Category Archives: Cake and Cookie Decorating Ideas

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

Hi!  I have moved.  You can find this post at  🙂

Menu Plan Monday – April 5, 2010

I am quite excited to be hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week.  The theme this week is coconut, so join in with your favorite coconut love!

We do like our coconut around here.  We use it as a replacement for heavy cream (think whipped topping for pie, and in ice “cream”), coconut yogurt, and coconut “cream cheese“.   I have even made dairy free cream cheese cake pops from the coconut cream cheese.  I also like to use the coconut water for making coconut water kefir, and as a natural sports drink.  I use the oil for cooking when I am doing high temperature cooking and as a shortening replacement (replace shortening with 1/3rd to 1/4th less coconut oil than the amount of shortening called for in the recipe).  All in all coconut is one amazing food that can be used for sweet and savory dishes, lends a creaminess to the dairy free recipes, a great source of MCFAs, and is very tasty to boot!

If you would like to host a week of the Gluten Free Menu Swap, drop Cheryl a line.  She would love to hear from you!

For more menu inspirations, visit Laura for Menu Plan Monday.

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Coconut

Monday:  Boy Scouts/Girl Scout Leader meeting

Ham and Sweet Potato Casserole, salad

Tuesday: mommy volunteer in school library/Piano lessons

Slow Cooker Bean Soup (with the ham bone from Easter), blender corn bread, salad

Wednesday:  My youngest girl’s birthday!!/little girl dance lessons/youth group/youth group parents meeting

Birthday girl choice (she hasn’t picked yet, but I am sure hot dogs, strawberries, and French fries with be on the menu).

Thursday: After school newspaper club/Caddy Girl Scout meeting

The Girl Scouts are making a dinner for their badge tonight, so hubby, son and little daughter are having sandwiches and salad night.

Friday: half-day of school for the kiddos

Baked Teriyaki Chicken, quinoa, salad

Saturday: Big girl dance lessons/Girl Scout Program Aide Training

Sunday: Big girl and mommy teach Sunday school

What is on everyone else’s plate this week:

First up is Wendy from Celiacs in the House.  It’s Spring Break around their house this week.  The GF egg rolls look amazing, as do the enchiladsa with green sauce, pizza night and grilled chicken.  Sounds like great Spring Break food to me!  Let us know how the GF wraps taste and work out, Wendy, please, pretty please??

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness loves to use young coconut for it’s water and the soft inner “meat” she blends into coconut milk.  She is making a Chai breakfast cake to celebrate the theme (swoon!) which I hope she posts the recipe for (hint, hint).  She has a tasty menu planned which includes, Quinoa Italians, Beef Curry (with coconut and cauliflower), Nightshade stew and Orange halibut.

Scrumptious at In My Box, has a great gluten free and vegan menu this week, including breakfast ideas (I have to try the Quinoa Breakfast Brownies!).  She also has a recipe for a version of the Magical Loaf Studio recipe (you have to try the studio, I have never had a bad version from it.  Super easy and yummy.)  from the Vegan Lunch Box.  Also on the menu this week are California Minestrone, Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, Fennel and Kale Pasta and lots of yummy veggie sides (and lots of recipe links, too!).  Her coconut is showing up in Coconut-Orange Macaroons and her Green Smoothie.

Heather at Celiac Family is not a big fan of shredded coconut, but is using coconut milk as a dairy replacement more often.  She has used coconut milk in Chicken Tikka Masala and Chocolate Creme Brulee (both sound AMAZING to me!  She has recipe links for those recipes on her post, too).  On her menu is pupusas (I want to make those soon), salmon with balsamic glaze, and garlic shrimp pasta.   Heather will be hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap next week with the theme ingredient of eggs, so be sure to join in on the fun!

Thanks to everyone who joined in the swap.  You guys are an inspiration!

Winter Olympic Cupcakes & Menu Plan Monday – March 8, 2010

So, we got through the illness last week, then cleaned and cleaned anything that may have had nasty, disgusting germs on it.  By the time Friday rolled around, we were ready to go for my older daughter’s delayed birthday party.  We celebrated with family and Princess Bride cupcakes on her actual birthday, but she wanted something different to have with friends.  Her choice?  Winter olympic cupcakes.

