Baby Shower Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes and Lemon Velvet Cake with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Baking date: July 21, 2017

A friend commissioned me to make 60 cupcakes for her daughter’s baby shower. I had made cupcakes for her bridal shower two years earlier, and a gender “reveal” cake when her daughter became pregnant. The the mom-to-be again requested the fresh strawberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting for her baby shower.

I told them I would make a cake as my gift to the bride. We decided on a lemon velvet cake with raspberry buttercream frosting.

The theme of the shower included elephants and the colors pink and grey. The grandma-to-be purchased pink polka dot cupcake liners, elephant cupcake toppers in pink/grey and pink/grey zigzag, and other shapes, as well as a cake topper. Links included to show samples; I can’t vouch for the vendors since I do not know where grandma-to-be purchased them.

The website for this cake topper wouldn’t load, so here’s a picture:


For the cupcakes, I pulled out my big gun of a cupcake pan. This was the last of the batter going into the oven:


The cupcakes were topped with a swirl of buttercream frosting. I then added pink and silver sugar pearls around the cupcake, and then topped them with the cupcake toppers that had been hot glued onto toothpicks.

Here are the cupcakes:


Then it was on to the cake. I will say that I tasted the batter before I cooked it. It didn’t taste real lemony to me, so I squeezed some fresh lemon juice into the batter, in addition to the lemon zest and the lemon extract.

The raspberry buttercream recipe — holy cow — it makes a ton! This was the cake and the frosting before I got started:


I tried a buttercream smoothing technique I saw on YouTube. I had placed the cake in the frig, so it took a bit longer and I never did get it completely smooth. In the future, I’d ice the cake and let it “crust” at room temperature, and then do this technique with the Viva paper towel and the fondant smoother.  I should have taken a before and after picture because it did help smooth out the frosting. Here’s the after:


Around the base of the cake, I piped on bursts, and added a large white sugar pearl in the center of each burst. Finally, I spelled the baby’s name with raspberry buttercream piped on candy melt circles in bright white that I added some black color to in order to get a grey.

Here’s all of the sugar, ready to be delivered to the party:


Here’s the table full of goodies:
Baby Shower table 1Baby Shower table 2

Congrats Kaitlyn and Kevin – we can’t wait to meet baby Hannah!

Kaitlyn and Kevin

Photo courtesy of Lidia Miller Photography.

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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:


And here’s a view of a slice:


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!


Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Baking Date: July 18, 2014

Each summer when my sister from Toronto comes for a visit with her family, we have a get together we call Cousins and Crabs. We steam a bunch of crabs, have burgers and dogs for the kids and get as many cousins together as we can from my mom’s family.

Four cousins live in California, one lives in Florida, one in Chicago, and one in Toronto. The rest of us are within a three-hour drive of one another. This year, we had 8 of the 13 cousins there.

I am always on dessert duty. So this time I made some brownies for the kids — a box mix that wasn’t anything special. For the adults, though, I wanted to try something new and summer-like. I had pinned a Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake recipe and thought that would be a great dessert.

These were the pictures from the inspiration cake:

A couple of notes about this cake.

  • It is super dense and the cake is very heavy. You probably won’t need a big piece.
  • Before squeezing the lemons for the juice, save one slice for the pretty garnish on top. I just cut the lemons in half, forgetting to save a slice before I began juicing them. So I didn’t have a slice for garnish.
  • Definitely don’t skip the blueberries in flour. That kept them from running as you fold them into the batter, and keeps the entire batter from turning blue due to the blueberries “bleeding”. I’m guessing that would work with most fruit-infused baking recipes.
  • I only made a two layer cake. The recipe indicates that the icing recipe is just enough for three layers, but I think you need to double it for three layers. I find it hard to believe the inspiration cake is iced using the recipe given, especially given how much icing is between layers and on the cake. You’ll see from my cake that with only two layers, there wasn’t much icing in between or on the outside.

So here’s my cake

Lemon blueberry cake 5

And here’s the inside — you can see that there isn’t as much icing between the two layers or on the cake as is depicted in the inspiration cake.

Lemon blueberry cake inside Lemon blueberry cake inside 3

The cake received great reviews and the recipe is definitely a keeper.