Tag Archives: fast and easy cake decoration

Remembrance Day in Canada

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Remembrance Day in Canada marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918.  Here in Canada, November 11 is officially called Remembrance Day, but it is also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day. Remembrance Day is observed in many countries, particularly members of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand (where it is also referred to as Armistice Day). In the United States, Veterans Day falls on the same date. In the United Kingdom, the Sunday closest to November 11 is known as Remembrance Sunday.Remembrance Day poppy, Canadian Nov.11, dennasideas.com

Remembrance Day is symbolized by the red poppy flower.  Artificial poppies are worn in the weeks preceding Remembrance Day and are later placed at war memorials.  Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died in service to our country and as our symbol, comes from a poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian doctor. The poem is called In Flanders Fields, written on on May 3, 1915 and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.In Flanders Fields poem, posted by dennasideas.com

The official Canadian national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, according to a strict protocol.  A service is held and wreaths are laid by armed services representatives.  In May 2000 the remains of a Canadian soldier who died in France in World War I, but was never  identified, were laid in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.  Nationally, 2 minutes of silence are observed at 11:00 am.

This year we spent a snowy day at home with the kids, and watched part of the ceremonies on TV, observing the 2 minutes of silence, and then listened to the prayers that were offered while cannons were fired.  It was very moving for me.  I remembered what my grandfathers had done during the war, and we also remembered the military service that Henry’s side of the family has seen.

I had wanted us to watch some old “war movies” and had picked out a couple of classics.  My kids are a little wary of war movies, but they picked the classic movie The Great Escape to watch together since they had seen some of it before, and knew that they would like this one.  I was fine with that, as it has always been a favorite of mine, and I used to really enjoy watching it with my family when I was a kid (gotta love those escape movies!).  Before the movie, we watched some videos about the Canadian military and a vintage U.S. video about the Canadian military (by The Big Picture).  If you are interested, you can find some of the videos we watched on my Canada pinboard here.  (Here’s a photo of my son in some of his Dad’s military gear….not wanting his photo taken)denna's ideas: Remembrance Day

I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this before, but I just decided that in November we will celebrate with poppy seed foods!  Quite fitting, as everyone is wearing their red poppies on their coats and the symbol is displayed everywhere.  I love poppy seed cake!  So we watched our “war”movie while we ate poppy seed cake from my Grandma’s recipe.  I’ve tried a few other recipes since, too.  (Hmm, maybe should add those to the Canada pinboard…)denna's ideas: Remembrance Day poppy seed bundt cakeHere is the recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Cake that my Grandma used to make.  Nowadays I usually do a made-from-scratch version, as I’m not into cake mixes.  But it tastes yummy either way!  If you want a darker crust on the cake, dust the bundt pan with cocoa instead of flour….  I sprinkled the bundt cake above with poppy seeds after drizzling on the icing (cream cheese icing this time).recipe - Page 007denna's ideas: Remembrance Day poppy seed bundt cakedenna's ideas: Remembrance Day poppy seed bundt cake recipeI know this post is a few weeks late, but better late than never, and as it is still November, there’s still time to watch old war movies and eat poppy seed cake, and remember all the friends and relatives and brave souls who have served in our military, keeping peace across the world.Remembrance Day poppy, Canadian Nov.11, dennasideas.com

How to make an easy Lalaloopsy Cake or Sewing Party Cake with Sprinkles

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How to make an easy Lalaloopsy Cake or Sewing Party Cake with Sprinkles

Sprinkles make for fast and fun cake decorating.  I personally don’t like to crunch on them, but most kids don’t seem to mind.  And did I mention that they make cake decorating fast and easy?  There are so many colors to choose from!!  For this easy little cake, I used mostly pink sprinkles with a few orange and yellow ones mixed in.  It matched the colors of the Lalaloopsy theme  we were working on.

To make this really easy on myself, I used a cherry flavored cake mix to make a two layer 6 inch round cake.  That was very silly.  I wasn’t pleased with it AT ALL.  Homemade cakes are just as fast and easy to make, and they hold their shape better, and seem to crumb less.  I was pretty ticked off working with that spongy pink cake!!  😦

The icing was homemade, nice and thick so it covered the weird cake fairly well, though there were a lot of crumbs…..  After the cake was iced, I used some strips of paper towel to wrap around the outside (gently pressing down to flatten out any lumps of icing) of the cake, and tied with a ribbon, just to hold it.denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles

denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesSprinkle on the sprinkles!!  I had to gently tap them down, since the icing was so thick and not at all gooey.denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles

Carefully unwrap:denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles

The extra sprinkles that had worked their way down the sides were kind of cute, so I just left them, and the ones that sprinkled themselves around the bottom of the cake.  I even added a few more.

I wanted to add a pink sewing measuring tape that I had found.  I didn’t want the vinyl (ok, fiber glass, since you’ll see it in the photo!) tape to touch the cake, so found some wired ribbon to tie around the cake first.

Hmmmm, how to attatch the vinyl measuring tape?

