Quick Buttercream Frosting

I came across Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog last week and decided to try this Buttercream frosting recipe for Luke’s birthday cake this weekend.

I doubled the recipe and then added a bit more cream cheese just to use the block and it was great. A double batch frosted one 2-layer round cake and 24 cupcakes with about 1/2 cup to spare.

Star Wars cake – easy! Buy a lego snowtrooper kit. Frost cake. no need to make it smooth, because it’s snow. Silver sugar sprinkled on top. Little laminated sign with a Star Wars font.

Luke's 4th Birthday

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

adapted from melskitchencafe.com

½ cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
about 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until it is light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar gradually and mix in fully after each addition. Cream at low speed until well blended and creamy. Pour in the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Andrew’s Turning 10

My oldest nephew Andrew is turning 10 on Friday.  These past 10 years have just flown by.  And over the last 10 birthdays I have made 8 of his birthday cakes, including the cake for the Twins themed party this past weekend.

Andrew's Birthday
The birthday boy and his Twins cake!

Andrew's Birthday - Cousins
Most of the cousins (missing Elizabeth & Charlie)
Maria, Allison, Katelyn, Drew & William

The Twins Cake
Go Twins!

Grandma & Charlie
Love this picture of my mom & Charlie

Swinging
the pure joy of playing with the older girls!

more pictures here

Maria’s 3rd Birthday

So can’t believe my little girl is 3 already!  She is so not a toddler anymore, but all girl!

Things she loves right now:  helping(!), being outside, games (especially Candyland and Chutes & Ladders), imagining she is Katelyn (Charlie is Simba, I am Alice and Daddy is “Grumpy Old Troll”), Minnie Mouse, Dora, butterflies, writing and spelling, the park, the mall, swimming lessons, playing with friends and spending time with Mommy, Daddy & Charlie.

We had a big party for Maria last weekend with all her cousins and friend Lilah (plus a bunch of adults – family and friends)  Good time! We had a purple Minnie Mouse cake and played pin the nose on Minnie Mouse.  Plus just a lot of running and playing with cousins.

On Maria’s actual birthday, the whole family went to the Mall of America and Maria got to go on a lot of rides!  We also planted flowers and played outside a little.  The day after Maria’s birthday we celebrated at a park with her friends Gracey & Annabel (Annabel turned 2 on Thursday) so we had cupcakes with them (and some other kids who came over when the cake came out!)

It was a good week!

Maria's 3rd Birthday Party
party with all the cousins!

Singing Happy Birthday
purple Minnie Mouse cake!

Maria's 3rd Birthday Party
Grandma and Charlie

Her Birthday Morning
a Singing Dora card!

Nickelodeon Universe
rides at Nickelodeon Universe!

More pictures!

Tres Leches Cake

This recipe comes from Pampered Chef Season’s Best Spring/Summer 2005 book.  It is an incredibly moist cake and awesome served with strawberries.  Great and easy dessert to make ahead!

Tres Leches Cake

1 pkg (18.25 oz) white cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup water
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
8 0z sour cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz frozen whipped topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9″x13″ pan with cooking spray. Combine eggs, cake mix, and water; whisk  until well blended. Spoon batter into pan. Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake completely.
  2. Poke holes all over top of cake using fork or chopstick.
  3. Combine evaporated milk, sour cream, condensed milk and vanilla; whisk until well blended. Slowly pour milk mixture evenly over cake; let stand 5 minutes or until mixture is completely absorbed into cake.
  4. Spread half of the whipped topping over cake. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve.  Serve with strawberries.

Optional: Garnish with cinnamon and/or toasted almonds.

Luke is 3!

My nephew Luke turned 3 this weekend! We celebrated yesterday with a Goldy Gopher party!  He was very excited the whole time!  I was in charge of the cake, and loved how it turned out… I decided to keep it simple and just created a cake topper to use on a cake with the “M”  (FYI, Maroon is not an easy color to mix!)

Luke got some great presents, including a big box of Skittles and a card that plays the Minnesota rouser. He also got anew bike, which he took off on right away (in the house)

Everyone had a great time, even Maria who did not get to blow out the candles.  Luke reminded her right when we arrived that he got to blow out the candles. He reminded her again before we sang and even gave her a sideways glance before he blew them out, but she was good and just watched!

Luke's 3rd Birthday

Luke's 3rd Birthday

Luke's 3rd Birthday

More pictures

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I found this apple cake recipe a few weeks ago, but didn’t get around to making the cake until this weekend.  I decided to make a cream cheese frosting (found in my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook) instead of the streusel topping, and let me just say it was AWESOME!!!

Also, note that I don’t know why you’d beat the eggs for 15 minutes, but I did it, because several reviews said you needed to… One of the few times I wish I had a stand mixer.

Apple Cake

5 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar  (can substitute 1/2 cup with brown sugar)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) lightly grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar for 15 minutes on high speed with an electric mixer. Add oil and blend in.
  4. Add four mixture and mix well. Add vanilla. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour batter into 9×13 inch pan.*
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

*Struesel Topping: Instead of frosting, mix 4 tsp white sugar with 1 tsp ground cinnamon, sprinkle over cake prior to baking.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese softened, but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

  1. When cake is cool, process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in clean food processor workbowl (or with electric hand mixer) until combined, about
    5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds (longer if using a hand mixer)