Monthly Archives: April 2017

Vegetable Garden Themed Play-date

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Earlier this year, my Cousin Betsy started a blog with one of her besties about parenting, organization, and entertaining while wrangling children called Mel & Betsy.  They have 3 children each and are seriously out numbered.  I would say they have figured out a thing or two about keeping those kiddos entertained and engaged.  Back in February, Betsy asked me if I would help with their Easter themed blog post.  She wanted to have a Peter Rabbit/Mr. McGregor themed Easter play-date for the kids to feature on the blog.  My contribution was some vegetable cookies and a small cake….and my rambunctious boys of course.

I was really excited to do this order because how often do you get to make something as ordinary as vegetables into something cute and delicious!  I started with the cookies and made carrots, radishes, and lettuce.  The carrot cutter was a Wilton cutter that came in a three pack for Easter. The lettuce cutter was a flower cutter that I modified a little bit for the lettuce.  The radish cutter was a little harder to find, but I found it on here on Etsy.  Below you can see the progression of each.  I was able to mostly finish them in one night with the exception of the lettuce.  I let the base layer dry over night before piling on the heavy lettuce top.

garden cookie tutorial

Vegetable Sugar Cookies

Most of the royal icing was applied using a tip-less bag.   You can buy a bunch of them on Amazon for cheap.  So far, I have liked these ones the best from the Amazon selection. The carrot and radish tops were done with a leaf tip.  You can get the crinkles in the leaves by shaking the tip back and forth as you move.  The lettuce tips were done with a rose tip in a circular zigzag pattern.  When they were all done and dry, I couldn’t believe how adorable they were!

Veggie Cookies

Vegetable Sugar Cookies

Sticking with the garden theme, I thought a cake with some little veggie rows would be cute.  The cake was only a 6″ cake so the design on top couldn’t be too large.  Like buttercream flowers, I used flower nail to make tiny veggies out of buttercream on parchment paper and stuck them in the freezer to harden.  While the veggies were in the freezer, I iced my cake with buttercream.  Using some leftover chocolate ganache that I had from my french macarons, I covered the top of the cake and added a drip to the side to make it a little more fun.  This gave the top a black background so that when I filled the top of the cake with crushed Oreos for dirt, white buttercream did not peak through the Oreos. I used dollops of white buttercream as a “fence” to hold in the Oreo “dirt”.

Garden Cake 1

Garden Drip Cake with Oreo dirt

Once I was done prepping the dirt, my buttercream veggies were nice and frozen.  I carefully peeled them off their parchment and added them to the Oreo dirt.  The cake really turned out better than I had planned.  I love this one.

DSC_0123

Garden Party Drip Cake with Oreo Dirt

Once I got to Betsy’s house for the play-date, everything came together so wonderfully.   Of course, she had a perfect little table to put all the goodies on that made the cake and cookies stand out even more.

Go check out their garden theme blog post for more pictures here.  It was a cute party and the kids really had a good time.

Clara

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Buttercream Flower Cake

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I cannot believe it is April!  Since I am an accountant, April marks the start of Q2….. the second quarter of the year.  After I feverishly help close my company’s books for the quarter, I start looking forward to all things Q2 brings such as warmer weather, vacations, Easter, trips to our farm, and shaking off the winter blues.  Isn’t funny how all of a sudden you can wake a little earlier, do your usual morning routine, and then unload the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry, and pick up a few things all before work? It is like we become more productive as we come out of hibernation.  Well good thing because I am BOOKED for the month of April doing sweet treats and will need all the productivity I can get!  Apparently April also marks the start of party season and I feel like I haven’t sat down yet this month.

My first weekend in April,  I had two orders, one of which was a 80th birthday cake for a friend’s mother-in-law.   Outside of knowing that the cake was for an eighty year old woman, my friend was thinking a blue cake to go with the silver decorations.  We ended up settling on blue and violet to make it a little more feminine.  When I am not sure of the hobbies of a woman, I go with flowers.  They are classic and I am always looking for a reason to practice!

blank cake

Cake iced with buttercream

I should have taken more pictures, but with two projects going on at once, I was not quite on top of it.  This was a ten inch layered white cake with buttercream icing.  After I had my cake iced with the best buttercream icing, I worked on the flowers.

If you are just starting to think about trying buttercream flowers, I have good news.  You don’t make them straight on the cake!  You do them on a flower nail and transfer them to the cake.  Once I realized this when I started on buttercream flower cakes last year, it seemed a little less daunting to start my first cake.  There are a number of different flower nails, but they all pretty much serve the same purpose.  If you are just starting out, this inch and a half one by Wilton is pretty standard.  As for flower tips, a good starter set is the Wilton flower and leaf tip set.   I used pieces of this set to make the leaves and the little purple blossoms.  I also used a Wilton D2 tip for the hydrangeas, a Wilton M1 tip for the larger flowers,  and a Wilton 81 tip for the mums.  I put a piece of parchment on the flower nail so that I can easily remove the flower from the nail.  So you can mess up 20 flowers and it will not matter.   Just keep trying until you get some that you like.  Then pop them in the freezer to harden.  When they are hard, you can gently peel them off the parchment paper and put them on the cake. I did add the hydrangeas straight on the cake since it is easier to build them around the other flowers as a filler.

80th bday cake

Buttercream Flower Birthday Cake

Once all of your flowers are on your cake, you can add green leaves where you see fit.  I finished off the cake with a simple HAPPY BIRTHDAY and a violet boarder.  It turned out really cute and I heard that it was a hit with the birthday girl, so that is all that matters.  I have many more April posts, so keep a lookout!

Clara

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