Category Archives: Cake and Cupcake Ideas

Cakes, cupcakes, cake pops. Pasteles, reposteria, cubiletes, pastelitos.

Baby Boy Birthday Cake Topper

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Have some more birthday cake!!  Here’s the paper cake topper that goes along with my last post for a Baby Boy Birthday card.  I saw these printables for a paper jungle train…usually they are used for favor boxes at a party…but I thought I could shrink them down and use them for a cake topper, just for something different for a One Year Birthday cake.

You can find the jungle animals and paper carts for downloading here at Paperglitter.  As I mentioned in my last post, I used 2 kits, the colorized version and the blank Color-Me version….I felt like mixing and matching!  First I printed out the color-me carts on kraft paper, shrinking them down to 45%.  The colorized animals I printed at 48% to get them just a tad larger.  

You can customize the text, so I wrote something different on each cart.  On one side of the first cart was HAPPY HAPPY, and on the other side of the same cart it said FELIZ FELIZ.  the next cart said BIRTHDAY and CUMPLEANOS.  So each cart had the English on one side and the Spanish on the other…so later on I could decide which side I wanted to have facing the front.  I don’t know why, but I put the English side facing out….here’s the back view, I should have done it the other way around!!  Oh well, everyone at the party spoke both languages! 🙂In planning it all out, it helped to jot down a plan (so I wouldn’t mess something up!), like which animal was going with with word on which cart!  After cutting out the carts, sticking the edges together with double sided tape,  I printed out the color-me  jungle leaves on light green cardstock and cut them out.  For the wheels, I decided to use my new button punch and a solid color cardstock instead of the printable wheels.  Here’s the button punch/embosser (from Martha Stewart) I love it!:After assembling the carts and cutting out the animals, I taped each animal onto a toothpick and then taped one inside of each cart.  Then before I glued the wheels on I taped a toothpick (the flat kind) to the back of each cart, right where a wheel would go, and stuck the wheel on over it.  (note: also a good idea to plan out which side of each cart the toothpick should go!) Back view:(I was in a rush, that’s why the tape is visible.  The best way would be to glue, or maybe even hot glue, everything on with time for them to dry, then you wouldn’t see any tape!)  Here’s the front of the cart:After the four carts are all assembled with wheels and animals, then make your cake!! haha.  Long pause…………I wanted 2 different sized layers, since I wasn’t sure if the whole jungle train would fit across the 6 inch layer cake. ( The cake ended up being yellow and light teal alternating layers inside).  I was trying reallly hard to match the icing color up with the cardstock wheel color!!

After the cake was iced,  I carefully stuck each little cart on.  Some of them could have probably used 2 toothpicks to help stabilize them, but I just tried to push the wheels of the end carts into the sides of the cake!Without too much rearranging, I was pleased with the “random” train across the cake.  Looks like they are going for a wild ride!When the carts were pushed into the cake, I joined them up with the little jungle leaves (with little slits cut into them).I photographed the cake at home, and then took it to the party….not realizing how windy is was outside!!  The little paper train shifted a bit, but we were able to get it to the party intact!!  (Just a few leaves needed to be stuck back on).

Oh yes, don’t forget to add the Birthday Boy’s name and age!!The birthday boy seemed happy with his jungle animal train cake!!  Happy First Birthday!!

Almost allergy-free brownie recipe

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Almost allergy-free brownie recipe

Almost allergy free, unless you are allergic to apples, corn, cocoa or sugar!!!  (Oh yeah, and rice, then you are in trouble!)

That would be no gluten (wheat), no dairy (milk or butter) and no eggs.

The other day I made some chocolate brownie/cupcakes for some kids that had several allergies.  Here’s the recipe I followed.  It was on the inside of the box of PaneRiso Rice “cakeand cookie mix” I bought.  I had to cut out the eggs, so substituted applesauce for that.

