Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sand castle cake

Well my little man is celebrating his 6th birthday so it was time to get a little crazy in the kitchen and make him a truly awesome cake. Since we decided on a pool party a sand castle cake seemed very fitting along with ice cream cone cupcakes. This is definitely not a small cake, I made a triple batch of vanilla cake (vegan cupcakes take over the world) to make the tiers of the sand castle. There was some extra cake left over after I cut out the 2 smaller circles, but still a lot of cake. Once it was fully assembled it was also very tall so I really just have to leave it sit out on the tray which is why I made it pretty last minute.

I made a 8-inch round cake and a 9 by 13-inch cake as this was what I had on hand (the directions actually suggested a 9-inch square be made to cut the smaller circles out of. Once both cakes were baked and had cooled I cut out the 2 smaller circles, one 3 1/2-inches and one 5 1/2-inches. Once all the layers were cut out it was time to make some vanilla buttercream frosting (vegan cupcakes take over the world) to put the cakes together. After the cakes were frosted and stacked it was time to put graham cracker crumbs on top of the frosting as the sand. Then I put the ice cream cone cupcakes on the cake, I used toothpicks to hold them steady on the cake (you don't have to bake cupcakes in them, they probably wouldn't need to be steadied with toothpicks if they weren't cupcakes). Then I topped the ice cream cones with sugar cones to finish the towers of the sand castle. Now I put 2 full height graham cracker sticks on the front of the cake as the doors and then put half height graham cracker sticks around the rest of the 3 tiers and then put some more graham cracker crumbs on top of the cake to make sure all the frosting was covered up. After I added all the candles I showed my son his cake and he told me it was the best cake ever. I am so very happy that he really loves his birthday cake.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Banana Split Cupcakes AND Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Banana Split Cupcakes AND Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Today was trial run day for the little man's birthday party next weekend. I did actually forget to add the bananas to the cupcake batter, but then I thought why not add the bananas to the chocolate fudge frosting then which sounds pretty amazing to me. I have to admit I haven't made these cupcakes in a few years, I think the last time I made these was for the little man's 3rd birthday and this is now his 6th birthday. They were a hit then and I hope they will be a hit here in our new area with his new friends.

Now on to how I made pans for the ice cream cones so they wouldn't tip over in the oven, or more likely getting in and out of the oven. Yes, I am clumsy. I took an aluminum foil baking pan that was about 9 x 13 and I cut 12 holes into the pan using a pair of scissors. I cut one line all the way across and then cut another to make an x, then repeated to make a total of 4 cuts all the way across (or 8 points from the middle). Once I did that I folded each piece back to make a circle (no, not the roundest circle but round enough to accomodate my ice cream cones). 

Here you can see how I placed the ice cream cones in the pan and placed the pan on a cookie sheet to make it easier to get in and out of the oven. It worked like a charm, but I did find I didn't fill the ice cream cones high enough to get the effect I was hoping for. I guess we can say that is why I like to do a trial run. Next time I will leave a gap about the same as I like to leave with regular cupcakes, this time I went a little shallow so I would not have them overflowing out of the ice cream cones and all over the cookie sheet or possibly even my new oven. I got 1 dozen ice cream cones and 3 jumbo cupcakes out of a single cupcake recipe, I would guess if I had added the banana and filled them a little more I still would have gotten the same number of cupcakes out of a single cupcake recipe.