Notice my contact info to the right, if you want to contact me with any questions. I would also like to say that I do attempt to give credit where credit is due. I do not make any claims to cakes in my blog except the ones in my slideshow. If I show a cake I will try to post some type of identifer with it, however, if I don't know who posted the cake it is impossible for me to do that. I am only using the cake to illustrate a specific technique.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday treats and using up cake mixes

I came across the most interesting recipes, and I just had to share with the holiday season quickly approaching.  These are some ideas to use up those cake mixes you purchased because they were on sale, or you had more then you thought you would need.  There are three recipes:  one for cookies, one for a sort of fruit crisp, and one for fudge.  I know what you are thinking...but yes, I am going to tell you how to do all three with only a few ingredients.

Ok, the first recipe is the easiest cookie recipe you will ever make.  It requires only three ingredients, but you can add others that you wish to it.

This recipe is my personal favorite of the three, because the possibilies are endless to what you can add to a variety of different flavor cake mixes with a little imagination.  You just have to watch the liquid content.  But if it isn't too wet, you should be able to add it to the mix.  For example: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peppermint pieces, heath pieces, reese pieces, reese cups pieces, hershey kisses, spices like cinnamon, flavorings like almond, strawberry, peppermint, vanilla, lemon.  You can also add nuts, jams, or roll in cornflakes (don't laugh it's good).

Cake Mix Cookies

1 cake mix any flavor
1 egg
1 stick of butter

Mix the three ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes ( I baked for 12 minutes for a chewy cookie).  You can also add chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, carmel bits, cookie bits, reese's pieces, bits of thin mints, various types of flavorings.  The sky is the limit.

Note:  My personal favorite is Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix (Duncan Hines) with chocolate chips.  But I have only begun to test out different recipes.  I want to try White Cake mix with almond flavoring added and make a type of thumbprint cookie with raspberry filling.

I do offer one piece of knowledge that I suffered (oops, I mean gained) by experimenting.  If you want caramel with your cookies, do not place a carmel on the cookie dough as it bakes clear through the cookie onto the cookie sheet and becomes very hard.  I would just melt caramels and drizzle over the cookie.  Just ask me how I know this...heavy sigh!  I tried to make turtle cookies with the dark chocolate fudge and place my caramel on top of the cookie dough thinking it would melt over the top (NO).  So I would may place my pecan on top of the cookie and bake and then drizzle with the caramel. Oh well, how do you know if you don't try, right.

The second recipe is for fruit crisp:

Cake Mix Fruit Crisp

1 Box Cake Mix
Fresh fruit or 2 cans Pie filling (enough to fill the bottom of a 9x13 pan)
1 stick of butter

Put fresh fruit or pie filling in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Pour dry cake mix over the top of fruit.  Slice the butter up into thin slices and place on top of the cake mix.  You may need to sprinkle on a little water or add a little more butter if you notice the cake mix is to dry after some baking.  You can also spice it up with some cinnamon if you like.  Or throw on some pecans.  Or maybe add some pineapple to your fruit.  Mix and match fruits.  You could use blueberries and raspberries.  Apples and pecans.  Let your imagination run wild.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  The top should be browned and the fruit soft if you used fresh fruit.

I may try tweaking this one with a little Oatmeal and brown sugar  sprinkled on top.

Fruits to use include: apples, blueberries, peaches, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.

Oh, I just now thought of caramel apple or caramel pear...yum.

Cake Mix Fudge

3 cups cake mix
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, cut into small squares
1/4 cup milk
sprinkles or nuts(optional)

Line a 8×8 glass pan with foil and grease with butter. Mix cake mix and icing sugar in microwave-safe bowl. Add butter and milk. Don’t stir.

Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until butter is melted and bubbly. (Baking time might be slightly lower or higher depending on your microwave’s power.)  Stir immediately until completely combined. Add sprinkles. Do not overmix as sprinkle colour may bleed.
Spread into greased pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Here is another that I wasn't going to add because it wasn't cake mix related, but oh well it is easy enough:

Peanut Butter Quick Fudge

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 stick of Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar

Place peanut butter and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat JUST until the mixture is melted.  Try not to get it any hotter then you have to.  Stir in vanilla.  Slowly mix in the powdered sugar until it forms a fudgy consistency.  Place in a greased 8x8  pan. Cool in the refrigerator until firm.  Hey, I didn't say it was healthy.

