Make.Bake.Celebrate Celebrating the Sweet Life Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:51:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Letter Board Cake Tutorial Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:51:15 +0000 Letter Board Cake Tutorial

You guys, I’ve finally solved my issue of my lack of ability to write in frosting. Heck my handwriting with a pencil is just plain terrible. From now on to heck with icing, I’ll just stay it with a letter board.

If your anywhere near the wonderful world of social media, you’ve definitely noticed the trending letter boards. What use to be a plain boring tool for businesses to convey a simple message has turned into a huge stylish trend. Letter boards are no longer just for waiting rooms, if you take a peek around Instagram you’ll find them filled with the funniest of messages, styled with the trendiest of props, and my fav, of course, surrounded by sprinkles! It’s become a fun tool to communicate in a stylish way with online followers. Now you all know I’m kinda a late bloomer when it comes to trends. I don’t like to hop on just any bandwagon and when I do it takes me a bit of convincing before I jump all in. I’m a little old school like that! But cake, I am always behind a cake. And I mean always.

Seriously, how fun is this cake? Wouldn’t this be fun for a modern birthday party? You could could literally write whatever you want on it. Or maybe leave some letters out to entertain the party guests. You know I’m always one to encourage playing with your food! I had a little too much fun playing around with all the things I wanted my cake to say, but I have to admit ” You want a piece of me?” Was def a favorite. I guess I like a little cake with tween like sass, more reason to eat it after all.

Letter Board Cake Tutorial

I’m really happy to say this cake is actually pretty easy to make, even for a beginner. It is a fondant cake but don’t worry anybody could make it! Let’s talk about a few things that made this cake come together. First your going to need some fondant letters to write out all those punny messages. I found this Sweet Creations letter set a couple years ago at Country SweetArt Kitchen. Unfortunately I’m having trouble locating them there right now but I did find some on Amazon here. These letters are about 1 in tall. Now in reality they are a little big for a true letter board ratio, but I wasn’t exactly going for a realistic look. I like a little whimsical feel to my creations. They worked perfectly for me!

Letter Board Cake Tutorial

Now here’s the other big guy in this cake, a DIY impression mat. In order to form the fondant into a letter board texture I made a little DIY impression mat out of paper party straws from Sweets & Treats! I have to say, it’s possible there is some fancy shmancy impression mat that is made to do this exact same thing. Honestly I didn’t even look, because that would require ordering a super specific tool that I would never use again and my guess is you wouldn’t either! Soo DIY impression mat it is! Basically, all I did was hot glue the paper straws to a 10in cake board then use a little washi tape to smooth out the edges so fondant wouldn’t get pressed inside. I should note that you definitely want to use a firm straw, regular thin plastic straws would probably cave under the weight and not leave the impression you want.

Letter Board Cake Tutorial

NOTE! Due to the nature of this cake it will need to be completed over the course of two days. The initial fondant work will need to dry overnight or atleast for several hours so it can be moved without stretching.

Here’s what your going to need:
letter cutter set
paper straws
hot glue
2 10in cake boards
small food safe paint brush
8. oz white fondant
8oz. black fondant
wax paper
powdered sugar for dusting
silver luster dust (optional)
vanilla extract
buttercream frosting (about 2.5 cups)
10X10 cake (you will be trimming it down a little)

Step 1: First you will want to make your impression mat. This will set the size of your cake. I lined them up on a 10in cake board using 39 straws (2 packs). This brought the dimensions to 9 3/4in X 7 3/4in.

Step 2: To make the black part of the letter board first roll out your black fondant on a sheet of wax paper about 1/8in thick. (It’s best to use a guided rolling pin.) Make sure you’ve rolled your fondant big enough to cover the entire straw board. Dust the top of your DIY impression mat with a VERY LITTLE powdered sugar to keep it from sticking and then gently lay the black fondant over it. Before removing the wax paper gently rub the wax paper with your hand or even better a fondant smoother. You want to press the fondant down into the straws. I even took a straw and gently rolled it along the wax paper to emphasis the crevices of the straws. Once you can see the shape forming through the wax paper gently remove it. You don’t want to press too much with the wax paper on or it will stick to the paper when you pull it off. Trim off the excess black fondant around the straws and place in a ziplock bag for storage. Your letter board will need to sit overnight to let dry.

Step 3: Next you will need to make your fondant letters. Just roll the white fondant about about 1/8in thick and cut them with the letter cutters. Sometimes if the fondant is a little too sticky still some of them will stick to the cutters. In order to help with this I like to roll out the fondant and let it sit out for about 5 minutes before I actually start cutting the letters, this lets it dry up a little. The set also came with a handy little tool to help push the letters out. You may need to gently reshape the letters a bit, then lay them on the wax paper to dry overnight with the letter board.

Step 4: After you’ve finished the black and the white pieces you can mix a little of your black and the rest of the white to make grey for the trim of the letterboard. On wax paper, roll to strips of grey fondant. Cut 4 stripes of fondant 10in long by 1/2in long. Gently make sure they are straight and then leave them alone to dry as well. You can cut the angles later. (It never hurts to cut a few extra pieces just in case of breakage!)


