Airplane Cake Topper {Tutorial}

Planes Trains and Automobiles Cake

Remember this cake?  I made it a few weeks ago for a special 1 year old birthday.  It was such a fun cake to make.  I love making cake toppers, I think it really brings more height and interest to any cake.  I used to design my cake toppers from paper templates but now that I have my 3D printer, I can create cutters to simply create any design I like.  I actually used a paper template to create this topper, but I still wanted to design the cutters so I could easily replicate this in the future.  First you will need my airplane cutter set which can be purchased here.

Airplane Cutter Set | Lil Miss Cakes

I just realized how cute this would be for cookie favors or even a cookie cake topper!  Okay, let’s focus on the fondant/gum paste cake topper for now.  Here’s how to make this cute topper using my cutter set.

Roll out fondant or gum paste | Lil Miss Cakes

If using fondant I would recommend adding some tylose powder to add extra stability and help the fondant harden and dry faster.

Cut out 3 airplanes | Lil Miss Cakes

Use any colors you like, I thought it would be fun to display a more girly looking airplane here.

Trimming the airplanes | Lil Miss Cakes

You can use a straight edge to cut the airplane pieces or just do it by eye.

Cutting airplane wings | Lil Miss Cakes

I like the look of 4 wings on the airplane.  When assembling the airplane, one larger wing and one smaller wing will be rotated and attached behind the airplane so it looks like it is on the other side.

"Propeller and windows | Lil Miss Cakes

I think that on the original airplane I used an even smaller piping tip to cut the circles for the windows.  Just use whatever round cutter you have on hand, or leave the windows off.

Pieces needed for airplane topper | Lil Miss Cakes

I like to let the pieces dry overnight.  If you are in a hurry, you can turn turn on your oven light and place the pieces inside your OFF oven.  The heat of the oven light bulb will start to dry your pieces out.  When removing your pieces, they will be warm to the touch.  Allow them to cool down for a few minutes before handling them.  If you do this trick, PLEASE put a piece of tape over your oven controls!  The last thing you need is to accidentally bake your airplane!

How to assemble airplane topper | Lil Miss Cakes

To assemble your airplane use royal icing or sugar glue and follow the arrows for placement.

Finished Cake Topper | Lil Miss Cakes

I used my airplane as a cake topper, but you could just as easily place this on the side of your cake.  You can purchase the airplane cutter set here!

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Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies {recipe}

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

This recipe happened by accident. I was trying to make my favorite chocolate chip cookies for my sisters birthday.  They happen to be her favorite too.  The recipe calls for a package of vanilla pudding mix.  I started putting the recipe together and went to the pantry to grab a pudding mix from my stash…my empty stash!  I was all out of vanilla-my options were lemon or pumpkin spice pudding mix.  If I were baking for my mom, I would have grabbed lemon.  My sister is not a lemon fan though, so I went for the pumpkin and hoped for the best.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies Close Up | Lil Miss Cakes

Yum!  They taste like my soft chocolate chip cookies, but with a hint of pumpkin spice.  It’s nice for once to not be overwhelmed by pumpkin especially this time of year.  Even I need a break.  And I’ve posted pumpkin a lot! See pumpkin cinnamon buns, pumpkin spice pudding cookies, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin doughnut holes, and pumpkin snickerdoodles (my first ever post-I’ve come a long way).  Anyway, these cookies were gone so quickly!  My sister was so happy and had a great birthday weekend, thanks to this dairy-free cookie recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies {recipe}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp, vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 package pumpkin spice pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl on an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the margarine with the sugars and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.
  5. Mix in the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt, and mix until combined.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and mix just until combined, trying not to break up the chips.
  7. Using a 1½ Tbs. size cookie scoop or spoon, scoop cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-11 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet to firm up a bit. Enjoy!
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Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies

Thanksgiving Turkey Sugar Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

Hi I’m Melissa, and I’m bad at icing sugar cookies.  Okay, I can get my royal icing to the proper consistency, I can color the icing to every color in the rainbow.  But I can’t look at a blank cookie and create a cute, fancy, intricate design.  I have spent years dabbling with royal iced sugar cookies and I have gotten the basics down!  I finally realized that I need to be esigning cookies my own way.  I can decorate a simple design really well.  So I deconstructed the turkey and created 2 simple designs.  The feather cookie is a simple design, and the turkey cookie is simple as well.  When they get stacked together…tada! Here’s a breakdown of how I made these.

Turkey Royal Icing Cookies

I was going for an orange brown color for the turkey, I guess I ended up with a pumpkin pie color, but I  like it!

Adding royal icing feathered wings

This is the exact color I envisioned for the feathered wings.  I used Sweet Sugarbelle’s color tutorial on these cookies, it was so helpful!  I had a few ideas for the look of the feathered wings so I tried them all.  I definitely don’t love how all these styles look, but I was playing around.

Turkey Cookies Coming Along

I added white eyes, a dark brown center iris, and yellow beak and feet.  I used the tutorial from the Bearfoot Baker to make the uneven crazy eyes.  I didn’t make royal icing transfers because these cookies were pretty small, but I used the same idea.  I had a few ideas for the look of the turkey feet as you can see here, but in the end I only liked one of the choices.

2 part turkey cookie

I forgot to take a separate picture, but added the red hanging thing to the turkey beak (did you know it’s called a snood?  I did not).  I also decorated the feather cookie extremely simply, kind of looks like a peacock.  Here you can see the cookie cutters I designed to cut these cookies.  I have had this cookie idea for a while, but I am not a fan of cutting cookies by hand.  With this cutter set, it makes cookie making much more fun!  You can buy the cutter set here.

Stacked Turkey Cookies

Gobble gobble.

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How To Decorate 3D Menorah Cookies {Video}

3D Menorah Cookie

I hope you get really creative when decorating the 3D menorah cookies I designed.  Get the kids involved, they will absolutely love decorating their own cookies and truly enjoy standing them up!  Here’s a simple way I decorated my cookies…I made you a little video!

