my journey to bake the perfect cake

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birthday cake
The Cake Book

birthday cakes

I think that probably the foundation of cake baking for most bakers starts with the making of birthday cakes — it certainly is mine. The cost of home baked cakes versus store-bought or bakery cakes was probably the impetus for whatever cake I was making early on. I’m not so sure it really ever crossed …

The Cake Book

cake cookbooks

Sometimes I feel like I need to introduce myself something like, Hello, my name is pamela, I’m an internet addict. Or, Hello, my name is pamela, I’m a cake cookbook junkie — okay, let’s be honest, I’m an internet addict and a cookbook junkie! I love perusing all the cookbooks on my own shelves. But …

The Cake Book

equipment

Early on, I found that investing in good quality equipment really made all the difference in cake making. In fact, quality everything makes all the difference in cake making. That everything means fresh, quality ingredients, too. Of course, it goes without saying, I didn’t always have what I have today and so it’s sometimes very …

The Cake Book

The Cake Book

This section of ABellaCake will be The Cake Book or my cake journal filled with things I’m learning, doing, gathering, making, baking along the way of this journey to bake the perfect cake. I so want the journey to be as sweet as my destination! So, with that in mind, I’d like to share it …

Cakepops

CakePops for Sparkies

Cakepops for the year’s end celebration of a ‘job well done’ for the Awana Sparks kids.
Vanilla cakepops, White melties, sprinkles!

My husband made this cakepop board/stand for me several years ago — what a lifesaver it’s been!! The holes he drilled can accommodate both cakepop sticks and cookie sticks.

{Note: if you make a cakepop stand, be sure to
*not* drill the holes all the way through the board!}

I made these cakepops for each of the Sparkies so that they’d have something special in their gift/award bags. Not all the children will receive an award each year, but they all receive a certificate and a little gift from me for the hard work and whatever other unique contribution they may have made through the year. I want each of them to know I appreciate and enjoy seeing them each week!
Wedding Cakes

May the Fourth Be With You

Wedding day!

Married We Are Wedding Cake
White Wedding Cake
12″ – 10″ – 7″ round cake
Lemon Butter filling & Boysenberry filling layers
Gumpaste Roses, Peonies, Leaves, Berries
“I Love you ~ I Know” cake ‘topper’
The Groom’s Cake
May The Fourth Be With You! πŸ™‚
Vanilla Cake
Vanilla Custard Filling & Buttercream Frosting
Fondant draping with poured white chocolate StarWars emblems
A Bella Cake Home

my birthday cake {plate}

Every now and then I’ll be browsing in a shoppe and come across a cake plate or cake stand that’s simply irresistible! I saw this one the other day in Mimi’s, a shoppe on First Street in Snohomish. I could practically hear it calling my name, saying, Pick me! Pick me! And… it being nearly my birthday… well, it seemed only the right thing to do! πŸ™‚

This company, MudPie, offers such adorable gifts {and many other items!} for special occasions. But, need there be a special occasion for cake?

I don’t think so either. πŸ˜‰

CuppyCakes

Springtime Cupcakes

What a sweet day it was… A beautiful early Springtime brunch and shower of gifts and blessings to celebrate the impending birth {of another granddaughter} with family and friends.

The pink cupcakes were filled with dark chocolate ganache and topped with a swirl of vanilla/almond buttercream. The yellow cupcakes were filled with Lemon Butter and topped with a swirl of lemon buttercream.

Each rose was created from fondant {it’s so easy to make a batch of versatile fondant} that I made a few days prior to the event. For the underside of each rose, I piped a green leaf and then placed the roses on top and pressed gently into the buttercream swirls on each cupcake.

For the pink rose swirl I used a Wilton 1M tip and for the Lemon swirls I used a Wilton 1A tip.

I ordered the cupcake wrappers from Amazon. There are a number of styles to choose from.

A Bella Cake Home Birthday Cakes

“Bowling Pins” Birthday Cake

One of our grandson’s is completely enamored with bowling –and– CAKE! Since he was old enough to walk and push a ball, he’s loved bowling! It matters not where, he loves to set up pins and knock them down and his favorite outing/event is to go bowling! That was the inspiration behind this cake. And CAKE! I don’t know anyone who delights in cake more than this little guy! ~smile~

I didn’t know how I’d do the pins, initially, but one night I was thinking and rethinking this cake and I mentally counted out the pins – then the letters of his name and years he’s passed. And then it came to me: it’s just the right amount… the letters of his name and that he’s knocked down four years.

The pins and ball are made of fondant. I should’ve made them days prior to the decorating for the party so that they would’ve hardened — two days prior was not long enough. I rolled the fondant into a ‘log’ and evenly cut lengths. To ensure they were the same size, each cut from the “log” was one ounce. To shape the pins, I rolled them completely smooth, rounded at each end and tapered in the top third. The bowling ball was more difficult to colour solid black–so I used a piece of navy fondant and rolled it over and over again in black coloring. {I order these colours from Amazon AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste}

I baked the cakes, this time making the Epicurious Guinness Dark Chocolate cake. On the day of the party, I frosted and filled them with buttercream and dark chocolate ganache. I coloured and lettered/numbered the pins and placed them on the cake top where I piped six dollops to be the base to hold the six pins and then arranged the knocked down 4 pins, piped four hearts for the candle placement — this, a nod to this little Valentine’s February 14th birthdate.

A Bella Cake Home Celebration Cakes

Graduation Cakes

These two graduation cakes were sure a treat to make. I had a theme to work with for the 2017 Cake – New horizons and trails ahead – frosted and fondant covered and decorated 12″ and 10″ tiers, three filled layers each.

For the 2018 Cake, the class colours (black and gold) were chosen and an elegant style was set and so I was able to just imagine the cake for this one and, in the end, tried to create what I had imagined.

I made the two tiers, three filled layers each, frosted and covered with fondant, and for the third, the cap, I baked the cake in a bowl so I could have the round/dome graduation cap base. I covered the cap and mortarboard with frosting and then black fondant, and attached a black fondant ‘rope’ and ‘tassel’ from a ‘button’ on the top.

I made butter cookies, using the cap/mortarboard cookie cutter I’d ordered from Amazon. After rolling out the cookie dough, I cut out each cookie and placed each one on the parchment lined baking sheet. I pushed a long cookie stick (Wilton) into the bottom of each cookie. It took practice from other cookie stick “baking events” to stagger the cut cookies on the sheet to allow room for the sticks. Essentially, placing a cut cookie in one direction down one side of the pan (sticks inward) and turning the pan and placing cut cookies down the other side (sticks inward / parallel to the first row).

After the cookies cooled completely, I frosted them with Royal Icing and wrote the graduate’s names and piped the tassels also. After the cake was delivered and assembled, I put the cookies (still on sheets for transport) around the tiers of the cake. In this case, I used gold paper straws as decorative “sleeves” for the sticks into the cake tiers. This method looks much nicer than the white cardboard sticks.

Royal Icing
2 egg whites
1 Tblsp Lemon Juice
3+ Cups Powdered Sugar
Mix until very smooth/well blended
Pipe an outline (#4 tip) on each cookie, let dry/harden and then “flood” each cookie with a tablespoon of frosting, quickly smoothing it to the ‘edges’ (hard frosting outline). Again, allow to dry/harden completely
With a smaller tip (#2)
(add powdered food colouring to royal icing to colour)
‘write’ on each cookie – names, sayings, designs, whatever.
Again allowing to dry completely.

I *lift the cookies with a *spatula. Tip: resist picking them up by the stick off the baking sheet :-/ *experience! 

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