Tag Archives: cake

Foodie Friday: Wilton Basic Cake Decorating (Class Four)

29 Jul

A quick post to share my final cake from the Wilton Basic Cake Decorating Course. I tried a new icing and cake recipe and ended up not liking either of them, so I won’t share them here. The icing was ok… just not something to gush about. The cake was just plain dry. Ick.

I was pleased with how the cake decoration turned out in the end, especially because it was a rough day in the kitchen… interruptions to dig a roll of toilet paper out of the toilet (thanks to z-baby), busted a container of finished icing on the floor, and lots of help from z-baby (he stuck his play stand mixer and some utensils in the side of my cake while I was icing it)…

So, drumroll please…

My final cake! Cherry blossoms...

Like I said... it was a rough icing experience!

Mom’s cake turned out really pretty — a hydrangea. Unfortunately, the lighting in these pics do it no justice, so just take my word for it!

Mom's final cake!

Hydrangea cake


Foodie Friday: Wilton Basic Cake Decorating (Class Three)

22 Jul

Mom and I had our third class last night and we decorated cupcakes. We were supposed to make two more batches of the icing, but I didn’t do it since I had so much leftover icing from last week (and this stuff lasts for what seems like forever!). So I have the same color scheme going on, but that was fine by me.

We learned a few new flowers tonight. A couple of them were quite ugly no matter how well you made them, which was some comfort, I suppose, because mine looked very little like they were supposed to! And I’m struggling with the leaves — I’ll just admit that up front. After learning these, we were given time to free-style on some cupcakes. Here’s how mine turned out.

Wilton third class cupcakes

Ok, so maybe I need to practice a bit more! 🙂

Mom went above and beyond today and baked extra cupcakes and decorated them before class. Here’s both her class and pre-class cupcakes. They had a lemon filling and were very yummy!

Mom's cupcakes

Mom's cupcakes from class

Mom's cupcakes

Mom's pre-class cupcakes

I filled my cupcakes with an orange cream. It’s actually a dip for fruit that I made yesterday for a fruit platter… today I added some cream cheese to it and blended it smooth to fill the cupcakes. My mom originally made this for my baby shower and it was a huge hit. But I really didn’t get to eat it because my morning all-day sickness was still in full-force. This was the first time I made it and it was worth the wait.

Orange Sour Cream Fruit Dip

  • 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Combine orange juice, milk, and pudding in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Stir in the sour cream and chill for at least 2 hours. Note: the dip gets sweeter the longer it sets. Enjoy!

Foodie Friday: Wilton Basic Cake Decorating (Class Two)

15 Jul

My mom and I have wanted to take a class together for some time now, and we  both love being in the kitchen. So when we saw a cake decorating class was about to begin, we jumped at the chance.

I love to bake. But I could certainly use some help in the decorating department. Remember z-baby’s Choo Choo Birthday Cake? I loved this cake, but um… yeah.

So we enrolled and started our Wilton Basic Cake Decorating class last week. In the first class we decorated sugar cookies. But we were so rushed we only got through two of them and then sig-o attacked them when I got home so I never got a chance to take pictures.

This week, however, we decorated our first cake. We had to bake the cake and make the icing ahead of time. I was having one of those days in the kitchen, which was a rough start. I had already decided to just use a box cake to keep things simple, but I used a different pan than I normally do and it turned out awful. Lopsided and flat. Ugh. Quick trip to the store and rebaked another cake that turned out great. Geez! Then I added 8 tablespoons of water instead of teaspoons to the icing. Oops. Luckily I was able to just pour it off the vegetable shortening and start over. Which leads me to the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe (I used water instead of milk, as suggested by our instructor). I know its a decorating icing, but yuck! I’m making it for the class and then I’ll be experimenting with other icings that will work as well but that actually taste good.

But back to the decorating.

Z-baby saw a cupcake cake in my course guide and went crazy over it. So I made the cupcake cake and my mom made the fish cake. I was most excited about learning how to make the icing on the cake as crazy smooth as it looks in the Wilton book. Yeah right. And then I thought the class ended at 8pm instead of 8:30pm, so I decorated my cake in 10 minutes flat. I was piping like a crazy woman. So I then spent the last half hour adding dots to it… which is why there are soooo many.