For a picture tutorial and my sugar cookie recipe, go here.
Head to my shop for the cookie cutter I designed for this project.

Posted in Cookies, Tutorials and Videos | 1 Comment

Standing Menorah Cookie {Tutorial}

3D Menorah Cookie

I’m so excited to share all my tips and tricks for creating perfectly rolled sugar cookies. All these tips will help to create these super cute menorah cookies that stand on their own! This is the method I use to roll out all my shaped sugar cookies.  Rolling out the dough my way takes a little more time, but each shape will be exactly perfect, the days of crooked cookies are over!  I definitely recommend using my recipe (which can be found at the bottom of this post) since that is the only recipe I have ever used; it’s tried and true.  But if you have a favorite recipe, go for it!  My method will still help create perfect shapes.Floured parchment paper

Cut a piece of parchment paper about the size of your baking/cookie sheet.  Place your parchment paper on your work space and lightly dust with flour.  You want your dough to stick a bit to the parchment paper!Cookie dough dusted with flour

Place a round piece of dough on the lightly dusted piece of parchment paper and dust with flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough making sure you do not roll over the edges.Rolling out sugar cookie dough

Rolling out cookie dough

Do not lift your dough off the parchment paper!  Turn your whole piece of parchment paper 90 degrees and continue rolling out your dough.  Turn your dough 90 degrees again and continue until your dough is your favorite thickness.

Tips for rolling out cookie dough

To make the standing menorah cookies, your dough needs to be 1/4 inch thick or less.  If it is too thick, the pieces will not fit together.  The menorah cutter can be found here.Measuring your rolled out dough

Once the dough is rolled out, dip your cutter in flour, shake it off and press your cutter into the dough; pressing down firmly.  Lift the cutter off of the dough, slightly jiggling if the dough is stuck.  If the dough lifts off with the cutter, place your shape back into place.Cutting out sugar cookies

Continue cutting your shapes out, making sure not to cut too closely or the cookies may bake and stick together.Cookie spacing is important

Once your cookies are all cut, carefully remove the excess dough from around each cookie. Be careful not to disturb the shapes of the cookies.  The cookies should be sticking slightly to the parchment paper which helps in keeping their shapes.Remove excess cookie dough

Carefully remove the excess dough

When all the dough is removed, lift the whole piece of parchment paper and place on your baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for exactly 8 minutes (if you are using my recipe).  If using your own recipe, follow the baking time listed.Cool baked cookies on wire rack

Once the cookies are baked, they should be slightly puffed and light brown on the bottom and edges.  Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before removing them from the parchment paper.  Once cooled, your cookies should be exactly the shape you intended!  To assemble the standing menorahs, simple fit the slot in the base cookie into the slot of the menorah cookie and stand!


  • If the cookie base doesn’t fit into the menorah you may have baked your cookies too thick.  Simply use your finger to press down the cookie in the spots where the cookies fit together.  Make sure to do this when the cookies are slightly warm so the cookies don’t crack.Pressing down puffy cookies
  • If the cookie base doesn’t fit into the menorah, the slots may have moved too close together.  Use a sharp knife (I like using an xacto knife) and trim the slots slightly larger.Trimming cookies
  • If your cookies are too thin, they may not stand up so well.  Simply add some frosting or royal icing to help attach the base cookie to the menorah.  The cookies should have a lot more stability this way.  Adding some frosting or icing also helps if you are planning to travel with the cookies. Filling the gap
  • I like my sugar cookies puffy and fluffy and that is how my cookies bake up.  If you are decorating them with royal icing and need the cookies to be completely flat, bake as usual.  Once they come out of the oven, wait one minute, then place a clean piece of parchment paper over the top of the hot cookies and place a second cookie sheet directly on top of the cookies.  You want the flat bottom of the baking pan pressing down the tops of the cookies.  Allow the cookies to cool like this.  Once the cookies are cool, they will be completely flat but they will still have kept their shape and they will still taste perfect!  Here’s my simple, favorite, dairy-free cut-out sugar cookie recipe:

Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbs. orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the shortening, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt all at once and combine.
  5. With the mixer running at low speed slowly add in the orange juice.
  6. If the dough is very sticky, refrigerate before trying to roll out.
  7. When ready, roll the dough on a floured surface so the dough doesn't stick. You can also roll the dough directly on a sheet of parchment paper. The dough can be rolled thinner to create a crunchy cookie or thicker for a soft and chewy cookie.
  8. Cut shapes out using your favorite cookie cutter.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for exactly 8 minutes until just barely light brown at the edges.
  10. Cool on wire rack.

Check here to purchase my custom cutter!
Want to learn how to decorate your menorah cookies? Check out my video tutorial here!

Posted in Cookies, Tutorials and Videos | 5 Comments

Peppa Pig Birthday Cake

Peppa Pig Cake: Lil Miss Cakes

Peppa Pig is an extremely popular kids show right now.  When I asked my son what kind of cake he wanted, Peppa Pig was it.  For his 4th birthday we invited all his friends!  This was his first real party; in the past we have celebrated with family only.  I made him an amazing Hungry Caterpillar cake for his 2nd birthday and then kinda skipped his 3rd birthday (I feel terrible)!  There was so much going on, his birthday fell out smack in the middle of the High Holidays and I just couldn’t get my act together.  That was not going to happen this year…Charlie got the best cake!Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig

I created Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig for the bottom tier.  I cut out different shades of green to make the hills.  I love the little tiny flowers that dot the bottom of each tier.Peppa Pig and George Pig

I made Peppa Pig, George Pig, and the family home out of gum paste.  The fluffy white clouds were allowed to dry beforehand so they would pop out of the cake a bit.  I used some groovy letter cut outs for Charlie’s name.Fondant Sun and Cloud Cake Topper

