Coloring Buttercream: Three Steps to Making Beautiful Buttercream

Adding a pop of color to buttercream makes your baked goods more appealing. However, there is a fine line between seeing beautiful colors and tasting food dye. I’ve had to learn how to make buttercream taste execellent while still managing to add bright and dark colors. Here a few tips and tricks to making colorful buttercream:

1.Choose your colors before making the icing
When I want to color buttercream, I consider who I’m making the baked good for, what event will I bring it to and when it will be hosted. If it’s someone close to you, then you probably know their favorite color. However, think about what colors they wear the most or if they have a certain theme for their party.

2. Consult the internet
After I’ve narrowed it down to two to three colors, then I think about gradients. My go to website is the Frost By Numbers guide on the Food Network website. This helped me a lot when I first started baking cupcakes and cakes. The guide offers various colors, gradients and how many drops of food coloring to use.

3. Don’t be afraid to make new colors
The first time you try to make a new color, it may or may not work out, but don’t be afraid to try. I’ve had made some interesting colors, but I didn’t throw out the buttercream. I would pipe it out using different tips, save the shapes and use them on a different baked goods.

These are few tips to creating a nicely colored buttercream. If you have have anymore tips, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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Matcha and Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Roses

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Twitter by food blogger, Molly Yeh, about her Rose Rose Cake. The cake looked beautiful and I knew I wanted to try to make it. I had been wanting to make something that was challenging and that I could experiment with color.

It took a full day to make the cake. That was shorter than I expected because originally I thought it would take two days. First, I made the Matcha Chocolate Cake. I needed to make it ahead of time to allow enough time for it to cool. Then, I made the buttercream. In order to make the pink and orange frostings, I referred to this chart. The chart was helpful because I don’t have enough experience mixing colors, and I hate when frostings have too much food coloring. I think it tastes bad. After making the frostings, I turned the air conditioner on in my living room in order to keep the frosting from melting while I worked with it.

In Molly Yeh’s post, she mentions that she used a Wilton Flower Nail Decorating tool. I didn’t have that and I wasn’t going to go look for one, so, instead, I used a pizza saver with two of the legs cut off. I still went through the process of attaching a small square of parchment paper to the top of the pizza saver and creating the roses that way. Honestly, the roses weren’t that hard to make using the pizza saver. You just have to be patient and practice. My first couple of flowers looked a little rough, but by the fifth one, I had gotten the hang of it. Also, if you mess up, you can take the frosting off of the parchment paper and place it back in the bowl.

Overall, making the cake was fun and I was able to catch up on my shows. I’ll be making a similar cake soon, and I hope to post the recipe for the cake and the frosting.

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Baking Frustrations and Baking Wins

Last week, I posted a link on my Facebook page regarding tips on how to bake for beginners. I mentioned that I’ve wanted to learn how to bake because I feel that I am not a well-rounded cook. I can easily cook something with only a few ingredients and spices. However, whenever I try to bake anything that involves flour, it doesn’t turn out well. I think my lack of baking knowledge may be because I used to bake more when I lived in the United States. Last year, I didn’t bake at all.

When I lived in Longyou, I had a rice cooker, microwave and a hot plate. It wasn’t much but I learned how to make it work. At times, it was difficult and frustrating not having the equipment I needed to improve dishes, but I don’t regret that experience. Now, I kind of have a standard kitchen complete with convection and a gas stove with two burners. Yay!

Since I posted the article, I’ve been baking consistently. It’s been very challenging and a little tiring. Baking is so precise. A little too much baking powder can change the makeup of a cookie. Some things turned out well, even better than I expected, but other things were quite disappointing. My first baking fail were chocolate chip cookies. The taste of the cookie was good, but I used a too much baking powder. Instead of being cakey, they were crumbly. They literally broke apart in the bag. I was disappointed but I knew how to make the next batch better.

Following the crumbly cookies was a dented mini Bundt cake. I went to the baking store with my friend and I saw the cutest Bundt pan. It was small and perfect, so, of course I bought it! I brought it home and looked up a recipe for a Bundt cake. I adapted the measurements to the size of the Bundt and everything. When I began to pour the batter into the pan, I thought that there may not be enough butter and flour in the pan. I found out that there definitely wasn’t. The cake stuck to the sides and was misshaped. I wasn’t very upset about my dented Bundt, but I was a somewhat disappointed. Yet again the flavor of the cake was good but I wouldn’t call it a Bundt cake.

The last fail was a fail at first, but, in the end, I turned things around. I burnt Christmas cookies. I know it’s a little early to start baking cookies, but if I want to get more blog traffic, I need to develop recipes ahead of time. I made very buttery chocolate cookies. I came in with no expectations, but was pleasantly surprised by the dough. The dough was very soft and wasn’t too sweet. It had a perfectly balanced cocoa flavor, kind of like a cup of hot chocolate. After cutting the dough into Christmas trees, I placed them in the oven. About ten minutes later, I smell something burning. At first, I thought a few crumbs were at the bottom of the oven. I took them out at the fifteen minute mark, let them cool for two minutes and tasted one. It tasted so burnt. They were inedible. Later, after a breakdown over my blackened chocolate cookies, I realized that I not only had I baked them for too long, but I had made the cookie too thin. I ended up rolling the dough and putting it in the fridge for a few hours. I decided that I wouldn’t let these little cookies win, so, I sliced the roll and baked them for ten minutes. I topped them with a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon. The cookies came out perfect! They were soft and the cinnamon complemented the chocolate.

Despite some ups and downs, I still enjoyed baking. My fails made me want to learn more about baking. This week, I’m going to attempt to make a cake and a cranberry and orange loaf. I hope everything turns out well and that I remember to take pictures of my food.



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A Cook and a Baker

If you’ve read my blog, you know that I enjoy cooking but I don’t really bake. I’ve always enjoyed cooking more than baking. When you bake, measurements are important. Of course when you cook they are important, but if you alter the ingredients, they may not have a severe impact on the dish.  Also, I’m not the best baker. During my time in the U.S, I was able to learn how to decorate a cake from my friend’s mom, Patty. She is a proud mom and owner of Patty Bakes Cakes. She has been baking for years and specializes in creating shaped cakes. Although we did not bake a cake from scratch, she gave me a lot of tips on how to decorate a cake.

Tips on how to decorate a cake

  • 1. Before adding food coloring to the white icing, stir it with a toothpick. Then, add the food coloring to the icing.
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  • 2. To keep the icing creamy, add a little bit of milk and stir.
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  • 3. Brushing the cake with a silicone brush helps remove excess flakes.
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  • 4. Always try to evenly spread your icing when coating the cake.
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  • 5. When decorating the cake, don’t squeeze the icing bag too hard and don’t squeeze the middle of the bag. If you do, the icing will rise come out of the top of the bag.
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  • 6. Relax and have fun because it’s just a cake!
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We made a chocolate cake topped with cinnamon sugar dip. It’s a fun take on chips and dip! I was happy with the results, but I don’t think I’ll be baking a cake anytime soon.

Follow Patty on Facebook @Patty Bakes Cakes.

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