Sunday, April 7, 2019

hello kitty floral wreath crown cake

It's my birthday month! Hooray!

One of my favorite things about my birthday month is all the coupons that I get from all of my favorite stores! And of course, celebrating with my friends and family! But also one of my favorite things is that I get to make myself a cake, and I try to think of a different Hello Kitty design every year. Last year when it was time to make my birthday cake, I was really into make floral wreath cakes, so I thought it would be really cool to make a Hello Kitty floral wreath cake, where the wreath in essense becomes a crown wreath for Hello Kitty!

I love coffee chiffon cake, and I love Neapolitan cakes, so for the cake insides I decided to do a Neapolitan combination of coffee (instead of chocolate), vanilla, and strawberry chiffon cakes. And then I filled each layer with freshly whipped cream.

For the frosting, I chose to do a Swiss Meringue buttercream (you can find the recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!) because I wanted something light and not too sweet, and I didn't want it to melt too quickly like a whipped cream frosting does.

After covering the top and sides of the cake with a quick crumb coat, letting it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, and then doing a final smooth coat, it was ready to decorate!

I started by piping black frosting for the eyes and the whiskers, using a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, and then using a similar tip to pipe the nose with yellow frosting.

For the ears I attached fondant shapes that I had cut out ahead of time (you'll need to let it air dry for at least a day or two, so that the fondant is no longer floppy and will stand up on it's own). Since I knew I would be adding buttercream flowers, I piped a ring of whipped cream along the perimeter of the top of the cake, which helped to hold up the ears as well.

Then I added my buttercream flowers, which I had piped ahead of time and let harden in the freezer. (You can see more on this technique here). I chose to do a deep pink and white flowers, partly to match the inside of the cake, and partly because I like the color combo!

To finish it off, I piped dark green buttercream leaves (using this leaf tip) to fill in the gaps in between the flowers, and then it was done!

Doesn't Hello Kitty look so pretty with a floral wreath crown?!

And now, for the inside of the cake.

The cake was soft and airy and light, with just the perfect amount of sweetness.

Happy Birthday to me!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

easter egg birds nest cupcakes

Easter is coming up soon, so I thought I'd share these easter egg cupcakes that I made last year! I've always loved those Cadbury chocolate mini eggs, so I knew I wanted to use them to decorate the cupcakes, and I decided to make them extra chocolatey desserts by making them chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting!

For the cupcake batter, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe (you can find it in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), except I used coconut milk instead of regular milk. This is a great way to make this cupcake recipe dairy free, since the recipe also uses vegetable oil instead of butter. I often do this when I'm making cupcakes for my friend Reggie, who's daughter Rachel is allergic to dairy. 

Of course this specific cupcake was not going to be dairy free, because of the chocolate cream cheese frosting and Cadbury mini eggs, but if you still wanted to make these cupcakes you could always use a whipped dark chocolate ganache (and use coconut milk again instead of milk) and jelly beans for the easter eggs!

After the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I started on the chocolate cream cheese frosting (the recipe for cream cheese frosting is also in my book, you'll just need to add melted chocolate to taste!) Then to form my frosting "nests", I used a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, and piped circular rings of frosting all over the top of the cupcake.

Be sure to pipe more frosting around the perimeter of the nest, so that you can nestle your chocolate eggs in the middle of the nest!

Done! Super simple, and super tasty!

When I served these at my mom's house, my daughter actually went around to everyone asking for their chocolate eggs! So you may want to bring extra chocolate eggs for the little ones!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

frozen elsa cake with white chocolate drizzle and fondant snowflake cutouts

My best friend Sue's daughter, Leia, turned four last May, and at the time she was super into Frozen, so she asked me to make her an Elsa cake! Just like the year before, Leia requested a chocolate cake, except this time we decided that I'd make it extra chocolatey and fill it with chocolate mousse (instead of the fresh strawberries and whipped cream filling that I did for her Curious George birthday cake!)

For the cake, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe (in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), and baked it two 8-inch round cake pans. Then once the cake was baked and cooled, I sliced each one in half horizontally, giving me four cake layers. Then I filled it with a rich chocolate mousse filling, using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to give me even layers of mousse which I smoothed out with an offset spatula.

For the frosting, I whipped up a batch of Swiss meringue buttercream, which I tinted turquoise using a bit or royal blue gel-based food coloring. Then I covered the top and sides with a quick crumb coat, let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, and then did a final smooth coat.

Then I let the cake chill overnight, and I was ready to decorate the next morning!

First I added a white chocolate drizzle around the top and and sides of the cake. (Note: I didn't spread out the chocolate on the top of the cake fast enough, so I wasn't able to get a smooth finish. Then again, it did look a bit like ice!)

Next, I added various sizes of snowflakes, which I had cut out of fondant a head of time using this plunge cutter. (Note: use lots of cornstarch on the cutter, because I had a really hard time getting the cutouts to come out!)

Then I added a piped beaded border using white buttercream, and then it was time to add the Elsa topper! We chose this funko pop figurine as the topper, because it was super cute, and plus Leia would have an Elsa toy to play with afterwards!

I thought it turned out really cute!

Here are some picture of Leia with her cake (Isn't she the cutest?! She has the best smile!)

Happy Birthday, Leia!!!