Sunday, May 1, 2016

yellow ruffle lemon cake filled with lemon whipped cream and fresh blueberries

Speaking of reconnecting with high school friends (which I mentioned in my last post), sometime last summer I also made this yellow ruffle cake for my friend Bernice from high school, who was hosting a baby shower for her sister Tiffany! She wanted to emulate a blueberry cheesecake that was a favorite of her sister's, so we decided on a lemon cake with blueberry whipped cream, similar to this cake. (Although now that I look at the pictures, I totally forgot to make a blueberry whipped cream, and ended up making a whipped cream with fresh blueberries instead! OOPS! I'm so sorry, Bernice!)

Anyway, for the lemon cake I used the vanilla cake recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book, and added grated lemon zest to the batter (instead of the extracts). I baked them into two 8-inch cake pans, let them cool, and then cut them in half horizontally (giving me 4 cake layers). Then I filled each layer with fresh whipped cream and fresh blueberries.

For the frosting, Bernice wanted a ruffle cake similar to this one, except we decided to go with buttercream instead of whipped cream since it was going to be a hot day! Since I knew the cake would be covered with ruffles, I only covered the cake with a quick crumb coat of yellow buttercream (recipe also in my book!).

Then I used a disposable pastry bag fitted with a petal tip to pipe the ruffles, starting in the middle of the cake and piping continuous rings towards the outer edge of the cake. (A nice revolving cake stand works great for this! Or, you could use a lazy susan.)

Then I continued piping all the way down the sides of the cake.

Here's a view from the top, isn't it pretty?

I do think that this technique with buttercream gives a slightly different look than when done with whipped cream though, as buttercream gives slightly smoother ruffles while whipped cream gives more textured ruffles. But both effects are still very pretty.

Anyway hopefully the blueberry whipped cream debacle turned out okay. (Sorry again, Bernice!)

Happy baby shower, Tiffany!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

baseball cookies for a little slugger baby shower

It's amazing to me that because of the blog, I have reconnected with several friends from high school. I mean, how cool is that?! So several month ago, another friend from high school contacted me about doing baseball cookies for a baby shower she was hosting. I had done baseball cookies before, but this time she also wanted baseball bat cookies. So thanks to my handy husband who is an awesome cookie cutter maker, he made me another custom copper cutter!

After making my favorite sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), I rolled the dough out to about 1/8" thick, used my shiny new baseball bat cutters to cut out shapes, baked them at 350F until golden brown, and then let them cool. (I did have one tray of cookies that spent a little too much time in the oven though, oops!)

Anyway, for the rest of the cookies, once cooled I used stiff brown royal icing (recipe also in my book!) to outline my bats, and then runny brown icing to fill them in.

The final touch was adding blue and red "tape" to the bats, and little lines to suggest the wood pattern in the bats.

Aren't they cute?!

For the baseball cookies, you can see more in this post of how I made them, but I basically followed the same steps - outline with stiff icing, fill with runny icing, and then add final touches with stiff icing.

I also made little baseball jersey cookies, using a onesie cookie cutter, and decorated them with piped stripes to give them a jersey look.

I think these would be great for a birthday party or a little league party as well!

Happy baby shower!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

hello kitty giant macaron cake (cake that looks like a hello kitty macaron)

Since the first time I created my Hello Kitty macarons five years ago, I have seen them pop up all over the place, on the internet, and even in bakeries and shops. They were one of my favorite things to make, have been requested at bridal showers, and I have even made them for a wedding dessert table! It is one of my most popular blog posts, and so I had to include the recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!

Last year for my birthday, I made a cake decorated with (nut free) Hello Kitty macarons, and a few months later when I was brainstorming ideas for a Mother's Day cake, my husband suggested a different type of Hello Kitty macaron cake - one that actually looks like a Hello Kitty macaron! Genius!

Since I have an obsessive love for all coffee flavored desserts, I decided to make it a coffee chiffon cake. I baked up three 8-inch coffee chiffon layers, let them cool, and then used a Hello Kitty template (the same Hello Kitty pan sushi mold used for my Hello Kitty tiramisu cake) to cut each cake layer into a Hello Kitty shape. Then I topped each cake with a layer of coffee whipped cream ...

... and a pile of smashed oreo cookies (since I love coffee oreo ice cream SO much!).

Then I added more coffee whipped cream and smoothed the whole thing out with an offset spatula.

Next came another layer of cake, more coffee whipped cream, and more oreos.

After the final layer of cake, I covered the whole thing with coffee whipped cream, and smoothed it out as best as I could with an offset spatula.

