I enjoy making cakes and cupcakes, and 2019 was a good year of baking for me. Here is a post showing off my treats, including my first wedding order!
I had a few occasions to bake for work, as well as some family birthdays. Probably my proudest accomplishment is baking for a coworker’s wedding! Let’s proceed to the sugar!!!!!!
First up was a coworker’s birthday. I remembered her mentioning that she liked Reese’s, so I made a chocolate sheet cake with peanut butter frosting and mini Reese’s Cups. (Only showing a corner of the cake to hide her name.) This frosting was divine!
Another coworker asked me if I would be interested in making cupcakes for her wedding, and of course I said Yes! Her colors were lilac and plum, and I wanted to experiment with flavors and some of my gel colors. I made two kinds of mini cupcakes – one colorway was with vanilla buttercream, the other with mint buttercream. The mint was the winner of the two, and this was my first time using a piping method for two colors at the same time – it was so easy and I’m hooked! I had tinted the vanilla cake out of curiosity; it didn’t look that good, but this was just a test so it didn’t matter.
I love the brightness of lemon buttercream, so I’m eager for any chance to make it. Here I used the two-tone piping again. It looks so lovely with the navy on my teacup saucer!
At work for Easter we had an epic Easter Egg hunt (one of the 130ish eggs has still not been found after almost a year haha) and a potluck. Here was my contribution to the food, and I adore these little egg nests! I think I’ll need to do this again for this Easter!
For Mother’s Day, my mom requested a Krempita – a Serbian dessert of a vanilla custard between layers of puff pastry. My adaptation doesn’t involve cooking custard (I’ll attempt it someday) but rather it uses instant French Vanilla pudding for a much quicker and fool-proof recipe (and for those who are nervous about cooking custards like me – I had a bad experience trying to make eclairs a few years ago). Someday I’ll do Serbia right by making a proper cooked custard. But in the meantime, when I just want a quick and easy dessert, I’ll use my method haha.
We had a triple whammy for June: Father’s Day, my dad’s birthday, and my nephew’s first birthday all within a few days. So here was my first square cake! Vanilla cake and cream cheese frosting.
I turned 30 in July. I’m usually depressed around my birthday and 30 hit me particularly hard, and all I wanted was chocolate. Yes, I make my own birthday cakes. So here it goes… Chocolate cake. Made-from-scratch raspberry filling. Chocolate buttercream. Chocolate-raspberry ganache. Chocolate shavings. Ghirardelli chocolate-raspberry squares. It was a raspberry-chocoholic dream. I was still depressed, but this cake was good temporary comfort.
Ahhh, my first-ever wedding order!!!! I made 100 cupcakes by myself in ONE DAY. The wedding was on a Friday, and I only had that one day off. If I remember correctly I started around 8am with the baking, and was done with decorating and cleanup by 2pm with plenty of time to take a short nap, shower, and get ready before setting up at the reception. It’s chocolate cake with mint buttercream frosting. I was worried about my two colors, but when I was arranging them on the table I saw that they matched the napkins! I strongly overestimated how much frosting I would need – thankfully the only batch I made was *just* enough! I wish that the contrast in the two piped colors was a bit stronger, but I’m always afraid that too much gel color will lead to not-so-glamorous tongue and lip tinting haha. Baking for an event in mid-July was nervewracking, especially the transportation – I had little ice-packs made to fit around my trays and I made sure my A/C was on full blast for the drive! Overall I’m still super proud of this order and I’ll consider future requests for weddings or other events.
My third baking event for July – my sister’s birthday. It was a small low-key afternoon. I had some extra undecorated cupcakes from the wedding in the freezer, and my sister wanted Nutella frosting. I had some Russian piping tips and used this time as an opportunity to test them. And who can say no to Ferrero Rochers?!
During my trip to London in October, I tried my first slice of Victoria Sponge Cake and I was hooked! I loved its simplicity as it’s only a plain buttery sponge cake, jam, whipped cream (or a simple buttercream), and some dusted powdered sugar. Wanting to give my mom a taste of my trip, I made this for her November birthday. As much as I love frosting, I equally enjoyed this simple cake and I will make it again.
In December I attended a ladies’ Advent Dinner at my church, and I brought these mini chocolate-mint cupcakes. Again, I incorporated my favorite two-color piping. I intended for these to look like Christmas trees and for the color to be darker and more vivid, but they still look kinda cute and festive haha. I had also hoped that the silver dragees would be bigger than they actually were, and maybe I should have chosen gold instead of silver. I had extras, so I took those to work.
I haven’t baked yet this year, but for 2020 I want to make a cheesecake and then English scones 🙂 I also tested a banana extract recently and it was marvelous, so I am thinking that a Banana Split cake would be perfect in the summer. I’m not too pleased with my cake decorating (I can’t get perfectly smoothed sides and top, so I resort to tons of piping to try to hide things), so I want to improve on that skill.