Barcode Cake

My husband’s company hosted a 25th year anniversary party and they asked me to do the cake. I was super excited and they gave me free artistic control over the design. I was able to experiment with a lot of new techniques and ideas. The supply list for this baby would be way to long so I’m just going to focus on some of the highlights on this cake.

Stats:
4 tiers – top and bottom tiers were classic white cake and middle tiers were chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream filling
Frosted in buttercream with fondant decorations
Tier sizes – 6 inch round, 9 inch round, 12 inch round and 14 inch square
Feeds approximately 150 people

The Topper:

Many fondant decorations can be made in advance including the topper. The topper is black fondant with tylose powder added for stability. I printed off the font and size of the numbers on my computer. I placed the computer paper under a sheet of wax paper. Using my clay extruder with the largest round disc, I made a long fondant snake. (You could roll these by hand but I like the consistency of the extruder).  I rolled the ends thinner than the rest of the snake. Using the print out as my guide, I formed each of the numbers. While the fondant was still soft, I inserted 3.5 inch skewers into the numbers so I could insert them into the cake once they were dried. As always, make 2 of everything to plan for breakage.  As long as you make 2 you won’t break anything:)

Curlie Qs  were also made in advance, out of fondant with a bit of tylose powder. Using my fabulous fetticini attachment for my Kitchenaid, I was able to roll out pieces of orange and yellow fondant about 1/4 inch thick and run them through the pasta attachment. This created many strips of fondant. I then wrapped them around a 1.5 inch diameter wooden dowel. You can wrap the dowel in press n seal wrap and then dust it with cornstarch before wrapping the fondant around a dowel. Use a dab of shortening on the ends to keep it on the dowel while it dries. Let the curlie qs dry on the dowel for 24 hours. Carefully remove them from the dowel and let them finish drying for another day or so. 
Quick tip – If you don’t have a ton of time to dry your fondant decorations, place them on a lined cookie sheet in the oven. Be sure the oven is  OFF but turn the oven light on. The oven light produces a small amount of heat that will dry the decorations faster.  

 Honeycomb:
The honeycomb was a bit of an experiment for me. I knew I wanted it to be edible but I was having a hard time coming up with how to create the honeycomb effect. I kept looking for impression mats, chocolate molds anything that would work. Then while I was wandering around my favorite cake supply store, I saw a candy mold that would make hexagon jewels. Turn the mold over and the back is a perfect honeycomb. Now for the fun part… playing with molten sugar. You can use real sugar or isomalt to create sugar art, however I wanted something easily accessible and tasty so I decided to use butterscotch. I melted several pieces of butterscotch in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. WARNING – when working with sugar be very careful not to burn yourself or the sugar. Always melt sugar in very small increments of time.    I sprayed the back of the mold with a light coating of non-stick spay, then gently poured the sugar onto the back of the candy mold. Let it set up for about 10 minutes then it just pops right off the mold. I sprayed a sheet of wax paper with non-stick spray and placed the honeycomb pieces on the wax paper in a bakery box. You can use a variety of hard candies with this method, Jolly Ranchers, Butterscotch , life savors. Be sure your molds are for working with hot sugar. Many molds don’t tolerate the high heat.

Logos and Barcodes:
The logos are all hand cut fondant. Like the topper, I printed off each logo the size I wanted them to be. Then I cut out each letter or logo. Roll out a piece of fondant and let it air dry for an hour or so. Then using a very sharp knife (or exact knife dedicated to caking only), cut the letters out of fondant and set them on parchment or wax paper to dry. The QR codes (small square barcodes) are edible images placed on fondant plaques. These QR codes were scannable and included messages including the names of the business units (Wasp Barcode, System Id and Barcode Trading Post)  as well as Happy Anniversary.

