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How to Create the Perfect Rainbow Layer Cake

 

6 layer rainbow cake tutorial

This year we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. I love birthdays, parties and decorating! And you know what, I love to do it even more when it’s for my sweet little miss! Her party was rainbow unicorn themed. So, what else is this mom to do, but whip up a 6 layer rainbow unicorn cake?! Well, that is just what I did! Read on to learn how to easily make a rainbow cake for any occasion.

Start by whipping up a double batch of your favorite vanilla cake batter. I used a family recipe. Use your favorite go to white cake recipe, or even a box mix. If you use a box mix, you will need two. I actually made my batter in batches as well. I made one batch, the equivalent to one box mix, and split that into three separate bowls.

Then I colored each of the bowls an individual color. The first batch I did pink, orange, and yellow. You do not want to over mix your batter or you risk your cake becoming slightly tough. I stir the food coloring in just until I reach color uniformity, or very close to it. I use Wilton’s  Color Right Performance System.

Next, grease three cake pans and add the batter. I used this cake layer pan set from Wilton. It worked fabulous! Bake according to your recipe’s directions, but check your cake a couple minutes earlier than normal. These layers are slightly thinner than a typical cake layer.

Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. After this time, flip the cakes out of the pan onto wax or parchment paper.

rainbow cake layers

During the time the first batch is baking, I whip up and color the second batch of batter. This time it was green, blue, and purple.

Sometimes cake layers will slightly dome at the top during baking. So,after all the layers are baked and cooled, use a bread knife to flatten  each of the layers so they will lay even when you put them together, if needed. Now, take your favorite cake filling, or frosting recipe and stick each layer together.  One of my favorite filling combinations is to use red raspberry jam and buttercream frosting. Put a thin layer of jam on one side of the cake and on the other layer a thin layer of buttercream. Now sandwich the two sides with filling together. Repeat this for each layer until you reach the top. If you are looking for a great buttercream recipe I highly recommend this Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting by Amanda Cupcake . It is simply delicious!

Once you have assembled your layer cake than you can decorate it. Always remember to do a crumb coat prior to frosting your cake, even if you are going to use fondant.

A fun alternative would be to make an ombre layer cake. Shades of pink or shades of blue for the layers would make an awesome gender reveal cake! Green ombre would be awesome  for St. Patrick’s day, frosted up like a pot of gold. The possibility with colored layers is endless!

I finished off my cake by frosting the whole thing with that delicious marshmallow buttercream. Then decorated it up as a unicorn. I made the horn out of fondant and added a beautiful floral mane. For the full tutorial on how to decorate the cake like a unicorn check out this post.

And here is a peek at what it looks like when you cut into the rainbow layer cake.

unicorn rainbow layer cake

 

And here is the cake all decked out like a unicorn! Isn’t it magical!  I would love to see your rainbow layer cake if you bake one up!

unicorn cake party dessert table

 

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick

DIY cookie on a stick tutorial

As promised, here is the first of many tutorials, Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick, that are the result of my daughter’s EPIC unicorn first birthday party…and my it was epic!  My goal, is to help anyone who may want to recreate this unicorn party for their family and friends. This party theme lends itself nicely to kids birthday parties as well as baby showers. It is such a universal and fun party theme. The sky is the limit with the creativity surrounding this type of a party.

One of the most important elements of a good party is good food. In my opinion good food also means fun food! And seriously, what could be more fun than food on a stick.  Think about it. Those super fun experiences in life always seem to have food on a stick…the circus you can get cotton candy, fairs and carnivals always have yummy snacks like corn dogs and meat on a stick…yeah, really what it boils down to is food on a stick IS THE BEST! So, of course for my little sweet’s party, we had to have cookies on a stick.

Although the idea of making cookies on a stick may seem daunting, it really isn’t bad at all. I have been making all types of pastries, cookies, sweets, and desserts since I was about 12 years old. Growing up, my family had a very popular German bakery, so really, baking is in my blood! Now, I am here to share my wealth of baking knowledge and teach you the tricks of the trade to make you baking so much easier!