This is what the cake was supposed to look like.

Wilton Cupcake Cake

See what I mean? Crazy smooth!

And this is what my cake actually looked like.

My Cupcake Cake

The 10-minute Cupcake Cake

This is my mom’s cake. I thought it turned out really cute. Notice her restraint with the dots. 🙂

Mom's Fish Cake

Mom's Fish Cake

It’s a start and I learned some things and we had a lot of fun. Next time we decorate cupcakes, which I already baked yesterday and stuck in the freezer for next week. And then I have to design something fun for my final cake. Hmmmm…

Foodie Friday: Choo-Choo Birthday Cake

4 Mar

Also new to the Vaca Loca blog is Foodie Friday. I’m a foodie, what can I say? I love cooking, and as it turns out, so does z-baby. A while back he started standing in the kitchen asking for “cookie.” He doesn’t get cookies so I couldn’t understand this. And then one day it hit me: cooking! From that point on, we’ve shared the kitchen. I day-dream of starting a food blog, but let’s face it — that’s a lot of work! So I’ve decided to try my hand at a once-weekly post of dishes and treats from my family’s table. Begging forgiveness in advance for my poor photography skills. Hoping you’ll enjoy!

Choo-Choo Birthday Cake

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, z-baby turned 2 last week. Yikes! We didn’t have a party this year, but I still wanted to bake him a cake. He is really into trains lately, so there was no question as to what kind of cake it would be — choo-choo! Which when he says it comes out as “doo-doo.” But really, who wants a doo-doo cake?

Sig-o wanted the cake to be Mexican. When I asked for a bit more detail, he said he really didn’t know what he wanted, except that it had to be chocolate and not tres leches. Hmmmm… After talking with his mother (no help — she’s an amazing cook, but not a baker), some internet research (not much out there that’s not tres leches), and some soul-searching, I decided to just make a cake and if it wasn’t what he was looking for, well, there’s always next year.

Now I should admit that I’m not above looking for recipes and inspiration, well, just about anywhere. And this time it came from a King Arthur’s Flour bag. I suspected sig-o was looking for a drier, yet still moist (read: not fudgy) cake and this recipe seemed to achieve that. Then I figured, what the hay, I may as well try one of their frosting recipes, too. I’m not a big frosting fan to begin with and this one is s-w-e-e-t. But once it was on the cake it wasn’t quite so mouth-puckering. I’ve linked each recipe to the KAF website — they have lots of yummy-looking goodies on there.

King Arthur Flour Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coffee or water (I used water)
  • 4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour your choice of pan(s): one 9″ x 13″ pan, two 9″ round pans, three 8″ round pans, or the wells of two muffin tins. You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.

1. Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.

2. Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minutes. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand. (Note to self — make sure the baby hasn’t turned the mixer on high before you plug it in. We had a bit of a set-back when the mixer blew all the flour up, out, and everywhere. And I mean everywhere. See for yourself, though the photo just doesn’t do it justice!).

The day the mixer blew up



3. Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds more.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions.

5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and mix for 1 minute more. The batter will be thin.

6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan of your choice. For layers, divide the batter among the pans. Smooth out the tops of the layers with an offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon. For cupcakes, scoop by the heaping 1/4 cup into the prepared muffin tins.

7. Bake for 34 minutes for a 9″ x 13″ pan; 28 to 30 minutes for 9″ layers; 24 to 26 minutes for 8″ layers, or 21 to 23 minutes for cupcakes.

8. The cake is done when the top springs back when very lightly touched in the center, and the edges just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

9. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.

King Arthur’s Flour Easy Vanilla Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I used closer to 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk or cream (I used 1/3 cup cream)

1) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and salt till fluffy.

2) Add about half the confectioners’ sugar, and beat slowly until well blended.

3) Add the vanilla and half the milk or cream, and beat until fluffy.

4) Continue mixing in sugar and milk alternately until they’ve been completely incorporated.

5) Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.



The finished choo-choo

Sig-o even helped with all the decorating. I was happy with how it turned out despite the fact that I’m obviously not a cake decorator and was a bit delirious by the time we finished. In the end, however, z-baby loved looking at this cake, but only ate a few m&m’s off the top. And sig-o gave it two thumbs up for being the kind of cake he had envisioned. Success!