Simply Baking: Baseball Cupcakes

Happy Friday all!

I’m so happy Friday is here! I’ve been lucky enough to have a few days off but I feel like I have even MORE to do when I’m not working my 9-5. I ran a ton of errands, spent that Ulta coupon 😉 and had a lovely dinner and happy hour with friends (Love ya Vick!). Here’s to setting goals (a la Tuesday’s entry) and living by them! 🙂

So for my brother’s baseball party, we decided to try a recipe I pinned from Sugar Cooking for Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel frosting. I was successful at the cake recipe but was completely defeated by the icing. I have no idea what went wrong but after an hour (and 2 bags of powdered sugar) of working on just the frosting, I had to give up. However it was by far one of the best chocolate cake recipes I’ve made and it was unbelievably easy!

Since I was going to use store bought frosting (insert crying here), I decided to spend extra time on the decorating. On the baseballs, I used the Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting and red candy melts in a piping bag to do the stitches. For the fields, I dyed the cream cheese frosting green for “grass” and used chocolate frosting for the diamond.

To add something extra to the party, we threw in some of our well-loved red velvet cake pops. I hope to make them again in the future but with more delicate piping (I just was not at the top of my game by the end!).

Etsy

Just so everyone knows it’s not all sunshine and rainbows here at Simply Evani, I often find myself stressed out while baking because I’m such a perfectionist and its probably better for me to choose either a complex recipe OR intense decorating. I just wish I could let go of that Type-A side of me but I’m definitely an all or nothing person so I dive into any project wanting it ALL and 4 hours later, I hate my life. Haha anyone else a perfectionist baker?

This weekend, I will be out at the fields watching my brother play his All Star State Tournament in Santa Ana. Time to slather on the sunscreen and do some hardcore blog planning the old fashion way (aka pen and paper!). Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Happy Friday!

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Simply Baking: Avenger Cake Pops

May 10th holds a special place in my heart for two reasons: 1. Rob, the love of my life was born on May 10th and 2. I made my first set of cake pops on May 10th of last year. I like to think my first set of cake pops created what Simply Evani is today because it opened my eyes to an entire world of crafting and baking I didn’t know before!

Rob and I started dating on Nov 12, 2005, our senior year of high school. Last year, my first cake pops were football themed for his birthday and this year, The Avengers came out with perfect timing. I wanted to try something new for me so I decided to go with upside-down cake pops and flag decorations. I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves!

The flavors were all White cake with either Strawberry or Caramel icing. I brought them to Rob’s office and got equal compliments on both flavors but I was personally partial to the Strawberry. I was told the Caramel tasted similar to Butterscotch.

The cake pop colors were created with Wilton candy melts. I made the flags with cardstock and images printed off the internet and attached them with the ever handy E600 glue.

If you would like the Printables, I made them available here for download!

What do you think of them?? I’m always trying to make “masculine” cake pops, did I pull it off?

Happy Birthday to my love! Thank you for being in my life for the past 6 years and I can’t wait for many many more!

 

Simply Celebrating: Cinco De Mayo

Last Saturday, we hosted our first Cinco De Mayo celebration! As usual, I spent most of the week before stressing myself to death with all the projects I had to do. But all in all, I was so happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to share some fun photos with you all!

Attached to these amazing bulb outdoor lights I bought at Target, I saw a Papel Picado DIY on Oh Happy Day! I knew I had to give it a try. I just followed Jordan’s instructions, created a few different designs and they added such a fun decorations in the sky.

Individual 7 layer dips were so easy and fun to make, plus they looked so much cuter than having people drop a clump of dip on a plate.  I bought the cups at Dollar Tree and we already had all the ingredients since we were servings tacos. The layers included beans, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, mexican blend cheese and tomatoes.

The food for the night was completely homemade and included beans, rice, chicken enchiladas, beef tacos/nachos and a sweet corn tomalito. The tomalito was a huge hit and the recipe is here if you want it!

Mason Jar Margaritas is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and some light teal ribbon with these adorable printables via Living Locurto was perfect! Such amazing printables at her wonderful site.

 I thought the printables looks great on top of the mason jar too.

This picture was clearly prior to mason jar decorating but we also had lime green cake pops. The cake pops were German Chocolate and Caramel which were a huge hit! I used the new Duncan Hines Frosting Creations which I spotted at Target for the first time and it was the perfect Caramel flavor. I’ll definitely be using many more for my cake pops!

After slaving over tiny pieces of cardboard and tissue for 3 days, I was so happy at how these Mini Pinatas turned out! Once again via Oh Happy Day and the amazing Jordan, I followed her instructions pretty closely and they turned out wonderful. I even stuffed mine with some candy as parting gifts. How cute are they?

Overall it was an amazing gathering with close friends that went well into the wee hours of the morning. We even broke out the fire pit at night and had some s’mores. I hope our guests had as much fun as we did hosting it!

Love,
Evani

Simply Baking: Twilight Cake Pops

Welcome back readers!
I know it’s been awhile but because Simply Evani is near and dear to my heart, I’ve spent the last couple months figuring out what the next step is. While I’ve deeply appreciated the loyal readers I’ve had over the past year, I’m looking to redirect my blog to fit closer to my passions and hopefully create a more concise vision of Simply Evani. This doesn’t mean my commentaries, sarcasm and laughable life experiences will all disappear, they’ll just be anecdotal notes to a wide variety of topics I’ll begin to cover. I’m hoping you’re as excited as I am to the coming changes but the biggest favor I can ask for is to please leave comments to tell me what you think!

