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Homemade fondant and birthday cake

I ventured into new territory this past weekend when making Toby’s birthday.  In an effort to save money and really because I totally enjoy doing cakes, I have always made the kids’ birthday cakes myself.  This year I opted to give homemade fondant a try as well.  I have used a little bit of fondant in the past but it was store bought and not very tasty.  Now, I realize that using marshmallows is not exactly the healthiest choice but in my mind it was better than the store bought preservative-loaded fondant.  Besides, birthday cakes are a treat, not something we eat frequently so a little marshmallow isn’t going to hurt…not to mention the sugar!

The recipe I used was from allrecipes.com and it really exceeded my expectations!  It truly turned out just like play dough and was so easy to work with.  Even better, people commented on how it actually tasted good, unlike most fondants they had tasted before.  It was actually a tasty frosting and not just a cake covering for looks.  Here is how it turned out and the recipes I used:

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Marshmallow Fondant
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, divided
Directions
  1. Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
  2. Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff.
  3. Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

*I actually kept it in the frig for 2 nights until I was ready to use it and it still worked great.  It is very important to let it come to room temperature before trying to work with it though.  I got too excited with the blue and started using it when it was cool still, it was harder to work with and even cracked a bit but the other colors went just perfect.    IMG_2339 (712x1024) IMG_2340 (1024x664)

The “Lego Guy” and the large Lego pieces are made of homemade chocolate cake with Rice Krispie treats for the arms, hands and to round the head.  I used the Hershey’s recipe from the can but here it is(is was amazing!):

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake:

Skill Level:
Beginner
Prep Time:
15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar(I use turbinado)
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. 2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. 3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
    VARIATIONS:
    ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

*I lined my 9 x13 pan with aluminum foil and sprayed it before pouring the batter in.  This makes it so simple to take the cake out of the pan in one piece for cutting into shapes.

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The cupcakes were zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and delicious!

Zucchini Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar(I use turbinado)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 med. zucchini coarsely shredded (about 1 3/4 cups)

1/3 cup Canola oil

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1 tsp imitation vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, mix flour, both sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In separate bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Add this to flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Use 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scooper and scoop into prepared cupcake pan.

Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Put in freezer (right out of oven) for about 45 min. to and hour.

Frost and enjoy!

The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting Ever

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)

1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)

4 cups confectioners sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons imitation vanilla (I think if you use pure vanilla extract cut it to 1 tsp)

*I threw all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until the smooth consistency I wanted.  I  put it on the cupcakes by the spoonful then added some fondant Lego pieces.

Even with all of those ingredients, I still spent much less than I would have if I had purchased a cake.  I had nearly all the ingredients on hand already and found a sale on the marshmallows for around $1.00/bag.  It also tasted way better if I do say so myself!

This post is linked to Frugal Tuesday tips at Confessions of a Frugal MindFrugal Playground,Learning the Frugal Life and Juliecache.com.

Posted by ~Maria at 7:54 AM 4 comments

 

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