Then I went to work making it look like a macaron! I used a large round tip to pipe a ring of pink around the sides of the cake (meant to look like the macaron filling layer), and then used an offset spatula to smooth it out. Then I used a small round tip to pipe little "dots and bubbles", meant to look like the ruffly sides of the macaron shells. 

I finished it by piping black eyes and whiskers, and a yellow nose. For the bow I of course had to pipe hearts to make up the bow, since my Hello Kitty macarons have heart sprinkles for the bow.

And there it is! A cake that looks like a giant Hello Kitty macaron!

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

winter snowflake hello kitty birthday cupcakes

For my daughter's 6th birthday a few months ago, we went with a winter/snowflake theme, since her birthday is in December, plus she's still really into Frozen right now! We had a small gathering to celebrate, to which she invited a handful of her best friends, and I ended up making her a Tokidoki Yuki Unicorno winter birthday cake, as well as snowflake cookies for the favors. So to stick with the theme, for her Kindergarten class celebration at school, I decided to make Hello Kitty snowflake cupcakes!

I started with a moist chocolate cupcake (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book), and topped it with a cream cheese frosting (recipe also in my book!), which I tinted blue and then used a basketweave tip to pipe my basketweave design (there is also a basketweave tutorial also in my book, but you can also find other basketweave examples throughout the blog).

Then I used white frosting to pipe Hello Kitty on top of each cupcake, along with black eyes and whiskers, a yellow nose, and for each bow I used two heart-shaped confetti sprinkles. (For more examples, see links here, here, here, and here. And this link for the first and original cupcakes that I made!)

And for the final touch I added a few snowflake sprinkles! (I got mine at Target, but you can also find them here).

The cupcakes turned out moist, minty and chocolately, and not too sweet!

One of the kids even thought it was the sprinkles that tasted minty :)

Miss Melodie loved her cupcakes, and I loved watching her eat them with her classmates!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

snowflake cookies

To go along with the winter Tokidoki unicorn cake that I made for my daughter's 6th birthday in my last post, I also made these snowflake cookies as the favors. She's still really into Frozen right now, so she is currently loving anything with snowflakes! Fitting, for a winter birthday!

I started with my favorite sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), which I rolled out to about 1/8-inch thick, and then used a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter to cut out my shapes. Then I baked them at 350F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

For the royal icing (recipe also in my book!), I only needed two colors - white, and light blue! So I outlined each cookie with stiff white icing (using a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small round tip), and then filled them in with runny white icing.

After the cookies had dried for several hours (I prefer overnight), I used stiff light blue icing (tinted with Americolor sky blue) to pipe a snowflake design on each cookie (also using a small round tip). I did a pretty common snowflake design, but you can do whatever design you like!

They came out pretty nice! And they were a good size to give out as cookie favors.

I ended up wrapping each one in a cellophane bag tied with raffia, which keeps them nice and fresh for 1-2 weeks.

I think these would also be great as cupcake toppers, or even as decorations for a "Frozen" themed cake! They would even look great on place settings at a Christmas table, similar to how I used cookies on place settings in this post!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

winter yuki tokidoki unicorn birthday cake

For my daughter's 6th birthday this past December, I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. She told me that she wanted another unicorn cake, like the Tokidoki one that I made for her last year, except she wanted to pick a different unicorn this time. So we looked up Tokidoki unicorns, and as soon as she saw Yuki, a winter unicorn with snowflakes, she was smitten! (She's still really into Frozen, and she loved Yuki's snowflakes!)

Since we were going with the winter theme (winter bithday, winter unicorn), I decided she should have a minty chocolatey cake! So I made two 8-inch chocolate cakes (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), filled with peppermint whipped cream. (I sliced each cake layer in half horizontally, giving me four cake layers and three layers of filling).

After filling and chilling the cake, I whipped up a batch of cream cheese buttercream (recipe also in my book!), and covered the top and sides of the cake with it. Then using a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip, I piped long vertical swirls of frosting along the sides of the cake (the same technique that I used here, here, and here, inspired by a Nikole Herriott cake).

Then I was ready to pipe the unicorn. I used a toothpick to draw my outline, and then used a small round piping tip with black icing to trace over the outline.

Then I used a small star tip to fill in my unicorn! (For the snowflakes, I used a smaller round tip to pipe them over the piped stars).

To finish decorating the cake, I piped a birthday message in blue, and then I was done!

Stay tuned to see the winter cookie favors that I made, and cupcakes for her class party as well!

Happy Birthday, my sweet Melodie! We love you so much!!!