Chocolate Cookie Cake

 

oreo cake

My mom had her 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago. She wasn’t too keen on celebrating the fact she was turning 80 and wanted this birthday, to just “slide by” but the kids and I wanted to do something to make it a special day for her. So we made her a chocolate cookie cake!

The layers of this moist cake are covered with bits of chocolate sandwich cookies…

oreo cake

And then can be frosted with your favorite white icing…

oreo cake

We topped off our cake by serving it with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a few candles on top. The kids were pondering counting out 80 candles but eventually decided on 8 candles, one for each decade we have been so blessed to have her with us!

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you so much…  :)

 Chocolate Cookie Cake

Sift together into a large mixing bowl…

3 c flour

6 T cocoa powder

2 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 ¾ c sugar

 

Then, pour in…

2 c cold water

¾ c vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar

Mix well. Line 2 – 8 inch round cake pans with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray. Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans. Then sprinkle on top:

2 cups  coarsely chopped Oreo cookies ( this will take about 18 cookies)

Place the pans into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Bring the edges of the foil over and down, around the edges of the baked cake. Place another piece of foil or waxed paper on top of the cake, followed by a dish towel and then let the cake completely cool down.

When cake has cooled completely, remove the baked layers from their pans and peel off  the foil. You will be left with a beautiful, moist and chocolate-y cake!…

oreo cake

 

Spring Cupcake Bouquet…

 cupcake bouquet

 I love wandering through the craftstore aisles this time of year.  Up here in Minnesota, winters can seem to drag on forever but after Valentine’s Day all the spring craft items come out and they seem to put a spring back in one’s step!

The other day during one of my craft aisle wanderings, I came across these floral-shaped baking cups…

wilton baking cups

I fell in love with all the ruffles…

wilton baking cups

I thought these would work great for a cupcake bouquet, along with a few artificial flowers tucked in here and there…

cupcake bouquet

 Wouldn’t this bouquet be perfect for Easter as the centerpiece for a brunch table? Or maybe as a gift for mom on Mother’s Day or well, any other special occasion where sweets and flowers go hand in hand?…  

To get started, you will first need to find a container and with all the Easter baskets in the stores right now, it shouldn’t be too hard to find something cute, pastel and perfect :)

I found this one with little pink embroidered flowers. Soooo cute….

easter basket

 
Next, prepare the container…

Cut green floral foam so that it fits snugly inside. You can hot glue it to the inside of the container, if you wish, so that it doesn’t shift on you while assembling the bouquet…

Then, prepare the cake batter (from the recipe of your choice) for the cupcakes…

making cake batter beaters

Then, if you look at the baking cups, you will notice a sort of “line” on the inside…

baking cupsPour the batter into the cups up to this line…

cupcake flowers

cupcake flowersPlace the baking cups on a cookie sheet and bake according to your recipe’s directions and then let them cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling down, prepare the skewers. Take large gumdrops…

large white gumdrops (You can usually find these in a drugstore in the candy aisle) and slide them down about 1 inch from the skewer’s tip…

Take a piece of cardboard and cut out circles slightly smaller than the diameter of the bottom of the baking cups. Poke a hole through the centers of the cardboard discs…

cupcake bouquet

Slide them over the tip of the skewers so that they rest on the surface of the gumdrops…

cupcake bouquet

When the cupcakes have completely cooled, take a small stick pin and pierce the bottom of the baking cups in the center to make a small hole. Remove the pin.

cupcake bouquet

** Be sure that your cupcakes have thoroughly cooled. The baking cups will be much firmer and easier to work with when the cupcakes are cold…

Take one of the prepared skewers and stick it into the baking cup’s bottom, into the hole you made with the pin…

cupcake bouquet

Take a decorator’s bag fitted with a star tip and begin piping on little stars to create a center for your cupcake flower…

cupcake bouquet

Then sprinkle yellow nonpareils over the top…

cupcake bouquet

 

cupcake bouquet

Stick the completed cupcake flowers into a brick of green floral foam until you are ready to assemble your bouquet.

Add the first cupcake flower to the container and trim it to its desired length using a sharp wire cutter. Add the filler of your choice. ( I used silk flowers and a little sheer green cloth ribbon as my filler…)

Keep alternating adding cupcake flowers and filler until your bouquet is finished!

***********

A couple of months ago, I found these cute little garden-themed stickers at the craft store…

garden stickers

 I knew they would come in handy someday and yeah, today was the day!

I took a small white gumdrop and trimmed it down with a scissors. I slid it onto the tip of a skewer…

cupcake bouquet

And then peeled off one of those cute little dragonfly stickers and stuck it onto the gumdrop!…

garden stickersWhen inserted next to the cupcake flowers, he appeared to be hovering over the bouquet! Cute!… :)

dragonfly sticker

My passion is turning sweets into arrangements that appear like real floral bouquets. If you would like to see more ideas for floral-themed edible bouquets, check out my other site at Floralcookiebouquets.com  where I feature floral cookie E-tutorials.

Right now Floralcookiebouquets.com is  all about spring floral cookie bouquets! (Please click on the highlighted words for more information…)

Daffodil cookies…

daffodil cookies

 

white daffodil cookies

easter cookiesPrim rose cookies…

prim rose cookies

Peony cookies…

peony cookies

and many other floral cookies! You can check them out at Floralcookiebouquets.com

 See you there! :)

Pony Cake

Litte Pony cake

Our little daughter had a birthday party last weekend and I made her a little pony cake. I wanted to share with you how I made this cake in case you are ever in need of making an easy  rainbow decoration for a cake..

rainbow twizzlers

This is how I made the the candy rainbow…I took wooden skewers and snipped them off to about a 3 inch length and then slid small gumdrops over the tip of the skewers so that the gumdrops were about 3/4 inch down from the tips… 

I inserted the skewered gumdrops in a row on the cake where I wanted the left side of the rainbow to be.

I then insert the first gumdrop, of the right side of the rainbow, about 1/2  of an inch from the last gumdrop of the left side of the rainbow. I took a piece of licorice ( I used red for the inner most strip of color in the rainbow)  and sort of “eyeballed-it” to see how long the licorice strip should be in order for it to be curved over to attach to that other single gumdrop (for the rainbow’s right side) and then snipped it off with a scissors.

I slid the red licorice over the skewered gumdrops ( the rainbow-colored licorice is hollow inside).  I then took the remaining other licorice pieces and inserted them onto the rainbow’s left side and bent them over to attach to the skewers on the rainbow’s right side.

rainbow twizzlers

The right side of the rainbow is going to look a little messy because the licorice strips just  aren’t long enough to bend over far enough to make a complete perfect rainbow…

rainbow licorice

So hide that incomplete rainbow, I curled some curling ribbon and placed it around that portion of the rainbow…

rainbow pony cake

This is where I stuck in some of the little star cookie candles…

cookie star candles

 

I made these by making little holes in the center of the star-shaped cookies and then attached the fondant  to the cookies ( in a similar manner as making  Peony cookies) and then took a candle and made an impression into the center. And because there was a hole in the baked-cookie center, there became a shallow well in the fondant. I dipped the candle bottom into a little bit of melted chocolate and then placed the candle into the center of the cookie…

candle cookie stars

I decorated around the candle area with a little piped frosting and sugar. Then I slid large gumdrops over skewers so that the skewer was inserted about halfway into the gumdrop.  I dipped the flat part of the skewered-gumdrop into some melted chocolate and laid the star cookie on top and then placed it into a piece of styrofoam to set up until I placed it into the cake…

I used a little pink cotton candy to create clouds for the rainbow and stars…

pink cotton candy clouds

 And then added the main attraction of the cake…

my little pony

 A pony with little wings! 

I think the cake was a success! All the little girls wanted a piece of the candy rainbow and the pink cotton clouds were a HUGE success! But the best part was when my daughter, E., saw the cake. Her eyes lit up, she was smiling ear-to-ear as she softly touched the pony and pink clouds and then she dreamily said, “ooooohhh Mommy… I love it!”    And don’t those few words make a mommy smile as well?  :)

Flag Cake

flag cake

flag cakeHere is the flag cake I promised you last week in my blog! Not only is it a pretty cake, it is a refreshing one as well, perfect for those hot July barbeques that will be taking place pretty soon…

Please don’t be intimidated by the length of the directions!  :) It’s not a difficult cake to make, maybe a little time consuming though with the gelatin involved, so please allow yourself adequate time to assemble it.

I wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July! And with all our celebrating, let’s be sure to remember why we are celebrating…

Patriotic Flag Cake

To make this cake you will need:

      2 – 18.25 oz. boxes of white cake mix and the ingredients to make the cakes…

      3 - 3 oz. boxes of strawberry gelatin

      2- 3 oz. boxes of blue berry gelatin

      3 – 8 oz. containers of non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

      1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese at room temperature

To get started, lay an 8 inch round cake pan on top of a piece of paper and trace around it.

pattern for July 4th flag cake

Then take a ruler and measure in from the circle’s outer edge,  2 inches and make a dot…

pattern for July 4th flag cake

Do this several times until you can begin to connect all the dots…

pattern for July 4th flag cake

Finish connecting all the dots until you have drawn a complete circle inside of the outer circle you traced. Cut out the inner circle with a scissors and set it aside. ( I apologize for any confusion from my photo below. For some reason, I cut out the outer circle too. Just cut out the inner mini-circle, that is the only circle you will need for this…)

pattern for July 4th flag cake

Make 8 squares of foil about 12×12 inches. Press 1 square of foil into the 8 inch round pan. Remove. You should now have a crisp round-shaped foil pan.

Repeat this process until you have made 7 foil pans…

aluminum foil pan for July 4th flag cake

Then take the last square of foil and press it into the round pan but do not remove it.

foil lined pan for July 4th flag cakeGenerously spray all of the foil pans with cooking spray.

Prepare one white cake mix according to the directions on the box. Then measure out 3/4 cup of batter and pour this amount into one of the foil pans. Spread it out evenly over the bottom of the pan, being careful not to disturb the round foil shape. Place the foil pan on a cookie sheet…

cake batter for July 4th flag cake

…and then place in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until done. Let cool completely and do not remove from the foil. Repeat this process until you run out of batter. You should be able to make 6 foil pans of batter with this one cake mix.

If you have 2 cookie sheets, alternate using them to bake the cakes. Doing it this way will prevent the bottom of the cakes from baking too quickly because they are on a hot surface. If you only have one cookie sheet, remove the baked cake from the hot cookie sheet and let it cool down before using it again.

Meanwhile, prepare another cake mix and once again measure out the 3/4 cup of batter and pour it into the 7 th pan. Bake in similiar manner as above. Place the remaining batter into the round pan that has been lined with the foil. Bake this layer for about 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

You will notice that the cake layers appear bumpy and uneven on top. When the cakes have completely cooled, take a sharp serrated knife and skim off the tallest bumps of cake so that the layers will be more uniform in thickness…bending the foil down around the cake edges will help you accomplish this, but fold the foil edges up around the cake again when you are finished skimming the cake.

July 4th flag cake

Prick the thick layer of cake and just 4 of the thin cakes with a fork…

July 4th flag cake

Into a medium-sized bowl, place:

      3 – 3 oz. boxes of strawberry gelatin

Add 3 cups boiling water and stir until gelatin has been dissolved. Add 1 cup of cold water, stir and then let mixture sit on the counter for 15-30 minutes. Stirring occasionally to cool it down.

