Saturday, November 21, 2015

Baby Elephant Cake

I have to make a baby shower cake with elephant as the theme.
I went to the cake supplies store and found me an elephant cookie cutter to make the elephants.
Elephants are cut outs from fondants.

Cake is yellow cake and frosted with swiss meringue butter cream.

I will add the recipe shortly, just want to put this on the blog so I don't forget :)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Tea Cookies

This is a very simple tea cookies I made with Ms Ella.
I will add the recipe shortly, I just want to post this out before I forget.

2 stick of margarine (1 cup)
1 cup sugar
3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Mix margarine and sugar in slow speed for a min.
Mix in egg and vanilla.
Fold in flour and don't over mix.
Scrap dough together and wrap in  saran wrap and store in fridge for an hour.
Dough can be used immediately too.

Roll out dough into 1/4 inch thickness and cut to desired shapes with your cookie cutter.
Place cookie on cookie sheet at least an inch apart
Bake at 325 degree for 8-10 mins.

Blue Red Throw Quilt

It started with the small middle piece I started awhile ago and I decided to keep on adding pieces staying with 2 color combinations. I made up my mind to make this a little throw quilt. I play and mix with all the remant fabrics I have at hand and it seems to look for me. It is a lot of fun seeing the progression on this project and the end result is pretty pleasing.

Take a look.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

3 Tier Wedding Cake

I made it. Here it is, a 3 tier wedding cake. Ok, this may not look like professional but it can pass as an "amateur" wedding cake. I believe with much practice, I will eventually get close to professional and/or look much more decent.

Top and bottom tiers are vanilla cake. The middle tier is chocolate cake.

Recipe will follow  and be updated shortly:)

Here is the cake.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

pink lemonade icing on cupcakes

In a moments notice, I want to bake a few cupcakes as a little surprise birthday treats for a very dear relative. I throw together a batch of these jumbo cupcakes.
As I do not have any icing sugar in my pantry to make frosting for these cupcakes. And I really need to frost these cupcakes and since I do not want to run out to the store to get the icing sugar. I just opt to use a tub of pink lemonade icing I have handy. This is a store bought Pillsbury Creamy Supreme pink lemonade frosting. Quick and easy when you are in rush and it works well for emergencies.

3 eggs separated
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 milk
1/2 sour cream
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp oil
3 tsp baking powder

Measure flour and baking powder together, set aside.
Preheat oven to 350
Line cupcake pan with paper/aluminium cups, this batch could make 8 jumbo cupcakes.
In mixing bowl, start beating egg white for 5 minutes.
Slowing add in 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until mixture becomes thick and stiff. Set aside.

In another big mixing bowl, mix together egg yoke and 1 cup of sugar.
Add in oil and stir and mix well.
Mix in sour cream, mix well.
Alternating flour and milk to the mixture.
Gradually, fold in egg white to mixture until all egg white incorporate together with batter.
Do not over mix.
Scoop batter to cupcake pan.
Bake for 25-30 mins. Do not over bake, if toothpick test/come out clean from cake, cake is done.
Cool the cake completely and frost with icing.
Store in cool place, cupcakes stay fresh for several days!
Cupcakes is soft, moist and tasty :)

Here is the picture of the frosted cupcakes.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Banana Cake with Ganache frosting

I have so many riped bananas, I can't possibly eat all the bananas. So baking them is a good way to use them. Instead of baking the usual banana bread, I am trying my new recipe, here I am baking a chiffon like cake with lots of banana, thus my banana cake.

I will crumb coat the cake with buttercream and frost with ganache frosting.
And here it is!

3 large eggs separated and at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup + 1 tbs vegetable oil
4 ripe bananas

Pre-heat oven to 350
Prepare 2 baking pans, I used oval pans, one medium and one small
Grease sides and line bottom of each pan with parchment ovals.

Beat egg whites until frothy then add 1/2 cup of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time until egg whiles are stiff and glossy (reserving the rest of sugar for the batter) . Set aside.
Measure flour and mix together baking powder in separate bowl, set aside.
Break and smash banana in mixing bowl with rest of the sugar (1 cup).
Add in egg yolk, mix well to banana mixture.
Mix in oil, mix well.
Gradually add in flour mixture.
Fold in egg white, (do not over mix this) incorporating the batter.
Pour and distribute into the baking pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes (33 mins just about right, insert toothpick to middle of cake and toothpick comes out clean).
Cool for 10-20 minutes in the pan then turn out onto cake rack to cool completely.
Make the same recipe again for the 2nd layer.

