Spreading Love with Rainbow Cupcakes

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In my last post, you might have noticed that I got a little sentimental (I regret nothing!) So let me fill you in on some of the behind the scenes stuff: Because my friends wanted a chocolate cake for the Gender Reveal cake, I had to make at least one batch of vanilla cake to dye blue. Needing only half for the cake presentation and having mixed a full batch of vanilla batter, what’s a girl to do? Mom always told me not to waste food so….

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I reserved half the batter and divided it into three bowls to mix red, yellow, and green. And of course, I left some blue batter for these fun little cupcakes. I carefully spooned the batters, layering them gently and baked as per usual. Topped with my usual vanilla buttercream and dressed with these little pink chocolate hearts I molded, these rainbow cupcakes are just another way to spread the love!

The Great Gender Reveal Cake

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I try not to get too personal on this blog even though I take baking very personally. Sure, the things I bake for my friends and family are personal but when I blog about them on here, it’s to show my growing technique or share an exciting recipe. But when my dear friends Brandon and Marisa broke the news that they were expecting a baby and wanted me to make a gender reveal cake for the celebration, I didn’t fully grasp how personal it would mean to me to be asked and trusted with this information. To blog about the experience, about the cake, I have no choice but to get personal and perhaps a little uncomfortably emotional about it.

Simply put: I’ve made many cakes before but this was hands down the best cake experience of which I’ve had the honour of being a part.

With the parents-to-be in gender-neutral clothing.

Being the only person with a naughty little secret sporting a grin of Cheshire Cat proportions as party-goers made their guesses by donning pink or blue, I felt a little smug… maybe even a little powerful. And while everyone’s eyes were on the cake as it was being sliced, my eyes were on the parents-to-be, and their parents, and everyone else’s reaction. I teared up before the cake revealed to the room what a piece of paper revealed to me a week before – IT’S A BOY!

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Big smile for a baby boy!

Let’s be honest, their reactions would have been the same whether that cake revealed pink or blue. And though you don’t know Brandon and Marisa personally, I will tell you this: that they will be amazing parents and I look forward to spoiling that kid with many baked goods!

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Some chocolate cupcakes to accompany The Great Gender Reveal!

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Eager cousin Oliver was hoping for a little girl cousin. Maybe next time, buddy!

Photos by Dianna Reis Martin (soon-to-be auntie to a beautiful baby boy)


Disclaimer
Father-to-be Brandon included this statement on the event invite that I wanted to make clear as well:

And for the record, please don’t think we agree with gender colours… this is just for a party! Our girl would be decked out in blue, and our boy would be proud to love pink!

Well said!

Welcome to the #BakeChain

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Introducing the #BakeChain! A fun little “spread the love” project I decided to start that involves, what else? Baking! Unlike the Herman Friendship Cake, this bake chain letter is more personalized and free – you can bake what you want, as much as you want, dress it up however you like, and most importantly, you personalize it with a sweet little note to the recipient telling them what they mean to you. Your friend, in turn, will spread that love to three other people they know. Man, the idea of it alone is giving me diabetes!

So here is what you’ll need:

  • Baked goodies; 1-2 dozen cookies/brownies/tarts/whatever will do; it’s totally up to you! Want to bake three small cakes? Have at it! Did you only make 1 dozen regular-sized muffins? Feel free give your friends 4 each. It’s the thought that counts.
  • A little note expressing how awesome your friend is!
  • Some packaging for your treats. This can be brown paper bags, small tin containers, or tupperware. I found these decorative treat boxes at Bulk Barn (see below) that I will hand-deliver to their homes.  Well, at least to two of them. One of my friends happens to live in another city, so I’ll be sending it via post in a less decorative box.
  • A copy of the instructions so that they can extend the #BakeChain to their friends! You can copy and paste the instructions below.
  • When or if you receive a #BakeChain package, you must take a photo of it, along with the note of love and post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag the person who sent it to you and hashtag it #BakeChain.

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I will post the recipes for my cookies later. Be on the look-out for that!

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INSTRUCTIONS (PRINT AND INCLUDE IN YOUR #BAKECHAIN PACKAGE)

How to #BakeChain

  1. Take a photo of your treats along with the note with your name on it and post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #BakeChain and tag the person who gave you the sweets.
  2. Select three other friends and bake some cookies, brownies, cupcakes, muffins, tarts, or anything else of your choosing for them. The quantity and how you pack or present the parcel is up to you.
  3. Include a note for the recipient explaining why you cherish them.
  4. Include a copy of these instructions.
  5. Deliver your dessert package by any means: hand-delivered, postal service, or bike courier, whatever!
  6. There is no time frame for when you need to send your baked goods. Just don’t be the person who weakens the chain!

A History of the Easy-Bake Oven

Baking a cake using the heat of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb with no parent giving me permission to lick the mixing spoon was empowering, even though I didn’t know what empowerment meant at the time.

It was 1988 when I first got my Easy-Bake; a gift surprisingly not from my parents but from my brother. The Easy-Bake was in the midst of its post-modern makeover, taking the form of a microwave oven as opposed to the make-shift replica of a 1960s kitchen.

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Meow-Meows takes a bath

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“She will lose her shit,” said the doting father of a two-year old daughter named Cecilia, who loves bathing her TY Beanie Boo Muffin cat (aka “Meow-Meows”).

If ever there was a review for my cakes that I would wear with pride, it’s that I made a toddler lose her shit.

So here was the criteria:
1. Make it chocolate.
2. Include this cat:

TY Beanie Boo Muffin Cat

TY Beanie Boo Muffin Cat

3. She loves bathing Meow-Meows.

Rubber ducky was a bonus:
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#NailedIt

British Invasion: Crème Brûlée Inspired Cookies

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Surprise! This decadent dessert may have originated in England, not France… maybe, most likely, probably, I dunno. On my last day in London, the last meal of the journey took place at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, where I capped it off with a Crème Brûlée (which appeared on the menu as “Trinity Vanilla Cream”). A symphony of rich creamy vanilla custard and crunchy toffee is just as sweet, no matter where it’s from. But for the sake of my “British Invasion” series, let’s say England.

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