Homemade Shopkins Cookie Cakes!

We were invited to a 5th safe party this year!  That’s a record, friends!  We are always humbled, grateful, excited and a bit nervous when we go to parties.  The anti-histamine the allergist has SG on has helped tamp down her constant contact reactions tremendously, but it still occasionally happens.

So, my sweet cousin N invited us to her daughter’s party and offered to have only safe foods.  I offered to make the cake.  N requested a Shopkins Kooky Cookie cookie cake.

The Huzz and I are always up for a good cake challenge, and we tackled this one the way we do best- together.  I baked the cookie cakes and he did all the decorating with the frosting.  Good ‘ole Pillsbury frosting.

We surprised N with an extra cookie cake- Cheeky Chocolate.  As I shaped Kooky Cake with the raw dough, I realized I had enough dough left for an extra cookie cake.  I showed the Huzz several images and he picked Cheeky Chocolate as one he thought he could well.

Without further ado, here are our results:

kooky-cookie

cheeky-chocolate

The baking of the cookie cakes was my part.  I simply use this food allergy friendly chocolate chip cookie recipe from Silk.  Click here for the recipe.

I take about half of the dough per cookie cake and shape it with my hands until the desired shape is reached.  For Kooky Cake, I shaped it into a circle as big as my round pizza pan.  We put parchment paper on the pan and shape the dough on top.  For Cheeky Chocolate, I formed a tall rectangle.  I baked the cookie cakes on 350 on convection for 13 minutes.

We let the round cake cool almost completely before the Huzz cut out the bite marks in Kooky Cake.  Then we let the cookie cakes cool completely before the Huzz decorated the cookie cakes.

We used these Pillsbury frostings:  1.5 cans of chocolate fudge, 1 can of cream cheese (it’s dairy free!), one can of vanilla hot pink frosting and one can of vanilla neon blue frosting.  And my frosting tool that helped me create SG’s beautiful Barbie cake last year.

As for the cake decorating, an artistic person is definitely a plus.  I could not have made these cookie cakes look like this.  The Huzz is artistic and is the one who made these cakes shine.  So, if you wanna try this at home – (and you should! If we can do it, so can you!) then an artistic person is most definitely gonna help make your cake beautiful.  (The feet and hands are just frosting- no cookie cake underneath.)

The cookie cakes were a hit, my daughter had a blast and there was not a single piece of cake or frosting left.  I’d say that was a successful party!

Thank you N for having a safe party when you didn’t have to… you’re pretty rad!

(Did I just date myself by using rad?)  Haha!

Happy cookie cake baking, my friends!

Homemade Rapunzel Cupcakes: Dairy & Egg Free

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Hey friends!

We went to another birthday party today!!!

In case you didn’t know, that is BIG NEWS in our house. Our allergist has recommended that our daughter only go to safe parties until we get her contact reactions under control. So that means we usually cannot go to most parties, as we really don’t expect everyone to make it all safe for us. We usually go to 1-2 birthday parties a year.

We have had a busy year- we have gone to 4- count them-4!- parties outside of our house this year, y’all!

Today, our little cousin E celebrated her 4th birthday with a Rapunzel themed party. My cousin picked all safe party foods so SG could go. I made the cupcakes Rapunzel themed.

I am always up for a good baking challenge.

My go to cake is always our good ole wacky cake. I made a double batch of vanilla cupcakes. I bought 4 cans of purple Pillsbury frosting (read the labels please!), a bakery cardboard cupcake holder, fade proof cupcake liners, and downloaded the cutest Rapunzel printable PDF to top the cupcakes. Click here to see where I purchased them from and to see this lady’s other designs.

It took me less than 5 minutes to whip up each batch of cupcake mix (this is from scratch- no box mixes here!). So, 10 minutes to make enough batter for 48 cupcakes. See? You can do this, too! We got this, food allergy mamas and papas (and non food allergy friends, too!)

I always like to bake my cupcakes in advance and freeze them. That just takes the pressure off of me on the day of the party. Then I get to concentrate on icing them. You could easily do everything in one day.

So, here’s how I made these delicious- and, if you don’t mind me tooting my own horn, adorable Rapunzel cupcakes.

In advance, prepare the cupcake toppers. I chose to purchase, download, print, cut and tape toothpicks to the Rapunzel printable.

rapunzel-toothpicks

Make a double batch of wacky cake batter and bake as cupcakes. My cupcakes bake on convection at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (The wacky cake recipe is at the very end of this post.)

Let cupcakes cool completely and then either freeze them or move onto the frosting step.

I use this frosting tool with the pronged tip to frost the cupcakes. I started as close to the edge of the cupcake as I could and just went round and round until I hit the middle. When I stopped frosting, the frosting went up in a line. I used the tip of the toothpick to push the frosting tip down as I inserted the toothpick into my frozen cupcakes.

I also kept the decorated cupcakes in the bakery box (I bought that from Party City) in the fridge until it was time to leave for the party.

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This pic is kinda dark but I am so thrilled to have the cupcakes in this box to help them look like they came from a bakery!