How to Make a Cookie on a Stick 

First things first! Start by whipping up your favorite batch of cut out sugar cookie dough. If you are feeling like taking a short cut, you can even use a box mix to whip up your cookies. I won’t tell anyone if you do 😉

Once you have prepared your dough, you want to roll it out and cut out your shapes. The key with cookies on a stick is that you need to roll your dough a little bit thicker than normal. I personally roll my dough 1/2 inch thick for cookies on a stick, but you can get away with  3/8 inch. I use this rolling pin with guides to help make sure that my dough is the correct thickness. Super helpful, as the dough thickness is what will make or break these cookies. If you do not have thick enough dough, the stick will fall out of the cookie and then you will have a crumbled cookie not on a stick. 🙁

After your shapes are cut out (I made unicorn and cloud cookies) you want to place them on a cookie sheet.  Make sure to leave room to insert the stick ( this happens post baking). My cookies were approximately 2 inches and I was able to fit 5 on a pan for baking. Once you have the cookies on the pan, bake per the recipe’s directions.

Now, once the cookies are done baking, as soon as they are removed from the oven you need to place the stick in the cookie. You want to insert the stick from the bottom of the cookie and slide it up inside the cookie about 3/4 of the way. DO NOT MOVE THE COOKIES OFF THE PAN. If you do, this will cause the sticks to fall out. As the cookies cool, the dough wraps around the stick and helps secure the sticks, but while the cookies are warm, the sticks have not yet been secured. These are my favorite sticks for cookies!

cookies on a stick

I let the cookies cool on the pan for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then I move them to a cooling rack. I use a spatula to carefully move the cookie from the pan to the cooling rack.

unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

I recommend waiting at least 2 hours for your cookies to fully cool before preparing to decorate them and use royal icing. It is super quick to whip up. You can check out my go to recipe here. I prefer to make my royal icing  one consistency that has the ability to outline and flood a cookie. Some bakers prefer to make icing with a slightly runnier consistency for flooding cookies. I find this time consuming, especially when icing cookies, but if this method works for you, than go for it! There really is no wrong way to decorate a cookie! Ultimately, you are going to eat it right?! 🙂

Place some of your icing into a pastry bag and use x tip.  Add the remaining frosting into a squeeze bottle. For each cookie, start by tracing around the edge of the cookie using the icing in the pastry bag. Then, take the squeeze bottle and fill in the cookie with icing. If you have small bare spots you can use the tip of the squeeze bottle to help direct the icing. I recommending doing two cookies at a time. If you do more than this, the icing used to edge the cookie will not blend in with the fill icing. The two cloud cookies on the top left in the image below show where I did the edge of too many cookies before flooding the inside of the cookie and had this issue happen.

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

Since my base color for both the cloud and unicorn cookies was white, I  went ahead and did all the cookies. Depending on your cookie design, use the appropriate  food colors to tint your icing and apply a base layer of icing on the cookie. Once you have a base layer, than go back and add in the details.

How to Decorate Unicorn and Cloud Cookies

To finish up the cloud cookies, once the initial layer of icing has slightly dried (approximately 15 minutes) I went and did a swirly border around the edge of the cloud. I also piped a little heart in the bottom, right corner of each cloud.  For the detailed cute little cloud faces, I used these awesome food markers, called FooDoodler. They work like a dream and enable precision design. So glad I bought this set, and it was a steal at only eight dollars on amazon. Finally, I used gold food paint, also scored on amazon, to paint the little hearts and add a little bling to those cutie clouds! My party theme accent color happened to be gold, so I incorporated it into the cookies. I may be bias, but I think they came out super cute!

