Spumoni Love Skulls

I'm not sure why, but I ordered some Valentine's Day skull stencils from the Oriental Trading Company [along with cupcake tattoos and zipper pulls - reason enough to never ever leave me alone with an OTC catalog]. I also ordered a Valentine's Day cupcake stand... what can I say, it was on sale.

So... I have a cupcake stand and stencils. Somehow, in my mind, this equated into making skull cupcake toppers. Skulls = Love. No? Well at least they are happy skulls... with hearts in their eyes.

For the cupcakes and icing, I used a Spumoni mix from Cake Chalet which you can read about here and here from previous ventures. I was impressed that this mix actually captured the classic Spumoni flavors of chocolate, cherry and pistachio really well. Side note: the cake batter from this mix really really sticks to paper cupcake liners so I would definitely try foil ones next time.

I made the cupcake toppers by applying clear piping gel with a stiff paint brush through the skull stencils onto pink discs of rolled fondant. I sprinkled them with red sugar after removing the stencil.

The Spumoni icing mix has to be combined with heavy whipping cream so I refrigerated these babies before bringing them to work knowing all too well that fondant and fridges don't mix... the cupcake toppers dissolved and melted a bit once they reached room temperature but I didn't want to make anyone sick. Note to self: put cupcake toppers on right before serving!


This is what happens on the holidays at work... even when I don't plan a bake-off!
Red velvet giant cupcake cake, cherry chip fudge brownies and strawberry rose cakelets (in the cutest cupcake pedestals) accompany my Spumoni cupcake tower.

I would try this stencil technique again with colored buttercream or royal icing. If I do, I'll create a little tutorial to go along with it.


Baby's 1st Party Animal Birthday Bash

When I was asked to recreate a 1st birthday cake with fondant zoo party animals from a photo, I thought the trouble was going to lie in the making of the animal shapes. Turns out, I'm pretty good at 3-D fondant figures...
I'm not so good at the cake tiering aspect...
I covered this tiered milk chocolate-filled vanilla cake in baby blue buttercream and immediately started having issues. I got the icing as smooth as I could, refrigerated it to help it set and then used a Viva paper towel to further smooth out the surface but it kept cracking. Maybe my buttercream was too stiff? or the filling was too soft?
It came out cute but didn't transport too well... the buttercream just didn't want to hold up it's shape.
I provided fondant stars on wires to be stuck in at the party and my friend was kind enough to share these finalized images with me. 
What a big crackly mess!
Definitely not my best. I'm sure Matthew enjoyed it but I hope to get the chance to make something better for him next time around!


Oreo Truffle Football Cupcakes

Ever since I was first introduced to Oreo truffle balls this past Christmas [yes, I've gone all my life missing out on this delicious treat]... I've been looking for an excuse to make them.

Then Super Bowl Sunday came.
Truffle balls... Footballs... yes please!

The truffle ball recipe is super simple. The hardest part is not eating the entire package of Oreos before you get started! Well... that, and shaping the truffle mixture into mini footballs before coating them in chocolate.
I was all excited that I finally had a reason to use the grass icing tip. I bought one. I lost it. Here's my substitute.
Oreo truffle football cupcakes = sugar death!
Fair warning.
Oreo Truffle Balls
package Oreo sandwich cookies (16 ounce)
package Cream Cheese (8 ounce)
packages semi-sweet chocolate chips (16 ounce total) - melted

Step 1
Crush cookies in a food processor. Place cookie crumbs and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.

Step 2
Roll cookie mixture into uniform size balls (I used a cookie scoop) or shape into footballs by pinching the edges. Dip each into melted chocolate and place on a waxed paper-covered baking sheet.

Step 3
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. 

I used a chocolate melting pot by Wilton to melt the semi-sweet chips.
If you don’t have a melting pot, microwave chocolate on HIGH for 2 ½ minutes – stirring every 30 seconds – until melted.
A fork (or two) and/or a skewer works best to dip the chocolate and transfer it to the waxed paper – tap lightly to get rid off excess chocolate.
Refrigerate truffles before dipping in chocolate to help them hold their shape.
You can crush the cookies in a disposable bag using a rolling pin.
You can store leftover chocolate at room temperature to use later.