For the cake topper I cut a sun and cloud.  I used a large yellow circle for the center of the sun.  I cut thick yellow strips for the rays.  I made sure that the strips were wide enough to hide the lollipop stick support.  The cloud was on it’s own stick.Blowing Out The Candles

Charlie loved his cake and so did all his friends!  Charlie Enjoying His Cake

Happy 4th Birthday Charlie!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 2 Comments

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Cake

Planes Trains and Automobiles Cake

I am in so much love with this cake.  It is so simple yet super cute!  This cake was really easy to make since I was able to prep all the cars, trains and airplane topper in advance.  I really wanted to print some cutters for all the shapes, but it didn’t work out in time.  Instead I drew templates for each design, cut them out of paper, and traced them out of thinly rolled fondant.  I like adding a little tylose powder to my fondant decorations to help them harden really nicely.Fondant train cut outs

Here is a closer look at the choo-choo train that I cut out of fondant.  I let the pieces dry in advance so that they are popping out of the cake just a touch.  It gives the cake a bit of a 3D look which adds interest.  I used different sized piping tips to create all the round circles of the wheels and the steam.  I use both sides of the round piping tips, this gives me so much variety!Cute Fondant Cars

I love these little cars so I made them drive all the way around the cake.  I need to make a cutter for these since I know I will want to make them again! Airplane Fondant Cake Topper

The plane scene on the top of the cake really brings the cake to life!  It’s only a single tier cake but it has amazing presentation because the airplane, clouds, and birthday banner are just filling up the empty space on top.  I attached the plane to one lollipop stick and the banner to a second stick.  I arranged them so they look like they are attached to each other, but keeping them separate was safer for transport.  I added hand cut clouds to the bottoms of the sticks to hide the sticks as well as make the plane appear to be flying over the clouds. Happy 1st Birthday Benji!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 2 Comments

Alice In Wonderland Cake

Topsy Turvy Alice in Wonderland Cake

I love getting requests for theme cakes I have never done.  When I first started making cakes many years ago, topsy turvy cakes were all the rage.  They were so trendy that I started hating them.  Now they are requested, but a lot less often.  I haven’t actually made one in so long that I don’t even have a post about it!  I’m not even sure I have a photo! When I got an order for an Alice in Wonderland cake, you better believe this was going to be a topsy turvy cake.  Abby’s sister asked for a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake for her 2nd birthday, and a Frozen cake for her 3rd.  I love that the two sisters have such different interests and personalities!

Checkered Cake Board

I started making this cake by decorating the cake board.  I cut squares of black and white fondant and glued them to a cake board in a checkered pattern.  I love how the black and white graphic makes the whole cake pop out of the cake board.

Fondant Cheshire Cat

The Cheshire Cat was a really important part of the cake.  I cut all the pieces out of fondant and pieced them together.  I used a black food coloring marker to add the outlines and black details.  Once I added the face to the cake, something was missing, so I added some paws and immediately, the cat was done!

Harlequin Pattern Cake

For the top tier I used a mint green fondant and then lightened it up to create the harlequin pattern.  I cut all the diamonds by hand and placed them one by one on the cake. Then I attached heart shaped candies to all the corners. Edible Fondant Tea Cup

No Alice in Wonderland cake would be complete without a tea cup!  I took one of my own tea cups and shaped a piece of fondant inside.  I let it dry for a few days so it would hold the shape.  I formed the handle, base, and saucer separately and assembled after each piece was dry.  I painted the tea cup details with gold luster dust mixed with vodka and a fine paintbrush.  Since Abby is celebrating her 2nd birthday, I put a number 2 on a playing card with hearts, reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts.  The cake was still missing some whimsy so I added these ribbon roses and hearts on swirled cloth covered wire.  Happy Birthday Abby!  Hope it was wonderful!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 1 Comment

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies {recipe}

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

It’s pumpkin season!  I love pumpkin desserts, as you can probably tell from these recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodles, pumpkin doughnuts with marshmallow and graham cracker glaze, pumpkin doughnut holes, and pumpkin cinnamon buns with maple glaze.  When I spotted pumpkin spice pudding mix at the supermarket, I scooped it up with a few ideas in mind.

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix

If you see this pudding mix, pick some up! It’s a seasonal release and won’t be around for long!  I have no intentions of actually using this as pudding because after the success I’ve had using pudding mix in my favorite chocolate chip cookies, I knew I needed to make a pumpkin spice version.  I wanted to keep these cookies simple, I didn’t want to add chocolate chips to the mix because I think it would be too many competing flavors.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

After mixing up a sugar cookie dough, I rolled the cookie dough into 2 tsp. sized balls and then rolled them in cinnamon sugar.  I tried using pumpkin pie spice mixed with sugar, but the flavor was too subtle after baking.  This recipe is so easy and bakes up perfectly. The cookies puff in the oven and then slightly settle after cooling.  They are soft, spiced, and perfectly orange in color.  These cookies have all the flavor you expect in a pumpkin treat without actually using any pumpkin; kinda cool.  Here’s the dairy free, margarine free recipe!  They freeze well too!

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 dozen
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 pkg. pumpkin spice pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup sugar+1 Tbs. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the oil and sugar until combined.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Add in the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt and mix slowly until combined.
  5. In a small bowl mix the ¼ cup sugar with 1 Tbs. cinnamon.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough using a 2 tsp. sized cookie scoop and roll into a ball.
  7. Roll the ball in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are puffed and slightly cracked.
  9. Cool on wire rack.
  10. Cookies freeze well!
Posted in Cookies | 3 Comments

Upsherin Birthday Cake

Upsherin Cake

Some families have the custom of waiting to cut a little boy’s hair until he is 3 years old. When my nephew turned 3, we celebrated his birthday with a party and a hair cutting ceremony.  He needed the perfect cake for the celebration!  I love this new look of making a shorter bottom tier, then a super tall center tier, and a small top tier.  I have been doing it a lot lately, and I’m not sick of it yet!

