Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mickey Mouse Pumpkin Cake

If you have been to Disney at Halloween time you have most likely seen these adorable pumpkins.

My challenge is to recreate this pumpkin in cake!
I only need to make a small one so I ordered the Wilton Pumpkin Pan and the Wilton Multi-cavity pumpkin pan.
These make small pumpkins, the large pan only makes approx a 6 inch cake and the small make a cupcake size pumpkin.
I am making the ears out of rice krispie treat so they are light and won't be too heavy on the pumpkin cake.
First I molded the Rice Krispie treat in the multi cavity pan.
Once they firmed up I used a small grater to smooth the surface and covered them with orange fondant.

Insert a dowel in the bottom of each and set aside.

For the pumpkin part of the cake I made a dense chocolate cake so it would hold it's shape under the fondant.
Fill and let settle overnight. You want to eliminate the possibility of a horizontal crease running across the middle of your cake so make sure it has a stiff dam.

After it has settled I iced it by piping vertical strips and smoothing them in that direction as well.

Use your favorite method to smooth the cake. I use the Viva method and used my hands instead of a spatula.

As I smoothed the cake I could feel where the ridges should be and used my finger to press the paper towel into them.

Cover in orange fondant.

I made a template for the face and cut the features out of yellow fondant and applied with a brush of water. This is the template I used. You may have to re size it for your cake.

Add some leaves to the top and the cake board for decoration.
I made mine using a maple leaf cutter but you can use any leaf cutter you have or free hand them.

Finish the cake by inserting the pumpkin ears at an angle to the top of the cake.

Fast , fun and easy!

At the last minute I decided to make the ears out of fondant covered Styrofoam balls.
I was concerned about the weight of the rice krispie treat ears and the road vibration transporting it to the party. I didn't want them to pull the dowels they were attached to down through the sides of the cake.
I purchased 3 inch Styrofoam craft balls in the floral department.

Wet them a bit and covered them in orange fondant.
I used a wood dowel to make the pumpkin impressions. Set it in the middle of the ear and rock it up and down gently evenly around the ball.
I then used the wood dowels to insert these into the cake.
They worked great and were incredibly light.
I would use the krispie treat ears if I didn't have to transport this cake.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

This is my most requested recipe.
I made them for my father's 60th birthday party two years ago and I'm still being asked for the recipe.
I have already posted some fall flavor cupcakes that were fast and easy recipes.
This one has a longer list of ingredients and a bit more prep time but it's a great scratch recipe that is so worth the time.

save & print jpeg
save & print jpeg
First thing I do is process the crystalized ginger in the food processor until it's in very fine pieces.
You don't want large chunks in your cupcakes.
These have a very 'warm' full flavor and make a great dessert cupcake.
I decorate mine with sunflowers for fall and these disappear faster than any other cupcake I make.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Monster Truck Cake Challenge

There is that one cake, the one that you take an order for and have no idea how you are going to pull it off.
This was the one for me.
A monster truck.
There are plenty of monster truck cakes online, some are pretty good.
Due to the design of them it makes construction a challenge.
My first task was to design an elevated cake " stand" to set the truck on.
I went to Michaels and bought a thick piece of wood and a birch dowel.
Skip this step, I didn't use them.
Plan B
Buy a piece of foam core , a cake board and Wilton wood dowels.

For the cake I used the Wilton Cruiser Pan.

I never use character pans anymore , but the car ones are great when you don't have time to carve cake.

While my cake was baking I made the tires.
Fortunately there was a tutorial on Jessicakes website which I followed ( for the most part )  and they came out great.
The tires were made of Rice Krispie Treats that I molded in another one of my Wilton pans. I call it my min-bundt pan but I'm quite sure that isn't what Wilton calls it.
It's this one though.

Once they were formed I covered them in buttercream and let that dry a bit.

While that was drying I discovered Jessicakes tutorial and discovered she had better ideas so I grabbed my 4 inch round cookie cutter.
I shaped my tires with the cookie cutter shaving off the sides and making it all nice and even and round.

Once that was done I used a diamond shaped cutter to make tread.

Attach the " v's" to the tires.