Wasps on Wires:
One of the business units logo is the wasp so I decided to do little wasps flying around the cake. Using tinted fondant I cut thick circles, decreasing in size,  out of alternating yellow and orange fondant. The heads are just shaped into a fat triangle. Using gum-glue (gum-tex powdered dissolved in water) I glued the bodies and heads together. After the glue had dried, using the smallest circle disc on my clay extruder, I extruded very thin black snakes. Placing a small amount of water along the seam of each body segment, I wrapped the black snack. I left the wasps to dry for a few hours or up to a day. Eyes are edible candy eyes by Wilton also attached with gum glue. The only non-edible part of wasps is the antenae and the legs, and of course the wires they’re flying on. The antenae and legs are made from black flower stamens. I cut them to size and dipped them in the gum glue before inserting them into the wasp. Fondant this thick takes a while to dry. Using the cake wires by Duff, I shapped the cake wires into spirals and inserted them into the bottom of the wasps and inserted them into a piece of styrofoam. While the wasps continued drying, I made sheets of clear gelatin. There are gelatin specific texture sheets that you paint melted gelatin on and once the gelatin dries you can cut it into any shape you want. I cut out gelatin wings and mounted them on tiny pieces of fondant. Once the wings had attached to the fondant, use the gum glue to attach the wings directly to the wasps. Always remember it’s not safe to put wires directly into the cake so you can use coffee stirs or plastic lollipop sticks to keep the wires from coming in direct contact with the cake.

It was a really fun cake to do with all the little details.

Fun with CakePops

 

My friend Karen gave me this great book Cake Pops by Bakerella.  I saved the tops of my leveled cakes and some left over buttercream and we decided to have a play date and make cake pops. This was very “ad hoc”…meaning we just used what we had handy for decorations. It was great:)

Supplies:
Cake – any flavor
Frosting – any flavor (store bought is fine)
Candy Melts or dipping chocolate
Lollipop Sticks
Styrofoam to hold finish pops
Various sprinkles and sugars for designs

I had read a lot about cake balls and cake pops on the internet. The most common problem seemed to be using too much frosting. So although the official instructions call for quite a bit of frosting per cake, we just mushed up the cake and added a few tablespoons of frosting until the consistency would hold a ball. The first few cake balls we made, we just grabbed a hunk and rolled them up. But then I grabbed my handy cookie scoop and that gave us more even proportions for the cake balls. We rolled several in advance and chilled them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Do not freeze them too long or the chocolate will crack…trust us…we learned from experience:)

Melt the candy melts in a microwave in a deep narrow container on 1/2 power. I used a 2 cup measuring cup. This was a nice amount of chocolate to work with and easy for us to move in and out of the microwave. It is easy to burn chocolate so always melt it in small increments on medium heat.  The book says “you may need to add shortening to thin out the chocolate”. Using candy melts, it was absolutely necessary to add shortening to get the coating consistency just right. I added 2 heaping tablespoons to the one bag of candy melts and that worked well.

You have the choice of making cake balls (not on a stick) or cake pops which are on a stick. The rules are basically the same but if you do cake balls you need to place the ball in the chocolate using a dipping fork or a regular plastic fork with the middle tines removed. This lets you remove the ball without damaging the chocolate on bottom. Place the cake balls on parchment or wax paper to set up.

For cake pops, you dip the end of the stick in the melted chocolate and then press gently into the naked ball of cake. Let it set up a bit and then you should be able to pick up the stick and the cake ball will be attached. Too much frosting and the ball will pull away. If they are not chilled enough you can have the same problem but generally for us it was a frosting issue.

Dip the cake pop into the chocolate and swirl gently until the entire ball is covered in chocolate. Lift the pop out at an angle and let the extra chocolate fall back into the container. You want to make sure the chocolate is thick enough to coat but thin enough to cover..so it’s a bit of learning curve until you get the chocolate just right. Once the cake pop is covered place the stick into a piece of styrofoam to let it setup.

Various decorating ideas:


 

 

 

Karen did one of my favorite design which was a swirl pattern. She dipped the pop into white candy melts, then using a toothpick applied dots of red. Using the toothpick she created patterns with the colors directly on the pop.
Sprinkles – I have a pretty big assortment of sprinkles and dragees. Rolling the cakepops in sprinkles got a solid covering. If you just took a pinch of sprinkles and literally sprinkled them on top of the cake pop you got a much more open pattern The dragees gave a fun modern effect of spots. Place each dragee separately to get a nice even placement.

For shine I had both pearl dust and a luster spray so we decided to do a side by side comparison. 

The left is dusted with luster dust and the right is sprayed with Pearl Sheen

The only design we did directly from the book was the cupcake pop which we loved. I can’t wait to try other designs  for her book. To make the cupcake press the bottom of the ball into a small round or flower shaped cutter to create the base of the cupcake. Dip the bottom of the cupcake in one color and lay it face down (non chocolate side down) and insert the lollipop stick.