Fondant Tzitzit

On the bottom tier I draped some fondant tzitzit, traditional garb for a boy starting at 3 years old.  To make the strings I used my clay extruder and some white fondant.  It’s definitely one of my favorite non cake tools!

Fish Scale Pattern

For the center tier I used a fish scale pattern cutter and placed these fondant cutouts in a randomized pattern.  Then I added a pair of gum paste hair scissors.  One of the kids at the party thought they were real!  That was a huge compliment.

Fondant Candles and Yarmulke

The cake was topped off with a fondant yarmulke and 3 fondant candles.  Happy 3rd Birthday Aryeh!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 2 Comments

Simple Batman Cake

Simple Batman Cake

Sometimes simple cakes are harder than more detailed designs.  This cake was really fun to design.  It was made for a small celebration, so the family didn’t want anything too big. Just because the cake needed to be small; this is a 6″ round cake that measures 6″ tall as well; doesn’t mean it needs to be boring!  I covered the cake and the cake board in gray fondant.  I had to do a good job of covering the cake since there were not many decorations to cover mistakes!  I really wanted to wrap the cake in a NYC skyline so I designed a really cool fondant cutter for my husband to print for me.  We ran into all sorts of problems, it would have been quicker for me to cut it by hand, but we were determined to get it right! After applying the black skyline, it looked a little flat and dark, so I added some yellow squares for windows.  I also added some silver stars in the sky.

Fondant Batman Symbol

I made the cake topper a few days in advance to allow it to dry and harden.  I hand cut the batman symbol out of black fondant and attached it to a thin yellow piece of gum paste. Once it was dry, I attached it to a lollipop stick using stiff royal icing and placed it into the cake.  I added another tapered piece of yellow gum paste down the top and side of the cake to make it look like it was shining into the sky.  Happy 3rd Birthday Alex!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 3 Comments

Sports Themed Cake

Sports Cake

Okay, first of all, I can’t believe it has been a year since I made Harry his Pirate Birthday Cake.  These days, I guess I measure my time in cake.  This years sports themed cake was really fun to make!  Lately, I am obsessed with cake toppers. Since they didn’t request any specific sports teams to be represented, I was a little unsure what I was going to create.  I thought, maybe I would make a baseball hat, but then I would have to choose colors, and that would get complicated.  Then the idea hit me, and I created a gum paste trophy!

Gum Paste Trophy

I colored my gum paste a bright shade of yellow and used a tutorial to create this fun topper.  I handmade all of  the pieces a few days in advance and allowed them to dry.  I made sure to poke a hole in the center of each piece so I could use a skewer to keep the whole thing standing for delivery.  My greatest fear is creating an amazing cake only to have it collapse during travel.  So I always make sure to construct my cakes with lots of support.  When it was time to assemble, I glued all the pieces together using sugar glue and royal icing (for the handles) and then airbrushed the trophy in shiny gold.Sky and Hand Painted Clouds

I covered the top tier in sky blue fondant and hand painted fluffy white clouds using white gel food coloring.  My white gel color is very thin to begin with so I didn’t need to thin it out with vodka or lemon extract.

Football Field Cake Tier

The bottom tier was covered in a really pretty shade of green and made to look like a football field.  I love the grass on this cake, it’s one of my favorite features to add to cakes.  The grass was  rolled out of two different shades of green fondant using a textured rolling pin and then hand cut.  I only glued the bottom of the strips of grass and bent the tops of the blades out and down to create movement.

Star Cake Board

I covered the cake board in white fondant and then used different sized star cutters to create this fun look.  I really love that extra touch on this cake!  Happy Birthday Harry!

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Mosaic Chevron Cake

Mosaic Chevron Cake

I love trying new techniques and I love using patterns on my cakes.  I have seen this mosaic tile look on cakes and I was ready to try it out.  And since I’m obsessed with chevron right now (check out this and this cake) I knew this cake was going to incorporate that pattern.  Lucky for me, the friends that I made the cake for are also loving chevron right now.  It’s probably a Pinterest thing.  The party was to celebrate birth of their daughter, Julia and I was given the freedom to make a cake in any style I wanted.

Gum Paste Peony

I had purchased a peony cutter set a while ago and finally got the chance to make gum paste peonies!  Nobody at the party believed they were made of sugar until the kids started eating them.

Pink Gum Paste PeoniesThis was a really fun and elegant cake for a newborn!  I loved playing with the mosaic fondant tile look and cant wait to use this technique again!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 3 Comments

Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a confession to make.  I don’t challenge myself enough in the kitchen.  I love experimenting, but with two young kids around, I just don’t want my kitchen adventures to fail.  I don’t have a lot of time to waste!  and while I love participating in the Kosher Connection link-up (a group of bloggers that share a recipe each month with the same theme), I often find myself skipping them.  Sometimes I run out of time, but mostly, the theme is too hard!  This month’s theme is smoked or smoky food.  I was determined to share a smoked or smoky dessert!

Smoky Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have never come across a smoked dessert before.  The first thing that came to mind was smoked salt.  I could make chocolate chip cookies with smoked sea salt.  My problem was, I don’t have any smoked salt.  I did a little research and discovered that it’s actually quite pricey, but I could make my own with some wood chips on the grill.  Perfect, except I don’t have any wood chips handy either.  It would be so much fun for me to experiment with smoking salt, but again, I don’t have time to run around searching for ingredients and other supplies.  I needed a more accessible recipe, with easy to find ingredients.  After lots of internet browsing I came across a comment somewhere that recommended adding liquid smoke to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I knew I had to try it!  Liquid smoke is easy to find; I have seen it countless times and was always tempted to buy it, but never knew what I would do with it.  This was my chance!

Liquid Smoke Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to use oil instead of margarine in this recipe because I know a lot of people prefer to bake with oil over margarine and I wanted to keep these cookies dairy free.  I bought a hickory flavored liquid smoke and replaced some of the vanilla extract with it. It’s extremely concentrated, a little bit goes a long way!  These cookies are a perfect dessert for a summer barbecue and that’s exciting because most desserts associated with barbecue are smores and fruit.  It’s fun to mix it up and offer something new.  The smokiness in these cookies really compliment the sweetness of the chocolate chips.  I love the intensity and rich background flavor the liquid smoke offers.  These are definitely not your average chocolate chip cookie!

Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the oil with the sugar and brown sugar until combined.
  4. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
  5. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and liquid smoke and mix to form cookie dough.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine. The dough will seem greasy, and the chips may be difficult to incorporate, but that is ok!
  7. Chill in the fridge for about half an hour just to firm up the cookie dough.
  8. Scoop the dough using a large cookie scoop or a tablespoon into the parchment lined cookie sheets.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are slightly brown.
  10. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Here are some more fun smoky recipes to try!

Posted in Cookies | 6 Comments

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love bananas, but I often find myself with overripe ones.  I usually peel them and stash them in a ziplock in the freezer for smoothies.  But how many frozen bananas do I need to keep on hand?!  So I am always on the hunt for desserts using bananas.  I’ve shared my recipe for strawberry banana crumb cake, banana muffin top cookies, and even a Passover banana muffin.  But I needed more!  So I’m sharing this recipe for peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies.

peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies

The original recipe from Mommy Matter was for a peanut butter banana cookies; adding chocolate chips just seemed obvious to me!  The cookies don’t spread all that much so I suggest pressing them down with the tines of a fork just like a classic peanut butter cookie before baking. My version freezes really well and is dairy free.

Sleeping Then Eating Cookies

I was able to make these cookies when my son Charlie took an unexpected nap.  When he woke up, Charlie got to snack on fresh cookies!  He was really happy with these cookies, he didn’t stop at just one!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 dozen
  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the margarine with the brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the peanut butter and banana and beat until smooth.
  5. Add in the egg and beat until smooth.
  6. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and mix on low until the dough forms.
  7. Add in the chocolate chips and mix until chips are incorporated.
  8. Scoop cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheet using a medium sized cookie scoop. Press the top of each cookie in two directions with a fork to slightly flatten.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  10. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!


Posted in Cookies | 6 Comments

Gender Reveal Cake

Gender Reveal Cake

There is a growing trend with expectant moms and dads to find out the baby’s gender with a party.  The parents receive news of the baby’s gender in a sealed envelope and then use creative ways to share the surprise.  My favorite way is using cake of course!  But I haven’t had the chance to make a gender reveal cake until recently.

gender reveal cake In this case, the expectant dad couldn’t make it to the doctors appointment to find out the gender of his baby.  The mom wanted to share in the surprise so she had me bake a cake in the revealing color (pink or blue).  The family cut into the cake together and was able to share in the surprise…

pink gender reveal cake

It’s a girl!  I baked a vanilla cake and colored it pink.  Then I covered the entire cake in white buttercream roses.  I tried so hard to make sure no crumbs were peeking out, that would have ruined the surprise!  I added a pink and blue fondant bunting to the top of the cake to add to the suspense.  This was so much fun to be a part of, and I’m so glad I was sent this picture after the cake was cut!

Posted in Cakes, Celebration Cakes | 8 Comments

Minion Birthday Cake

Minion Birthday Cake

I had so much fun making this cake, it is just so darn cute!  I was asked to make Aroni a minion birthday cake.  He wanted the minion to be playing hockey.  His mom thought it might look a little silly since minions don’t really play hockey, but I made it totally work!  Since this was my first minion cake, I just had to wing it.  I stacked a bunch of 6 inch cakes (maybe 5) and one rounded cake for the top.  The rounded cake was baked in a small glass bowl that I greased and floured well.  The shape is very simple, all the details really bring the cake to life!

Minion Eye Goggle

I decided to go with the minion with one eye to give the cake more impact.  My set of round cutters really helped me out here.  I cut out the white part of the eyeball then cut two tiny rounded strips of yellow for the top and bottom edges for interest.  I cut out a little piece of brown for the iris, colored it with black lines using a food coloring marker.  I added a black dot of fondant in the center and a tiny white dot as the eye glimmer that bring all cartoon characters to life.  The goggle was made with gray fondant that I painted with silver luster dust.  I made the buttons on the overalls using a fondant button mold, and the stitches in the overalls using my stitching roller tool.

Minion Hair

To make the hair, I wrapped half of a toothpick in black fondant and curved the edge.  I made a bunch of strands of hair in different heights.  Then I let it dry to keep the proper shape.  Once the fondant was dry, I pushed the toothpicks into the cake wherever I thought they should be.  Happy Birthday Aroni!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 2 Comments

Frozen Birthday Cake

Frozen Birthday Cake

I have to admit that when I was asked to make this cake a few months ago, I hadn’t yet seen the movie.  I had obviously heard of it, but with a 3 year old son, there was no rush to see Disney’s Frozen.  After some careful research, I realized that the animation in this movie was amazing and replicating the characters would be extremely time consuming and difficult.  I decided to cut my losses and wanted to buy some plastic cake toppers.  But with the popularity of the movie, every Anna and Elsa cake topper was sold out or back-ordered.  I was getting nervous.  After scouring the internet for way too much time, I came across another Frozen cake made using toy figurines that came in a fancy book.  I quickly placed my order for the book, and decided I would figure out how to attach the toys to the cake once they showed up.

Olaf, Anna, and Elsa

The toys were easier to attach than I had thought.  I used tons of royal icing to attach the cute figurines to the top of the cake.  The book even came with two frozen trees!

Frozen Cake Mountain Backdrop

Here you can see the mountains I made out of gum paste as a scene backdrop.  I made a few different free form mountains in white and allowed them to dry.  While they were drying out I airbrushed some in different shades of blue.  Then i attached them to lollipop sticks and placed them towards the back of the cake.