Simply Baking: Twilight Cake Pops

Introducing my  newest cake pop endeavor : Twilight  (In the future, I’ll take more process pictures so you can see). All of the decorations, stand and various craft related material were purchased at Jo-Anns. The novel pictures were printed off the internet and mod-podged onto wood pieces. The “Twilight” title was done with free hand puff paint (all those years in a sorority really paid off) and everything was attached using my handy dandy glue gun. I’m most pleased with the custom dark teal color, which  I created using wilton candy dye and the white candy melts. (Fun Fact #1:  Teal is my favorite color)

I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that I am a fan of the Twilight novels myself (the books more than the movies, bleh Kristin Stewart). I’ll even reveal that I may have skipped a day of class in college so that I could read all 4 books in sequence (I’m not proud of it). With the cake pops, I tried to stay away from any overt film or character references, despite my Mom’s prodding that we put “blood-looking” red dye on all of  them but the Red Velvet and German Chocolate flavors were a definite homage to the novel’s leading men. I’m hoping to do more cake pop projects in the future so I hope you enjoy the eye candy!

And just between you and me, I’m totally team Jacob.

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Just a disclaimer, if this is your first time on the blog, I promise all my posts will not be teen-crazed entries about vampires. Trust me, I’m 23.  

Put on a Chef’s Hat and Call Me a Baker!

* This blog post was from long ago, before Simply Evani was born. But since it was my first experience with cake pops, it’s definitely a keeper!

Sorry it’s been so long since an update, things have been minor league crazy around my parts! On the bright side, my mind has been buzzing with blog topics that I will hopefully delight my readers with, once I have the time.

So yesterday was Rob’s Birthday and officially the 6th one we’ve celebrated together! Rob is really shy about his birthday, he was the kid who’s birthday wish was not to go to school for the day and for the past few years, he’s changed his facebook profile so that it didn’t accurately portray his birthday. In comparison, I’m CRAZY about birthdays. I love to celebrate them, make a big deal out of them and purposely cause public spectacles that illicit strangers saying Happy Birthday (my favorite way of doing that you ask? 2 years ago on Auva’s birthday I gave her a bouquet of balloons to walk around campus with. Winds were STRONG that day). Anyways, I’ve learned to tone Rob’s birthday down a bit since he genuinely doesn’t like the attention but since it was his first birthday at this office, I knew I had to do something.

In comes my recent obsession, CAKE POPS. Basically Cake on a Stick made famous by Bakearella. Now everyone knows this isn’t a dessert making blog, and I won’t try to pretend all went as planned but I figured my response from these recent cake pops was too good not to share. Anyways, I saw these ADORABLE football shaped cake pops on a blog and I knew this was it. I’ve been planning to try out a recipe for cake pops for weeks now, but have failed to do so.

Then comes May 9 and my first time making cake pops, I’m ambitiously making 56 of them for Rob’s whole office. Of course since baking 56 cake pops seemed too easy with boxed cake mix and store bought icing, I decided to make my own icing. Let me tell you right now, the icing alone took 3 hours. So 6 hours of baking later, I’ve produced something that resembles cake pops. And because I don’t like to half ass anything, I spend an inhumane amount of money in a craft store to make a decorative plate for the cake pops (with the help of my crafty little sister). Here’s the final product:

My final product 🙂 Broncos colors of course 🙂

After Rob sheepishly put the cake pops in the break room while we went to lunch, we come back and his office happily devoured at least half the cake pops while we were gone. His coworkers were raving about the taste (which is news to me since I didn’t even taste one until I dropped it off) and I was happy with the product. It was soft and moist cake on the inside and chocolaty goodness on the outside 🙂 I even got a job offer to work in one of his coworker’s wives’ bakery! (which I will unfortunately have to turn down since I’m still EXHAUSTED from doing these a day later)

I used Devil’s Food Cake and Yellow Cake (for 56 cake pops, I needed 2 cakes). To make the actual cake pops, you cook the cakes as usual, then once they are cool you crumble them into little pieces. You mix in the frosting with the cake crumbles (I did 1 box cake to 2 cups frosting) and you form it into shapes (I handmade footballs). You allow the cake to harden in the fridge, put them on a stick and dip them into chocolate or other toppings. They’re DELICIOUS, I promise.

Here’s the frosting recipe:

BEST EVER CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Makes around 2.5 cups frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup sifted unsweetened baking cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s®
1/4 cup half-n-half

Directions: In a small mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and cocoa powder, alternating with half-n-half. Add an additional tablespoon of half-n-half if necessary for frosting to obtain consistency to frost cake. Makes approx. 2 cups. Notes: Make sure the butter is at room temperature. For the smoothest frosting, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder before measuring. This is a wonderful frosting for cakes too. Double the recipe and add enough cream for appropriate consistency for cakes.- via this forum

Rob liked them too, I think. And we only sang Happy Birthday to him once, at his house. 🙂 As he would’ve liked. Happy Birthday boo!

After this experience, I not only have more faith in my baking abilities but I will probably be making cake pops for all my children’s birthdays! Hopefully they’ll be easier on the eyes as I get better! 🙂