Once the chocolate has set, use the stick to dip the top of the cupcake in a another color.  Apply designs and sprinkles at will. We used red gobstoppers as our cherries but you can use whatever red candies you have handy.

We were shocked at how many cake pops you can get out of a small amount of cake so be prepared to be dipping for a while!

Also my friend Ari posted a great thread on making the apple cake pops
http://letsgetcaking.blogspot.com/2009/08/chocolate-apple-cake-pops.html. They came out super cute. 

Happy Caking!

Christening Cake

 

male christening cake

I made this cake for my friend’s adorable little boy, James, on his Christening. On the day of his baptism, he also turned 1 (hence the cupcake). It was really fun to make a “boy” cake. I knew when I started this cake that I wanted something that was subtle and reflected the purpose of the day. Also since he was 1, I really didn’t want it to be too “baby”. I decided on the angled top tier to highlight the cross and wanted to do an argyle pattern on the bottom. It’s not quite a true argyle because once the diamonds were placed, I was afraid the hash marks would take away from the cake.  FYI, I’m a total sucker for a harlequin pattern so  expect to see it time and again 😉

Cake Details:
6 inch and 8 inch  strawberry cake with strawberry butter cream filling.

Supplies:
Double batch of buttercream (using 4 lbs of powdered sugar)
Support system of choice ( I use SPS – single plate system for tiered cakes)
Long knife or cake leveler
14 inch cake drum and ribbon
1/2 lb blue fondant (it may take less but I prefer to have too much)
Tylose powder or Gumtex powder
Paint brush
Diamond Impression Mat
Fondant Smoother
Viva Paper towels
Diamond Cutters (I use Ateco)
Cross cookie cutter
Wilton Sugar Pearls, White
Ribbon cutter
Clay Extruder (optional)

Level and fill the 8 inch cake on it’s own cake board. I prefer to keep my cakes larger plastic cake boards to make them easier to manage (see Disney Cars Cake tutorial for details).  Cover and let settle. While the larger cake is resting, it is time to make the angled top for the smaller tier. I have a wonderful cake lever called an Agbay that makes this process much easier but you can do this with a knife. Using the Agbay, I adjusted the cake leveler to the degree of angle I wanted. The leveler is wide so I was able to move the cake left or right to adjust the impact on the top tier. If you look at the angle you can see it’s not severe if I just took the top piece off. The trick is to take the top piece and flip it over to make the high side of the angle even higher. This gives a more dramatic cake and you don’t waste any cake.

Place the other 6 inch layer on a cake board face down. Apply icing dam and fill. Place the tall angled cake on top of that layer. If you crumb coat, crumb coat the cake, cover it and let it rest. Resting cakes helps prevent the bulge where the filling is located. Cakes should rest several hours or over night.  While your cakes are resting there are several things you can do. Cover your cake board in a food safe covering. I use wrapping paper then cover that in FDA clear wrap you can find at craft stores. This is a great time to make buttercream and color your fondant.

Once the cakes have rested, I started on the bottom tier. Ice the cake in white buttercream and smooth.

Ice the cake smooth with buttercream. As you can see in the picture my buttercream is not perfect but the bottom tier is busy enough to hide most of the flaws.  Take a small amount of blue fondant and and a pinch of tylose or gumtex and knead it into the fondant. Let the fondant sit (covered) for a few minutes while you get out your rolling pin and cutters.  Roll out the blue fondant fairly thin, I prefer this to be as thin as possible because I think it makes for a prettier final product.  A pasta roller is perfect for this but I didn’t pull mine out for this cake.  I also prefer to  roll these out on cornstarch because that drier back makes them easier to move around.  Cut out several diamonds at a time.  Using a small paint brush, paint the back of the diamonds with water (for dark colors I prefer piping gel because you don’t risk the color running). Attach the diamonds in an argly patter. It is difficult to get the back to line up just right so just “fake” it a bit when you get to the back. In this case I wish I had started with the top diamonds and then added the bottom ones. The border hides enough that I think it would have been prettier to have a little more blue on the top of the bottom tier.
Once the bottom tier is complete, frost the top angled tier. You can see here that my frosting is almost smooth but still has lots of spatula marks. Take a Viva brand paper towel (yes it has to be Viva and it has to be pattern free), holding the paper towel to the side of the cake, run your fondant smoother firmly over the paper towel. This will smooth out any rough edges. Depending your buttercream recipe, you want to do this when the frosting is crusted but not crunchy. If the paper towel sticks, the frosting is not crusted. If you see hair line cracks then the frosting is too crusted. I don’t get the hair line cracks now that I have switched to hi-ratio shortening.  