Buttons on toothpicks!!  I was surrounded by button crafting things anyways….lets add more buttons to everything, even the cake!  I measured where I wanted the tape to fold around the cake, with the birthday girl’s age at the front of the cake.  Then I cut the tape and used my handy dandy Crop-A-Dile II hole puncher to make a hole in each end of the tape.denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesThen cut a toothpick in half and hot glued a button to each cut end.  Rather deadly looking!denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles Hold the tape measure up to where the ends will be and …..oops, forgot to mention, I had to cut slits into the yellow ribbon first of all, because it didn’t look like the toothpicks were going to jab through without making a mess of the ribbon.  Then pin the toothpicks in to hold up the measuring tape.  It worked well once I had everything figured out….denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesNot much of a yellow bow, I know, but it was the back of the cake!!denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesThe front of the cake looked really sweet!!  I had made some fondant buttons the same way I made the button cookies, the day before so that they were fairly hard and ready to be plunked onto the cake.  Hmmmm, something else, something else….what could we put on top?  I had wanted to do a number candle, covered in buttons and rhinestones, but had forgotten to buy one.  How about a super cute lace doily bunting?  I love putting little buntings on cakes and they look so sweet and festive!!  Done in 7 minutes.  See the how-to here.denna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake buntingdenna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesOne Lalaloopsy sew sweet, cute-as-a-button Sewing cake ready in almost no time at all!!!  To make it really Lalaloopyish, it would have been cute to add a few of the mini Lalaloopsy doll figurines….didn’t even think of that until this very moment….denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesI added the cake to our little dessert buffet which was set up on my vintage sewing machine.  (Ever since my husband gave it to me, I’ve been longing to use it as a dessert table!!! heh heh!!!)denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesdenna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesMy own little Laloopsy doll was pretty pleased with her pink cake!
denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles denna's ideas.com :cute as a button cake

What is a Pocky Cake?

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Today I thought that someone somewhere might just be wondering what a Pocky cake is.  Was it you?  First of all, do you know what Pocky is?  Have you ever eaten this tasty little snack?  It is quite popular around our house.  🙂

Pocky is a Japanese snack food that is found all over the world, but especially popular in Japan.  This sweet snack is made of small sticks or “rods” that are almost the size of drinking straws (a bit smaller) and are made of biscuits covered in chocolate.  That would be biscuit in the European meaning, more like a crisp cookie dough.  I personally think that they are quite like pretzel rods covered in chocolate-like coating.  They are crisp and fun to crunch on.  I always like to check out what wikipedia has to say about all these types of things, haha!  So if you are that interested, click here: wikipedia to find out more about Pocky snacks, and even how to pronounce it!

Glico Chocolate Pocky 2.47 oz

Wherever you live, you can probably find and  buy Pocky at Asian supermarkets, or online, like from sites like this one: Asian Food Grocer, where they have all sorts and varieties of Pocky.  In Canada and the United States  they can also be found at other stores, such as HEB and Walmart.  That’s where I ended up buying them, Walmart. (Though they were also at the T&T Asian supermarket close by my house).  I found a very large bag of them at Walmart, more like “bulk” packaging, so I went for that instead of buying about 10 small boxes.  Here’s another photo from the Asian Food Grocer:

Pocky Sticks and Pretz

When I was looking up this Pocky stuff, I also found out that there is something called Pocky cake, which is a cake shaped to look like a Pocky stick. But that is not what I meant to post about today.  I actually mean a Pocky covered cake.  Have you seen one before?  I have seen photos of them going around on Pinterest.  Especially a pink Pocky covered cake that just looked so sweet.

For my daughter’s birthday, I decided that a Pocky covered cake would be so perfect, she loves Pocky!  It makes for a clean and simple looking cake…and a super easy cake too, I found out!  The photos I had seen online were of plain layer cakes, like with only a layer or two, so that when the cake was cut, you ended up with a regular piece of cake with these tall Pockies sticking up on the side.  It seemed a little strange to me, so I decided to make the cake as tall as the Pocky sticks.  I was testing things out a bit first, so had bought some strawberry Pocky and some chocolate.  I found out that they are not quite the same size, the strawberry is shorter.  Both snacks have a very strong smell.  Not being partial to strawberry smells, I went for the chocolate covered ones!  I acutally did some math for this one….I laid out all the Pocky sticks from one box and measured to see how much area they covered…then did primitive measuring and math to figure out how many boxes of Pocky I would need to go around my cake.  I was using a 6 inch cake pan…..anyways…..blah blah blah math blah…….it turned out that when I bought the bigger bag, all my figuring was in vain anyways….but it did just barely turn out, with not a Pocky to spare!  I think you would need about 10 boxes…maybe 12 to be on the safe side, though.  Or one bag from Walmart plus about 2 extra boxes.  Something like that!!  (I’m only going on and on about it in case you are reading this post because you want to make your own Pocky cake!)denna's ideas: how to make a Pocky Cake

It’s really easy, after you have all the Pocky bought!!  Bake a cake.  My cake was several layers high, and ended up measuring just over 5 inches high.  Stack the layers and frost with icing, such as buttercream.  Buttercream worked out very nicely because it wasn’t too gooey….it was just the right consistency to hold the sticks of Pocky, without bulging out between them.  Then start slapping on the Pocky!!  It was that easy.  They didn’t need to be supported nor held.  I decided to go with the cookie part at the bottom.  They are quite uniform, so I didn’t do any chopping or anything, just put them on…all around the cake.  It wasn’t necessary, but I decided to tie a ribbon around the whole thing at the end.

And there you go!!  (at this point many people type in Wa-la!!  But I will never do it!  I might think Voila! to myself, but prefer to type a less fancy “and there you go”)  Your cake is finished.  And it looks so cool!  And I have to mention that it smells wonderful!  The Pocky have a very strong chocolaty smell, so it was nice to have a cake that had it’s own powerful “perfume”!!  🙂

I think that was the fastest cake I’ve ever decorated!  But I never seem to just let things “be” I must always go for that extra little fussiness…that one extra little touch….so I added a Hello Kitty head to the top of the cake!!  More about that later…..denna's ideas: Hello Kitty Party Ideas and Pocky CakeP.S. One last little bit of Pocky trivia from wikipedia: The “Pocky Kiss” is the eastern equivalent to the western “Spaghetti Kiss”  bet ya didn’t know! 😉