Prepare buttercream frosting.
Set medium cake on cake plate.
Spread frosting on top of cake.
Stack small oval cake on top of medium cake.
Lightly crumb coat both cakes, starting on top and work your way to the sides and finishing to the top.

Set crumb coated cake in the fridge for at least 30 mins or longer.

Prepare ganache frosting
3 oz of semi sweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
4 oz of heavy cream

Heat heavy cream in microwave for 30 secs.
Pour heavy cream to chopped chocolate pieces
Stir chocolate and pour over top of cake and smooth top.
Lightly coat and smooth side of cake.
Sprinkle dots/sprinkles on sides and top of cake as decorations.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

toss pillow

Quick and fast is key to this patch work.

Ms Ella is spending weekend with her grampie and me. And we are thrilled to have her. Ella has asked if I could sew her either a toss pillow or a small blankie. Since I only have a weekend to sew something quick yet durable and hopefully a little something pretty.

We decided I sew a toss pillow. Without further ado and a little help from Ella, she pick out these favorite color schemes on the fabrics that she wants on the pillow.

The patchwork begins and the stitches got started right away, piece by piece I sew away until the last bright pink is sewn, knotted and trimmed. With that we got Ms Ella her toss patchwork pillow. I hope Ella likes this pillow and that she will add this pillow to her pillow collections; as her sleep companions :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Bread

2 small or medium apples, chopped (crisp or golden delicious)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar plus 5 tsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
8 Tbs margarine
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon.

In my kitchen aid mixer, mix sugar, margarine and eggs until well incorporated.
Measure flour and mix in baking powder in a bowl.
Gradually alternate adding flour and milk to mixture and mix well.
Add 1/2 chopped apple to the mixtures and mix well.
Sprinkle and stir in cinnamon to mixture.

Lined 5 mini loaf pan with parchment paper at the bottom.
Scoop to each mini pan 1/2 full of dough mixture .
Sprinkle a big tablespoon of apples to each mini pan.
Scoop the other 1/2 of dough mixture to mini pan.
Sprinkle the rest of the apples to each of the mini pan.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar on top of apples.

Heat oven at 350 degree.
Bake for 35 mins.
Cool slightly and slice and serve.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Double Decker Birthday Cake

I wanted to make Ella's birthday cake frosted in color of pink and blue. My thought is to decorate cake with snowflake theme for a little sweet birthday girl.

I have tried several cake recipes since I started making frosted cake but I haven't really found a recipe that I can say I want to use "the Joanne's cake recipe". So I hoping one of these days, I will land on the one recipe that I can say... I found my favorite cake recipe that I really really like.

This recipe seems to work very well for me. I doubled the recipe and mixing them separately I found that the results of both came out identical.... hmmm... this recipe could be a winner here! ;) I may continue to pursue other new recipe and return to this recipe to claim that this is the winner.

I found and used this yellow cake recipe.

3 large eggs separated and at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/8 cups all purpose flour, plus 1/8 cup corn starch (total comes to 2 1/4 cups flour)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup + 1 tbs vegetable oil
1 cup 2% milk (or any kind)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Preserves (or any preserves of your choice or just used the same prepared frosting)
Choice frosting, I used pink and blue buttercream frosting. buttercream frosting found ...(tba).

Pre-heat oven to 350
Prepare 2 baking pans, I used oval pans, one medium and one small
Grease sides and line bottom of each pan with parchment ovals.

Beat egg whites until frothy then add 1/2 cup of the sugar (reserving the rest) a tablespoon at a time until egg whiles are stiff and glossy. Set aside.
Mix flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl fitted with padded attachment.
Add the oil and 1/2 cup of the milk and the vanilla. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed, mixture will be quite thick.
Add the egg yolks and remaining milk and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
Fold in egg whites and distribute into the baking pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10-20 minutes in the pan then turn out onto cake rack to cool completely.
Make the same recipe again for the 2nd layer.

Prepare buttercream frosting.
Set medium cake on cake plate.
Spread 1/2 cup of strawberry preserve (or frosting if using frosting instead of preserved) on top of cake.
Stack small oval cake on top of meduim cake.
Lightly crumb coat both cakes, starting on top and work your way to the sides and finishing to the top.

Set crumb coated cake in the fridge for at least 30 mins or longer.
Finish frosting the cake with finishing frosted decorations.

