant, and the arms were pretzel sticks. I finished them off with piping gel facial features and buttons. Had I had more time and energy, I'd have given them fondant hats, too, but laziness set in partway through the afternoon.