Category: How to’s

How to make Harry Potter cupcake toppers

 

I would have to say my most popular cupcake topper would be my Harry Potter ones.  I usually make six different designs, but today we are going to concentrate on the 3 main (and easiest to make) ones.  They are Harry’s glasses, the Gryffindor scarf and the Golden Snitch.

Harry Potter is still extremely popular even though the books and movies came out years ago.  They seem to be timeless and people of all ages love the 3 students from Hogwarts.  Now with Universal Studios opening their Harry Potter lands and rides it seems the trend will continue.

I have done these cake toppers for birthdays, baby showers and even a bridal shower. They are great for any occasion and any age fan.

Making them are quite easy.  As you can see in the video, these are the items you will need:

Marshmallow fondant….  if you don’t know how to make it, that’s ok.  You can either use the store bought fondant or read my post  “How to make marshmallow fondant” a step by step guide first.

color gel (Burgandy, golden yellow and black)

set of circle cutters

set of clay cutters (circle)

gold luster dust

piping gel

rolling mat

silicon rolling pin

x-acto knife

pizza cutter

small amount of vegetable shortening to spread on surface so fondant doesn’t stick

I have linked the supply list to items on Amazon that will work for this project.  Some of these items I use every time I have a project.  If you are thinking about starting cake decorating or just want to make more goodies from home, they just might be worth the investment.

Remember to always have fun and get creative with these projects.  It’s only marshmallows and sugar so if you make a mistake, just roll it up and try again.  Remember when you were a kid and played with Play-doh??  Well, it’s almost the same thing, so have FUN!!

 

 

 

How to make Under the Sea cupcake toppers.

I recently made cupcakes for an Under the Sea themed birthday party.  The cake I had made to go with these cupcakes had some main sea creatures on them, so I wanted to cupcakes to match the cake.  I needed to simplify the cupcakes, so that they would work on a smaller scale and be able to make multiples of them.  The 3 creatures I chose were the orange fish, crab, and turtle.

Although they may look difficult, they are quite easy to make.  I used my marshmallow fondant recipe, that I have posted the “How-To” on in a past post.  All you need is the coloring gels, in your desired color for each creature.  Don’t be afraid to have fun and get creative.  If you make a mistake, it’s only marshmallows.  Ball it up and try again.

Have Fun!!

How to make Oreo Cookie Pops

I am so excited to launch my very first Tutorial Tuesday video!!  It was a little trial and error with the set up and editing, but I know each one will get better.

In this post, I will go over how to make some really cute candy coated Oreo Cookie Pops.  They are quite easy to make, and can be used for any occasion.  You can cover them with a colored or flavored candy melt.  You can also use a dipping chocolate.  Once covered you can decorate them with sprinkles, nuts, mini choc. chips, fondant, sanding sugar.. the possibilities are endless.

Below you will find the video tutorial, but I will also share the step by step process as well.

Here are the items you will need:

bog of double stuffed Oreo cookies

candy melts

pop sticks (available at craft stores)

sprinkles

small amount of shortening

wax or parchment paper

floral foam

plastic pop covers

ribbon

 

First pop your candy melts into the microwave at 20 sec intervals.  I like to use small canning jars to melt my candy in.  It makes for very easy clean up, since I just have to screw the top back on and I can save all the unused melts for a future project.  Stir between 20 secs sessions.  The melts are done when they slide smoothly off the spoon.

 

 

Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.  Then open the Oreo cookies up and place them on the paper with the cream side facing up. Put the cookie wafer top, off to the side.

 

 

 

 

 

Place a small amount of shortening into the melted candy and stir.  This will improve the viscosity of the candy.

 

 

 

Then place the tip of the pop stick into the melted candy.  You only want to cover about 1/2″-1″.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then press the stick into the cream of the Oreo. You want to make sure you press all the way through the cream, but do not press so hard, that you break the wafer part of the cookie.  You also what to set the stick towards the top of the cookie, so that you have a lot of surface area that will cover the stick.  Then place the wafer part of the cookie back on top of the cream.