Now, I don't want to hear anyone say that they can't create some type of holiday treat with this knowledge at their fingertips.  Make and enjoy.  And Happy Holidays to you all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sculpting website just "lovely" for the cake designer

I on occasion like to put sculpted figures on my cakes.  I will be the first to admit that sometimes I lack a creative mind in this area.  Oh, I can come up with the ideas with what I would like to put on the cake, but I am not always the best at the intricate details of the figures.  So, I was looking for a tool to guide me, you know, maybe some type of tutorial to shed some light on my short-comings in figurine making.  Well, I came across a website that I simply must share with you.  It has the most wonderful tutorials for figurines that I have come across yet.

The name of this website is Lovely Tutorials.   I will warn you in advance that the website is in Russian, but you can still get the general idea from the photos presented on the page.  The website operator works in polymer clays, but the same techniques can be applied to fondant figures (you may need to mix in some gumpaste for some figures).  I found many different figures that I would like to give a try.

So, if you are not good at the fine details, slip over to this website.  You may find something to help you.  I just love the little frog figures.  You can also find some good figures on Pinterest as well.  If you aren't a member on Pinterest, and would like an invite let me know.  Just send me an email, and I see if I can't help you get up and running.

 Good luck with you figurine sculpting.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No-Fail Sugar Cookies

Now I know what your thinking, what does cookies have to do with cake decorating and design.  Well, let me tell you.  You can decorate cakes with many different mediums...gumpaste, fondant, buttercream transfers, royal icing transfers...and yes, cookies.  If you don't believe me, do some surfing on the web.

I found this Sugar Cookie Recipe on, and it was posted by Jackie.  There is also a tutorial posted by antonia74  showing an exact method to bake these cookies perfectly without fail. These cookies are awesome, and if you follow the instructions as she has given them, you will have some really awesome cookies.

I won't go into significant detail, because as I have said, there is a complete tutorial here.  I just wanted to expand your mind to another method of decorating.  Halloween is coming up.  Imagine a cake with tombstone cookies or a haunted house cookie with frankenstein peeking his head around the corner.  A ghost cookie coming out of the cake with crushed up oreo cookies for the dirt.  Let you imagination go wild.  If you have a cookie cutter for it,  you can do it.  Ideas can be limitless if you can cut the shapes out freehand. 

Here are some pictures of cookies I made with my grandchildren.  Give them a try.  We had a blast!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

New approach

I have hit a lot of different cake decorating techniques in my blog, but it dawned on me today that I haven't shared a lot as far as baking.  So, at least for a little while, I think I am going to start sharing some scratch cake recipes.  So here are a couple to get you all started off...beginning with the basics white, butter, chocolate.

The first recipe is for a very popular cake, and I'm sorry I don't know the original poster of this recipe or I would give them full credit for it.  I found it online and I just love it.  It's called White Almond Sour Cream Cake, and it has so many different variations to change it up.  But for right now, I'm going to stick with the original recipe, and maybe later on I'll tell you some variations to the recipe.  This version was submitted by Rebecca Sutterby and only uses egg whites (which in my opinion if it is a white cake it shouldn't contain yolks, but that is only my opinion).  I mean really, if it contained yolks it would be a yellow almond sour cream cake right?

I would just like to say before getting started to always make sure you are starting with fresh ingredients to insure you get the best results (e.g. eggs, baking soda, baking powder and cake mixes always check expiration dates)
WASC Cake (White Almond Sour Cream)

WASC - Rebecca Sutterby version w/ egg whites
2 boxes white cake mix (I only use Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teas. salt
8 egg whites
2 2/3 cups water
4 Tbls. vegetable oil
2 cups (16oz carton) sour cream
2 teaspoon clear vanilla flavor
2 teaspoons almond extract 

*Mix all dry ingredients by hand using a whisk in a very large mixing bowl (I would also sift all ingredients together, but again that is just me). Add the rest of the ingredients (I mix all liquid ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add to the dry)  and beat on low speed for 2 minutes  (I mix slightly, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then finish mixing just until the batter looks sure not to overmix). Bake at 325 degrees  (I bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with crumbs...if you wait until it comes out clean it is overbaked).

