Crazy8 Cake Decorating

Our Favorite Buttercream Frosting Recipe

We love to use buttercream frosting to decorate. We have tried other cake decorating options but always fall back on the tried and true Buttercream Frosting. This is the recipe we have used for 22 years and except for the occasional flavoring addition it has not changed.

This recipe works wonderfully right from the bowl for frosting a cake with a smooth top coat. Refrigerate it for a little while and it is perfect for using in a decorator bag.

frosting

Buttercream Frosting Recipe*

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Makes

About 2 1/4 cups of icing

Instructions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered until ready to use.

*Adapted from 1983 Wilton Decorating Yearbook and this website: Wilton Buttercream Frosting

Enjoy!!

1 Comment »

Hello Kitty Cake and Cupcakes

FullSizeRender

HELLO KITTY

This past weekend was my youngest daughter Princess’s 5th birthday. What did she want?

Most of all she wanted her cousins to come over which they did (a 5 hour drive). But she thought that Hello Kitty was the cutest thing and so I decided to surprise her with this cake.

It started out with her choosing a cake pane that she liked. This is the pan she chose the Wilton Huggable Teddy Bear Pan (affiliate link). My daughter Director baked a chocolate cake in this pan.

I was looking at that sad chocolate bear and thinking.. how could I change this into something cool. So I decided to make a Hello Kitty cake as a surprise for her. I had gotten Princess a Hello Kitty shirt and undies so why not a cake too?

IMG_3141

I used the Wilton Open Star Tip #18 for covering the entire cake with stars. I used Wilton pink coloring to color the frosting for the dress using homemade Buttercream Icing.  The white is also the Buttercream. (Recipe below) My dh, who was trained as a chef, is the one who makes the frosting around here. Everyone loves his frosting!!

The orange/peach is a store bought frosting as well as the chocolate frosted lines. (I had these left over from a homeschool co-op class project 🙂 For the lines around the bow, paws, eyes, etc., I used the Wilton Round Tip #9.

IMG_3163

I decorated the vanilla cupcakes with that same star tip as the cake. I started from the middle and worked my in a continuous circular pattern out the edge. It made them look like a rose garden my son Pilot said. They sure did look pretty.

She loved it and so did all her friends and family at her party. That young man on the right is her cousin. He and Princess sat and watched me as I put every last star on that cake. They found it very interesting and he talked about everything I did. It was fun.

FullSizeRender

 

Buttercream Frosting Recipe*

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Makes

About 2 1/4 cups of icing

Instructions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered until ready to use.

*Adapted from 1983 Wilton Decorating Yearbook and this website: Wilton Buttercream Frosting

 

What have you done with the Wilton Huggable Teddy Bear Pan?

Happy Decorating!!

 

2 Comments »

20 Carrot Cakes for 25th Anniversary

20 cakes 7

This was one of the hardest but most beautiful anniversary’s we ever made cakes for. This one is where we had to make 20 carrot cakes that matched the original anniversary cake on the head table. Each table had a carrot cake on it along with 8 on the head table that had the main anniversary cake on it. These pictures just don’t do them justice. But here goes…

20 cakes 4

The carrot cake recipe was one that the ‘bride’s’ grandmother had made when the ‘bride’ was a little girl. It took sooo long to make these. The frosting was also a special cream cheese frosting recipe. The picture above is all the carrot cakes cooked, stacked with cream cheese frosting, and getting a layer of apricot glaze. We always glaze our cakes with apricot glaze to keep the crumbs from getting in the frosting.

20 cakes 2

Here they are all smoothed with cream cheese frosting. This is what my dh does amazingly well. The first cake has been decorated.

20 cakes 7

Here is a close-up of one of the cakes fully decorate. The flowers on the top are silk but the flowers on the side we made individually out of royal icing.

How did we do it?

  • We added large shell bottom border with a large open shell tip
  • Above that we laid a row of strung pearls
  • Around the top edge we used a slightly smaller open shell tip to add that border
  • Inside that we added another row of pearls for symmetry
  • We used a fairly large round tip to make those two rows of roping and also those three dots on the sides
  • The other kind of waterfall design on the sides was done with the same large open shell tip as the bottom border
  • Around the flowers on the sides I also added a shell border with that smaller shell tip from the top border
  • The flowers were all added by placing globs of frosting and pressing the flowers and leaves into the frosting glob

When doing the three dots on the sides here is a hint:

Press the dot onto the cake. There will be a point on it. That’s okay, just dip your finger into cornstarch or powdered sugar and tap the top of that point. It is all gone and your dot is perfectly round.

