Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nine Patch with Stars Birthday Cake and Cupcakes

Patchwork and Stars Birthday Cake with rolled butter cream fondant and royal icing.
My Grandma Pansy is my inspiration for the Nine Patch cake top.
Grandma's quilts were prized presents in my family. The quilt I received from her was a red and white, nine patch design that I treasured for years.
Love of barn stars is a quirk of mine. I LOVE barn stars. Mini stars were the perfect addition for this pretty cake top that I designed for my daughter Ashley's birthday. Ashley is a single mom with a toddler and she enjoys receiving a birthday cake from Mom!
Why Jumbo Cupcakes?
Just didn't feel like making two cakes. lol...lol Instead, I placed jumbo aluminum cupcake liners in a cake pan and cooked a nine inch cake and five jumbo cupcakes.

P.S. The cupcakes didn't go to Ashley's house. They stayed home for Bill and I to enjoy.
Jumbo cupcakes made with rolled butter cream fondant and royal icing.
Close up of royal icing beads and star.
The cookie cutters that I used to create the Nine Patch Cake and Jumbo Cupcakes : a 3 inch square cookie cutter, a 1 1/4 inch mini-star cookie cutter, a 3 inch round cookie cutter, and a 2 inch round cookie cutter.
Step by Step Pictures to Assemble a Nine Patch with Stars Cake
Step 1: Place corner squares and center square first, leaving a small gap as shown in the picture above. Next, set four contrasting squares into place. Don't worry, the stars will cover all of the cake top.
Step 2: Place 12 white stars as shown in the diagram above. 
Step 3: Place 19 pink stars as shown in the diagram above.
Step 4: Place 12 brown stars as shown in the diagram above
Step 5: Pipe lettering and then dots onto stars. Your Nine Patch with Stars Birthday Cake is done!
Five Easy Steps to Assemble the Jumbo Cupcake Design

1. Drizzle a small amount of royal icing onto the cupcake top.
2. Place a 3 inch round of brown fondant onto the cupcake top over the royal icing.
3.Using a small amount of royal icing as glue, stack a 2 inch round of pink fondant on top of the brown fondant circle.
4. Place a white fondant star on top of the pink circle.
5. Pipe royal icing beads around the edge of the brown fondant circle

My Butter Cream Fondant Recipe

I have broken two stand mixers trying to mix fondant with the little spiral dough hooks that came with them. The second one was supposed to be a heavy-duty, detachable, stand mixer - it wasn't. I am now using a 1960's model stand mixer with dough hooks to make this recipe. A Kitchen Aide mixer is at the top of my wish list!

Ingredients
Yield: about 1 1/2 pounds of fondant

1/2 cup light corn syrup                   1/4 cup shortening                          1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract                      1 pound confectioners sugar - about half of a 2 pound bag

This recipe can be doubled and the yield will be 3 pounds of fondant. 
Directions
  • In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup.
  • Mix with an electric mixer until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  • Add the vanilla extract and salt.
  • Gradually mix in the confectioners sugar until it forms or begins to form a stiff dough.
  • Knead by hand until the fondant holds together in a smooth ball that is not sticky. Add a little more confectioners sugar as needed. 
  • Divide fondant into three 1/2 pound balls
  • Flatten each ball and wrap in plastic wrap
  • Place wrapped circles of fondant into a container with a tight fitting lid. I use a 4 qt. ice cream bucket.
  • Place container in refrigerator until you want to use it. 
  • Remove the  fondant from the refrigerator and let it warm for about 15-20 minutes. 
  • Knead with your hands until fondant is pliable. 
I like to make the fondant 2-3 days ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until I need it. Plus, I feel like the fondant handles better after is has been in the refrigerator for two or three days. 
Variation:
For chocolate butter cream fondant, add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder with the vanilla extract, and salt.

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