Step 5: Trim your cake so it’s level on top. Then take 1 1/4in off one side. This will leave you with a cake that is 10in X 8 3/4in. Now gently place the cake on the cake board, if you would like you can first trim the cake board down as well. Or just have a little extra on the sides sticking out. Frost the entire cake in a crumb coat of buttercream. (New to buttercream? Find my recipe HERE!) Place your cake in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.

Step 6: You can’t see this part of the cake in the pictures but I actually covered the sides on the cake in grey fondant as well. To do this simply measure the height of you cake and each side and cut 4 strips on fondant to make the same dimensions. Let them dry for just a little bit (or they will stretch) and they gently press them to the sides of the cake.

Step 7: Now for the fun part! First you want to fit your board and your frame together to make sure it’s the correct size before placing it on the cake. Gently slide your frame pieces around your black letter board. You will need to lift the grey pieces just a little to lay them over one another at the corners. Don’t cut just yet! Take a final measurement of the entire frame and make sure that it’s just slightly larger then the cake. No more then a total of 1/4in larger or the frame will fall off! The size should be pretty close but depending on how much frosting and how accurately you measured you may need to trim a little off the black part to get it to the size you need. (Because I’m super type A, I actually cut a piece of paper to the exact same size as my frosted cake and cut the pieces while on top of the paper just to be sure.) Once your confident your letter board and frame will fit on the cake you can now cut the corners of the frame. To do so lay them in the exact position they will be on the cake, overlapping at the corner and simply cut straight down with a knife. Gently transfer each piece from the wax paper to the cake. (Sliding off is best!) After the black main piece is centered you can place the frame on and gently press into place.

Step 8: Now this is the fun part but totally optional. If you would like the grey frame and sides to be silver, take a little bit of luster dust and a tiny bit of vanilla extract and mix it in a tiny bowl with a food safe paint brush. This will make a silver paint. Your paint should NOT be runny. If it is let is sit for a bit until some of the extract evaporates. Paint silver all over the frame and sides. To create a galvanized look take a clean paper towel and very gently dab the paint after a few minutes. If your scared of getting this all over the black you can also take the time to paint the silver on the frame before it goes on the cake. I’m a risk taker what can I say?

Step 9: Now all that’s left is to add a whitty little saying, and eat that cake! To permanently adhered the letters to the cake you can brush the back of the little letters with a tiny bit of water or a tiny bit of corn syrup.

TIPFUL! Is your black fondant looking dusty? Maybe a little powdered sugar left on it? In order to get that black fondant shining take a regular household steamer and place if a few feet away from the fondant cake. Let a very small amount of steam hit the cake just until the shine comes back!

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Happy Pill Cookies Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:15:31 +0000 Happy Pill Cookies

What did the cookie dough say to the cutter?

Cut it out, you don’t impress me much!

(Bonus points if you know what 90’s song that makes me sing!)

Admit it. It had you rolling…right? You obviously live for my punny jokes. :) I mean why do I even have a blog. Really I should go into writing comedy or like greeting cards for something. You’re right…I wouldn’t last a day. They would laugh me right out of the office. In a bad way. But hey they WOULD be laughing!

And laughing and smiling is what I’m here for folks, and if that punny didn’t work for you I have cookies that will do just the trick. Happy pill cookies! I mean cookies/happy it’s basically the same word right? You add in some amazing sprinkles and you’re gonna get a contact happy just from being around them!

Happy Pill Cookies

I’ve been having so much fun playing with fondant cookies lately. They are really so under appreciated. They are really so much fun to make and SO easy. (I love you royal icing but sometimes you’re a pain in the you know what) While I was playing around in my cookie cutter stash, I mean organizing…my cookie stash. I came across this O cutter and remember I had been wanting to make happy cookies covered in sprinkles. Then as I was wrapping up my organizing I remembered my fav fondant letter set from Sweet Elite would make the perfect imprint on the cookies!! I could barely stand the cuteness and I got started right away. My color inspiration was this Unicorn Cake sprinkle mix from Sweets & Treats. I’ve been dying to use it! But wait I was missing something! A quick little chat with graphic magician Design Eat Repeat and BAM we have the CUTEST happy pill cookie printables! So now you can not only make these cute little guys, you can make a whole bunch and package them up to share the happiness! So much fun. Head on over HERE and check out Design Eat Repeats post and grab the printable for yourself. But be warned you just may get lost in her awesomesauce! Then come back and see how you can easily make these cookies your self.

Happy Pill Cookies

Click on over…I’ll wait!

Got your printable? Good. Let’s make cookies!

Happy Pill Cookies

Here’s what your going to need:

rolled sugar cookie dough
O cookie cutter(s)
snap together letter emboss set
fondant rolling pin
fondant + food coloring
corn syrup
food safe paint brush

Step 1: First you will need to bake your cookies. I used my recipe and method here. Any rolled sugar cookie of your liking will work. But I like to use one that doesn’t change shape too much. You can bake them all one size like I did and make some smaller ones to go with. If your cutter has a middle cutout leave it in and bake them with! I used my recipe here.

