Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting & Petit Four Icing

Whew, so glad this weekend is over. Not sure what I’m going to do with myself now that the baby shower and birthday party have come and gone. 😛

The baby shower was fun and of course there were lots of cute gifts. The mother and father-to-be are UT grads, so there were a few Longhorn gifts thrown in there. They’ll just put that longhorn on anything! 🙂 She even received a stuffed football that unzips and out pops Bevo!

petit fours

Everyone loved the cupcakes, cookies and petit fours. Hopefully I was able to put the bug in a couple of the ladies ears about calling me for any events they may have coming up. I’d love to be able to get my name out there.

petit fours

I made the icing for the petit fours on Thursday night and covered them. I split the icing up into two batches and tinted one of them pink using a drop or two of red food coloring. I just used a small round cookie cutter to cut the rounds out of the sheet cake I made (in a 12×17 sheet pan using 1 1/2 portions of the Perfect Party Cake). Make sure the cake is cold and/or frozen.  It is much easier to cut out.  I told hubby, when we open our own bakery, these suckers aren’t gonna be cheap.  They are definitely time consuming. 

When I went to “decorate” them on Friday night, I tried out some polka dots, but I couldn’t quite get them right so I ended up doing some quick squigglies.  The baby room colors are pink and green, so the pink ones were squiggled with white or green frosting (from a can and tinted) and the white ones were squiggled with pink frosting. 

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

The cupcakes I made were topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I made the frosting on Friday night and topped them Saturday morning before the shower.  I found the Sprinkles’ frosting recipe on Martha Stewart and just doubled that (I should have just made about 1 1/2, because I still have alot left over), but replaced cream cheese for half of the butter.  It was so yummy.  I probably could have just taken a spoon to it, but I refrained.  😛  I didn’t read carefully and ended up putting the strawberry puree in before the confectioners’s sugar.  Oops.  The consistency wasn’t quite right, but in the end it turned out fine because it covered the cupcakes really well.  It just wasn’t pipe-able.  😛

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

Petit Fours Icing
Yield: Approximately 3-4 dozen
Source: I can’t remember where this one came from
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
9 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (about 2 pounds)
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1-2 drops red food coloring

Combine ingredients in top of double boiler and heat over boiling water just to lukewarm. (do not overheat icing or it will become dull.) Remove from heat, leaving icing over hot water to keep it thin. If desired, tint parts of icing delicate pastel colors with food color. If necessary, add hot water, just a few drops at a time, until of spreading consistency.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Approximately 4-5 dozen cupcakes
Adapted from Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
¾ – 1 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
½ pound unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
½ pound cream cheese
Pinch of coarse salt
7-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 6 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.

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Red, White & Blue Cupcakes For U(SA)

…and for ME!  Happy Almost Birthday to me! Two more days, till I turn double 3.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I told hubby that I was going to make my own birthday (cup)cake this year.  He asked me if I wanted him to make the cake.  I said, uh, no, that’s ok.  🙂  We’ve got a good thing going, let’s not change it…you know, I cook, he does the yard work.  Heehee. 

Anywho, ever since I saw the rainbow cakes making their way around the blogosphere, I wanted to give them a try.  I thought, what better time to try, than for Independence Day, with a red, white & blue theme.  I just needed to find the right cake recipe. 

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I’ve read alot of good things about Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake and I have her Baking book, so I took a peek.  She uses lemon as a flavor component; not something I wanted in my birthday (cup)cake.  Don’t get me wrong, I like lemon, but I wanted just a classic white birthday cake flavor.  I decided to go ahead and use her recipe and sub in some vanilla.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I was very pleased with the texture of these cupcakes.  It’s exactly what I think of when I think birthday cake.  The colors turned out pretty good too.  Just beware, you have to use a lot of red just to get this particular shade. What kinda sucked was that my colors didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped or expected.  I spooned in the red, the white then the blue batter.  As you can see the blue fell into the midle of the cupcake.  Oh well.  It still tasted good.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

This frosting is one of my favs…and I don’t usually like frosting (I’m a whipped cream frosting kind of girl).  One thing to keep in mind; about halfway through the red & blue started fading so I had to re-stripe the bag.  It probably would have been wiser of me to use a new bag, but I’m lazy and stingy frugal.  😉  The colors started blending together a bit after the second striping, so I’d definitely recommend starting fresh with a new bag. 

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes with Red, White Chocolate & Blue Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Cake adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours (Perfect Party Cake)
Frosting from
The Essential Baker
Printable Recipe

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups milk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ pound butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Red & blue icing colors

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg whites.

In the mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light in color; about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the milk/egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the remaining flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk/egg mixture and beat until homogeneous (as Dorie puts it). Then add the rest of the flour mixture and beat the batter until it’s mixed thoroughly.

Separate the batter into 3 small bowls. Set aside one of the bowls of batter (white). In another one, mix in some red icing color until you get the color you want. In the last bowl, mix in some blue icing color until you get the color you want. (Use the “mixing color in icing” technique.)

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners in whatever order you choose. I put red on the bottom, white in the middle, then blue on top (my blue fell into the middle of the cupcake anyway). You could even swirl them for a tie-dye effect.

Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces white chocolate
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Red & blue icing colors

Directions:
Melt white chocolate in the microwave. Heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals and stir in-between each round.

Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add the sugar in 3 stages. Stop occasionally and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat together until thoroughly blended. Add the melted white chocolate and blend together completely.

To get the red, white & blue colors use the “brush striping” technique.

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Aren’t you glad to see a post about something other than cookies??? Five of the last 10 posts were cookie related! Step away from the cookies, Susan! 🙂

Hope everyone has a fun, but safe 4th of July!

