Happy Birthday Kyle!

It’s been a fun and busy birthday week for my dear Kyle and me. I thought “what better way to celebrate Kyle’s birthday, his love for the Miami Heat, and the recent victories of the team, than to bake a Heat cake!” He seemed to love it, and I guess it’s good that he wanted to eat it as soon as he saw it. I made the heat logo out of fondant that I tinted. I hand-cut each piece of the logo- sheesh! it took longer than I would have preferred…but anything for Kyle. =)

Inside the cake I added a little surprise layer of Reeses Peanut Butter cups that I diced up on top of a layer of buttercream. The second I cut into the cake the smell of peanut butter filled the air, it was delicious. Happy Birthday Kyle, and Let’s Go Heat!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

It’s been a while since I’ve baked, so I figured I’d go all out- and skip the box mixes. I’ve always wanted to attempt a red velvet cake from scratch, and have always been intimidated… well there’s no time like the present to take on a new challenge. Not wanting to make a large sheet cake, I opted for some mini cupcakes instead. I figured this way at least I can easily share the cake (and calories) with some friends and the boyfriend’s coworkers. 🙂
I also made the cream cheese frosting from scratch, another first; yet I was quite surprised how easily it came together, and how simple the recipe was.
The cake recipe included a great frosting recipe, both of which I found online through allrecipes.com; I love their site for dinner ideas, and the dessert recipes in their database are endless!

I definitely recommend this recipe- it was moderately simple, and the cake is super moist and wonderfully chocolate-y. Although my minis didn’t come out as red as I would have liked, I love the flavors, and how well the frosting compliments the cake. I will definitely add a few extra splashes of red food gel next time I make these.
(I also melted some milk chocolate and piped out fun shapes on a sheet of wax paper, let them set in the fridge, and then topped off the frosting swirls) Why not give them a try? Here’s the recipe I used:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 (1 ounce) bottle Red Food Color (I used Wilton’s red gel and only used a couple toothpick’s worth)
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
This recipe is also found here

Zombie cake

My brother is amazingly talented and artistic. He draws incredible comics online and he loves zombies. The figures were made of sculpey baking clay (that were baked the day before). The zombie figures are made of glow-in-the-dark clay (it looked awesome in the dark!) The main figure holding the shovel I made based off of a comic that my brother drew of himself holding a shovel, killing zombies. The cake is a simple fun-fetti (his favorite) two-layer cake, hand-carved in a rectangle. I enjoyed making this cake and all the figures; not often that I get to put “gross” things on a cake! “Keeping the world Zombie free for 22 years”

Zombie Birthday Cake
Zombie Cake