Tag Archives: cake

Sea Salt Ice Cream Cake

20 May


Okay, maybe I lied…There isn’t really any cake involved.  It’s technically just graham crackers.  But its shaped like a cake, I guess.

At any rate, this is good.  Like really really good.  But this story begins in Portland, OR.  While visiting the infamous Miss Summer, we took a detour on the way to the airport and had some delicious ice cream at Salt & Straw.  Inspired by their Sea Salt Ice cream with Caramel Ribbons, I came home and hunted around Pinterest for a Sea Salt Ice Cream recipe.  I found this one…I mean three ingredients.  Doesn’t get any easier.

I made the ice cream as directed and let it firm up in the freezer for about an hour and a half.  I lined a loaf pan with plastic wrap while I waited….and waited…

When you can’t wait anymore, throw down a layer of graham crackers–break them as needed to make sure you get full coverage.  Top that with a layer of ice cream (which is still pretty soft at this point) and then squeeze some caramel sauce on top of that.  Sorry, I’m not sure how much.  I just kept going until everything was good and covered.  Then you layer–like a lasagna.

Graham, ice cream, caramel, graham, ice cream, caramel, graham, ice cream.

Put it all back in the freezer to completely harden, probably overnight.  Slice and serve.


These two pieces that I photographed for you are literally the last two.  This “cake” went fast.  Next time I may consider doubling everything!

Birthday Boy

30 Apr


I have a long hallway.  And this is my hallway having a party…

Birthday Boy2

Its amazing what zooming in on some streamers and balloons will do for ya!  This backdrop was super easy and can easily be adjusted to any color scheme or occasion.  And unless you choose to, you know perhaps for blogging purposes, you never have to zoom out and no one ever has to know that this is really just your boring old hallway.  Fill that frame and all you see is a party!

birthday boy3

My baby boy turns 1 today.  *Tear* My baby turns 1 today!  I made him this smash cake to celebrate.  Chocolate cake with chocolate filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cake is decorated by piping large dots and then smearing them to one side.  A little tedious but the effect is pretty great.   I don’t know if you can tell, but I think he liked it.  We literally couldn’t get him to crack a smile once the cake came out.  He was all business!

Wedding Style: Mint & Orange

9 Apr

I got married…again!  I only do it once every ten years.

The first time we got married it was in Japan and it was just us and our Japanese translators.  Well, we finally got around to getting married in our church and celebrating with our family.

This all came together fairly quickly so I tried to keep it simple and as inexpensive as a wedding ceremony could be.  I’m a DIY kind of girl so I did a lot myself.

I’ll start with the flowers.  And they start with Succulents.  I knew that I wanted succulents.  What I didn’t know was that they aren’t cheap.  But, while hunting for Easter eggs at my Grandmother’s house I found that she had several beautiful succulent plants.  She was gracious enough to give me one and it was enough to give me 24 favors and 6 centerpieces.


Having that one plant saved me A LOT!  I priced the individual succulents  for the 24 favors and the cheapest plants I could find (at Home Depot) were $2 each!

I found the metallic pots at a wholesale flower store for $6 each, where  I also purchased glass candle holders for $8/dozen and painted them silver for the favors.  The ranunculus, roses and mums I literally found late at night at Trader Joe’s!

I was also able to save on the cake by ordering a 9 inch round and decorating it with [faux] succulents myself.  That cake was placed on the table for everyone to see.


The second cake was just a sheet cake that was kept in the kitchen, ultimately cut and served to guests. This helped me avoid the “wedding surcharge.”

Be sure to check back to see more!

Birthday Bites

26 Feb


My baby is 7.  SEVEN!  Where has the time gone?  He is pretty special–and not just because he’s my first-born.  Although in all fairness I too am the first-born and I think we’re all pretty special.


He is funny, loving, incredibly empathetic, and a great big brother.  We’re lucky to be his parents.  Ugh…tears.

Okay, well the most important part of any birthday is the cake!  Since his birthday fell on a Saturday, I brought treats in to his class on Friday.  Life is more chaotic now so I wanted to make things on easy on myself. I went to Vons and purchased two boxes of Madeleine/Brownie Bites.  Whaaat?!  Yes.  They are half Madeleine and half Brownie, swirled together. Both light and rich and bite-sized, they are the little treat to hit the spot.

I added a personal touch by piping some white frosting on top, a dash of festive sprinkles, and a piece of Cake Batter Bark.  The kids thought they were amazing (one asked that I e-mail his mom the recipe–seriously).  Since I had extra, the teachers and office staff got to have some as well and they too thought they were just right and thanked me for bringing in kid-sized treats.

Riding the wave of Friday’s success, I planned Saturday’s birthday cake with the left over bark pieces in mind.  I made a basic chocolate layered cake with white frosting and added sprinkles and Cake Batter Bark as a decorative edging.


It was fun and cute…and most importantly, tasty!  Also, I love a good dual-purpose anything and the pieces of bark can kind of be used as spacers for slicing the cake.

This particular birthday carried over into Sunday as well when we celebrated with his schoolmates at a local Pump It Up.  I cut myself some slack though and ordered a cake for that celebration.

Now that I have a 7-year-old, I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. My days of cool are numbered;
  2. His increasing age doesn’t seem to make me feel older.  I don’t quite feel young.  But, I don’t quite feel old [or mature] enough to have a 7-year-old; and
  3. Thank God for cake.  No matter what is going on and how stressful life (or party planning) can be, sitting down and having a piece of birthday cake is such a relief.




UPDATE: Rrrrrrrrrrrrr

23 Jul

Here’s my second attempt.  This time I tried to use more “spots” and made them much smaller…about half the size actually.  I was happier with the resuls this time.  Either way, we got to munch on a second birthday cake!  There’s always room for cake!  A Happy Birthday indeed!


19 Jul

Today my little baby sister turns 19!  Ahhh…remember those days?!  For her birthday I tried to take one of her favs and put it inside the cake.  Can you tell that its leopard print?  Well its supposed to be.  It didn’t turn out exactly like I envisioned it.  But lucky for me I have another shot at it!  I’m going to do the whole thing all over again this weekend.

I made the “spots” using the cake pop method.  I simply added a small amount of chocolate frosting to cake that had been dyed and baked.  I formed odd-shaped balls of the brown and then wrapped them with the black cake.  I dropped “spots” in the bottom of the plan and poured some of the batter on top and added some more spots that were sticking up out of the batter a little.  As the cake baked it rose up over them.  You’ll need a lot of spots.  I thought I used a lot on my first attempt, but I can see that I will need many more and probably smaller and less uniform…

Wish me luck on take two…

For her name, I simply wrote it out with melting candy and then generously sprinkled it with gold sugar sprinkles.  Place it in the fridge to set and pouf…super cute cake topper!

Happy Birthday Keila!

A 75th Birthday!

26 Jun

Photo by: Caitlyn

Wow, so many big birthdays are ahead for my family.. my dad is going to be 50 this Friday, my brother turns 29 Saturday and next week I turn the big 3-0! I haven’t even mentioned that my Grandma, my mom and Summer’s two sweet girls have birthdays in June as well! Phew, I know that I am probably forgetting someone too!

I guess my grandfather’s 75th birthday, at the end of May, kicked started the festivities for me! The family went to dinner at Ports O’ Call in San Pedro. I’d say 75 is a pretty big birthday and I wanted to help make it special. I decided I would make the cake! I whipped up this chocolate cake in the morning, let it cool and frosted it before we left the house. This is the only photo I have of it since I was unable to locate a camera before we dug in!

We all had a great time! Afterward, we walked down where they had little carnival rides for the kids. When the weather is great, nothing beats hanging out at Ports O’ Call!

Paradise Cake

18 Jun

For years my family has made the Kings Hawaiian Bakery’s Paradise Cake a go-to for any type of celebration.  The bakery is near by, its a crowd pleaser and just plain beautiful!  Now that I live in San Diego, 2 hours away from Kings Hawaiian Bakery, I’ve come to appreciate it that much more.  It really hadn’t occurred to me that this cake isn’t available everywhere.  This is probably because their breads are available in my local grocery store.

With warmer weather and nothing but sunny days ahead, I had a craving for a Paradise Cake.  Its three layers of fluffy chiffon cake with light whipped frosting.  The real treat is that the three layers of cake are made up of Guava, Passion Fruit, and Lime flavored cake.  Do I have your attention now?

I checked the interwebs and couldn’t locate a copycat recipe, so I came up with my own.  Please make note, however, that I am not a professional so some of this is eye-balled and guess-work…

1/2 cup water
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
7 eggs, separated
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup passion fruit juice
1/4 cup lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup of guava nectar
food coloring

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and grease three 9 inch round pans.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center of your sifted dry ingredients.  In the well place the oil, water, egg yolks and lemon zest.  Beat with a whisk until it is smooth.  At this point, separate the batter evenly into three bowls.  Add passion fruit juice and a drop of red food coloring to one bowl, guava nectar and orange food coloring to another bowl, and finally the lime juice and zest with green food coloring to the last bowl of batter.  Stir until fully incorporated.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they hold a stiff peak (**note this is vital…this part really  makes or breaks the cake**).  Add a dollop of the egg white mixture to each of the three bowls of flour mixture and gently stir each. Evenly divide the remaining egg white mixture into the three bowls and gently fold it into the batter.  Pour the three fully incorporated batters into their baking pans.  Try to resist the temptation to tap the side of the bowl as it will kill some of the air that you worked so hard to whip into those egg whites.   Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, or until the top springs back when you touch it.

The frosting I used for this cake is a whipped cream frosting, but its a little sturdier.  In other words, it won’t melt if you let it sit out on the counter for a little bit.  In fact this cake traveled with me to grandmother’s house (nearly an hour drive) and remaining completely in tact.

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Place the bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before preparing the frosting.  Use an electric mixer to mix the vanilla, sugar and cream cheese.  Pour in the heavy whipping cream slowly and beat until it thickens up and holds a peak.

Frost and enjoy!

While this cake can make it on the counter for the duration of your party, it should definitely be stored in the frig since the frosting is dairy based.

I have to say mine wasn’t as good as the original, but its a fresh cake for a summer day!

Individual Birthday Cakes

22 May

Today is a special day.  Today is both my God Mother’s birthday as well as my Father’s.  What a coincidence, right?!  Well, not so much.  They are twins!

They say that twins are connected in a very special way.  Twins often get stuck in a matchy matchy situation and the lines of individuality can be blurry.  But I believe everyone should at least have their own birthday cake.

One way to ensure everyone enjoys their own treat, is to make cupcakes.  Cupcakes are so typical though.

So, I made individual lemon cakes with buttercream frosting.

I used lemon cake mix and baked it in a jelly roll pan.  Once it was finished and completely cooled, I used a biscuit cutter to cut out 24 rounds of cake.  Simply frost a layer of buttercream on top of one round and top it with another.  Finally decoratively frost the top with more frosting and add some festive sprinkles.

Happy Birthday Dad and Nina!!

Seuss-like Sweets

3 Apr

The baby shower has come and gone. Now I can share the best part… SWEETS! Here are cakes 3 ways:

1- Thing 1 & Thing 2 inspired cupcakes. These tasty treats were Red Velvet cupcakes with a single top layer of cream cheese frosting followed by a stack of homemade buttercream, dyed blue, to create the “hair”.

2- Truffula Tree inspired cake pops.  I made these pops with chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. I melted different candy colored coating and sprinkled with coordinating colored sugar. I chose to wrap these up for take home treats.

3- Chocolate cake with homemade buttercream in electric blue. I made this chocolate cake with layers of vanilla frosting and the outside piped in buttercream to match the cupcakes.

All of the delicious treats were either gobbled up of sent to good homes! Thank goodness!

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