Here’s my tip on the bakery box. It’s very flimsy. I’ve never used one before so I had no idea. I had a mini heart attack as I lifted my completely cupcake filled box and took two steps towards the fridge and the bottom of the box started to give way. Somehow I balanced it all- it was so wiggly. The Huzz happened to walk in right as the catastrophe was happening and he swooped in and saved the day! (And the cupcakes!) Next time, I will also purchase an extra cardboard cake thing- what do you call those? I used one for my Barbie cake. Anyway, I’ll Scotch tape the bottom of the box and also use a cardboard meant for cakes for added sturdiness. We ended up carrying the cupcake box under a cutting board. It worked. 🙂

So, that is how we made our safe Rapunzel themed cupcakes.

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I added in two extra cupcakes to fill the box that didn’t have picks.  I didn’t want the cupcakes falling over during the drive to the party.  

Here’s a random side note. Another little friend was at the party and wasn’t going to be able to eat the cupcakes until the mother found out the cupcakes were dairy and egg free. I had no idea another little friend with food allergies was there. That just blessed my heart that another little friend was able to freely and safely partake of all the food!

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So, there ya go, my friends. Another yummy, safe, and fun birthday cake.

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Here the cupcakes are in action.  My cousin also made Rapunzel Fruit Tower kabobs.  How cute!

rapunzel-skillet-plates-cupcakes

My cousin also made these adorable “skillet” paper plates.  She’s so crafty!

Wacky Cake
(Double this recipe if needed. Each recipe yields approximately 24 cupcakes.)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of cocoa OR For Vanilla Cupcakes, omit cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup oil (I use canola)
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (use 1 Tablespoon vanilla if making vanilla cupcakes)
  • 2 cups cold water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add wet ingredients. Beat well until blended. (I use a stand mixer.)
  4. Pour using 1/4 cup batter per cupcake liner.
  5. Put the pans in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes per batch, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Homemade Barbie Birthday Cake: Dairy & Egg Free

Y’all!!! I think I need a personal chef. Or a personal organizer. Or a housekeeper.

Because I just can’t do it all lately. Do you remember that I mentioned a few posts back that we moved to South Carolina? (From Iowa.)

We closed on our house on November 3rd. Birthday party for SG was scheduled for November 21st. That’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. And the next week was Thanksgiving, which I hosted and prepared almost everything for. And then Christmas.  Let’s just say: I’ve. Been. Busy.

So SG wanted a Barbie themed birthday party. I scoured Pinterest for ideas. I found some amazing ideas. I did not want her party to be a Pinterest fail. Nuh-uh.

I was determined to make her a beautiful Barbie cake. Like the Barbie in the cake kind. I was so nervous. I didn’t even practice the cake before her party. I wanted to and planned to, but ran out of time.

I even found a Barbie box on Pinterest. One for the kids to pose inside of for pics. I had to have it! I have my graphic designer brother to thank for the Barbie box. Way to go Uncle Josh!

Here’s how the Barbie box turned out:

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The Barbie box was inspired by these pins here and here.  In the end, we looked at a few pins and my brother did his own thang.

Each of our guests took pics inside the box. It was just adorable!!!

And the cake…

Well, I’ll just show it to you:

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I still can’t even believe we made this cake!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, it deserves that many exclamation marks.)

Here are the pins that inspired this cake:

This one from Cakes.com.

This one from The TomKat Studio.  This one had so many inspirations!

And also this one from Blissfully Sweet.

None of those cakes were safe for us, but I knew I could do it.  Or I could at least try my hardest!

In preparation for frosting the cake, I knew it was time to finally buy a nice icing set. I scoured Amazon and the reviews convinced me to purchase this Dessert Decorator Plus. This tool was crucial in the frosting of this cake. I highly recommend it.

We browsed several Barbies in the stores and SG decided on this Barbie:

SG's choice. I liked her for so many practical reasons: pointy ballet shoes are easier to poke her into the cake, her top and hair are pretty and most importantly, she is PINK!

SG’s choice. I liked this Barbie for so many practical reasons: pointy ballet shoes are easier to poke her into the cake, her top and hair are pretty and most importantly, she is PINK!

Here’s how I made the cake. I decided to go with our handy dandy and reliable wacky cake. Otherwise known as crazy cake or depression era cake. I made two batches. I made 4 round cake pans total. Two chocolate and two vanilla round cakes.

Wacky Cake
(Double this recipe.)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of cocoa (for vanilla cakes, omit cocoa)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup oil (I use canola)
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (use 1 Tablespoon vanilla if making vanilla cupcakes)
  • 2 cups cold water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your round pans. Grease with vegan butter and add a little bit of flour.
  3. Gently tap the pan to evenly spread the flour throughout the pan. Throw away the extra flour.
  4. Put dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.
    Add wet ingredients. Beat well until blended.
  5. Pour mixture in the two round pans. Try to get the same amount in each pan. I eyeball it.
  6. Put the pans in the oven and bake.
  7. The round cakes will take approximately 20-35 minutes. I used convection bake and it baked two cakes in about 20 minutes. When I don’t use convection bake it takes a little longer. Set your timer for 20 minutes and add extra time in small increments if needed.
  8. Let cakes cool on a wire rack. Place a large plate on top of the cake and flip over. The cake should come right out. If not, you may have to gently prod the cake out.

