Monday, September 23, 2013

Trash Pack Cake Robert's 5th Birthday party

The Destroyer had his 5th birthday party last weekend.

Yup that is the cake sitting in the box that the toy came in

If I have learnt nothing else in my time here, it is to realise one's limitations and not try to make someone else something they are not.

There was no cute dessert buffet with matching candy, I did not buy him a new designer outfit, we did not invite everyone we knew and we did not have it at our home.

Note I used Americolor Electric colours mixed with Wilton regular gel colours.
The silver is Edible Silver Spray over grey fondant.

We went to the the local play center where I picked the minimum basic party package and I made an interactive Trash Pack Scum Drum Garbage Game cake with mini fondant Trashies that he flicked at the cake using launch platforms (which were not edible) from the real game he had been given.

CLICK on the picture above to check out Robert 
playing with his interactive cake on a short you tube video. 
It's just like a home video on my phone :)

It was so different from my eldest girls 5th birthday party with scores of perfectly pretty princess fairies at a pink tea party.

Yes the little trash packs are hand made from fondant

But it was the best party ever for my little Destroyer, it suited him perfectly and I couldn't love him any more.

I haven't done up an actual tutorial at this stage for the cake just some vague pictures of the process. I made the cake in one morning instead of spread over a couple of days as I had initially anticipated due to a number of incidents including The Destroyer staying home unexpectedly on his birthday because a python was loose in his kindi. So sorry I didn't get a chance for as many pictures as normal.

Don't worry y'all I lined the box with silver cake paper before I popped the cake inside.

Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores:

Link to Amazon:

Or at Fishpond (free shipping Australia)
Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! 

This post was not sponsored

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Decorate a donut and other fun ideas

What looks like a donut, is fun like a donut, can be decorated like a donut, but isn't a donut.....

This isn't some crazy riddle - I've baked up some cupcakes into a donut pan that I picked up at the local discount store for $13 and made cute little 'donuts'.

So the great thing about these donuts, apart from the cuteness and obviously the taste is that they are not fried. I'm not a huge fan of frying, and although I always think I like donuts, I nearly always feel a bit weighed down afterwards - so problem solved. Yay!

OK, I'm not pretending these are health treats, but look I topped some with strawberries, so healthy fruit and the sprinkle ones are made with those natural, no artificial sprinkles so not so nasty, and the Oreo ones.....yeah ok I got nothing with those ones apart from not being fried, but they do taste sooooo good.

So you want to make your own cute donut cakes, well these ones are pretty easy. All you need to do is grab a packet of Betty Crocker cupcake mix, make it up according to the directions. Spray a donut baking tray with non stick spray, pipe in the mixture filling around 1/3 full and bake for 12 minutes at the temperature recommended on the box.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the tray and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Once cool you can decorate with the ready to spread frosting from the packet and top with strawberries, crushed Oreo's or sprinkles. Well pretty much anything you like and the great news is these donuts are perfect for kids to decorate.

In fact I took them along to Mornings on Channel 9 and we had a donut decorating party, along with decorating some stacked sugar cookies, filled with swirled Betty Crocker frosting.

Mornings decorated the set like an outdoor party, and invited a bunch of kids along to help out with the fun. The idea being that having a party outdoors is fun, easy to arrange and makes less mess inside the house. Seriously what parent wouldn't be behind that reasoning :)

Edit update - here is a link to the segment of me on TV: Mornings Kids Cooking Party

Plus they incorporated a stack of the budget conscious ideas from Lilli's birthday party (CLICK HERE) where I used recycled jars as glasses, did a bit of crafting and acted as the party entertainment (CLICK HERE).

So here's the party run down, use Betty Crocker baking mix for less mess and less work, hold the party outside once again for less mess and less work and then get the kids to decorate the donuts and cookies.

I have to mention that The Little Big Company supplied the props for the party on Mornings and were so easy to work with and have a great range. From invitations to cake stands, jars, decorations and shimmer candy, they can supply everything you need for a fabulous party. Pop on over to their webstore to check it out.

Here are some pictures and links to other ideas shared on the show:

Stacked sugar cookies with swirls of Betty Crocker ready to spread frosting:

Make your own sugar blossoms video tutorial:

How to make your own super easy and sweet rag ribbon bunting:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

One Box cake pops - It doesn't get much easier than this

One of the questions I get asked most about cake pops is how much frosting or buttercream to add to the cake mix to get the right consistency.

It sounds like a simple question doesn't it, but it's not really. Every cake is different, some are moist some are denser and that's without even adding frosting to the mix. Yup all frostings are not created equal with some being very fluid and some much dryer.

So you can see the problem with saying, yup add about 1/2 cup of buttercream and she'll be right mate. There are recipes around which match up cake to the correct amount and consistency of frosting and in fact I have written some myself (check out my book 'Sweets on a Stick') but I thought I would come up with something even easier.

One box cake pops.

Ah-huh! Betty Crocker Australia has added extra ready to spread frosting to their cake box mixes and it seems when you mix it into the cake it makes a great cake pop mixture.

Check out this video - I demonstrate how from mixing, srunching up the cake and frosting through to dipping. CLICK HERE or on the picture below to see:


And yay we have a winner for the Sunbeam mixer, and I was going to announce which of the Betty Crocker Irresistibles I would try first.....but you might have noticed I could not resist and have pretty much tried them all out. Check out the Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Jar Cakes here:

WINNER Maria P - who was drawn via Rafflecopter and has claimed the prize :) Congrats Maria.

One Box Cake Pop Instructions
Follow these instructions or to see me demonstrate how CLICK HERE.

1 box Betty Crocker Devil Food cake mix
3 eggs @ room temp
melted butter
180 ml milk @ room temp
1 packet candy melts 395g (I used Wilton)*
110g copha chopped into little pieces
27 food safe sticks, eg paper lollipops or skewers8

*Candy Melts and cake pop sticks available from cake and hobby shops (eg Spotlight Australia, Michaels USA) chocolate can be used in place of candy melts however I find that candy melts set faster.

Bake the Betty Crocker cake mix as per packet directions. The instructions suggested 50 to 55 minutes but I checked mine at 45 minutes and it was perfect with the skewer I inserted coming out clean - make sure not to overcook as everyone's oven is a little different.

Pop the cake into a large bowl, add all the frosting that came in the Betty Crocker cake mix box and scrunch it together using your hands until well combined.

Line a tray with baking paper and roll the cake pop mixture into small balls (see the video above to see around what size) and place onto the prepared tray. Repeat until all the mixture is used and pop into the fridge to chill for around 30 minutes.

Using a clean dry bowl melt the candy melts and copha in the microwave on 50% heat for 2 minutes, remove and stir and then return for bursts of 1 minute at 50% until the mixture is smooth, fluid and lump free.

Take a cake pop stick and holding one end of the stick dip the other end into the melted chocolate/candy coating and insert it into the cake ball so the stick is upright. Repeat for remaining cake pop balls and return to the fridge to chill for 10 minutes or until set.

Make sure the chocolate/candy coating is still melted. Holding the end of the stick dip the whole cake ball into the melted candy coating and lift it to allow any excess melted candy to drip off. Place the pop with the stick still upright onto baking paper lined tray to set.

 Disclosure: the ideas, words and opinions in this post are my own however this post was sponsored by General Mills.

Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores:

Link to Amazon:

Or at Fishpond (free shipping Australia)
Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!