Yep.  Those are snowboards, skis, ice skates, and olympic rings made from homemade fondant on half gluten and dairy free vanilla and half chocolate cupcakes.  They were a lot of fun to make for my sweetie.

*     *     *     *     *

Head over to Laura’s for Menu Plan Monday.  The Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted this week by Asparagus Thin.  She has picked Red Carpet Meals as her theme.  Fun!  but…  I’m afraid the closest I’m getting to anything “Red Carpet” style is if juice gets spilled this week.

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

Monday:  Boy Scouts/Mommy teaches gluten and dairy free class my class was cancled

Beef Empanadas, salad, steamed mixed veggies

Tuesday:  mom volunteer in school library/Piano lessons

Maple chicken and salad

Wednesday:  dance class/youth group

Black Bean Soup, blender corn bread, raw broccoli/cauliflower mix

Thursday:  Caddette Girl Scouts

To be determined later…  Yep, total cop out on the menu plan  ;o)

Friday:  1st Grade Field trip (Yay!!)

To be determined later…  SPRING BREAK IS STARTING!!  WOO!!

Princess Bride cupcakes & Menu Plan Monday – January 18, 2010

Hi!  I have moved.  You can find this post at

Birthday number SIX! (Animal of the Muppets cupcakes)


My littlest sweet-pea turned six yesterday and asked for Animal (from the Muppets) cupcakes.  They turned out alright, however I thought they mostly looked like Elmo with a uni-brow and teeth…  After watching some Muppets after dinner (we have seasons 1-3!), I realized  that Animal’s nose was shaped wrong and he should have an orange lower lip by his teeth.  Oops!  Well, close enough when it’s made of chocolate cake!  The important thing was that my birthday girl liked them and they were tasty.


Happy birthday, hunny-bear!  Love you, ya little Wild-Thing!


C is for cupcake that’s good enough for me!


Menu Plan Monday – January 19, 2009


dscf0235My big girl turned eleven yesterday.  Happy Birthday, honey!  Later this week she and some friends are heading over to Feed My Starving Children to celebrate her birthday by making some meal bags.  She loves going there and helping out.  If you ever get an opportunity to help with one of the assembly dates, you should go.  It’s a lot of fun and a great cause!  She is growing into quite the amazing young lady.




This year she asked for a star shaped pizza and a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting covered with snowflakes and stars.  I made snowflakes and stars out of the base recipe of royal icing a couple of days ahead, peeled the dried snowflakes off the waxed paper (do this carefully!  They are fragile!) and popped them on the cake.  Easy-peasy, but looks fancy.  No where near as difficult as Yoda.  It was a very grownup, almost normal, cake.  …sigh…  They grow up pretty fast, huh?  Maybe I can lure her back to crazy cakes with the cupcake book I got for Christmas?  



This week is a strange one with various days off from school, a class I am teaching, the Feed My Starving Children event, and various other things that normally don’t end up in the same week…  (Huh, wonder how that all came about?   Someone wasn’t checking the calendar too well, I think.  Hmmmm, must have been me!)  We also have gotten the menu for the week long fifth grade trip that is coming up in a couple of weeks, so my menu for the next couple of weeks will include fixing things similar to what is on that menu, then setting aside a portion to freeze for my daughter to bring with her.  That will spread out the preparation, my daughter gets to help with the planning and packing of her food (she needs to know how to take care of trips like this later on!) and will keep getting a week’s worth of food together done in a easy way that won’t impact the budget or my sanity.


For a crazy number of menus, head over to Laura’s Menu Plan Monday and see what will be on everyone else’s plate this week.  The Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted by Sea at the Book of Yum.  She has picked lentils as the ingredient of the week.  I love making dal with lentils(dahl, dhal, daal?? -a hold over from my vegan days) and papadams; that sounds like it might hit the spot for this weekend.  There are also some lentil based pastas that the kids like.  However, the easiest way we like to eat lentils around here is by sprouting them.  You do it in much the same way as mung bean sprouts, and they are so tasty on salads and sandwiches.  


