Get Well Soon Eyeball Cake

Baking date: August 6, 2017

My friend Rebecca’s fiance had cataract surgery recently. Since I’ve been itching to get back into my baking rhythm after Achilles surgery, I jumped on the opportunity to make him a get well cake.

It was a simple enough recipe of one bowl chocolate cake and a dark chocolate canned frosting. The not so simple part? Adding eyeballs to the cake.

I used a technique I had seen for a Halloween cake. You twist/separate (carefully!) Oreo cookies so that the cream filling is all on one side. It’s not as easy as you would think. Then, place a Junior Mint in the center of the white cream.

I added eyebrows with some buttercream icing. With the remaining dark chocolate frosting, I added bursts along the border. In the center of the bursts, I added a white sugar pearls.

Here’s a side view…

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And here’s the top view:

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You can also make the eyeballs with mini-Oreos and M&M’s, if you’d like to add more pairs of eyes or have the eyes be smaller in size. I did that for the Monster eyeball cake I made for a friend who was going through some tough medical issues one year around Halloween.

Here’s to a quick recovery, Gary!

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21st Birthday Cake

Baking date: May 20, 2017

The 21st birthday for my friend Lou’s daughter was celebrated at the Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery. Lou had reserved a large table, ordered sangrias, wines and food, and even secured a stretch limo to get us all to and from the venue safely. The party guests included good friends and family:

Ladies at the table (1)

All the ladies

a number of which were mothers/daughters that Lana (the birthday girl) had grown up with:

Moms and daughters

I have known Lana and her mom for many years – our sons have played baseball together for 8 years, and basketball a number of years. So — of course — a special cake was my gift to the birthday girl. Her mom told me chocolate on chocolate was good. And her favorite color is blue.

I made both the one bowl chocolate cake and the chocolate ganache frosting from scratch, which included cocoa powder. The very same cocoa powder that fell out of the cabinet at one point. The top popped off and the cocoa powder ended up all over my mixer. I’ll bet this shit never happens to Martha Stewart.

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For the decorations on top of the cake, I hand-piped a two and a one using bright white candy melts. I covered the numbers with royal blue sugar. I piped on bursts of the ganache and set the “2” and the “1” into the ganache.

Using a very small star tip, I piped Lana’s name in script using the ganache. I then placed blue sugar pearls in the center of each small burst.

Around the top edge of the cake, I piped shells using star tip #21. Inside the shells, I filled in with large blue and white sugar crystals.

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Around the base of the cake, I piped on bursts of ganache and placed a white sugar pearls in the center of each burst.

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Happy 21st birthday, sweet Lana. And thanks for having me be part of your special celebration!

Lana

Chocolate-on-chocolate Home Run Cake

Baking date: May 13, 2017

As my oldest son has gotten grown up, I haven’t had the opportunity to make as many home run cakes for his baseball teammates. Those fences have gotten farther away as they have become teenagers, and it’s become tougher to crank it out.

So, when an opportunity comes along to make a home run cake for someone I know, I jump on it. Such an opportunity presented itself in May when my youngest son’s football coach posted this:

Csm at bat

I texted Coach and asked what kind of cake Cam liked so I could make him a home run cake. He asked and Cam said “chocolate with chocolate frosting”. OK…makes it more of a challenge, since my typical home run cake has white frosting.

I made a one bowl chocolate cake with easy chocolate ganache frosting. It was a two-layer, 9″ round cake.

I decided to decorate the cake with round bright white candy melts for the baseballs. I used a basic round mold. I use bright white candy melts for anything I want really white, because I feel like the white candy melts are more ivory. I had some leftover white frosting that I was going to use to pipe on red seams, once I dyed the frosting. But I was out of red icing coloring. Yikes – quick trip to grocery store to get emergency supplies. since my craft store go-tos (AC Moore or JoAnn) are on the other side of town and I was on a tight time line to finish!)

Red icing

I made star candy melts using the Starry Mix candy mold with red candy melts to spell out Cameron’s name and date of the home run. I used white icing to pipe on the name and numbers.

