f3Oakland’s “Art & Taxes” event recap!

Blog, oh hey!  I’m just gonna lay it out there, I’m super addicted to my friend’s building events.  SO ecclectic and fun!!  I have previously posted a few recaps about f3 events at the Cotton Mill Studios, should you want to check them out:



This past event was themed “Art & Taxes”, I’m guessing mostly because it was so close to Tax Day.  I made a few sewn stationery items that looked like lined grade school paper and yellow legal pads.  I also brought some jewelry, scarves AND amazing treats since we usually kill it during the later hours of the event when folks are peckish.  What can we say, we know our audience!  Lexi had awesome dino hoodies on hand, lumberjack and narwhal totes, a cloud mobile that is adorbs and stuffed whales and narwhals.  The Meck brought amazing jewelry too!   Sold a little jewelry, sold some stationery – but killed on treats.  Like, $100 on just treats alone.  Word.

As usual, there was no shortage of deliciousness that was put out on the delectables table.  The food, oh, the food – there was such a spread.  I made Madelines, triple chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies, and Black Magic chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla Bean buttercream icing.  My mom made (yes, my mom) made Lemon Tea Bread, the Meck made the America’s Test Kitchen peanut butter cookies, and Lexi made gingersnaps, a gingersnap sandwich cookie with lemon cream cheese filling, lemon mini cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and gluten free dark chocolate brownies with hazelnuts.  Yeah, you could say we all like to bake or something.

After the event got started, it was a little slow.  Then a band member from Mad Noise walked in and asked if they could do a 2 song set in the studio, and I said hell yes.  So if you scroll through, you will see a photo of them captivating the audience we had in the loft at that point.  They were literally amazing.  Such talent!

Can’t wait for the next event, and hope you can come too!

Neapolitan Cake, & my Mom’s birthday

Verbatim.  Me: Mom, what we should serve for your birthday, cake, pie, something else?  Mom: Cake.  Specifically cupcakes.  Me: What flavor do you want for these cupcakes?  Mom: Oh I don’t know…

And I said (in my head) WE WILL HAVE ALL THE FLAVORS!  And, Neapolitan cake was to be made.  I know I am not the first person to attempt colored or layered cakes, so this is not new.  But, I have to say it turned out cute enough that I wanted to show it off.  And, yes, yes you can do it too.

Starting off with 3 cake batters, Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla, I made an 8″ round of each.  I had SO much leftover batter that I thought I’d attempt the cupcakes as well, since they were specifically requested.  During their cooling, I made a Vanilla Bean Buttercream, as well as a Strawberry Buttercream, and a Milk Chocolate frosting.  I’m such an overachiever.

From the photos of the cake you can see that I layered the chocolate on the bottom, put down some of the Vanilla Bean Buttercream, then layered the Vanilla, put down some of the Strawberry Buttercream, and placed the Strawberry layer on top, and covered the entire thing in the Milk Chocolate frosting.  The assembled cake then went into the fridge while I started on the cooled cupcakes.

In my humble opinion, the candies you see on the tops of the cupcakes were proportionally too big.  I searched high and low for the old school Brach’s Neapolitan candies, they are the perfect square shape and I would have used those to decorate the cake and cupcakes.  Couldn’t find them to save my life – gone are the days of the Brach’s candy dispenser displays at grocery and drug stores.  Le sigh.  So, in a crazy what-are-the-odds kind of day, while with my daughter at Michael’s we spied the old school Neapolitan candy bars!!  Snapped up 4, and took home to cut up.  I knew I needed a piece to top the cupcakes, but couldn’t decide how to decorate the cake.  I had a ton of Strawberry Buttercream, but not as much Vanilla Bean or Milk Chocolate frosting left to use.  So, we came up with what you see in the pics below – I think it turned out super cute.  I failed to get a pic of the inside of the cupcakes, but it was exactly how it should be, as I had layered each type of batter on top of another.  They all tasted sublime too – a fresh Strawberry Buttercream is divine, by the way.  You should definitely try it out.  Even for a chocoholic like myself it warranted multiple tastings right out of the mixer bowl!!!

Happy Halloween!

Yay!  Halloween is finally here!  The oldest daughter’s class party is today, we volunteered  to bring cupcakes for the 30 kids plus adults.  We did the same last year, and she had made marzipan pumpkins to go on top of them.  She even put veins in them to make them realistic!  So I asked her, “what ideas do you have for these cupcakes?”  She really had to think about it.  She definitely wanted both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for the class – because not everyone likes one or the other.  (Of course!)  Eventually she landed on making creepy hands out of marzipan, that would poke out of the cakes.  I took it a step further and told her that Milano cookies are the shape of a tombstone, so we ran with that.  I made some gray frosting, and dipped that into ground up chocolate graham crackers for dirt.  Then I piped RIP onto the cookie, and placed it on the cupcake, and for the final touch she placed the hand(s).  I think they were amazing!!

Another birthday

Two posts in one day??  Blogger, oh hey!  To tell the truth, it’s raining today and the youngest is actually napping, so here we are.  This post is for a May birthday, my oldest’s 8th.  She wanted a brownie cake, so with a 9×13″ pan this is what she came up with.  She loves the San Jose Sharks, so teal frosting had to be on the cake somewhere.  She also had to have the blue sparkly number 8 candle.  I found the pink marshmallows too cute to pass up, so we had to have them. She said they looked like flowers to her, and then told me that’s how she wanted to decorate her cake.  She really did most of the work.  So, viola!  The brownie cake was for the kids party, the cupcakes were for the family party the following day.  That’s how we do.  :0)

1st Birthday!

It happened.  Too quickly.  She turned one… so the party was had!  I made mini cupcakes and regular cupcakes with Mother’s Animal Cookies on top, and piped a little “R” with some leftover teal I’ve had in the fridge (and can’t seem to use up!).  It was a small party with somewhat of an animal theme.  She had her first cake, followed promptly by a bath, LOL.  Would you believe I couldn’t find more than four boxes of Animal Crackers?!!  I mean, why on earth couldn’t I find more than that?  Those were staples back in the day; I guess times change.  The original idea was that those would be the favors, but instead they just ended up being decor.  Looking back at the photos, I think I would change using the pink and white iced cookies for actual Animal Crackers, solely because the Animal Crackers have MUCH better definition and are easily recognizable.  Then I’d try to find some pink and white giraffe liners or something like that to go with it.  With an Animal Cookie you kind of go, “what is this animal is this?” a lot.  There’s always next time!

How cute is the party dress and shoes??

Hello world!

Blog, oh hey!  Finally able to sit down and actually create a little blogspot for myself!  I just downloaded a few photos of a recent event I baked goodies for, my youngest brother in-law’s engagement party in Thousand Oaks, CA.  I made them three delicious and “different” cupcakes, as well as a 6″ round engagement cake.  I think his favorite was the peach bourbon cupcake, hers was the Spanish saffron and Madagascar Vanilla cupcake.  Super yum, and won the crowd over with the table tent menu I made to go with them!  See the photos, the cupcakes turned out cute and were fun to make with a little help, from my 8 year old.  🙂


The left photo: Spanish saffron and Madagascar vanilla cake with rosewater buttercream, pink sugar and pistachio bits.

The middle photo: Fresh peach and Bulliet bourbon cake with peach bourbon frosting, and a marzipan peach.

The right photo: Black chocolate cake with Madagascar vanilla bean frosting, and a fondant ring.

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