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!!!

Monday, March 4, 2019

lego batman birthday cake with handmade fondant batman and chocolate lego pieces

I've been making birthday cakes for Doan's son ever since his first birthday, and his fourth birthday was no exception! This year the theme was Lego Batman, so we decided that I'd make a Lego Batman fondant topper, and since I already had a Lego chocolate mold, I decided to make colorful edible Legos to decorate with as well!

First I made the fondant topper in advance, in order to give it time to dry. I started by using black fondant (or you could use white fondant and tint it black), made a little log, folded it in half to make two legs, and then started them shaping them to look more like Lego character legs. (Using a mini rolling pin worked great for this!)

Then I formed all the various body parts - a torso, two arms, and two Lego hands.

Next, I made a cape, and formed the head and used fondant tools to add the details for the face.

After assembling the body parts using a bit of water applied with a food safe brush, I used yellow fondant to form the belt and the Batman logo.

An edible marker worked great for drawing the Batman logo!

And the final step was attaching the head, secured with a toothpick! Then I let Batman dry out for a week or so.

The day before making the cake, I made my chocolate Lego pieces to decorate with. I used this silicone Lego mold to shape my melted chocolate.

After pouring in my melted chocolate and giving it a few hard taps on the counter to release any air bubbles, I chilled it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes of so, making it super easy to pop them out. Then I stored the chocolate Legos in airtight containers until it was time to decorate.

For the cake, I baked up two 10-inch rounds of my favorite vanilla cake (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book! Note that the recipe is for two 8-inch rounds, so to adjust for two 10-inch rounds I used 1.5 batches of the recipe and adjusted the baking time.) Then after letting the cakes cool, I sliced them in half horiztonall to give me four cake layers, and then filled them with freshly whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

For the frosting, I whipped up two batches of my Swiss Meringue buttercream frosting (recipe also in my book!), covered the top and sides with a quick crumb coat of frosting, and then let it chill for 30 minutes before adding a final smooth layer of frosting. Then I place the entire cake in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

The morning of the party, it was time to decorate!

I added my fondant Lego Batman to the top of the cake, secured with a toothpick and a bit of buttercream on the bottom of the topper, and then piped the birthday boy's name on the front of the cake using a small round tip.

Then it was time to add my chocolate Legos! I used alternating colors, and secured them with a bit of buttercream on the bottom of each chocolate piece.

I thought it turned out super cute!

Doan later told me that all of the kids were fighting over the chocolate Lego pieces! ;)

Hope you had a happy birthday, Roland!!!