A Birthday Cake for Dad



Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday, and I made him a four-layer red velvet cake with chocolate mousse and cream cheese icing. I hadn’t baked a cake in ages, so I wanted to go all out and make a pretty epic cake!


Inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest (http://www.polkadotbride.com/2012/10/diy-cake-decorating-ruffled-rose-tutorial/), I made a gumpaste flower to sit on top of the cake.


I combined gumpaste powder, water, pink gel colour, and kneaded the paste, rolling out a thin sheet. I used four different sized circle cutters and then used scissors to shape the circles into flowers. I pressed the petals of the flowers to make them thinner, and more realistic, and let them dry for a couple of hours. Using frosting, I glued the layers together, and placed some nonpareils on the smallest flower layer.


This red velvet cake is one of my favourite recipes, and one you’ve already seen on the blog (https://sweetlittlebrownies.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/red-velvet-cake-with-white-chocolate-buttercream/). I halved the recipe to bake two 6” layers, and sliced the layers in half, to make four. I made chocolate mousse and vanilla cream cheese frostings, for which I’ve included the recipes below. To assemble the cake, use the vanilla cream cheese frosting to outline the perimeter of the bottom cake layer, and fill the middle with chocolate mousse; repeat this for the next 3 layers. Once all four layers are assembled, use cream cheese buttercream to frost the entire cake.


For the first time, I used store-bought Wilton frosting to cover the cake. Personally, I think homemade marshmallow fondant is the best option, because it is cheaper and tastes much better. I was so overwhelmed with awe at the fondant flower technique, and I knew I had to try it! Luckily, I found this great YouTube tutorial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvk3ek7FQt8&feature=youtu.be).


Finally, I painted some edible glitter dust on the ruffles of the roses. All in all, the cake turned out nicely! Happy Birthday, Dad! ❤


See you next time,



Chocolate Mousse Filling


(I used half of this recipe)

  1. • ½ cup hot water
  2. • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. • ½ teaspoon instant espresso coffee
  4. • 1 ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  5. • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  6. • 2 tablespoons sugar
  7. • 1/3 cup Nutella


  • In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder and instant espresso powder in a hot water.
  • In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips until nice and smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the sugar until hard peaks form.
  • Stir in the cocoa mixture and Nutella into the melted chocolate. Add half of the whipped cream and mix everything together with folding motion. Fold in the remaining whipped cream and mix well until no white streaks remain. Refrigerate until the cake is cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting


4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.



Happy Graduation!


Many months after we started this blog, we finally braved the incredibly long 20 minute drive to each other’s house to bake together. We’ve both recently finished our undergrad degrees and tomorrow is our graduation. As always, baking is an appropriate way to mark this occasion.


Red Velvet cupcakes are really popular right now (we’re still trying to figure out why), so we thought we would bake them and add a little graduation cap on top for some extra excitement! This recipe is from Paula Deen, and is different from the Red Velvet cake recipe that we posted a few weeks ago. The cupcake itself is less chocolatey, but extremely fluffy!


To make the graduation caps, we bought peanut butter cups for the base, and glued chocolate squares on top using Nutella. We then piped on frosting for the tassels.


We thought we should experiment with the frosting and tried a vanilla frosting recipe from The Pioneer Woman. It tasted wonderful, but personally, we would not make it again, purely because of the runny texture.


We’re going to experience many changes in the near future, and it’s going to be exciting! If any of you are graduating this year, congratulations and good luck! 🙂

Thanks for celebrating with us, and see you soon!

-S & G


Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields: 12 cupcakes

Adapted Slightly From: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/view2/red_velvet_cupcakes_with_cream_cheese_frosting/

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
3/4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp red food coloring (Wilton Gel colour)
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line (12-cup) muffin pan with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.


Vanilla Frosting

From: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/thate28099s-the-best-frosting-ie28099ve-ever-had/

Frosts more than 24 cupcakes


  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)


  • Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.
  • While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.


Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream


I bake for the people I care about, because I want to show them how much they mean to me. This time I baked for M’s birthday celebration- M is my lab colleague/friend/partner in crime. Because she is the epitome of sweetness, I thought a Red Velvet Cake frosted with White Chocolate Buttercream would be perfect!


I know that Red Velvet Cake is a controversial topic-you either love it or you hate it, and I used to be a hater, but no longer! My Dad said this cake was “awesome”, and I had to agree, this is the most flavourful cake I’ve ever made. It was sweet, and scrumptious, and the colour was just stunning.


The white chocolate buttercream is a true buttercream, as it is essentially a combination of icing sugar, butter, and cream, with some melted white chocolate drizzled in. To get the perfect pink, I used Wilton Rose gel colour, and for the purple, I mixed the rose gel with Wilton Royal Blue gel colour.


Recently, I found this super cool and simple new frosting technique, in which you layer different colours to make a water colour-type effect. Here’s the link to the video: http://sweetapolita.com/2012/06/pastel-swirl-cake-video-tutorial/. The look is freeform and rustic; ie. it’s hard to mess up. I then piped a border of blossoms on the top of the cake with a 4B tip.

You all know how I feel about sparkles, so used a cookie cutter to make a heart out of pink sanding sugar.


If you are going to try one recipe from this entire blog, I think this should be it! You will be ecstatic with the result!


Thanks to V for the beautiful pics!

Thanks for coming by, and see you soon!


Red Velvet Cake

Cake recipe by Divas Can Cook.

Ingredients for the cake layers:

2 c. plain flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1-2 oz. red food colouring (I used 2 1/4 tsp. of gel food colouring)
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 c. of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)


Pre-heat the oven to 325° F/ 170° C.

Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans. I lined the pans with baking paper. Since it is a moist cake, it sticks a bit so prepare the pans well.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.

Mix the sugar and vegetable oil in another bowl. If using gel food colouring, add it in at this stage. You might want to temper the colour (mine’s too red, I think). Add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food colouring. Stir before adding the coffee and vinegar. Blend everything together.

Use a large mixing bowl to combine all the ingredients together. Put about a quarter of the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients gradually, alternating with the dry ingredients, mixing after each addition just until combined. The batter will quite liquid.

Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared pans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or when a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Invert on cooling racks. When the pans are just warm, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Invert onto the cooling racks, peel the lining paper off and leave to cool completely.

Whipped White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from: http://comfortablydomestic.com

Frosts 9” 2 layer cake

1 C. unsalted butter, softened

3-3 ½ C. powdered sugar (or more, depending on desired consistency)

Pinch of salt

6 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped (NOT white chocolate chips or candy melts!)

1/2 C. heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Put the chopped white chocolate into a small bowl. Heat the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave set to 60% power. Stir after each increment, and continue to heat 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to completely cool.
  2. Once white chocolate has cooled, sift the salt and powdered sugar over the butter, in a large bowl. Cream the butter and sugar mixture together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Measure the whipping cream into a cup, and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour the cream mixture the bowl.
  5. Once the cream mixture has been incorporated into the frosting, fold on the melted (but cooled) white chocolate until incorporated.
  6. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat frosting for an additional 3 minutes.
  7. Makes enough to generously frost a 9’’ two layer cake.