Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ruffle Top Rainbow Cake

I’m sure plenty of you have seen the rainbow cake before. I mean, the Super EPIC Rainbow Cake from Whisk Kid. I decided to make it for Emma’s second birthday this year. Of course, right now I’m not allowed to have dairy (because of Charlie’s milk allergy), so I didn’t get the chance to use her recipe, but I loved the concept of the cake. I wasn’t sure how it would work replacing the butter in the cake with Crisco (and this wasn’t the time to experiment), so I used boxed cake mix (Meijer brand white cake mix was the only kind I could find that didn't contain dairy). It made a smaller total amount of batter, so my layers were a bit thinner and the cake didn’t stand as high. For the frosting I used a Crisco/powdered sugar recipe. Now, this cake calls for a LOT of frosting, so I was REALLY sad that I had to use some crappy alternative rather than the delicious Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But I’ve made a promise to myself, I WILL make this cake again, and it WILL have the proper ingredients. Sometime.
Now, I don’t suggest using a Crisco based frosting. Ever. For anything. It’s just plain gross. It doesn’t frost well. Crisco doesn’t melt in your mouth. It doesn’t even melt in super hot dish water (is that good for my drain?) I ended up scraping a lot of the frosting off in an attempt to not make myself sick, lol. So to the people who consumed this cake, I’m sorry for your future artery troubles. At least I learned from this project, never use a Crisco based frosting. It doesn’t frost well, and it tastes like poo. Next time I will use butter, even if I have to cut a slice of cake, stick it in the freezer, and wait to eat it until Charlie is weaned.

Oh, and did I mention that the SUPER awesome Whisk kid (Kaitlin) is only TWENTY years old? And she’s already been on the Martha Stewart Show! I’m not a huge fan of Martha, but she IS legendary. Also, Kaitlin happens to go to college at MSU, which is only an hour from where I live. It’s such a small world! Kaitlin, if you’re reading this, your blog ROCKS!

So on to the cake!

Since I didn’t use the same recipe as Whisk kid, I suggest heading over there to get her recipe. It looks like a kick-ass recipe (and that frosting is to DIE for, I promise). But I’ll post the general instructions here (and tips that I learned from my experience).

Start by making your batter. If you have a scale, you can figure up the weight of the batter and divide by 6 to figure out how much batter to put in each bowl.

If you don’t have a scale, just eyeball it (mine turned out pretty okay that way). Divide the batter between the 6 bowls. Color each bowl of batter: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Whatever color the batter is, that’s the color it will turn out once it’s baked.

Dirty dishes have never looked so pretty!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I HIGHLY suggest layering parchment or wax paper on the bottom of your cake pan. To do this, trace the bottom of the cake pan 6 times onto parchment paper, and cut out all 6 circles. Lay the paper into the bottom of your pan and then grease the pan or spray it with pan spray (I used spray, turned out great). Now, if you have 6 cake pans, that’s great. But most people don’t. So you need to bake them in batches. I only own 2 8 inch cake pans, so I baked 3 batches.

My assistant, Charlie; he loves helping mama bake!

Pour your batter into the pans and bake it for 15 minutes. When the cake it done, flip it out of the pan. In order to get the cake to not fall apart, I suggest taking a layer of wax paper and laying it on the cake (while it’s still in the pan). Place your hand on the paper, and flip the cake upside down. It should come out easily, and the paper will help it to not fall apart. Having the paper will also keep the layers from sticking to each other when you stack them (that is, if you're storing them for a while like I did, I waited until the next day to frost them). I did this step while the cakes were still hot, and they stayed in one piece. Lay them out on a sheet pan and let them cool (I threw mine in the fridge so they were chilled through before I stacked them).

Wash your pans, and repeat.

