Thursday, September 27, 2012

hello kitty cake and cupcakes

To go along with the Hello Kitty cookies for my friend Vicky from my last post, I also made a Hello Kitty cake!  And since the cake wouldn't be enough to feed everyone, I also made matching cupcakes.

For the cake, we decided on a chocolate cake, filled with strawberry whipped cream, and covered with cream cheese buttercream.  So I started by making my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  The recipe usually makes two 8-inch pans, but since I was using a large Hello Kitty shaped pan, I used one recipe for each cake layer, which I mixed and baked in separate batches.  Once each cake layer was baked and cooled, I whipped up a quick batch of freshly whipped cream, and added a few tablespoons of freshly pureed strawberries.  Then I piped a layer of it on top of my bottom layer of cake, and spread it out evenly with an offset spatula.  Next I added the top layer of cake, and then the entire cake went into the fridge to set while I made the frosting.

For the frosting, I whipped up a couple of batches of a simple cream cheese frosting, which I used to cover the entire cake in a crumb coat.

Then I piped on the details (the eyes, nose, bow, and whiskers).

And then filled in the rest of the face using a medium star tip.

For the cupcakes, I made three dozen chocolate cupcakes covered with yellow cream cheese frosting, which I piped using a basketweave tip.  Then I piped big ovals for Hello Kitty's face, used a leaf tip to pipe the ears, and used a small round tip to pipe the eyes, whiskers, nose, and bow.  (See this post on how I pipe Hello Kitty step-by-step).

I thought the cake and cupcakes turned out super cute, and I loved the grey and yellow color scheme that Vicky chose!

I hope everyone enjoyed the goodies!

Friday, September 14, 2012

hello kitty cookies

Last year I made these flower sugar cookies for my friend Vicky, as cookie favors for her daughter's first birthday.  And this year for her daughter's second birthday, she asked me to make Hello Kitty cookies!  As you know, I love anything Hello Kitty, so I was excited to make Hello Kitty cookies.  (In truth, I've been waiting for someone to ask me to make Hello Kitty cookies!)  The party colors would be yellow and grey, with a touch of pink, so we decided that I would make yellow and grey bows for Hello Kitty, with a pink nose.

On a side note, I've made Hello Kitty cookies before, a few years ago when I first started learning how to decorate cookies.  But this is how they looked back then:

Don't they look way better now?

So, I started by making my favorite sugar cookie recipe.  After I wrapped the dough and let it chill in the fridge, I rolled it out and used my Wilton Hello Kitty cookie cutter to stamp out my cookies. Then I baked them at 350F for about 10-12 minutes until they were golden.

Next I made a batch of royal icing, and divided it into 5 portions - the largest portion I left white, two small portions I colored pink and black, and last two medium portions I colored grey and yellow.  Then I piped outlines for the bow in yellow and grey stiff icing, and then filled them in with runny icing.

Then I outlined the ears and face with white stiff icing, and filled that in as well.

After letting the cookies dry overnight, I was ready to pipe on the details.  I started with piping the eyes.

Followed by black whiskers, a black outline around the bow, and a pink nose.

I considered also piping a final white outline around the face and ears, but I decided against it.

In the end I thought the yellow and grey combination was adorable!

In addition to the cookies, I also made a Hello Kitty cake, as well as cupcakes to go along with them.  Stay tuned for that upcoming post!

*** Update:
You can now find my recipe for Hello Kitty Cookies in my new book, "The Hello Kitty Baking Book"! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

plum upside down cake

After making the plum ice cream in my last post, I wanted to make another plum dessert while plums were still in season.  At some point, I came across this post at Red Star to Lone Star for plum upside-down cake, and I knew I had to make it!

So I started by slicing my ripe juicy plums into thin wedges.  Then I made the brown sugar caramel, and poured it into the bottom of my 9-inch pan.

Next I arranged my plum slices in a pretty pattern on top of the caramel.  I had two different types of plums, so I arranged the darker ones on the outside, and the lighter ones in the middle.

Then I whipped up the simple cake batter according to the recipe, except I used cinnamon instead of cardamom.  After pouring the cake batter on top the plum slices (I forgot to take a picture of this, doh!), I baked it for about an hour.  By this time the whole house smelled of delicious cake and cinnamon!

After letting the cake cool for about half an hour, I inverted it onto my cake stand, and removed the cake pan.

The pattern from the plums turned out beautiful!  And the cake was delicious!  Caramelized plums, moist fluffy cake, and a hint of cinnamon.  Best when eaten warm. :)

Later that week, I made another upside-down cake using the same recipe, except I used nectarines instead of plums, and that cake turned out even better!  Stay tuned for the post!