 

Place in fridge for 3-5 minutes.

Have a little bowl nearby and the sprinkles or what ever you are going to cover the cookies in close too.

 

 

 

Take pops out of fridge and dip into melted candy.  The candy should still be good to dip the cookies in, but if you feel it needs to be a little warmer, pop it back into the microwave and stir.  When you dip the cookies in, it is a quick in and out, make sure the candy fully covers the cookie.

 

 

Hang the cookie over the jar, to let the excess candy to drip off.

 

 

 

 

I sometimes tap the stick on the edge of the jar, just to make sure all excess candy will drip off.  The is done quickly, since we don’t want the candy to harden.  If that happens the sprinkles will not stick well.

 

 

 

As soon as the excess candy is off, hang the cookie over the bowl and pour the sprinkles all over the top of the cookie and sides.  If you want both sides done, turn cookie over and pour over back side.

 

 

 

 

 

If you only have sprinkles on one side, place cookie back on baking sheet. If you have covered both sides of the pop, you will need to place the pop into the floral foam to harden.

 

 

 

Place back into fridge for 3-5 min.

 

Once the candy has hardened you can place the pops into the clear covers and tie with ribbon.

You are all done!!  Enjoy

Depending on the sprinkles you choose you can make the pops perfect for any occasion.

 

 

How to make your own fondant from marshmallows

I have people ask me all the time, about fondant.  Some people shy away from it, because they might have had a bad experience with it tasting bad. Well, I’m here to tell you that fondant has come a long way BABY!!

Fondant is a great tool to use when decorating cakes. You can use it to cover the entire cake, and get that perfectly smooth finish, you are looking for, or you can use it to just add accents to your cakes.  There are so many uses for fondant, and I’d have to say, it is my favorite medium to use.  I like to call it play-doh for grown-ups, since that is kinda what it is. It feels and act very similar to it.  The best part of this adult play-doh is… you can actually eat it, without your mom yelling at you.

There are many types of fondant you can purchase, and now that it has become more popular, most grocery stores have it on their shelves at the store.  I think the most readily available type you can find would be the Wilton brand.  It is available in many colors and is carried at stores like Michael’s and Wal-mart. When I first started cake decorating over 10 years ago, the Wilton brand tasted horrible, but I am happy to tell you that they re-did their recipe and it now has a nice vanilla taste to it. Some of the other brands you might find at the cake store is Satin Ice and Fondx.  Hobby Lobby also carries their line of fondant as well. (I will be reviewing all the brands of fondant in a future post, with their pros and cons).

One drawback to using fondant on your cakes is that it can be quite pricey.  Of course you can use your 40% off coupons for it at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, but when you have to purchase a lot, it can become a hassel. A box of fondant from store can run you anywhere from $11-$15.  You might need more than 1 box to cover a cake, depending on it’s size.  That can significantly increase the cost of producing your cake.

So here is the CAKE WALK way of cutting the costs and making your own fondant at home.  It’s actually quite easy and only takes a few ingredients you can find in any grocery store. Let’s get started….

ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:

Shortening, 16oz. bag of mini-marshmallows (do not buy the 10oz. bag), 2-2 1/2 tablespoons of water, extract of your choice, and 2lb bag of powdered sugar.

 

 

First:

Pour your bag of mini marshmallows into a glass or ceramic bowl.  Do NOT use a metal bowl, we’ll be putting it in the microwave…. and you all know how THAT ends.

 

 

Then:

With this step you can use either 2 1/2 Tablespoons of water (it will give you whiter fondant), or use can add 2 tablespoons of water and 2 teaspoons an extract of your desire for flavor. WARNING: If your extract has a tint to it, it can affect the color of the fondant.

 

Finally:

Place the glass or ceramic bowl into your microwave for 2 minutes.  You want the marshmallows to be melted, but it is ok if the ones on the top have still kept their form.  They will be soft enough to go into the mixer after 2 minutes.

