Thanksgiving Cake

Today our church celebrated Thanksgiving a bit early with a big pot-luck style Thanksgiving dinner.  I honestly thought about bringing something not dessert, but I just kept coming back to cake.  I think by now most people expect me to bring a cake, and I am happy to do my part and not disappoint.

For this cake I wanted to experiment a bit. I purchased the Wilton checkerboard cake pan a while back, but I haven't had a chance to use it, so I thought this might be a good opportunity.  To make the checkerboard cake, you have to bake three layers, and I think I finally got the hang of it by the third layer! So, needless to say, my cake does not look like a checkerboard, but more like random areas of color, but that is okay. I think I will do better next time.

Since the cake was just a French Vanilla cake, and not very "Thanksgiving-y" I wanted to do something special for the frosting. I came across a recipe for a Caramel frosting, so I thought I would give that a go.  Unfortunately I missed the part about cooling before you whip, so it seized up on me. It still tasted good, so I thought it would work well for a filling instead of a frosting.  So in the end I used my stand-by almond buttercream, which is always a favorite and it all came together quite well.

The flower on this cake is piped in buttercream, re-using a technique that I used on an earlier cake for my daughter's birthday.  I used a tip #12 for this flower, piped dots and squashed them into a petal shape with the tip of one of my smaller spatulas.

The smaller flowers on the back sides were just pressure piped using tips 11 and 12. 

All told, I was pleased to see that our church has it's priorities straight... we had just about as many desserts as we had savory dishes... and it was all so very good!

Cookie Pops!

Cookie pops! Okay, I realize these are not cakes, but they still fall into the dessert category and I decorated them, so they still seem worthy of this blog. In fact, they represent a whole new adventure for me because I am going to start teaching a Cookie Blossom class in December.  In this class we will be creating bouquets of cookies that you can give as gifts or use as a centerpiece for you holiday party or really any party.

Alright, enough commercial... onto the cookies. I am sure these are not the most exciting cookies you have ever seen, but this is my first time playing with this kind of decorating technique, and really my first time playing with the Wilton Cookie Icing.  I am pretty happy with the designs considering I had no idea what I was doing!

The idea is that you drag a toothpick through the icing while it is still wet and you can make these pretty designs. It really is quite simple, but I had some trouble when I came to the edge of the frosting and it didn't come out as clean as I would like. Thankfully my family does not mind eating my practice cookies!

On a side note, this is my 50th blog post! I really hope you have enjoyed what I have done to date. Feedback is always appreciated.

Remember, dear readers, if you put "eat cake" at the top of your list of things to do today, at least you'll get one thing done!

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Sacramento, California, United States
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