Friday, December 28, 2012

End of December 2012!

Hiya folks, I didn't forget to post, only that I lacked time!  This month, it has been CRAZY, with the holidays and all, but I didn't think it would have prevented me from blogging for such a long time.

I will try to keep it short... but here's what I've been doing this past month... enjoy! :)

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Heart Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing

Here's the pic, as promised!

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IRB Cookies

I received an order for logoed cookies once again this year... but I encountered a hiccup.  I haven't been using my edible ink printer since last Christmas, so the ink dried up on me!  Looking at the cartridges, it appeared full but I guess it was just dried up colour.  Lesson learned: to extend life of ink, remove from printer when not in use and seal it with plastic wrap then in a resealable container.  I ended up having to pipe it all by hand but Sean (the client) was happy with it.

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Mint Chocolate Brownies with Candy Cane Sprinkles

I consider this treat my signature dessert.  I baked these for a United Way bake sale at work, and also for my Christmas potluck as favours.  What I did different this year was melted milk chocolate chips with mint chocolate chips to spread on top of the brownie and I decided to "garnish" the brownies with crushed candy canes for a holiday touch.

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Christmas Cookies

Gingerbread is King during Christmas time.  During a work vendor sale, where it benefited United Way, I reduced my prices for sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.  I wasn't going to offer gingerbread, but a colleague suggested that I add it to my sale, since it's very Christmassy.  I pre-sold 5 dozen of each kind and all were redeemed before Christmas (cookies are great to give away or shared at home).  A few people said that the cookies were thoroughly enjoyed (albeit too quickly) when they were served.

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Handy Manny Cake, Take 2

Another blast from the past!  Little Mikayla, who turned 5, wanted this cake ever since her mom showed it to her when I first made it.  It's funny how she still loves Handy Mandy and didn't change her mind on what her birthday cake would look like when the date loomed closer.   To please most of the guests, the cake was vanilla with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC).  There are a few changes to the design, so it's not the exact replica of the original.

Happy 5th Birthday, Mikayla!

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Montreal Canadiens Cookies

Originally, these were supposed to be baseball sugar cookies.  But the time frame was too short, and I was requested to make Montreal Canadiens logoed hockey pucks, instead, for a later date.  I made royal icing transfers of the logos, which was way easier than piping it directly onto the cookie.  It felt weird making hockey cookies when there wasn't a hockey season this year... but it felt weirder, maybe even blasphemous, that I was making logos of the rivals of the Toronto Maple Leafs (James, my husband, is [unfortunately] a fan).

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Cupcakes with Candy Cane Sprinkles

This was also a Christmas party/dinner order... the last one for me this year.  I was told not to make it fancy, so I made my chocolate cake with vanilla SMBC.  I couldn't leave the top go untouched... I decided to add of touch of festive with crushed candy canes.  I was told that they were enjoyed by all.

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Panettone Bread Pudding

No pic of the bread pudding I made with panettone.  It was the first time I made it, so I baked it longer than the instructed time.  In my defense, I was worried that it didn't set, and I would hate for guests to become sick from uncooked eggs.  I could not believe how much cream and eggs were required.  You do not want to know!

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Gluten-Free Banana Cake

For my dear step-brother-in-law.  We are having a Christmas brunch, belatedly, and I wanted to bring something that most would enjoy.  I reduced the sugar because I added an extra banana, but I think maybe I should have also put in more rice flour because it didn't set as hard as I'd like (even thought it was in the oven for over an hour).  Still, it was tasty and not overly-sweet.  I would make this again.

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That's it!  Have a great time up to the new year, then an even better 2013!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cookies 'n Cakes

Baby Boy Onesies Cookies

My favourite CIP (insurance courses) instructor, Melanie, was due to have her first baby (note: since I made contact with her last, she was having her baby!).  I wanted to ship her a box of cookies to celebrate (she ate them before the baby was born, so I guess he had a taste of them, too).

Little boy onesies for a really lucky baby!  Mel is into ATVs and such, and I would not be surprised if he rode on that before a tryke.  Oh, the poor Mennonite neighbours! :)

Welcome, Baby Boy!

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Theatre Birthday Cake

My friend, Yahaira, wanted to practice making a cake for her son's upcoming birthday, so we made a cake for her friend's birthday, as a test.  This was also a test for me, because I haven't taught anyone how to decorate anything before.