Almost Allergy-free Chocolate Brownies

1  1/2 cups PaneRiso Rice Cake and Cookie Mix

1 tsp salt

1  3/4 sugar (half white and half brown sugar)

1/2 cup cocoa

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil

(2 or 3 eggs)  substitute about 1/4  cup of applesauce for every egg

1/4 cup cold water

(option: 1/2 cup chopped nuts)

Mix in the order given and do not over mix.  Mixture will be thick.  Pat into a lightly greased 9×13 inch pan, or into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers, or two 8″ pans.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Here are the ingredients in the PaneRiso Rice mix: rice flour, baking powder (with cornstarch), methylcellulose.

So if you don’t have that brand of “cake mix” it seems like it would be easy enough to make it up, though I don’t know what methylcellulose is.

My family tried out the brownies and thought that they were pretty good, my oldest even said she liked them better than the regular devil’s food cake mix cupcakes.  There’s a lot of sugar in there, and the cocoa, so they weren’t bad tasting.  Of course, the rice flour is a different texture, so if you aren’t used to that, it will seem a little “weird” (for kids!)

I made up some icing out of icing sugar, vanilla and shortening to frost the brownie cupcakes with.  Again, if you are allergic to corn, be careful of the icing sugar….there’s cornstarch in it!  But you can easily make your own from white sugar, just blender it with a bit of rice flour or something like that.  Haven’t tried it but supposedly it works.

As long as you aren’t allergic to sugar, there are still some sweet almost allergy free treats you can have!!  (actually, I’ve been reading a lot of recipes, and there really are lots of things you can do without white sugar…lots have coconut sugar and stuff like that. Maybe some day I’ll get into them….?)P.S.  I knew in advance exactly what allergies there were, and so when I labelled the cupcakes “allergy free” that really only meant for those certain allergies.  I also typed up a card that gave all the ingredients in the cupcakes.  And obviousely I would have put something more specific on the flags if I hadn’t known the allergies in advance.

Oreo cheesecake, that’s “mini and non-cupcakky”

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Oreo cheesecake, that’s “mini and non-cupcakky”

I have to clarify here that the Oreo goodness I made the other day was CHEESECAKE and not CUPCAKES.  (or so I was informed by a surprised friend, when she bit into the cheesecakiness expecting cupcakiness).  Research shows that Martha Stewart calls them cupcakes, as that’s where the original recipe comes from, Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.  Jusy sayin’…..

The photos of these delectable mini cheesecakes appeared, to tempt my eyes and tastebuds, several times on Pinterest, so I clicked into these two blogs for the recipe, half recipe here and whole recipe here.

My plan for them was for Father’s Day, since my husband seems quite fond of oreos with a big glass of milk.  And really, who doesn’t enjoy an oreo once in a while, if that was a part of your childhood?  (ok, ok, that had the possibility of being a controversial statement, that’s why I qualified it by sayin IF it was…since I know that it wasn’t a part of everyone’s childhood…etc. etc. etc.)  If you watch commercials, you’d believe that Oreos were a deeply emotional part of everyone’s childhood….but I happen to not believe everything I see on TV.  (Though the desire for oreos was an emotional part of my slightly oreo-deprived childhood.)  Anyways…..

On to the mouth-watering photos and recipe!!  (This is my own photo), but when I saw others’ photo of this:I knew I really really wanted to try this recipe!  Look at the way the oreo shows through the muffin paper, and the dark blackness of the cookie contrasted with the cream cheesy creaminesss…..oooooo ahhh!!  Ahem, stop drooling and keep reading….

