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"the official family baker"

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Cake? Did She Say Cake? Who Doesn't Love Cake?

a slice of red velvet cake on a plate

In the winter of 2011 I decided to enroll in the Wilton Cake Decorating Program being offered at my local Michaels store. I had been baking for most of my life and other than using a knife to slap on the icing, I didn't really know anything more than that about actually decorating a cake. I felt it was about time I learned what I didn't know. It turns out there was a lot to it. Cake decorating is not for the weak handed, it takes a great deal of hand strength to squeeqe that frosting out through those little tiny tips that make all the different designs. If you have arthritis, like me, then be sure to have ice pak handy if you have a lot of decorating to do. There was so much more to it than I had ever expected. After the first course I continued on and took the flower making with gum paste courses and decorating level II, altogether 4 courses. My co-workers were thrilled because each week I had a new cake for them eat. I've taken those skills and applied them to my “Gingerbread Men” and all the cakes I've made since then. I couldn't just "slap the frosting on with a knife" now, even if I wanted to, I know better now and I've become my own worst critic, I see every flaw.

Cakes come in all shapes and sizes these days. When I was a kid there was no such thing as a cupcake, I'm still not quite sure what the point is. If someone thinks they're eating fewer calories by having a cupcake, they need to rethink they're plan. Most cupcakes have far more frosting stacked up on top than an average slice of cake ever will, and when I make cupcakes, I often fill them with pudding, or custard, just to make them interesting. I've also noticed that people will have seconds of cupcakes when they won't have a second slice of cake, to their mind's eye, the cupcake is smaller, so it couldn't possibly be that bad, not like a full piece of cake would be. But, they have become very trendy these days, and everyone seems to want them, so I bake them. On my “Special Occasions” page you can take at look a some cupcakes that I made and Riley's first ever cupcakes.

The other hot trend in cakes these days is the Red Velvet cake. Red Velvet cake is actually chocolcate cake with red food colouring added to it and buttermilk, oil and vinegar are used as the liquids. There are a few other differences, but those are essentially the key differences. It does make for a great tasting cake, and when paired with a cream cheese icing, the visual is quite impressive. The dark red cake in stark contrast to the bright white frosting, you don't need to do anything else to decorate it, it's really all it needs. I made my Canada Day Cake also on the “Specials Occasions” page using a red velvet receipe with a cream cheese frosting, the red and white combination was perfect for Canada Day.

Keep checking back here as I try out different recipes or discover something interesting that I think others might find useful in their pursuit of fun cakes to make. Cake was the first thing I ever baked, and my first love, so I will always find it to be my comfort zone. When I'm trying something new, it's almost always a new cake recipe, or shaped pan. I love shaped pans, they're so much fun to work with, and the site always has lots of ideas for multiple ways to use them. When I'm stuck for an idea, it's the first place I look.

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