We decided to wrap the cakes in foil and freeze them overnight. We did this because we wanted the cake to be firm for shaping it the next day.

The next morning, we unwrapped the cakes.

Here’s what we used to make the doll shaped cake.  This website was the one that convinced me I didn’t have to buy one of those big dress shaped cake pans.  I could use simple round pans to make my barbie cake dress, as I mentioned above.  Thanks for the Pinspiration!

I bought a cardboard round cake board from Party City. We wrapped that in foil. We put one round cake on the board, but used icing to “glue” it down. We put a light layer of frosting on top and used that as the glue to hold the next layer. We alternated chocolate and vanilla cake layers.

Here’s the steps with photos:

The frosting is the glue between each layer. This "cream cheese" frosting is dairy free and makes the cake even more scrumptious!

The frosting is the glue between each layer. This “cream cheese” frosting is dairy free and makes the cake even more scrumptious!

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We had to trim the puffiest part of each round cake except for the base and top layer.  Ok- I guess we trimmed 2 of the 4 cakes!

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Layer 3

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This was just tall enough for our Barbie.  Don’t forget to wrap her legs in plastic wrap!

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Barbie’s hips will be covered with frosting.

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The Huzz used the serrated knife to soften those hard angles.  We didn’t snap a pic of it before the frosting.

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We gave it a quick layer of frosting to prevent crumbs from showing through her “dress.”

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Barbie in all her glory!

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Barbie from another angle.

I started the frosting in the middle of Barbie’s dress in the front.  I made one rosette and kept going in a line horizontally until I went all the way back around.  Then I worked my way one row at a time.  When I got to to Barbie’s hips, I did a quick line around her waist to make sure the plastic wrap didn’t show.  I used 3-4 cans of Pillsbury frosting for her pink rosette dress.

We are so pleased with how the cake turned out.  SG was blown away and super happy!

I am thrilled to show the world that us food allergy mamas can rock it out!  FAM’s (food allergy mamas)- WE GOT THIS!

 

Thanksgiving Recipes: Dairy & Egg Free

Holidays are steeped in tradition. Food allergies change things. But what doesn’t have to change is still having a yummy, delicious, and safe spread for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Maybe it’s the first time cooking the holiday meal for everyone.

Maybe you’re the sweet family member or friend who is searching for safe recipes for a food allergic loved one. (Thanks for that, by the way. It means more than you know.)

Maybe the idea of a dairy and egg free holiday feast terrifies you.

Whatever the hesitation or reason, fear not. I’m going to share links to yummy recipes.

Last year we had a completely “safe” Thanksgiving and Christmas feast! None of the food tasted weird- just good.

Without further ado, here are some of the dishes I made last year. I’m also going to throw in a few recipes I haven’t yet tried, but will try for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

A star in front of the name means I haven’t tried the recipe yet but I’m going to soon. No star means I made it, liked it and will make it again this holiday season.

Herb Roasted Turkey

Twice Baked Potatoes

*Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Mallow Melt

My Mama’s Southern Puerto Rican Green Beans
(Simmer green beans for approximately 30 minutes along with fatback (or bacon) and lemon juice to taste. Salt and pepper to taste.)

Nana’s Safe Stuffing
(I never knew this recipe is originally from Better Homes and Gardens. You can look it up if you have that cookbook. Use vegan butter and safe bread. We omit the celery and carrot and only use the onion. We used homemade bread the last time we made it. Delish! And Nana uses poultry seasoning, not the suggested sage.)

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Pumpkin Bread
(This makes a delicious breakfast. We slather our pumpkin bread with Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread.)

Pumpkin Pie
(I made this one last year. Last year I omitted the cinnamon and subbed allspice.)

*Pumpkin Pie 2
(I’m trying this recipe this weekend before the big day. I always use the Refrigerated Pillsbury Roll Out Crusts. That’s not the official name but that’s what I call it.)

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie & Apple Pie

Cherry Pie & Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Can dip half of the cookie in melted chocolate. Melt some Enjoy Life chocolate chips along with some shortening or coconut oil in the microwave. Mix well. Dip cookie. Repeat. Let cool on parchment paper.)

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vanilla Cupcakes
(These are great for making ahead and freezing. Mine are in the freezer baked already. I’m planning on frosting them with Pillsbury Maple Brown Sugar frosting and putting cute little pumpkin picks in the cupcakes to make them festive.)

If you like to bake in advance, the following freeze well:
Pumpkin Bread
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vanilla Cupcakes (unfrosted)

The apple and pumpkin pie can be made the day before Thanksgiving. The cherry pie tastes better (to me) the day it’s baked, so that pie I bake the day of.

I hope these recipes help you have a safe and delicious Thanksgiving.