Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Autumn Pumpkin Pie

This Thanksgiving I made an Autumn Pumpkin Pie.  The pumpkin pie was made from canned pumpkin mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cream.   E.D. Smith Pumpkin is my pumpkin of choice.   Pastry is homemade using Tenderflake and following the recipe on their box.  I’ve tried other pastry recipes but I like Tenderflake.

The real reason I wanted to post this is just to show you how to dress up your pumpkin pie.

Using the same leaf cookie cutters I used on the Fall Apple Pie,  I cut pastry leaves with the smallest cutter for the edges and a couple of larger for the centre.   Remember to brush your pastry with milk and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar before baking. 

Just and idea for your own Thanksgiving.   Gobble Gobble !

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Enjoy !


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Leaves and Apple Pie

I’m a HUUUGE fan of Fall and  I especially like to bake at this time of year.  What else says FALL more than beautiful leaves and apple pie? Leafy Apple Pie ?

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I made my own pastry the night before.  Bring your pastry to room temperature and set aside a small piece to color later on.  Size up your bottom shell and trim off excess.  Flute or crimp your pie crust with your fingers.

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I also cooked my apples ahead of time and let them cool so they wouldn’t be hot when I placed them on the pastry.  The filling is simply apples, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and a little flour to absorb the liquid when cooking.  I do it by eye, so I have no exact measurements.   Fill your shell.

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I thought about just placing the leaves right on the apples, but I thought a background piece of pastry might be nicer.  I used a bowl to cut out a circle smaller than the pie dish so that there would be a rim of apples around the pie.

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Color the piece of pastry you set aside with GEL food color.  If you use liquid your pastry will be too moist and sticky.  I left the color semi mixed in leaving an uneven marbled look.  I made the orange vivid enough to allow for the pastry to brown and still show color.

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I’ve been wanting to make some fall leaf cookies with these leaf cutters, but for now I used them on the pastry.  I used all the sizes. 

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When you’re done placing all the leaves brush your pastry with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar.

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This is the cookie cutter set I used. 

(The actual leaves are from the vines on the front of my house)

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mmmmm … and it was good too !

fall leaf

Enjoy !


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Boxing Gloves Cake

So, my last cake for a while is for my daughters boyfriend Lucas.

Luca trains in M1 Thai Boxing and Nadia thought this would be a great cake for his birthday.

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As I know NOTHING about sports, let alone boxing gloves, I looked around for the proper Thai Boxing gloves. We noticed that these gloves were flatter and more squared off at the top. 

In any case, I started off with a couple of rectangle simple butter cakes.  I made two separate cakes and cut each one into two layers.

This simple butter cake is one of the tastiest of the heavier cakes that is very easy to carve.

I made a paper template that I cut the cakes around.  Because there are two using a template keeps both cakes the same size and shape.

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A very simple template and very simple to cut.

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Crumb coat the prepared cakes with buttercream icing and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. I used half butter/half shortening buttercream because today is hot and humid!

Thankfully for this project I was able to get ready made RED fondant. What a treat that was. That sliced about 45 minutes and about 2 buckets of sweat off my day.

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Just a few finishing touches and we’re done.

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Happy Birthday Luca !

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Banana Cupcakes

I’ve been looking for a good banana cupcake recipe for a while. I have a wonderful banana cake, banana bread recipe, but I wanted a cupcake with bananas.

This is a great recipe.  It’s more cakey… or cupcakey (?)

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1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

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Enjoy !



In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, bananas and buttermilk.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to banana mixture. Fill 18 paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove to wire racks to cool completely. In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency.

Frost cupcakes any way you like.


*  Keep in mind that these are cupcakes and not your typical banana bread muffins.

** For a great article on using butter vs. shortening in baking, click here.

adapted from allrecipes


Monday, August 8, 2011

This Little Piggy – Pig Cake

This one is for Sara.

For Sara’s birthday she requested a pig cake.  Seems she has something in common with my daughter… the love of pigs!

After all who couldn’t love a face like this?

micro pigs

Thankfully Sara had something a little different in mind. She gave me pictures of the pigs she wanted on her cake. It was… a piece of cake!

Here was my main model. Top Pig, as it were.



I started out with the Simple Butter Cake recipe. I can’t stress enough how delicious this cake is.  The recipe makes 7-1/2 cups of batter, perfect for a larger cake and it is the perfect cake for carving and dense enough to hold heavy fondant.

Anyway…this little piggy went to Sara’s house.

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with a few assorted pigs

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And a little pink velvet on the inside

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Happy Birthday Sara!




Sunday, July 10, 2011

Guitar Cake

My nephew is an amazing musician and self taught guitarist. So for his birthday I wanted to make his cake musical.

I baked two rectangle cakes and carved them up something like this.

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The pick guard and the sides of the body were painted with a brown mixture of gel food colors.  To make the colors mix better and to keep them liquid add a few drops of vodka.  Alcohol will evaporate whereas water will dissolve your fondant.

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I couldn’t figure out how on earth to do the strings.  I knew if I had a pasta cutter I could have run some fondant through on the spaghetti setting, but I didn’t have one of those, so after a few tries and failed ideas, I just rolled the fondant as thin as I could.  Here’s a hint when working with thin fondant pieces, use shortening on your hands, it keeps it pliable and it won’t crack as it starts  to dry.

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It’s somewhat cartoonish, but I was happy with it.

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And I think Josh liked it too!

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Remember this face, it just might be famous someday.

Happy Birthday Josh!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cinnamon Buns in 30 Minutes!

Cinnamon buns go over really big in my house.  Unfortunately I don’t get to make them as often as they’d like.

But with a recipe like this.. you could make them every week!   Without yeast and no waiting for dough to rise, these buns take just 30 minutes.

Yield: 10 to 12 buns

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2 3⁄4 cup flour, plus extra for dusting the counter

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 1⁄4 tsp baking powder

1⁄2 tsp baking soda

3⁄4 tsp. salt

1 1⁄4 cup buttermilk

6 tbsp melted butter

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2 tbsp. melted butter

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp. cinnamon



1 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar


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Preheat oven to 425°F 

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together for the dough (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).

Stir in the butter and buttermilk.

The dough will be sticky.  Spoon it on top of a heavily floured surface, and add a bit more flour to the top.

With floured hands, gently knead the flour into the dough. Add more to make the dough manageable and fairly smooth.

With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle approximately 1⁄2 inch thick.

Spread the surface of the dough with 2 tbsp melted butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugars on top.

Roll the dough from the longer side, and cut the dough to about 2 inches thick.

Place the rolls in a well buttered pan, and bake at 425°F for about 20 minutes, or until the edges have turned golden brown.

To prepare the glaze, mix the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar, and pour onto the rolls while they are slightly warm.

Originated and adapted from this source.

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Enjoy !