Cake decorating

Spiderman Cake

spiderman cake
Last one week had been one of the busiest weeks of 2014 so far. Our little Ishaan is going to be 4 year old very soon. It feels so unreal!. It feels like yesterday I had posted about his birth! Our life has completely changed in these years. He has turned from a tiny infant to cranky toddler to a smart and very passionate boy that he is today. We feel so blessed to have him as part of our lives.

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This birthday has been very special to us. Probably this is the very first birthday when he understood a lot about birthday parties. I love birthday parties, especially little kids birthdays when it is a magical day for them and they feel so special. Ishaan started going to preschool last July. Few months after he joined the school, he attended many of his friends parties. That is when he started asking when will be his birthday. He was frustrated it was not coming soon enough!. In December, he started saying, “I have waited so long! how much more do I have to wait”. Sometimes he would ask every single day. By then, he had decided where he wants the party, what theme it would be and what kind of cake he wants.

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This was by far the biggest party we have arranged. A total of 60 people (including 24 kids) attended the party. We had to leave out some of our friends because we knew the venue could not hold more than that!. V thought we should order the cake from outside since it would be a lot of work to bake a big cake. But I had other plans. I had planned for this cake from last few months. I had shown different pictures of Spiderman cake to Ishaan and chosen one which he had liked, that would be easy to decorate. I knew the Spring break for the kid started this week and he would be home and that meant I would get little chunks of time to work on it. So I wanted something simple.

Although I initially wanted to choose a different cake, I finally chose my trusted chocolate cake recipe. I have prepared cakes with this recipe many times and every time the outcome was fantastic. So I did not look further. I wanted a different kind of icing though. I wanted to cut down the sweetness from the icing, but I still wanted the sturdiness of buttercream icing which makes it easier to give smooth finishing to the cake. So after a lot of researching, I decided to use cream cheese in the icing. I did not want to use whipped cream in the outer icing because I did not have a very good experience with it when I used it in jungle cake where it started melting down after a while. Cream cheese has a little salt in it which helps in cutting down the sweetness. Although I used a lot of sugar, it was not overpowering. The icing held up beautifully even after I kept it out at room temperature to smooth it out (It was not still completely smooth even after all that, but I thought it was ok). Around last month, I baked a small trial cake to make sure the chocolate frosting and cream cheese icing went well with the cake. I was totally happy with the taste and now I had to worry only about the look.
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Did I say the cake was a superhit at the party? It was gone in minutes.People wanted more helpings of the cake but nothing was left. I was surprised when I saw that not even crumbs were left!. V declared it was the tastiest birthday cake I have ever baked. The child was very happy with how it looked and tasted. We kept few of his spiderman toys around the cake for that extra spidy effect.
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I tripled all the measurements given in the chocolate cake recipe. Refrigerated the cake till it was completely cooled down. Every tier was then cut horizontally and brushed with sugar syrup from all sides and spread with a thick layer of chocolate icing (like a sandwich with two layers of cake with a layer of chocolate icing in between). Then a crumb coating of cream cheese icing was applied to each tier and refrigerated till the icing settled. Next day it was decorated.
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Sugar Syrup:
Mix about 1/4 cup water and 2 tbl spn confectioners sugar and microwave for few seconds. Mix a little vanilla extract. I had to make this syrup few times to get enough to brush entire cake.

Chocolate Icing :
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
4 tbl spn confectioners sugar
1 cup(1/2 pint) whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbl spn vanilla extract
1 tbl spn cocoa powder

