Sky Rose Cake

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This weekend I had a cake order for a couple who were both turning 45. The wife thought it was a good idea to put 90 on the cake, for the combination of both ages. I loved it!

This is a 2-tiered lemon cake (8″ on the bottom, 6″ on the top) with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream. I decorated it in ombre roses. It’s a very simple technique and quite easy to do. You need to make about 2 big batches of buttercream, and split them up into however many bowls of different colours you want. For this cake I split it up into five bowls. I started with dying the darkest colour first, and so on and so forth.

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LEMON CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
  • 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1-2/3 cups (400 mL) milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk.
  3. Gently fold in lemon juice to make curdled-looking batter.
  4. Divide between 2 greased and parchment paper–lined 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake pans.
  5. Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes; transfer to rack and let cool completely.

RASPBERRY FILLING

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16oz) of frozen raspberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Drain raspberries, reserving liquid.
  2. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups.
  3. In large saucepan, combine liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well.
  4. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely.
  5. Stir thawed raspberries into cooled mixture.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

If you want to follow exactly the way I made this cake, here are the steps listed below:

  1. I sliced my two cakes in half, leaving me with 4 layers.
  2. I placed my first cake layer on the cake board, and added a layer of my vanilla buttercream, followed with a thin layer of the raspberry filling (you don’t want to add a thick layer of the raspberry filling, because remember by the end you will have 3 layers of the raspberry filling, so you don’t want it to be over-powering because it is quite sweet tasting).
  3. Next, I added another cake layer and repeated the same steps, until I used up all my cake layers.
  4. Once all my cake layers were stacked, with the two fillings in-between, I added a crumb coat** of buttercream around the outside.
  5. I placed it in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow it to harden really well. Typically, I will set it in the freezer for 10 minutes (doesn’t need to be too long) but because there was raspberry filling coming out the sides when I did the crumb coat, I wanted to make sure the raspberry filling was locked in tight. You want to avoid any raspberry poking through your final layer of buttercream)

** A crumb coat is a thin layer of buttercream around the outside of the cake, to lock in any crumbs so they don’t get into your final layer of buttercream.

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SLC First Year Anniversary

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I am super excited and honoured to be asked by my University to provide them with tasty treats for the SLC’s first year anniversary party (and for all you school friends, it’s today from 1pm-5pm!)

I made two large 12″ four layered chocolate and vanilla cakes. One was covered in vanilla white fondant, decorated with the SLC logo on top, along with the text “SLC First Year Anniversary” and “#RSLC”. Around the outside of the cake, I included the SLC frit pattern to resemble the actual building on campus. More pictures are down below! 😀

On the second cake, I decorated it with roses in the University colours. Alongside the two cakes, I baked 84 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (in the colours of the University, to match the rose cake). Five of those cupcakes are decorated with the SLC’s stakeholders logos: SLC, RULA, Launch Zone, DME and Student Learning Support.

I had a long day of baking yesterday to prepare for today’s event, but I had a very fun time doing this. I am honoured to be apart of this event, and super excited they were willing to support my business. Thank you SLC! Enjoy your party!

If you would like to see all the recipes I used for my cakes, cupcakes and buttercreams – they are all listed down below.

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Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

Vanilla Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Butter two 20-cm (8-inch) springform pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes or until thick, pale and triple in volume. Drizzle in the oil while beating.
  4. At low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter into the pans and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes. Remove from the pans and let completely cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk*

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

(makes about 28 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • liquid or gel red food colouring
  • 1 cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the flour and cornstarch together to make sure it is evenly combined. Whisk this, along with baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the oil and beat on high for 2 minutes. The butter may look “piece-y” and not completely combine with the oil. This is normal and ok.
  4. Add two egg yolks and the vanilla. (Set the egg whites aside.) Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vinegar and the food colouring– until you reach your desired colour. I use 2 Tablespoons. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not over mix. Whisk or beat the 2 egg whites until thick and foamy, about 3 minutes. Fold into cupcake batter with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The batter will be silky and slightly thick.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners filling 1/2 – 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-21 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t over bake; your cupcakes will dry out. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of cream cheese, softened (8oz each)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (if desired)

Directions:

  1. In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter. Beat in sugar in 2 additions until smooth. Add milk if icing is too thick.

