March 20, 2011

Vegan Cake... No, really!

I had a request to make a Vegan Cake for a friend's birthday. Something simple, nothing fancy, but Vegan.
Now, I have no experience with veganism but I was excited at the prospect of trying to make a cake that required no butter, no eggs, no milk. So I searched online for a few recipes, something easy enough to make, that didn't sound totally off the wall, but was still tasty enough that no one would know it was vegan.
I found a few good recipes and decided to try a chocolate one, since who doesn't like a chocolate cake! My first attempt came out ok. Both my husband and I thought it was quite dense and heavy, but still tasted ok. But that wasn't good enough for me. I did some research and found that this recipe could not be over beaten, or over baked. So I tried again. Second attempt was interesting. Two cakes went in the oven, same time, same temperature and yet one cake was completely cooked and the other had a raw center. Never had that happen before. So a third and final attempt was needed to get a second layer for my cake.

After I finally had my layers ready to go, I was glad to know my "buttercream" icing recipe using vegetable shortening was going to work just fine. I iced the cake in a chocolate buttercream, and decided that I hadn't done a basketweave design in a long time, so it was a good time to do it.

Now I realized after I had finished the cake, that technically it is not 100% vegan, as the royal icing flowers were made using Meringue Powder, which contains dried egg whites. This was a minor oversight on my part. Thankfully, these aren't generally eaten by anyone over the age of five!

I wish I had taken a better picture of the basketweave itself, but you get the idea.

Maybe one of these days, Ill learn how to take better pictures...

So you can have a Vegan cake, and it be tasty too. I was pretty pleased with how good it tasted on my third attempt. I think most people would not have guessed there was no butter or eggs in this cake. I think I would attempt another one if someone asked for it. It was an experiement at least!

Welcome to the world, Preston Andrew!

A close friend of mine had a new baby boy earlier this month, and he is absolutely adorable! So of course, he deserves his own cake at 10 days old! (I'm enjoying this making-cakes-for-new-babies-as-a-gift thing):)

I knew I wanted to use my little mini bear pan as it has been sitting stagnant in my cabinet since my failed attempt at a Panda Bear for my daughter's first birthday. So I decided that Preston deserved a bear for his arrival. And a bear needs a blanket to hold on to as well.

I was at a bit of a loss for what to do on the bottom, as I didn't want it too busy, but I still wanted to decorate it up nicely. So I settled for a baby blue colored cake, with Preston's name and a few little read hearts. Overall I was pleased with the final product.

I need to use my bear pan more often I think:)

Close up of the bear

He is pretty cute, eh?

Welcome to the world, Preston!! Can't wait to watch you grow up!

March 16, 2011

I love Cake Smashes!

My primary job over the past year has been making Cake Smash Cakes for my photographer friend. And I love it. These cakes are sometimes the first taste of "sugary goodness" that a baby will eat and I love that I get to be a part of their first birthday memories. Melinda had just welcomed her new baby girl a month ago, but has the opportunity to do a Smash shoot this weekend and I happily obliged with another cake.

If I can get a few action shots of this cake in the shoot, Ill be sure to post so you can see the results!