Happy Pill Cookies

Step 2: Color your fondant however you would like. Roll out the fondant and cut pill shapes using the same O cutter(s) you used for the cookies. If your center piece on the cutter goes all the way through don’t worry! Gently take your finger and press the center piece pushing it ever so slightly against the outer O. It will stick back together and leave the subtle lines. For all one color pills simply use a knife to gently press a line at the half way mark on the cookies. For two color cookies cut each O in half. While doing these steps try not to move the actual fondant Os as little as possible or you may bend them out of shape. Let the fondant set for about 20 minutes before putting them on the cookies.

Happy Pill Cookies

Step 3: To apply them to the cookies brush a very thin amount of corn syrup on your bare cookies then place the fondant cutouts right on top. At this point you can take your Sweet Elite letter set and press it in to form the word HAPPY. (or CHILL!) I only put HAPPY on about half of the cookies leaving the others blank for sprinkles. On the little cookies I simply put H like a pill would have.

Step 4: Once all of your cookies are covered in fondant it’s time for the sprinkles! Chose the side you would like to cover in sprinkles and very gently brush a very thin layer of corn syrup on the fondant you would like to cover. Then holding the cookies over a bowl pour sprinkles on them and shake off the extra.

Happy Pill Cookies

NOTE! Store the cookies lightly covered in a plastic wrap for the first night. After that you can cover them in a sealed container. Otherwise the fresh fondant may gather moisture and get soggy.

And now you’ve got all sorts of HAPPY pills to keep you, well HAPPY!

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Gelatin Bubble Garland – On a Cake! Tue, 23 May 2017 20:57:25 +0000 Gelatin Bubble Cake

Have you guys ever had this epic idea BUBBLING up inside that you just couldn’t barely wait to make happen. It doesn’t have to be cake. It can literally be anything. You got it? That one thing that was the BUBBLES to your ocean? This was totally that cake for me. I had this epic idea and in my head it was perfect. It was going to be the cutest, pinkest, bubblyest, 2 year old lovingest (yea I’m just making up words here, just go with it) cake evvvaaa. And then I got started, and you know added all those human flaws perfectly paired with reality. And the cake quickly because nothing like what I was thinking. Like even a little. It was more riddled with flaws then epicness. I didn’t have the cake pan here that I thought, and then the fondant turned too bright…and GAH! My epic bubbly cake dreams were well…bursting.


But you know what…I decided to keep on keeping’ on. Because in the end…it was a cake. A yummy, buttercream covered, sprinkle tossed, ever loving cake. And it was for a two year old which I’m pretty sure after the word cake – we covered all her expectations. And guess what, in the end…depsite the flaws and despite the few hundred changes I had to get to the end result. I was happy, and feeling accomplished non the less. Why am I telling you guys this. Are you thinking but Toni, you’re suppose to be convincing us how awesome this cake is and how we can make it too!! Well the real deal is because I get so many comments across social media that bring me both joy and sadness, and I wanted to take just a moment to address those comments and empower some fellow bakers, makers, and sprinkle shakers! Many people will say I wish my ___ looked like that. I can’t ever get my ______ to look like that. Wish I had your _____. And to that I say…it ain’t all sprinkles, rainbows, and perfectly piped cakes guys. And while I adore the those sweet compliments, I also see a whole lot of comparison stealing some joy! Sometimes the idea comes right out as you excepted, but many many times it does not. Sometimes it comes out even better and sometimes well, it’s just not your favorite. But in the end guess what, you just put a little more experience into your baking bucket. Yay for knowledge deposits.

I find that no matter what the outcome I’m always learning more and more and more. With every baking success and definitely with every fail even the epic ones, no more so on the epic ones, I’m learning the best of lessons! Those lessons become experience, and experience becomes success. Because in the very end you guys, no matter the outcome, YOU HAVE CAKE!

Gelatin Bubble Cake

Now that we have all that bubbly feeling back let’s talk about these bubbles! Gelatin bubbles! Which I feel totally obligated to say right up front…although pretty easy the process was messy! No matter how hard I tried I seemed to make a gelatin mess of some sort. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya, ;) Alsssooo I just want to point out that YES these bubbles are edible. But remember they re just made of gelatin, so they won’t be very tasty. You can however add a few drops of oil flavoring and try to spruce them up a bit.

I actually made this cake for a friend’s little girl who was turning 2. Her mom gave me free reign over the cake – the best kind of cakes! When I started thinking what do 2 year olds like? I couldn’t help but think bubbles, balloons, and confetti! While brainstorming I came back to a memory of seeing gelatin bubbles on the internet awhile back and I really wanted to try some myself. That covered the balloons and bubbles and the confetti well – SPRINKLES! I was SO pleased with just how easy the bubbles were and how CUTE!

So if you want to try a few of them your self let’s get right too it.

Gelatin Bubble Cake Tutorial

Here’s what your going to need:

small balloons (I used water balloons)
paper straw, or lollipop stick
washi tape
a small amount of shortening
2 .25 packets of gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
luster dust and or food coloring
a straw stand, piece of styrofoam, or something to insert the straws into for drying

Gelatin Bubble Cake Tutorial

Step 1: Prep the balloons. You will want to blow them up in whatever sizes you would like but I recommend sticking between 1-2.5 inches. If your using bigger balloons you might end up with a balloon “nipple” sticking out of the top. How I made them smooth was after blowing up placing my pointer finger and thumb in an o shape, then starting at the top of the ballon sliding down and squeezing the balloon thinner. Then twist, tie, and tape your balloon to the paper straw.

