I Baked This… Pumpkin Peek-a-boo Cake

For the last holiday of the fall (in Texas anyway), I decided to make a little pumpkin surprise for everyone! A pumpkin peek-a-boo cake!

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It was actually quite easy and very similar to the Polka Dot Cake I made earlier this month.

What you’ll need:

Cake:

  • Box of pumpkin cake
  • Orange food coloring
  • Pumpkin cookie cutter
  • Box of pound cake
  • Walnuts
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Powdered Sugar

Icing

  • 3.5 cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 3 tablespoons of Evaporated Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the pumpkin cake, I just mixed up a box of pumpkin cake mix. I added LOTS of food coloring to make it look more orange. I didn’t have any actual “orange” food coloring, so I just combined red and yellow food coloring and it worked just fine. I also added about 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips and a handful of crushed walnuts to give the pumpkin cake a little something special.

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I used a loaf pan to bake the pumpkin cake and the pound cake. Before baking, I buttered and lightly dusted flour all over the pan. This makes it easy to slide the cake out once it has cooled.

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After following the instructions on the box, I let the pumpkin cake cool, then sliced it. I used a pumpkin cookie cutter and cut out a pumpkin from each slice. To get the perfect thickness for each pumpkin, I tried to slice the pumpkin cake a little thinner than the cookie cutter.

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After cutting each piece, I lined them up in the loaf pan again (after I cleaned out and buttered+floured again). I tried to center them as best as I could. I also pressed each piece together to prevent pound cake sliding in between the pieces.

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Some of the pieces were lop sided because they were the end pieces, but it was no big deal.

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I then mixed up a batch of pound cake and poured it over the pumpkin slices. Surprisingly, all of it fit and didn’t spill over when it was baking! I followed the baking instructions on the box and it all worked out perfectly!

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After the loaf was done and cooling, I made some delicious icing! First I browned the butter. To do this, you melt a stick of butter in a saute pan on low-medium heat and bring it to a boil. After it is completely melted, I left the heat on and stirred it around constantly until brown flakes formed on the bottom.

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Take off the heat IMMEDIATELY! There is a fine line between brown butter and burnt butter. Continue stirring, then pour over powdered sugar in a bowl. Add evaporated milk and vanilla extract then mix together to form a thick paste. Spread over the cake, then add some crushed walnuts on top and serve!

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Everyone absolutely loved it, and I will be doing something similar to this for Christmas! If you have any ideas or suggestions, please comment below! I’d love to hear them!

I Baked This… Polka Dot Cake (Simplified)

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1. Mix White cake and separate into 5 sections. Add different food coloring into each section.

2. Add 3 of each color into cake pop pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Be careful of burning. Let cool in the fridge for 20 min, then take cake pops out. Be careful to not let the cake pops fall apart!

3. Mix another box of white cake. Use enough cake mix to cover the bottom of three 6 inch rounds. Place cake pops on the white cake mix.

4. Cover cake pops with the rest of white cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 35 min. Be careful of sticking a tooth pick in because you could puncture a cake ball.

5. Let each layer cool, then stack together, securing with white icing in between each layer. Add a crumb coat, then a thick coat of white icing all the way around. Add rainbow sprinkles on top and on sides if you like.

6. Cut open, serve, and enjoy!

I Baked This… Polka Dot Cake

For my friend’s birthday, I decided to make her a polka dot cake. It looks super cute and perfect for a girl’s birthday!

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First I started off with fixing a box of White Cake mix. I followed the directions on the box, while adding a box of vanilla pudding. The vanilla pudding yellowed the cake mix a bit, but when it was finished with all the food coloring, I couldn’t tell. After I divided it in half and put one half in the fridge while using the other half for the food coloring.

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Next, I divided one bowl into 5 little bowls, one for each color, purple, pink, green, orange, and blue. I also got 5 separate forks to mix each bowl with (that way colors wouldn’t blend together). I used neon food coloring for the green, purple blue, and pink because I wanted the colors to be vibrant, but I used normal yellow and red for the orange cake pops.

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Before I put the cake batter into the cake pop pan, I buttered the inside and evenly sprinkled flower where I buttered (I use whole wheat flour so that’s why it looks weird). This will help with preventing the cake balls from sticking. From there, I put each color into 3 cake pops. One color will have to cook on its own.

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Secure the cake pop pan, then butter and sprinkle with flower the tops of each cake pop.

I baked my cake pops at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. I judged it based on the color of the little volcanoes. I took them out when the green started to brown a little. Pay careful attention, because you don’t have a lot of room for error here!

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You can see they look like little volcanoes of color! Luckily they just popped right off and the mess was minimal. I let them cool in the fridge for 30 min, then popped them out. I put them in a zip lock and stuck them in the fridge again while I prepared the white cake.

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For the white cake, I followed the instructions on the box. I used three 6″ rounds and lightly buttered and flowered the insides. Next, I just covered the bottoms of the rounds with the white cake batter.

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Next, I placed the cake balls into the rounds, then covered them with the rest of the white cake mix. Remember the other half of the cake mix we put in the fridge earlier? We use that here! I was afraid I didn’t have enough cake mix to completely cover the cake balls, so I took some cake from the other bowl from earlier and finished the job with it. (If you used vanilla pudding in the cake pop mix: Don’t worry, it’s yellow now, but once it cooks you can’t tell a difference.)

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The yellow batter is from the cake pop mix where I used vanilla pudding. I put some around the cake balls to make sure they weren’t exposed! I couldn’t tell a difference between the two mixes once they were cooked.