Course 1, Class 4 – last one!

* It’s been a crazy week – last cake decorating class, second week of food prep, last day of the job I’ve had for 8 years, my grandfather-in-law passing away. I’m doing a little back-blogging, so please bear with me. Thanks!

course 1, class 4

My roses look more like carnations, don’t they? I don’t think my frosting was exactly the right consistency and my bases were crooked. It took forever just to do those six roses. And that was after I’d smashed a few with my fingers and some of them took a head-dive into the table. 

course 1, class 4

Our last class was spent learning how to make ribbons, leaves and finishing our roses. Once we’d “mastered” those, we decorated our cakes. We had the option to decorate with a bow around some roses and a message or just put some roses on with leaves and dots. Guess you can figure out which way I went. Just like with the clown or flower cake, I had to keep practicing, so I put a small free-hand bow at the bottom of my cake. A bit out of place, but since this wasn’t being made for anyone, it didn’t matter. 

course 1, class 4

The instructor was asking if we were going to sign up for the next class and I told her there was no way I could do it next month. I’m starting a new job, taking a class and still have to run a family. J Besides, I’m not sure if I want to take the next class or not. It’s fun to learn, but am I really going to use it much? We’ll see…

Course 1, Class 3 – Clowns & Flowers

wilton course 1, class 3

My cake decorating class has dwindled down to 2 students. I say dwindled down like there were a lot to begin with.  We had 3. 😛 We’re not sure what happened to the other girl – she was even talking to the other girl last week about carpooling. Maybe she’ll be back for the last class. She does have a 7 month old at home, maybe she wasn’t able to find someone to watch the baby.

Last night we learned how to make shell borders, drop flowers, balls, bears & clowns. Then we spent the last half of the class actually decorating our cakes.  As you can see, my frosting was not set.  It was raining all day and the cake was in the car, so the humidity took over.  But, that’s ok, it still turned out alright. 

We were supposed to choose to do a clown cake, or a drop flower cake.  I figured I needed the practice, so I did both. My clown was enjoying a relaxing afternoon in a field (ok, maybe not a field) of flowers.  My flowers didn’t quite turn out the way they were supposed to, but I think it still looks good…rustic, right? Haha!

wilton course 1, class 3

wilton course 1, class 3

wilton course 1, class 3
um, where’d my flower go?

wilton course 1, class 3
ah ha! caught purple fingered!

wilton course 1, class 3
and he’s going in for the kill

Course 1, Class 2 aka OMG, I Have a Hand Cramp!

Phrases overhead in my head tonight:
“What the hell am I doing?”
“Is this really fun?”
“Parchment bags suck.”
“Hers looks better than mine.”
“Aren’t you supposed to tell me how much gel to use?”
“Why are you just standing there?!  Help me!”
“What?  Twelve of these things?”

*sigh*

That’s how good things went tonight.  Well, ok, it wasn’t THAT bad.  But my hand is seriously tired, as well as my back.  I couldn’t find a really comfortable position, so I alternated between sitting down and standing up.
 
rainbow cake
star border, ooooo

We practiced stars and writing and transferring a template (rainbow) to a cake. Then we actually filled in the template.  I decided not to write anything on my cake simply because I didn’t have any time…and it wasn’t easy.

rainbow cake
didn’t turn out too bad.  kinda proud of myself.

Oh yeah, and we made some bases for our roses, which is step 1. Next week is step 2. We’re supposed to bring a dozen of them. I just finished them a little bit ago so I wouldn’t have to worry about it all this week. I have to make more frosting – which btw, tastes NASTY – and bring in another frosted cake. I think I’ll try a round cake this time. Maybe something I can submit to the Layers of Cake event being hosted by quirky cupcake. It will give me a chance to brush up on my layer cake skills.  And believe me, I need alot of brushing up.

rainbow cake
you like the chocolate flecked frosting? it’s all the rage.

Discover Cake Decorating (Course 1) Class 1

Tonight was my first cake decorating class at my local Michaels. I’m kind of excited, kind of overwhelmed, kind of surprised at all the supplies they require.  I’m not going to list them all out, but it’s a good thing Michael’s mails out 40% off coupons every week.  Even if it is only for one item.

Since I need the extra supplies by the next class I checked out the prices at Michael’s and will probably head over to stupid Mal-Wart tomorrw to see how they compare.  I know I won’t be able to get all the supplies there, but I need to save all the money I can.  The other girls (only 2 other students in the class) were loading up their carts there…not sure how that makes me look, but oh well.  I can’t be worrying about that kind of stuff, right? I’ll definitely need a caddy or container of some sort to hold all my paraphernalia, heehee. Ok, supplies.  😛 

We’re supposed to bring a cake that’s already been frosted, but not decorated.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to try and experiment with a new recipe, or just use a box mix to save time.  This weekend is out when it comes to any sort of free time since the fam is visiting. 

The instructor is an older lady who used to own a catering/cake business in Dallas (back in the 70’s!). She sold the business because she was doing more paperwork than baking and decided she wanted to teach others what she knew. A little on the dry and boring side, but we’ll see how it goes.  As long as she teaches me what I need to know, I’m good.

She did give us a recipe for Wilton’s decorating frosting/icing (I still don’t know the difference) – it’s gross. The majority of it is made from 1 cup of shortening & 1 pound of confectioners sugar.  Ugh.  This is the reason why I never liked frosting.  All those decorated cakes with stiff, tasteless (or rather nasty) disgustingness.  Blah.

We’ll be decorating our cake with a rainbow next week – lots and lots of stars.  I’ll try to take a picture so you can laugh.  🙂

Can’t let you go without leaving you with this stroke of genius: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches!
peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream cookie