Buttercream Extravaganza

My friend, Geeg, has a daughter who is turning two-years-old.  Her birthday party was on Monday at a neighborhood park.  When I found out that Geeg was planning to slap some icing on a 9X13 cake and call it done, I had to intervene.  No decorations?  No writing?  Uncacceptable!

I am by no means a cake decorating expert but I have taken a basics class.  Let’s just say I know my way around some buttercream…  I may not be able to do fondant or fancy basket weaves but I can turn out a respectable basic birthday cake.  So, I happily volunteered to decorate Geeg’s daughter’s cake.

It’s not perfect but I am happy with how it turned out.  I heard that Audrey liked it.  Wildman and I did not get to go to the party since he was sick.


Buttercream Icing

2 lbs.  bag of powdered sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 tablespoon butter flavoring
1 tablespoon clear vanilla

Mix together in a stand mixer for five minutes or so…  Add gel coloring to make desired colors.  This recipe makes a ton!  It’s enough to cover and decorate a two layer 10-inch round cake.

If you want the kind of icing that hardens into flowers or whatever (Royal Icing) then use the first 3 ingredients only.




I’m finally finished with my day long cake decorating adventure! What do you think?

Wildman’s Cake:

Cousin’s Cake:

Five Days to Go!

This is our Christmas forecast, people:

*sigh* Looks like we’ll be sporting shorts on Christmas again this year…

Last night our dear friends, B and F, host their annual Pre-Christmas dinner party for our family and my cousin’s family. There were 6 kids and 6 adults. B decided to let everyone create their own pizzas this year! What a fabulous idea! The outcome was an inventive array of wonderful cheesy goodness. Her selection of toppings was quite creative. She had everything from your usual pepperoni and mozzarella to some different choices like cucumber, carrots and feta cheese. After dinner we let the kiddos exchange gifts and then we all ate homemade chocolate cake. It was almost 11 PM by the time we left. It was a lot of fun and I greatly appreciate B and F’s hospitality! Nothing beats good friends and good food!

Today, my project is to work on birthday cakes. I decided to go homemade this year and put my Wilton Cake Decorating Class skillz to good use. Friday is Wildman’s actual birthday and I’m hosting a family get-together to celebrate both his 3rd and my youngest cousin’s 25th birthdays. I’m making 2 cakes. Wildman’s will be a white cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It will be decorated with various candies including M&M’s (his ultimate favorite) and gummy worms! My cousin’s cake will be strawberry with chocolate buttercream frosting. Her cake will be decorated with these adorable, over-sized sprinkles. They look like pastel polka dots. I really hope these cakes turn out well. The first nerve-wracking stage is done. I’ve baked the cakes and gotten them out of the pans intact. Whew! I hate that part. I’m always afraid they’re going to break in two. Next, I need to level the cakes with a bread knife. We don’t need wobbly layers! Then, I’m going to frost those bad boys with the “crumb catching” layer of frosting. This step consists of applying a coat of watered-down frosting to the naked cakes and allowing it to dry. Ideally, this layer of frosting seals in the tiny crumbs and creates a nice surface to work up some buttercream magic. I’ll take some photos of the final product. Hopefully, they’ll look semi-professional!

Wildman’s preschool holiday party is tomorrow too. I volunteered to help out. Note to self: don’t volunteer for this next year. It’s too darn busy this time of year with all the holidays and birthdays and stuff. Anyway, I’m bringing the goody bags and snacks. Since I brought in cupcakes for Wildman’s class on Wednesday for a little class celebration of his birthday, I decided to bring a healthier snack for tomorrow. I’m bringing applesauce and chewy granola bars. I hope the kids aren’t too pissed I’m not bringing in more cupcakes or cookies. I did sneak some candy canes and chocolate coins into the goody bags though. That should help give them a nice sugar buzz when they get home 🙂

Busy times!