Friday, July 31, 2015

Journey Off the Map Cakes

Block party! 
Yes, a block party is thrown for the last day of "Journey Off The Map" vacation bible school. My contribution to the fun? Four, nine inch cakes for the cake walk. Not from scratch cakes. Cake mix cakes. BUT, I did make my own buttercream frosting. It isn't pantry style, unless I make something from scratch! 
Our VBS theme was "Journey Off the Map."
 The tropical tree house theme inspired the flower garland decorations.
Frosting colors: yellow McCormick's food color, Wilton gel color in sky blue, violet, and leaf green.
The four decorator tips that I used to create the flower garland border:
Left to Right: #5 piping tip, Wilton #224 drop flower tip, #191 drop flower tip, #67 leaf tip.

Drop flowers are a quick and easy way to create a pretty cake. During vacation bible school week, quick and easy is what I am going for!

I did not have a drawing, or a plan for my flower borders. Just an idea in my head. Flowers and leaves are pretty flexible.

I knew I wanted the cakes to say, "Trust Jesus."

Yellow is a great color because it can be used for the piped message AND the center of each drop flower. Again, quick and easy. I love purple and blue wild flowers, so I went with violet and sky blue. 

Never made drop flowers? 
Get a drop tip and practice forming flowers onto a sheet of wax paper until you are comfortable shaping the flowers. Do not forget to have fun! Just remember to squeeze the piping bag to form the flower and then relax your grip on the piping bag before you lift the pastry bag and tip. Your frosting should be at room temperature. Cold frosting does not pipe well.

Silky Smooth Buttercream Frosting
This is my favorite buttercream frosting to use for piping through a bag.

2 sticks of salted butter
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup of water
2 lb. bag of confectioners sugar

  • Place butter and vegetable shortening into a mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream the butter and vegetable shortening together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add about 1/4 of the confectioners sugar and the vanilla extract.
  • Beat with the mixer on low speed until well blended.
  • Add another 1/3 of the remaining confectioners sugar and continue to mix at low speed until the frosting is well blended.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and half of the remaining confectioners sugar.
  • Beat until well blended.
  • Add remaining confectioners sugar.
  • Continue to mix with the electric mixer on low speed.
  • If coloring the frosting, add food coloring now.
  • Blend food coloring into the frosting until the desired color is achieved.
  • Icing may be thinned with additional water to frost your cake or cupcakes. 
Tip: This recipe can be reduced by half for a small cake or double the ingredients for a large amount of frosting.