First off, I am so mad at myself, this is the only picture I took of the cake. I totally forgot to take one with a plain background. So, lucky you. You get to see the mess I make when doing a cake :) 

Anyway, a friend called me do make this D&D themed cake for her husbands birthday, and of course I was up for the challenge. I really did enjoy making it. However, getting the neck strong was a little difficult, but it all worked out in the end. The neck, legs and arms are rice krispie treats and the wings and stuff are gum paste. And since I don't have an airbrush I hand paint all the detailing. For how to paint on a cake click here
So, what do you give you neighbors who help you move a house full of furniture for new carpet? How about, Mounds of Love cupcakes and Lemon Lavender cookies.

I mainly made these goodies for a bridal shower, but had some extra and thought I would express my gratitude to those that helped us move furniture for getting new carpet. And now I thought I would share the recipes :) 

Click here for the Lavender cookie recipe.

Mounds of Love cake/cupcakes:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate pudding
4 eggs
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients, except for the mini chocolate chips, on low speed for 30 seconds. Then mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Fill treated cake pans or cupcake liners. Bake 350 degrees according to pan directions, or 
18-20 minutes for cupcakes.

This buttercream is what makes these cake/cupcakes taste like a mounds bar, and it is SO good!

White chocolate coconut buttercream
4 oz. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. butter
2 T. milk
1/2 c. flaked coconut*
2 c. powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, melt white chocolate, butter and milk, over low heat. Stir continually to prevent scorching. When it is all melted and smooth, remove from heat and cool for 20 minutes. Mix in coconut and and powdered sugar. You may need to add more powdered sugar or milk to reach desired consistency. The icing does set up more once it is completely cool, so I use it a little thinner knowing it will set up more. 

*If you are not a coconut fan, you can omit the coconut and just have a very yummy tasting white chocolate icing.

Ice cake or cupcakes as desired and ENJOY! Careful this icing is very addicting. I love using it for many different things and I always get compliments on it. Let me know what you think.
Wow! I wish someone would have told me that getting new carpet in a fully furnished, lived in home would be worse than moving. My house has been like a giant jigsaw puzzle for the last week. That is why I haven't been posting as much. I still have a few boxes that need to be unpacked, but I need a break, so I thought I would share a cake you can do after taking my Course 1.
A Rosette Ombre Cake!

You learn  the rosette technique in the third lesson of Course 1, only instead of using the tip 18 like it says in the student book, I use the tip 1M, which also comes in your Course 1 kit. And for those of you who don't know, Ombre is when you have one color in three different shades. I like to start on the top with the lightest shade and work my way down with the darker colors. This is a super easy and fast cake that has amazing results.
I know, I know, it shouldn't have taken me this long to get onto pinterest. My excuse is that I am not a computer savvy kinda girl. I am a housewife and super mom that is all self taught with computer stuff, so sometimes the smallest things seem a little intimidating. There are still a few glitches, but I will keep working on them. In the mean time you can go to this link to follow Tip Top on Pinterest. And as they say... Happy Pinning!
Why not make these cute Bunny Cupcakes for Easter this year. I made these cute little guys last year and unfortunately I didn't take pictures for a tutorial of them, but they are super easy to do and I still wanted to share :) 
What you will need:
*Baked cupcakes of your choice
*Buttercream icing
*Heart shaped sugar cookies for the ears (I trim my hearts down on the sides to make them a    bit skinnier)
*White fondant
*Pink fondant
*White craft pom poms for tails

For the ears:
*To cover the ears in fondant I take a heart shaped sugar cookie that has already been trimmed and baked; I roll out a small amount of white fondant and place it over the ears. I then take a small pizza cutter or the cutter tool found in this Wilton kit and trim the fondant just inside the edge of the cookies. Roll out a small amount of pink fondant and cut out the pink ear pieces (I just free hand the pink pieces, but you could make a template if you wanted). To get the fondant to stick to the cookie and to stick the pink fondant on the white, I use a bit of clear vanilla extract with a small paint brush.

For the cupcake:
*Using a tip 1A, or simply cut the end of a bag so you have about a 1/2 inch opening, pipe the top of the cupcakes. Color some of the buttercream pink and black. Use a tip 3 to pipe the eyes and noses of the bunnies*.