Red and Black Rose Cake

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One of my classmates asked me to provide a cake for his party – and he requested it to be very dramatic! He wanted a two-tiered red and black rose cake. I’ve never created black roses before, so this was something I was excited about.

For the flavour, he wanted it to be gluten free (and peanut free!) red velvet, which I’ve also never done before. I’ve made vanilla and chocolate gluten free cakes/cupcakes, but never red velvet. This was a challenge, but I was really excited to be doing it!

Creating red buttercream is always a difficult process. Since you are starting with white buttercream, adding red food colouring will just make it pink. The more you add, the more pink it gets. I’ve come to the realization that you need to let the buttercream sit, because overtime it will darken. Normally, I just use Wilton’s Red Food Colouring, but this time I used that in combination with Loretta Red Food Colouring. Yesterday, I made the red buttercream a couple hours in advance and it darkened up to a nice dark red.

The best way to achieve black buttercream is to make chocolate buttercream (with cocoa powder) and then add black food colouring.

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Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ cups gluten free rice flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of red food colouring

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together milk, vegetable oil and eggs. Add vanilla, vinegar and red food colouring.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
  5. Pour cake batter into the cake pan and bake for 40-44 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

*I baked two 8″ cakes, so I had two thick layers of cake, for the bottom tier.
*I used this exact recipe to make my second tier by filling two 6″ cake pans.

Red Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • Red food colouring

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Add cocoa powder. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Add the desired amount of red food colouring to your icing until you reach the colour you like.

Black Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Wilton’s black food colouring

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Add cocoa powder. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Add the desired amount of black food colouring until you reach the colour you like.

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Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies 🌷

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There is nothing better than finding a really good sugar cookie recipe, baking those suckers and decorating them as if you’re Martha Stewart. Okay, well not really Martha because she would do so much better… but a girl can dream okay!

This recipe makes 3-4 dozen sugar cookies, so perfect for giving some to your bae while you still have enough for yourself ;). Last year, I made very similar Valentine’s Day cookies but with a different recipe. That recipe was a lot more chewier, while this year’s recipe is more cookie-like with a bit of a crunch to them. Using powdered sugar rather than granulated sugar gives it more of a harder bite to them. Both delicious, and both smell delicious while cooking. Seriously, is there anything better than the smell of a freshly baked sugar cookie?

The royal icing recipe is a classic, only requiring two ingredients. Super easy. And it’s actually a Martha Stewart recipe, so I’m somewhat like her okay!!!

(Again… not really.)

The perfect thing about the royal icing recipe is it makes a lot, so you can split it up into however many bowls you’d like and dye them different colours. If you’re looking for a more thicker consistency, use less water. If you want your icing to bleed into one another, use more water to give it a thinner consistency.

So come on, give these cookies a try! If you try them out be sure to tag me on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #CrumbsandTeaEats. And follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! Let’s chat!

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Sugar Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar and add to sugar mixture. Mix until well combined.
  5. Divide dough into two disc shapes, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll out dough to ⅛ to ¼ inch thick and cut into cookie shapes. Place on lightly greased or silpat covered cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes.
  6. Remove and cool on cookie sheet. Frost with royal icing.

***This dough can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Royal Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder, or 2 large egg whites

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder (or egg whites if you are using those).
  2. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water.
  3. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. If a thicker consistency is desired, specifically for outlining or adding details, use less water.
  4. Mix until icing holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.

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Recipes retrieved from Foodie Crush and Martha Stewart.

The “Blues” Cupcakes

 

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Cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes!

I had an order last week of 60 chocolate cupcakes with blue buttercream for a 50th birthday. These were so easy to make, yet super fun! You gotta love a simple, delicious cupcake.

There are some exciting posts coming up. I have two Valentine’s Day orders this weekend… one being cookies, and the other being cupcakes. I also have a Valentine’s Day themed cake which I am super thrilled to make, so look forward to that!

Next week, I’ve got a two-tiered ombre rose cake, and the week after I’ve got a fondant cake order along with 75 buttercream themed cupcakes. Whew!

Like Crumbs and Tea on Facebook, and follow on Instagram!

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

 

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70th Birthday Cake

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My uncle John celebrated his 70th birthday this past week, meaning I was in charge of making him is favourite kind of cake: lemon.