Place one cookie in the bottom of each paper cupcake liner,

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla, (oh yeah, throw in some coarsely chopped oreos)pour the batter onto the cookies, filling almost to the topBake, then leave in the muffin pans and refridgerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Here is the recipe:

  • Ingredients:
  • 42-45 cream-filled sandwich cookies, Oreos of course! 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds (4 8-oz packages) cream cheese, room temperature (I used 2 light and 2 regular)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup. (Icould have used about 45 cookies, but someone had eaten the extra ones up!)
2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. You can sprinkle on some crumbs, if you like.  Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. (I think maybe 24 minutes would have been good!)  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Reviews:

Very yummy, but veeerrrrryyyyy rich!  Grown-ups can handle them, but they seemed almost too rich for some of the kids.  The oreo cookies became soft on top but still had a bit of a crunch on the bottom layer.  They were a tad underdone in the middle after baking for 22 minutes, so I’d probably try a minute or 2 longer.  They were very “cheesy” tasting.  (depends if you like that or not).  Keep them very cold, as they are quite soft and got squishier as they warmed up.  They were a tiny bit messy to eat…

When I was doing my little photoshoot, I had frozen one cheesecake in the freezer to slice though it without making a mess.  After I took the photo, I was forced to eat it and……YUMMMM!!  They were wonderful frozen!!

Warning:  because of the richness, and because we ate more than one (ok, more like 3 at a time) there were certain side effects (how to put this delicately?), like rushing to find a restroom about half an hour (or less) of consuming this rich dessert.  There you go, too much info, I know, but some of you might have been wondering…..

My friend suggested that these would look great with mini oreos standing on end on top of each cheesecake.  I loved the idea (not the added expense though), maybe with some whipped cream, the cookie, a drizzle of chocolate or cherry…..anyways, there’s a lot you could do with these lil’ babies!!!

I love this look: Father’s Day:  In the rush of our busy Father’s Day, I left my camera at home!  So I didn’t get photos of the wonderful BBQ with kebabs and lovely salads and the oreo cheesecakes, oreo cake and lemon loaf.  Here a few leftover ones with the toppers that I posted yesterday, that I am in the process of gobbling up today:

Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops!!

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Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops!!

This is one treat that I’ve really enjoyed making….cake pops, but disguised as ice cream cones!  I made this batch in a hurry, so I didn’t photograph the “how to” but I will someday.  They pack a sugary punch, but look so cute and sweet and innocent…just sitting there, wearing their chocolate splash and colorful sprinkles….sitting there and sitting there and not melting…it’s a sight to behold.  I think these pops tend to confuse younger children…..(heh heh!)

I was thinking of adding lollypop sticks to make it even more handy to hold, but realized that I’d have to saw away a good chunk of the bottom of the cone, and decided not to destroy the sharp sugary point of the perfect mini cones….(have I mentioned that I don’t like to destroy things?)These little cones had a surprise inside…rainbow colors of cake!  I didn’t bite into any of the cones, but I did bite some sample cake pops! 😉And here’s one that I was experimenting with, trying to make a real rainbow cake pop!I must say that I need to work on getting the flavors a little more….uh, flavorful (they all kind of tasted the same to me, especially in the rainbow pop).  The kids seemed to enjoy them, though….  The yellow ice cream cones were lemon inside, the orange ones were a light orange flavor, the white ones were blueberry and blue vanilla.

some more pics!  I definitely get tired of eating them, but never of looking at them! 😉

Blue’s Clues Cupcakes and Allergy free, too!

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Blue’s Clues Cupcakes and Allergy free, too!

I have loved the children’s show Blue’s Clues for years!  The other day I convinced my youngest to watch it, and was feeling sentimental for the days when that was almost all my oldest 2 children watched, sigh, those were the days….and suddenly, surprise, my friend contacted me about making some cupcakes for her daughter’s birthday….and she wanted Blue’s Clues!!  Yay!  Funny the way that happened!

