Beach Birthday!

This past week I was in Panama City with my family for our annual summer vacation! There are usually at least 11 of us, and sometimes more than that, and it's something that I look forward to every summer! This time one of my cousin's brought his girlfriend and we learned after we got to our condo that her birthday was three days into our vacation. So, I made a cake. :)

We stayed in this really awesome condo in a corner unit with a wrap-around balcony that had an amazing view of the ocean on one side, and a view of the bay on the other side! It was the best place we've ever stayed. Also because they had cake pans and an electric mixer in the kitchen. ;)

What's really cool about this cake is that anyone can make it.  Seriously, I left all my favorite baking things at home and had to use whatever our condo had.  I got a funfetti cake, some icing that comes with sprinkles in the lid, and blue icing that you can buy in a can that comes with its own decorating tips.  Super easy and a quick clean-up!  Perfect for college and dorm rooms.

I still have a hard time frosting cakes and making them look flat and knew that wasn't going to happen here, so I just made little swirls with the back of a spoon.  I think this makes cakes look fancier anyway.

Sometimes I sort of have an idea about what I want a cake to look like, but most times it doesn't turn out like I want it to and I have to change it up.  I like how this one turned out though.  I love how the blue frosting matches the blue in the sprinkles!

I took a bunch of super close up photos.  I just love them for some reason.

I wanted the top to look like the sprinkles exploded.

Mission accomplished. :)

Happy Birthday, Laura!  Hope it was a good one :)


The CakeShake

Last week my roommate, Lizz, had her wisdom teeth taken out, and usually that means eating a lot of ice cream. I could have gotten a little thing of ice cream at the store, which I did, but I decided to make it a little bit more fun.

I have some friends at school that are always making their own dessert masterpieces from the desserts available at the dining halls on campus. For example, they'll get a cupcake, a bowl of soft-serve ice cream, and mix the cupcake (icing and all, of course) into the ice cream.

Well, that inspired me.

So I took this (a piece of cake from my Cupcake Cake in my last blog post):

And some of this:

And mixed it all up.

I knew I wanted to put it in a clear cup, so I set off on a quest.  After exploring all the cabinets and the deepest and darkest corners of the topmost shelves, I found it.  I picked it up and knew immediately that I had to use it because...it's a light-up cup.

It's hard to see in the picture, but please note that it says, "Disco Fever".  I have no idea where this cup came from or how long it was trapped in the cabinet over the refrigerator (where all the lost cups eventually end up since nobody can ever reach those cabinets), but I'm glad I rescued it.

So I poured in the CakeShake and topped it off with some whipped cream and a bendy straw.  I didn't think about how I was going to transport it until I got in the car, but I just drove extra carefully. 

It tasted just like cake!  I know because I tried it before I took it to my roommate.  But I'm really glad she liked it!  Hopefully it made her post-wisdom-teeth-removal days a little better :)


The Cupcake Cake

I wanted to bake something this week because I hadn't baked in a while and the people at my mom's work were asking about it. :)  I bought this giant cupcake pan set from Ross Dress for Less (you'd think I'd know by now) and decided to use it. 

It worked better than I thought it would!  I had to guess on the bake time, though.  I just kept periodically checking it.  And I think it turned out nicely!

I'd planned on putting a lot of sprinkles on it, but I think I made my icing too think or something.  I tried to put the sprinkles on right after I finished spreading the buttercream icing, but they rolled right off.  So I started sticking them on a few at a time, but that got really boring.  I kind of like it, though.

Unfortunately, my mom's coworkers ate all of it.  I was sort of hoping there'd be left overs. :)


Oreo Brownies and an Oreo Cake

As you can see, I love Oreos.

I wanted to make these after my dad sent me this link.  We had some family over last weekend and my mom asked me what we should have for dessert, and I just knew I needed to make these.  I've been baking brownies with my mom since I was a little girl, and people would always ask us for the recipe.  The truth is, it's just the recipe on the back of the box! They're super easy to make and it takes a few extra minutes to chop up some Oreos and toss them in.

My family was in town for my grandfather's 82nd birthday! So I made him a cake and used the Oreos I had left over from the brownies.  I've made an Oreo cake before, and it's soooo good.  The Oreos become soft when you bake them so they're almost like the actual cake.

The only problem with this cake was that it was a little underdone in the center, but it wasn't too underdone.  Still very tasty!


4th of July Firework Cake

The first thing I have to say is that I learned a few things when I made this cake.

First of all, I learned that I should buy the "no taste" food coloring.  I wanted to color the frosting red and blue and I'm not sure what happened.  The blue icing tasted fine, but when I tasted the red icing, it was disgusting.  So I bought some of the "no taste" kind and had to make the red icing over.  Thankfully, it worked out the second time.

Second, I ran into an issue with my circle pans.  I have seen so many cakes with the flag on the inside and I wanted to try it, but do it differently.  Nothing too fancy.  I wanted to use my checkerboard cake pans, and just leave the bottom layer red, the middle layer white, and use the checkerboard thingy for the top layer.  Instead of making the top layer checkerboard patterned, I just made the outer layer blue and the inner two layers red.  Unfortunately, when I got out the 3 circle pans that came with my checkerboard cake set, the bottom two had rust spots all over them.  The top pan was fine though.  So I had to use two different pans for the bottom two layers, but I still used the one-okay-pan so I could use the checkerboard thingy for the top layer.  The layers all ended up being different sizes even though they were all 8" pans.  And my blue square was way too small.  But I guess that's what I get for buying a checkerboard cake set from a Ross: Dress for Less.  I'll have to do it the hard way next time.

Anyway, it still tasted good!  And that's what counts, right?


Tagalong Surprise Cupcakes

I wonder what kind of cupcakes I could make with these. (:

I meant to post this earlier in the week, and I was going to say that I've been busy, but that would be a lie.

Last weekend we had some really good family friends over for dinner.  My mom and I were getting dinner ready when it started storming and the power went out.  And about a minute later, our friends pulled into our driveway.  We ended up hanging out on our screened-in back porch for a little while, and then ate dinner by candle light.  It was actually kind of nice!  Then almost as soon as we were done with dinner, the power came back on.

And then we had dessert!

These cupcakes were soo good.  I think they were better than the Oreo ones, even though those are still my favorites. 

I made these cupcakes exactly like the Oreo cupcakes.  Half of them have Tagalong cookies in them and the other half have Reese's peanut butter cups in them.  I made the Reese's one a little differently though.  I filled the cupcake pan up all the way, then sat a Reese's cup on top, and pushed it down slightly into the batter.  While they were baking, they sank all the way to the bottom of the pan and stuck to the foil liners.  They still tasted good, though!

The Tagoalong cupcakes were amazing, though.  I will definitely be making these again for my friends when we all get back to school!

The Collegiate Baker
It's kind of hard to see the cookie, but it's in there.  They were the Walmart brand of Tagalongs, so they look a little different, but they taste the same.

I've been looking for a good cupcake carrier for when my mom takes all the leftover cupcakes and things to work.  And just because I didn't have anything to transport them in at all.  My mom found this really awesome collapsible, two-level carrier.  I know what you're thinking.  A collapsible, two-level carrier!?  Yeah, super cool.