The unicorn cookie details were a little more challenging, in my opinion. I colored three portions of royal icing, one each, pink, blue, and green. Next, I layered the colors in one pastry bag and used a writing tip to decorate the tails and manes. I was hoping to get a multi-color effect for the mane and tail, which I did. However, when the pink and green colors mixed they, did get a little bit muddy. The execution and theory of how I did it works. I have done it in the past, and will also show how I did it in an upcoming post for my rainbow meringue ‘unicorn poop’ cookies. My issue was in color choice. Next time, I won’t use the green.

I used the same multi-color icing to also pipe a small heart on the unicorn’s side as well as pipe the hooves. I also went back and added an accent strand of hair in the mane and tail of each unicorn. By waiting and doing this a little bit later the accent strand was slightly raise up above the rest of the mane. I then busted out that gold food paint again and painted the hooves, heart, and accent hairs gold. After that, I used my food markers again to add a cute little eye. Voila! Unicorns on a stick!

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

If you want to duplicate my cookies you can get the unicorn cookie cutter from SheyB.com and the cloud cookie cutter from Amazon.

 

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Baby’s First Bumpkin Holiday Art

baby bum pumpkin art

Happy fall ya’ll!   I felt the need to make some seasonal art and I always love to incorporate tiny humans! Then it came to me, I will make a bumpkin!  What is a bumpkin, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!  A bumpkin is a pumpkin crafted by using the tiny bum of an adorable little human.

To make a fall bumpkin painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human bum
  • orange paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to that bumpkin (I used copics)
  • foam sponge brush (or your fingers)
Supplies needed to make Mistletoe baby art print.

I suggest executing this project in a place that is easy to clean.  since it tends to get little messy. Nakedness and orange paint on their bum, boy do they squirm! 🙂  I suggest you wear old clothes too! The mess factor is really up there with this project.

I do my baby art projects in the kitchen on the floor. Take the foam brush and apply orange paint to your tiny person. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush (or smear it with your fingers; lets be honest that is the easiest way). Gently dab the paint onto the cheeks of your little one. You want to stay to the exterior of the bum (don’t get too close to wear the cheeks meet). Once you have adequately applied paint to those little cheeks go ahead and sit your little one on the piece of paper. Lift the baby straight up off of the paper to get a nice bum print! Basically, you are using baby’s bum as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload.Yes, you have a bum print! Now make more! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! And also in the fact that when your tiny human is 16 you are going to have some awesome embarrassment potential with this little art piece.

Next, bath time is in order for that little person! Make sure you pay extra special attention to cleaning off that little bumpkin of yours!  While that fun tubby time is going on your bumpkin print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it.  I got a little crazy and added some crazy curling vines from the stem and a shadow, too! I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first bumpkin I  titled it with not only her name, but also that it is in fact her first bumpkin. You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s bumpkin below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own!

Now, you have a precious little bumpkin keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make a bumpkin I would love to see how it turns out! This is my all time favorite baby painting craft I have done so far. Baby bums are uber cute!

 

Happy Painting!

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Mistletoe and Holly: Baby Holiday Art

DIY baby christmas footprint art tutorial

Happy December! My favorite season is upon us, and what better time than to make a little holiday art using your tiny human. I want to commemorate my little darling and all her adorableness…so why not make some mistletoes?! What, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!

Making baby art is super easy and super fun. I used my tiny human’s sweet little feet.  My little lady loves it and giggles and laughs the entire time!

To make a baby mistletoe painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human feet
  • green paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to those sweet toes (I used copic markers)
  • foam sponge brush (or fingers)
  • baby wipes (to remove excess paint)

It is important to take on this project in a place that is easy to clean as it can get a little messy. Those little humans tend to be quite wiggly and I swear the wiggle factor increases exponential when they have green paint on their feet! 🙂  Also, make sure you are wearing old clothes and it helps to have the little one completely naked.

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I usually conduct this entire process while sitting on the floor. It makes it much easier and reduces the mess factor. Take the foam brush and apply green paint to it. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush. Alternatively, and to be honest, what I actually do, is just smear it on her feet with my finger. 😀 Gently dab the paint onto those tiny little feet (after you give them a few kisses of course). You do not want to use too much paint, as you will not get  a nice print. Once the feet are ready, place the baby’s foot onto the paper!  I find it easiest to do one foot at a time. Basically, you are using baby’s foot as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload. Eeeekkk! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! What an awesome keepsake, or holiday gift for a grandparent!