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting  Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday










Monday:  MLK day/Kids off from school/sledding with friends for big girl/Boy Scout Walagazu practice/mom prep for upcoming class 

    Maple Chili Boneless Pork Chops, mixed veggies, and salad


Tuesday:  Mom prep for upcoming class/big girl orthodontist apt./Piano lessons

    Turkey and Squash Soup, corn bread and salad

Wednesday:  Mom volunteer in elementary school library/mom teach GFCF cooking class/big girl drama club

    Hamburgers, salad and tater tots (Daddy’s cooking!!)


Thursday:  Mom volunteer in Kindergarten class/Birthday party at Feed My Starving Children

    Garlic Dijon Chicken, salad


Friday:  Mom Bible Study/ONLY the girls are off from school today!

    I’m still up in the air on this meal…


Also to do this week:  Mommy needs to get some typing hours in (gotta bring home the gluten free bacon!), pick up the new kid glasses when they come in, work some more on linking recipes to the recipe page of the blog, try to spend some time on the big girl’s sweater (probably on the weekend – it is almost done, just the yoke to knit, ends to weave in and blocking), figure out a walking training schedule that is compatible with the 3 day walk and my pathetic knees and my usual sloth-like state and get moving on it…

Thirteen you are… (Yoda Cake)

It’s not official yet, but tonight is the birthday party for my very-soon-to-be thirteen year old.  (…sigh…)  And, yes, instead of a Millennium Falcon cake (all so symmetrical and requiring no special sculpting

 skills!) my son went back to asking os so politely if he could have a Yoda cake.  I used the instructions here and here.   Thank you to Sandra of SoCake and ‘Schmish’ who not only figured out a how to make a Yoda cake, but posted instructions on the web!  Whew!


My Yoda is a gluten and dairy free, vanilla and chocolate marble cake with fudge style frosting between the layers and under the fondant.  The fondant is homemade marshmallow fondant.  The recipe I followed is here from What’s Cooking America.  I used organic palm oil shortening.  To get the brown colors I kneaded cocoa powder into the fondant, sprinkling on a bit of water as needed, until the desired color was reached.  Yoda’s head is a big krispy ball made from Erowen’s Crispy Brown Rice Cereal and covered in fondant with chocolate fondant creating the underlying bone structure…  Yeah, a bit weird, but tasty.


Happy Birthday!!  


Is it just me, or does Yoda look like Darth Mal without his skin?

                    “Alas, poor Yoda, I knew him well…”



You looking at me?

   “Come to the chocolate side of the force.”











Thirteen you are…

Friday, August 15, 2008

5 Comments $manage-tooltip$    

Saturday, August 16, 2008 – 10:36 AM
Oh…My….Goodness!!!  ONE AWESOME CAKE THAT IS!!!!       

Happy Birthday to a cool 13 year old!
Nice Job Mom!





Saturday, August 16, 2008 – 09:05 PM
Happy Birthday.  Happy Birthday.  We love your cake.  And I like your Lego Starwars.  (that’s from Max and Cameron)

Monday, August 18, 2008 – 01:37 AM
An amazing cake make you are, Angela.  WOW!  Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 – 10:52 PM
You truly never cease to amaze me!!! Wow…

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 – 06:45 PM
hey mom how about making some peanut butter dog bones for marty (our dog)

Impending DOOM – I mean, birthday cake.

So, while standing in line waiting to see the nifty Star Wars exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota, my son and I see a photo of Yoda (Yoda, you will always be Grover in my heart!) doing some sort of fancy Jedi leap.  My son turns to me and says, “Hey, I know what kind of birthday cake I want this year!”  (Gulp!)  Noticing the slight glazing of the eyes and my incoherent muttering about fondant he must of taken pity on me, because he changed his mind from Yoda to the Millennium Falcon.  Bless you, my son.  Of course, he is almost 13.  It could have been a ploy to get me to panic so that a Millennium Falcon cake would seem like, well, a piece of cake in comparison.  


Here are some cakes I found on the internet:  

   eHow, which tag-line says “How to do just about everything” has instructions on How to make a Millennium Falcon Cake…  So I guess their tag-line is true!  But not quite what I was looking for.


