I’m sharing something really fun today. A few weeks ago, I decided I would attempt to make a succulent decorated cake as a thank you to a friend who happens to love succulents. He and his wife bought me an adorable wood cupcake stand at Magnolia Market when they were visiting! (EEK, I dream about going there). Sidenote- this friend, Chaz, always calls succulents “succies,” which we all thought was something he had made up, but it turns out that’s a real thing (what??). Seriously, search for it on Instagram and get amazed.
I want to preface this by saying that I have never once made a frosting rose or flower or plant or anything event remotely like this before. It took some practice and trial and error, but I’m so excited about the end result you guys, I was standing in my kitchen that night thinking “wait… wait. I made this??”
So, today I’m not actually including a recipe, I’m just sharing some pictures and the links to the tutorials that I used, as well as the list of tips that I used. The tutorials that I used were honestly way better than anything I could put together on my own to post here since this was the first time I’ve worked with literally any of these tips, or a flower nail even.
So, here’s a few tips that I came up with during my adventure here:
- Use a flower nail. Seriously, I considered trying to pipe the plants directly on the cake, and now that I’ve used the flower nail it seems like it would be IMPOSSIBLE without it.
- Do it on a day when your house isn’t too hot. Mine was pretty darn toasty as we hadn’t gotten our swamp cooler up and running for the season yet, and I really think it would have been easier if my frosting didn’t keep melting.
- Freeze your flowers before placing them on the cake. Again, I’m just not sure how people do this otherwise, but it was a huge help to me when it came to taking them off the parchment and placing them on the cake.
Let’s start with the tutorials that I used:
- Tutorial one- From Wilton: There’s a video on the sidebar that was super helpful to me in figuring out how to stripe the frosting, and how to generally hold and use all the tips for each type of flower/plant.
- Tutorial two- From Craftsy: Another SUPER helpful page- this one has fantastic step-by-step photos on how each part of your piping adventure should look!
And now let’s move on to the tips that I used on this cake:
- Wilton 233: For the grassy-looking stuff that is filling in most of the cake.
- Wilton 352: For the spiky-looking green plants.
- Ateco 61: For the roses.
- Wilton 21: For the multi-colored wavy blob thing in the back. (clearly this wasn’t my fav plant on the cake ha).
I hope you guys try this out! It’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done as a baker, and now I’m pretty pumped to find other occasions to do it again!
I guess you could say I’m on a bit of a cake kick lately. I’ve almost completely finished the cake section of my cookbook, and I think my office may or may not be getting sick of it haha. Today, it’s a cake just for you guys though!
So, here’s the deal with this cake. There’s a certain cake that a certain fancier grocery retailer sells in the springtime- it has chantilly cream and lots of berries, and it’s SUPER popular. Secret time- I have never had this cake. But, I wanted to create something similar, or at least what I think is probably similar based on what I know of said cake.
Anyways, my version has a sweetened vanilla custard cream, strawberries, raspberries, and fluffy white cake. It feels springy to me, and the cake is soft and lightly sweet. The cream is fluffy and smooth, and it’s overall a simple and tasty combo.
I’m writing this on a Sunday evening, and I’ve been baking all day long- much more than just this cake. I’m exhausted, and pretty unsure if I’ll ever get up from my current spot on the couch, snuggling with my pupper. Well, back to pretending tomorrow isn’t Monday- enjoy guys!
Sometimes you just want to be fancy. And sometimes things in life just deserve some small amount of fanciness, and you just must oblige with a cake. Look guys, those are just the rules, I didn’t make ’em! But apparently I’m here to enforce them..? Whatever.
Here’s the first thing, buy yourself some 6 inch round cake pans, it’s just nice. Like, this recipe can be made using two 8 inch standard pans, but it seems a bit less fancy. You know what I said about being fancy guys. And with 6-inch pans, you can make these tall, pretty cakes without having to make, like, a ton of cake.
Alright so, now that we’ve got the fancy down, I have some exciting news to share. A couple of days ago I officially signed the paperwork, and I’m now working on publishing a cookbook! I’m working with Graphic Arts Books, and it’s going to be like, a real cookbook, that they sell in real stores you guys. IT’S CRAZY.
This is something I’ve wanted for a really long time, but I’ve always thought of it as a long-term goal, and it’s kind of blowing my mind still. I’ve been baking nearly every day of the week because I am insanely excited (my co-workers are reaping some sweet rewards right now).
I’ll share more about the book later on, once we’re a bit further into the process, but I will say that our anticipated release will be in October of 2018! EEEEE!
Alright, back to the cake, I’m calling it the celebration cake, cause, well you know. Anyways here’s the deal; it has sweet vanilla pound cake layers, thin layers of raspberry jam, and chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. It’s everything.
On the buttercream- listen, every single time I have ever made swiss meringue buttercream, I’ve been 99% sure I screwed it up. I always think to myself “Alright it’s cool, I have more eggs and butter, I’ll try again. Imma just whip it a little longer and then give up.” And then I walk away and come back, and it’s magically become this silky, beautiful frosting. Don’t. Give. Up. It looks weird for a while, and all broken and messed up, but it’ll come back together, really.
I hope today you have something to celebrate, and it’s totally okay if that something is that it’s Thursday. Enjoy!
Sometimes simple is good.
But more importantly, simple things are easy to make. And when you want a chocolate covered graham cracker, you probably want it immediately. Or you could be normal and go to a candy store the day after tomorrow, whatever.
I just got back from a trip to California to see my husband’s grandparents, and I think we hit every candy store within a 50 mile radius. You might think thats probably only like one, but it’s more like 10. And somehow even after going to 9 candy stores, we still bought stuff at the 10th.
My favorites are always chocolate covered graham crackers. Those things are crack you guys. So naturally, after the 18 hour drive home, and a day without food in my house, all the ones I bought are gone, and I still want more. You guys feel really bad for me, right?
Anyways, turns out they are super easy to make, which I know shocks no one, and also that sprinkling some coarse salt on top makes them even better somehow.
I used 24 oz of chocolate to make about 36 chocolate covered grahams here, but if you feel like you don’t need that many, (you are wrong) just ya know, melt less chocolate and go with it. Also, I suggest using chocolate that you like to eat. The first time I did this, I used something really cheap, and it didn’t taste nearly as good as I hoped. Since it’s just a coating of chocolate, it’s worth it to go for the good stuff.
Anyways, it’s pretty straight forward; melt the chocolate, dip the grahams, shake off the excess, salt and chill. Enjoy!