Shirlee Goodness Cakery

Making the world a sweeter place one cake at a time

Cupcakes or Cookies…?

Cupcake Cookie with Sprinkles

Cupcake Cookie with Sprinkles

Cupcake Cookie Cutter

Cupcake Cookie Cutter

I had made some sugar cookie dough a few weeks ago and froze the dough because I didn’t get around to baking the cookies.  I had a cupcake cookie cutter and thought it would be fun to decorate the cookies as cupcakes.  For tips and tricks on baking and decorating cookies with royal icing, see my post on Baby Girl Cookies.

Cupcake sugar cookies?!

Cupcake sugar cookies?!

After I carefully rolled out the dough on parchment paper and cut the cupcake shapes out, I popped a tray into the oven.  I was dismayed to see how much the cookies spread in the oven! 😦  They weren’t recognizable as cupcakes at all!  Oh, well, I thought, it’s a good thing that I was not making these for a particular event!  (After I finished decorating, you’ll see that the shape didn’t really make too much of a difference in this case.  Still, I will used a different recipe next time I make shaped cookies!)

I continued on, making the royal icing while the cookies cooled.  I made royal icing from pasteurized egg whites.  You can buy the egg whites ready to use from the grocery store.  I’ve like using egg whites better than meringue powder because my icing comes out softer.  I don’t like really hard icing for cookies.

The advantages of buying the egg whites in the carton are 1) You don’t have to separate them from the eggs yourself, 2) They are shelf stable for some time so you can buy them ahead of time and they are ready to use when  you want them, and 3) You don’t have to worry about salmonella because the egg whites are pasteurized.

Three steps to decorate cupcake liners

Three steps to decorate cupcake liners

I decorated the cupcake liner first, outlining the bottom of the cupcake with white icing, then flooding it with thinned colored icing. (I used more of the pasteurized egg whites to thin the royal icing for flooding.) The tip of a chopstick works well to spread the icing to the edges and into the corners.

I decorated the liners in various ways.  For some I piped white stripes to imitate the accordion fold of basic cupcake liners.  When the lines were piped right away before the flood icing set, they sank into the flooded icing, giving a nice integrated look.  For some, I dipped a chopstick tip into thinned icing of contrasting colors to make polka dots.  For some, I drizzled lines of contrasting thinned icing and ran a toothpick through the icings to swirl them.

 

Piped Lines

Piped Lines

 

Liner with polka dots

Polka Dots

Liner with swirled pattern

Swirled Pattern

The last step was to add the frosting tops.  I used a variety of star tips to pipe luscious-looking mounds of frosting on the top of the cupcakes. When I ran low on frosting, I used a knife to spread the frosting to look like a homemade frosted cupcake. Colored sprinkles added a festive touch!

Cupcakes or Cookies?  You decide!

Cupcake Cookies

Cupcake Cookies

Leave a comment »

Let It Snow!

Snowflake Birthday Cake

Snowflake Birthday Cake

Each year I make a birthday cake for my cousin’s daughter Natalie whose birthday is on Christmas Eve.  This year she turned 16 and I made a snowflake cake.

Snowflake plunger cutters

Snowflake plunger cutters

I chose to make the snowflakes out of fondant using these plunger cutters.  I really like the detailed shape and design on the plungers.  I let them dry overnight and dusted them the next morning with sparkle luster dust.  I also cut out two large snowflakes from the fondant using a regular snowflake cookie cutter. The sparkle was very subtle.  Next time, I think I would roll out the fondant and dust before it dries, and then cut the shapes.

 

Snowflakes dusted with sparkle dust

Snowflakes dusted with sparkle dust

I baked two 8-inch round cakes, leveled them and cut each in half to have four layers.  Natalie  likes chocolate, so I filled them with chocolate buttercream.  Then I covered the cake with white buttercream tinted a light sky blue.

Four chocolate cake layers filled with chocolate buttercream

Four chocolate cake layers filled with chocolate buttercream

I used a round #5 tip to do the edging around the bottom of the cake and then placed the snowflakes on the top and sides of the cake.  I piped “Happy Birthday Natalie” using the same blue buttercream.

Snowflakes on the top and sides of the cake

Snowflakes on the top and sides of the cake

I thought the cake looked a little plain and wanted to add some more sparkle.  I tried brushing the luster dust on the cake, but the sparkle was very subtle and didn’t brush on evenly.  Then I added some small silver dragees…and they really did the trick!

First slice! Yum!

First slice! Yum!

1 Comment »

Cake Decorating 101

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last weekend, I held my first cake decorating workshop. The workshop was part of a crafts event at church which where ladies could take classes to make items such as greeting cards, fabric pumpkins, mini-glitter houses. I had eight students ranging from 7-years-old to seniors. We all had a great time, and I was so pleased and proud of each of the beautiful and unique creations!

IMG_4873

For each student, I provided:

two six-inch cakes

filling

frosting

offset spatula

handout with basic instructions and icing techniques

 

IMG_4861I also provided:

piping bags

couplers

tips

icing color gels

other miscellaneous tools

IMG_4878

 

 

 

I demonstrated basic steps for filling and frosting a cake, and decorating techniques using a star tip and round tip.  Lastly, I showed them how to make leaves with tip #352, and how to ice cupcakes.

I think the pictures speak for themselves!

 

IMG_4867IMG_4871IMG_4879IMG_4876 IMG_4874IMG_4890 IMG_4914

 

1 Comment »