Preparing For the Baby Announcement Picnic Basket

For Joie's one month baby annoucement hamper, or widely known as Manyue/ Manye, we wanted to give something special and useful for the receiver to keep and use them. My friend Yulni gave a lot of suggestions and I decided on picnic basket. I had a lot of fun looking for things to fill the basket with good quality items and also they had to fit into my budget.
Picnic Basket ordered from Madewithlovelyby Pepperbliss

Colorful frosted mugs from Kandadinda Souvenir and custom print from freebie image from Weddingchicks
Smiley wooden spoons from Aliexpress seller
Gold rimmed 6" ceramic plates from Senin Indah

Japanese inspired honey citron cookies made by Surely+Someday and added Kinder chocolate eggs
Assembled into the box
Fitting into the straps and pockets

Tagging the baskets with free printables from Smitten Blog Designs. Thank you for the lovely freebies!!

Ready to be delivered

Vintage Hankerchief Baby Announcement

Ordered vintage scalloped handkerchiefs from a Aliexpress seller and had them shipped from China in a big envelope. It said 100% cotton but I have to say it felt more like polyester due to the stiff material.
Found the flower wreath on free DIY printables from Wedding Chicks/
Printed the announcement on iron-on transfer paper. Its easy and fast but it came out to be a plasticy film over the handkerchiefs.I wanted to try stamping but I ran out of time to custom the stamp.


Rainbow Candy Theme Birthday

The birthday girl had change ofmind from Pirate Princess party to Rainbow theme. My sister was crazy enough to make those bright colorful circle fans for the backdrop for the entire night after we finished with the cake. Cray cray but I guess we will do anything to make our children happy even if we lose our sleep.

I would make more sweeties for my niece but with less than a month baby and breastfeeding timetable, I didn't want to be ambitious to volunteer to the job. My sister found a talented baker, Sugarbites Bake Shoppe, to do the ombre cake, caupcakes and macarons.

Candy Cake

Sisters effort! My sis found a picture for this candy cake and we tried to make one for her daughter.
I made the square base with the fool proof white chocolate cake recipe and attached a dummy for the top tier.
Sis made those lollies, candy canes and chocolate bar. She considered to stick Kit Kat bars but I told her it would be difficult to stick to the cake.
We took hours by the table to make the balls, yes hours to make those big balls to cover and give the cutesy effect.

Whew! Remember in my previous blog, I made the woodland cake for Grace... I thought I semi-retire myself from making more than 2hrs cake. Right. After this cake, I told my sister that we should bake and decorate our childrens cakes. It was intense, fun, tiring and satisfying. The kids came by to check on the cakes and they love how their mommies are working on fun cakes.

Joie 100th Days! Best Yellow Cake + Hazelnut & Milo Frosting

Followed Yellow Layer cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I have to say this is really really good! Yum yum...

hazelnut spread
Usually I make 2 types of frosting - the regular icing sugar buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream. The icing sugar is overly sweet and for Swiss meringue, I usually use Wilton's pasteurized meringue egg white powder and it has a fake smell that I don't favor even if I add Madgascar vanilla paste. I wanted a sightly better option and I decided to try the buttercream with flour. 

It looked easy. I tried with the all natural, unbleached, gluten-free Bob's Mill AP flour. I failed. Lesson learnt- follow the instructions for first tries.

Whipping the new batch of frosting to a good consistency, I cheated with this - sublime hazelnut spread, added Milo and Hersey's cocoa powder. Ohhhhhh.... it taste great!

Best Yellow Layer Cake

Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake 

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frosting Ingredients

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

Preparation Instructions

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 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. Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.
Cut yourself a piece and put it on a pretty plate. Grab a fork and prepare to experience the most divine pairing you can imagine. This frosting on chocolate cake is to die for. Sure, the recipe sounds strange — it has flour in it — but it’s sublime. Try it, you’ll see. You’ll love it so much you won’t go back.


Chic, Elegant and Luxe Baby Annoucement

These ladies are the chic ladies behind the beautiful Brown Tree store and their baby announcements are WOW!
Classy black and white box with beautifully embossed illustrated artwork announcement
Beautiful baby picture on lacquered frame and chocolates for my bedside snacks.
Mint and maroon announcement box and card
Sinfully good chocolate almonds and French hazelnut spread

Mysterious Detective Book Birthday Invitation

A mystery package arrived
A magnifying glass to look for clues
Sealed with a monogram wax seal
Invitation details


My Other Cake Projects

Practice makes perfect. I wanted to improve my fondant decoration skills and I volunteered to make for cakes for friends and families.

I used the rose mold for this cake and used water to glue them to the cake (the sides) before realizing its too 'plain' This was for my grandmother to celebrate her 81st birthday, so it had to be more festive, so I used red petal dust to paint the roses.

 The problem with painting with the glued flowers was that the colors bleed. Thus, I piped buttercream and painted the swirls with gold.
Lessons learnt: how to cover shaped cakes and don't glue down until sure of the cake design

Challenging myself to make 3-tiered cake. Everything went well except... Making a bright color from colored gel and mixing them to cover the cake was tiring and disappointing. I used Americolors and the Fuchsia color didn't even come close to bright pink. I had to use petal dust to wash color over the cake. Lesson learnt: buy ready made color fondants

Reason why I like to bake and decorate cake: to see the outcome and the children faces when they see the cakes

One of my favorite cakes. Simple and elegant
Used royal icing to make dots and sticking the daisy flowers. Then, I painted pearl petal dust on the dots. The tricky part was attaching the crystal brooch on the cake.

My First Tiered Cake for Cally - 2010

I know this is backdated a bit. Found some pictures and thought if I don't document these, I won't remember them. Going through my external hard drive brings back some good memories. I realize I haven't blog in 2011, and my last cake project in 2011 was for Grace woodland birthday cake, which then I was off on baking hiatus. And my pregnancy with #3 and growing my company came to prioritize above my baking hobby.

This was my first tiered cake using real sponge cakes and not cake dummies.

 Frosted both cakes and chilled them before placing the fondant. I found that using plastic gloves is so much more neater than using the cake smoother or greased hands. I had more control, no sweaty palms, and need I to mention- more hygienic? Next I inserted cake dowels to hold the weight if the top tier.
Using cake spatula to place the top tier on. Cover the imperfections with fondant pearls and ribbon

Use piping nozzles to make the circles. Paint glitter on the name

The cake sweated a while after out from the fridge into room temperature but it stabilizes after a while.

Airplane Cake For W - 2011

My nephew, Walter, is the same age as my daughter, and I asked his mom if I could bake him a cake. She told me he was into airplane and I went online to research for airplane cake.
The inspiration.
The carved cake. Base was double layer cake from loaf pan. Lots of stacking, speckling, and frosting for the desired shape.

Looking like a fish with the fins and all, floating on water
Added windows and clouds

Into the fridge for cake and me to sleep

My sister-in-law added the candles and I thought the cake became cuter and happier.