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Next, take that paint covered little human and go give him/her a nice little bath. We love tubbie time in our house. It is always filled with giggles, laughs and splashes!  Actually, the family fun that we have with this project is the best part! While that fun tubby time is going on your mistletoes print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it. I like to add holly and berries. I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first mistletoes (and Christmas for that matter) I also title it with her name! You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s mistletoes below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own! One of my favorite tips, if you are using baby as a stamp, make a few as they make great gifts for grandparents!

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Now, you have a precious little baby foot keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make some mistletoes I would love to see how it turns out! They are just the cutest little craft in my opinion!

Stay tuned, next week I will be posting another tutorial for tiny human holiday art! I can’t wait to share! Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and I am so excited to share my first Christmas with my tiny human!

Life is good! Enjoy every moment!

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DIY Baby Legs Tutorial: Halloween Edition

quick diy leggings

So its Halloween time and we are getting our costumes ready! This is little Miss Ellarose’s FIRST Halloween! I am so excited to celebrate this with her! I LOVE ALL THINGS HOLIDAY!  Ella is going to be a very girly jack-o-latern. I bought her an adorable pumpkin Jack-o-latern onsie. On this little shopping spree of mine, I also had bought her a different outfit on clearance that is  for New Year’s Eve and it has an AH-MAH-ZING black and gold glittery tutu. Wouldn’t you know, that it is also just perfect for her costume. SCORE!  That left me with one dilemma. How to keep those little baby legs of hers warm (and super duper adorable and stylish)??

Perhaps you have heard of baby legs. Those super adorable leg warmers in all sorts of fun patterns and styles for babies. Well, if you know me, you know I want one of every color…and that is just not in the budget….so instead I have a way to make adorably baby legs for a fraction of the cost. Oh yeah, and its pretty fast too! I made this one pair in about 15 minutes. I highly suggest making them assembly line style (4 or 5 pairs at once) and they go even faster!

Lets get making some baby legs!

First you need to go shopping! Isn’t that the best first step ever?! I love to shop.  Anyways, you need to find some women’s knee high socks (you can use girl’s if you are making these for a baby) in a pattern you like. Buy a few pairs. Trust me, once you start making these you can’t stop, and you won’t want to. You will suddenly be filled with an overwhelming desire to ensure ALL baby legs EVERYWHERE are covered in adorable leg warmers! These make great gifts for those naked baby legs in your life, too!  A few great places I have found to buy socks are Joann’s Fabric, Ocean State Job Lot, Target, and Walmart.

Since this is the Halloween edition of baby legs, the socks I have picked are orange and black striped. I got these at Joann’s for $2.00. These will make the perfect edition to that tiny human’s jack-o-latern costume for sure!

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Using your adorable little model, determine how long your baby legs need to be. Then add an inch. Now get out your scissors and chop up that sock!

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Don’t mind my little assistant there. She likes to help with all my craft projects. That is Beetle aka Little Miss Beet Beet. Yes, her nickname is WAY longer than her real name. I have know idea how that happened, but it did!

Next, make a slit (from the side where you just cut) on each side of the sock. Do this for both socks. IMPORTANT: Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT cut the top of the sock. It is already finished. That’s the beauty of this. We only have to finish one side!

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Now, turn those socks inside out.

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At the edge you just cut, fold the fabric up 1/4 inch. Then fold it an additional 1/4 inch. Pin the hem in place. Use lots of pins. This is not the time to be stingy with those pins!

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See. I wasn’t shy with the pins. Look how many I have in those socks! Now, it’s time for the fun to begin. Set your sewing machine to the longest straight stitch available. Line up the edge of your hem of the sock with the presser foot on the sewing machine.  Sew the hems on each of the sides of the sock separately, as you normally would, back-stitching at the beginning and ends of each hem.