He was into drama, so we made that our theme.  We made marshmallow fondant (it was giving our hands a workout!) to cover the chocolate cake (not homemade but the vanilla filling was).  Luckily, she had gloves so we didn't get red or blue stained on our hands when we coloured the fondant!

Pretty good work for a beginner, eh?  Hopefully, the birthday boy appreciated the effort!  I am proud of my students' (her husband helped out, too) work!
Happy Birthday, Dan!
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Ariel Birthday Cakes

Big girl Nikki turned 5, and she loves the Little Mermaid.  Now, this is my first Ariel cake, so I had a few challenges... one being working with the gumpaste!  It didn't want to harden, so I don't know what's up with that.  Gumpaste is supposed to dry faster than fondant, so how come it didn't work for me?  Oh well.

The chocolate cake was filled with pink vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and covered in blue fondant.  I added ocean details as finishing touches.  The brown sign is made with chocolate fondant.

I made a second sheet cake, because there were a lot of guests.  It was decorated with flowers, lettering and buttercream. 

Happy 5th Birthday, Nikki!

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Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing

Sorry, don't have pics of this one... I had to make it twice because I forgot the add sugar the first time (don't ask how I missed it!).  This was for a playdate lunch, so I cut out pieces with a heart-shaped cookie cutter, then piped a heart with the icing.  It was so yummy!  I will make this recipe again, and I'll do the same design so I can post up the image.
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The following two items were for a bake sale at work to help raise money for the United Way: 

Milk Chocolate Fudge Crackles

A new recipe... had to use 1/2 tablespoon scoops because 1 tablespoon-sized made the cookies spread horrifically.  The smaller size made the cookies bake evenly and enticed those who would've refused a larger cookie (due to diet).  What a mess I made when rolling the cookie balls into icing sugar! :/

Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies

A classic, just in time for the holidays!  I changed it up by having a darker blue tint for the royal icing, as well as adding silver dragees and random pearls throughout.  These, I packaged then tied with blue curling ribbon, as I thought it would be great to save for later or for a loved one.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

End of October Post (Belated!)

"O" is for "occupied"... which was what I was last month!
Here's what kept me busy:

Team Umizoomi Cake (#3)

This cake is making it's third appearance on this blog for 3-year-old Gabriel!  It is comprised of 2 layers vanilla and 1 layer chocolate cake and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.  And dark chocolate ganache before the fondant covering, of course.  It also survived the rainy weather the day of delivery.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Gabriel!

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William & Owen's 1st Halloween Party

This was the year that they would be old enough to appreciate it!  Having made a few friends in the East, we had a total of 11 kids.  No haunted house, though, because I thought they were still too young.  Maybe next year.

Items on the menu on tent cards... with creative names:
Monster goosebumps (grapes)
Bleeding hearts (strawberries)
Decrepit spinal discs (crackers)
Bone shavings (mozzarella cheese)
Dried pus (cheddar cheese)
Fried skin (tortilla chips)
Blood 'n guts (salsa)
Frankenstein's vomit (strawberry yogurt)... nobody touched this!
Vampire juice (cranberry juice)
Yellow bile (lactose-free milk dyed yellow)... nobody touched this, too!
Zombie urine (apple juice)
Satan's sweat (bottled water)
Bug-infested mold (chocolate chip cookies)
Deadly candy (Smarties... but I labelled it "M&Ms" in error)
Yummy worms (gummi candy)... this disappeared fast!
Rotting flesh (various deli meat)
Fried goblin brains (popcorn)

I had activities planned, but it was too rainy for an scavenger hunt in the backyard (my minimalistic house made it hard to hide things indoors).  Instead, we played musical chairs (where the adults had to play first to garner some interest with the kiddies), we passed a chick for the "Hot Potato" game, and attempted to have a dancing party (no one took the bait... the majority were boys, so I guess the plan failed before it began).  Other than that, the boys William's age were running around the house.

There were a few superheroes at the party.  3 princesses also attended.  William was a robot and Owen was a dragon.  James was a zombie (again) and I was a mime (that broke the golden rule of silence).