 

So, while those little cylinders of happiness are melting away, we are going to get ready for the next step.  It should look similar to this, once the two minuts are over.

 

 

 

 Get out your handy dandy KitchenAid and the hook attachment.  You cannot use a paddle attachment to make fondant, motor burn-out would happen in no time!!  If you don’t have a kitchenaid, it’s going to get messy for you, but you can get gloves, coat them in shortening and mix.

 

 

 

Now, that those minis are melting away in microwave, get out your mixer bowl and put just a dab of shortening in the bottom of the bowl.  It is not really an exact science, but I would estimate it at about 2 tablespoons.  This will make the fondant just a little more pliable.

 

 

Ok, so now our marshmallows are melted, our hook is out, and our shortening is in.  We then will use our spatula to scoop the marshmallows out of the glass bowl, and into the mixer bowl.  It should pretty much slide right out, you will only have to scrap a little out of the bowl at the end.

 

 

We are almost done!!  Now open your 2lb bag of powdered sugar and pour it on top of the melted marshmallows.  It is best if you have the bag open and ready.  We want to mix everything fast, before the marshmallows have time to cool too much.  I usually open my bag while the marshmallows are in the microwave.  You’d be surprised how much stuff you can do in those short 2 minutes!!!

 

OK, so now everything we need is in the mixer.  Attach your hook, place the splash guard on (if you don’t have one, just put a towel over the mixer so you don’t get powdered dust everywhere), start the mixer on the lowest setting.  Here is the trick.. you don’t want to mix the fondant for too long because it puts too much air into the mixer, and when you roll it you will get these little pockets.  So keep it on low for almost the whole time.  I will turn mine up one notch in the settings if I see there is still some powdered sugar stuck to the side of the bowl.  Even then, it is a quick few seconds then back down to low setting.

 

 

 

Once everything is mixed, the fondant will either form it’s little ball at the bottom, or if it has attached itself to the sides, the hook will just go around the middle.  It happens both ways for me and either is fine.  When this happens, you know it is done and shut off the mixer.

 

 

Pour this mixture onto a lightly powdered sugared surface.  I use a rolling mat to roll out my fondant.  They are sold in lots of stores, including Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Sur La Tabl, Amazon and others.  If you have granite or some other hard stone surface countertop, you can do this right on the counter, but I really like the rolling mats.

 

 

Go ahead and start kneading the fondant.  You can pick it up and pull it like taffy, or just keep pulling and folding on the mat. incorporating the powder you sprinkled on the mat, and just knead until you feel you have a good smooth consistency.  TIP: Sometimes this can be a sticky job, so just coat your hands with a little shortening and it will prevent the fondant from sticking. Shape into a little ball and you are done.

Coloring fondant, if you desire:

If you would like to make different color fondant.  You will to purchase gel colors.  Regular food coloring is too wet, and will make the fondant too sticky, plus it is not as intense in color as needed.  Gel colors come in a rainbow of colors and tints.  There are many brands of color gel, such as Wilton, Americolor and Chef Master.

 

 

To add color to fondant, start off slow with a few small drops.  Some colors take better to fondant than others, so a little might go a long way.  You can always add more color to your fondant, but if you add too much, well… your going to have to use more white to mix in and possibly waste fondant, since you will have more than you need.  I have done that MANY times, especially with the pink tones.

 

 

To mix the color in, knead again.  I find pulling it like taffy works well.  you will see the color start swirling through the fondant.

 

 

 

Keep adding color gel and kneading till you get the intensity of color you are looking for and it is well blended.

 

 

 

Now, grab a little shortening to coat your rolling mat very lightly and you can start rolling your fondant out. either to cover a cake, or you can grab your favorite small cookie cutters to make cut outs.  Remember in the beginning when I said this was Play-doh for grown ups??  Well go ahead and start sculpting with it too.

 

 

Not as hard as you thought…. it’s a Cake Walk…  ENJOY and be creative.

 

%d bloggers like this: