It’s sad to say goodbye

Well guys, I just posted my final cake and it’s time to officially close off my learning project. It all started off when I was probably the most indecisive person when it came to picking a topic… I was scared that I wasn’t going to end up being able to stick to my project; there was tons frustration, some confusion, and even more laughter… BUT I PULLED THROUGH.

Throughout my journey, I’ve decided that I’m more of a cupcake person. I just find them way cuter and they’re honestly a lot more fun to decorate! It was good that I did some cakes so that I could make that decision, but at the same time, I wish that I focused on cupcakes more…. especially the cute character ones. I could’ve worked on different characters throughout the entire semester and be 100% okay with that.

Here’s how to journey went…

  1. Hmm… CAKES!: I focused more on the icing and how to perfect it.. mostly because I just really needed to convince myself that I would be able to stick with cakes!
  2. Starting from the beginning: This is where I was able to look at all of the different tips that I had – which ones I liked the most, which ones I wanted to explore more, etc.
  3. Chocolate Lovin’: This cake was so much fun! I started off with a big project – a layered cake, worked on my icing skills, and even made some flowers! Even with the mess that I experienced, it still turned out pretty good.
  4. Be my {cake-loving} Valentine: This is where the games changed for me, I was able to make a classic cupcake with a twist… This is where I completely fell in love with cupcakes!
  5. New York Style: I was able to make one of my favorite cakes, and it turned out great!! I realized that there was still some excitement in cakes that weren’t the “typical” cakes.
  6. Cookie Monster: This is by far my favorite project! I was able to do the cute Pinterest ideas that everyone sees and it’s even more fun than it looks!
  7. From a different perspective: This cake was really fun because I was able to test the different between learning from an online source and from learning from someone in the same room as you.

 

This has been such a great journey, I’m sure there will be more cupcake characters in my future! It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later!

 

Until next time friends – Happy baking! 🙂

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From a different perspective ​

This week is the last baking session for the semester, but I’m sure it won’t be the official last time! Each week a had help from at least one youtube video but this week I thought that I would change it up a little bit. I wanted to see if it was easier from the help of videos or if it ended up being easier having a friend teach me.

There is no name for this cake… or maybe there is but we just don’t know what it is! This cake is a part of my friends childhood when she lived in Moldova. So this was a great cake to do this test because I had never made this cake before.

THIS IS A 3 LAYER CAKE…. is there really anyting better???

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I was so focussed on what I was doing, that i kept forgetting to take “progress pictures”… ugh. But this is pretty much how it went: “Olivia, is this right?” “is this how it should look?” “put this in?” “is it mixed enough?” “do this?”… OH MAN. I was definitely dependent on having her there. When you watch a video, I found that you have to take risk.. if you don’t know how to do something and the videos doesn’t explain well, you figure it out on your own… with no one to ask! So when I was spoiled by having my friend there helping me, I asked her every single question I could have possibly asked.

But even with all of the questions, we came up with something pretty great:

 

After everything, I’ve decided that I rather ues the internet to help me rather than someone right beside me. It allows me to have a little freedom and be more independent… which makes cakes end up with a little bit more creativity!

 

 

Cookie Monster

This week was a really fun time baking! I always see fun cupcake designs on Pinterest (follow me for great pins) and I have always wanted to try them! Here are some of my favorites:

So since it’s my best friends daughters birthday soon, I thought I should probably start practicing on these little characters! It’s also a good skill to practice when becoming an elementary school teacher 🙂 After looking and pinning so many cute ideas, I decided one of my favorites… cookie monster!!

Well, I didn’t realize there were so many different ways to re-create our childhood character. But thanks to good ol’ youtube, I was able to find a video that would be able to help me the best! And personally, I liked the cookie monster in the right picture better… it looks more realistic. So that’s what I was going for!

Sometimes I find some youtube videos a little hard to listen to (like this one), but it was good to see how to make cookie monsters “skin”… fur??

Besides that, I ended up kind of doing the rest on my own… figuring out what I needed to do along the way! Here’s what the finished product looked like:

In the end…. I probably should’ve made my own eyes because HAHAHAH they look so creepy with tiny eyes. Honestly, wouldn’t give these to a child, I’d be worried that they would scare the kids *laughing crying face*. But besides the eyes, I think they’re super cute for my first try!! They were actually super easy to make and it didn’t matter if you screwed up a bit because his fur is supposed to be messy 🙂

So I learned that I don’t need to depend 100% on the videos, sometimes it’s nice to figure it out along the way for yourself! … but yes, definitely different eyes ASAP

Until next time – Happy Baking 🙂

New York Style

I have been really sick for the past couple of weeks, but I’m back and ready to share recent baking experiences with all of you!

My absolute favorite cake in the entire world is cheesecake! Every time my mom and I go to visit my cousins in Edmonton, we HAVE to go to the cheesecake factory and even though there are so many different kinds of cheesecake, I still can’t seem to get anything besides the classic New York cheesecake. So when I was looking for different cheesecake recipes, I came across a youtube video called “cheesecake factory’s original cheesecake recipe” and I couldn’t possibly pass up this recipe!! The channel, PopSugarFood,  has a whole bunch cool “copy cat” recipes… definitely had to subscribe to them!

The cheesecake recipe isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but it is WAY longer than any other cake I’ve ever made. So here we go:

STEP 1: set your oven to 325· (sometimes I don’t give my oven enough time to warm up before I’m done mixing all of my ingredients, my oven takes FOREVER to heat up… I’m sure I’ll learn eventually).

To make the crust you’ll need…
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup graham crackers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vanilla waffers, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp unalted butter, melted
To make the filling you’ll need…
  • 24 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. sour cream

The biggest thing with cheesecake, is being patient! It’s important to not move the cake into extremely different temperatures, it causes cracks in the cake… NOT GOOD. Which is why you have to follow the 4 time consuming steps:

  1. Bake in the oven for an hour and a half
  2. When done baking, shut off the oven and open the door slightly BUT keep the cake inside of the oven to start cooling down (for about an hour)
  3. When the oven is cooled off, take the cake out of the oven and let it continue to cool off on the counter
  4. When completely cooled, place the cake in the fridge for at least 12 hours 

So when I wanted to back the cake and then EAT IT THAT NIGHT, my dreams were slightly crushed…


I watched a few videos and each one was slightly different, and some of them didn’t overly look as appetizing as the cheesecake factory one. Unlike some youtube videos, this one was super helpful!!

Now fun fact: the only reason I didn’t have a berry topping, well we have allergies in the house so we avoided that! However, even though the cheesecake is perfect the way it is, I still thought that it would be even better if I added something (and would look prettier duh). So I added some chocolate and caramel sauce… oh boy it was so good!!

 

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Until next time – Happy Baking 🙂

Be my {cake-loving} Valentine

In spite of Valentine’s Day, I thought it was only fitting to make a pink-lovey- themed cupcake. Not only was it the perfect time for a pink cupcake, but there’s nothing prettier than a cupcake with bright pink icing.

Once again, the classic Betty Croker cake mix is perfect for making cupcakes (doesn’t take too long to make, but also tastes so so good). Follow instructions perfectly on the box, which really aren’t hard at all, to make a perfect batter. When making the batter… why not start some multi-tasking! No need to spray the pans, just go ahead and simply insert the baking cups (also known as cupcake liners). You can find baking cups pretty much anywhere; I bought mine at party city but they can also be found at bulk barn, dollarama, or any grocery store in the baking section.

Instead of making a complete mess in the kitchen, I used a scoop bought from Pampered Chef that is a perfect sized scoop for cupcakes! One scoop of batter = the perfect cupcake (quote from momma). However, it of course didn’t look like enough batter to me… so I added some extra here and there…. so now some of my cupcakes are bigger than others (typical me). When the cupcakes are done, let them cool a little bit in the pans. Then, when cool enough, place them on the cooling tray. When cool enough, start the icing process.

To ice the cupcake, I used a Wilton tip 1M which gives the icing a nice swirl look. I watched multiple videos, starting off with the Wilton youtube video:

Wilton videos are usually helpful but this one wasn’t much help. It gave a starting point, but without it actually explaining anything; you pretty much had to figure it out for yourself.

This video ended up being much more help since she explains what she’s doing. Learning online is a bit tricky in general, so having that extra guidance of the explaining what they’re doing really helps!

I was a little confused why some videos that I saw (like the second one I posted) puts a dot in the middle first and then starts from the outside. I just can’t figure out why that’s necessary when it is being covered anyways. SO, I chose not to put the dot in the center just to see the difference! And guess what… it looks the same 🙂

After icing the cupcakes, the cupcake looked a little empty… so sprinkles it is!