Once smooth,  apply the diamond impression mat to the front of the cake and rock the mat to the left and the right.  Do not press on the very end of either side. (This will create a line where you stopped). Be very careful to hold the mat in place to keep the lines clean. Remove the mat and line up the edge of the impression with the mat on the left hand side and rock around. Move to the opposite side and repeat until you meet in the back. Again it will not be perfect, that is why we work around to the back from both the left and the right side.  Apply sugar pearls at the intersection of each quilt. Long tweezers (for caking only) work great for this.  Generally the pearls stick on their own but you can add a dab of waangled tierter or piping gel if the frosting is completely crusted.  Next roll out a thin, long piece of fondant to make the top border. Using the rick rack wheels on your ribbon cutter, cut out the top border. Attach with a bit of water painted on the back. Roll out a thin piece of fondant and using the cross cookie cutter, cut one cross. Let it sit for a several minutes to harden, so it is easier to apply to the cake. 

Now that the top and bottom tier are almost finished, assemble your support system. Using SPS, I attached 4 pillars to a 6 inch plate and inserted it into the bottom tier. I chilled the top tier for 15 minutes in the freezer to make it easier to apply to the top of the cake. Place a dab of buttercream on the SPS plate, and place the top tier onto the plate. Once that is complete, make a border. I used the square disk on my clay extruder to make the off white fondant border but you can roll a snake, uselarge  pearls or do a buttercream border. Apply the border to the top and bottom tier and you are done.  The cupcake was a jumbo strawberry cupcake with buttercream frosting and blue sugar sprinkles that was James’ smash cake. Boy did he have fun smashing it up.

Disney’s Cars Cake

Disney Car's Desert Cake

I made this cake for Mari and Jeff’s 3 year old son Antonio. As you can see, the theme was the Disney’s Cars movie. Jeff and Mari did a great job designing the cake.

Cake Details:
6 inch and 10 inch tiers
White Almond Sour Cream Cake
Buttercream Frosting (double batch using 4lb of powdered sugar)

Decorating Supplies:
14 inch cake drum
2 lbs black fondant
1/4 lb of red fondant
small amount of yellow fondant
small amount of white fondant
brown, copper, green and blue food coloring
1 lollipop stick
black ribbon (1/2 inch width) to edge the cake drum
Wilton Square Cut-Outs
Makin’s Clay Extruder
Piping gel or water
Small paint brushes
Piping tips 32 and 233
FMM Funky Alphabet Tappit Cutters
Number Chocolate Mold
Red and yellow candy melts
Template for Cactus and Sign

In Advance
chocolate mold 3
Roll out a thin round of black fondant to cover the 14 inch cake drum. Apply piping gel or water to the drum, and place the black fondant on top. Trim the fondant to the edge. Let this dry for a couple of days. Do not store in an airtight container or it will not dry.  
Next make  the chocolate 3. Melt the red and yellow chocolate melts in separate containers. Remember to always melt chocolate at 1/2 power to avoid scorching. To get the multiple colors, mix a small amount of yellow and red chocolate together. Fill the bottom of the mold with red, then the middle with orange and then the yellow. Using a toothpick mix the edges where the colors meet to create a smoother transition. Tap the mold to remove any air bubbles and let set. Once the chocolate is complete set it should easily pop out of the mold. Depending on the temp between 30 minutes to an hour.