20 cakes 6

Here they are on the head table. Transporting them was so scary. There were so many of them and we had to deliver them to a town 1 hour away. But they all made it safely. We did that extra one on the right that had the 25 on the top because the ‘bride’ was thinking she would have another cake table to decorate. She didn’t end up doing this but it still looks cool.

For that cake we just went all the way around with the royal icing flowers and added a row of small shell border around the topper.

20 cakes

The other side of the table with a glimpse of the main cake.

20 cakes 5

Here is what the entire display up front looked like. It really was an amazing party but NEVER again will we take on something like this. It was so much work. There is no way it was worth all that time. BUT we are glad to have done it and so happy for the couple. Sorry the pictures are so bad, these are pictures of pictures. Hope this was useful

NOW… have you ever done something like this?  Leave a comment and tell us. Are we the only crazy cake decorators out there?

When we first took this on we had no idea that there were special recipes for the cake AND the frosting.

Happy Decorating!

Leave a comment »

Best Cake Mixes

My dh and I have been baking and decorating cakes for over 21 years. We have made wedding cakes, birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, baby shower cakes, you name it we have made it.

In the beginning we would make all our cakes from scratch. This got to be way too expensive. We had to find a cake mix that was comparable to our homemade recipe because people knew us for the taste of our cakes. They loved the look of them but we knew that if the cake tasted just okay it didn’t matter how good it looked on the outside.

Our friends and customers were buying these cakes to share with the people they loved and cared for the most. The cakes needed to live up to that sort of promise we had made to them. We started with the inexpensive ones and tried them out on our own family at our own children’s birthday parties. This was kind of mean, I guess, but they knew that we were doing it so it wasn’t that terrible.

We would bake a cake, like a half sheet cake. It would be two different cake mixes stuck together side by side so we could have them try the two different mixes at the same paryt. A bite of Betty Crocker and a bite of Generic brand. The first time Betty Crocker won. The next time we did Betty Crocker against Generic again but added extra eggs to the Generic. We did this because the comment made was that the Generic was not as rich so we were wondering if it just needed more eggs.  Still Betty Crocker won.

So we used Betty Crocker for a while until we were at a party and the cake was one we did not make. It was so rich and moist and amazing. We asked and it was Duncan Hines. Hmmmm we decided to test out Duncan Hines against Betty Crocker the next time we made a cake. Duncan Hines won hands down. No question that it was a moister richer cake. They didn’t just like it, they raved about it. So there you have it. Our winner for the best cake mix is Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe. We tried all the different kinds of Duncan Hines but Moist Deluxe always wins.

Happy Decorating!

duncan hines

Click on picture to link to Duncan Hines site

Leave a comment »

Kids Decorating Fun

My kids love to do any fun thing we are doing. One of dh and my favorite things is to decorate cakes. We started 21 years ago with our own wedding cake and just have kept on as the years have flown by.

The children have fun with the left over frosting and the cake tops we cut off but for this party we decided to let the kids decorate the cupcakes themselves.

A few years ago we got together with a group of 20 kids & parents and instead of dh and I making an awesome cake for the crowd we baked them cupcakes. It seemed the best way to handle so many children wanting to decorate a cake. We let the children do their amazingly creative handy work with the frosting.

Gallop and Artist Decorating Cupcakes

Gallop and Artist Decorating Cupcakes

cake decorating (2)

Director and Pilot Decorating Cupcakes

We had all the cupcakes ready along with the frosting all bagged up. The bags contained all the primary colors and a few extras. It took a forever to get all that frosting made up before the party. It was worth it, the kids all had a great time.

We took the time to show the children how to use each kind of tip. We had a leaf tip in the green, a star tip in the pink, the blue had a dot tip, the yellow had a stringy/grass tip, etc.

Love Pilots smile 🙂 They really appreciated all the work that was put into getting this ready. They laughed and had a fun time!

cake decorating

Pilots Final Product

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: