This past Tuesday, 15 very fortunate Foodbuzz bloggers myself included, rolled up our sleeves for a very worthy cause.

Electrolux and Foodbuzz invited us to help decorate 5 beautiful cakes in an effort to help raise awareness and support for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).

With the help of Buddy Valastro and Kelly Ripa we were armed with everything we needed to know to decorate all five of the beautiful Cake Off cakes.

The designs were chosen by Buddy himself, he purposely chose simple designs that most of us could easily and realistically replicate at home.

Buddy taught us how to do simple piping, roll out fondant, and how to make piped roses.

Well here it is everybody! The Mod Squad cake! What do you think? Doesn’t it look fantastic? You know this is the cake you want to vote for.

Here’s a close-up of our cake… make sure you get a good look! :)

Buddy wasn’t the only one keeping us on track, we also got great tips and help from Frankie and Remy, both sweethearts.

I figured you might want to try this at home too, so here is all you need to make your own “Mod Squad” cake!

Let’s start off with a yummy cake recipe.

Calor’s Bakery Cream Cheese Pound Cake

2 1/3 cups cake flour
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.

Sift the flour.

Beat in the sugar, flour and vanilla on low speed. You want the mixture to be just mixed through and to have a dry and crumbly appearance.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg is added.
Pour batter into the Bundt pan. Place pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove from oven. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Invert onto cake rack and continue to allow cake to cool.

To keep the cake moist and help the fondant adhere we gotta have frosting!

Calor’s Bakery Simple Buttercream Frosting

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 pinch salt
1 pound butter

Put sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan over high heat.

Meanwhile, beat eggs and salt until fluffy.

When all fo the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling, pour over beating eggs.

Cut butter into cubes.

When the eggs-suger bowl is lukewarm to the touch, slowly add butter while continuing to beat until fluffy and smooth.

Now to finish it off and give it a million dollar look we cover the cake with fondant.

You can purchase fondant at your local craft or cake supply store.

First knead and soften the fondant.

Using a rolling pin, roll out to approximately 1/8″ thickness (use a little cornstarch to prevent it from sticking to your work surface).

Drape fondant over pre-frosted cake and and adhear to top and sides.

Using a pizza wheel, trim the icing along the base layer of the cake.

My teammates Sabrina from Rhodeygirl Tests, Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake and myself worked hard to decorate this beautiful cake.

But all work and no play is no fun! I looked around for a flour sack or two, but there were none to be found. So I made do with a piece of fondant. Yeah, it doesn’t quite have the same effect.

Decorating the Cake

To decorate our “Mod Squad” themed cake we used purple fondant to cover out cakes.

After the cakes were covered in fondant, we rolled out yellow, green, pink, and chocolate fondant for the flowers.

Using scalloped fondant cutters we cut out various sizes of each of the rolled colored fondant. Then we layered the cut pieces in alternating colors and finished them with a chocolate fondant dot.

Once we were ready to begin placing the flowers and mod dots we used a steamer to steam the area where we would be place each flower.

You can find these and a few other “Cake Boss” tips by visiting Kelly Confidential.

Buddy and Frankie were so easy going and sweet.

Buddy signed pretty much anything we would put in front of him. He was kind enough to sign my “Cake Boss” T-Shirt.

Don’t forget to vote for the Mod Squad cake!! GO TEAM Mod Squad!

Oh and can I say one last thing? I want one of these… they are so cool! Know what it is? It’s a super cool induction oven, it’s so amazing you can melt chocolate without using a double broiler! How sweet is that?

Buddy literally put a pot with chocolate right on the cooktop let it sit there for about 5 minutes while he was doing a demo then went back and picked it up… the chocolate had melted perfectly! The oven has “Luxury-Glide” oven racks which means no spilled cheesecakes when trying to slide back the rack in place.

I may not be able to afford one, but I know of a sneaky one of us can win one. If you log on to Kelly Confidential and send a virtual cake to a friend or loved you will automatically be entered for a chance to win one and Electrolux will donate $1 each day for every virtual cake you send, in addition to the $1 donated for every vote you make in the Cake Off.

My participation in Kelly’s Cake Off for a Cause was sponsored by Electrolux and Foodbuzz who provided me with travel arrangements to and accommodations in New York to participate.

Official Sweepstakes Rules are available on Kelly Confidential.

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Today I am going to share a story with you.

This story is about an amazing couple Drew and Mikalle, and their beautiful baby boy Holden Milo, who you see in Mikalle’s arms.

Drew and Mikalle were made for one another, not only do they share many great qualities, they also share the same love and passion for the outdoors and adventure. Mikalle is a triathlete, she has over 20 marathons under her belt can you believe that? And Drew as you can see from the picture above loves to surf, he has practically traveled all over the world in search of the perfect barrel, and I’m not talking wine here.

Drew and I work together, and can I tell you… he’s one of the nicest guys in the office, always has a smile on his face and although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mikalle yet, I can easily guess she is as kind, generous and genuine as Drew.

Drew grew up here in Southern California but attended the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) and Mikalle grew up in Longview, WA. They met here in So. Cal and got married August 12, 2006. In April 23, 2009 little baby Holden Milo was born and at the very tender age of only 8 months he passed away 12/31/2009.

Drew and Mikalle have setup a website to honor and remember baby Holden, as well as “Holden’s Fund” which will help raise funds for very worthy organizations that help families and children in need of medical care. To learn more about Holden’s Story or to donate please visit his website.

Celebrating Baby Holden Milo Weddle’s Life

These Pacific Northwest inspired cupcakes are dedicated to the memory of baby Holden…

Pear Hazelnut Cupcakes
adapted from Oregon Grower’s & Shippers

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter- room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 homemade pear hazelnut preserves (or Oregon Growers & Shippers Pear Hazelnut Fruit Spread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a small mixing bowl sift flour, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand up mixer with a paddle attachment, cream room temperature butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add one egg at time, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula after adding both.