I used white candy melts to spell out home run with Make ‘n Mold Bakerella letter candy molds — the only molds listed on the website are the numbers, but they have letters also. You can really see the difference between white and bright white candy melts in this photo of all the candy melt decorations for the cake:

Candy melts

Here is the cake all put together and decorated from the top and side:

Cake from topCake from side

Cam was delighted with the treat…

Cam with Cake

And his dad was very appreciative…

Facebook thank you

Even though I don’t make as many home run cakes for the kids on my son’s baseball team as I used to, you can always find a way to pay it forward, if you are tuned in to your community!

LAX Hat Trick Celebration Cake

Baking date: April 29, 2017

When her older brother earned himself a lacrosse hat trick cake, Sami set her sights on a cake of her own. Just two weeks later, she earned it with her own hat trick.

I made a two-layer 9″ round one bowl chocolate cake, and topped it with canned white frosting. Around the base of the cake, I piped on leaf green dyed “grass” with a #234 tip. Around the top edge of the cake, I piped on green stars with a #13 open star tip and added large white sugar pearls in the center of each star.

Using black and yellow candy melts (her team colors), I added her name, accomplishment and date in letters and numbers.

I incorporated the hashtag her mom used on Facebook on the side of the cake in candy melt letters.

Facebook post

Congrats, Sami, on achieving your #ACakeOfHerOwn goal!

Sami with Cake

 

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

Bullseye Cake

Baking date: June 24, 2016

During the year-end league tournament for my son Alex’s team, one of the players was hit by pitches three times. Someone joked that he should be wearing a target on his uniform. And someone else looked at me and said, he needs a target cake.

I made the cake from my go-to box recipe – triple chocolate fudge mix. Baker’s note: I always add a tablespoon of vanilla to any box mix for a more “homemade” taste.

I used the Wilton Easy Layers 6 inch cake pan set.  Baker’s note: be sure to level off each layer or you may end up with the leaning tower of cake!

Using buttercream icing in royal blue, I outlined a coffee cup for the outer layer of the bulls-eye and a shot glass for the center. I then filled in the blue areas, and using classic white canned frosting, filled in the alternate ring of the target, as well as the sides. I had also used the classic white in between the layers. Finally, I added bursts along the bottom edge in the royal blue buttercream.

I wanted to add a special message on the cake, so using white and royal blue candy melts, I spelled out HIT ME HERE and placed the letters on the top of the cake.

Here’s the cake from the top:IMG_1454

And from the side:

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I started to make the ME in royal blue candy melts, but had to scrap that because it wouldn’t have stood out against the royal blue icing. The H’s were a pain – I went through a number of attempts before I got two of them out of the mold without breaking:

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Ultimately, the cake was a big hit. No pun intended, Brett!

Facebook Post

Get Well Soon Cake

Baking date:  April 3, 2015

On April 1, one of the other sports moms in town — her youngest and my oldest have played football, baseball, and basketball together — posted to Facebook that her high school son needed an emergency appendectomy and that this was not an April Fools joke. Yikes!

Luckily, Zac is a healthy young man. The surgery went well and he quickly was out of the hospital and on his way home to recover.

To speed the healing process, I offered to make him something sweet. Zac likes plain butter cake and chocolate frosting. So I used a box cake and a can of chocolate fudge frosting. I read a tip recently that suggests adding a teaspoon of vanilla to box cake mixes to make them taste a bit more homemade.

I used candy melt letters to spell out GET WELL SOON ZAC.

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The next morning his mother posted this picture on Facebook, saying he decided to just take a fork and make breakfast out of the cake:

The next day

And he was back on the baseball field quickly, helping the high school make it to the playoffs this year. Here is Zac  jumping for joy after winning in the second round of the playoffs. Nice recovery after surgery just a month ago.

Zac (facing camera) jumps for joy with a teammate

Zac (facing camera) jumps for joy with a teammate

I’d like to think the cake helped with the healing.