The spring fairies must be visiting my garden! The flowers are blooming and my daughter has been busy building fairy houses in our yard. She just turned 7 and to celebrate, I wanted to make a fairy house cake for her party.
A few years ago, I bought a beautiful story book called Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane. It was about a little girl who went into the forest on an east coast island to build fairy houses made only out of natural things. My daughter enjoys the idea so, that we still go on walks to collect sticks, bark, rocks and even seashells on vacation. You may not collect anything living. She then builds these cute little homes for the fairies, tucked into hidden places in our gardens. I thought it would be very fitting if she had a fairy house cake for her birthday!
The idea was to make the cake look like a tree stump fairy house. It had 4 layers of chocolate cake, two 9″ layers of dark chocolate boxed cake mix and two 9″ layers of german chocolate cake mix. The layers were alternated light and dark to add interest when you cut into it.
The chocolate ganache frosting was very simple to make. I was inspired by a recipe from Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman).
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 24 ounces bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Heat the heavy cream until very hot (not boiling) and add the chocolate chips. Stir over heat until completely melted. The mixture will turn smooth deep chocolate color. Remove from heat and pour into an electric mixer bowl. Refrigerate until completely cooled, but do not let harden. After 2 hours, the bottom of the bowl was just slightly warm to the touch. I added the vanilla and started to beat the chocolate using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
The chocolate ganache frosting filled between each 9″ chocolate cake layer and the sides of the cake. I covered the sides of the cake and then stroked from the bottom up to create the look of bark. The door and windows were a graham cracker, cut with a knife to shape. They were trimmed with a tube of orange decorative cake icing. The vines were piped using a tube of green decorative cake icing. The edible sugar flowers were packaged by Wilton.
To vary the color of the top of the cake, I made a box of butterscotch pudding and spread this over the top of the cake to look like the inner part of a tree. The fairy figurine that adorned the top of the cake was purchased at a local craft store. A piece of wax paper was placed down underneath to separate her from the cake. The fairy figure will make a neat keepsake on my daughter’s bedroom shelf after her party. The springy butterfly party plates napkins matched perfectly!
Happy Birthday! Stop growing so fast!!
My family and I had a relaxing afternoon picking raspberries at a local farm on Labor Day. It was definitely the peak picking time for the season after the heat and rain last week. The berries were so big and delicious! When we got home it was about time to start planning a BBQ dinner, but I wanted to whip up a quick dessert with our fresh picked berries. I remembered that I had received a message last week from the Meal Makeover Moms about a healthy cake with fresh fruit. Yes, I said it…healthy cake! Well, I was actually missing one main ingredient. I thought I had wheat germ in my fridge, but as it turned out I didn’t. Since I needed a 1/4 C of something, I added another whole grain – corn meal. Which I really enjoyed the moist cake with a little added crunch.
Raspberry Breakfast Cake
Makes 8 Servings
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed1/4 cup corn meal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 400°. Coat a 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray.
Add the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg, sugar, canola oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract until combined. Add the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the pan and place the fresh fruit on top. Sprinkle the top with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick come out clean.
Let cake cool or serve warm. A scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt is certainly a treat over the warm cake!
My little girls have been obsessed lately with Star Wars. Yet, I was still quite surprised that my daughter asked for a Star Wars birthday cake. I wasn’t sure where to go with this idea. At first, I was picturing a black cake with bright colors, but that wasn’t at all “girlie”. Then I remembered my Wilton Wonder Mold cake pan. I found a few 12″ Queen Amidala dolls on Amazon.com and let my daughter pick which one she wanted in her cake. Of course she knew this would be something she could play with after her birthday too!
Happy 6th Birthday Kiddo!!
I have written about how to make these doll cakes using a real doll in prior posts. Check out my:
As you can tell, I love my Wilton Wonder Mold cake pan! I even made a Teapot Cake using it.
Happy Easter! Easter is a holiday that brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. One of my favorite memories is the Polish tradition of baking the Lamb Cake, then placing it in a basket to take to church on Holy Saturday to be blessed with samples of the food we would eat for Easter dinner. The basket would even include decorated hard-boiled eggs, lamb molded butter, salt and pepper shakers and a small carafe of wine.
I borrowed my Mom’s cast iron lamb cake mold. It is very important to grease the pan and every nook and cranny very good, then dust with flour!
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and say “I only eat this cake once a year”.
My Grandma’s Pound Cake
yields two lamb cakes (or one lamb cake and 12 cupcakes)
1 lb. butter, softened
2 cups sugar
9 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease both sides of the cast iron lamb mold, then dust with flour.
Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract, the gradually add one egg at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl. Once combined, reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour and baking powder.
Place the batter into the bottom of the mold. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake 10 more minutes until browned.
I also made 12 cupcakes with the remaining batter. Bake in the same oven for 25 – 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Gently unmold the cake and let cool completely before decorating. For this cake, I used cream cheese icing and piped it in swirls. Raisen eyes are very traditional.
What are you traditions for Easter?
This perfectly pink birthday is fit for a little prima ballerina! Complete with a beautiful pink swirl rosette cake adorned with a gorgeous ballerina figurine. My daughter was so excited to keep the ballerina figurine on a shelf in her bedroom, a nice keepsake that she will always remember this birthday by. This ballerina cake complements the theme, in addition to, matching pink ballerina partyware, ballerina tutu picks and cupcakes and a beautiful centerpiece of fresh pink tulips in a vase laced up with a pink satin bow.
Since I filled my ballerina cupcakes with a whole strawberry, I wanted to have the cake filling compliment the flavor. The following recipe was used for filling in between the two cake layers.
1 – 16 oz. bag of frozen strawberries (thaw in bowl with 1/4 C sugar to make syrup)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mash strawberries and drain reserving the juice. Add water to the strawberry syrup to make 1 1/4 cups. In a saucepan, combine the strawberry liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir until the liquid boils and thickens. Cool completely, then mix in the strawberry pieces. Refrigerate.
Cream cheese icing, devil’s food cake and strawberry filling is a delicious combination that everyone enjoyed!
The rosette pattern encompassed the entire cake. Using a large star tip, start in the middle of the cake and create little circular swirls. This technique is actually very easy! The ballerina figurine was approximately 5 inches tall and made the perfect cake topper.
The cake turned out so pretty and delicate – just like a ballerina!
Happy Birthday to my little ballerina!!
I wanted to make a special cake for my Mom’s Birthday and I thought how much my Mom enjoys having tea parties with her granddaughters. This teapot cake turned out so cute and was super easy to make in a pinch using the Wilton Classic Wonder Mold.
I baked one Devil’s Food cake box mix in the Classic Wonder Mold. While the cake was baking, I found a bone white teapot in my cabinet. The teapot lid was the perfect size to top the cake. For this cake I chose simple white, but if you have a patterned teapot, you could be inspired to decorate the cake based on the color or pattern of your teapot.
I studied the teapot and sketched out the shape for the spout and handle on paper. Then cut it out and traced it onto yellow card stock twice. (Two times because I wanted to place toothpicks in between the sheets and then stick them into the side of the cake to hold it in place)
I melted some yellow chocolate melting wafers in a squeeze bottle and outlined a bunch of five petal flowers on wax paper. Once the chocolate sets and has cooled, they are very easy to handle to place on a cake.
Once the cake had cooled, I frosted it with my homemade icing and added a little more icing at the top to hold the ceramic lid in place. The cardstock spout and handle were placed and the candy decorations were added to complete the teapot.
Time for tea! Happy Birthday Mom!