Heat 1/2 cup whipping cream with chocolate chips. Mix till they melt. Keep aside till it cools down. Add vanilla extract, cocoa powder and mix.
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Make sure cream cheese is at room temperature. Beat it with sugar till it is smooth. Now add remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream and beat it. Pour chocolate mixture in it, a little at a time beating all the time. Beat till peaks form.
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Cream cheese frosting :
16oz cream cheese at room temperature
12 tbl spn (1 and 1/2 cups) butter at room temperature
1 tbl spn vanilla extract
6 tbl spn whole milk
3 cups confectioners sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese till they are well mixed. Now add the sugar (I sieve sugar to make sure there are no lumps)
Add all the remaining ingredients and beat till soft peaks form. Make sure cream cheese and butter are at room temperature.  If not, small pieces of butter/cheese remain in the icing. I had lot of trouble with these since I tried to rush.
I used the icing in that consistency for crumb coating. After that I added about a cup more of sugar to it so that it was not so runny.
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Storing and Transporting a tiered cake:
I own a plastic Wilton cake carrier that I bought many years ago. I use it very extensively and I love it. But the problem is, it is not tall enough to hold 3 tiered cakes. I could use it before I applied the icing. Once the decorations were done, I realized the cake would not fit in that carrier. I don’t like refrigerating the cake without cover. V searched all major craft stores for paper carrier boxes but nothing was available that would hold the cake. So he got a cardboard box.

I cut open the top of the box with a sharp knife. Then, I covered the entire inside of the box with aluminum foil. I did not want the cake to touch the sides in case it slid when we were carrying it. It was perfect size(luckily) to fit the cake. Then I covered the top with plastic wrap. It fit into my fridge perfectly and we could carry the cake without any concerns.
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M & M (Gems) Cake with Chocolate Buttercream


Which child does not like M&Ms (Gems)? I loved these as a kid and still love them – although, I cannot stand the ones with peanut butter!.  Ishaan became a fan when both set of grandparents pampered him with Gems, he continued his love for these chocolaty goodness after coming back. My parents sent some more with my brother last week. He gets some after his swimming class these days.

I have been thinking about this cake for a long time. I thought kids would love it. I did not want the cake to be too chocolaty. So I chose a basic yellow cake recipe which my family loves. The cake became a huge hit. Since many of you who saw the cake on FB asked for the recipe, here it is.

I wanted to make a chocolaty filling/icing to cover the cake. A simple chocolate frosting would have done the job, but buttercream gives such a nice finishing. So I prepared the following chocolate buttercream, it was not as sweet as buttercream because of the amount of cocoa used.

Ingredients for chocolate buttercream :
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tea spn vanilla extract
1/2 cup (approx) milk

Keep the butter at room temperature for few hours, so it becomes soft(not melted).
Mix butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract. Keep adding milk in small quantities until you get required consistency.

How to put all together
Bake the cake. Cut it horizontally.
Spread a thick layer of chocolate buttercream. Then spread some chocolate chips – just for some added crunch.
Keep the other layer. Cover the cake with chocolate buttercream and decorate as needed.
Spread the M&Ms on top.



Backyardigans go to Old MacDonald farm cake

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Ishaan is already 3 years old! I love this beautiful age – his imaginary stories, his own on-the-fly songs, his craze for cricket and soccer and everything that involves balls, his love for his bike etc. Unlike last two years when we had big parties for his birthday, we decided to keep it simple this time. Since he loves to have his friends, we decided to call our friends home. according to him, ALL the kids are his friends – even those that he sees in parks, playgrounds, library or anywhere else, they don’t even have to talk to him!!. Instead of having everyone at home once – which was not possible in our small apartment, we thought of calling them as and when possible. So it is not actually a birthday party, but just fun time for Ishaan and his friends.

We had some friends over in the last week of March, Ishaan had a blast with our friend’s 2 year old daughter. We had four families for dinner yesterday – 9 kids of ages between 2-11, they were all jumping up and down till 11PM!!. We have some more of these dinners coming up in next couple of weeks. He is on cloud 9!!

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Now coming to this cake. This cake has everything he loved in last 1 year. Backyardigans is a kids show he is totally crazy about. He caught on to it around 2 and has been watching it ever since. It has 4 seasons and he has watched every episode many times. He somehow still likes to watch it and sings songs from it. When I asked him what he wants for birthday, he said he wants Plablo(the cute blue penguin’s name is Pablo and he calls him Plablo) then he said he wanted all 5 characters.

