The Goto Cake Recipe

This is a never fail recipe for chocolate cake.  I’ve used it for cupcakes and regular cakes and it’s never failed to deliver a tasty moist product.  It’s an easy recipe and you don’t need a mixer to make the batter.  I always double the recipe and get either 24 cupcakes or 2 8 inch cakes.

If I want to really have some fun with the cupcakes, I’ll make a Swiss meringue buttercream, however my standard American buttercream works as well.

The cake recipe comes from

The Swiss meringue buttercream comes from the Preppy Kitchen site.

Preppy Kitchen also has a recipe for chocolate cupcakes that I have tried.  It’s also good, but has a few more ingredients.  One change I have made to the wacky cake recipe is to use 1.5 cups of water and 0.5 cup coffee.  It helps bring out the chocolate flavour.

Here’s a video from Preppy Kitchen making the Swiss buttercream.

My Budding Art Career

Way back in November, a friend suggested we go to a “Paint Your Pet Night” hosted by Cassie Young Dog Training (Facebook) and Erin Stagg. (Facebook) I’m not an artist!  I have a hard time painting a wall!  However, the event did interest  me and I signed up.

We sent a photo to Erin, and she prepared the canvas for us.  The image was traced out and numbers were in the various areas of the image.  The numbers indicated the shade of the colour for that section with 1 being lightest and 5 being the darkest of the colour.  For my image, I sent a picture of Able.  One of my favorite pictures of Able, I love the lighting and how bright his face is.

When the evening came, we created our masterpieces.  I did need some help with some of the details, but I did complete the painting.  I was quite happy with the result.

A few months later, there was a second party.  This time it was Luka’s turn.  Wondering how to paint a white dog on a white background, Erin suggested I do the painting as an abstract.  I loved the idea and away I went.  By the end of the night I had an awesome painting.  At least in my opinion!

For the third party, it was Roxi’s turn.  For this image, I used an old picture where she had her “serious” look.  Like Luka, the painting was an abstract.  I was also pleased with the final result.

I’m No Buddy Valastro!

I like to bake.  I find it enjoyable and relaxing and face it, who doesn’t like a good piece of cake!  One of the more challenging aspects of baking is decorating.  I’ve never been much of an artist, but the nice thing about cake decorating is the cake still taste good regardless of how it looks.

A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to Russian Piping Tips.  These made decorating much easier.  With one tip, you could create flowers, leaves and many other designs.  Needless to say, I ordered some for myself.

I’ve used them many times and some of the results are in this post.  I mostly use an American buttercream for decorating, however I’m becoming a fan of Swiss meringue buttercream.  I do enjoy the process and I’m always pleased with the final results.

So, go to Amazon, Ali Express or your favorite baking supply store and buy some tips!  Then watch some videos on their usage and try it for yourself.