Cake Wars Drop-Out

Buddy had a birthday this week.

This is the kid who is known for his over-the-top birthday cakes. (Who could forget his infamous M & M shooting catapult cake or his royal pika family surrounded by torches cake!) But this year he left the whole thing in my hands. He had no ideas, no requests, it was all up to me.

But don’t worry – I was ready! After all, I have watched every episode of Cake Wars. I’ve seen every mistakes ever made on cakes and besides, I had an idea.

I was going to make him an electric guitar cake!

Isn’t that an epic idea?! Mind-blowingly amazing!

This cake was going to be so awesome it would probably break Pinterest!

I started by mixing up my cake mix (yes – I cheated and used a cake mix!) but to bump up the flavor and keep it moist, I added sour cream. That was my first mistake.

There will be more.

While the cake baked, I measured Buddy’s guitar, sketched out my design so that everything would be proportional, and cut out a template. This was an amazing template – seriously – I even did fractions to make sure my sides were correct!

I actually thought to myself that I really should mass produce these things and sell them – because honestly – doesn’t every one need to make an electric guitar cake at some point in their life!

When the cake was cooled, I laid my template on top – anxious to get started on my masterpiece!

But the template was too big. What!! Wait, how could that have happened?! I even did the math!

My cake must have shrunk! In a panic I started to whittle sides off, then the top and the bottom. Cake was flying! Forget the proportions of neck to guitar – I barely had enough cake to make a neck!img_0251

Not only that – it was such a moist cake that it kept breaking when I tried to move it from the cooling rack to the serving tray.

I finally had it positioned – a guitar with a neck – and started spreading my buttercream as a crumb coat.

Crumb coat is right. I just kept pulling up cake with each swipe of frosting. This guitar was getting smaller and more messy with each knife stroke. I used up my entire batch of buttercream.

What a disaster! There were cake crumbs and frosting and powdered sugar all over my kitchen and myself.

img_0253I had to mix up another batch of buttercream to hide all the crumbs. More powdered sugar everywhere. My kitchen looked like a winter storm.

So did I.

At this point his amazing electric guitar cake looked more like a fuzzy dwarf electric ukulele.

This did not look Cake Wars worthy. Then I remembered that all the cakes on Cake Wars look so smooth because they are covered with fondant. Yeah – that wasn’t happening.

I considered briefly going with the fuzzy theme and just throwing coconut all over it and calling it a day – but Buddy doesn’t like coconut. So I kept working until my frosting was somewhat smooth – abandoning all thoughts of a piping bag and details.

Instead I turned to an old birthday cake stand-by, a friend that has never failed me, my go-to birthday cake rescue – M & M’s!

img_0255We now had a rainbow dwarf electric ukulele.

And Buddy loved it!

We put 16 re-lighting candles on it, sang Happy Birthday, and watched him try to blow them out over and over again!

It was awesome!

Another birthday cake done.

I’m hanging up my apron now. My dreams of ever winning Cake Wars completely destroyed.

Trust me people – they make it look easy on TV.

But boy was that cake moist!

 

Chocolate Bavarian Cupcakes

Test 2My sister-in-law introduced me to the wonders of Bavarian Cream recently when she brought some Chocolate Bavarian Cupcakes to a family gathering.

I must admit that I wasn’t too excited at first. After all, I’m really not a cupcake person.

But one bite of my husband’s cupcake and I was hooked.

I finished it for him.

So he went to get another one.  I finished that one, too.

I’m so glad he loves me.  🙂

Of course I got the recipe! I made a batch – shared them with the family – then hid the rest in the freezer where it’s easy to grab one for Jan’s lunch (I owe him a few!) or when I need a treat.

Come for tea and I just might share!

The best thing – you use a cake mix. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one – the cake is just the socially acceptable way to get that amazing cream in your mouth.

My sister-in-law actually used a gluten-free cake mix and they tasted great.

Chocolate Bavarian Cupcakes

1 devils food cake mix
whatever eggs and oil or butter is needed to make the cake mix
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Hershey’s chocolate bar (for shavings – you won’t need the whole thing – so plan to eat the rest!)

Make the cake mix as directed for cupcakes and bake.

Remove from the cupcake tins and let cool completely.

Mix the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt together until creamy. Set aside.

Whip the cream with the sugar to make whipped cream. You can add a touch of vanilla if you wish.

Slowly fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.

Then cut each cupcake into thirds, put a layer of Bavarian cream on each layer, and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Refrigerate.

If you’d rather have a full-size torte –  just make the cake mix as directed for 2 round cake pans.

When the cakes have cooled, cut each one in half and spread the Bavarian cream and chocolate sprinkles on each layer while assembling.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

I don’t often follow recipes.

I may start out with good intentions – but quickly begin second guessing the recipe or  making substitutions.

I’ve creating some really amazing flops that way.

But I’ve also manged to pull off some pretty yummy dishes.

This is one of the yummy ones! Years ago I started playing with an oatmeal muffin recipe and in one of my creative moods – it morphed into a coffee cake.

Later I added the apples and – in a moment of brilliance – actually remembered to write down what I had down!

It’s remained a family favorite every since!

Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup oatmeal
4-1/2 tablespoon oil
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup milk
1 can apple pie filling

Crumb Topping:

2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the oatmeal. Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together the oil, eggs, and milk. Stir into the oatmeal mixture until just moistened.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan.Carefully spread with the apple pie filling.

Mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter to make a crumb topping. Sprinkle over the apples.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake

Poke 2I must confess that we didn’t even wait until after Thanksgiving was over before we opened the first box of candy canes.

It is a little embarrassing.

But at least it went into something really yummy – a chocolate peppermint poke cake.

You remember the original poke cakes made with colorful jello poked into a white cake? This holiday version features a chocolate cake poked with a yummy peppermint simple syrup.

It’s rich and minty and most of all – super easy!

Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake

1 – 9 x 13 chocolate cake (you can use a mix – or make your own from scratch)
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tub of Cool Whip
1 or 2 crushed candy canes

Bake cake as directed.

While the cake is baking, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture boils. Add the peppermint extract.

Reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use a fork to poke the entire top and slowly pour the peppermint syrup over it all.

Let it cool completely.

Frost with the Cool Whip and garnish with the crushed peppermints.

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

The cake just gets more minty as it sits!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Peanut Butter CakeEvery year before Dagmar’s birthday – she pours over cookbooks and websites to find the perfect ice cream cake.

Her only requirements are chocolate and of course – peanut butter.

This year’s concoction was no exception.

It was a veritable feast of peanut butter – chocolate goodness with creamy peanut butter ice cream and crushed up peanut butter cups.

Warning – this is NOT low calorie. Sure is good though!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Original recipe from Kittencal

1 quart chocolate ice cream
16 ounces peanut butter
6 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped and frozen
2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts

Crust

1-1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all the crust ingredients in a a bowl and then press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Put in the freezer until ready to fill.

in a large bowl combine the softened ice cream with peanut butter until well combined. Then mix in 4 of the chopped peanut butter cups and 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts. Spread in the frozen crust.

Sprinkle with the remaining peanut butter cups and chopped peanuts.

Freeze until firm.

Enjoy!

This post linked up with Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.