Thursday, January 27, 2011


In January, my husband's family has more than half a dozen birthdays, plus my in-laws' anniversary. So we have 1 get-together to celebrate everyone's birthday/anniversary at one time.

I was asked to do the cake (post coming later). My hubby's family is fairly large - he's one of 6 kids (when you get spouses, kids, kids' husband/boyfriend, etc. just immediate family alone is about 30 people). So I asked my husband what size cake to make (a large sheet cake or a regular size cake)? You know I didn't need to bring any cake home or I would eat it and I don't need it.

He said he wanted a cheesecake (and since his birthday was this month too and the celebration was as much for him as anybody - how could I say no?). So I made a cheesecake (New York style), but I also made a regular birthday cake (for the kids and those that might not like cheesecake - what? someone might not like cheesecake?). It was an 8 inch 2 layer cake.

When Frank saw the regular birthday cake he said, "Is that all the cake?"
Me: "No, I made a cheesecake too."
Frank: "I meant was that all of the other cake? I thought you were going to make it bigger."
Me: "I asked you what size should I make it and all you suggested was a cheesecake. I thought that between the 2 it would be enough."
Frank: "I just thought you would make a bigger cake than that - just not a huge cake."

So, I made some cupcakes too. To make sure there would be enough. I saw on the cover of the January/February 2011 Midwest Living Magazine these really cute cupcakes. I just had to try them. They had white and chocolate icing swirled together. It looked so pretty. (You can see another idea that I got from Midwest Living Magazine here.)

I used the Wilton recipe for buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream frosting. Filled my decorator bag on one half with the white icing and on the other half with chocolate icing and squeezed it down. Then I just swirled out the top.

I tried a second batch (new decorator bag because the frostings mix together after being squeezed and you will loose the 2 toned look) and this time I put the chocolate frosting in first and the white in second. Then I swirled them on the top of the cupcakes. When I added the chocolate first, it kind of tinted the white as it was squeezed out and it looked off-white. It was still pretty, you could still tell it was 2 toned, but the white didn't have the brightness as it did in my first attempt. I guess it depends on the look you are going for. Forgot to take a picture of the 2nd attempt.

I had seen them use marshmallows for flower petals before and always wanted to try it, so I thought now is my chance. In a house full of boys, I don't get to do too many floral things.

Here they are before I put in the M & M centers. I experimented with them. I have decided that I like the 5 petal flowers the best. Sanding sugar lasts a little longer than sprinkles (on the flower petals), the sprinkles color will start to bleed after a little while.

How to do this is you take mini-marshmallows and cut them on the diagonal with kitchen shears. Take the cut part (it is sticky) and dip it in sanding sugar (or colored sugar), then place on top of cupcake.

Here they are after the M & M centers have been added. Excuse my mess, not sure what was in the background. Never even noticed it until I just posted the picture here. Ooops!

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