Step 2: With a clean hand rub a very small amount of shortening over the balloon. This will help keep the balloon from sticking during removal.

Gelatin Bubble Cake Tutorial

Step 3: To prepare the gelatin first pour the water into a small bowl or cup. Mix in the gelatin stirring until a thick paste has formed.

Step 4: Add in luster dust, food coloring, or both. You can add about a 1/8 of a tsp of luster dust but you will only need a TINY bit of coloring. And by tiny I mean use the toothpick to take color from the cap instead of dropping it in. The luster dust gives the balls a less transparent look and a sparkle. To bring the gelatin to a pastel color I added both my needed color and white.

Step 5: Once you thick gelatin is colored place it in the microwave for 10 seconds until it’s a liquid again. If there is a lot of bubbles on top gently spoon them off. Let the gelatin sit for a minute or two to cool down a bit.

Step 5: Dip balloon into gelatin and quickly tap and twirl to smooth it out. Be careful to leave a little bit on balloon uncovered near the knot. This will make it difficult to remove. Place in a holder to dry. For a deeper color and less transparent bubble you can re dip each bubble after about 4-5 minutes. You can put on 2-3 coats if you would like.

Step 6: Allow bubbles to dry 24 hours the gently snip off the stem of the balloon and gently peel the balloon away. Some will come away quickly on their own. You may need scissors. These bubbles were SO resilient so you really don’t have to worry about breaking them.

Now simply place on a cake as decoration! Or wherever you would like your bubbles, we won’t judge.

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Banana Split Cake Thu, 18 May 2017 22:00:54 +0000 Banana Split Cake

There’s one baking lesson that I know so well, yet just can’t seem to learn. Don’t ask the hubs to chose a baking flavor. Just don’t. Even when I’m seriously at a fork…just…don’t…do…it. No matter what the circumstances I will always end up even more confused, and potentially frustrated at the end of the conversation. Second lesson: don’t bake cakes in the middle of the night.

Let me further explain. I was asked to bake a birthday cake for a co-worker of his to share at the BBQ we were attending a few weeks ago. First request was peanut butter and chocolate shake flavored cake. Ummm do they really not realize what happens when you remove the ice cream component from this? You get peanut butter and chocolate flavored cake. My explanation resulted in bank stares. Next up was banana cupcake with walnuts mixed in. So do you want me to bake, banana nut bread? Because that’s kinda what your describing here guys? Third try went like this, how about chocolate cake, stuffed with strawberries and a surprise icing. OK now that one we can work with. But my brain was totally uninspired and once again I told myself WHY do you ask. lol. Next time I’ll remember! Maybe?

Banana Split Cake

Naturally I spent the entire week stressing about WHAT to make. I wanted to make something fun, and I wanted to incorporate his fav flavors. But what to make? At about midnight one night while I’m drift off it suddenly occurred to me bananas, nuts, strawberry, chocolate…hello BANANA SPLIT CAKE! Yes, that’s exactly what I would do. Mega bonus points I hat the perfect Sweets & Treats sprinkle mix! So the next day I happily toted my little list to the store and scooped up everything I needed for the cake I was going to bake as soon as I got home, it’s Thursday at this point BTW. But the baby was cranky, and the kids needed fed, and then this, and that, and a business call annnnddddd there it was midnight with no cake. But I was determined to not be the cake less baker and proceeded. Which resulted in my finishing this cake at 4:30 AM allowing for 2 hours of sleep before the baby got up for the day. Oh my gosh I’m too darn old for cake all nighters these days! Ganching while sleepless – not a pretty sight. The good news is, the cake turned out great. Even if I looked like a total zombie. Oh and that leaves me to a third new lesson. Don’t transport a cake on a cake stand on the autobahn!!

Annndddddd sadly since this was a party cake I didn’t cut a slice to photograph. But hidden inside this sweet little thing is a layer of chocolate buttercream and fresh strawberries. So good! So if your ready to bake a cake, it’s not 3am, and you don’t intend to head down the German autobahn anytime soon…let’s get started!


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 room temp eggs
2 ripe smashed bananas
1 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbsp banana extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. of salt
yellow coloring (optional)

1 cup diced strawberries (to fill)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
sprinkles (mine are banana split sprinkles from here)


1 cup butter
1 cup crisco (can be substituted for additional butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tbs banana extract
6-8 Tbsp. milk
yellow food coloring


3/4 cup melting chocolate chopped into tiny pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8in cake pans and set aside.

Step 2 : In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Combined sugar and beat well. Add eggs and bananas and beat until combined. Next, add milk and extracts beating just until combined.

Step 3: In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Step 4: Combined dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated, add food coloring (optional), and then beat on medium high for one minute. Pour batter into the two baking pans and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpicks come out clean.