‘Old Mac Donald had a farm Ei-Ei-Oh’ is his all time favorite nursery rhyme. It must be the first ever song he sang. We have a book which has this song and he made me read that book almost every day for a long time. He sings this song loudly when he is in the car. We frequently visit Deanna Rose Children’s farmstead – which is a cute little farmstead-  here in Kansas. He loves to pet the goats, feed the goat babies with a bottle, go on wagon ride, riding the tiny tractors, watch milking of cows and everything else that this farmstead has to offer. He calls it Old MacDonald’s farm. Everytime we step in there, he sings ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ very loudly. It is so funny when he stops near each animal display and sings the song. They have many animals which are not in the song – so he makes up his own song/sounds!. He gives a nice entertainment not only for me, but also many others who listen to him and start laughing :)).

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The love for the song is not limited to this farmstead. When we visited India, whenever he saw any animal on the road, he sang this song. There was one time when my dad wanted to take us to his teacher’s home. We told him it was Old MacDonad’s home, because he lived in a house surrounded by fields and had chickens and other livestock in his home. Ishaan held small chicks, fed them rice and he was very happy.

So I decided to combine these two on the cake. I explained him that on the cake, backyardigans are visiting Old MacDonald farm. I cannot explain how happy he was to see this cake. My gift was all those sloppy kisses and hugs and that cute smile. All my efforts paid off.

The cake was chocolate cake sandwiched with chocolate frosting. The cake came out perfect this time. I followed an awesome tip – covering the cake pan with a wet towel – this time to get a flat top cake. This worked as a charm. If you want to bake and decorate a cake, you should watch this video, I wish I had seen this earlier. I could have saved so many cakes!.

All the animals are made with gumpaste. I made gumpaste using this recipe. This is the first time I used gumpaste. I had lot of trouble with it and I think I need a lot of practice with it. The animals kept breaking. I don’t like the cracks on the animals or the finishing on them. I now feel I should have used fondant instead of gumpaste.

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I was a bit lazy to make buttercream all these years. I always used Wilton’s ready to use buttercream or made it at home from their recipe – but it bothered me because it was made of shortening. I would rather use something that was made from butter. So this time I made buttercream at home and it gave me the best results. Here is the recipe I used.

Ingredients for buttercream icing:
1 cup butter
4 cups + around 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tea spn vanilla extract
4 tbl spn whole milk

Bring the butter to room temperature so that it is soft but not melted.
Now mix everything else to get a smooth icing. I added 4 cups first and then added another 1/2 cup when I saw it needed little more sugar.
Mix required coloring needed.

The biggest trouble I have with any cake is saving the cake. I have a cake carrier that I use to cover the cake. But if the cake is big, this cannot be used. It was not fitting properly in fridge either. So cake had lot of smudged edges.

White Chocolate Pattycake

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How much push a person like me (who loves cooking & baking) needs, to try something new? A year ago, I would have said, not much!, but I have become a very lazy person lately. I keep thinking about cooking something, but it never happens. I make something simple and get away with it. I do not like this phase at all!. I call it a phase because I want to get back to the way I was.

Now, coming back to this recipe – Many months back, I saw this on Baking with Julia on Create TV. Then I saw it again and again and again on those repeat shows. Every time I made a mental note to try it out, but never got to it. Then few days ago, I got an email from Pallavi about her event I Must Make that. I haven’t participated in any blog events in a very long time, but I wanted to send something for this and the first thing that came to my mind was this cake. It had a deadline of Valentine’s day!. White chocolate and raspberry are two of V’s favorite things in the world. So I had to bake this cake.

We celebrated Valentine’s day with this cake. I baked this one day before, so that I can post this here. It is one of the simplest cakes I have baked. It needs a LOT of eggs, I do not think you can substitute them with anything because we do not use any baking soda/baking powder in this. The cake is super spongy and very tasty. I think I will be making this very often. I followed the recipe exactly, which yielded very good results.

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Ingredients: Cake
12 ounces white chocolate chunks
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 tbl spn water
1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbl spn corn starch (or use 1/2 cup cake flour)
10 egg yolks
6 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

12 ounces frozen raspberries
2 tbl spn sugar
1 tea spn lemon juice
Fresh raspberries for decorating

Preheat the oven at 320F. Grease two oven safe pans with melted butter. Line them with a parchment paper (the paper helps while un-molding the cake).