Frozen Collage

I stamped snowflakes into the white fondant that covered the cake board.  The lettering was cut out of gum paste and airbrushed to match the Frozen logo.  Cut out snowflakes and the number 3 finished the cake.  Happy 3rd Birthday Libby!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 4 Comments

Butterfly Birthday Cake

Butterfly Birthday Cake

Here is one of the cutest first birthday cakes I have made to date!  It was inspired by the birthday invitations which featured all these colors and elegant butterflies.  I covered each tall cake tier in hot pink fondant.  I then cut out different color strips of fondant, angled them in fun ways and placed them on the cake.  The strips of pearls added an extra dimension of fun and whimsy.  I made the butterflies out of fondant in advance so they had a chance to dry.  I folded the butterflies a little bit in the center and allowed them to dry that way so they looked like they had some movement and were flying around the cake.  I cut a plaque to feature the birthday girl’s name using a custom cutter that my husband 3D printed for me.  Happy first birthday Zahara!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 1 Comment

Girly Snowflake Cake

Pink and Silver Snowflake Cake

I know it’s finally warm outside; I think it is safe to say that winter is officially over!  But I made this cake a few months ago, for my cute little niece, Anna.  It’s traditional to have a little party after a baby girl is born.  Although Anna won’t remember, her cake was super cute.

Metallic Silver Cake Tier

The bottom tier was covered with gray fondant.  Then I airbrushed it a metallic silver color.  This cake tier measured 8 inches in diameter.

Offset Chevron Cake Tier

This middle tier was the focal point of the cake, and took a really long time to create!  I needed to cut strips of varying widths in 4 different colors to apply to the cake.  This technique was definitely worth it though, I love the bold graphic look it gives the cake.

Cascading Fondant Snowflakes

The top tier was simply covered in pink and adorned with a cascade of snowflakes.  I had purchased a snowflake cutter and embosser set and was just waiting for the perfect occasion to use it.  I wanted the snowflakes to look like they were actually falling out of the sky.  Happy Birthday Anna!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 2 Comments

Custom Cake for a Bubby {Grandmother}

Bubby's Favorite Things

This cake was made for a special grandmother/bubby on a special milestone birthday.  I was given a few things that she enjoyed including knitting, reading, drinking coffee, and her 9 grandchildren.  The color scheme was gold, and blue/green.  This is the cake I came up with!  I love making book cakes, I don’t know why, I just think they are so cute and the perfect shape for a cake.  The two books were the basic foundation for the cake.

Edible Coffee Mug

I made an edible coffee mug out of rice crispy treats covered in fondant.  The handle is also made of fondant and attached with royal icing.  I used toothpicks for added support.  The mug is filled with brown piping gel to look like coffee and finished with swirls of white paper covered floral wire to look like steam.

Knitting CakeHere is a good view of the balls of yarn.  They were made by extruding fondant ropes out of my clay extruder and wrapping them around a giant ball of rice crispy treats.  The blue ball of yarn was made from blue fondant.  The gold ball of yarn was made of white fondant and then airbrushed with gold color spray.  The knitting needles were made of wooden skewers topped with balls of fondant and then airbrushed in gold to match the rest of the cake.

Silhouette Necklace Collage

To include the 9 grandchildren elegantly, I used custom cookie cutters to cut out silhouettes of 6 girls and 3 boys, painted them gold, and had them hang off the cake on a gold fondant chain.  I think the necklace is my favorite part of this cake.  Happy Birthday Bubby!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 2 Comments

Nautical Birthday Cake

Nautical Birthday Cake

How cute is this birthday cake?!  It was made to match a nautical themed birthday party. I love the simplicity of this cake, but sometimes simple cakes are the hardest to make because there is nowhere to hide flaws!

Nautical Fondant Ropes

The bottom tier featured the birthday boys name in crisp white set on a navy blue cake tier.  There were fondant ropes, made using a clay extruder, strung around the entire tier.

Fondant Nautical Anchor and Life Ring

The middle featured an anchor I made using a custom cookie cutter my husband printed using his new toy: his 3D printer.  I have to say, it took time to design and plan the cutter, but it was really cool, and now I have the shape for future use!  The life savers were made out of thick pieces of white fondant wrapped with thin red strips of fondant.

Ship Sailing Steering Wheel

This steering wheel was also made using a custom cookie cutter that I designed and my husband printed on his 3D printer.  It would have been really tough to cut out such a perfect shape using a template.

3rd Birthday Number Cake Topper

The blue and white striped number cake topper was the perfect finishing touch to this cake!  Happy 3rd Birthday Aiden!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 3 Comments

Princess Pirate Birthday Cake

Princess Pirate Birthday Cake

My niece Abby turned 4 years old!  She requested a princess pirate birthday cake to match her princess pirate birthday party theme.  2 years ago I made Abby this Dora and Diego cake for a party she shared with her cousin Aaron.  I’m so impressed at how far my photography has come since then!

Gum Paste Tiara

I knew that this cake needed a tiara.  I’ve made simple tiaras before and I wanted to try something a bit more complicated.  I used this template I found online as a guide, but didn’t follow it exactly.  I printed the template, taped it to a large round can and then taped a piece of wax paper on top of the template.  I then used my clay extruder to make ropes of gum paste.  I used different size ropes, loosely following the template and formed this pretty tiara.  After shaping the tiara, I let it dry for about 2 days.  It wasn’t completely dry at this point, but I handled it really carefully and I had no problems.  Next time I think I will give it a week to really get it rock hard.  Once it was “dry” I removed it from the round can and airbrushed it in this rich gold color.

Ruffle Scallop Cake Tier

The princess part of the cake was fulfilled with the edible tiara.  When I think of pirates, stripes definitely come to mind.  For a girly pirate, I needed to make the stripes hot pink and black.  So the bottom tier was striped, but still needed something extra.  So I added a cute scalloped ruffle.

Hand Painted Map Cake

For the top tier, I hand painted a gold treasure map all the way around the cake.  I used gold luster dust mixed with a little vodka until it turned into a nice paint consistency.  Painting the cake freehand made me really nervous, but I just went for it!

