I generally like to assist with charitable events as long as I have time and resources available. When a friend of mine reached out to me to help with his booth for a Relay for Life event, of course I was going to bring along baked goods.
I had some leftover cake batter, and some leftover icing from the baby shower cake, so I baked up some mini cupcakes.
Nothing fancy. Just your run-of-the-mill chocolate and vanilla mini cupcakes. (The vanilla ones weren’t even colored pink.)
And, since I had some leftover sugar cookie dough, I rolled out some Mario Bros. themed cookies. (T-Rex = Yoshi; Gingerbread Man = Mario/Luigi; Flower = Fire Flower; Star = Star Power Star; Stegosaurus = Bowser.)
And, just for giggles, I tossed in some chocolate chip cookies for good measure.
Needless to say, my buddy was very happy to see me show up with a “trunk full” of goodies to support the cause.
Baby shower reveal cakes have become a “thing” lately. This is actually the first one I’ve been requested to make. AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!
For starters, I was forwarded a picture. I used some creative license with the picture, but the basis of the cake was a 2-tier cake. The bottom layer iced in blue icing. The top iced in pink icing. There were bands of pink on the blue cake, and bands of blue on the pink cake. The super cute part of it: the sugar cookie rubber duckies on top of the cake – with the written message “What the duck is it?”
WHAT THE DUCK IS IT? (Super hilarious. Super cute. And perfect for this grandma-to-be and her step daughter – the mother-to-be.)
First order of business…rubber ducky cookies.
Using my basic roll-out sugar cookie dough recipe, I made some rubber ducky sugar cookies.
And then I decorated them. Some blue. Some pink. Some facing left. Some facing right. I outlined them in white piping and added a little eyeball and wing.
Then it was time for cake. The top (smaller) tier was chocolate cake. It was not colored. The bottom cake (larger) was vanilla, and easier to color. It was therefore the reveal. And, it was planned this way so that when the top cake was cut, folks would still be asking, “What the duck is it?”
Since we’re posting this after the reveal baby shower, it’s safe to show the cake. (Hint: It’s PINK!)
The cakes baked. And cooled. And then it was time to get down to business. I decorated the bottom layer in pink icing. The top layer was blue icing. Then I used more white icing and piped lines onto both layers. Using that same white icing, I then added question marks.
I placed the ducks – alternating facing blue and pink ducks, and wrote the cute message on top.
When I made the cake delivery, the mother-to-be loved it. My job was successfully done.
My friend Jenn asked me a couple of years ago to assist with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Cosmopolitan event. I baked up my signature alcoholic cupcakes in mini form. It was a ton of fun.
With the changing state of things last year, I opted out of the event. But, this year…this year I came back. With another fun set of mini cupcakes.
For starters, I wanted to go with something “popular.” The salted caramel icing from Becky and Ian’s wedding went over so well, I figured it would be a good option for the Cosmopolitan event.
I started with a chocolate base – because my other flavor options would be vanilla-cake-based. I wanted to have something to offer those chocolate lovers.
I am always a fan of pina colada. But, I did pina colada cupcakes for my first Cosmopolitan outing. So, instead of pineapple, I opted for coconut and rum!
But, I still needed something people would be talking about. I have to thank my friend Frank for his joking suggestion of bacon, maple, coffee for a flavor for his wedding cake. Of course I took the joke to the extreme and actually came up with a coffee flavored cake with maple bacon flavored icing. I tweaked that concoction this time around, opting for maple flavored cake with my standard buttercream icing…with bacon bits.
With 12 dozen of each flavor, I showed up for the event with a whopping 432 mini cupcakes. (And, of course I didn’t get a pic with my little sugar army set up on the table. But, as you can imagine – it was a LOT of cupcakes.)
We all love sugar cookies. While I’ve done both roll-out-cookie cutter sugar cookies and drop sugar cookies, I tried something a little different this time. I made the dough a little bit thicker (not so much water – so they didn’t spread out in the oven for an “even” bake). And, this is what I came up with.
As indicated by the surprise recipient, they look like little scoops of ice cream. (Pardon the steamy cover. These guys were pretty much fresh out of the oven when I packaged them to take with me for an outing.)
Of all of the things I love to bake, I must admit cupcakes give me the most opportunity to work some magic. I can have one flavored cake, a second flavored icing, and even a third flavor if you add filling. No matter what the cupcake, no matter what the filling, my favorite icing is peanut butter buttercream. Although I don’t often do peanut butter cupcakes, when I do, I want some pizzazz.
So, I baked some peanut butter cupcakes.
And then I whipped up some peanut butter icing. But, I wasn’t happy with just peanut butter on peanut butter. So, I added some mini chocolate chips.
And then, then all was right with the world.
I’ve been giving the site a lot of thought lately. And, I’m working on an overhaul of content. More specifically – folks have been asking about the crazy baked goods I’ve been posting over on Twitter and Facebook (*cough* Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Brownies*cough*). Since so many folks have been asking for the recipes, why not facilitate an easy location where folks can check out the fun things I’ve been doing while offering them the opportunity to make it themselves? Granted, this revamp is still in its beginning stages, I’m hoping to have some full and regular content in the next week or so – potentially including a reboot of our “Build A Baked Good” video series and introduction of a podcast segment involving alcoholic cooking/baking. So keep an eye out for those updates in the near future.
In the meantime, I’ve uploaded (in no particular order) some of the projects I’ve worked on “recently” including some wedding cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. I like brownies – but not just any brownies. While I know there is a split between those who like fudgy brownies and those who like cake-like brownies, I fall well on the side in favor of cake-like brownies.
I like cake-like brownies because they are “fluffy” in comparison. And, that set me to thinking. If I have a thicker brownie, what can I do with it? I can “hide” things in it. That’s what I can do with it!
I found some Oreo sandwich cookies in the pantry. And, I pulled some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
I set up my baking pan, put a thin layer of batter in the bottom, added a layer of peanut butter cups, another thin layer of brownie batter, a layer of Oreos, and topped it all off with another layer of brownie batter.
I sometimes take gambles with what I’m baking. Sometimes it works in my favor. Sometimes, it causes me to fall flat on my face. The biggest gamble I was aware of was the milk chocolate melting (burning) and the additional filling in the brownie mix adding to the baking time – potentially causing the end product to be ill-baked and not as good as I was hoping it would be.
Although it may still need some work, I think it turned out pretty well for the first run.
I do weddings! Legit.
And, one of my dear friends asked me to assist with the cake for her special day. And, by special day, I mean not the average run-of-the-mill wedding. I’m talking a Halloween/Mardi Gras wedding.
In speaking with the bride, she asked for some booze-infused cupcakes. Specifically, Maple Bacon Vodka and Irish Carbomb Cupcakes.
The cake? The cake was going to be a different story. You see the sugar skull cake servers? Yep, you guessed it.
A sugar skull cake for the couple to cut into. Using a Wilton skull cake mold (which made a lovely wedding gift for the couple afterwards) I did a 3-D skull, covered it in slightly tinted buttercream, and then decorated it in the wedding colors.
Once I was onsite for set-up, I found a cute little mouse decoration. Of course I cleaned it up and stuck it on top of the cake! (And, I have to admit that the bride loved it when it came time for the cake cutting. It was unexpected and added a perfect touch for their special day.)
The cake was set atop a pedestal base, surrounded by the sea of cupcakes. (In addition to the boozy cupcakes pictured, there were also “regular” (vegan) chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for younger/non-boozy-cupcake-eating attendees. I apparently didn’t think to take pictures of those, though.)
My husband loves wrestling. It doesn’t matter whether it’s WWE or independent federations. The man will watch wrestling 24-7 if left to his own devices. As part of his wrestling life, he operates a weekly podcast with a group of like-minded wrestling fans. And, from that group of people, friendships have developed. One pair of such friends hosts group viewing events for WWE pay-per-views. As a dish-to-pass option my friends usually leave it up to me to provide…well…baked goods.
I’ve brought cupcakes to events. I’ve brought drop cookies. This time, I wanted to do something creative to celebrate WWE’s Wrestlemania pay-per-view. I took to my baking repertoire to see what I could do. And then it hit me. I realized I have cookie cutters!
Sugar cookies! I used a basic roll-out sugar cookie dough and used a quick batch of royal icing to make wrestlers. Pre-Shield-breakup, we have Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. Then there’s a John Cena (with arm bands), Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Kane, Hulk Hogan, Big Show, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ultimate Warrior, and Undertaker. And, because one of them came off the cookie sheet with a broken-off leg, I made the last one into a Zach Gowen cookie.
These were a quick job. But, they were super fun and went over swimmingly with the crowd.
Friends often send me things as a challenge. Sometimes it’s a flavor challenge – combining certain ingredients and making something awesome. Sometimes it’s a decorative challenge.
One of the Mayhem Show guys flipped me a tweet of some Sheamus cupcakes…
They’re okay. But, I wanted to do something epic. And, epic I did.
So epic in fact, it actually got picked up on WWE Superstar Sheamus’ radar.
Sorg’s birthday? I’d say it was a success. (And we won’t mention the fact that it’s literally a carrot cake – not just a cake with a carrot top on it.)
As a recap…