Into another bowl, place:

      2 boxes of blue berry gelatin

Add 2 cups boiling water and stir until gelatin has been dissolved. Add 1 cup of cold water. Stir and then let sit on the counter for 15-30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Pour about 1 cup of the strawberry gelatin mixture evenly over 1 of the fork-pricked  thin  layer cakes. Repeat this process with the other 3 thin cakes. The 4 cakes should now be saturated with the red gelatin mixture. Slide each of the cakes( still in the foil pan) onto a large dinner plate and place them into the refrigerator to set up. Cover the plain white cake layers and set them aside.

Slowly and evenly pour the entire blue gelatin mixture over the top of the thick cake layer and then place this into the refrigerator to completely set up. (I like to let the cakes sit overnight in the refrigerator to be sure they are good and firm before beginning to assemble the cake)

Assembling the cake:

Remove one of the strawberry gelatin cakes from the foil and place it on your serving plate. Open 1 of the 3 containers of whipped topping and spread a thin layer of topping over the cake…

July 4 th flag cake

Then invert one of the plain white cake layers onto the strawberry cake layer,  and then gently press down to remove any air pockets. Spread a thin layer of whipped topping over this layer.

Repeat this process with another gelatin layer. Then repeat with another layer of white cake…

Place the mini paper circle (you cut out) into the exact center of the blue gelatin cake layer and carefully cut around the paper with a knife, being sure that the knife is straight and that you have cut through the entire layer of cake to the bottom.

jello cake for July 4th flag cake

Remove the paper circle and then make two cuts into the outer round cake ring so that it appears to be “cut in half”…

jello cake

Place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and remove one of the strawberry gelatin cakes from the foil and place  it on the waxed paper. Spread a thin layer of whipped topping over it. Then position a plain white cake layer on top then spread another thin layer of whipped topping over that. Take another strawberry cake and put it on the top.

Then, take a scissors and trim 1/4 inch off the mini paper circle so that it is slightly smaller…

pattern for jello poke cake

Place this cut out in the center of the layered strawberry and plain cakes ( on the waxed paper)…

strawberry jello cake

…and cut around it, being careful that your knife is straight and that you have cut through the entire cake to the bottom.

Make cuts in the outer ring of cake and remove the chunks of cake so that the little round center layer cake is exposed…

strawberry gelatin flag cake

Spread a thin layer of whipped topping over  the strawberry cake ( on the serving plate) and taking a spatula, place the mini round cake in the exact center of the strawberry cake (on the serving plate)…

freedom cake

Spread a thin layer of whipped topping around the mini center cake…

holiday cake

Carefully pick up 1 of the halves of the blue cake and place it around the mini cake and gently push it into the mini center cake…

4th of July cake

Before you place the other half on the cake, bring the half up to the cake and look to see if it needs to be trimmed. If the half seems to appear too long to fit, lay it down again and trim the ends off the half-cake ring so that it will fit snugly against the mini cake (you may have to trim a couple of inches off to get it to fit)…that’s what I’m attempting to show in the photo below! :)

jello poke cake

After both halves have been placed on the cake, trim any excess off the layers so that the cake is level on top…

flag cake

In the photo above, you can see that the blue cake was significantly higher than the mini center strawberry cake. So I just took a knife and started to trim off the excess blue cake so that both the strawberry and blue cakes were level.

Okay, now it’s time to frost the cake!

Into a large mixing bowl place:

      1 – 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese at room temperature

      2 cups non dairy whipped topping

Beat until smooth and creamy, fold in the rest of the whipped topping ( so that you are using up all 3 containers of whipped topping).  Frost the cake and then place the cake into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Enjoy!

Happy 4th of July!!

Love is…blue!

