Celebrating the Season of Easter

I wanted to do something a little extra special throughout the 50 days of Easter this year, something that would remind my children that Easter is a whole season, and not just one day. It also had to be something easy to accomplish, what with the new baby and all. No banners and daily readings and symbols for this season! I decided I’d make a different cake every week of the Easter season–something fun for me to do, but not something I usually do on a weekly basis, so it would be special and unique, and something my family would appreciate and enjoy.

I started with a carrot cake on Easter Sunday.

Easter week deserved a cake of its own, aside from the Easter Sunday cake, so I went with a chocolate Irish Cream cheesecake later in the week.

The following week, I made a plain Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake.

Next up was a tiramisu layer cake–I think this one was my personal favorite, and it looked so pretty!

That was followed by a coconut cream layer cake, something I’d been wanting to make for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to.

The next week was Ladybug’s birthday, so we had birthday cake.

I finally found a recipe that combines my two favorite desserts, (tiramisu and cheesecake), so our next cake was a–you guessed it–tiramisu cheesecake for Mother’s Day (yes, I made myself a Mother’s Day cake…it was my day, so I could do what I wanted!).

I tried another new recipe for a mocha mousse cake for our 11th anniversary–this was Ryan’s favorite out of all of the cakes I made.

The final week of Easter I tried a variation on an old recipe for a lemon cake–it was very fancy!

Stay tuned tomorrow to see what I made for Pentecost Sunday!

Baking Weekend

Some people clean when they’re nesting; I bake. Ironic, given that I can’t eat much of what I make, no? But the children certainly don’t mind!

I started with an old family favorite–a Guinness cake for St. Patrick’s Day. My children have been calling this a “donut cake” for years…the bundt pan is still something of a novelty to them, since the only time I ever get it out is, well, St. Patrick’s Day! But every time they laugh about the cake with the hole in the middle, I think of that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where Maria is trying to figure out what the heck Ian’s mother has brought to their  “meet the family” party, and I laugh, too.

From there, I went fancy. Since Turkey’s birthday fell on Sunday this year, I thought it would be fun to bring cupcakes to Sunday School. We had seen Giada De Laurentiis make some beautiful, filled, cupcakes not too long ago, and I have a cupcake filling tip that I’ve never used before, so…

They were just as delicious as we had hoped. The strawberry/mascarpone filling was amazing, and the glaze, which was a vanilla simple syrup mixed with powdered sugar, was the perfect topping. Not too heavy, not too sweet, but very complimentary.

Frankly, I wish I had some more of the filling to eat…it was that good on its own!

Turkey’s cake was equally fancy. He had deliberated for quite some time about whether he wanted a shaped, decorated cake, or a round cake in a special flavor. The decision was, once again, made thanks to Giada. This time, we saw her make her husband’s favorite cake–an orange cake with a raspberry filling and frosting. This was my first experience using crème fraîche in a frosting, and while it did take some effort to track a container of it down, I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the results…it was well worth the hunt!

I’m already planning on trying a few variations on this cake in the future…I think both an orange/strawberry and a lemonade/raspberry version would be excellent. Not sure when I’ll get around to either of those, as the next cake I’m hoping to make is a carrot cake for Easter, (if I’m up to it!), but I’m very intrigued by the possibilities!

I haven’t spent this much time in the kitchen since Christmas, but I’m not complaining…it sure beats cleaning!

Artistry on Cakes

I had the chance to attend the Belleville News Democrat “Lipstik” Women’s Show at the Gateway Conference Center with a friend this morning. There were some pretty strange booths there, but there were a couple of real treasures, including Artistry on Cakes. It was so much fun to look at all of the different cake (and cupcake) creations!

I don’t know why I showed Turkey this picture of a Lego cake…I’m pretty sure he wants to fire me as the family baker, now!

I love the sparkle on these cupcakes–I’m going to have to try some of that at home.

There were all kinds of amazing baby cakes–it makes me wish I knew someone who was having a baby shower!

And the wedding cakes! Pictures really don’t illustrate their beauty, but you get the idea:

It’s hard to see in the picture, but this cake had an amazing wavy top.

I can’t believe the amount of time, (and patience!), that must go into these creations. My hand cramps up by the time I’m done doing one birthday cake–I can’t imagine an undertaking something the magnitude of what I saw at the show!