With a bad case of the winter blues, I thought I would show you all how to make a fondant ribbon rose to brighten our day :) This is such a cute, easy fondant flower, that doesn't take any special cutters or tools to make it.

Here is what you will need:
*a mat to roll out on
*some shortening to grease your mat to keep the fondant from slipping
*a small rolling pin (I love Wilton's9 in. rolling pin)
*a pizza cutter
*Fondant colored your choice for flower and leaf (I add somegum paste to mine to help      make it stronger and set up faster)
Start by putting a thin film of shortening on your mat so your fondant won't stick. For your rose, roll out your fondant thin, about 1/16 of an inch. Make sure you roll it out in a long shape.
Then fold your fondant over and trim your edges with the pizza cutter. I trim all 3 three of the unfinished edges.
Pick up one end of your rolled out fondant. Fold in the top corner of your finished/folded edge.
Then just start rolling and pucker/pleat the bottom as you roll the fondant until you get to the end.
For the leaf, roll out your gum paste thin again, about 1/16 in.
Then cut out a shape that resembles a leaf, but with a straight cut at the back.
Then pinch the back of the leaf together (where you did the straight cut)
Pinch the leaf to the side of the rose, and there you have it. Your finished rose! These can placed individually on a cupcake or clustered together on a cake. I hope you have fun making them.

And thanks to my trusty assistant (my 6 year old boy) for helping take pictures. He did a great job.
My daughter chose a Chocolate Peanut Butter cake for the flavor of her birthday cake. It was a new recipe I tried and we all loved it so much, I wanted to share it here. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
3 eggs
1 1/3 c. water
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, peanut butter, eggs and water in a large bowl and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Spread batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees according to pan directions (see this post for a chart on baking times). Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

This cake is SO good with a... 

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream peanut butter and butter in a large bowl. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, mix at medium to low speed until creamy (you may need to add a bit more milk, depending on the consistency you need) about 1 minute.



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Well, my daughter REALLY wanted to help make her birthday cake this year. However, she also really wanted to make her cats head in cake. I know it sounds kinda creepy, but it is actually a popular thing to do, to make people's favorite animal in cake. Anyway, she helped me do all the baking and prep work, then I sculpted the cake into the shape of a cats head, with some direction from my daughter :) I also covered it in fondant for her. Then I turned her loose with painting the cake. She did a wonderful job and had SO much fun doing it. Check out the pictures below showing how this cake 'came to life'  ;)
For those of you who are wondering "How do you paint on a cake?" Here's how we did it...

Items needed:
Extract (preferably lemon or a clear one, you get truer colors)
Wilton icing gel colors
food safe paint brushes

Use a candy melting plate or small bowls. Put a small amount of coloring in the plate or bowls and add some extract and stir to dissolve the gel colors. The more extract you use the lighter your "paint" will be. You will not need much, a little goes a long way. You are now ready to paint.

Painting cakes is a great and easy way to get your kids involved in decorating cakes. Kids LOVE to help with decorating and this is such a fun way to do it. My daughter had a blast doing this cake. If you ever get your kids involved in painting their cakes, send me a pic, I would love to see it. Happy cake painting!
I have made some changes in my February Schedule. Check out my classes page to see the updated changes. Let me know if you have any questions.

Not many people I know enjoy washing their decorator tips and couplers. Wilton has made a couple of products that make it a little bit easier to wash your tips. And I have a way I do it myself that I like. I first use the tip brush to push out any remaining buttercream (I hate using my finger, but many people do). I then put them in the dishwasher tip tray or in the tip/coupler dishwasher bag and put them on the top shelf of your dishwasher and clean them that way. I tend to use the tip/coupler dishwasher bag the most because it fits both tips and couplers, where as the tray does not, it only fits the tips.

Another way is to use the tip brush, or your finger :) to push out any remaining buttercream and then put your tips in a bowl of HOT soapy water and let them soak for a bit. Do not let them soak overnight or too long, they will start to tarnish. Then rinse them in hot water and set them on a towel to dry.
Everyone wants to learn how to make gum paste flowers and use fondant. In Course 3: Gum Paste and Fondant you will do just that!
Here is a list of things you will learn in Wilton's Course 3: Gum Paste and Fondant:
  • Gum Paste and Fondant 101
  • Bow Loops
  • Mum Base, Rose Base
  • Carnation Base
  • Assembling a Bow
  • Tinting Gum Paste and Fondant
  • Basic Principles of Floral Cake Design
  • Calla Lily
  • Rosebud and Rose
  • Carnation
  • Calyxes and Leaves
  • Assembling the Calla Lily
  • Daisy
  • Mum
  • Covering a Cake Board with Fondant
  • Elements of Fondant Cake Design
  • Creating Geometric Designs Using Cut-Outs, Overlays, and Inlays
  • Eyelet, Ruffle, and Ball Borders

You can take Course 3 right after the Course 1: Decorating Basics class; you do not need to take them in order. Check out my classes page for my schedule to see when the next Course 3 is offered.
Sorry for a bit of blog absence, I am finally back from having Christmas #2 and #3 with family in Colorado. We always have a great time but, it is good to be back and getting in to our routine again. 
My tip this week is something you can do with all your leftover candy canes. It seems like every year I end up with leftover candy canes, doesn't everyone? It is a simple recipe of... 

Candy Cane Buttercream

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 tsp. flavoring or your choice (I love vanilla and almond)
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar 
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup crushed candy canes

Cream shortening and butter or margarine with a mixer. Add flavoring then add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy (you may need to adjust amount of milk if it still seems to dry). Add in crushed candy canes. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. Refrigerate any leftovers.

I love to use this recipe for fillings for Chocolate cakes or cupcakes, or icing cupcakes. It is also yummy on sugar cookies. You can try different flavors of cakes or cupcakes, but chocolate is my favorite. Or you can use your leftover candy canes for peppermint bark, see the previous post.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and your New Year is off to a good start :)