Now the frostings and ganache…

Step 5: Before making the frostings you will want to prepare the chocolate ganache. This is because ganache needs plenty of time to cool and thicken before use. Place chocolate pieces in a large heatproof bowl. In a small sauce pan bring creamer and butter to a boil. Once at a boil turn to low and cook for one more minute. Be sure to stir frequently not to burn the creamer. Pour hot mixture over chocolate in the heatproof bowl. Do not stir, let the hot mixture melt the chocolate for 2-4 minutes. Give the ganache a gentle stir until combined them set aside.

Step 6: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) using the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening at medium speed until soft and smooth. Add vanilla extract (not banana yet!) and beat until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar and salt, beating slightly between each addition. Add milk 4 tablespoons of milk (hold off on the other few just yet) and beat for about 1 minute. Transfer 1 cup each into a two small mixing bowls and set aside. Going back to the main bowl of frosting add banana extract and yellow coloring and beat well. Add remaining milk until at desired consistency whipping well each addition. (you may not need all of the milk, I like mine at 6 tbsp.)

7: Now grab the one small bowl of white frosting you set aside and mix in the cocoa, you now have chocolate frosting for the filling. Simply cover the second bowl and leave it alone for toppings later on.


8: Level the banana cakes so they are nice and flat. Dam with banana frosting (use a large round piping tip) fill with chocolate frosting and diced strawberries. Frosting outside of cake with banana frosting. Using a 1M Wilton piping tip pipe vanilla frosting swirls around the cake with the vanilla frosting you set aside. Fill middle portion with chocolate ganache once it has cooled down enough. Finish off with sprinkles, nuts, and cherries!

And now you have the perfect milkshake free – banana split cake!

But wait! Are you thinking man that’s a whole lot of hoopla for a cake…I’m not sure sure I can handle that all but I really need some of this cake in meh belly. Or maybe your really on a time crunch…say at 3am? No prob! Instead of making the chocolate buttercream just go all banana inside. You can skip the vanilla as well for the top just add a tiny bit more banana flavoring to the full batch of frosting! And if you’re really just wanting to cut corners, a little hot fudge will do the trick to replace the ganache!

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Build Your Own Burger Cookies Tue, 16 May 2017 23:05:32 +0000 Build Your Own Burger Cookies

It’s burger season! Can I get a whoop whoop? Whoop whoop!

Hello daddy’s cooking dinner again – and enjoying it! Ohhhhhhh you thought I was excited about the burgers, and the food. Oh, yea, yea right. I mean the foods great and all, heck the hubs can grill a mean burger. But the real excitement for this mama is the fact that I won’t be cooking dinner multiple times a week. My responsibilities are down to a simple side salad and some veggies. And if I’m feeling really wild, I might even buy paper plates to get me out of dishes too.

Speaking of burgers, I have finally found the perfect vegetarian burger that everybody will totally love at ALL of those BBQ’s this summer. Totally completely meatless, I promise. These burgers are 100% pure dessert. (hey don’t judge they have eggs and eggs = protein) So if your firing up the grill and prepping an awesome sauce BBQ these are the burgers, I mean cookies for you. And let me let you in on a little secret…these cookies are SO simple. For reals, the fun presentation really distracts you from looking at how simple each cookie is. They are the perfect set for a beginner. Before you know it you’ll be deemed King of The Grill AND Queen of The Oven.

Build Your Own Burger Cookies

I didn’t take step by step photos this go around because they are really just THAT simple. For those of you who have made royal iced cookies before you won’t even need any info. For those of you brand new to cookies I will list out the steps below. But first I suggest you stop by and read all of Royal Icing 101 and Decorating Cookies 101 first so you’ve got the details.

Before we get to the nitty gritty details I’ll share a bit of info first.


To make these cookies I used both rollout vanilla cookies and rolled out chocolate cookies. For the vanilla cookies I was feeling like trying out Sugarbelle’s awesome recipe which you can find here. I also have my own recipe I use frequently as well as the nitty gritty of how I bake all my cookies here. For the chocolate cookie I used a half batch of my very favorite chocolate recipe from Lila Loa which you can find here. I will explain in the step by step directions exactly how I divided up the 1 batch of sugar cookies to make it work.

Build Your Own Burger Cookies

Here are the cookie cutters I used. Aside from the clover cutter, you probably already have all of these on hand. All of the circle/scalloped cutters came from a cheapo stacking set from Wal-Mart, but you can find them in many different stores. (The best 3.88 I’ve ever spent!) For size reference the buns are 3in and the pickles are 1.5 inches.


To color these I used the Wilton color right system. I used the exact same ratios for the dough and the royal icing.

Cheese: 4 drops orange to 3 drops yellow (1/2 cup icing)
Tomato: 5 drops red to 1 drop orange (3/4 cup icing)
Lettuce: 5 drops yellow to 3 yellow 3 blue (3/4 cup icing)
Pickles green: add small bits of left over tomato red to left over lettuce green (leftover icing)
Bun (icing only): 4 drops yellow to 1 cyan (1 cup icing)
Chips: 5 drops yellow (1/2)
Meat (icing only): lots of brown coloring alone! (1 cup icing)

Now that we have that info…let’s get grilling! Or baking!