Chocolate Cake
by Jackie Cabe

2 boxes Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Moist Deluxe (The only kind I use)
Ingredients on the box
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 boxes Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding (Large box)
2 cups sour cream
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons Hersheys Chocolate Syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake mixes, flour, sugar, and pudding and set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, oil, eggs, sour cream, and chocolate syrup until eggs are blended well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix a little, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just until the cake becomes glossy or silky looking.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  Bake just until a wooden skewer or toothpick pulls away with a few crumbs on it.  If you wait until it pulls away clean, it will already be overbaked.

Butter Cake
was submitted in a magazine called Sunset Magazine (sorry I don't know the name of the author)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2/3 cup milk

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 round 8-in. cake pans.

    Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

    Divide batter evenly between pans. Let batter sit in pans for five minutes.

    Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake come out clean, 20-25 minutes.

    Cool cakes in pans 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans and let cakes cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

    Frost with your favorite and enjoy.
  1. (Cakes can be made up to 2 days ahead and wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled).

    So there you have it, if you want a yellow cake just add the yolks to the WASC cake above.  But I also have a special treat for you as well.  BONUS!!!  I am also going to include a couple of snack cake recipes as well.  These are made in a 10-inch tube pan or a 8X8 inch square pan.

    Apple Spice Cake

    1 cup butter, melted
    1/2 cup oil
    2 Cups sugar
    3 eggs
    2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. salt
    3 cups chopped apples
    1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    3 T. milk
    1 T. cinnamon

    Combine butter, oil, sugar, and eggs in mixing bowl and mix until thick and lemon colored.  Beat in vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and mixture of flour, soda, and salt.  Fold in apples, nuts, and walnuts. Pour into greased and floured  10-inch tube pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Bring remaining ingredients to boil in a saucepan, mixing well, cool and pour over cake.  Yields 12 servings.

    Apple Sauce Cake

    2 tsp. baking soda
    2 cups unsweetened applesauce
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 egg
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 pound of raisins
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. allspice
    1 tsp. nutmeg
    1 tsp. cloves
    1 tsp. ginger
    1-1/2 to 2 cups black walnuts (if unavailable you can substitute English walnuts)

    Grease tube pan and line the bottom with greased wax paper.  In a bowl, stir the baking soda into the applesauce and set aside.  In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat well.  Add the applesauce mixer and mix well.  Sift flour over raisins in a large mixing bowl.  Add the spices and walnuts and mix well.  Pour into your prepared tube pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours and cool in pan.  Invert onto a cake plate and remove the wax paper.  Top with whipped cream and serve.  Yield is 20 servings.

If you didn't have any "go to" recipes, I hope you like these, and they can become your "go to" recipes.  Good luck and happy baking!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jackie Cabe's Blogspot: Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh...New Airbrush

Jackie Cabe's Blogspot: Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh...New Airbrush: I am so excited.  My husband got me a new airbrush and compressor for my birthday.  Now typically my husband doesn't spend this much on my birthday, so this was quite a surprise.  I can't wait to give it a try.


My first airbrushed cake.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Transfers can be an inexpensive decorating medium

One way to decorate cakes is by using transfers.  These are fairly simple to make and, as well, are fairly inexpensive to make.  There are at least three types of transfers.  There are chocolate transfers (these are a little more expensive due to the price of chocolate), frozen buttercream transfers, and royal icing (or color flow) transfers.

Transfers are all basically done in the same manner.  You start with a printed image (in reverse of the image you want).  It will be done in reverse because the side facing you will actually be the back side of your project.  You will need the following tools:  Printed image in reverse, wax paper, tape, and whatever type of medium you are using (chocolate, buttercream, or royal icing).

Begin by taping your printed image to a flat surface (bottom of cake pan, cookie sheet, cutting board).  Then tape your wax paper over the printed image.  Once attached, use whatever medium you have choosen to outline the image.  Here's where things start to differ a little.
If you are using chocolate, after doing the outline you can stick in the fridge for a few moments to harden up the chocolate.  Then remove from frig and finish filling in the rest of the print.  Allow it to firm up and remove from wax paper (this step will be covered later).