Bottom Tier:
black and white check
Frost with white frosting and smooth. Place a dab of frosting on the black cake drum, and place the bottom tier centered on the drum.  Roll out the black fondant to about an 1/8 inch 
Using the medium square cutter, cut out several squares. Avoid cutting too many in advance or they will get too dry.
Attach squares using buttercream. To evenly space the squares, place the square cutter gently next to the black square on the cake  and apply the next square. While the cutter was still in place, place the next black square above the cutter to create the checkerboard pattern. Next, roll out about 1 lb of  black fondant to 1/8 of inch. Using a 10 inch cake circle as a guide, trim the fondant so that you have a 10  black circle.  Lightly dampen  the back of the black fondant circle and place it on the 10 inch cake. Knead in a generous amount of shortening into a small amount of red fondant. Using the medium round disk, extrude a red rope long enough to go around the 10 inch cake. If you do not have an extruder, you can roll a simple rope.  red black and white tier
Using a thin paint brush, paint water or piping gel along the top edge of the black squares. Apply the red rope around the top ledge of the squares. Roll out a small amount of yellow fondant and cut into thin strips. A Ribbon Cutter is great for this but if you don’t have one, just use a pizza cutter. Cut the strips into short pieces (just under an inch in my case).  Attach the yellow pieces along the board and the top of the 10 inch tier to create the stripes in the road. For the name, I used the FMM Funky Alphabet Tappit Cutters . On a surface dusted with cornstarch, roll out red fondant pretty thin. Then place a piece of saran wrap over the fondant and pressed the letter cutters into the fondant. This is a great way to keep the letters from sticking.  Paint the back of each letter with a very small amount of water and attach to the squares.

Top Tier:

route 66 desertFill the 6 inch cake  (on its own cake board) with white frosting and cover tightly until ready to use. Tint 4 cups of frosting blue. I intentionally did not mix all of the color into the frosting so that it had streaks of white throughout it for clouds. Frost the 6 inch cake in the blue frosting. Smooth and set aside. Roll out a  small piece of white fondant for the Route 66 sign (see template under Supplies).   Cut out the route sign and let this sit for an hour or so to stiffen up. Knead in a generous amount of Crisco into a small amount of black fondant and place it in a clean clay extruder. Using the medium circle disk, extrude a snake that will be the sign pole. Place this somewhere to dry straight.  Switch the disc in the extruder to the smallest circle and extrude another snake. Apply water around the edge of the Route sign and attach the thin black snake to create the outline. Use another thin snake to make the two sixes. Let the sixes dry before attaching them to the sign. Attach using a small amount of water.
While the sign is drying, cut the lollipop stick in 1/2 to be the base of the flags.
Cut 2 pieces of white fondant and attach to the lollipop sticks. Be sure the flags are facing opposite directions. Using a pizza cutter or ribbon cutter, cut strips of black fondant. Using the same width, cut the strips into squares. Apply the squares with water to the white flags to make the checkered patter. Let dry.
To create the desert rock formations, mix copper and brown food coloring  into white fondant. Knead the color in until you get the desired effect.  Roll this out very thin. Then just tear it into pieces of various shapes and sizes.
Using the paper templates and toothpicks, mark the front of your cake where the Route 66 sign will go. Then mark where you would like each cactus to be placed.  Between each cactus, attach a desert rock formation using buttercream.
For the cactus, I added kelly green and juniper green food coloring to the left over blue frosting.   Fill a piping bag with green frosting and cap with tip 32. Start at the top of each cactus and pipe down. Then add the arms to each cactus. Once done, place the 6 inch cake in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. This will make it easier to place on top of the bottom tier. While the top cake is chilling, assemble your support system. In my case, I use the single plate system (SPS). Insert your support system into the bottom tier. Once the top tier is chilled, remove it from the freezer and place it on the plate (or dowels if that’s your support structure).  Attach the Route 66  sign and pole to the 6 inch cake using frosting or piping gel. Apply the flags to the top of the cake. Using a glue gun, attach the black ribbon along the base of the cake drum to cover up the rest of the silver foil.

 The toy cars and number 3 were added on site.

Happy Caking!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling/Frosting

I discovered this recipe checking out Let’s Get Caking’s fabulous post on her luggage cake. She is another hobby baker and we must be kindred spirits because we ended up with very similar names for our sites.  So while checking out her cake I saw she used this chocolate chip frosting and I HAD to try it. I made up an excuse to try out this recipe and my new Cupcake Genius pan at the same time.

The original Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe can be found at http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7600/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-icingfilling

For me the original recipe is a little bit thin as a filling. I’m sure it is great as a frosting but for my version of this I doubled the eggless cookie dough portion.