Here is the finished cake.... decorated and frosted in pink and blue.. dotted and sprinkled with star shapes snowflakes

Friday, July 17, 2015

Birthday Cake

I wanted to bake a special Birthday Cake for my best friend. She is most generous friend anybody could ask for. Tomorrow, her family and friends are throwing her a surprise birthday party and I am honored to be tasked to bake her the birthday cake. This is a 10 inch double layer cake, it is quite a big cake.

I doubled the recipe. This is not a light cake in terms of frosting. New design on the decorations, though it looks simple with just a crumb coating, believe me the frosting is much thicker coating (but not overwhelming) than any of my previous cakes.

I have used the Home and Garden recipe with lots of modifications.

3/4 unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 light sour cream
3 eggs

3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup crisco blended butter
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup strawberry preserves.

Bake at 350 degree for 5 mins
Continue to bake at 325 degree for another 40 mins.

10 inch cake pan
Lined bottom of pan with parchment paper
Grease around side of pan with margarine.

Cake is done when tooth pick comes out clean.
Let cake cool down for 10 mins, turn cake onto cake stand.

Frosting with buttercream frosting.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer Peach Cake

With summer in full swing, it is time to hit the fruits stand. I love peaches anytime and all year if it is up to me. Peach and nectarines are few of my favorite fruits. And when peaches are in season, I can enjoy and eat them as much as I want and also get extras for baking. I will be trying another peach cake recipe next time where I stack the layers with frost decorations.

Today, I am baking from this recipe found from this site .

I am tried gluten free version using rice flour, the texture of the cake comes out much drier, hopefully the taste is okay.

Here is my recipe.
1 1/2 cup flour  ( for gluten free recipe, I replace flour with rice flour and also add 2 Tbs corn starch)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
5 1/3 tablespoons crisco butter stickt
3/4 cup sugar plus 1 tsp sugar, 1 tb brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 peaches, pitted and sliced.

Preheat oven to 350 degree.
I double the recipe wo that I lined bottom of (3) 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Grease sides of pan generously with margarine.

In mixer, beat together crisco and 3/4 cup og sugar until creamy.
Add in egg, vanilla until combined.
Alternately mix flour and milk, ending with flour until just combined.
Divide and spread batter among the 3 prepared pans.
Arrange peaches on top of cake batter.
Sprinkle with remaining sugar and brown sugar over the peaches.
Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted and cake comes out clean.
Cut into wedges and server with ice cream or whipped cream.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Using the same red velvet cake recipe . I am baking cupcakes as well.

I added a few drops of cherry chips sauce to my buttercream frosting for a hint of cherry color frosting.

Recipe will follow shortly

Red Velvet Cake with Cherry Chips Sauce

I made this cake using cake mix but not entirely following the box directions. Frosted the cake and decorated the cake with cherry chips sauce and top with a few fresh cherries.

Recipe will follow shortly.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Butter Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting

I tried a new butter cake recipe and I must have did something wrong. When I took the cakes out from the oven they looked pretty good. I let the cakes cooled down and when I came back to check on the cakes, all of them collapsed and became all looking dense. Well, I still have finished up what I started and hope that cake will still taste OK.

I wanted to bake a butter cake, complimenting the cake with a cookie dough frosting so I thought if I used the butter cake recipe on it's fresh strawberry cake except that my cake is a plain butter cake without fresh strawberries.
I have both good and bad news. Let me first review the bad news, my cake didn't result same as that of my source, my cake was very dense. But all didn't go to waste, the good news is my tasters were quite delighted with taste and denseness, cake has the density of a cheesecake and the taste of cookie, perhaps this was from the frosting :)

Oh, here is the recipe on the cookie dough frosting. from this site.

This was a farewell cake to our friend that has lived in VA for the last 40+ years and has been faithful to our church. She is moving to Montana to be close with her daughter. I thought I decorated the cake with a few hearts to show how much she is loved and will be missed.

Here are the pictures of the cake.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

What do they say...? Practice makes perfect, well I don't know if I will get there anytime soon but I am not giving up yet. I definitely need more practice. This was quite fun messing and playing with different ways on frosting these little cakes. So I say, bring it on ... practice and practice on the decorating! ;)

First, bake a batch of mini cakes. Let cupcakes cool down completely on cooling rack.
While cupcakes are cooling down, prepare cream cheese frosting.

I love decorating and frosting the cupcakes with a varieties of fun designs, though I am not a real fan of piling the frosting high :). I will also use mixed colors next time too, something to think about.