Put it all together:
*Gently press the ears into the top of the iced cupcake. *I like to pipe the eyes and the nose on the bunny after I put the ears in. Using a hot glue gun, glue the bunny tails on to the back of the cupcake paper.

"And That's All Folks" ;)
I love it when the weather starts to turns warm and there is fresh strawberries in the store. I love using fresh strawberries for an easy way to jazz up a simple cupcake. 
For these cupcakes I used a basic white cake, then I filled them with homemade strawberry jam. Piped a buttercream 1M rosette (learned in Wilton Course 1) and placed a  fresh strawberry slice on top. Walla! You just took a basic cupcake and made it amazing :)
I had a fun day yesterday at my kids school doing "Tool Day". I was able to show the kids all the neat and unusual tools you can use for cake decorating. The favorite tool of the day for the kids was a veining tool :) I look forward to doing it again next year.
Ruffle Cakes are totally the trend right now, and the best part about them is that they are REALLY easy and fast. Even a begining cake decorator can do a ruffle cake.

The supplies you will need are:

*A cake baked cooled and iced in a crumb coat (dirty iced) on a cake board
*A piping bag with a tip 104
*Medium consistency icing in a color of your choice

Position your tip 104 with the wider side of the tip touching the cake (the numbers 104 should be facing out). Squeeze your bag while moving it back and forth and move up slowly as you go. Continue around the whole cake. Do your best to keep your ruffles the same size and keep your lines straight, this way it will finish up cleanly.
For the top, start on the outer rim. Position your tip so the wider side is touching the cake and the thin side it lying off to the side at a 45 degree angle. Squeeze your bag and wiggle your tip back and forth so the icing fans out a bit. Continue the motion as you fill in the top of the cake. That is it! Super fun and super fast! 
These are SOOOOO good! A couple of years ago my sister asked me if I could come up with a lavender cookie for her birthday. Ever since then she requests these cookies for her birthday. In the past I have made them with a strawberry cream cheese icing, which is really good too. This year I couldn't find any good strawberries (I think everyone used them up at Valentine's Day) so I decided to try a blueberry cream cheese and it was just as tasty. 

Using fresh ingredients is key to getting the best taste. I used to work at a place that has fresh bulk spices and that is where I buy my lavender flowers. I usually stock up when I go back to Colorado to visit, but they will ship product. Here is a link to their lavender flowers, the smallest amount will do because it doesn't take much. I also use fresh fruit in my cream cheese icing, it adds a true flavor and the best taste.

Here is the recipe: 

Lavender Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter, room temp
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. lavender flowers

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and extracts and beat until creamed together. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, soda, and lavender flowers, add to butter mixture. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight or until firm (about 3 hours). Roll out dough on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
8 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. fresh blueberries or strawberries

Cream together cream cheese, butter, and shortening. Add in vanilla and salt and cream some more. Toss in the whole blueberries and let them mixer crush them up, if you do strawberries cut them up first. Mix in powdered sugar to desired consistency.

As you can see, I like to make a sandwich cookie with these. Simply pipe some icing on the bottom of one cookie and place another one on top. You can't help but feel sophisticated when eating these cookies :) They would be great if you are hosting a luncheon or afternoon tea. So, enjoy and let me know what you think.
Tomorrow are my kids Valentine's Day Parties, and of course I am in charge of the cookie decorating. I usually get put in charge of anything that involves frosting :) Anyway, I am kinda a germ freak and I hate it when there is a tub of frosting and a bowl of candy that ALL the kids use for decorating their cookies. So, I like to make individual decorating kits for each kid. I use the small disposable dip cups, you can get them at Sam's Club and Costco. Put enough frosting in the cup to ice 1 cookie. I put a small sample spoon to spread the frosting, you could do a plastic knife if you can't find the spoons. Pick a pre-packed candy of your choice, I chose Skittles for this one; put them all in a sandwich bag and close with a twist tie or a cute ribbon. The kids LOVE having their own "decorating kit" and it cuts down on them sharing germs, or someone using up all the good candy before everyone has a turn. It also makes for a quick clean up. So, next time you are in charge of cookie or cupcake decorating at your child's holiday party at school, try putting one of these together; you will be the cool parent :)