Sunday, October 25, 2015

pumpkin spice mini cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting

Okay, wow. I just checked the date on these pictures, and turns out I made these about four years ago, but never had a chance to blog about them. Whoops!

Anyhow, sooooo I made these little mini pumpkin cupcakes four years ago! I had leftover pumpkin puree from something or other (I can't remember at this point!), and so I decided to turn that into mini cupcakes. Just for fun. So for the batter I used Martha Stewart's trusty pumpkin cupcake recipe from her "Cupcakes" book (also used for these Halloween Jack-o-lantern cupcakes, as well as this pumpkin layer cake with piped roses).

For the frosting, I took my basic cream cheese frosting (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book), but instead of regular butter, I browned the butter by melting it in a pan over medium heat, waited for it to brown, and then chilled it until it because solid again. Then I let it come to room temperature before incorporating it in my frosting. (Yes, sounds like a lot of additional work, but SO worth it for that brown butter flavor!!!)

To get the cute little dollop-shaped frosting on top, I used a pastry bag fitted with just a coupler (or you could also just use a large round tip). Holding the bag upright above the center of the cupcake, squeeze your frosting out slowly, and use a pumping motion to keep the frosting moving outwards. Once the frosting has spread almost to the diameter of your cupcake, stop squeezing the piping bag and slowly lift the pastry bag up and away from your cupcake, to give you that cute little point on the top.

And there you have it! Super simple yet tasty. And perfect for Halloween, or even Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

tiered peaches and cream layer cake with handmade gold fondant letter toppers

In addition to the blue bunting smash cake and Korean hanbok cookies that I made for baby Aaron's first birthday, I also made this tiered monogrammed cake for the party! Irene had wanted a white tiered cake topped with Aaron's initials in gold letters.

For the fondant letters, I started making them about a week in advance, to give them time to dry in time. I rolled out white fondant to about 1/8 inch thick, and then used a ruler and a pizza cutter to cut out long strips of fondant, with I used to form my letters.

Next I used this gold edible cake paint, or "cake graffiti", to spray my letters a pretty gold color.

I ended up spraying multiple coats, to get a nice deep gold color.

For the cake itself, Irene wanted the same cake that I had made for her baby shower - a fluffy vanilla cake filled with fresh nectarines and homemade whipped cream. So I baked up my favorite vanilla cake (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book) in two 8-inch cake pans, and then doubled the recipe to bake a larger set of layers in two 10-inch cake pans. 

Once cooled, I sliced each cake layer in half horizontally, giving me four 8-inch layers, and four 10-inch layers. Then I filled each layer with freshly whipped cream and fresh sliced nectarines.

Here's the 8-inch cake being assembled, and then frosted with cream cheese buttercream.

And here's the 10-inch cake being assembled.

After chilling both layers, I stacked them (with bamboo skewers inside to hold the top layer in place, see this tiered circus carnival cake for a picture of what I do with the skewers). Then, the final touch was placing the gold fondant letters on top (secured with a bit of frosting on the bottom of each letter).

I loved how the lettering turned out!

At the party, Irene did such a great job on setting up the Korean "dol" table! And look how cute the Korean hanbok cookies that I made look plated on gold trays next to the tiered cake!

Here's a quick photo collage of the party.

And a precious photo of the family :)

Happy Birthday, baby Aaron! Your party was spectacular!