  • FROSTING BASE:
    1-3/4 cups confectioners sugar
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon milk
    Eggless cookie dough (recipe below) 
  • EGGLESS COOKIE DOUGH:
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
    4 teaspoons water
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1  cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 oz  grated bakers unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
  • Instructions

    MAKE EGGLESS COOKIE DOUGH:  

    1. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add water and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and stir to combine. Grate 4 oz of bakers chocolate on a regular cheese grater. When you grate the chocolate it will be very fine. This is perfect. Reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons of the grated chocolate for topping. Fold the chocolate into the batter. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

    MAKE FROSTING:

    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
    2. Add milk and continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mix until well combined.
    3.  Add eggless cookie dough to mixture

    I had my DH’s company taste test these cupcakes and they were a big hit. Everyone said the filling was the best part.

    My “Go To” Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Everyone has their “go to recipes” so I’m posting my chocolate recipe first. Overall, I use both doctored cake mixes and scratch recipes depending on the flavor cake I’m making. My go to Chocolate Cake Recipe is from the  the Cake Mix Doctor….one of my favorite recipe book.

    I prefer Devil’s Food cake to regular chocolate cake but I’m sure you can adjust using the chocolate cake mix you prefer.

    Ingredients

    1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I like Duncan Hines)
    3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use the Hershey Dark which is a dutch processed cocoa)
    1 1/3 cup of buttermilk
    ½ cup vegetable oil
    3 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp almond extract*

    *Almond extract  is not in the cake mix doctors original recipe. I really love chocolate cake with a little bit of almond flavoring. I also love chocolate cake paired with an almond buttercream.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Traditionally you bake cakes at 350 degrees but I find you get a more even cake and less of a dome at 325.

    Put the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients. This prevents you from having to scrape down the very bottom of the bowl as you mix.  Blend all the ingredients together for 1 minute on low , scrape down sides then mix for  2 minutes on medium speed.  

    By the way I use powdered buttermilk because it keeps longer in the fridge than regular buttermilk and I always have it on hand.  

    You can grease and flour your pans but I prefer homemade cake release (recipe at the end of this post). Prep two 8 inch  pans. Fill each pan about 2/3 of the way full. This recipe makes 2 8 inch rounds with a few cupcakes left over.  

    Bake at 325 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean. Ovens do vary so you want to watch your cakes but try not to open the oven all the time. This can cause the cakes to sink in the middle. I usually check my cakes around 30-35 minutes and they’re usually finished around  40 to 45 minutes.  Mine do take longer than some because I bake at 325.

    Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out on a cooling rack and leave them until they are completely cooled.

    Homemade Cake Release
    Ingredients:
    ¼ cup shortening
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    ¼ cup flour

    Mix until completely combined and looks kind of like paste. Use a pastry brush to apply to the pans. Be sure to coat the corners well.  This is much easier and much less messy than the grease and flour method.  I store my cake release in a squeeze bottle from Michael’s that I got in the candy making section. It keeps on the shelf for several months but it rarely lasts me that long. If you need a larger quantity just be sure you use equal parts shortening, oil and flour.

    Dad’s Strawberry Cake Recipe

    This recipe is a family favorite. It’s my dad’s favorite birthday cake and has been since he was a little boy. The frosting is a traditional buttercream with fresh strawberries. It does require refrigeration and is not really meant for piping or decorating.

    Cake:
    1 box White Cake Mix
    1 small box of strawberry jello
    3 tablespoons flour
    3/4 cup of oil
    4 large eggs
    1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen – do not thaw)
    1/2 cup of water

    Mix all ingredients together. I usually follow the cake mix doctor’s recommendation of mixing for 2 minutes. My great grandmother said this will fill 2 eight inch pans but she was not talking about “professional” cake pans. I really find this cake will fill 2 6 inch pans and a few extra cupcakes.

    Edited to add: Bake at 325 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Usually 30-45 minutes.

    Frosting:
    1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen – thawed)
    1 stick of room temperature butter
    2lbs of powdered sugar

    Blend strawberries and butter together with hand mixer. Slowly add powdered sugar to desired consistency. This frosting can be used as a glaze by reducing the amount of powdered sugar you add. If your strawberries are very juicy, you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar to get the consistency you desire to ice your cake.

    Strawberry cake

    Dad's Strawberry cake wrapped in Pirouette Cookies

    Because the frosting isn’t very decorator friendly I wrapped this cake in Chocolate Pirouette Cookies. It took just over 2 containers of cookies.  Fresh strawberries are piled on top with a red ribbon to finish the look. The ribbon also helped the cookies stay in place on delivery:)

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