 Cover with black fondant.

Roll out some grey fondant and cut 1 inch circles for wheels. Attach those to the tires with a brush of water.

With a small round icing tip decorate wheels.

Once the cake was cooled I placed it on the cake board and traced it.
Set the cake aside and cut the cake board.
Glue cake to cake board with some buttercream.

I made Grave Digger so I had to build up the back with some cake crumbs mixed with some icing and moulded onto the cake.

Cut out the wheel wells, I used my round cutter at a 45 degree angle to get nice even cut outs.

Ice cake and smooth.

Cover with fondant.

I found an image of the trucks decals and printed that with my edible image printer.
These came out the exact size I needed without any resizing.

I applied these with a brush of corn syrup so they would adhere smooth and firm.
I added some headlights made of fondant and I cut some windows and a windshield freehand out of grey fondant.
Attach to truck with some water.

Ok, so the truck is done, tires are done, that leaves the cake board and the " stand".
I had been dreading this part because I had no idea how I was going to pull it off.
I was planning to use cake scraps to build dirt mounds but of course this was one of those rare occasions that my cakes baked perfectly even. ( I was making another birthday cake and had planned to use those. )
Again, plan B.
I baked one 8 inch layer of chocolate cake to crush to make the dirt mounds.
For the cake board I started by covering it in chocolate buttercream.
To make the supports to elevate the truck I cut the wood dowels 1/4 inch taller than my truck tires and sharpened one end to a point to pierce the cake board.
I used 4, one to hide behind each tire and then I used 1 thin dowel in the middle.
I covered all of these with black fondant to make them blend in.

Mound crushed cake scraps all around the cake board.

To reinforce the cake board the truck is on I cut a rectangle of foam core and covered that in black fondant to make it match as well.
Place cake on that fondant covered foam core and then set on the supports.
Set tires in place and add any details you choose.

I made a flag with a #4 on it because the birthday boy was turning 4.

Challenge complete.

It wasn't quite as difficult as I had imaged it would be and the structure was stable enough to hold it for quite a few hours.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cupcakes

These guys have been around a long time and are still quite popular.
Brandon's friend Cam is turning 5 and is in his TMNT phase right now.
Cupcakes have been very popular this year so for the party his Mom and I decided on cupcakes with a small 6 inch cake to top the cupcake tower.

To make the Ninja turtle face I printed out this turtle face and made a template.

I cut it out and used clear packing tape to reinforce it.
I would need to use it at least 12 times and I didn't want the paper to get sticky or damaged.

I rolled out a mix of green fondant and gumpaste to 1/4 inch and with an Exacto knife cut out 12 turtles.

I rolled out black fondant and cut out mouths with the open end of a 1M tip. I cut each circle in 1/2 and used 1/2 circle per turtle.

Next I made the impressions for their mouth and nose before my fondant got too stiff. I used an oval cutter to make these imprints.

At the ends of the mouth imprint I used the open end of a decorating tip to add detail.

I rolled out come red fondant to finish off the mouth.
 With the open end of a smaller tip I cut circles and cut those in 1/2 and used 1/2 per turtle for a tongue.

We are gettin' there...

Next I cut the mask out of my template to use to make the turtles masks.
I had to google it but I found that I needed red, orange, blue , and purple masks to cover all of the turtles.
I rolled out fondant in each color and with my exacto knife cut out masks for each turtle.

Sorry for the vertical photo. If I could figure out how to flip it I would :(

I used my smallest Wilton leaf cutter to make the " tie" in the back.

Use the open end of a large tip to cut off the bottoms in a semi-circle.

Attach everything with a dab of water.

Sorry for the vertical photo. If I knew how to flip it I would :(

Last are the eyes.
Roll out some white fondant.
I used my Atecco rain drop mini cutter for this part.

After cutting them out I cut off each tip to a flat edge.


Startin' to look like some Ninja Turtles now...

I rolled out some black fondant and with my drinking straw cut out a bunch of circles. Two per turtle to be exact.

Have fun with these, where you position the pupils really gives the turtle some character. I chose three positions, one kind of cross eyed, one looking straight ahead and one looking to the side.