CrossFit Birthday Cake

I’m going to pretend like it hasn’t been a month or so since my last post. Because it’s now May. I feel like May kind of gets screwed because that’s when everyone starts counting down to summer. And by everyone, I mean students and teachers. That’s how I view May…a gateway to summer. I had been baking every weekend since February and thought last weekend would be a little break…until I was approached with a cake request that was different from what I normally do. Of course I couldn’t say no. I was asked to do a CrossFit cake, which I’ve done before, but this one was all fondant. Now I know how to make fondant, and decorate with fondant and gumpaste. It’s just my personal opinion that it doesn’t taste that good and that regular frosting is better. Fondant usually wins in the looks department though (I guess that means buttercream has a great personality.) Anyways, I hadn’t made a fondant cake since I took a cake decorating class four years ago. I will say it is much easier to do fondant than pipe buttercream!

CrossFit Cake
CrossFit Cake

First I made a kettlebell out of rice krispies treats. This was to go on top of the cake. It took me about 20 minutes to shape the rice krispies into a kettlebell, a lot less stressful than trying to make one with cake. I covered the bell and handle in fondant separately, and then attached the handle to the bell with toothpicks. I cut out a 4-0 and glued it to the front (birthday boy was turning 40). Edible glue y’all…basically sugar water. I also made jump rope handles out of gumpaste. I did all of this the day before I made the cake, so it would have time to set.

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I baked two 8″ cakes and leveled them off. I placed one cake on the large cake board and covered it in buttercream, then fondant. I put the second layer on an 8″ cake board and covered it in fondant as well. Then I stacked the second layer on the first layer, but slightly off center to represent stacked plates. I cut out “Happy Birthday” in gumpaste and adhered it to the two layers. I also added letters and numbers on top of the cake to add some detail of the plate. I added the kettlebell on top, glued the jump rope handles with frosting, and added a fondant rope to the handles. I left some of powdered sugar on the kettlebell and the cake because it looked like chalk. That’s it! I love how bright this cake is!

CrossFit Cake

Toy Story Cupcakes

The past couple of months I have gone back and forth between starting a website or just maintaining this blog. Well I finally made the leap and created sassyaproncupcakes.com last weekend. If you feel like drooling over some cupcakes, hop on over there to check it out! I will still be posting weekly recipes and the projects I’m working on here.

In other news, BSpears is BACK with “Work Bitch”. Yes, I am a fan and yes, I am excited for her new cd. Gotta have good music to dance around to while baking!

Toy Story Alien
Toy Story Alien

This week’s project were Toy Story cupcakes. These were for a boy’s 1st birthday party and they asked for the aliens in Toy Story. I went back and forth on what to do, and finally decided gumpaste would look much cuter and neater than anything I could do freehand. I anticipated cutting and “gluing” the gumpaste taking me forever, but I was actually able to use a cookie cutter to cut most of the shapes.

Coloring Gumpaste

This is messy. No way around that. I have an old school Tupperware mat that I use when working with gumpaste or fondant. Use a toothpick to get whatever color gel you’re using, and stick it in the center of your gumpaste. Grease your hands with shortening and start kneading the gumpaste. Try and fold the gel to the inside of the gumpaste instead of immediately rubbing it all over your hands. The shortening is to keep the gel from dyeing your hands (although it will still stain, just not as bad). I made 3 colors- blue, purple, and green.

Rolling and Cutting Gumpaste

First I rolled out the blue gumpaste to cut out circles for the base. I have a little pouch made of cheesecloth that contains a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. I use it to powder the mat and rolling pin to keep the gumpaste from sticking. I cut out several blue circles with a medium sized circle cookie cutter. Next I made the alien’s “collar”, still using the cookie cutter. I would cut a purple circle, then place the edge of the cookie cutter a fraction of an inch away. I used a knife to cut the length of the collar. Using the cookie cutter ensured it would align perfectly on the base.

Gumpaste Base and Collar
Gumpaste Base and Collar

Next, I cut out green circles for the actual alien using the same cookie cutter (once again allowing for all the pieces to line up together). Every circle made TWO aliens. TO make the head, lay one circle in front of you and create a “venn diagram” with the circle and the cookie cutter. It overlaps in the center creating a pointy football shape, or in our case, an alien head. Repeat on the other side of the circle. I used the rest of the circle to cut ears and an antennae. Wilton has candy eyeballs and I glued those on top. Carve a smile with a small knife and you are done!

Gluing Gumpaste

Gumpaste “glue” has to be made ahead of time. It’s extremely simple though. Take a piece of gumpaste, a tiny piece, and place it in a small container. Fill with water and let the gumpaste dissolve. That’s it! I used an old spice container for mine and that size was perfect. Use a paintbrush to brush the “glue” on to the gumpaste and then press together.

I placed the aliens on top of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. Gumpaste is definitely edible, although the cupcake tastes much better!

Toy Story Cupcakes
Toy Story Cupcakes

Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

This Harlem Shake video trend needs to stop. Have this generation really become so lazy that the most current “dance craze” doesn’t have any dancing or actual steps at all? I just don’t get it. I’m not a fan of the “Boot Scootin Boogie”, but at least there’s a series of steps you have to learn.

Some friends and I were hanging out at a brewery this past Saturday and we saw some individuals in weird outfits. Some of these individuals were kids. We were confused, but didn’t think too much of it because hey, people are weird. I was waiting in line for the restroom when the lady in front of me informed me that the brewery was making a Harlem Shake video. Is no place safe anymore?! Sure enough, a guy with a video camera was testing out the area, and the number of costumes had increased. I saw some fish, a spandex bodysuit made to look like muscles, sequin underwear, the Mad Hatter…all sorts of things. Not sure how the final video turned out, we relocated to another room to finish our beer.

Okay...let's get to what this post is really about. Delicious cupcakes.
Okay…let’s get to what this post is really about. Delicious cupcakes.

The easy way to be the favorite in a group is to be the one who brings cupcakes. I brought extra strawberry cupcakes to the brewery. It’s almost the equivalent of bringing a cute dog…but less responsibility. I had made strawberry Minnie Mouse cupcakes for a sweet girl’s 2 year birthday party. I decided to do gumpaste for the decoration, but kept it pretty simple. I made pink bows and then used chocolate candy melts as the ears. I also cut out circles and “2”s and “T”s to place on the circles.

All the pre-made decorations
All the pre-made decorations

The best part about doing gumpaste decorations is that you make them ahead of time, so when you’re actually baking the cupcakes decorating goes pretty fast. To make the bows I just cut the gumpaste into short strips, looped it into a circle, then pinched the center. Then I took a small piece of gumpaste and looped it around the center, and ta-da! You have a bow. I used cookie cutters for the rest. I loved how these turned out. Just looking at the picture makes me want to eat them.

Minnie Mouse

Strawberry cupcakes, buttercream frosting
Strawberry cupcakes, buttercream frosting