The party was 10am to 12pm.  Who thinks it's crazy to have a kid's party that early on a Saturday?  Yes?  Then, join James, 'cuz he thought I was nuts.

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Vanilla Cake Eyeballs

Mixed with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, I dipped it in white chocolate wafers, then painted on the blood vessels and topped with a black Smartie.  I brought these to a kid's Halloween party the next day, and a lot of kids didn't want to touch them at all.  I guess it looked more realistic in unjaded eyes.

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Spiderweb Cookies

I did it again.  For each house that we visited on our trick-or-treating rounds, I gave out one or two of these cookies.  Just plain sugar cookies, with royal icing web and spider.  Sprinkled with disco dust.  Many people were surprised at receiving something in return after handing out candy! :)

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fuchsia Birthday Cake

Happy mid-October!  That means Halloween is coming up... then, Christmas!  I can hear you all protesting... :)

Anyway, on to my latest cake.  It was for one-year-old Tasha, and my neighbour friend wanted something similar to the boy baby shower cake I made, but change it up for a girl's birthday.  And add a "1" block on the top (made of Rice Krispies treat).  I used hot pink a.k.a. fuchsia fondant (white chocolate and regular mixed) so it's not the traditional baby pink.

Before I covered the chocolate cakes in fondant, they were filled with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and had a dark chocolate ganache shell.  The block also had white modelling chocolate before the fondant treatment.

Everyone was happy with their cake... some kids had seconds, some kids asked for seconds but were denied the request by their parents (smart!), some ate part of the cake but mostly the fondant and were bouncing off the wall (William).  The birthday girl seemed to enjoy it as well, even though she was stripped down to her diaper.

Happy 1st Birthday, Tasha!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Team Umizoomi Cake 2.0

Remember how I made a Team Umizoomi cake for William (almost 2 years ago)?  Well, since that post, I've received queries on how to make it, can I make it for their child, etc.

Today, I delivered my second Umicar cake for a 3-year-old who had a Team Umizoomi theme for his birthday party.

I did everything essentially the same, except the fondant was not made of marshmallows nor orange flavoured.  I have to admit, I had an easier time the second time around (except for the "painting" part... I made the second lighter colour of the car out of fondant/modelling chocolate since the painting was not opaque enough and it was too streaky).

Here's the original:

Happy birthday, Noah!

Monday, August 27, 2012

End of Summer... Boo Hoo Hoo!

Alas, the hot weather will be coming to an end.  Summer vacation over.  School begins.  See you later, August!

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Giant Incredible Hulk Cookie

This year, The Avengers came out in theatres. How fitting that my co-worker's nephew wanted a Hulk cookie. Not any normal sugar cookie, but a HUGE sugar cookie. This one was about 10" so I had to put it on a 12" board. The royal icing covered the entire cookie, and I added edible marker details. Let's just say it was a smashing success!

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Barbie Silhouette Birthday Cake

Dear Solmaz requested a cake for a little girl turning 1.  I modeled the design after Bobbette & Belle's Barbie cake... simple silhouette with girly frills.  I used hot pink, rather than baby pink.

The 3-layer chocolate cake was filled with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.

Happy 1st Birthday, Kira!

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Star Wars Birthday Cakes

Lucky Joaquin got two cakes for his 2nd birthday... a tiered cake with R2D2 and various fondant Star Wars icons along the sides, and a sheet cake with fondant Yoda.  R2D2 was made of Rice Krispie Treats and fondant.  Yoda is just plain fondant.  The cakes itself was chocolate with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream (Yoda cake) and chocolate ganache (R2D2 cake).


Happy 2nd Birthday, Joaquin!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


July is almost over... that was quick!  =) 
Here's what this past month brought:

Optimus Prime Cake

<insert transforming sound>
This was done for my friend Kristina (, for her hubbie's birthday.  The vanilla cake was filled with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.  All decorations are made from fondant/gumpaste and the mask was brushed with silver lustre dust.
Happy Birthday, Gary!

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Bee Sugar Cookies

Little Mieke turned 4, and her nickname in German means "troublesome bee."  I used royal icing for the design, pearl lustre dust for the wing, yellow and black glitter for the body, and edible marker for the facial details.

Happy Birthday, Mieke!

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Super Mario Birthday Cake

Solmaz's son turned 6, and the theme was Super Mario Brothers.  The cake was chocolate with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.  It was covered in fondant, then I sprayed blue food colour in gradation.  All the decorations were made from fondant/gumpaste.  I handwrote the birthday message on top of edible icing circles.  The mini "mushroom" red velvet cupcakes had cream cheese icing centres, and topped with fondant.

The delivery day was really wet (rain and humidity), so the fondant appeared shiny and became sticky to the touch.  But it was still OK!  Solmaz added chess pieces of the characters, so you knew that it was from the world of Super Mario.  Check out the two hanging off the cake plate!

Here is a photo of Solmaz's sweet table (see her work on Facebook -

Happy Birthday, Francesco!

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Dark Knight Sugar Cookies

We have a comic book store in Whitby, and we wanted to test out how treats would sell in their store.  The day the new Batman movie came out, the store wanted to have an event for its release.  I hope the recipients enjoyed them!

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Ocean Sugar Cookies and Cupcakes

The summer theme turned into ocean-themed (I wanted to do something different).  The cookies had a mixture of royal icing and sprinkle decorations.  The cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate, and marble) were iced with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with purple butterflies and yellow flowers with a sugar pearl centre.

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Surfboard Cupcakes

My colleague requested for some cupcakes for a 5-year-old boy.  Not knowing what he'd like, I decided to make it summer-themed... so, surfboards?  I used a orchid petal cutter for the shape, then made various details on each surboard.

The lemon (yellow) and vanilla (dyed blue) cupcakes were topped with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, beige (sand) on top of blue (water).

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Mini Maple Bacon Cupcakes

I didn't want to bring my usual cookies or cupcakes to a BBQ, so I decided to give this recipe a try.  It involves more prep, but turned out cute.  And the recipe just had enough portions that was stated, a surprise to me, because others would yield maybe a few more.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer is Here!

June was so busy for me... I also took an insurance course on liability.  Interesting stuff.  While doing that, I was working on various projects.

Baby Shower Cupcakes

This was for a lady who had a traditional baby shower... when she herself is not traditional.  The cupcakes were chocolate, vanilla, and lemon, all topped with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.  I also made red velvet with cream cheese icing.  All the toppers were made from fondant/gumpaste.

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Summer Sprinkle Cookies

The end of the school year is here... so, these are cookies made to thank teachers and co-op placement staff.  I made it summer themed and chose to have simple shapes (only the beach ball was used with a circle cutter, the rest were handcut from templates).  The sugar cookies were brushed with corn syrup before having the sanding sugar coating.  The flip flop straps and watermelon seeds were royal icing dots.
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Princess Ruffle Cake

I had altered a previous fondant design that was requested, and made a buttercream version instead.  The upside down ruffles were piped in gradated shades of pink.  The crown was fondant/gumpaste mix and sprayed with gold.  The cake board, I used marshmallow fondant and stamped a blossom cutter along the edge.  This cake was red velvet with cream cheese filling.  I wonder if the crown was eaten...
Happy Birthday!

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Flower Cake Pops and Flower Pot Cake

This was made for my step-mother-in-law's birthday.  She loves gardening and such, so I thought it would be neat to make cake pop flowers stuck into a flower pot cake.  The pops had flourless chocolate cake (my step-brother-in-law is allergic to gluten and he was going to this shindig).  After baking, it was still very wet, but I guess that's normal if there was no flour to absorb the moisure.  I definitely didn't have to add any icing when I formed the cake balls.  Then I just cut circles of yellow fondant to form petals around it.

The terracotta colour... I got it right in one shot! :) One drop of red, brown and yellow to the white fondant was all it took.  I had to carve down the cake to a flower pot shape before it was covered with the fondant.

The "dirt" was just crumbled chocolate cake.  I rubbed green petal dust on the cookie sticks so it wouldn't be just plain white.  I wasn't sure if painting it with gel paste would soften the stick, so I didn't attempt it.

Here's the sad story... the day of delivery, it was so hot... humidity is not a friend of fondant.  We also had to travel to Brampton, which was about 1.5 hour drive away.  I also had errands to do before, so let's add another 40 minutes to the trip.  It was at this point, I saw that the flowers were skewered through!  I was so upset; I should have realized that the flowers would not survive the ride inside the pot.  Next time, all cake pops will be lying flat or upside down!  The cake tasted good (lemon with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream), which was its saving grace.

