Baby Gender Reveal Party!

This past Saturday was my Maid of Honor’s gender reveal party! The verdict is: It’s a boy! I was bestowed the honor of making the cupcakes that would reveal the gender when they bit into them!

Making filled cupcakes is quite a task! I decided on chocolate, because, let’s be honest, what pregnant lady doesn’t want chocolate?

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For the filling I used an excellent buttercream recipe. I decided to go with light blue. I wanted a high contrast between the filling and the chocolate

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All you have to do to fill the cupcake is cut a small hole through the cupcake and fill the hole with as much frosting as you can using a piping bag.

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She wanted to have an owl-themed party so I wanted to attempt making a shape with the cupcakes that at least resembled an owl. I made chocolate icing for the top of the cupcakes (to make sure all the filling was covered) here is the end result of the shape I came up with.

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I even made tiny owls for my Maid of honor and her husband to bite into. Honestly, I…guess…it looks like a owl…but it also kind of looks like a furry googly-eyed creature. Either way it’s kinda cute right?

The party ended up going really well! We even captured video of the big moment! Everyone took bets on what the thought it was going to be, believe it or not, most people picked girl!

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To Bake? Or Not To Bake…

So I kind of love to bake…I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but I bake every week. It’s a pass-time of mine. So the idea had crossed my mind to bake some sort of cake of my own for the wedding. I quickly dismissed the thought because if it didn’t turn out, I would never forgive myself. However, after speaking with the venue/caterer people, and their statement that a cake would drive the cost of the food up, I began to reconsider the idea. I had always wanted a wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes just didn’t seem to cut it for me. If I could just have a little cake, maybe just something for us to cut into, that would be awesome. So I formulated an idea.

I think I like the idea of having the caterers create these:

Click the photo for an awesome How-To!

They would be so cute AND cut down on the cake cost (and the cake cutting cost)! BUT so I can have my cake (and eat it too) I will try my hand at making this cake:

Click the picture for the full recipe!

That way, it’s a cute little hive with honey bees, surrounded by a cupcake flower garden! Perfect right? Sure…if I could actually pull it off. The only cakes I’ve ever made are round. I don’t do cakes shaped like things…mostly because I’d screw it up royally. I tried a fondant cake once…that did not end well. But for the sake of experiment to see if I could, and for the joy of you all out there, I tried it.

The cake itself is a honey banana cake. It tastes like banana bread, which I love, so no problem there. Part of the cake is baked in a pan, but to create the “hive look” the other part is cooked in a bowl. The bowl takes about 10-15 minutes longer to cook, but they both came out splendidly. And, as with all my cakes, they sit in the fridge over night. This helps solidify and cool the cake, and actually locks in moisture! Refrigerating tip courtesy of Paula Deen, so you know it works!

The next day, it was onto tackling the buttercream frosting. This is real buttercream folks, not that powdered sugar crap that tastes artificial.

And apparently for real buttercream you need about 6 sticks of butter. For this whole cake process I needed a total of 8 sticks of butter…that’s FOUR CUPS of butter. Talk about adding to the thighs!

Buttercream takes a lot of love, attention and whisking. SO MUCH WHISKING. My arm hurt by the end and the boy had to take over for some of it. As you may remember I am not cool enough to own a stand alone electric mixer, so my electric mixing has to be done by hand…thus my huge biceps…

I finished off the buttercream with some honey, vanilla, a bit of salt and some yellow food coloring to give it that “beehive color.”

Next I cut and stacked the cakes to give it that sloping effect hives have, then I slapped on the buttercream, between the layers and all over the cake. After smoothing it all out, I traced a spiral patter along the sides and top to give it the textured look. Instead of sculpting bees out of marzipan I just used some icing gel and piped the bees on the cake. I didn’t have enough money for marzipan, or the talent of sculpting…so I may leave that for another practice run of the cake. Here is…drum roll please…the final product:

It looks NOTHING like the professional picture, and yet I am happy with it. I accomplished what I set out to do, and now I know I can do it. It looks homemade, which is the look we are going for anyway. So right now I am seriously looking at the idea of making this cake. I will do many more runs of this in the future, probably trying out different flavors of cake to see what we like best.

What do you think? Has anyone else made their own cake? Sound off brides-to be! Would you ever attempt this to save money?

My Second Love

I am 100% completely in love with food. Everything about it, preparing it, smelling it, tasting it…all of it. If it weren’t for my rigorous exercise regimen I am pretty sure I would have to be rolled out of my house. Surprisingly, when it comes to wedding food, my tastes are very simple. When I was a child my favorite meal, no joke, was box macaroni and cheese, ham-steak, and applesauce. I was pretty easy to please. 🙂 So while that probably won’t be served at our wedding, we will have pretty simple tastes. One word will hopefully define our food: cookout. We are total fans of grilling, especially in the summer. Summers in Maine are cherished because there is maybe four months of warmth before the chill sets in again, so at the first hint of warm weather (which here is 55-60 degrees) Mainers break out the grilling stuff.

Now for the choosing of food. At first I thought this was a plus for our venue, but now I’m thinking it’s a minus, the venue comes with catering. Because of our simple tastes and wanting a BBQ the food cost is low, but the staff still has to be paid, driving the cost up. It’s too bad we couldn’t just borrow a grill, get the men to run it, and serve everyone burgers, fries and potato salad. When I seriously thought of my dream wedding atmosphere, it was like when I went to church pot luck dinners and everyone tried all different kinds of home cooking. I must have eaten my weight in food at those dinners.

So I want to share with you some DELICIOUS looking food that is inspiring the feel for our wedding:

Burgers, Fries, and Pickles! MMMMM!

Gotta have my Mac!

Delicious oven-baked chips! Awesome for a cocktail hour summer snack!

Zucchini Bites! A little healthier than chips but just as delicious!

What is more homey and comforting than breakfast for dinner!

And of course, one of the most important wedding aspects: the cake! My dream cake is probably too expensive, but I love it so!

This website has all sorts of rustic wedding cakes!

Wedding cake tip: Get buttercream. It’s cheaper and tastes SO much better than fondant. Fondant may look cleaner, but it is just nasty tasting, trust me.

There is another wedding cake I just LOVE and I even has the recipe to make it. I dare not make it myself. I may be a baker, but there is no way I could trust myself to make my own wedding cake.

Too Cute!!!

The catering company told me that the cheapest way to go is cupcakes. I don’t know if I can make that step. I love cake, I especially love beautiful and decorative cakes. I know cupcakes can be decorative, but…but…I love tiered cake…here are some cute cupcakes that I think would still be awesome to use in place of a tiered cake.

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

I love the way these look! They could be mixed in there with the chocolate for a pretty display!

Love the special Bride and Groom Cupcakes!

And of course a great display to go with everything!

So we have a lot of decisions to make and prices to think about! What will the food at your wedding be like? Forma dining or hometown cooking? Are you having a tiered cake? I’d love to see it! Remember to Keep In Touch!