Step 1: Mix up a vanilla cookie dough (here or here!) and a half batch chocolate cookie dough (here!). Place the vanilla cookie dough covered in the fridge. Now it’s important to remember that if your cutters aren’t the same size as mine you may not get the same amount of burgers out. Also remember that each guest doesn’t actually need a full burger…ha! But for presentation these two recipes combined made about 4 full burgers, lots of pickles, and a hand full of chips. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Starting with chocolate, roll out dough and cut “meat” cookies out on parchment paper about 1/4 in thick (I use a guided pin) and bake for 6-8 minutes depending on your cookie size. (mine were perfect at 7).

Step 2: Split vanilla cookie dough in half and place the second half back in the fridge to keep cool. Roll out your hamburger buns in sets of two (about 8 will do) using the same exact cutter you used for the meat. Bake for 6-8 minutes. (again mine was perfect at 7)

Step 3: Grab any remaining dough and roll it into a log. Cut into 4 equal pieces (chips, cheese, tomato, and lettuce/pickles). Now it’s time to color! In order to get the most out of your dough you will want to color and bake your cookies one color at a time and in this order chips, cheese, tomato, lettuce, then pickles. The reason for this is you will find if you color in this order each left over from the first can go into a color for the next. So after you’ve made a few chips the left over yellow can go into the cheese orange, the leftover orange can go into the tomato red, the after the lettuce is made a small amount of red can go into the lettuce green to make pickles. Brilliant right! After you’ve colored and cut all the cookies ( I store the cookie trays in the fridge while I cut the others) it time to bake them. I baked my cookies 5-7 minutes each. 5 for the small ones like pickles and up to 7 for the tomatoes.


On to the royal icing!

Step 4: Next whip up a batch of royal icing found here. I did big batch, 8 cups of powdered sugar and 8 tbsp. meringue powder plus warm water to thin. (results in about 5 cups)

Step 5: Go ahead and divide the icing into 7 bowls and cover WELL with plastic wrap. Icing is always an estimate but this is the actual amounts I used for mine. Brown (1 cup), bun color (1 cup) tomato red (3/4 cup), chip yellow ( 1/2 cup), lettuce (3/4 cup) cheese color (1/2 cup). And set aside a little remaining white (about 1/4 cup) to make the black burger details and sesame seeds later on. I always fear running out of frosting. Since this has so many different colored cookies, I went ahead and colored and decorated my cookies one cookie at a time in the same order and just like the dough I added left over frosting the next color. Yay for less waste! In the end I threw the left overs in a bowl and added brown then black to make the meat patties.

Here are the consistencies you’ll need to make:
Chips: 15 second icing and soft piping icing
Tomatoes: Outline icing (slightly darker shade) and flood or 15 second icing.
Lettuce: soft tooth past consistency, just firm enough to hold most of it’s shape.
Cheese: 15 second icing
Pickles: 15 second icing and soft piping icing (I used left over green and red)
Burger: soft tooth past consistency (used leftover frosting colors here as well)
Black piping consistency (leftovers again!)
Sesame seeds: white leftover icing with a tiny bit of leftover bun color

Step 6: Frost frost frost frost! For all flooding and outline I used a Wilton tip #2 along with a coupler. With the exception of the lettuce with I used Wilton tip #69. For the texture on the burger I simple swirled the frosting with a paint safe food brush. And then “smoothed” black lines to make the grill marks with a brush as well. For the tomato I outlined the cookie in the darker shade piping icing, filled with a 15 second icing then piped a little of the outline icing inside and swirled with a toothpick. Once dried I piped the little yellow seeds on.

Oh man. That was a mouth full! Did you get it all? For being so simple it took a lot of words – but I think I covered every step. But don’t let the long instructions scare you. These were SO much fun to make. And the designs are really simple, as I said about I think this is a perfect begin project. Happy grilling!

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Mama Bear Panda Cupcakes Fri, 12 May 2017 19:25:48 +0000 Mama Bear Panda Cupcakes

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted some Fondant Flower Mother’s Day Cookies, and now today I’m back to share these mama bear panda cupcakes. My mom has always love pandas. Growing up she had a whole collection of them, recently my daughter has started her own panda collection. So we’ve been enjoying lots of panda-y things which inspired me to make some panda cupcakes for Mother’s Day – after all there’s a mama bear inside of all of us!

I should probably also mention that my mama bear lives across the world from me. So because I’m just that nice of a daughter I not only baked her these treats, but I’ll eat them for her as well. Your welcome mom! I mean think of how much extra walking you would have to do for these babies. Whew – glad I can be of assistance!

Mama Bear Panda Cupcakes

Hopefully you’re not across the world from your mama and you can make her some of these beary cute little treats. Better yet grab the kiddos and make some pandas with them. Would you believe these pandas were made with only TWO cutters. Yep, two I promise. And one of for the head meaning all the rest is made with one single cutter. Eek! I love it. Let’s get started.