Now I don’t know about most people, but typically vanilla or chocolate is the go-to cake flavour, and not so much lemon. My family doesn’t typically enjoy the taste of lemon cake – I mean they’ll eat it because its cake (hehe), especially when its covered in buttercream to help cancel out that lemon taste in your mouth, but it’s definitely not their favourite.

But it doesn’t matter what the majority of people like in my family, it was John’s birthday and he wanted lemon! So there!

I knew I wanted to spice it up (not actually add spice… because ew) but I wanted to add a little extra flavour in the cake to make it more delicious. I decided to make a raspberry filling, that I would layer in-between the layers along with my vanilla buttercream.

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Lemon Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
  • 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1-2/3 cups (400 mL) milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk.
  3. Gently fold in lemon juice to make curdled-looking batter.
  4. Divide between 2 greased and parchment paper–lined 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake pans.
  5. Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes; transfer to rack and let cool completely.

Raspberry Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16oz) of frozen raspberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Drain raspberries, reserving liquid.
  2. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups.
  3. In large saucepan, combine liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well.
  4. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely.
  5. Stir thawed raspberries into cooled mixture.

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

If you want to follow exactly the way I made this cake, here are the steps listed below:

  1. I sliced my two cakes in half, leaving me with 4 layers.
  2. I placed my first cake layer on the cake board, and added a layer of my vanilla buttercream, followed with a thin layer of the raspberry filling (you don’t want to add a thick layer of the raspberry filling, because remember by the end you will have 3 layers of the raspberry filling, so you don’t want it to be over-powering because it is quite sweet tasting).
  3. Next, I added another cake layer and repeated the same steps, until I used up all my cake layers.
  4. Once all my cake layers were stacked, with the two fillings in-between, I added a crumb coat** of buttercream around the outside.
  5. I placed it in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow it to harden really well. Typically, I will set it in the freezer for 10 minutes (doesn’t need to be too long) but because there was raspberry filling coming out the sides when I did the crumb coat, I wanted to make sure the raspberry filling was locked in tight. You want to avoid any raspberry poking through your final layer of buttercream (unless you want to achieve that look! It would be very pretty, but considering this cake was for a man… I decided pink was not his colour, hehe).

** A crumb coat is a thin layer of buttercream around the outside of the cake, to lock in any crumbs so they don’t get into your final layer of buttercream.

Lastly, I cut out a 7 and a 0 and placed them on top of the cake, to allow me to sprinkle around the numbers leaving the numbers clean and white when I removed the stencil. Buttercream can start to stiff up relatively quickly, so you want to move fast after you buttercream the top of the cake.

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Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

First off – Happy New Year!!! A little late in the game, but better late than never! I hope everyone had a wonderful new years, filled with delicious food, drinks and many laughs.

Many people have asked me, “What’s your new years resolution?” and honestly I hadn’t really thought about it. I’m not one who loves making resolutions for the new year, let alone being successful at keeping them.

When I really thought about the top three things I want to make happen in the new year, they would be:

  1. Be more experimental with baking. Finally cross all the things off my baking bucket list, that I created three years ago and still haven’t completed half.
  2. Play more board games. Because why the heck not.
  3. Stop being such a horrific procrastinator and a lazy human being.

What are your resolutions? I’d love to know in the comments below! Maybe they will even inspire me…

 

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Now on to the post – I definitely know I’ve made vanilla and chocolate cupcakes more than anything on else you see here on my blog.

Whether I’ve made them for birthdays… commencements… anniversaries… I have for sure made my fair share of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. I recently made these cupcakes for a birthday. They are your simple vanilla with vanilla buttercream and chocolate with chocolate buttercream.

I added these cute gold edible pearls and white edible pearls on top, for a little glam and sparkle!

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CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk*

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add cocoa powder, beating well on medium speed. Slowly add the icing sugar, one cup at a time. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When both ingredients have been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
  5. For pure white icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Colour butter flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

VANILLA CUPCAKES

(makes about 30)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canola oil (or vegetable or extra light olive oil)
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).
  3. Add 3/4 cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed.
  4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
  6. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about 1/2 full.
  7. Bake for 12 -14 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk*

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
  5. For pure white icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Colour butter flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

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Dark Chocolate Brownies with White Chocolate and Sea Salt

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Anything dark chocolate… anything white chocolate and anything with sea salt is a recipe that you know is going to be delicious. These are so moist, so chocolatey, so delicious.

The chunks of white chocolate really help break up the rich tasting brownie, especially with the added touch of sea salt on top. It isn’t overly salty, but that hint of salt really adds to the flavour.

Brownies in general are so delicious, but when you add that pop of colour (from the white chocolate) and give it that salty and sweet flavor (with the sea salt) you really start to step up your brownie game. They look especially lovely when you cut them into nice even squares and set them out for your guests to try.

At first when I photographed these bars, I didn’t add any white chocolate drizzle on top. I was making these for my friend’s Christmas party, and right before she came to pick them up, I realized there was something missing. I decided to melt some white chocolate, put it in a plastic bag, and drizzle it all over the bars to really give them something extra. So as you will see when you view the photos down below, the last few have the drizzled white chocolate on them. They taste just as delicious with or without the white chocolate on top!

Next time you decide to make yourself some brownies, give these a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Dark Chocolate Brownies with White Chocolate and Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 350g butter
  • 350g 70% dark chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup dark Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup roughly chopped white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Melt dark chocolate and butter together in the microwave at a low heat. Heat in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in-between until smooth and melted.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with caster sugar until pale and creamy.
  4. Stir in chocolate mixture. Sift flour and cocoa into mix, and stir to combine.
  5. Mix in chopped white chocolate and pour into a 31cmx 22cm deep baking tin (or equivalent sized) lined with baking paper.
  6. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until cooked through.
  7. Let cool before you cut into squares.

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Adapted from: From The Kitchen

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream

12415754_10153321640511149_731354725_o12458584_10153321640896149_193517579_o12449599_10153321641011149_37204143_oI’ve only ever made red velvet cupcakes before, never anything else. Red velvet brownies sounded delicious, especially with white chocolate buttercream. Amazing. So amazing.

If you like buttercream (and who doesn’t?) and you like white chocolate, you’ll loooooove this icing. I was just eating it by the spoon (the leftovers of course hehe).

What’s perfect about this recipe, is the amount of buttercream you make is the exact width of the brownie which makes it look perfect when you cut them into nice even squares.

These are for sure a delicious treat (and perfect for any more holiday parties you might be attending this year!)

And just a hint: if you have vanilla bean paste, I recommend you use that instead of vanilla extract – it leaves nice little vanilla bean dots in the icing (and is extra delicious).Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 3.04.46 PM

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons red food colouring

Frosting:

  • 1 stick ( ½ cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • ½ tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line 8 x 8 pan with nonstick foil or regular foil. Grease regular foil with cooking spray if using.
  2. In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder, food coloring and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla to form a paste. Set aside.
  3. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add the remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Then beat in cocoa paste. Add flour and salt, and mix just until combined.
  4. Pour in prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before frosting.
  5. Cream butter with mixer till fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly mix in powdered sugar, then white chocolate. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency. Ice when brownies are cool.

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Chocolate Toffee Bars

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I was very lucky to get a few Christmas orders during this past week. One involving a cake (which I will post later), and these bars you see here, as well as a batch of my cookies and cream extreme brownies.

These are soooo easy to make, especially because you most likely have all the ingredients in your house. They will be such a crowd favourite at any holiday party you bring these too. They also have that shortbread crust, which is always tasty to eat around this time of year.

I have two posts coming this weekend, involving two kinds of delicious brownies so stay turned for that!

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Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • Filling
  • 1 (10 oz) tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • Topping
  • 1 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cup toffee bits

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Beat brown sugar, flour and margarine in a large mixer bowl until well blended and creamy.
  3. Press evenly onto bottom of 9×13 pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 25 min or until light golden.
  5. Remove from oven to wire rack while preparing filling.
  6. Heat sweetened condensed milk and margarine in heavy pan,stirring constantly over med heat for 5-10 min or until thickened.
  7. Spread over cooled crust.
  8. Bake at 350 for 12-15 min or until light golden.
  9. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top.
  10. Bake for 2 min longer or until chocolate is shiny and soft.
  11. Remove from oven and spread chocolate evenly.
  12. Sprinkle toffee bits on top,pressing lightly into chocolate.
  13. Cool completely and cut into bars.
  14. Cover and store at room temperature.
  15. In warm days, bars may be stored refrigerated.
  16. Bring to room temperature before cutting.