Lemon Lasagna

Baking date: April 15, 2017

This year, mom and dad were again hosting Easter dinner. I offered to bring dessert and had planned on a chocolate lasagna that I have made before. It’s an egg-free recipe, which is important because my uncle is allergic to eggs. And everyone loves chocolate!

Days before Easter, my sister texted me to say that mom was on doctor’s orders that she should lay off chocolate for awhile. I had already purchased Oreos, mini-chocolate chips, chocolate pudding mix and whipped topping, so I headed to Pinterest to find alternative dessert lasagna recipes.

Lo and behold, Pinterest did not disappoint! I found a recipe for lemon lasagna, that used most of the same ingredients, with the exception of Lemon or Golden Oreos and lemon pudding mix.

Switching from chocolate to lemon was easy. I topped the dessert with lemon zest instead of lemon slices. Here’s the look from the top:

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And here’s a view of a slice:

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This dessert is not too lemony, even though I used the Lemon Oreos for the base layer — I was worried that might be overkill. It’s important let this chill long enough – I let it set overnight.

It’s a great light, lemony (and easy!) treat for Springtime!

 

LAX Celebration Sugar Cookies

Baking date: April 8, 2017

After her brother received a hat trick cake for his exploits during a lacrosse game, I felt like Sami needed some sweet props of her own. She had started her lacrosse season in fine style – with the first goal of the season (3-26-17) and first goal of the second game (4-2-17).

I used some of the leftover chocolate frosting from her brother’s cake to pipe her accomplishments onto round sugar cookies with a #2 tip. I would love to show you a photo of Sami with her cookies, but she ate them before we could memorialize her with the cookies. These are her cookies:

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But don’t any of you fret for Sami. On April 23, her mom posted this to Facebook:

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So, I’m working on a hat trick cake for her this coming weekend. Because… #ACakeOfHerOwn

SamiCM

 

 

Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Baking date: April 8, 2017

On occasion, I will recognize the accomplishments of kids my boys are friends with. It has tended to be sports accomplishments, since that is something we spend a lot of time focused on in this house.

Recently on my son Nick’s lacrosse team, his friend Josh had a hat trick. For those not sports-minded, that’s scoring three goals in a single game. I asked his dad what kind of cake he might like, and his dad said peanut butter and chocolate.

I turned to Pinterest and found a recipe for peanut butter cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Since it was a hat trick, a triple layer cake was perfect.

Except that not everything always goes as planned. While turning the cake out to go on the cooling rack, the collapsible legs actually collapsed and the cake starting sliding off the counter and toward the edge. My attempt to grab it was unsuccessful, as this was the only part left on the counter:

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Baker’s note: I’m pleased to report that Mocha and Jake — my furry sous chefs — loved the peanut butter cake, based on the samples they quickly snarfed off the floor.

I covered the cake in the chocolate buttercream. Baker’s note: the frosting recipe did not leave a lot of extra for my two-layer cake, so I would use the frosting sparingly in between cake layers if you end up making it with all three layers.

For the letters and numbers on the cake commemorating the achievement, his name, and the date, I used white vanilla candy melts.

This is a view of the top of the cake:

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And here’s a side view, showing the bursts piped at the base, with a gold sugar pearl placed in the center of each burst:

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The cake received positive reviews in terms of taste. But the best review is Josh’s smile before there was even a slice to sample — way to go bud!

Josh with Cake

Gender “Reveal” Cake

Baking date: March 25, 2017

Friends of ours are expecting their first grandchild this September. Their daughter contacted me and asked if I could make a gender reveal cake. She was finding out on a Thursday, and the family was gathering on Saturday, when the gender would be revealed.

I had found a great idea for a cake on Pinterest, however, the gender reveal was not to be. That’s because the Mimi-to-be could not wait the three days to find out. But I decided to make a gender cake anyway to help the family celebrate.

Another idea I had seen on Facebook for a gender reveal was this:Hershey Bar Blue and Pink

So I decided to make the cake to mimic the Hershey bar gender reveal.

This family has an affinity for snickerdoodle anything, so I started with a snickerdoodle cake recipe with brown sugar cinnamon buttercream frosting. I used the loaf cake pan set for the perfect rectangular shape.

For the frosting, I dyed some of it darker brown for the top and the piping at the base. For the letters, I used canned white icing, and dyed a small portion of it rose. I used a #47 basket weave tip, with the smooth side up to spell out HERSHEY’S. (Baker’s note: I have used the white icing coloring in the past, but I find it takes a lot to get even the lightest buttercream white, it has a taste I do not like and also it changes the texture of the icing. That’s why I go for the canned white frosting when a pure white frosting is the goal).

For the bursts around the top, I added pink sugar pearls in the middle of each burst and a smaller burst row inside in leftover rose icing. At the base, I made brown dyed icing bursts, with more of the mini-bursts in rose in the center.

Here’s a top view of the cake:

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And a view from the side so you can see the base: IMG_0134

Here’s the inspiration photo with the cake:

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Congrats Kaitlyn and Kevin on your exciting news!

Basketball Championship Cupcakes

Baking date: March 4, 2017

My younger son plays basketball (is there a sport we don’t play in this house?) and for the second year in a row, his dad was his team coach. My husband took his group of kids all the way to the championship game in their bracket.

After the game — win or lose — the team was going to celebrate with a late lunch at Pizza Hut. Of course, I had to make celebratory cupcakes.

I made an easy homemade chocolate cake recipe I had recently found.  For the frosting, I used a canned white frosting with a 2A tip to pipe on a small swirl. I added yellow sugar sprinkles and Wilton Short Stack Blue Nonpareils Sprinkles on top of the swirl, since the team colors are blue, gold and white.

For additional decorations, I used a round candy mold with orange candy melts. I then piped chocolate icing for the seams. I placed a basketball candy on each cupcake.

Here are the cupcakes:

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A view from the side:

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Congrats to the 13U Silver Bracket Champs Walkersville Lions. Especially that cute #13 and the incredibly handsome coach!

Father Son Win

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Baking date: February 19, 2017

For my son Alex’s 15th birthday, I made cupcakes for his basketball team to enjoy after their weekend game. When I asked what he wanted, his one-word response was ‘chocolate’.

I have an easy chocolate ganache frosting recipe that I wanted to use, but I also wanted something more than a box mix. I turned to Pinterest, and found a recipe for One Bowl Chocolate Cake. Homemade and easy? I’m in!

The cake was very easy to make.  For the frosting, I used a 1M tip to apply it to the cupcake. I was under a time crunch and didn’t really let the ganache set enough before piping, so my fancy swirls drooped!

I finished off the cupcakes with Wilton Short Stack Blue Nonpareils Sprinkles and Betty Crocker white cupcake gems sprinkled on top, for the team colors.

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In spite of droopy swirls, there were no complaints from the boys in terms of taste. Go figure – I’ve never known a 15 year old boy to turn away chocolate!

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Happy Birthday, Alex!

Valentine Cupcakes

Baking date: February 13, 2017

Our high school boosters organization has monthly meetings, typically an evening gathering on the second Monday of the month. In February, our meeting was moved to a Tuesday, which happened to be Valentine’s Day.

I decided to make some cupcakes for the group to enjoy. Because it was a weeknight, cake mixes and canned frosting are my go-to, so I made triple chocolate fudge cupcakes with a classic white frosting.

To decorate the cupcakes, I had made royal blue and yellow heart-shaped candy melts to place on top, because these are the high school team colors. I then dipped the edges of the cupcakes in Valentine pearls.

Here are the cupcakes:

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And one of the cupcakes up close:

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You can always find a group of people to share the love with!