Super Why! Birthday Cake

There is a really cute television show on PBS called Super Why!  The show title ends in an exclamation point which is weird and makes me seem like I am really excited every time I write it.  The show is super cute, it takes children on reading adventures one episode at a time.  Here is the cake I came up with for Dovi’s 2nd birthday party.

Super Why! Cake

The cake was airbrushed from light green fading to blue.  The grass was hand cut and embossed using a silicone leaf mold press.  I really love the clouds, they are my favorite part.  It really makes Wyatt’s cape look like it’s blowing in the wind.  Wyatt is the main character on the show.  He has the power to read.  He changes the story to save the day.

Wyatt from Super Why!

Here he is up close.  Each color is cut out of fondant and pieced together like a puzzle.  I learned this trick from Cakes With L.O.V.E.  They have some great tutorials on their facebook page.  I surrounded Wyatt with the shows signature question marks so he could save the day.

Happy 2nd Birthday Super Dovi!

Passover Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s that time of year again, Passover!  A time I used to dread as a kid.  I always thought I would starve without pizza, pasta, and bagels.  But I’ve matured in my old age and realized that a week without flour is not so bad.  I can handle it!  Especially since I’ve started developing Passover dessert recipes that actually taste delicious!  The recipes I posted last year for Passover: double chocolate nut cookies, and chocolate chip cookies were such a hit, I was eager to develop another recipe for this year.

Passover Banana Choocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins taste great, nobody will guess that they are Kosher for Passover.  I can’t wait to enjoy these every morning with my coffee.  It will be a nice alternative to sponge cake!  Here is the non-dairy, Kosher for Passover recipe; enjoy!

Passover Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe type: Passover Dessert
Serves: 18-24 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup matzah cake meal
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18-24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat melted margarine with the sugar and eggs until pale yellow in color.
  3. Add the bananas and mix until broken down and mashed.
  4. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients: cake meal, potato starch, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and stir by hand so the chips don't break up.
  7. Fill each muffin cup ¾ of the way and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until light brown and the tops springs back to the touch or a toothpick comes out clean (avoiding the chocolate chips, they will be melted).


Dora and Diego Birthday Cake

Dora and Diego Cake

I made this cake for my niece Abby and her cousin Aaron.  They turned 2 years old and shared a party.  They were born a few weeks apart and love Dora and Diego.  The characters were made out of fondant and outlined in black using my Americolor food coloring markers.

Dora made out of fondant

Each figure took 3 hours to make.  They were really time consuming, but I couldn’t be happier with the results!  They look so much like the actual characters and that is hard to achieve.Diego made out of fondant

My favorite part of the cake is the stars.  They are so cute and have so much personality!

Dora the Explorer fondant stars

I piped the eyes onto the stars using royal icing and I drew the black centers on with my food coloring marker.  I found a piping tip that I had that made the perfect mouth shape.  I just pressed it in slightly to imprint the tiny smiles on each star.  They were left to dry on metal floral wire and then twisted around a wooden dowel.  Cuteness!

Purple and Blue Airbrushed Cake

I even love how the back of the cake looks!  Here you can really see all the details.  I airbrushed the bottom tier blue and the top tier purple trying to achieve a faded effect. Each blade of grass was cut individually and imprinted using a silicone leaf impression mold.  Happy 2nd Birthday Abby and Aaron!

Yankee Hat Cake

Yankee Baseball Hat Cake

My friend saw a baseball hat cake somewhere on the internet and realized it would be the perfect cake for his son’s 7th birthday.  His son loves the Yankees and would definitely go crazy over a Yankee hat cake.  So I was called for the job.  I made a baseball hat cake once before and it came out pretty good but not great.  I can’t even find any pictures from my first attempt, but that’s perfectly fine; there were a lot of issues.  The first hat cake was practice cake and this time, I worked out all of the kinks!

Yankee Hat Cake

The first thing I did was mix up some navy blue fondant.  To get this color I used Americolor gel paste in royal blue, violet, and black.  Then I formed the brim.  To make the brim I used a real baseball hat and traced the brim onto some parchment paper. Then I cut out my stencil and cut the shape out of my royal blue fondant.  Before allowing it to dry I imprinted the brim with the seam marks using a fondant quilting tool. Then I placed the fondant on the parchment and then on the real hat to dry in a nice curved shape.  I allowed the brim to dry out for a few days.  When I was ready to assemble the hat I baked 3 cakes: an 8″ a 7″ and a 6″ layer.  This gave me the nice rounded shape to make it easier to carve. I carved out some dents to make the hat look worn.  Once the hat was covered with fondant, I made more stitch marks and used the tips of 2 different sized round piping tips for the eyelet holes.  I used a small piece of matching fondant formed into a flat round disc to form the fabric-covered button and attached that with a tiny bit of water.

Fitted Yankee Hat Cake

I cut the Yankee logo out of white fondant and attached it to the front of the hat.  A number 7 was added to the back of the hat because the birthday boy turned 7 years old! Once the brim was attached and the cake was placed on the pinstriped cake board, I brushed the whole hat with a little vodka to give it a real fabric look.

Happy Birthday Avi!

Popcorn Cupcakes

Popcorn Cupcakes

I keep seeing these cupcakes all over Pinterest.  If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you are missing out!  It’s my favorite new obsession; I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard; a place to keep all your great internet finds indexed and accessible.  There is no need to bookmark a crafty project or print out every recipe you want to try.  Just pin it to your personalized boards and voila!  It’s right there for you when you need it.  I can spend hours browsing other pinners pins, it’s really addictive.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  As I was saying, I have seen these popcorn cupcakes all over Pinterest and I obviously had to pin the idea.  I knew that I would make them at some point in the near future and then Purim came around.  What a perfect opportunity to try these cupcakes!

Marshmallow "Popcorn"

The “popcorn” is actually made from mini marshmallows that I snipped to give them the fluffy air popped look.  The “popcorn” looked good but it was missing something: the butter!  So I pulled out my trusty airbrush and hit them with a shot of yellow and gold food coloring.  My husband actually thought it was real popcorn and told me I was weird for putting it on a cupcake.  Now I wasn’t really going to make these cupcakes until I found the perfect containers at Michael’s Art’s and Craft’s Store.

Popcorn Cupcake Bags

Once I saw these cardboard bags I knew I could fill them with the cutest popcorn cupcakes.  Two regular sized cupcakes stacked on top of one another fit perfectly.  Then the whole bag fit nicely inside tall clear bags I always have on hand.

Popcorn Cupcake Packages

My cute little packages weren’t complete until they had sugar cookie movie ticket tags.

Motorcycle Charlie

Here is Charlie in his cool biker dude costume.  He is a lot bigger than last year, but just as cute!  Happy Purim!

Safari First Birthday Cake

Safari CakeThis cake was made to celebrate Aiden’s first birthday!  He is the cutest little boy and deserves the cutest little cake.  This cake was inspired by a cake made by the Pink Cake Box.  Their cakes are fabulous and always inspire me.  All the little animals were molded by hand out of fondant.

birthday elephant molded out of fondant

This little elephant is so cute.  I love his floppy ears.

Fondant Monkey

This is the mommy monkey.  She came out cute, but not as cute as the baby monkey…

Fondant Birthday Monkey

Look how cute he is in his tiny party hat!! Love him.  All this little guys came out great, but here is my favorite one:

Fondant Lion

This lion is so cute!  I love the colors, they are so bright and match the cake so nicely.  Can you believe this is my first ever fondant lion?  Me either.

First Birthday Safari Cake

Happy First Birthday Aiden!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamantaschen {Recipe}

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamentaschen

Hamantaschen are a traditional Jewish cookie made for the holiday of Purim, or Jewish Halloween.  They are basically the perfect cookie in my humble opinion.  What is better than a sweet cookie filled with delicious jam?  When I was younger, my mom and I had to bake so many batches of hamantaschen because my family and friends would gobble them up so quickly.  My mom tried to hide them so we wouldn’t have to keep baking them every night, but that never worked-someone always found them.

Jam Filled Peanut Butter Hamentaschen

While I love classic hamantaschen, (find my recipe and instructions with pictures here), I kind of get bored of the same old thing.  I need to mix it up a little, turn a classic recipe on its head.  We used to experiment with different fillings a lot when I was younger.  We would try filling the hamantasch dough with chocolate chips, marshmallows, chocolate spread and other various creations that didn’t go so well.  We also used to try a peanut butter and jelly filling.  For some reason, the peanut butter didn’t really bake well.  It would dry out and become crumbly.  I thought to myself, what if I make a peanut butter dough and fill it with delicious fruit jams!  Peanut butter and jelly hamantaschen!  This was my mini aha moment.  I was so proud of the idea. The only problem was that I hadn’t seen it done anywhere which means there are no recipes available.  I was challenged with developing my own recipe and I am so happy with the results.  These are a great alternative to the classic and will appeal to the kid in everyone. Chag sameach!

PB&J Hamentaschen

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamantashen
Author: 
Serves: About 6 dozen cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 4½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • Your favorite flavor jam filling*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the honey, brown sugar, shortening, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Do not mix too much or the cookies will be tough.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll the dough out thin.
  7. Using a round cookie cutter (I use a cutter that is 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter) or a drinking glass, cut out the cookies.
  8. Using a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, fill the cookies with the jam filling. *Make sure the jam is oven proof meaning it won’t melt and ooze out of the cookies. Apricot and prune butter work nicely as well as anything labeled “oven proof”, “bakers filling”, or “cake and pastry filling”.
  9. Pinch 3 corners, forming the classic triangle shape and bake for 8-10 minutes on parchment lined baking sheet until light golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool-the filling will be extremely hot! Enjoy!


American Flag Cake

American Flag Fondant Cake

In honor of Presidents day/week, and alternate side parking being suspended I was inspired to make a celebratory cake.  Around July 4th of last year, everyone was making these amazing looking cakes.  The outside of the cake was simple and white, only to reveal a bright and vibrant American Flag when cut open!  I have been itching to make this cake, but once Independence Day passed, I really lost my opportunity; until now!

American Flag Layer Cake

I am still impressed that I was able to pull this off!  Here’s what I did:  I greased 3- 9″ round cake pans and 1- 6″ round cake pan.  I mixed up a double batch of yellow cake. Once mixed, I removed 4 cups of batter and colored it blue using royal blue gel food coloring.  I poured the blue batter into a 9″ round cake pan and baked it at 325°F for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick came out clean.  The rest of the batter was colored red using 2 ounces (2 bottles) of red liquid food coloring.  I separated the batter evenly between the 2 remaining 9″ round cake pans and the 6″ round pan and baked them along with the blue cake, until done.

Slice of American Flag Cake

Once the cakes were cool, I sliced the red 9″ cakes into 3 layers each.  You may notice that there are only 5 layers of the large cake instead of the 6 I promised.  I might have gotten lazy and messed up one of the layers.  Bummer.  I’ll be better next time!  But I digress. Getting back to business; I cut a 6″ circle from the center of the blue layer allowing room for the 6″ red cake to fit snugly inside.  Before fitting the 6″ red cake inside the blue cake ring, I sliced it into 3 layers and stacked them with lots of vanilla frosting.