Once you have your cake layers baked, it’s time to start stacking! Start with purple on the bottom. Don’t forget to peel the circle of wax paper off each later; no one wants to cut into that! (and surprisingly, it happened often enough at school in my bakeshop class). In order to keep each layer of cake intact, don’t try to peel the cake from the wax paper, peel the paper from the cake. Don’t ask me WHY I was trying to peel my cake from the paper, but after a few seconds of trying, I realized I just needed to flip it onto the cake stack and then peel the paper off. It worked much better this way (I blame the sleep deprivation). Smother each layer with a good amount of frosting before stacking the next layer. If you want it to look really clean and perfect, use a lot of frosting. My frosting was about as thick as my cake layers (although my layers were a little thinner than the recipe called for, remember that).

Once you have your cake stacked, do a crumb coat. A crumb coat is basically just a thin layer of frosting on the cake to seal in the crumbs. If you’ve ever tried frosting a cake without a crumb coat, you probably know why it’s recommended. Put the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. You want the crumb coat to hold in place when you do the final frosting.

Now, how you frost this cake is up to you. Whisk kid left hers plain white, which makes it look plain, but that’s TOTALLY cool, since the inside is so awesome; it just adds to the effect. Since this is for my daughter’s birthday, I wanted something fun and colorful. I thought about just caking (hehe, cake) on sprinkles to the sides and the top, but I was thinking it might be a little too crunchy, not to mention I REALLY wanted to do something new. I didn’t want to just throw sprinkles at it and call it good. That’s not why I went to school to learn how to make cakes! So I went with plan B. I got my inspiration from this cake here. (p.s. I also really want to make a cake like this, I was thinking maybe purple ruffles though? I LOVE the fade effect. Anyone need a tiered caked?) The ruffle is actually very easy to do. I used a size 103 rose tip to make mine. I flubbed a little at the beginning, if you look closely you can tell that I used the fat end as the edge for the red layers, but the thin end for the rest. It looks much more crisp with the thin end for the edge. I highly suggest fooling around with this on some parchment paper. I actually took one of my cake pans, covered it with parchment paper (or saran wrap works, too), and doing the entire top in white. I just wanted to see how many circles I would need to fill the entire top. Once I was done, I just scraped my frosting off and colored it to use on the cake (which I might add again, Crisco based frosting SUCKS! I had to wash my bags between each color because I don’t have disposable bags. It took forever.) So anyway, this ended up working out perfectly so I could have 2 rows of each color. I was a little nervous to try something so bold, something that I’ve never tried before, but I think it turned out AWESOME! Here's the final product.

My chef would totally be cringing at the frosting job I did for the sides. Like I said, Crisco based frosting SUCKS. I gave up on that quickly.

 The birthday girl, blowing out her candles

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fantastic new sites!

Well, new to me, anyway. I just recently got hooked on Pinterest and Food Gawker. A lot of you are probably familiar with one or both of those sites, but within the last couple weeks, I've gotten totally hooked! Pinterest is a place to catalog all of your favorite things. Instead of adding a page to your favorites or bookmarks, you "pin it" to your Pinterest page. You can make all these different categories, and it lays it out so you can easily browse through it. It even has each site pinned as a photo so you can easily find what you're looking for. You can even make notes! This website is majorly ideal for crafters, bakers, photographers, designers, you name it. Not only can you "pin" your favorite things, you can browse through what everyone else is pinning. And guess what. I pin things that I see at the Link Parties all the time, so you might even see some of YOUR ideas pinned up there! I've gone a little over board (as in, I spend most of my evenings now either browsing Pinterest or pinning things to Pinterest, heh). Feel free to come follow me on Pinterest! And if you'd like an invite, leave your e-mail address in the comments (or e-mail me at
And then there's Food Gawker. I can't even put into words how AWESOME this site is. It's not just a site with recipes. It's an AWESOME site with recipes. Most other websites are set up kind of so-so, it just doesn't draw you in. Food Gawker takes in submissions for recipes, and they pick the best ones to post to their site every day. Each recipe is posted as a picture with a short description of what it is. This wouldn't be so extraordinary if all of the recipes weren't so awesome. There's such a huge selection, anything you could ever want to make. I think my days of Googling recipes are over. No more for me! (that site kind of blows anyhow). Anyway, most submissions to FG are made by bloggers, like me! So of course, I took it upon myself to submit some of my recipes, I'm hoping to see them on there! And of course, if you check out my Pinterest page, you'll see TONS of fun food ideas that I've pinned! So GO NOW! Enjoy. :)
P.S. Go "like" Crafty Mama on Facebook! My fan page is looking a little scant since I started it up. It needs some life blown into it! And what's a fan page without fans?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Strawberry Kiwi popcicles