She had also found that it it very hard to find Blue’s Clues party favors any more…so sad!!  I remember giving my oldest daughter a Blue’s bday party when she was turning 2…..*more sighing*

anyways, so here are the cupcakes…I made the toppers from candy melts…and placed the cupcakes on a cute storebought cupcake stand, so handy!The tricky part about this party, was including some ALLERGY FREE cupcakes!  I haven’t done very much allergy free baking, so wasn’t sure how they would turn out…some of the party goers were allergic to dairy, gluten and egg whites….doesn’t leave much to work with!!  (oh, and no meat, so couldn’t use gelatin either.)  I bought a rice flour package to start with, then kinda followed their instructions and kinda made up my own (using applesauce instead of eggs)…So it was more of a brownie type cake, but tasted quite surprisingly good!If you are allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat….doesn’t leave much left except SUGAR!!!  And CHOCOLATE!!  So I guess that’s why the brownies turned out ok! 😉  I was careful to keep the icing dairy and wheat free too…Ahh, Blue’s Clues…I still put it on whenever I have a small child over….those were the pioneering day of children’s television….(after THE pioneer, Sesame Street, of course.)

Hey, I saw (on Pinterest of course) some great ideas for a Blue’s Clues cake that I’d like to try someday….just sayin’!! just hopin’ 🙂

a Hello Kitty party, cake pops and a recycled cake.

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a Hello Kitty party, cake pops and a recycled cake.

Oh that cute little kitty with her perfect red bow!! She’s a lot older than she looks, with her smooth white plasticky face and those perky whiskers….I know, because she’s been around as long as I can remember, and I’m not so shiny smooth and perky anymore…

Sometimes I’m surprised at her universal appeal…oh, hey, I just went to my favorite wikipedia to look her up, see what I found:

“In 1962, Shintaro Tsuji, founder of Sanrio, began selling rubber sandals with flowers painted on them. Tsuji noted the profits gained by adding a cute design to the sandals and hired cartoonists to design cute characters for his merchandise. The company produced a line of character merchandise around gift-giving occasions. Hello Kitty was designed by Yuko Shimizu and was added to the lineup of early Sanrio characters in 1974. The character’s first appearance on an item was a vinyl coin purse in Japan where she was pictured sitting between a bottle of milk and a goldfish bowl. She first appeared in the United States in 1976.

Sanrio decided to make Hello Kitty British because at the time when she was created, foreign countries, in particular Britain, were trendy in Japan. In addition, Sanrio already had a number of characters set in the US and they wanted Hello Kitty to be different. Shimizu got the name Kitty from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, where in a scene early in the book Alice plays with a cat she calls Kitty. Sanrio’s motto is “social communication” and Tsuji wanted the brand name of the cat to reflect that. He first considered “Hi Kitty” before settling on “Hello” for the greeting. Spokespeople for Sanrio have said that Hello Kitty does not have a mouth because they want people to “project their feelings onto the character” and “be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty.” Another explanation Sanrio has given for her lack of a mouth is that she “speaks from the heart. She’s Sanrio’s ambassador to the world and isn’t bound to any particular language”. Representatives for Sanrio have said they see Hello Kitty as a symbol of friendship, and they hope she will encourage friendship between people across the world. There has been some suggestion that Hello Kitty has its origins in Maneki Neko, and that the name Hello Kitty itself is a back-translation of Maneki Neko, which means beckoning cat in English.”

Imagine that, we are the same age!!  Enough Hello Kitty trivia…let the cuteness continue, on with the party….