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Ok, now you are going to pin the two sides of the sock together at the hem. This is to keep the hem lined up. Then, remember those slits we cut, we are going to go to the top of the slit and sew from the edge of the sock just above the top of the slit at an angle down through the hem of the sock. Use a 20 to 30 degree angle. You don’t want to go too steep or it will result in a really tiny open to get that little foot through. Trust me, some one MAY have done that during the trial phase of this tutorial.

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This shows you the angle that I sewed my leg warmers at.

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Once you have sewn  your baby legs, you want to cut off the excess material

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Now for the best part. Turn your baby legs right side out and go find the nearest pair of baby legs you can get your hands on and test these bad boys out!

 

baby-legs3

Seriously, are those not the cutest legs ever?! And it is so perfect mommy is loving making baby legs right now because the tiny human just started to crawl! Baby legs make for great stylish knee protection!

This tutorial works great for babies to toddler sized legs when using women’s knee high socks. If the baby legs you are planning to clad in leg warmers are chubby add a little additional length because as the leggings stretch out they will lose some length. My particular baby is a skinny mini so I don’t really lose any length when she wears them.

Another great variation is to add significant additional length. This will result in a slouchy style legging now and will also allow the leggings to be worn a lot longer as your tiny human grows. The leggings just won’t be slouchy as your child grows. They will become more  fitted instead.

Now, check out my little pumpkin! Isn’t this the perfect first Halloween outfit ever?! Its only missing one thing….a ridiculously loud and frilly Halloween hair bow. Ought oh….I feel another tutorial coming on!

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Ok, your turn now! Go make some baby legs! I can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

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Creative Crochet Style: Fall Hat Edition

Happy fall ya’ll! Hope you are a having a wonderful day and enjoying this beautiful fall weather. With this fall weather and the cooler temperature, I am in the mood to whip up a festive fall hat for the tiny human. What says fall better than an adorable crochet pumpkin hat?! The only thing I can think of is a tiny human wearing it!

easy crochet pumpkin hat

 

See! Seriously, there is nothing better than that! Anyways, I got this pattern from Ravelry. If you are not familiar with this website, it is a community for knitters and crocheters. This site offers patterns, suggestions for yarns, , forums, and social networking among crafters. This site is a fabulous resource.

This particular hat pattern, Pumpkin Harvest Hat, was designed by the talented Cathy Kurtz.

I whipped this hat up in about an hour, after I tucked the little miss into bed. Sometimes that crochet bug bites when I least expect it.  The yarn I choose for this project was Vanna’s Choice Yarn in Terracotta and Red Heart Yarn in true green. I used a 4.0 mm (G) crochet hook, which is the recommended size.

The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. My one word of caution  regarding this pattern is that it seems to run small. My tiny human is very petite to begin with (ie she isn’t even on the growth chart; don’t worry though, she is growing at a steady rate and super healthy) and this hat is extremely snug on her. I will confess, I do tend to crochet very tightly, so that may have something to do with the sizing.

Following the pattern to a tee, which is sized to fit 6 -12 months resulted in a super snug hat. To provide you a sizing idea, my tiny human is currently 8 months (head circumference in the 25 percentile) and we are talking very snug on that little noggin of hers. If I were to make this hat again, I would definitely adjust it by using the next size up crochet hook. I think that would pretty much solve all my size issues. The nice thing about the Vanna’s Choice yarn is that it had a little stretch to it, so I was able to stretch it out enough so she will be able to wear it for the fall season.

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This hat  makes an excellent addition to any tiny human’s wardrobe. I love that it is festive, but not holiday specific so I can get more use out of it than just Halloween. Little miss receives so many complements on this hat every time she wears it. I have actually been stopped in the grocery store and asked where the hat can be purchased. I call that a momma win!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to Ravelry and get the pattern and whip it up. Your tiny human needs a hat!

crochet