1 - 8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 cup powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix and gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use

I learned that cream cheese frosting will not be my choice of frosting next time if I want frosting that can withstand summer weather. This frosting just won't work well on room temperatures.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2 Baby Shower Cakes for baby girls

Here are my cakes #4 and #5. I convinced my colleagues that I am amateur cake baker and I will bake them cakes at cost. So I am tasked to bake 2 baby shower cakes to be delivered tomorrow morning. I have scrambled to come up with 2 different girly designs for my cakes. One thing for sure, pink is the color.

I thought I did pretty on the roses design. But I got sloppy on the other cake as I got really tired and didn't have the energy to focus and/or fix my sloppiness. I know I can do better that that. ... no excuse and I am disappointed with myself for not producing a better result... I guess one cake on weeknight... work night is more sensible.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

gathering with my dear friends

We hear the saying about "Real friends treat you like family"  and I can attest to that. I have my dearest friend that introduced me to her entire family some 20+ years ago. From day one, they welcomed me and treated me with so much love and made me feel so at home with her entire family. I am forever grateful to her and her entire family.

This afternoon, we are so happy we get to spent time together with old friends and enjoy each others company. We laugh, talk and relax and also share some good food together.

We had some good food and ... oh my goodness,, lots of treats and desserts!!!

First, Crissie & Hui surprised us with my favorite pastry and an irresitible cheese cake..
Annie and Dave walked in with the most huge and lovely roses from Annie's garden. She baked the most delicious Hawaiian bundt cake. It is really good bundt. Annie bakes really good as always.

I gave Oring direction to our house and guess what... I gave her the wrong exit number. Poor Oring & Michael went pass our exit by 10 miles. When she called, I had Dave talked to Oring to try to give direction to Oring but after talking over the phone for 20 minutes, Oring & Michael were still lost and driving in circles. Dave and Hui had to drive to Oring and Michael and bring them to our house.

Well, as expected, Primie is always late... hey.. late better than never.. everybody forgives her. Generous Primie brought a bunch of beautiful pink roses too and not to mention Baskin Robbin's ice cream cake... and how are we supposed to eat so many desserts, huh ??

All the desserts are super yummy! Annie & Dave have to leave earlier than everybody else as Dave has schedule to be home at a certain time to milk his cows.

So so glad of our awesome gathering and reunion and.that we hope to make this a yearly reunion tradition for all us!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

cranberry raisin coffee bread

I have had this bread recipe book for awhile now and have not made any recipe yet from this book. Last night I lazily browse through this book and this recipe caught my eye. Like any other recipe I seldom follow the recipe to the T.

Turns out my bread turned out to be denser then regular bread and much lighter than a cake. It is like a coffee cake/bread.... will be good served at breakfast, brunch and even as dessert.... why?  well, I added brown sugar :)

My recipe will follow later, for now here is a picture.

Simple Frosted Cake

This is my 3rd frosted cake. I wanted to bake a cake in honor of mother's day and wish Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. I also wanted to bake a cake not using the boxed cake mix. I looked up and selected this recipe Moist Yellow Cake. I did a slight modification to the recipe to my version and I also tried this simple frosting to give a mother's touch.

I like to frost the naked icing on the sides so the cake is not too heavily loaded with the icing, plus I just like the look of the rustic look on the cake. I topped the cake with swirls of roses and sprinkled with gold pearls... simple but not too bare, Sprinkles give it an extra touch and glow! I hope this cake won't disappoint those who get to eat them :)

Recipe and directions below. Enjoy!

I only make 1/2 a recipe of Buttercream frosting based and found at foodnetwork, here, I added a tablespoon of rasberry preserve for a hint of color to show a little off white, almost beige. I almost ran out of frosting when I frosting the bottom trims... thus you can see the bottom trims look a little sloopy.. uh oh.. if I don't tell you don't too, ok?

Here is the recipe on the cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, (I used margarine)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (I used only 3 eggs)
3 cups of self-rising flour 
1 cup of whole milk (I used 2% milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Grease the sides of cake panLine with parchment paper bottom of (2) 9 inch cake pans (or use 3 8-inch)Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla to mix; until just mixed.Divide batter equally into the cake pans.Knock lightly above your counter the pans flat onto counter several times to release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until done. (will 25 – 30 minutes if using 8-inch and 3 pans)Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.Remove cakes on separate plates and cool completely.

Prepare frosting according to recipe from on the above link.

Frost cake and store cake on cool place or refrigerator for at least a couple hours to let frost setServe.