What you'll Need:A combination of fruits
Juice or 7 up (or a mix) I prefer the white grape or apple

Cut up your fruit and drop it into your popcicle molds. Fill the molds with your chosen liquid, put the tops (or sticks) in place, and freeze.
You can also pack ice cream into your molds to make fudge cicles, or use yogurt and fruit. The combinations are endless!

Friday, May 13, 2011


I decided to change things up a bit, and gave my blog a little mini-makeover! I thought it needed a lighter look, so here it is. 
Also, I made new buttons, be sure to grab one in the right side-bar!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ribbon Chandelier

I finally got around to making that Ribbon Mobile that I saw over at Between U & Me. What do you think?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Diaper Cover

I finally got around to making Charlie another diaper cover! I need to get this style perfected, I'm making a few for a friend and my sister who are both due this summer! Hopefully I'll get a tutorial up within the next couple months.

Homemade Baby K'Tan

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If you're not familiar with the Baby K'Tan, it's similar to the wrap, but without all the wrapping. Once I saw them, I knew I wanted to add one to my baby wearing collection! The only problem is the PRICE! They're quite a bit more than I'd like to spend on a baby carrier, especially when I already have more than one.Once I priced out the fabric, though, I figured I could make one for MUCH cheaper.

What you'll need:
2 yards of stretchy knit fabric
1 fat quarter

My knit fabric came in a loop, instead of being folded in half like most other fabrics are. I had to cut it lengthwise so I could lay it out flat.
Cut your fabric into 3 strips. My fabric was about 44-45 inches wide, so the strips were about 15 inches wide and 2 yards long. Now, the fabric will be a little narrower than a wrap that you'd buy, those are probably closer to 18 inches wide. I found that this is just as supportive though. (And it doesn't matter if your lines aren't exactly straight. You can't tell the difference with mine.)
Set one of the strips aside for later use.
Take one of the other strips, and measure it by wrapping it across your chest and over your shoulder. I started out with my strip being 57 inches long. I made sure to keep it longer in case I wanted to bring it in (which I did, twice).  Cut two of the strips to be the same length.
Fold each strip in half, and sew the ends together with a good tight stitch. Do this with both strips, to make two loops.
To test the sizing, put both of the slings on to make an "x" across your chest (check out the baby K'tan photo gallery to get an idea of how to wear it). Put your baby in the carrier, with the two loops crossing between his/her legs. Spread the material out over his/her bottom and back. You want the baby to sit high enough up that your shoulders won't droop forward. I found that being chest to chest felt most secure. Once I tried it on, I realized mine was a little too loose, so I brought it in about 2 inches, making it roughly 55 inches. (After wearing it off and on for a day, the fabric stretched out a bit, and started sagging. I brought it in another inch to compensate for the fabric sagging). Once you're sure about the sizing, cut your fabric close to the seam, and seal it with a zig zag stitch, to look something like this. You don't NEED the zig zag, but I think it gives it a better final look. 

The last piece of fabric is the sash that will be wrapped around you and your baby. This helps give extra support, not to mention a fashionable flair!
Take your fat quarter and lay it over the middle of the strip of fabric. Fold the edges under, and over the back, pin it in place, and sew it on.

Depending on the fabric you use, you shouldn't need to do any hemming to the edges. The knit fabric I bought doesn't fray, so I decided to skip that.
Once I was done, I ended with with 2 loops, the same size, and one sash.

Note: All of these pictures were taken before my final adjustment. Now that I've brought the seem of the loops in another inch, when I wear Charlie, he sits up higher, closer to my chest. That is the proper fit. When I took the pictures, the fabric was already beginning to sag.
I took some more pictures since bringing it in an inch. He sits higher up, closer to my chest. 
Facing out
This is how it should look without the sash.