Saturday, October 01, 2011

31 Days to becoming a better Baker

Day 31: Halloween Ghost Cupcakes
Day 30: Crescent roll goodies
Day 29: Variation to Hi Hat cupcakes
Day 28: Cupcake carrier
Day 27: Chocolate dipped goodies
Day 26: My favorite cake decorating ideas
Day 25: Rainbow or Tye Dye cake
Day 24: Monochromatic
Day 23: Cupcake toppers
Day 22: Large tip
Day 21: Piping gel (a real magic trick!)
Day 20: Swirl design
Day 19: Smooth frosting
Day 18: Crumb coat layer
Day 17: Cupcake sandwich 
Day 16: Using flowers
Day 15: Cake links for ideas
Day 14: Traveling with cakes or cupcakes tip
Day 13: Chocolate toppers
Day 12: Cake designs using cookie cutters
Day 11: Simple cake toppers
Day 10: Cookie sandwiches
Day 9: Pastry bag
Day 8: Cupcake liners
Day 7: Cupcake wrappers
Day 6: Airhead fondant
Day 5: Abstract cupcake characters 
Day 4: Cut out cupcakes
Day 3: Flavoring your icing
Day 2: Offset Spatula

I'm joining in The Nester's 31 Day Challenge to blog for 31 straight days about a topic. That thought terrifies me, but also excites me at the same time. I need something to break me out of my once a week posting.

After committing to blogging for 31 days, the next step was finding something to blog about. The problem is I'm not really good at one thing, but pretty good at a lot of things. I started by making mental lists to see if I could even come up with 31 posts about a topic and the one topic that I came up with the most posts was BAKING!
Pretty Pink Chocolate 3 Tiered Birthday Party Cake
Ya see, I've been dabbling in baking for quite a while now and although I'm no expert, I do have a few tips and tricks that can make anyone look like a better baker than they really are!

 So to start us off, the first thing you need is a good icing and I'm sorry to say that while the canned ones are cheap and easy, they just don't cut it.

I use the Wilton Buttercream icing recipe and have modified a bit because of a cake decorating class I took.  Wilton is THE name in all things cake decorating.  It's super simple and delish!

Although the Wilton recipe is delicious, I prefer this one because it doesn't have butter or milk in it so I can make a bigger batch and leave it sitting out (not refrigerate it).  It's much easier to work with than icing that has been refrigerated because cold icing is stiff and hard to manipulate.

1/2 cup shortening
1 t clear vanilla extract (can be bought at a craft store, although vanilla extract will work too)
7-8 t water
1 lb (4 cups) of confectioners sugar

Cream shortening, vanilla extract and water together until well blended.  Add confectioner's sugar a little bit at a time blending after each addition.  Mix all ingredients together.  At this point, you'll have to judge if you need to add a little bit more water or not.  I find that I typically need to add a teaspoon or 2 more of water to make it more pliable and easier to decorate with.

Hope you enjoy!


oh amanda {impress your kids} said...

I can testify that the frosting is divine. In fact, could you just make some of that for me? I'd love a spoonful right about now...

Can't wait to read your 31 Days, Stace!

Stacey said...

Oh! I love cooking and baking and being in the kitchen, but I know nearly NOTHING! Too often I make it up as I go. LOL I am looking forward to this series learning a thing or two along the way I am SURE!! :D

Kristen said...

Oh, goody! You're doing this series, too! Would you believe that I've actually never made the Wilton frosting? Eaten it, yes. Made it, no. I guess you've given me a new recipe to make soon! I'm looking forward to your series, Staci!

Maureen said...

What volume of confectioner's sugar would 1 lb be? How many cups?


Steph said...

Great topic! I'm a terrible baker... I look forward to trying this icing recipe!

Staci said...

Maureen - It comes out to 4 cups.

Alicia said...

Shortening, oh my! I bet it is good...

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