First you’re going to want to bake up your favorite cupcakes and make a batch of buttercream. (for these cupcakes a half batch of my buttercream would be enough) Next frost the cupcakes in a flat cinnamon roll swirl using a large round 2A frosting tip. (click here for more info) When your done frosting the cupcakes set the frosting bag aside you’ll need it to assemble the little bears.

Mama Bear Panda Cupcakes

You’ll need a few typical fondant tools and a few other decorating items.

fondant rolling pin
3in circle cutter
small oval cutter
food safe paint brush
candy eyes
pink, black, and white fondant (you will need a much larger portion of white fondant)
black or grey sanding sugar

Mama Bear Panda Cupcakes

Step 1: Roll out black fondant and cut 5 small ovals per panda cupcake. (2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 nose) Using the pieces you just cut roll up one oval for each panda into a small tic tac shaped ball for the bear’s noses. Cutting them out first keeps them all nice an even. Using the food safe paint brush, very lightly brush the ear and eye pieces with water (not too much!). Then quickly cover with sanding sugar and set aside. these will need to dry before using them. Of course you can skip the sanding sugar if you don’t want that shimmery furry look.

Step 2: Roll out the light pink fondant and cut 2 ovals per panda for their cheeks. Using a DRY food safe brush cover in edible pearl dust. (also optional) Set aside.

Step 3: Roll out white fondant and cut into 3in circles. As fondant is normally a little soft after being worked with you will want to let these sit for about 20 minutes before transferring to the cupcakes. (they will bend out of shape if not)

Mama Bear Panda Cupcakes

Now to pull those panda’s together!

Step 4: Flatten and smooth the cupcakes a little more by gently turning upside down over a paper towel. Use the paper towel to smooth in the tail.

Step 5: Gently lay the white fondant circle over the cupcake frosting. Gently smooth the fondant on the icing using the palm of your hand.

Step 6: Using the same small oval cutter cut out a small bit of the cheeks at opposite angles so the eyes can slide right into the cheeks. Also grab that leftover piping bag from frosting the cupcakes and add two dots of buttercream where the ears need to go. You can also “glue” on a ball on fondant to hold them up, or just stick them under the fondant.

Step 7: Using just a tiny bit of buttercream or water, glue the eyeballs on top of the black portion of the eyes. Glue the nose on to the face. Before placing the ears you will need to trim a tiny bit off to make the edge flat, keep the trimming that is now your mouth!

Now you can leave your sweet little pandas just as they are, or add some bling! I chose to add some little pearl sprinkles, pink pearls balls of fondant, and little collars made from the scrap bits of pink! I also made a few bows using the same oval but pressing the center in with the paint brush end.

Aren’t these guys just so cute! You just want to….eat their head off!

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Fondant Flower Cookies For Mother’s Day! Thu, 11 May 2017 21:53:22 +0000 Fondant Cookie Tutorial

Every once in awhile, there comes a time where I have to throw in a mushy serious post. I mean it can’t always be those awesome puns and sprinkles you just love from me can it? Sometimes we have to get right down into life, as I see it. Yes, believe it or not my thoughts do expand past cookies and cakes (generally straight to the pile of dishes I’ve made). Mother’s Day is definatly one of those times. Because the older I get, and the more miles I put on my own mom card, the more I realize just how important mothers, particularly my own mother is.

Mamahood is, well rough, and good lord chaotic, and yet the most precious gift I’ve ever been given. As mamas we’re expected to do 40 different jobs all at once all while keeping tiny humans alive and hopefully happy. We’re most often the cleaning lady, the nurse, the cook, the preacher, the teacher, and the counselor amongst others. There are days where I literally question if I can handle another day. There are times where those big sweet eyes look up at me and I just don’t have the right answer. But no matter just how crazy it gets there are always those amazing moments that snap me right back into my blessed reality. Sometimes it’s the pure inocent giggle of the baby, sometimes it’s a little hug before school, a sweet word of encouragement, a report card, or even a doodled up crayon picture which may or may not look like a toilet. (mama tip: always ask for them to explain their picture) It’s in those little moments when your mama heart feels like it’s going to burst into a million pieces it’s so full, you can’t hardly hold back the happy tears, and you don’t even really understand why.

Fondant Cookie Tutorial

Then I look back and think wow, my mom did all this. All these thoughts, all this chaos, all this LAUNDRY. My mama did all this, and more, and never seemed to flinch. I can’t help but want to crawl into her head and hear all of her thoughts as our little lives passed by her eyes. She gave her all when it came to raising us, yet I know the biggest gift I could ever give in return is to return that same favor to my own kiddos. Just incase I don’t say it enough, thanks mom!

And with all that said, we’ll make our way right back to the cookies! Although I strongly encourage you to go tell your mama just how much your appreciate her, it never hurts to take cookies! For these cookies I really wanted decorate them with fondant, something I don’t do enough! The stripes are so easy to make yet bring such an impact, and the flowers are super duper simple.

Fondant Cookie Tutorial

Here is a look at the tools I used. Remember as always you don’t have to have exactly what I have, make adjustments to are whats in your own kitchen.

egg carton (to shape flowers)
fondant rolling pin with guides
food safe paint brush
circle cutter (use the same you baked the cookies with OR one small step bigger)
flower cutter
leaf cutter
rollling cutter
parchment paper (not shown)

Fondant Cookie Tutorial

You can chose whatever colors you would like of the fondant of course! Here is what I chose. I colored these with the Wilton color right system. Isn’t this such a pretty combo? I LOVE grey.