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I baked the rounds at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When I took them out, they were a bit lumpy, so I immediately put a damp warm paper towel on top of them and set a flat plate and a cup on top of them to help flatten them out. You can use anything flat and weighted, like a pan or something. These plates were the perfect size and the cups help add some weight to them.

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After 20 min, I took the cups and plates off. Then, I took the cakes out and let them cool in the fridge for 30 min. I put the three layers together, added a crumb coat, then a thick coat of white icing all over. What better way to finish off a colorful cake with colorful sprinkles?

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The cake was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and it was the perfect way to celebrate a fun birthday!

In total, I used:

  • 2 boxes of white cake mix
  • neon + regular food coloring
  • 1 box of vanilla pudding
  • sprinlkes
  • 1 box of white icing

Please let me know how your cake turned out if you baked one! And please share if you have any suggestions on things to try.

I Made This… Calendar Journal

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Beginning of October I decided I wanted to start calendar journaling (is that a real word?). And surprisingly, I kept up with it all month. Yay! Each day, I would just sit down for five minutes and draw something in the box for that day.

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Most days, I drew something that related to an event that happened that day. Other days, I drew things that inspired me.

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I’m glad I kept up with it all month. I am pleased with how the whole month turned out when I finished it. I recommend you trying it, because I think it is a very fun way to document the days and will be enjoyable to look back on.

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Hopefully November will look even cooler!

I Made This… Sharpie Mug

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What You’ll Need:

  • White coffee mug.  (any color will do, I just like the contrast of black on white)
  • MAKE SURE THE COFFEE MUG IS NOT PLASTIC
  • Sharpie (again, any color will do)
  • Some free time!

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This is a great project! Just draw whatever your heart desires and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. Let the mugs cool in the oven to prevent cracks. I’m not sure if they are dishwasher safe (I’m too scared to try). The thin sharpie doesn’t seem to hold up as well as the normal sharpie, so be careful in how you clean them. Gentle hand washing is best.

I made a kitty for my mom and some intricate design I just came up with on the spot for myself.

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Austin City Limits Adventures

This past weekend I packed up my bags and went down south to Austin, Texas (ATX for short).

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Once a year ATX hosts this huge music festival called Austin City Limits (ACL for short). Tons of bands come and preform in a huge park and it’s a TON of fun! If you ever get the chance to go, go.

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My friend, Grace Shike (coolest directioner you’ll ever meet), saw lots of bands, such as: Little Green Cars, Muse, Kings of Leon, HAIM, Passion Pit, ect.

HAIM is a pretty cool group. They are great in person, and some wonderful people I’d like to get to know.

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They also like crowd surfing. Quite cool.

Kings of Leon is a pretty nifty group as well.

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Being the last show of the night, most people left towards the end of the show, but not us hard core rockers. We screamed and cheered for an encore. Even when the sky opened and it began to pour. After a few minutes of rain and cheers, the band came back out and played three more songs! Do you know how awesome you feel when you are screaming “Sex on Fire” in the pouring rain in ATX. No, you don’t, so I will tell you: it is the coolest thing you will ever do. Try it some time.

Unfortunately, the last day of ACL was canceled because of flooding of the concert grounds due to enormous amounts of rain (we probably experienced most of it during the Kings of Leon concert). So we toured ATX and visited some unofficial landmarks.

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A wonderful ending to a wonderful weekend.

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My Alter Ego Drives a Jeep

Ok, maybe it’s not so much my alter ego that drives a jeep as much as I just really wish I drove a jeep.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my car! I am so appreciative to be able to actually drive A car. But I wouldn’t complain if I drove a jeep.

Just imagine. It’s summer, and you’re dressed in a tank top and shorts. Your hair is up in a messy pony tail you’ll take down once you’re inside. And you’re driving a Jeep; tops down, doors off, just really enjoying that wind blowing through your hair. Luckily for you, the weather isn’t scorching today, so you’re not sweating. Then you pull up underneath this huge oak, and you’re meeting your other friend who drives a Jeep. And then you whip out your hammock and hang it between the two Jeeps, and relax the day away in the shade of the oak. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

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Come on, how much fun does that look? Answer: lots ‘o fun.

Or you could road trip to California and take surf lessons in a Jeep. Or go to Colorado on Spring Break and hike in the mountains. Don’t all those things sound like so much fun! I just feel like the person I’m trying to be would drive a Jeep, because it already fits my lifestyle.

Or maybe I just have an obsession with Jeeps.

 

New Beginnings

Middle of the night epiphany: I should start a blog.

Don’t ask me why, because I can’t remember (this happened 2 days ago).

Being the productive girl I am, I did some research while stuck at the airport, and here I am. I decided to start off small and, if I kept up with blogging and continued to enjoy it, I would buy my own domain and invest some moolah. But until that day comes, here I am on my beginners blog.

For the past couple of years, I have avidly followed a couple of blogs. I have followed some and then got bored, but a couple have survived. Looking at all of said blogs, I was always inspired by them. I realized I wanted to be inspiring, but I never got around to it. Hopefully this will lead somewhere.

In all of my fabulous research, I found many recommendations for people to start blogging, and many reasons why. Like instagram, I am hoping this will help me see the world in a new light and think about things differently. The ultimate goal for this new blog is for it to lead up to a very serious blog (grown up blog? professional blog? do blogs develop like children?).

I am very excited. In this lies so much potential. I could post crafts, my outfits for the day, or recipes I enjoy cooking with. Or all of the above! The opportunity for this to be whatever it can be is fresh and anew, and I can’t wait to discover it.