I’m crazy about Hello Kitty…so a party for my girl seemed like a good time to try out the kitty cake pops!  Luckily, she likes the cute white cat, too!  I saw these Hello Kitty Pez dispensers, and thought they would make great party favors:Just today I thought of some more party favors that would have been so cute:  each girl could have had a headband with a cute Hello Kitty red bow!! Wouldn’t that have been cute for photos!
A fast and easy party idea, Kitty Koloring pages for a little party activity…There was also a teaparty for the little girls and play food to….play with.
Now on to the food.  Here’s a shot of the pieces of the cake before being frosted, it was a jello poke cake:But just a cake wasn’t good enough, I had seen Bakerella’s Hello Kitty pops and really wanted to try them….so here’s what I did:
Made cake balls or ovals (cake+frosting), then with frosting, added chocolate chips for ears…refridgerated for awhile….Dipped the balls into melted white candy melts, starting to look more like ears now…And with chocolate, added some details…For the bow, I cut up some of the disc-shaped red candy melts and “glued” them on with more melted candy melts..Now to frost the cake….oh, and add some easy fabric bows to some of the HellosTa da!The birthday girlThe party was crashed by some (yikes!) boys!!
 But thankfully they were the gentlemanly chess-playing type of boys, so it was all ok….And they were happy to help devour the helpless Hello Kitty cake pops…and all the kids were happy to eat food on swords!the birthday girl was very pleased with her party! 🙂And her Hello Kitty lego gift!  Who knew Hello Kitty was into little plastic bricks? So cute!The funniest thing was that I gave the kids the cake pops, but didn’t actually cut the cake and serve it.  When one boy was leaving he said “aren’t we going to get a piece of cake?”  Mean old me said that I thought the cake pops had been enough and I needed the cake for something else!!  Thankfully our friends are really good friends and we put up with each other’s quirks!! (so the boy was not scarred for life).  I needed to recycle the cake and use it for our Guatemalan Independence Day celebration!!  Here’s how the recycled cake looked:🙂 It all worked out just right!

Gibson Electric Guitar cake

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I had an unexpected project this last weekend.  A friend called me up and asked if I could make a guitar cake for her brother’s 40th birthday, and could it be life-sized?  What a challenge!  Right away I googled “guitar cakes” to see what was online, then my friend sent me a photo of one of her brother’s guitars.  So I did a bit of research, since I didn’t even know what a Gibson guitar was.  And now I know a few more things about these electric guitars…like that the color is called Chicago Blue!

I found my trusty old cake pan (trusty, not rusty) that my mom and I used to use for wedding cakes…For some reason, I wanted to make a chocolate and cherry cake, so decided to make different layers.  This took a bit of experimenting.  The big round cake for the body, and then I did a couple of loaf pan cakes for the neck of the guitar…My brain was twisting, trying to figure out the best way of doing this…putting the cake on the cake board and cutting it, or shaping it before putting it on the board….??  I ended up filling and stacking the cakes while they were still on the baking racks…It seemed like a good idea…the chocolate layer with choco-brandy icing went ok, then the cherry layer with gooey cherry icing…And then I had to flip the vanilla layer upsidedown and position it over the cherry layer……waaaahh!!!It didn’t work!  Honestly, this was the point that I was going to burst into tears!  But I knew that “time was of the essence” so I just kept on….I had to cut the top layer up a bit, to get it back on properly, so the top of the cake was a bit patched up…

My husband helped me out so much getting this cake together (well, not in stacking up the layers, heh heh).  He traced out our paper blueprints for the guitar.  Later, I made up a list of all the little parts/knobs and stuff that needed to go onto it.Out of the rolled out marshmellow fondant, I started cutting out all the “hardware” for the guitar.Some tiny details…Trying out the silver edible spray paint:

Here are some action shots of me flipping the cake…they were quite heavy, but had to be flipped around to get it on the cake board.This is the one thing that I’m good at: keeping my cupboard doors closed…wouldn’t you know that because I was rushing around, one was open and appeared in the photo…that’s why I blurred it out!Carefully cutting through the layers..It ended up that there was enough layer cake from trimming the body, to use on the neck of the guitar, with only a bit of chocolate loaf cake for the head.After that things were so crazy busy there wasn’t even a second to snap some photos.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my husband’s help.  We slapped it together pretty quick….it was all the prep work that took forever…

Here’s some of the marshmallow fondant, and then skipping to the finished cake:Of course I didn’t notice till I saw the photos that some of the strings were twisted, they jumped a bit when the cake was moved.Working up to the last second:I called the filling “cherry neapolitan”What a big cake challenge, but fun, in a crazy kinda way!