Pirate Princess Cake

The finishing touch was loads and loads of edible fondant gold doubloons.  I textured some yellow fondant with a rubber flower stamp.  Then I cut out lots of round coins in 2 sizes and airbrushed them in gold to brighten them up.  The kids at the party loved picking the coins off the cake.  Happy Birthday Abby, can’t wait for you to turn 5!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 5 Comments

A Taste of Pesach {review and giveaway}

A Taste Of Pesach

I am really pleased to be able to share my thoughts on this exciting new cookbook with you!  Artscroll has done a fabulous job in presenting over 150 triple tested Pesach recipes.  There are pictures for every recipe, which I always enjoy.  I want to know what my dish will look like so I don’t have to guess at what I’m preparing.  After all, Pesach is stressful enough!  This beautiful cookbook was 6 years in the making.  Each Pesach for the past 6 years, 6 women have been sharing their fabulous Pesach recipes with their community.  There has been so much positive feedback about these pamphlets year after year, that these recipes were finally published into one gorgeous cookbook.

The cookbook is divided into 10 chapters: appetizers, soup, salad, fish, poultry, meat, sides, dessert, cake & cookies, and gebrokts.  Believe it or not, almost the entire cookbook is made up of gluten free (non-gebrokts) recipes.  With so many people living with gluten allergies, this is the absolute perfect cookbook for not only Pesach, but year round use.  As a Pesach cookbook, the variety in recipes is amazing.  Many of the recipes have useful tips or little stories paired to make this book more personal.  There are even hand written notes throughout from those who have truly enjoyed these recipes after making them for friends and family.

I am a professional baker and pastry chef, so the huge dessert and cake & cookie section really impressed me.  My family and friends always expect me to prepate fabulous desserts even on Pesach when so many of my staple ingredients are off limits.  This cookbook is my new secret weapon!  I can’t wait to try the glazed chocolate cake, chocolate crinkle cookies, shehakol freezer cake, and the chocolate cupcakes!  Yum.

While the dessert section is definitely impressive, as a wife, mom, and daughter, I am equally excited by the huge salad section.  There are over 20 salad recipes to choose from. I like including salad as a part of every meal, it’s fresh, and healthy.  Pesach can feel like an eating marathon, and some meals I’m just looking for a lighter option.  I love that I can turn to this new cookbook for answers!  I’m sharing this recipe for Sweet Potato Crisps Salad from A Taste of Pesach; reprinted with permission from the copyright holders: ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

Sweet Potato Crisps Salad

Sweet Potato Crisps Salad
Serves: 8
  • 1 8 ounce bag Romaine lettuce
  • ½ red pepper, sliced into strips
  • ½ yellow pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 8 ounce can hearts of palm, drained
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. imitation mustard
  1. Prepare sweet potato crisps: Peel sweet potato. Using a vegetable peeler, continue to peel wide paper-thin strips of sweet potato.
  2. Heat oil in a deep skillet. When oil is hot, add sweet potato strips a few at a time. When golden and crispy (about 5-7 minutes) remove with a slotted spoon. Can be made a few days in advance; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Place dressing ingredients in a small container. Shake to combine.
  4. Assemble salad: Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Place sweet potatoes on top right before serving.

Now for the amazing giveaway sponsored by ArtScroll!  Enter to win a free copy of A Taste Of Pesach! Contest open to US mailing addresses only.  One winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends on Monday, April 7th at 11:59PM EST. Please provide a valid email address; winner will be notified via email. Winner has 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Cookbook Review | 10 Comments

Tiffany Blue and White Quilted Cake

Tiffany Blue Quilted Birthday Cake

Here is a pretty, simple, and elegant birthday cake I made for a birthday.  Shira’s mother in law ordered the cake to celebrate her birthday.  She wanted it elegant but didn’t want it to look too much like a wedding cake.  We agreed that making the cake in this Tiffany blue color would be the perfect idea.  I quilted the tiers and added edible pearls for extra glam.

Gum Paste Fantasy Flowers

I had a kind of flower in mind to add to this cake.  I really wanted to add cabbage roses like the ones seen in this purple ruffle cake.  So I made them and allowed them to dry.  Then Shira’s mother in law called and decided she really loved these fantasy flowers that I had made for this black and white engagement cake.  So I started over and made these instead.  I really like how they look on this cake, and they are fun to make!  I just use different sized scalloped round cutters to form the bottom layers.  Then I used any flower cutters I could find to fill in the center.  I added a few edible pearls that I colored blue to match the cake.  Simple and gorgeous!  Happy birthday Shira!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 5 Comments

Gumball Machine Cupcakes

Gumball Machine Cupcakes

I thought of this idea for a gumball machine cupcake a while ago.  I have seen similar ideas around, but nothing exactly like this.  Let me explain with lots of pictures how I made these cute edible favors.

Vanilla Cupcakes

I started by baking vanilla cupcakes in these cute individual paper liners.  I love these cupcake cups by Paper Eskimo.  These paper cups can be baked right on a baking sheet, no need for a special cupcake pan.

Royal Icing Topped Cupcakes

Once the cupcakes were cooled I covered the tops in royal icing and turned them directly onto these silver cardboard disks.  They are like tiny little cake boards.  I found them at my local craft store.  I allowed the icing to dry for a few hours to make sure the cupcakes were good and stuck.

Cutting Holes In Cupcake Cup Bottoms

I used a craft knife to slice holes into the bottom of the cupcake cups.  Then I poked a dowel through the slits to make the holes a little larger.  The final step is to fill a Christmas ornament with gumballs and fit it upside down into the hole of the cupcake.  I ordered my ornaments from Oriental Trading and didn’t realize they were very small.  The opening in the ornament was super tiny, and I couldn’t find gumballs small enough so I used candy coated chocolate Sixlets.