Fondant Cookie Tutorial

First of course you will want to bake some cookies. If you’re in need of a great recipe you can try out mine here.

Now let’s start with some flowers!

Step 1: Working with one color at a time roll out the fondant to a thin consistency. I used Wilton’s small rolling pin and used the smallest pink guides. Cut out the flowers with the flower cutter and then removed excess fondant from around the flowers. If you just worked your fondant and it’s soft I recommend letting the cut flowers sit for 15-20 minutes before moving on to forming. This will let them dry up just a bit and become easier to work with. You can move on to rolling out and cutting the next color while you wait.

Step 2: Gently make a folding motion with the flower, almost in half, then roll/pinch up the two sides. You will have what looks kind of like a bud with two petals in the middle. This is not an exact science, play around until you’ve got the look you like.

Step 3: Next grab another flower and use a straw or the end of your paint brush to poke a hole in the center. Brush just a tiny bit of water near the center of the flower and then push the stem of the flower center you made through this hole so it’s layered underneath. Gently press together.

Fondant Cookie Tutorial

Step 4:Lay each flower in a egg carton or flower drying tray to help mold the flower. Let them dry for at least an hour.

Step 5: If you would like leaves now is a great time to cut them. After cutting them I gently folded them in half and gave them a little curve. Then let them dry with the flowers.

Fondant Cookie Tutorial

Step 5: On parchments paper, roll out equal amounts of two colors for your stripes. Again, if they are still soft from being worked and colored let them sit for 15-20 minutes to stiffen before cutting. Take the rolling cutter and cut stripes up and down the two colors.

Step 6: Begin to lay the stripes beside each other alternating colors. Once your area is big enough very gently roll with the fondant rolling pin just to “press them together.”

Step 7: Use the same cookie cutter to cut the striped fondant into a circle. Very gently flip the circle onto your hands using the parchment paper. Gently swipe with a little water and place on the cookie.

Step 8: Use your food safe brush and a little water to glue on any flowers you have made to the stripes!

And that’s it! It really in like play-doh. And you now how much mom loves play-doh? ;)

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Starwars Galaxy Bark Thu, 04 May 2017 17:07:14 +0000 Star Wars Galaxy Bark

I’ve never really been a girl to reason with sprinkles…consider me converted.

It’s that day of year where all the Star Wars fans come out to play. I’ll be honest, I am not exactly one of those people. Maybe that’s because the only Star Wars film I’ve ever seen was last year and I totally didn’t get it. But I did see that hilarious video of the mama with the Chewbacca mask, and I’m pretty sure I watched that a million times. So I’m half way there right?

I may not understand why giant blobs are bad guys or why one robot can talk and not the other (for real why?) but I love a good theme, and sprinkles, and chocolate. And my family happens to like Star Wars. So I was thinking about making something quick to share with them and what do you know shows up in my mail box by surprise? Green chocolate! That may say a little about my crazy life…family sends me green chocolate across the ocean. It’s not weird…

Star Wars Galaxy Bark

I wanted to try a little something different then just making bark and breaking it up. Turns out I have a lot of star cutters and I was happy to put them to use. If you don’t have many star cookie cutters or just want to keep it easy you can turn it into a regular bark instead. But if you really want the star look you can purchase an entire set of star cutters on amazon.

Ready to make some treats from another galaxy?

Star Wars Galaxy Bark

Here’s what you going to need:

white melting chocolate
black candy coloring
green candy coloring
green melting chocolate wafers
grey melting chocolate wafers
black melting chocolate wafers

piping bags or ziplock bags
parchment paper
star cutters
cookie sheet

Step 1: Very lightly grease the edges of the star cutters with shortening. I like to use a food safe paint brush so I can get the tips. Just a tiny bit is needed. Lay the star cutters out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Star Wars Galaxy Bark

Step 2: Break chocolate into small pieces and divide into separate bowls and microwave just until the chocolate is almost melted. You will be able to see the shapes still but once stirred they melt down. It will continue to melt for a few moments as you stir You don’t want to over melt your chocolate or it will begin to harden and burn.

Star Wars Galaxy Bark

Step 3: As soon as the chocolate comes out color the chocolates with candy coloring IF you need to. If you are using pre-colored chocolate wafers you can skip this part but you will want to add about 1/4 tsp of shortening per had fun of wafers to thin is out.

Star Wars Galaxy Bark

Step 4: Working quickly, pour the chocolates into uncut piping bags and twist shut. Cut the tip of the first bag and begin to quickly and random pipe chocolate into the stars. After each bag is empty take a toothpick and stir up the chocolate just a bit to create a galaxy effect, gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to get the chocolate to smooth and even out. Sprinkle on sprinkles and chill in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. If you see any chocolate that has leaked out take a knife and trim around the edge of the cutter. Then pop the chocolate stars out!

And now you have treats to share with your galaxy!