Buying a store bought cake is not something that I normally do. Store bought cakes are so expensive and I find that homemade cakes taste better. Homemade cakes also offer a personal touch to the event.
When my children were very young, I was very fortunate that my mom would make their birthday cakes for me. Here is a Cars Movie cake that my mom made for my son’s third birthday.
My son wanted a Lightning McQueen cake for his birthday. I looked around in the stores and tried to figure out what I was going to do. Then I decided to buy the car figurines from the toy section. At $12 for three cars, I thought it was a bit pricey but it was cheaper than buying a cake and then at least he would have the cars to play with later.
First we started with a 9×13 sheet cake we made. If I remember correctly, we chose chocolate, but any flavor will do. We iced the cake with homemade white icing. Since I had a Lightning McQueen car that had mud painted on the side, we thought it would be neat to create a mud scene on the cake with chocolate icing. We even smeared the icing a little to make it look like Lightning McQueen slid through the mud.
Next, we dyed some of the icing green and used it to pipe grass on the cake. My mom used the rest of the brown icing for the border.
Finally, we placed the other two cars on the cake. My husband looked online and found a Radiator Springs sign to print. He taped it to two toothpicks and inserted it into the cake as a sign.
I thought this was a pretty cute cake and it wasn’t hard at all. I don’t have any cake decorating experience and I feel that I could recreate this cake myself. Sometimes all it takes is looking around for inspiration to trigger ideas.
Do you enjoy making your own cakes?
images (c) Karen Weideman
April 14, 2012
Back in 2010, I showed you the teddy bear luau cupcakes that I made for my children’s pool party. They were cute, easy to make, and way cheaper than a store bought cake. The do-it-yourself luau cupcakes have been a top read each month since then so I thought I would show you the ones I made in 2011.
I was a little hesitant to show these because they’re not as cute or creative as the teddy bear luau cupcakes. I finally gave in to the idea that we’re all in need of different ideas, no matter how easy they are. Alligator Girl had her first sleepover and since there were just a few girls and no adults I didn’t have the pressure to produce something anything time consuming. These cupcakes were super fast and went along with the pool party/luau theme. They also tasted great.
As you can see from looking at the pictures, there are a few different styles of cupcakes. I mostly used pink and orange to decorate with but I also had a can of rainbow chip icing in the cabinet. Most kids like rainbow chip, so I used that too.
I put piping on some of the cupcakes. I found the paper toppers at the dollar store. You could probably find some cupcake toppers at an arts and crafts store or party supply store.
As you can see, these are nothing extravacant. They are simple, easy, and cute. They are perfect for a girls’ luau party sleep over.
December 15, 2010
This week I made 52 pumpkin muffins and 5 mini loaves. I used these as gifts for the teachers at school.
November 21, 2010
My friend Heather posted a picture of her spiced cupcakes on facebook and I thought of you all. She was kind enough to share the recipe with us. These would be really cute as a dessert for Thanksgiving.
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put cupcake liners in cupcake pans. In a small mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground ginger. Cream the butter, sugar and salt in an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately. Bake approximately 18 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean). Let cool completely.
In the meantime take 24 caramel candies ( the ones you can buy in a bag for a dollar) and pinch one end, and forming into a pie shape. Set aside.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- Pinch salt ( I like popcorn salter.. it is finer and dissolves easier)
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Beat the butter, shortening and salt together until creamy with an electric mixer. Add half the confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Gradually beat in the remaining confectioners’ sugar alternating with the cream mixture until it is all incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy.
Buy some premade fondant if you aren’t used to working with it . . . it is much easier! You can purchase it at any craft store or Walmart.
Roll the fondant out, use confectioners sugar to keep it from sticking. Place the caramels on the fondant and cut to size. Pinch the fondant onto the candy.
Ice the cupcakes, place the caramels onto them pushing down slightly. Then just add a “dollop” of buttercream to the top to complete the pumpkin pie look.
Thanks Heather for sharing!
images (c) Heather Waldron
July 17, 2010
We had a birthday party yesterday for my two youngest. Both of their birthdays are in July and because they are still young, we have a joint party for them. Now that we have a pool, it seemed like a good idea to have a swim party. With that came the luau theme.
You all know that I’m not about to go out and pay $50 for a cake, so each year I surf the internet looking for easy ideas that I can do myself. I found ideas for a beach theme, flipflops, palm trees, pineapples, and more. These teddy bear cupcakes drew my attention though. They looked kid friendly and fun.
For these cupcakes I cheated a bit. I didn’t make homemade icing. I simply bought the vanilla icing in a can and added a few drops of blue food coloring. I found the food coloring made the icing a little runny, so I put it in the freezer for a few minutes.
For these, I put icing on the cupcakes and used crushed graham crackers for the sand. Also used were miniature Teddy Graham crackers, fruit roll ups for beach towels and rafts, tiny paper umbrellas (found these at Hobby Lobby), sour gummy Lifesavers for tubes, and Lemon Heads for beach balls. You could use gum balls instead for the beach balls, but I already had the Lemon Heads.
Here are a few more pictures. Sorry for the poor quality. I was in a hurry because the party was starting.
Other luau cake ideas:
Luau Party Cupcake with umbrella
Shark and Beach Cupcakes from Martha Stewart
Palm Trees/Beach cupcakes from Cake Central
Palm Trees, Pineapples, and Flower cupcakes
Hawaiian Luau cupcakes/cake
Flip Flop Cake from Better Homes and Gardens
Flip Flop Cake from Better Crocker
images (c) Karen Weideman