Month: September 2014

There’s a Birthday Galloping Up On Us

The plan is a Dr. Seuss themed party.  We’ll see if I can pull it off.

We’ll have Seussian Snacks, a few silly games, the Mr. Brown Can Moo cake and gifts.

“Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can YOU?” a reading & sounds game where everyone reads a story with their best sound effects.
“The Cat in the Hat Balancing Act” wherein we stack & hold as many (non-breakable) things as possible.
I’ll have to think of one other.

green deviled eggs and ham (bacon crumbles)
One Fish, 2 Fish, Sweedish Fish (the multicolor ones)
Rare Whoo Roast Beast (Build your own sandwiches)
Layered Jello (fruit juice Knox gelatin – remember, no milk?)
Soda & Juice with various Seuss names
Mr. Brown Can Moo cake (orange cake with vanilla frosting)
Finding the cake recipe has been a real trick and we’ll see if it works or not soon.  I need a dense cake because I’m making a stacked topsy-turvy (2 layers).  The issue is that cow’s milk causes issues… no fun being sick on your b-day, so I had to find milk substitutes.  OK, great, except they are all coconut and Dad & I are allergic to that.  I finally have it sorted out, just hoping it will work.

Substitutions made, I may skip the fondant depending on how the buttercream turns out.  Healthy?  No.  But it’s a birthday cake, and one we can all eat without breaking out in hives, running to the bathroom or wheezing for hours.

A Better White Scratch Cake


  • 5 c cake flour
  • 3 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c milk (almond, soy milk, orange juice)
  • 1 1/3 c shortening
  • 16oz sour cream*
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 10 egg whites (or 10oz carton egg whites) or 5 whole eggs.
  • (optional) other flavors – chocolate, pumpkin, spice, etc.

    ** Soy-based yogurt can be used in place of sour cream for those looking to eliminate animal-based products from the recipe. Another option is to mix in a blender or food processor, one 10.5 oz package of crumbled tofu with 4 tsp. of lemon juice, 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Blend this yogurt mixture until smooth and substitute sour cream, cup for cup, as called for in the recipe.


  1. Preheat oven. Prepare your pans as you normally would.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together into mixer bowl.
  3. Add everything but egg whites and mix just until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes, turn down mixer and add egg whites, return to high and beat for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into pans and bake.
  5. This recipe makes 10 cups of batter, but can be halved or doubled (if your mixer can handle it).

For the banana buttercream:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (not overripe!)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Rolled Buttercream Fondant

Recipe by Kelley

“Great rolled fondant recipe for cakes or cookies. Tastes like buttercream frosting.”


  • Original recipe makes 3 pounds
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup. Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners’ sugar until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  2. To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners’ sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.

Best White Icing Ever

Recipe by Meghan Rey

“This icing recipe is #1! It’s quick and easy to make, bright white for cake decorating, and you can easily change it’s consistency! This is the most important icing recipe you’ll ever have. It’s so basic, it makes the hassle of cake decorating so much easier! If you wish, use half shortening and half unsalted butter.”

Original recipe makes 4 to 5 cups

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won’t look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you’re done!
  2. Note: If you’re not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3 tbs. of corn syrup, or water to the icing.

For the figurines I’ll be using marzipan from this recipe:
My favorite recipe wont’ do for this cake, and I can’t find the one with marshmallows that looked like it would be awesome, but I think this will work fine.

Basic Marzipan
By Elizabeth LaBau,
A great all-purpose marzipan recipe for dipping in chocolate, using in recipes, or forming figurines. Using this as a base, you can color, flavor, or form marzipan into many different candies or decorations. If you’re simply looking to eat the marzipan, cutting it into squares is the easiest way to serve it.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water.
  2. Place the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes.
  4. Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  5. Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy.
  6. Stir in the ground almonds and the egg whites, the place back over low heat and stir for 2 minutes more until the mixture is thick.
  7. Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch.
  8. Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant.

9. Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping it in an airtight container.