Wrapped Gumball Machine Cupcakes

They looked super cute all wrapped up!  Wilton sells these treat bags with the silver board and a ribbon (I used silver twist ties instead) in a great little pack.  Everyone loved these cute little party favors and I can’t wait to make them again.  They can be made with any color cupcake cup and filled with any colors of candy to match every party color scheme!

Posted in Cupcakes | 6 Comments

{Video} Tips On Forming Perfect Hamantaschen

I have always loved shaping hamantaschen for the holiday of Purim.  There is something so calming about trying to create perfect little triangles.  I have to say, I think I got my method down to a science.  In this video you can see how I fold the circles and pinch just the seams.  If you want my no-fail recipe, you should try my recipe for classic hamantaschen.  If you are more adventurous, I have a great recipe for peanut butter and jelly hamantaschen and pina colada hamantaschen as well.

Here are some tips I can offer on forming good looking hamantaschen.

  • I like to roll my dough out directly onto a floured piece of parchment paper so I can transfer the whole sheet onto a baking sheet as soon as the hamantaschen are formed.  It’s a lot less handling of the dough.
  • Make sure to use enough flour when rolling out your dough, or the dough will stick and the cookies will lose their shape when you try to work them into cute triangles.
  • I don’t use water or egg wash to keep the hamantaschen together, I just keep pinching the seams until they are sealed.  Try not to pinch the corners, just the top seams.
  • Use a pastry bag and straight round tip (or ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) to fill the hamantaschen.
  • Do not overfill the hamantaschen with filling. The filling puffs in the oven and will bust your perfect little triangles open.  Use about a teaspooon or two, but it really depends on how large your round cutter is.
  • For a medium sized hamantaschen, I use a round cutter that is 2 3/4 inches in diameter.  Anywhere from a 2 inch to a 3 inch round cutter will yield nice sized hamantaschen.
  • Be gentle with your dough.  Try not to stretch out your circles of dough or your hamantaschen can look misshapen.

If you have any questions or other tips, let me know in the comments!  Happy Purim!

Posted in Tutorials and Videos | 11 Comments

Mickey and Minnie Engagement Cake

Mickey Mouse Engagement Cake

I am really proud of this cake and just realized that I never shared it here!  When my sister in law got engaged in Disney World, I knew I had to make her a Mickey Mouse themed engagement cake.  But how do I make it look elegant?  After many internet searches I came across these Mickey Mouse shaped sprinkles.  They come in a variety pack of black, white, and red sprinkles.  I made the bottom tier white, quilted it, and added black Mickey sprinkles.  Then I did the opposite for the top tier.  I finished off the cake with gum paste fantasy flowers that I made up as I went along.  They are made from different sized scalloped round cutters.  For the centers I used a flower cutter and added some black Mickey sprinkles to tie the whole theme together.  They loved their cake and most people didn’t even notice the hidden theme at first.  Mazel tov Miriam and Tuvia!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 5 Comments

Pina Colada Hamantaschen

Pina Colada Hamantaschen

Pineapple and coconut is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so for my favorite holiday, I combined the two into the perfect pina colada hamantaschen. My favorite hamantaschen of all time are the prune flavor I make with my classic recipe.  Yet, classic hamantaschen are kind of boring lately.  So in the past I shared my recipe for peanut butter jelly hamantaschen that were a huge success!  I had this cookie idea for Purim last year, but I never got around to testing it out.  I’m glad I planned a little early this year, because here it is!

Coconut Hamantaschen with Pineapple Filling

The cookie is crispy, yet tender and soft, and full of coconut flakes.  I added coconut extract for double the flavor and intensity. The homemade pineapple filling is so easy and delicious, you won’t believe it!  I know a classic pina colada cocktail is supposed to contain rum, but I skipped it to keep it simple and kid friendly.  If you are missing it from this recipe, try adding a rum icing over the top of each cookie. Simply mix 1½ cups powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of rum until smooth.  Then drizzle a little bit of icing over each and enjoy!

Pina Colada Hamantaschen
Coconut Dough:
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract (I like the Lorann Coconut Bakery Emulsion)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, slightly ground
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbs. pineapple juice
Pineapple Filling:
  • 1-20. oz can crushed pineapple with juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. corn starch
  • pinch of salt
Prepare the filling:
  1. In a medium pot, combine the canned pineapple with the juice, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir to make sure the sugar and cornstarch are combined. Heat the mixture on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until thickened and clear; no longer cloudy. Make sure to stir frequently so the pineapple doesn’t burn. Remove from heat, cover directly on the surface with plastic wrap so a skin does not form, and chill in the refrigerator until cool, at least 3 hours. Filling makes 2 ½ cups and can be make a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Prepare the dough:
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening with the sugar and coconut extract until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix until combined. Add in the flour, ground coconut, baking powder, and salt and slowly mix on low speed. Pour in the pineapple juice and mix until a dough is formed. You can use the dough right away. If the dough is too sticky, wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a half hour.
Form the hamantaschen:
  1. On a lightly floured surface, or on a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a piece of the dough until thin. Use a round cutter (2½ to 3 inch in diameter) and cut out circles of dough. Fill each round with a tsp. of filling and pinch the seams together to form a triangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Posted in Cookies | 3 Comments

Textured Safari Birthday Cake

Textured Safari Birthday Cake

This cake was based on safari cake I made 2 years ago!  I love coming up with new ways to create similar cakes, I hate making the same cake twice.  Since then, I got a new camera and I think my photos have gotten much better!  My cake skills have also gotten better, my fondant work looks so much more polished.  To give the cake more interest, I used silicone texture mats to give the bottom tier an alligator skin look.  The polka dots on the top tier got a classic leather look.  To keep the cake fun and childlike, I added some fondant stars and fondant ribbon curls all over the cake.  The colors are really non-traditional and I love that about this first birthday cake.

Safari Celebration Cake

The cutest touch about this cake is the fondant swirled candle that tops off the birthday cake.  There is something so festive about it.  Happy first birthday William!

Posted in Celebration Cakes | 3 Comments