 

Iris

 

 

 

Blue irises…these were so pretty, I got up one morning at the crack of dawn to get some photos for you…

Iris, spring flowers, blue flowerLooking at these beautiful flowers in the morning could help anyone’s day start off right…

iris, spring flowers,

iris

iris I was trying to think of the perfect recipe to give you that would stick to my “theme” of the color blue and early morning…

So how about a recipe for Blueberry Orange Coffecake? It makes a deliciously moist coffeecake but you know, I have also taken the batter and poured it into cupcake pans to make muffins in the morning! ( I double the topping recipe when I do this)

In any form and at any time, breakfast or maybe just for a snack, this recipe will make a yummy addition to your day! :)

Blueberry Orange Coffeecake

Sift into a large mixing bowl:

      2 cups flour

      1 cup sugar

      1 T baking powder

      1/2 teas baking soda

      1/2 teas salt

      1/2 teas cinnamon

Set aside. Then into a small mixing bowl place:

      2 eggs

Beat slightly then add:

       1 T orange flavored extract

      1/3 c freshly squeezed orange juice

       1/4 cup melted butter, cooled

      1 cup commercial sour cream

      1 teas grated orange peel

Mix well. Add to the above dry mixture and mix just until combined. Then stir in:

      1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed, drained blueberries

Pour batter into a sprayed 10 inch springform pan. Then sprinkle with the following topping:

Topping:

Into a small bowl place:

      1/4 cup flour

      1/4 cup sugar

      1/2 teas cinnamon

       3 T softened butter

Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over batter. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, cut around the edges then release it.  Let cool. 

 

Little Doll cake

doll cake

Our little girl had a birthday recently and she asked me to make her a Barbie cake (the kind with the doll stuck in a dome-shaped cake that becomes the doll’s skirt). I thought “Okay, I’ll just go to the store and get one of those “half dolls” to put in the cake…” So, I went to the store to buy one. Ummm, I haven’t seriously looked at one of those dolls before and all of the dolls’ expressions struck me as…well, sort of…creepy. Do you think so too?  Maybe it’s just me…Well anyway, I decided to try and come up with something else and still keep the “Barbie cake” theme…

But what were my options?  The half-dolls were out of the question, so I went to Walmart and searched the toy aisle for a regular Barbie doll. The only dolls they had were $19.99  Okay, I refused to spend almost $20 on a doll that is going to be covered with frosting. Then I saw this cute little doll in a package that my little girl would not only want to play with, it would look adorable as a princess and it was only $4.00.  So I bought it and went to work transforming the doll into something I could use on the Barbie cake.

I thought I’d share with you what I did in case some day your little special someone comes and tells you that  she would love a birthday cake that has a Barbie inside and “lots and lots of flowers”( and you too, are “creeped out” by the expressions on those half-dolls’ faces!!)

Okay, so the first thing I did was style the doll’s hair by twisting it into a knot and hot gluing it to her head…

doll hairstyle

Then I attached a bow…

doll cake

I made the cake layers and then used a portion of the cake batter to make one giant cupcake. I frosted the cake, then set the cupcake upside down onto the top of the cake. I then hollowed it out and slid the doll’s body inside. I frosted the cupcake skirt then added the ruffles down the front and then piped on the pink dots with a cake decorator’s star tip…

ruffled doll skirt

Then I piped on her bodice and carefully positioned her arm to hold a tiny  basket ( found at a craft store) and filled it with tiny frosting flowers. In the package, she was initially cradling a teddy bear, so it was the perfect set-up for the basket. ( I kept the teddy bear and gave it to my daughter after her party was over…)

doll basket

For the candles on the cake, I bought miniature clay pots (also found at the craft store) and filled them with fondant to secure the candles and then piped on little purple flowers and leaves…

candles

The cake was a success! She loved the cake, it was fun to make and the doll was not only a decoration but a toy to play with after the party was over!

Rhubarb Cream Cake

rhubarb cake, rhubarb,

Here is a recipe for an absolutely delicious rhubarb cake…

rhubarb, rhubarb cake

This is one yummy cake because there is a sweet cream sauce that is spooned over the cake while it is still warm from the oven…

rhubarb cake

The cream turns the crusty cinnamon topping kind of moist and gooey…like a scoop of vanilla ice cream would if it had melted on top of the cake.  I don’t think rhubarb cake gets any better than this one…

…and it all starts with the main attraction, fresh rhubarb…

rhubarb stalks

chopped rhubarb

stalks of rhubarb

Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and as for the cream sauce…you may want to double the amount.  Four cups of cream may sound like a lot but when it’s cooked, it reduces down and goes fast because… it’s addicting.