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But I still thought it needed something more…

So I decided to melt some dark chocolate, place it into a piping back, and pipe out some hearts. The idea came from Pinterest (one of my favourite places for ideas). Since its chocolate, it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t freeze easily but it will melt easily. Which is why candy melts are a lot easier to use for this reason… but sadly this was kind of a last minute decision so there were none available in our house full of baking stuff! So I piped everything I needed onto parchement paper that I tapped onto a cutting board for better support and let it sit outside on our deck to freeze (my freezer would’ve worked perfectly if there was enough room).

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In the end, I think it turned out pretty good!

Until next time – Happy Baking 🙂

Chocolate Lovin’

This week, I decided to make a chocolate cake… Because who doesn’t love chocolate! When making a chocolate cake, it is important to make sure that it doesn’t try out and that the icing doesn’t overpower the cake (make sure it’s not too sweet). For this cake, I used a Better Croker cake mix (I know… but it’s way easier when I only have to add water, oil, and eggs). This week I wanted to start actually icing a cake, that’s why I decided not to make the cake from scratch.

The first step… MAKE SURE YOU GREASE YOUR PANS!! (sorry my pans are so old). If you don’t remember to grease them, it will be a complete disaster! Once the oven is preheated and you have greased your pans, pop it into the oven for about 30 minutes at first and then add more time if needed. It is better to continue to check your cakes if they are under-baked rather than having it over baked!

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Once your cakes are done, let them cool down in the pans for a little bit. However, take them out of the pans when they have cooled down a bit (but not cooled down compeltely) and set them on a cooling rack. You are supposed to be able to flip them upside down on the tray….

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I DONT KNOW WHY MINE BROKE. This has honestly never happened to me…. (so before the cake on the right did the same thing, I flipped it right side up). But when an obstacle comes, Dory always told me to “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.

Once cooled, cut the tops of the cake so that there is a flat surface. My cakes all formed a crusty layer around the sides, so I cut that as well. The purpose of this is to make it easy for the cake to sit on top of the other and to make it easier to ice the cake! For my sad broken cake, I had to be extra careful when cutting it so that it didn’t fall apart even more.

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I chose to use the broken cake as the bottom because I figured that it would be easier if the smoother cake was the one on top when it was time to decorate the whole cake. Because of the broken one, I also decided to transfer the cake to my final surface (which was a cake holder) before starting to ice because if you be easier… and honestly, iI was scared that it was going to fall apart right in front of me.

For the icing, I used the same buttercream recipe as my last post but added cocoa for the chocolate flavour.. which was taken from Wilton.

Important:  Make sure there is a lot of icing on the first half of the cake so that the cake that will be placed on top is stuck good. Also, if the cake wasn’t cut properly and you only noticed when you were icing the bottom cake, just add a little bit more icing so that you can’t see any holes 🙂 – super easy fix!! When in doubt, add more icing.

Place the second cake on top of the first and then start loading the cake with icing! This is the best part because if you make a mistake, you just need more icing to fix it! I used a tip 1M for the bottom of my cake, it’s nothing fancy… but the cake just needed a little something so it wasn’t so boring.

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With some leftover icing from last time, I mixed a bit of teal icing color to make my flowers. I started trying to do a rose… but I’ll need to keep practicing because they didn’t even look like a rose… SO, I chose to start off with an easier rose. I followed the video from the Wilton youtube page of how to make a wild rose. It was A LOT easier than the typical rose, thankfully.

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This cake took a lot of time, mostly trying to figure out how to make flowers.. but I found out that I really like making flowers so I plan on trying out some more!

Until next time – Happy Baking 🙂

Starting from the beginning

When learning how to bake, it is important to know that it isn’t as easy as it looks (clearly i just found this out)..

To start, I decided to see which tips I had and try them out so I know exactly which one I want to use when I start actually decorating. After watching multiple youtube videos, I learned that there is a way to change different tips without completely emptying the bag and making a mess. The wilton “how to” video can be found here!

When following the video, make sure when you screw the tip to the bag that it is attached to the bag… I learned the hard way and my icing bag completely exploded 😦 it was probably funny unless it happened to you!

Originally when looking at the tips that I have, I thought that the smaller tip would be easy to write with… NOPE I GUESS NOT! The most important thing to know according to wilton is pressure control. You need to have the same pressure when squeezing the icing bag throughout the entire time icing. If you need a break, make sure it’s obviously at the edge of the cake so it doesn’t look obvious!

Here are the tips that I have at home and what they look like! (my mom had a little bit of an obsession at one point)

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