Sky High Red Velvet Rosette Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my sweet friend’s birthday party. She had a big birthday bash at her house, so I knew I would need to bring a big cake! This beauty is 4 layers of rich red velvet cake, filled with cream cheese frosting and frosted in swirls of pink swiss meringue buttercream.  All birthday cakes need sprinkles, but I realized I was running low on the classic rainbow sprinkles (how in the world did THAT happen?), so I got creative and mixed together a combo of rainbow sprinkles, heat shaped quins, and pearlized jimmies.

I love this birthday mix, and think making custom sprinkle blends could be lots of fun 🙂

This frosting style made a big splash, but was very quick to do. I frosted the entire cake smooth with a crumb coat of the pink frosting, then loaded up a pastry bag with a  closed star tip

like this: 

Then, hold the bag at a 90degree angle from the side of the cake, and draw a small spiral, starting at the inside and making about one full round. Pull the bag away, and you should have a rosette! Repeat all around the side of the cake in rows.

Then switch to a small star tip and pipe some kind of squiggles around the top edge. Drown it all in your custom sprinkle blend and add candles!  Dance, sing, wish, blow out the candles and serve with big scoops of vanilla ice cream. A sweet birthday cake for a sweet friend and a very happy birthday.

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I love Brunch. Triple Berry Coffee Cake, Parfait, and Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Brunch is the perfect meal. It is synonymous with lazy Sunday mornings, sweet treats, and champagne before noon, all of which I strongly approve of.  This last Sunday, one of my favorite people came over to our house for brunch where we feasted on: triple berry coffee cake, strawberry/mango parfait,  mimosa, and cold brewed iced coffee. I may have gone a little overboard considering there were only three of us…

Triple Berry Coffee Cake

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and it is heavenly. This is a great base recipe that you could stir any combination of seasonal fruits into. Here, I used raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry.  I have a flat of ripe peaches on my counter, and family to visit mid-week, so I think this cake may be making another appearance in my life in a peach version.

Triple Berry Coffee Cake, from Smitten Kitchen 

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup each of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries (or 3 cups of any fruit)
  • 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour, for dusting the berries.

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter and flour a bundt pan. Sift together the 2 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla, and eggs, one at a time. With the mixer running on low, add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk, then the remaining flour mixture, and then the remaining buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Toss the berries (or fruit) with 2 tablespoons of flour, and then gently fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.  Spread evenly in the prepared bundt pan, and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Fresh Fruit, Yogurt, and Granola Parfait

Everybody loves parfait, and this really couldn’t be simpler. Layer yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola in a pretty glass and top with a particularly photogenic strawberry. Easy, delicious, and refreshing on these hot summer days.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

“Cold Brewed” makes this sound very posh, but in reality it is very easy, and a godsend for people like me who need coffee before they are able to make coffee in the morning. It’s especially wonderful in the summer, where I want iced coffee, but am always disappointed by either pouring hot coffee over ice, or just refrigerating hot coffee.

You will need: ground coffee, cold water, a large jar, a strainer and some cheesecloth (or coffee filters)

Before going to bed, put some coffee in the jar and fill with cold water. I used 1/3 cup coffee in a 1 quart mason jar, but you can adjust this to your preference depending on how strong you like your coffee. Just leave the jar on the counter and go to bed for at least 8 hours. When you wake up, strain the coffee through a cheesecloth or coffee filer lined strainer. That’s it! Enjoy over ice, and if you want to really take it to another level, stir in a big spoonful of sweetened condensed milk. I know it sounds strange, but it will make the most delicious sweet creamy glass of iced coffee you have ever had.

Add in some good company, conversations, dancing, and cold glasses of mimosa, and your Sunday will be off to a very good start indeed 🙂

League of Legends – Bittersweet Lulu’s Cupcake!

Some of you may remember the Teemo Cake that I made last September that showcased one of my favorite champions from League of Legends.  Lots has happened since then, including getting my awesome new job, and getting asked to make another League of Legends cake to promote the Noxian Noms food decorating contest (contest is now closed).  One of the newer champions, Lulu, has a candy themed skin, and as one of her abilities, she can polymorph an enemy into an adorable sad-but-cute pink cupcake for a few seconds!

Image copyright by RiotGames

So, this is that cupcake in real cake form!  My co-workers are always happy to have cake, especially when it’s from the game we all love so much! I made a bunch of the little baby cupcakes so I would have more to share.

GLHF!

Some Recent Sweet Projects

Life has been so busy lately between work, wedding planning, and corgi snuggling that I’ve been neglecting my poor blog. While I realize that this is probably a good thing for everyone’s waistline, I do miss it, so I have a few posts to share with you all over the next week or so. I have a few photos of some simple things I’ve made lately, so let’s start by sharing those 🙂

I made these cupcakes as a little “Happy Monday!” treat for the office.  I’ll tell you a secret, if you add the juice and the zest of a lemon to a normal yellow cake mix, it will help cut the sweetness a bit and make them extra special.  I baked these in cute turquoise polka dot papers, and topped them with a swirl of pink swiss meringue buttercream and a shower of rainbow confetti sprinkles.  In my mind, this is everything a cupcake should be: sweet, pink, and happy. I wish I could have these on hand at all times!

These are vanilla and mocha meringue cookies. I made these because I was itching to make a sweet treat, but had hardly any ingredients in the house.  These were easy, and satisfied my need to put sprinkles on something.

Meringue Cookies

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • for mocha: 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder.

Whip the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and salt and continue beating to stiff peaks. Add the vanilla, and if you’re making the mocha version, the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets and top with sprinkles if you like. Bake for 2 hours at 200F.

Cookie Dough Truffles

Sorry for the grainy/awful photos of these, but what they lack in beauty, they more than make up for with deliciousness. They’re egg-free (so you don’t die) cookie dough dipped in melted chocolate. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what else I could really ask for in life. They’re from Love and Olive Oil, who just put out a cookbook of cookie dough recipes. I saw this posted on her website, but I think I may need to invest in this book soon 🙂

Recipe on her site: HERE , also on Bakerella 

YUM!

ready for dipping!

I used melted semi-sweet chocolate chips, not candy coating, so I kept mine in the fridge so they wouldn’t melt.

They were SO GOOD! If cookie dough is your thing, I highly recommend these so you can indulge without the worry of food poisoning.

Those were some of the random things I’ve been making lately, full posts coming later in the week on slightly bigger projects 🙂

Jillian Cupcake