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Take white chocolate, water, butter in microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1min. Whisk the contents till the contents come together into a smooth mixture. (This is usually done on a double boiler, but I feel melting chocolate in microwave is much easier and less clean up). Let it cool to room temperature.
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Sift together flour and corn starch (or sift cake flour).
Whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form. Then add 1/4 cup sugar and whisk them again. (I did this in my stand mixer fitted with the whisk). Slowly transfer them to another bowl.
With the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup sugar till the mixture is pale yellow and slightly thickened. Now add the melted chocolate mixture and beat again till everything comes together.

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Now with a spatula, slowly mix the flour in the mixture. Fold in the egg whites.
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Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for about 26mins to 30mins or till the cakes are done. Let the cakes cool down completely.

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For the craush – Blend frozen raspberries, lemon juice, sugar and push the mixture through a strainer.

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Take one cake on cake board. Slightly press down on the edges. Spoon about half the amount of the raspberry crush on it. Then keep the second cake and do the same.

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Top with fresh raspberries.

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Cake Balls (Inspired from Cake Pops)

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When I carve cakes like Thomas cake or football cake, one of the things I worry about are the small irregular pieces that remain after the carving is done. They are all pieces which are not so pretty to eat (they taste great) or to offer to someone. Last time, I ended up wasting most of them and felt terrible about it. This time when I prepared football cake, I wanted to do something with them. I had too many cake crumbs (is that what they are called??). I remembered seeing cake pops from some days back and decided to make them. I followed this recipe, but made them with what I had on hand (mine did not look so beautiful, will work on that next time!).

No one in my home or my friends like (or should I say prefer) too much sweet stuff, so I did not want to decorate them too much. I wanted to keep them simple, I was already tired from making the football cake. I tried making the pops with the sticks, but they kept breaking, I think I should have added some more chocolate frosting to the cake pieces. But that would make them more sweet. So I decided to just go with balls. They were delicious. I think I will be making these more often now – I may just bake a cake to make these next time.

I do not have any measurements for these because they are super simple and you can just eyeball all the ingredients.

Cake pieces (I used chocolate cake)
Chocolate frosting (I used chocolate frosting)

Crumble the cake. Add some chocolate frosting and mix everything well.
Now make small balls from the mixture.
Dip the balls in remaining frosting (microwave the frosting to make it thin before doing this). Let them sit in refrigerator for few hours and serve.


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K-State Football Cake

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It has been couple of months since I became a “Stay at home mom”.  I was both happy and sad about this decision. Happy because finally I could give all the time to Ishaan and also work on a thousand things that I was putting on back burner due to my busy schedule.  Sad because it would mean a big unknown about my career. We took Ishaan out of daycare. We thought he would miss his friends, he would be bored at home, but he didn’t even ask for them!. In these few months, I have tried to enjoy every moment with him. I have been busier than ever trying to catch up with a very active toddler. Laptop time for me means TV time for him, so I have reduced my laptop time to minimum. I write a post once in a while when he is sleeping. I still spend time on FB thanks to my iPhone!. I can definitely say these were/are the best few months of my life in recent years. We have been going out almost every day -  to library for story time, to toddler play time, children’s play areas, petting zoos, pumpkin patches, swimming and lot more. He is already 2.5 years old and before I know, he will be all grown up. So I have kept everything else on hold and trying to make most of my time with him. Next week we are travelling to India for a long vacation.

Now coming to today’s post – V’s colleague asked if I could prepare a cake for her with K-State football theme, she is going to watch the upcoming K-State game with friends and she wanted to carry the cake. The biggest unknown for me here was the fact that I don’t know anything about American football. After few Google searches, I knew what I was going to make. Although it took a while to bake and decorate it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ishaan was such a sweetheart, he kept himself busy with his colors and a book.

It was a chocolate cake which had a layer of chocolate frosting in between. Click here for recipe. I used store bought buttercream icing to cover the cake before covering with homemade marshmallow fondant.