If you are using buttercream, you can stick it in the frig or freezer for a few minutes to stiffen up the outline, and then finish filling in the print.  Once the print is filled use a toothpick to fill remove any air bubbles or pockets to completely filled.  Once the image is completely filled and air bubbles are removed, place in the freezer for no less then 45 minutes to completely freeze the image.  Once completely frozen it can be removed from the wax paper (this step will be covered later), but it must be placed immediately on the cake before the image starts to thaw.

If you are using royal icing, you will need to let it dry slightly (the amount of time will vary depending on the printed images size).  Once the icing has dried enough to hold its shape, you can continue filling in the rest of the printed image.  Allow the image to completely dry (this step takes longer for royal icing...up to 48 hours or more depending on size of the image).  Once dried, remove from paper (this step will be covered later) and place on cake.

Removing the Image from the Wax Paper:

This step is basically the same for each medium, but it must be kept in mind that when dealing with the frozen will want to work as quickly as possible to avoid thawing.

First you will need to remove the wax paper from the flat surface you have attached it to.   Gently pull the paper loose from the front the part of the image that is facing you.  Lie the image on the edge of your countertop.  Slowly pull the paper down over the edge of the countertop.  This will pull the image forward off the edge of the countertop.  Place your other hand under the image to catch it.  Continue pulling the paper downward until the image pulls loose from paper.  Flip the image over and place it on the cake or other flat surface until ready to use. Remember...if you are working with a frozen buttercream transfer, you must put it on the cake immediately, because they thaw very quickly.

Click on the highlighted words to see examples of chocolate transfer this photo belongs to mommawants1more and was uploaded to flickr, frozen buttercream transfers uploaded by Dawn on Cake Central, and royal icing or color flow transfer on Let's get caking's blogpost.  I am not taking any of the credit for these images, I am simply using them as samples of the different types of transfers.  I hope I gave adaquate credit where credit was due.

Check out this transfer I recently did of "Pablo" in my slideshow to see a royal icing transfer I did.
I hope you will give them a try.  As you can see from the samples, they can achieve great decorating results for both cake and cupcakes.  Happy decorating!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Totally not cake related...or is it?

I recently had a lifelong friend marry a man she has been with for 22 years.  They had both came from bad relationships, so they just took each day as it came.  Thankfully, they finally decided to tie the knot.  The problem is, what do you get a couple that has been together that long...that already has a household established.  My friend isn't into the trinket thing, so I decided to make her something homemade...from the heart.

What is more romantic then chocolate?  In my personal opinion...absolutely nothing.  So I decided to make her some homemade chocolates.  This is what I came up. 

This started the old creative juices flowing, and then I thought...why couldn't you apply some of these techniques to cake designing?  Prezel rods covered in chocolate would make great tree trunks.  Chocolate covered strawberries could be used for rocks or boulders.  Mini-marshmallows covered in red candy melts could be mini-apples or covered in orange candy melts could be oranges.  Marshmallow treats covered in chocolate could be formed to make mountains.  Unlimited ideas could be formed from chocolate.  Let your imagination run free.  Oh and you might want to try this recipe for modeling chocolate to make 3-D figures:

Modeling Chocolate

10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup corn syrup

You can also substitute the chocolate chips with almond bark or colored candy melts

Microwave the chips in short 30 second intervals (or use a double-boiler being careful not to get water in the chocolate)  Don't allow chips temperature to exceed 100 degrees.  Stir often to insure they melt consistently.  Once all chips have melted add the corn syrup.

Add the corn syrup and stir with rubber spatula until the mixture becomes thick and forms a ball.

Spread out on a piece of wax paper until thin (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick).  Let it cool completely.  It can be used at once or can be stored in an air tight container for up to a month.  Be careful not to handle the chocolate to much, because the clay becomes sticky.

Dipping Chocolate

1 bag semi-sweet  chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Microwave in short 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted.  If chocolate is still to thick, you can add a little more vegetable oil.

The dipping chocolate can be used for covering pretzels, fruit, caramels, peanuts, rice krispie treats or cake balls.  The sky is the limit.  Use your imagination.