Double American Flag Cake

Starting with the large red layers, I stacked and filled the cake with plenty of delicious vanilla frosting.  Once the larger layers were stacked nicely, the red filled blue cake was fitted on top.  Then the whole cake was crumb coated or covered completely with vanilla frosting and put in the fridge to firm up.  I could have left the cake like that, but I was nervous that when I cut it, the cake would be upside down or inside out.  So I decided to decorate the outside of the cake as my backup plan.  I decided I could post the cake nicely decorated and ff the cake looked terrible inside, I just wouldn’t post that part.  Lucky for me, it turned out great!

American Flag Striped Cake

To make the vertical stripes I used a technique I found on this gorgeous blog named Jessicakes.  Jessica is super talented and has great tutorial!  You can find the tutorial I used here.  I love learning new techniques, thanks for sharing, Jessica!

Animated Charlie Eating CakeI hope you enjoy this cake post; my son Charlie sure did-  Happy Presidents Day!

Stained Glass Cookies

One of my friends has been asking me to make him stained glass cookies forever.  It has turned into a running joke between us.  When I heard he got engaged, I knew that I could not show up to his engagement party without these cookies.  The only problem was that I had never made stained glass cookies before.  After a little bit of research I learned that all I needed was sugar cookie dough and some hard candies and voila!

Stained Glass Cookies

I rolled out sugar cookie dough on the thinner side (my recipe puffs up a bit) and cut out large heart shaped cookies.  Then I cut a medium heart out of the large one and set it aside.  From the medium heart I cut out a  small heart out and placed it inside the large heart.  I filled the gap in with crushed hard candy and filled the medium hearts with the hard candy as well.  I chose red hard candies because it also happens to be Valentine’s Day, but any color would work.

Heart Shaped Stained Glass Cookies

I recommend rolling out, cutting out, and adding the crushed candy to these cookies directly on parchment paper so you don’t need to use a lot of flour underneath.  This should help candy from melting underneath the cookies as they bake.  Transfer the whole sheet of parchment paper with the prepared cookies to a baking sheet.  Then  bake  at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.  As the cookies bake, the hard candies melt and spread into a gorgeous thin glass layer.  Please allow them to cool before handling because they are super hot!

Stained Glass Heart Cookies

These are the classic stained glass cookies aka window cookies.  They are cute and all, but I had to take them a step or two further.  I saw this idea on this great blog named The Decorated Cookie.  You can see the original post here.

Stained Glass Cookie Dough

I started this project by cutting a heart out of sugar cookie dough.  Then I cut a smaller heart out of one side.  I placed a lollipop stick under the dough and filled the little heart with crushed hard candy.  While in the oven, the cookie bakes onto the stick and the hard candy fills the heart shaped hole.  Once the cookies were cool, it was time to decorate.

Sparkly Stained Glass Cookies

I iced these with white royal icing and immediately dipped each one into crystal sugar.  I couldn’t stop at just white.

Sparkly Pink Stained Glass Cookies

Here they are pretty in pink!

Sparkly Red Stained Glass Cookies

I decorated these cookies in red as well.  These are really perfect for Valentine’s Day! These sparkly stained glass heart cookies were a great idea and I’m so glad that I found this idea!  I had to put my own spin on them though and this is what I came up with:

Heart Shaped Love Stained Glass Cookies

I iced these in white royal icing and let them dry overnight.  I then used one of my cookie stencils to apply the word “Love” and a few little hearts.  Here is the whole collection:

Stained Glass Cookie Collection

Share these with the people you love; Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fishing Boat Cake

This cake was ordered by some very loving and caring daughters to celebrate their fathers 60th birthday.

Fishing Boat Cake

I replicated a boat that the family owns named “Family Therapy”.  Here is a look at the back of the boat:

Fishing Boat Cake Rear View

Sitting inside the boat is the birthday boy.  Here is a closer look:

Fishing Boat Captain

I was asked to dress him in a neon yellow shirt and an orange hat.  I was even sent a picture of him wearing the attire.  He is a snazzy dresser!

Boat Cake

The fondant that covers the cake board was marbalized to look like water.  Happy Birthday Captain!