Lessons learnt :
– Make a little more of fondant than needed, if you run out in between, you have to start over again which takes too much time.
– Coloring fondant takes too much time and muscle powder. To help with this, microwave the fondant for few seconds and it becomes easily to work with (not sure if this method works with other kinds of fondant, but worked with marshmallow fondant).
– To smooth out any irregularities on the cake, dip a spatula in hot water and massage on the fondant. I knew this works with buttercream but had not used the method with fondant before.

Pictorial: (I will have to fix the color balance on the camera, the bright violet colors on the cake are all showing blue here)

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Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes

eggless chocolate cupcakes

One of the biggest jobs I have after any big festivals is to finish all the fruits, vegetables, coconuts before they go bad. We bought a big batch of coconuts and fruits for the Ganapathi festival this year. While I am still working on coconuts, bananas needed immediate attention. V kept reminding me to make something with them, since they were a little bit overripe and no one likes over ripe bananas.

The first thing that came to my mind was making eggless carrot almond muffins. They were one of the best muffins I ever baked. But then I wanted to make something chocolaty. So I modified them to make these super delicious  cupcakes – they were little bit dense compared to any cakes with eggs, but still delicious. Ishaan loved eating the icing while I was making it :).

1 and 1/2 cups ripe bananas
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 tea spn baking powder
1 tea spn vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
Take bananas and oil in a bowl and mix them till both are well mixed. Add sugar and mix well. Now add baking powder, vanilla and mix.
Add flour, cocoa powder and almond meal, a little at a time mixing all the time.
Line the muffin tin with muffin cups. Fill the batter to 3/4th of the cup. Bake at 350F for about 20mins or till done.

PS: you can make almond meal at home. Blanch some almonds and peel them. Spread on a clean cloth to dry. Then powder them. when I make it at home, I like to leave the skin on. I just powder the whole almonds. This time I used store bought almond meal.

Chocolate Icing:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
2 tbl spns butter
2 tbl spns confectioners sugar
1 tea spn vanilla extract

Take chocolate morsels and butter in a microwave safe dish microwave them for 1 min. Then add sugar and vanilla extract. Mix very well till everything is mixed.
Cool the cupcakes to room temperature and frost them with chocolate icing.

Makes about 14 medium sized cupcakes
Preparation time : 40mins


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Thomas Cake – For a friend’s 3 year old son

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This is by far the most difficult and time consuming cake I have ever prepared. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. Few months ago, my friend asked me to bake/decorate a cake for her son’s 3rd birthday. I was very excited about it.

Now after it is all done, I have to write down some things that I learnt. Before this cake, I thought I knew a lot about cake decorating. But this was a whole new learning. After reading two great detailed tutorials, I knew I was going to use fondant for covering the cake. I have not used fondant to cover a cake in a long time. Although I learnt some basics in the Wilton’s classes a long ago, I could not remember anything from then.

Day 1 : The tutorials asked to use a 12×18 sheet pan. I did not have the pan. I checked out and it was $20. I did not want to buy this just for one cake. I already have too many cake pans that I hardly use. So I decided to go with 11×8 pan I had. That meant my baking time was increased by 3 times!. I thought I would cut it later to make it 6" width. But my friend called again and said the guest list had grown a bit!. So I decided to keep it as it is. I baked 3 chocolate cakes. The recipe makes a very soft great tasting cake, I followed it exactly (last time I made this cake, I tried making some adjustments and the cake was not as soft). After all the cakes were baked, I cut them horizontally (to spread the chocolate frosting later), wrapped in silver foil and froze them.

Day 2 : Took out the cake, brushed it with sugar syrup, spread a layer of chocolate frosting in between layers and built the train. Then covered the cake with store bought Wilton’s buttercream icing. I had underestimated the amount of icing needed. So I ran out of it in between. I had to make a batch at home. (Used 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup shortening, a little vanilla, mixed everything). I also prepared marshmallow fondant and colored them in blue, black, red, yellow and grey.

Although the tutorial had mentioned to make the face at least 7 days in advance, I waited till day 2 to make it. Main reason being, I had no idea what would be the size of face required. The tutorial makes it look very simple. It was much harder than that. I tried couple of times and gave up. I did not like the way it was looking. So I asked the help of resident artist. Did I mention V is a very good artist? I had full faith in his sculpting skills. I requested him to sculpt the face. And he did not disappoint me!. The face was THE best part of the cake. He got the cheeky Thomas smile too!.

Day 3 : Rolled the fondant and covered the cake. Here were the biggest hurdles. I thought covering with fondant was very easy. I was so wrong!. The fondant kept breaking – I was rolling it too thin I think. It was very time consuming to cut all the thin strips needed. I think all I need here is more practice. I am sure I can do a better job next time.

Other very important thing to keep in mind – when you are following a tutorial, figure out the mistakes in the tutorial. I blindly followed the tutorial instead of looking at Thomas toy (although I had it infront of me). I later realized there were too many small errors – like the shape of the red lines on the sides are different on Thomas toy. The Number 1 is inside the red lines – not in between the lines!. On top of that, I made my own mistakes, so they add up!

In all, the cake was a huge hit at the party. Everyone liked it. The taste and texture of the cake were too good. Unlike last time, this time I had taken enough time to properly brush the cake with sugar syrup. I did not rush anything, took enough time to cool the cake before icing. I have to improve a lot in getting a smooth finishing. I will work on my fondant skills soon. I was very happy I could do this for the little dude, nothing more satisfying than making a child happy :).

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Sleeping Baby Under Blanket – Baby Shower Cake

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We had a surprise baby shower for a friend today. She is having her second baby next month. We decided to have a potluck at another friend’s house. It was a great get together with lot of fun and laughter and great food. I made this cake and ragda patties for the party.

Like always, I was pretty nervous when I started this cake. This is the very first baby shower cake I made. The cake became a little hard, I am still trying to figure out what made it hard – I think it may be due to the old baking powder I used. But nobody seemed to mind it, they all loved the cake.

I wanted to make the decorations with the modeling chocolate (like the eyes for cookie monster cake), but somehow it kept falling apart and I could not make the figures with it. So I made marshmellow fondant for the very first time. It tasted much better than the store bought fondant. It is so easy to make it at home and it gives a very fine finish. So I think I will be using it for all my cakes hereafter!.

I initially made the blanket in white color with blue dots. But when I put the cake saver cover on top, I think the top got stuck to blanket :(. So when I tried to open the cover, the baby and blanket came with it!. I should have been more careful. So I changed it to blue blanket with white flowers. I also added some shoes and a teddy bear made with fondant.

Here are the details of the cake with some useful links. I could not take step by step pictures as I was running short on time.
The cake was prepared using the simple egg cake recipe.
In between the layer, used whipped cream and spread some pineapple pieces(1 can of pineapple tidbits) on it. Used the juice from the can to soak the cake.
Used store bought (Wilton’s) butter icing to cover the cake. Then mixed baby blue color in the remaining buttercream for the basket weave (basketweave technique).
Made marshmellow fondant (click for recipe here) with half a pack of marshmellows. A lot remained. So I think only 1/4 the pack was enough for these decorations. Color the fondant with blue color.
I referred this video to make the baby.

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Chocolate Cake – Second Birthday Cookie Monster Cake

cookie monster cake

Time truly flies. My baby is already two. I cannot believe it sometimes. We are busier than ever, but at the same time he is keeping us happy with his little mischiefs. I get choked up when I hear him talking in his baby words and when he learns something new – like today when he peeled a banana all by himself and ate it. My baby is all grown up!.

Last couple of months had been very busy for both V and I. We were working to meet very strict deadlines. So we decided to take a couple of days off and go on a small vacation. On his birthday, we were in St Louis. We met lovely Nupur and her family on his birthday. We spent 3 days in St Louis, roaming around with Ishaan. We bought a small cake on his birthday and he was so happy.