   Gizmodo has one made by Charm City Cakes that my son will NOT be getting, because, face it, I am the one making it.  But check it out!  It is amazing!  Just don’t let my son see it, ‘kay?


    Nor will he receive this cake featured on cause, ya know, I just don’t have the frosting power of the force and never went to Jedi cake decorating school.


This cake featured on the Great White Snark is more my speed (though not that big or I will be as big as the Millennium Falcon when done – mmmmm, frosting…).  If you have little geeky types running around your house, you have to check out this blog of geekdom snarkiness.  They have a Geeky Curiosity of the Week featuring some fabulous (or not so) geek-themed (supper hero, si-fi, etc.) birthday, baby shower, anniversary and wedding cakes.  Yes, wedding, as in, “Wow, you know what would really set the tone for our marriage?  A Jabba the Hutt cake.”  Yeah!  Nothing says “I love you” quite like Jabba…  















                                                                Look!  Our Christmas card photo is all set!




















The Ultimate Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Layer Cake

The Ultimate Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Layer Cake

I admit it, I am a cookbook and cooking magazine junkie, but I can stop any time I want to.

One of my favorites is Cook’s Illustrated.  The photos, the sketches, the tasty food.  And I completely get the obsessionmind-set that would cause someone to make 40 chickens until they found the perfect Lemon Chicken recipe.  But in my quest to not pick up more magazines (I could go to the library and check it out there, after all), I try to hold off until the “Best Recipes” edition of the year.  Then, that puppy is MINE!!

Okay, okay, just like my hubby you are probably saying, “What about the gluten?  What about the dairy?”  First, I would so rather alter a recipe for my starting point that someone worked really hard to make as perfection.  The spice balance is all there and, frankly, not everything in the would has gluten or dairy, so no worries.  The Ultimate Lemon Layer Cake (on the cover)  is a case in point.  With the lemon curd (Yum!) I simply substituted the butter for Earth Balance and the icing was already GFCF, though I did change the corn syrup to agave (corn syrup is not my favorite ingredient).  Reading what they were trying to accomplish with this recipe, I used a more spongy-type of gluten free cake recipe and altered that to get the lemon flavor throughout.  Super!  (You could use a gluten free cake mix as you starting point, add lemon zest to the batter, bake and follow the rest of the recipe if you wanted to cut out some of the steps.)  The lemon curd and icing are both keepers.  I like that the icing isn’t quite as stiff and over-sweet like seven minute frosting often is.  The lemon curd, I can’t even tell you how yummy it is!  I made this cake for my sister’s birthday.

If you don’t want to use a gluten free mix and would like the gluten free cake part of the recipe, the one I use is the vanilla or lemon gluten and dairy free cake in the my upcoming cake e-book.  You can find it on the “Classes & E-books” page the spring of 2010.

The Ultimate Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Layer Cake

Saturday, March 22, 2008

1 Comment $manage-tooltip$

Monday, March 24, 2008 – 08:59 PM
That cake looks amazing!

The trials of a teapot cake…

Today we celebrated my big girl’s birthday at home.  The big one-Oh!  Yep, she’s ten years old and growing up to be quite the lovely young lady with such a loving heart…

For her birthday she wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting shaped like a teapot.  Above is the photo of what I created for her.  (Angela’s note:  at least there will be when I can get my hubby to sort out the wire insanity by the computer so I can download the photo!  Isn’t the turtle shaped a little like a teapot?  Maybe not…)  If you look very closely, you will see some of the trouble I had.  I was feeling a bit lazy and didn’t want to make a batch of cutout dough for the handle and spout.  I had some experimental coconut shortbread dough in the fridge already made up, so I used that.  It turned out to be much to fragile of a cookie to make into pieces that large.  Notice the clear plastic knife I have holding up the spout.  The silly thing kept falling off.  At least I got a photo of it and my daughter saw it before it fell off too many times.  We finally just ate the spout and were done with it!  The cake was still tasty without the spout.

Note to self:  next time just make the right dough for the cookie pieces!!  Ugh!