Category: Baking

Unicorn Birthday Party – Pumpkin is 4!!

Today my sweet, little Pumpkin turns 4 years old!  It’s hard to believe!  We celebrated over the weekend with a unicorn themed birthday party.  Pumpkin was in unicorn heaven!!

Unicorn birthday party dessert tableThe dessert table is always the star of the show.  We had a unicorn head on the wall (from Target, borrowed from Pumpkin’s bedroom), streamers, a simple cake with a glitter unicorn and stars cut from my Silhouette Cameo, pastel marshmallows, iced cookies and felt unicorn horns that I made for each of the kids.

Unicorn birthday party cakeI had grand plans for icing a unicorn on the cake, but wasn’t feeling too artistic the morning of the party, so I went down to the craft studio and cut out some glitter shapes and stuck them on lollipop sticks and plopped them into the cake.  And added a frosting border and added some silver sprinkles.  And called it a day on the cake.

Unicorn birthday party iced cookiesI think I had already used up all my artistic abilities on the cookies.  I made cut out cookies with sprinkles and iced them with royal icing.  And sprinkled some with sanding sugar to make them sparkle.  I was tickled pink with how the unicorns turned out.  Pumpkin was tickled pink that they had sprinkles.

Unicorn birthday party cookies

Unicorn birthday partyI kept the food simple.  Mini corn dogs, mac and cheese, fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers and chips.  All big hits with the adults and kids alike.

Unicorn birthday partyFor craft time the kids painted unicorn suncatchers. And surprisingly they didn’t make a huge mess.

Unicorn birthday party - Pin the horn on the unicornAnd they played Pin the Horn on the Unicorn.  I sketched out and colored the unicorn on a piece of poster board and cut the horns out of glitter cardstock. 

Unicorn birthday partyPumpkin laid out the ground rules for present opening.  They were all supposed to stay on their bottoms and behind the line.  That line kept inching up until she and I were trapped in the corner…………

Unicorn birthday partyShe joined in with the other kids in singing “Happy Birthday”.  And was so pleased with herself when she blew out all four candles in one breath.

Unicorn birthday party cake and ice creamWe had unicorn cake and unicorn ice cream.  Pumpkin and I had a lot of fun making these together the day before the party.

Unicorn birthday partyAnd the sweet birthday girl looked adorable in her Made for Mermaids Brooklyn/Riley mashup with glitter heat transfer vinyl unicorn and stars.

She told me she loved everything about her party and I couldn’t be happier.  I loved seeing her face light up with every detail and watch her have so much fun. 

The past 4 years have flown by.  She’s still as sassy as the day she was born.  And still as sweet.  She’s such a loving, snuggly, expressive, and funny girl.  Oh how I wish I could keep her little forever. 

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This decadent carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect springtime dessert.  Moist, flavorful cake with a creamy, sweet frosting will have you licking the plate clean!

Happy day after Easter!!   Did you have a good one?  Ours was very low-key.  It was just the four of us, so the girls got up and checked out their Easter baskets, hunted for eggs and feasted on pumpkin pancakes.  Then the girls played with their new toys.  A LEGO set for Cupcake.  And My Little Pony set for Pumpkin.  We watched a movie together and we had ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner. Because the 4 of us don’t need a whole ham.  And for dessert we had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #baking #dessert #recipe #carrotcakeMaybe you think I’m a day late with this recipe.  If so, I’m sorry.  Maybe you’re wondering why you didn’t have carrot cake yesterday.  In that case, you’re welcome.  Now you can make a carrot cake with this fantastic recipe.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #baking #dessert #recipe #carrotcakeDespite containing a vegetable, this cake is in no way good for you.  But it tastes so good and that is what dessert is all about. 

We may not have had family in town to celebrate the holiday, but I have a family cookbook and that is where this recipe comes from.  My mother-in-law made it some time ago and I thought it was amazing.  I was very happy when she told me the recipe was in the family cookbook!  I love a good carrot cake!  Especially with cream cheese frosting.  That’s the only way to serve it!  Cute carrot decorations optional.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Ingredients
  1. 2 C flour, sifted
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 1/2 C vegetable oil
  7. 2 C sugar
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 2 C carrots, finely grated
  10. 1/2 C butter, room temperature
  11. 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  12. 2 lbs powdered sugar
  13. 1 tsp vanilla
  14. 1 C walnuts, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the oil and sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing well. All the carrots, mixing well.
  3. Divide batter evenly among two greased and floured 9" cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.
  4. For the frosting: Combine butter and cream cheese. Beat until light. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat. Add in nuts if using. If the frosting is too thick add water 1 tsp at a time until you reach desired consistency.
What Does She Do All Day? http://whatdoesshedoallday.com/
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #baking #dessert #recipe #carrotcake

 

Peppermint Melt Cookies

Fall rolls around and people get all pumpkin crazy.  Now, I love the pumpkin things, too, but it’s when the pumpkin goes away the peppermint appears and that’s when I get crazy.  I’m peppermint crazy!  That’s why on a Sunday afternoon, despite having done a lot of prep work in the kitchen all day I decided to whip up a batch of Peppermint Melt Cookies.  Even if it required a second grocery store trip to pick up some candy canes and powdered sugar.

Peppermint Melt Cookies #dessert #baking #cookiesThese little Peppermint Melt Cookies are a sweet little treat.  They melt in your mouth, hence the name.  They are crumbly little bits of peppermint deliciousness.  These are the kind of cookies Santa would love to have!

Peppermint Melt Cookies
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For the cookies
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  4. 1 1/4 cup flour
  5. 1/2 cup cornstarch
For the icing
  1. 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  2. 2 tbsp milk
  3. 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  4. 2-3 drops red food coloring
  5. 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  6. crushed candy canes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the extract. In a separate bowl combine the flour and cornstarch. Add the flour and cornstarch mixture to the creamed mixture while beating a little at a time. Once combined cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place them on a lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl cream the butter. Add the milk, peppermint extract and food coloring and mix until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Spoon the icing on the cooled cookies and sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
What Does She Do All Day? http://whatdoesshedoallday.com/

Peppermint Melt Cookies #dessert #baking #cookies

Buttercream Frosting

Having a good buttercream frosting recipe in your arsenal is a necessity!  Frosting makes your cake shine!  And a good frosting that can be used to frost and decorate is a bonus!  This buttercream frosting tastes delicious and it crusts well so you can use to to both frost and decorate. 

Buttercream frosting for icing and decorating #baking #cake #buttercream #frostingWhen I was pregnant with Cupcake I took the Wilton cake decorating class at my local Hobby Lobby.  We did not use the frosting recipe included in the class materials. The instructor gave us this recipe instead.  And I have used it ever since!  Like here, here, and here.

The recipe makes about 3 cups of frosting, which is enough to frost a cake, but if you want to decorate, too, you’ll need to make a double batch.  That will leave you with enough, even if you take a few test tastes.

Buttercream Frosting
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup shortening
  2. 1 tsp almond extract
  3. 2 tbsp water
  4. 1 lb pure cane confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
  5. 1 tbsp Meringue powder
Instructions
  1. Cream shortening, extract and water.
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. Blend an additional minute or so, until creamy.
What Does She Do All Day? http://whatdoesshedoallday.com/
This will give you a stiff frosting. To take it to medium frosting you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon of water per cup of icing. To go from medium to thin add another teaspoon of water per cup of icing.

Pumpkin’s Purple Princess Party

On Saturday my precious, little Pumpkin turned 3.  I tried to keep her 2 a little longer, but she just refused.  So we celebrated turning 3 with a purple princess party!

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princesspartyThis girl loves purple and he loves princesses!  So, when I asked her what kind of birthday she wanted this year there was no hesitation.  Princess! 

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyI kept the food simple.  I ordered a platter from Jimmy John’s and made chicken fries.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyThere were purple grapes and strawberries. 

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyPurple cauliflower, carrots and tomatoes.  Princess Goldfish, pasta salad, pretzel thins and hummus and Go Go Squeeze.  And there weren’t many leftovers! 

Dessert is my favorite part of the party!  I love to bake! So of course we had cookies.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princesspartyThese were so fun to decorate!  I enjoyed coming up with different ways to decorate the crowns and stars.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princesspartyThis was probably my favorite cookie, though. 

And of course there was cake!

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princesspartyI decided to go super simple on the cake, but I really like how it turned out!  The hardest part was finding a crown without a Disney character on it!  Thank goodness for the Halloween section!  I also make cupcakes which I just frosted with white buttercream and topped with silver sprinkles and a purple chocolate crown.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyI also put out some cake balls that I made with leftover cake and candy melts and a little tin of dark chocolate Kisses (because they have purple wrappers!). And I picked up this gorgeous frame at IKEA and then picked up a wood letter and spray painted it silver, then adhered lots of big silver glitter to it!  And then we raided the Christmas decorations for the lights.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyFor craft time I picked up these fun colored paper crowns from Oriental Trading and I also ordered some sticky gems for the kids to decorate.  They had so much fun putting their personal touch on their crowns and then wearing them for the rest of the party.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyOf course Pumpkin picked the purple crown!  And even though she had a pretty silver crown from lace I made her for the party she wore the paper crown more.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyAfter crafting and eating dinner the kiddos were getting super antsy for cake!  Including this princess dinosaur! 

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyWe lit 3 purple candles and sang happy birthday.  The birthday princess sang along, too!  She was so cute!  And she couldn’t wait for us to finish the song before trying to blow out the candles. 

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyAfter cake and ice cream, there were presents.

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #partyAnd my sweet girl was spoiled rotten by her friends and family!  She loved everything and is now in princess heaven!  She and Cupcake had a great time playing with all the new princesses yesterday. 

I can’t believe my baby is 3!!! 

Pumpkin's Purple Princess Party #birthday #princess #party

 
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