We also wanted to celebrate his birthday with our close friends, so we decided to have a small outdoor party. We had the party couple of weeks after his actual birthday. Since weather was beautiful, we decided to have it in a park. We invited the friends whom we meet very regularly, who have kids of almost same age as Ishaan. We wanted this to be a fun party for Ishaan and all the kids. It was a very informal party this year, unlike his first birthday when we had a large group.

I started my preparations one week ago. Like last year, I wanted to bake the cake for him. I was pretty clear that it would be a cookie monster cake. He absolutely adores this character from popular series Sesame Street. Even when he could not talk, he would say “yaa yaaa” like cookie monster. Even after almost 1 year of watching this show, he gets very excited when he watches this character on TV. I spent hours searching google for any tips to make this cake. Putting this together last week was a little difficult as I had to work on it during weekdays. But I am glad it all worked well. This was such a big hit with everyone at the party. Everyone liked the taste of cake and went for seconds. Ishaan started dancing when he first saw the cake, and then he sang the happy birthday song. Even now when I show him a picture of the cake, he gets super excited. Mission accomplished :).

The food this time was very simple, just like last year. I prepared some veggie puffs using store bought puff pastry sheets. I also made a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies using this recipe. They both came out very well. We got guacamole and mango-peach salsa with tortilla chips from Costco. We ordered pizza for everyone.

Here is the step-by-step description of how to make a cookie monster cake. Since many of my friends asked, I am also posting the cake recipe here. It was a slightly updated version of last year’s cake.

Chocolate Cake –
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tea spn baking soda
2 tea spn baking powder
2 tea spns vanilla essence
4 large eggs
2 cups butter
2 cups milk
1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tea spns unsweetened cocoa


Preheat the oven at 325F for 10mins. I used 2 pyrex bowls of 470ml (2 cups) and 950ml (4 cup) and one springform pan of 9 and 1/2 inch for this quantity.
Stir together chocolate, 1 cup sugar and milk in top of double boiler. I just took some water in a vessel, brought it to boil, kept a glass bowl with chocolate, milk, sugar. On a low heat, let the water boil. Kept stirring the chocolate mixture. When all the chocolate melts, add butter and mix. Take it off the heat, add vanilla, mix. Let it cool to room temperature.
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form and keep it aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda.
In another bowl, beat together egg yolks and 1 cup sugar until thick. Now alternatively add flour mixture and chocolate mixture, a small quantity at a time, beating all the time (if using a electric mixer, do this on lowest speed).
Fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture in greased baking dishes.
Bake in the oven at 325F for about 40mins (or till done).

Yellow Cake –
Then I made a simple egg cake with this recipe. I doubled the quantity given in that recipe. I divided the batter between a 9 and 1/2 inch springform pan and a loaf pan.

Sugar syrup – Heat 1/4 cup water with 2 tbl spn sugar till sugar melts.

Chocolate frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
6tbl spn milk
1 tea spn vanilla
4 cups(approx 1lb) confectioners’ sugar

Combine butter, cocoa, milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and take off from heat. Add vanilla, sugar, beating continuously till it holds a peak.

Modeling Chocolate (for eyes) – using this recipe

Putting it all together:
Cut all 3 chocolate cakes(made in 1 springform pan and 2 pyrex bowls) horizontally in two halves. Dip a pastry brush in the sugar syrup, brush all sides of cake. Keep one part of 9 and 1/2 inch chocolate cake, spread a layer of chocolate frosting, then the 9 and 1/2 inch piece of yellow cake, followed by frosting and then another 9 and 1/2 inch chocolate cake.
I covered the whole cake with store bought Wilton’s ready to use vanilla icing mixed with light blue Wilton’s color.

Now do the same thing for two small chocolate cakes. Cut into two, brush with syrup and put chocolate frosting in between the two pieces. Cut small hands and leg pieces from yellow loaf cake. Attach them using wooden skewers.
I used Wilton’s Royal Blue ready to use icing  to pipe the fur using tip #233. Cut the mouth and pipe black icing into it. Now make big eyes using modeling chocolate. Pipe the eyeballs using black icing. Attach chocolate chip cookie to the hands and to the base.

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