Happy Birthday, Lynne!

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Baptism Cake

Solmaz, from Dress It Up Inc., ordered this cake (top tier vanilla, bottom tier chocolate; both with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream filling) for a little girl's baptism.  She had a specific design in mind, and it had to have pink and white gerbera daisies, sparkly pink crosses, pearls, a banner, and matching gerbera daisy cupcakes (not pictured).  All the white daisies have pearl lustre dust on them.

The flowers took a long time to stiffen (due to hot weather).  The crosses were all hand-cut, because I could not find any small cross cutters that were less than 1 inch!  I had to combine 4 thin 11-inch round cake boards because I couldn't find an 11-inch drum cake board.  I also added a 6" thin board to the bottom so it would be easier to move around.  I hope Kira liked the final results!

Congratulations, Kira!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May Happenings

I've been busy.  Had to deal with a chicken pox scare (it was dermatitis), then a lice scare (it was sand), then chicken pox again (this time, William got it for real).  And on top of these medical issues, I had orders, and this is what I made...

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Bridal Shower Flower Cake

This was a red velvet cake underneath the lavender fondant.  I made brush embroidery flowers with royal icing and fondant ribbon roses on top.  I had to put pearls on because they go with the roses.  It has a really vintage feel to it.  The client had it made for her VP; hopefully, it was shared at the office, but the intention was for the VP to take it home to enjoy it with her husband-to-be.

Congrats, Catherine & Lincoln!

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Fun Fair Cupcakes

William is going into kindergarten this fall (where did my baby go?).  I made a donation last year for their auction (cookies), but this year I changed it to cupcakes.  In addition, I was also able to sell mini vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.  100% of the proceeds were donated to the school.  I brought 48 of these minis... and sold them all in an hour, with the help of my neighbour's daughter who goes to the school (a familiar face to help rake in the sales).  Awesome. :)

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Tropical Sweet Sixteen

This was secretly a black forest cake!  It was my first order for this type of cake... and I used real cherry brandy - kirsch.  The cherries were marinated in the stuff and I even used the leftovers to douse the bottom cake layer... it smelled so boozy!  Since the theme was tropical, colourful hibiscus fondant/gumpaste flowers trailed off the cake on top of whipped cream and tan coloured whipped cream were piped along the sides to resemble a straw grass skirt.

I also made a cupcake bouquet.  Green vanilla buttercream-topped chocolate cake with teal and fuchsia hibiscus flowers.  I dipped one end of a lollipop stick into melted chocolate before inserting it into the cupcake.  It worked out great... but I don't think it survived in the vase during transport :(... I'm guessing because there wasn't much stability for the sticks not to move around (the white stuff was vase filler) even though I put a blob of fondant into the vase before filling it.

Happy Sweet Sixteen!

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Baby Shower Cake and Cupcakes

This chocolate cake was simply adorned with fondant/gumpaste blossoms with sugar pearl centres, buttercream ruffles, and a fondant top. It was filled with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.

The cake was paired up with mini cupcake favours (chocolate with pink vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and red velvet with yellow cream cheese icing).  I had to figure out how the guests would take them home.  Initially, I wanted to use a cupcake wrapper and a handle, but I thought it would be too flimsy.  So, I happened upon espresso cups at the dollar store, which were the perfect size (no handles needed!).  I wrapped the cups in pink scrapbook paper.  I wanted to put the cups into individual plastic packaging, but my cookie bags didn't have a flat bottom, so the cup refused to stay upright.  I just put the cups into a 12"x12" box, as is.  I'm sure most people would consume these bites before arriving home, anyway.

Congratulations to the parents-to-be!

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iPad Birthday Cake

My most favourite cake this month... this iPad cake (chocolate cake with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream) was so fun to make!  The toughest things to do were the letters, but I think my X-acto knife cuts were decent.  I wish I had an iPad myself for a model, but I only had online images to work with.  I heard the the cake was well-received, which made my efforts even more worthwhile.  Everything was decorated with fondant/gumpaste, with royal icing text, and the cake was covered in fondant.

Happy Birthday, Rex!