 

Rhubarb Cream Cake

Into a small bowl, put:

      1/4 c   flour

      1/4 c  sugar

      2 T  soft butter

      Pinch of salt

      1 t  cinnamon

Mix this until crumbly. Set  aside. Then into a 8 oz. measuring cup, put:

      1 T white vinegar

      Milk ( enough to fill the cup)

Set this aside for at least 3 minutes while you do the following…into a large mixing bowl, put:

      2 T  melted butter

      1 c  sugar

      1 egg

Mix until creamy. Set aside and then sift together:

      2 c  flour

      1 t  baking powder

      1/2 t  baking soda

      1 t  salt

Into the bowl with the creamed mixture, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and vinegar mixture.  Mix just until combined.  Then stir in by hand:

      2 c  chopped rhubarb

Pour into a greased 9×9 inch baking pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake.

Meanwhile into a medium-sized heavy saucepan, put:

      2 c  heavy whipping cream

      4 T  sugar

Bring just to a boil then turn the heat down to low to keep it warm until you are ready to serve it.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

To serve the cake: Slice pieces of cake and place them on a plate. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the cream over the top of each slice. Refrigerate any pieces of leftover cake that have the cream on them…otherwise, store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container.  After about one day, the cake will become incredibly moist…I actually like to wait at least one day until I serve this cake.  I think the flavors come together better after it rests for a day or so…  Enjoy!

Caramel Pecan Upside-down Zuchinni Cake

zuchinni cake

In my last blog, I shared some photos that were taken while I was on a garden tour and mentioned that I would be giving you a recipe for a zuchinni cake  in my next blog…I thought this may be a good time to share it, as our gardens are coming in to their full glory about this time…

 

zuchinni

coneflower

zinnia center

 

 

This is a great cake to make when you have an abundance of zuchinni in the house but no eggs!  It’s an eggless cake! But I don’t think you will miss the eggs…

And if you are looking for a real treat, serve this cake warm with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream!

caramel pecan upside-down zuchinni cake

Caramel Pecan Upside-Down Zuchinni Cake

Prepare a 13×9 inch pan by first spraying it with baking spray. Then line the pan with parchment paper and spray this also, as the caramel can get kind of sticky…   (Spraying the pan first helps the parchment paper stick to the pan for easier manageability)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle:

      1 1/2 c chopped pecans

onto a cookie sheet and toast for about 3-4 minutes or until they are slightly darker in color. (Watch them carefully, as nuts burn easily) Remove the  nuts from the oven then turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Into  a heavy medium-sized saucepan, put:

      3/4 c butter

      1 1/4 c brown sugar, firmly packed

Bring to a boil, then whisk in:

     1/2 c milk

     1/4 t cardamon

Turn the heat down and cook until the sugar has melted. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with the nuts and let it cool completely. ( I like to place my pan into the freezer for a couple of minutes…I do this so that the caramel will become firmer so that when I pour the cake batter on top, the caramel won’t spread out from the weight of the batter)

Into a large mixing bowl sift together:

      3 c flour

      1 t cinnamon

      1/2 t nutmeg

      1/4 t  allspice

      1/4 t  cloves

      2 t  baking soda

      2 t  baking powder

      1  1/2 c  sugar

Then add:

      3/4 c vegetable oil

      2 T pure vanilla extract

      2 T white vinegar

      1 1/4 c  water

Mix together until well blended. Then stir in:

      2 c  slightly packed shredded zuchinni

Pour onto the cooled caramel and place in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes  or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry. Invert immediately onto a serving plate or piece of foil. Be careful doing this as the caramel is extremely hot! Slowly peel off the parchment paper. Let cool.

This cake is amazing served warm alongside a scoop of vanilla cream…

                                                             ~ * ~

If you are looking for a beautiful way to keep your beverages cold during your next party, why not try “Flowers in Ice“?

sunflowers in ice