wedding baking adventures

in the past couple of years, i’ve actually made cupcakes (and a cake) for a few different weddings.  it first started with my friend, tammy when we made cupcakes and a cake for her future sister in law’s wedding.

Kat's wedding 3

we made over 160 cupcakes and a 9 inch rose case. half the cupcakes were vanilla/white cupcakes and there other half were one of my favorites, oreo cupcakes. they were all topped with vanilla bean american buttercream. tammy also found the super cute flower decorations on etsy. they really dressed up the cupcakes to make them perfect for kat’s black/white themed wedding.

Kat's wedding 2

the cake was a white cake also with vanilla bean buttercream. we used the rose frosting technique that i learned on i am baker to decorate and frost the cake. for our first attempt, we thought it turned out pretty good. yay! it was made even better with the ‘love’ topper that they added.

Kat's wedding 1

i also made cupcakes for my dear friends, david and patrick’s wedding. i made 9 dozen cupcakes.

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half were peanut butter cup chocolate cupcakes (these chocolate cupcakes with this fluffy peanut butter frosting).

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zucchini bread

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sometimes during the summer, we get a variety of free vegetables from the agriculture department on campus (i think that’s where it comes from?).  there is usually zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, corn, etc.  it is amazing!

zucchini bread 1

i usually enjoy zucchini sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic with some salt and pepper – the perfect summer side dish.  but i was instead craving something sweet, and decided to make some zucchini bread with my free zucchini.

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a quick google search directed me to what sounded like the best zucchini bread in the world from smitten kitchen.  i love smitten kitchen, so i was confident that it would be a winner.

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of course, the recipe was absolutely perfect and resulted in delicious zucchini bread.  i just love all of the warm spices that are highlighted in this quick bread, plus aren’t the little green specks just beautiful.  love it!

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chocolate snack cake with biscoff buttercream

i started this blog in august 2010, just kind of on a whim.  i just got my beloved kitchenaid and i wanted a way to chronicle the different recipes i had been trying.  so i started miki’s kitchen.  well actually it started off as my baking adventures, then miki’s kitchen adventures, and finally it’s now miki’s kitchen.  either way, having a blog has been so much fun.  though keeping up with it can be hard work, i definitely find it enjoyable and it’s been awesome connecting with other blogs/bloggers.  i follow many of them on facebook which is a great way to get updates on new posts and hear about some of their favorite blogs too.

one of the blogs that i started following a while back is cozycakes cottage.  danielle, the creator and writer of cozycakes cottage does an awesome job staying active on her facebook page, always posting great recipes and absolutely adorable pictures of tea cups and delicious desserts.  i recently had a chance to try out one of the recipes she posted, chocolate snack cake with biscoff buttercream – and let me tell you, was it good!

the chocolate snack cake was super easy and came together quickly.  plus i loved the fact that this recipe made just a 8×8 pan of cake – rather than a full 9×13.  perfect when you need to satisfy a chocolate craving and don’t want to feel totally guilty making a big ol’ cake.

plus the biscoff buttercream is to die for.  it’s made from biscoff spread, which is made from biscoff biscuits.  they are cinnamon flavored cookies that are usually passed out as snacks on airplanes.  i love biscoff cookies and i absolutely love biscoff spread.

i made this cake to bring to our friends’ place for brunch, along with the gingerbread rice krispies treats i posted last week.  although my snack cake didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as danielle’s it was still yummy and a hit at brunch.

the original recipe for the snack cake was written for a hand mixer, but i don’t have one.  so i adapted it for my kitchenaid.  start by adding the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and instant coffee (i used instant espresso) to the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment).

mix it all up and then form 3 wells.

now add the oil in one well, the vinegar in the next one and the vanilla in the last one.

now carefully pour the water over everything.

next, mix all the ingredients together.

pour the batter into a greased 8×8 baking pan.

bake the snack cake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F.

once the cake is done, you can actually eat it as is or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.  but to make it extra special top it with some buttercream.  you can use the biscoff one we are about to make or how about some peanut butter buttercream or maybe some peppermint buttercream?  eeek, so many possibilities!  but for this biscoff buttercream, mix the butter and biscoff spread together.

like so…

then add the powdered sugar.

mix until the buttercream is nice and fluffy.

then spread the biscoff buttercream on the cooled snack cake.

ta da!

i thought the sprinkles on danielle’s snack cake were just too cute, so i did the same.

time to dig in!!!

for the recipe, please visit cozycakes cottage (and check out the rest of her blog too!  it’s amazing!)

cake pops

a while back, i made some red velvet cake balls.  they tasted really good but i did think the texture of cake balls is kind of weird.  still people love them and my colleague requested that i make cake pops for her farewell party.  of course i said yes and i was excited to see if it would be possible to improve upon the cake ball recipe i had used prior.

i did some research and found all kinds of great tips on how to make cake balls or pops – they were all really helpful!  so i set out and made some strawberry cake pops with chocolate and vanilla candy coating.

and it was a success!  i really liked the combination of strawberry and chocolate – almost reminded me of a chocolate covered strawberry.  yum!

to make the cake pops, you first need to bake a cake.  i just used cake mix because it’s so much easier and i don’t actually have a strawberry cake recipe.  i think using cake mix when making cake pops is nice shortcut because there are already quite a few steps involved in making the actual cake pops.  also i like to bake the cake a day ahead of time to help break up the process and give the cake adequate time to cool.

once the cake is completely cool, cut up the cake and put about a 1/3 of it into the bowl of a food processor.  pulse a few times to break up the cake into crumbs.  transfer the crumbs to a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the cake.  you could also just use your hands to turn the cake into crumbs but i really liked that the food processor make finer, even crumbs.

  

now it’s time to add the frosting.  i used store bought strawberry frosting to up the strawberry flavor but i’m sure vanilla frosting would work just fine too.  you could also use homemade frosting but that just seems like way too much work for such a small amount of frosting.

i added about 1/2 the can of frosting.  the original recipe that i used for cake balls used the whole can.  but when i did some research online i found that it’s actually better to use less.  about 1/2 a can was enough to bind the crumbs together while keeping it from being too sweet.  perfecto!  then mix, mix, mix until the frosting and crumbs are thoroughly combined.

  

then using a small cookie scoop, roll out balls of the cake/frosting mixture.  you should end up with between 45-50 balls.

to turn these cake balls into cake pops, melt a little bit of the chocolate coating and dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the chocolate.

insert the stick about halfway into the cake ball.  this will help the keep the cake ball on the stick.

repeat with the rest of the cake balls.

the cake pops have to chill for a bit before covering them with almond bark.  so pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  once they are chilled, heat up more almond bark in the microwave (just follow in the instructions on the package).  dip the cake pop into the melted almond bark.

just make sure to cover the entire cake pop with almond bark – otherwise the cake/frosting mixture may leak out which would not be good.  eeek!  also i kind of spin around the cake pop and gently tapped the cake pop on the side of the bowl to get off some of the excess melted almond bark.  just be sure to do this gently – otherwise the pop might fall off the stick and that really would not be good.

then you can leave them plain or decorate with with sprinkles.  i like sprinkles, so of course i poured a ton of sprinkles on each cake pop  – colorful and chocolate ones.  🙂  oh and i found the most amazing idea online.  use your colander as a cake pop stand – no need to spend extra money to buy those specialty cake stands.  genius!

once the almond bark hardens the cake pop is done.  i then wrapped each cake pop individually using these little treat bags i found online and tied it up with some curling ribbon.

all ready!

p.s. here is an awesome, super duper helpful FAQ and troubleshooting guide for cake pops.  be sure to check it out if you plan on making cake pops.  believe me, it will save you from a ton of headaches.

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rainbow cake

so you may be wondering, what kind of cake did we cover with our homemade fondant.  we made a RAINBOW cake!!!

how fun is that?!?!?  i’ve seen this on quite a few other blogs but my favorite is i am baker.  check out her rainbow cake. simply adorable!  it’s really just white cake with a bit of food coloring (between making the fondant and cake, i felt like i was in a sea of food coloring and sugar all day, haha).  but i love the vibrant colors and it’s just so cute.  it totally looks like a little kid cake, actually my boyfriend described it as a cake for kindergarteners but still tammy and i loved it!  though i guess sometimes we do act like 5 year olds.  ooops!  🙂

       

p.s. this ended up being a whole lot of cake.  so unless you’re making this for a party i would suggest maybe using 2 boxes of cake mix instead of 3 like we did.  oh well lesson learned. 

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