Add vanilla and the Pear Hazelnut Fruit Spread. Mix well.

Add half of the milk, and then alternate with the flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining milk, finishing with the flour. *Just blend until everything is incorporated, be careful not to over mix or your cupcake batter.

Divide batter evenly, filling each liner about 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in through the center of your cupcake until it comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove and cool on wire rack.

Hazelnut Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 cups of powdered sugar – sifted
2 teaspoons frangelico liqueur

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and incorporated.

Add Frangelico and slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended.

Homemade Pear & Hazelnut Preserves

2 ripe pears pealed and cored
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 pod cardamom freshly ground
1/3 cup finely ground toasted hazelnuts

Add all ingredients to a medium heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat, and cook for 40-45 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Allow preserves to cool run through the food processor a few seconds

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Hot Chocolate Birthday Cake

Well today was the big day, my oldest son’s 17th birthday… he’s really not much into “stravagances” as Ricky would say.

Since he was still on winter break, he hung out with dad and relaxed most of the day while I worked.

We went out for dinner then came back home to sing him “Happy Birthday” and have dessert. Here’s the little number I whipped up for him…

Hot Chocolate Layer Cake with Homemade Marshmallows
from Fine Cooking

For the cake
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
3/4 cup canola oil
4-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup water
3 cups granulated sugar
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the frosting
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
6 oz. (2 cups) natural unsweetened cocoa powder; more for decorating
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For the marshmallows
Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar; more as needed

Make the cake

Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9×2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate, and 1 cup water. Heat over medium heat until melted.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.

Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.

Make the frosting

In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter, and vanilla bean and seeds and stir until the butter is melted. Remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, syrup, and salt until smooth—be sure the cocoa powder dissolves completely. Pour into a 9×13-inch pan and freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Make the marshmallows
Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.

Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.

Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.

Assemble the cake

Remove the frosting from the freezer or refrigerator. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to soften. Change to a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1-1/2 cups of the frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with another cake layer and 1-1/2 cups frosting. Top with the last cake layer.

Put 1-1/2 cups of the frosting in a small bowl. With an offset spatula, spread this frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.

Spread the remaining frosting in a smooth layer over the top and sides of the cake. If necessary, you can rewhip the remaining frosting to loosen and lighten it. Remove the waxed paper strips.

Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil. Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.

Cut the marshmallow into cubes of different sizes, from 1/4 to 3/4 inch (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss a few cubes at a time in the sugar to coat, then shake in a strainer to remove the excess.

Mound the marshmallows on top of the cake (you’ll need only a third to half of them). Sift some cocoa powder over the marshmallows.

Make ahead tips:

You can bake, cool, wrap, and store the cake layers at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. You can refrigerate the frosting for up to 3 days. The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours (return to room temperature before serving). Wrapped well, leftover marshmallows keep at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Happy 17th Birthday Joseph!

See the frosting is soooo good, he’s licking it off the candles!! :)

In addition to the yummy cake I made some of these… using a few components from yesterday’s post.


I know “technically” these aren’t concidered a cookie, the only thing acording to wikipedia that keeps them from being a cookie is thier shape [Cookie: A small flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm], so if you flatten them out they qualify.

Have you heard of or visited Bakeralla’s blog? If you haven’t you are in for a treat, I haven’t found a thing she’s made that I didn’t like, or anything that doesn’t look exquisite.

Which brings me to today’s post. Yummy cake truffles, I chose to call them truffles instead of cake balls because they were balls up until dipping time…

Let me paint a little picture for you of how my cake dipping experience went. It was somewhere along the lines of one of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes “Job Switching”. Fast-forward to minute 3:50, minus the fly of course. And that is why I’ve called these cake truffles instead of balls.

I guess it was my fault for choosing to dip my cake balls Monday morning before heading into work and not having any candy dipping experience…

Pumpkin Spice Cake Truffles
Inspired from Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake Pops

1 box spice cake mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup water

1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
2 tablespoons softened cream cheese

Chocolate for dipping
16 oz white chocolate chips
4 oz dark chocolate chips for garnish (optional)

While cake is baking whip together the cream cheese frosting with the softened cream cheese.

Once cake has been baked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl and mix in the whipped cream cheese frosting. (I followed Bakerella’s suggestion and used my fingers to mix everything together, and just like she said it was a bit messy.)

With a mini ice scream scooper scoop out the cake balls so you have uniform sized balls, then roll them a little by hand to even them out.

Chill cakeballs overnight or freeze 30-45 minutes. When ready to dip, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in intervals for 30 seconds 50% power each and stiring in between.

Dip the cake balls in the melted chocolate.

As you can imagine, I had a bit of a hard time getting the chocolate all around because the cake balls started to fall apart. I tried using both a candy dipping set, and a spoon to dip the balls, but just ended up using my fingers. The problem was probably the consistency of my cake balls, they were too crumbly. Next time I’ll try and freeze them a few minutes instead and then dip.

Even though my truffles didn’t come out looking as beautiful as Bakerella’s Cake Balls what they lacked in appearance they made up for it in taste.

One last note, even though I have photos of both white chocolate and dark chocolate cake balls, the white chocolate complimented the pumpkin spice cake much better so I adjusted the amounts accordingly.


12 Days of Sharing hosted by
In Jennie’s Kitchen

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

It was Thursday night, I was checking out Facebook looking for a good laugh, a cute picture, an interesting post, someone ranting over someone else’s meaningless post, you know some good stuff.

I was about to log out when I came across a post from one of my co-workers in which he was updating us on his status.