Friday, October 21, 2011

Birthday Cake For My Dad!

The other night I was sitting, playing on my computer.....actually switching back and forth from being a Facebook stalker and checking out my favorite blogs.....when all of a sudden my computer made a familiar little "ding" sound. This little tone was my laptop's way of telling me that I had a new e-mail! Yay! I love when I get e-mail. 75% of the time it's just junk, so I finished what I was looking at before opening up my inbox. Surprisingly, it was NOT junk mail!!!! It was a letter from my uncle in Arizona. He was writing to inform me that he was going to be out visiting for my dad's birthday weekend. I don't get to see him much (mostly just around the holidays), so I was very excited to hear that he was making a trip out here! At the end of the e-mail he asked if I was going to be baking my dad a cake for the occasion.......well be honest, I hadn't even thought about baking him a cake......but any reason to bake is a good one for me!!! So I set off to think of the best cake to bake my dad!

I finally found a GREAT cake for my dad. Him and I have similar tastes when it comes to sweet things, so I figured if I would enjoy it, so would he! I decided on a pumpkin cake (since his birthday IS during PRIME pumpkin season) with gingerbread frosting (because YUM!!!). I have been so anxious to make it and have been thinking of ways to decorate it as well. While stalking looking at lots of food blogs, I found this awesome tutorial on how to do multi-colored frosting. Katrina from In Katrina's Kitchen showed how easy it is to pipe out some fancy frosting. I decided that this is how I wanted to decorate my dad's cake!!!!

After putting in a few hours at the day job, I came home and quickly started baking. I had high hopes for this cake and was hoping I could pull it off! So off I go....

Pumpkin Cake with Gingerbread Frosting
(as adapted from Avon Park High School)


1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used cake flour instead)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I used Baker's Sugar)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice (I used Jamaican allspice)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I used Roasted Saigon Cinnamon)
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Grease a cake pan
-Beat eggs
I tried to find a funny picture of eggs being beaten (like in a fight), but couldn't find anything....
-Cream oil, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla together

Have you ever seen oil and eggs "mixed" together? I never was so weird looking....
The egg looked almost was weird, so I had to take a picture of it! :)

NOW.....back to what I was saying about creaming......

-Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together.
 Getting ready to be sifted!

All sifted! :D

-Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined.

 -Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 25-35 minutes (times vary depending on how deep your cake pan is) or until inserted toothpick comes out clean

Gingerbread Frosting

Some of the ingredients
1 stick butter, softened
2 TBSP Crisco
1 (2lb) bag powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
10 TBSP whipping cream
1 TBSP ground ginger
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt

-Blend butter, Crisco, and vanilla together
-Add in powdered sugar and mix (it will become VERY dry and powdery.....just keep on keepin' on....)
-Add in whipping cream
-Once at desired consistency, add in salt, ginger, and cinnamon

-Beat for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy

After the cake was cooled I leveled it off and got my frosting on!!! ;)

I had decided on a 2 layer cake, so obviously frosting had to go between the 2 layers.

 I wanted the cake to have a fall color scheme. After frosting the first layer of cake, I separated the remaining frosting into 5 bowls so that I could color each one. I wanted the whole cake to be a dark brown, so I added some "chocolate brown" food coloring to the first batch.

I mixed it up until I got the desired color. I then did the same with red, yellow, green, and orange.

I don't have fancy mixing bowls, sorry......but my awesome cottage cheese and sour cream containers worked JUST fine! :D

I frosted the whole cake with the dark brown frosting and then proceeded to prepare my piping bag for the multi-colored frosting!!!!

I laid down a sheet of plastic wrap and layered each frosting color on top of each other.....
When I decided to throw the green into there, I totally was NOT thinking about how it would then be Rasta coloring......hahahaha! Oh well.........

Once all the colors were aligned, I rolled up the plastic wrap, twisted one end, and then cut off the remainder of plastic at the other end and inserted it into my piping bag that was already fitted with a coupling. ALWAYS "burp" your piping bag before decorating the cake. You don't want any big sbloges coming out. I then went on to decorate the cake!!!

I ended up having a sbloge on my "y" on Happy......I did burp it but had a blockage and tried to clear it (off the cake) and it was coming out slow, so I just continued on, and then BLOP....a sbloge......I managed to somewhat fix it with a toothpick! :)

I just love how all the colors blend together. I just wish that it was more uniform instead of mixing all around, like the green is thicker in some areas than others, more yellow in some areas......but maybe that was due to using 5 colors (Katrina used only 3 colors....).

No matter what anyone thinks, I am super proud of myself for this cake. I feel it came out super awesome and can't wait to share it with my family tomorrow! :D <3

Ok, so now time for some big news!!!! I am very happy and excited to let you all know that I am signing up to do my FIRST half marathon!!!!! I know, I do triathlons, but have yet to tackle a half marathon (I hope to one day do a full marathon). It is in January and I am so excited! Nervous, but excited. I believe that I can do it......just have to prepare mentally and physically for it. The half will be local to me in and around the wineries in Temecula. It will be hilly, which means we are all gonna get a little silly, but it will be fun!!!!! 

Another big thing!!!! I have decided to partake in a cooking challenge. It is put on by Tina at Mom's Crazy Cooking. A topic is chosen (so this month it is mashed potatoes) and you go around onto other blogs and find a recipe you want to make. Then you make it, blog about it, and there is a "linky party" for all participants to view each recipe and vote on their favorites. The one with the most votes wins. You don't win anything besides the opportunity to post a cute little button on your recipe, but it does help get people to come and see your blog. I am trying to get my "name" out there, so I am hoping this is the first step! :D So look forward to that post from me in early November! 

Well, I have totally talked your eyes off tonight! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

To end things off, I found this funny little photo caption the other day on Facebook and HAVE to share it with you all! :D 

Eat Your Meat!

Good night all! :D

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