Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lady Bug Friends Cake

My sister-in-law was having a "Lady Bug Friends" (party supplies for this theme can be found at celebrateexpress.com) birthday for my niece Madison's first birthday and I was asked to make the cake. So here it is. I made the big cake for everyone at the party to eat and the little one was Madison's very own "smash cake". The main cake was a french vanilla cake with cinnamon buttercream and the "smash cake" was a chocolate fudge cake with vanilla buttercream. For my cakes I usually like to start with a box cake mix and then add my own ingredients to "doctor it up". I will include the recipes I used below.

The main cake is covered in fondant with fondant accents. To make the lady bug I baked a cake in half of the Wilton Sports ball pan. For the lady bug's face I used a medium sized round cookie cutter and cut one circle out of peach colored fondant and one out of black fondant. Then I took the black circle and cut the top off in the shape of the top of the lady bugs head (see picture below) and the attached it to the peach circle with a little bit of water. Then for the antennae I rolled out a thin sausage with the black fondant and cut two pieces for each antenna. Then I sculpted 2 little black hearts and attached those to the antennae with some water and then attached the antennae to the lady bugs head. I did all this about a week before the party so that the head had time to dry. Then when it came time to put the cake together I just attached the head to the body with a little glob of buttercream.
Here is a cute shot of the ladybugs but.



And here is the "smash cake". For those of you who have never heard of a smash cake before her is the definition. Smash Cake n. a celebratory cake intended to be destroyed, especially by a child. Smash cakes are usually made for a child's first birthday so they have their very own cake to eat and make a mess with. I covered the smash cake all in buttercream NO Fondant (I don't think fondant would be very easy for a little one to eat). The smallest sized cake pan I have is a 6in. round which I thought was still a little too big so what I did was make a larger cake and then take my largest round cookie cutter (about 4in. in diameter) and marked to circles on the larger cake. Then I cut them out and stacked them together and then I had the perfect sized cake for Madison.


Here we are singing happy birthday...



And here is the birthday girl digging into her cake.






YUM!




And here she is all done ready for mommy to clean her up. :)
Doctored Chocolate Fudge Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 box of Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 box of instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 & 1/3 cup of water
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix all dry ingredients by hand using a whisk or a fork (I use one of my beaters from my mixer) in a large mixing bowl. When all dry ingredients are well mixed add in the rest of the ingredients and beat at low speed for 30 seconds (until it all looks wet) and then at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased and floured pans and bake until done (when toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean). Sorry I don't have an exact time, I just set my timer for 20 minutes and then start checking it until it's done after the first 20 minutes. Baking times vary depending on the size of you pans.

Doctored French vanilla cake :
Same recipe as above except use French vanilla cake mix and vanilla instant pudding mix. The recipe above can be altered for any flavor of cake you are making. If you are making a white cake use 4 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs.
Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup of solid white vegetable shortening
1 cup of salted butter
2 tsp of vanilla extract
*2 -6 TBSP of milk or water (start with 2 and then add more if needed)
2 lbs. confectioners (powdered) sugar (8 cups)
2 TBSP Wilton meringue powder (can be purchased at Walmart or most craft stores)
A pinch of salt
Cream butter and shortening with mixer then add water or milk and vanilla; mix until blended. Add dry ingredients, I add about 2 cups of sugar at a time and blend after each addition. Blend ingredients until they are all combined and frosting is creamy. If frosting is too thick add in some more milk or water until frosting is the consistency you want it.
Cinnamon Buttercream:

Use the vanilla buttercream recipe and then add 2 tsp ground cinnamon to it.




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