Cookie Monster Cake

Here is Liam’s 2nd birthday cake 🙂 So cute! And not too difficult to make. It’s just a chocolate layer cake with buttercream frosting dyed blue. In this post I will tell you how to do it so you can make it, too! We had so much fun celebrating with family and friends this weekend. Having kids is so much fun around this age. Seeing his eyes light up when he opens a present is priceless. I’m glad Christmas is right around the corner 😉 Well, onto baking a birthday cake…

What you will need:

Two 9 inch round cake pans sprayed with non-stick spray and then round parchment paper placed on the bottoms

For the cake:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting, eyeballs, and mouth:

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blue food coloring
Piping bag
Wilton specialty tip #233
2 Oreos
2 brown M&M’s
1 1/2 ounces white chocolate
A few cookies (I used Chips Ahoy but you can really use whatever cookie you want, or even bake your own if you have time)

To make the cake: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, water, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. The batter will be thin. Divide evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 26-30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes on wire rack before inverting to cool completely.

To make the eyeballs:

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate. First for 30 seconds, stir, then 10 second intervals until melted completely. Dip the tops of each Oreo in the white chocolate and then place an M&M on top. Place in fridge to harden.

To make the frosting:

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla. Add in blue food coloring until you get desired color. I used 25 drops of liquid food coloring. Beat until frosting is nice and smooth.

You can frost the cakes however you like, really. To get the hairy look, I used a Wilton #233 tip. My hands were killing me by the time the top of the cake was done. So the sides were not “hairy.” I need cake decorating skills, for sure 🙂

Fo the mouth, I just broke up Chips Ahoy cookies. Super easy and tasty. Enjoy and have fun with it!

 

Banana Bread Muffins with Chocolate Buttercream

Who says you can’t put frosting on muffins? If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know I just got piping bags and decorating tips from Wilton! I couldn’t wait to use them. I wanted to make a cake but since I would be the only one eating it, I decided to make muffins instead. And these are more like banana cake muffins, anyway. Plus, chocolate buttercream is super tasty and easy and I figured, hey, that would go good together 🙂 If you do not want to make the buttercream, you don’t need to. The muffins are very delicious on their own.  So let’s bake…

What you will need:

Muffin tin lined or sprayed
Tip: If spraying with a non-stick spray, do so just before pouring the batter in. This will prevent it from pooling at the bottom.

For the banana bread:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup milk

For the chocolate buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
Piping bag (optional)
Decorating tip (optional) I used a Wilton 1M

To make the banana bread muffins:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In another large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated.

Peel the bananas and place them in a bowl. Mash well with a fork. Add them to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add half of the milk and another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix. Then add the rest of the milk and flour and mix until combined.

Scoop batter evenly into prepared pan about half full. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing them and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream:

Look at me piping! Bad picture but so exciting 🙂

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in the cocoa powder and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla and the powdered sugar slowly. Beat in milk as needed (depending on how thick you want it) and mix until you get the desired consistency.

Frost the muffins once they are cooled. You can pipe, like I did, or just use a knife or spatula. Enjoy!

Made 17 muffins and more than enough buttercream.

Firework Cupcakes Recipe

The title of this post should really be Yellow Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. So if you were looking for a cupcake recipe that exploded, cracked or popped, this isn’t the place. If you read my blog, you know that yesterday, July 5th, I went to my brother-in-law’s lake house and brought corn bread muffins. That recipe called for 9 oz (or half a box) of yellow cake mix. With the other half, I decided to make cupcakes with blue frosting and red sparkling sugar. With half a box of cake mix I made 3 cupcakes. They. Were. Huge. So I guess they did literally explode when they baked. You can make whatever size cupcakes you want with this recipe, but I went overboard and it was fun! Try it sometime 😉 Let’s go…

Oh and I’m going to add that this is the perfect recipe for when you don’t need 12 cupcakes. Just use half the box and store the rest for later!

What you will need:

Cupcake/muffin pan lined with paper liners (I used foil ones)

For the cupcakes:

About 9 oz. of yellow cake mix (half a box)
1 egg
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the frosting: (note: this was enough to cover 3 huge cupcakes)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Sparkling sugar or sprinkles (optional)
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined. Pour into prepared pan, half full if you want normal size cupcakes, or almost to the top if you want huge ones like mine. Tip: If making huge cupcakes, fill every other hole so they don’t run into each other when they bake. Bake for 18-20 minutes but check before the time is up if making regular sized cupcakes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting:

In a medium sized bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until combined. If using, add a few drops of food coloring and mix until you get desired color. I used blue.

Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Yellow Butter Cake Recipe

Cake. Probably my favorite thing to bake and one of my favorite things to eat. I’m so happy to be making this cake because it is for my dads 60th birthday! Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you! We went over to my parents house today and of course I brought the cake. This cake is made with egg yolks to get that lovely yellow color, and the frosting is my go-to chocolate buttercream (also in this recipe). I have used many boxed cakes, they are very good. There is nothing wrong with them. It’s easy; you mix and pour. But making your own is easy, too, and it’s so much more special! So, let’s bake a cake!

What you will need:

Two 9 inch round cake pans

For the batter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tip: Unfortunately, this cake came out dry. So to avoid that next time, I would add an extra 1/4 cup of vegetable oil or applesauce to achieve a moist texture.

For the frosting:

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Butter (or spray) and flour your cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy (this may take a few minutes). Add in 3 egg yolks and beat well. Add in 3 more egg yolks and beat well. Add in the vanilla and beat until incorporated.

To avoid over-mixing the batter, alternate adding the flour and milk. First, add a little flour, mix, then add some milk, mix, flour, mix, milk, mix. Got it? 🙂 The batter will be somewhat thick.

Next, evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans. Smooth out evenly with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place the cakes on a wire rack for about 15 minutes to cool. Then, invert the cakes onto a greased rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the chocolate and mix until incorporated and the frosting looks smooth.

Frost the cake once it has completely cooled.

Decorate how you would like, using sprinkles, candles, etc. In my case, I used an edible white chocolate  “60” that I made myself!

A fun tradition my moms side of the family has done since forever, is to put 3 dimes in birthday cake. Don’t worry! They are boiled in water beforehand. If you find a dime in your piece of cake, you will have good luck. Here is a picture of me placing them in the bottom layer of the cake…

Then, when you frost the cake, no one knows where they are! We still have so much fun finding out who gets a dime. ❤

 

 

Simple Chocolate Cake Recipe

I love chocolate cake and since it was just my birthday, why not make some? This recipe is so easy and can be doubled to make a 2 layer cake. It’s frosted with a homemade chocolate buttercream, recipe also down below. Not much to say, let’s go bake a cake!

What you will need:

One 9 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper

For the cake:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Butter or spray a 9 inch cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, water, vegetable oil and vanilla. Tip: You can use coffee instead of water to help bring out the chocolate flavor.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 27 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting on serving plate.

To make the frosting:

In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add the cocoa and beat until everything is incorporated.

Frost the cake once it has completely cooled and decorate however you like 🙂 As you can see, I made a 30 (using cookie cutters) out of sprinkles, and also used sparkling sugar. Have fun and enjoy!