• My Signature Italian Buttercream

    Italian Buttercream is like a small miracle.  It is a miracle in both taste and construction. There is no better moment when making it than when it "comes together".  It goes through so many different stages, all of which make you believe that no good can come of it.  That you will have to throw it out and start again. That this time it will fail for sure.  But then, as if a miracle, it suddenly changes consistency and becomes beautiful, flavourful, buttercream.

    Here is my recipe and how to make it...And along with the ingredients you need to have faith..lol


    8 egg whites (1 cup)

    500 grams white sugar

    3/4 cup water

    1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter

    1 1/2 pounds salted butter

    2 tablespoon clear vanilla



    Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and boil rapidly until it reaches 240 degrees. Meanwhile whip egg whites on high until they have nice stiff peaks.

    Once sugar syrup is at 248 degrees slowly and carefully pour into the whipped egg whites in one slow steady stream. Try not to let it hit the beaters as it will spray crystals of sugar onto the edges of the bowl and make piping difficult if it gets in your piping bag.

    Whip the egg whites and the sugar syrup until the bowl is cool to the touch.  About 20 to 30 minutes.

    Gradually add all of the butter. I add about a tablespoon at a time so it takes a bit of time.  Now this is where the miracle comes in.  The egg whites will lose their volume as you add the sugar and may go through lots of different consistencies. They can go back to a liquid, followed by what looks like cottage cheese and then finally a beautiful frosting.  This also can take some time but here is where you need to have faith.  If you have used the right amounts as outlined in the recipe, this will work.  I promise you!

    When it is at the frosting stage add your vanilla or flavour of your choice. 





  • Basic Cake Decorating Tools

    I have been asked for a list of the basics and here is what I think you should have to make a good start.

    You should have at least 4 or 5 couplers and they can be either the regular 2 part ones or the more jazzy 3 parters...I like the quick change ones but there really isn't a "better" one.

    Of course, not shown are icing bags...you will need those and I do suggest you buy disposable because it is sooooo messy if you use ones you have to wash...You can get them in a recycleable material.

    These are the tips that you can do most things with...a 3 for line work and writing, 1M for swirls/roses, 2D for Hyrdrangeas etc, a 104 petal tip, a 233 and 352 for grass/hair and leaves. 

    The flower nail is important so you can make little flowers and add to cupcakes and cakes as desired.  

    The offset spatula and bench scraper are necessary for cakes more than anything and I would advise the purchase of a turntable or lazy Susan.  

    And there you have it..Easy peasy, lemon squeezy....

  • Basic White Cake/ my tried and true cake box hack

    2 Boxes of White Cake mix

    1 cup egg whites (I use boxed pastureized)

    1 1/2 cup buttermilk

    11/2 cup sour cream

    2/3 cup vegetable oil

    2 Tablespoons vanilla


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Grease walls of 4 8 inch pans and line with rounds of parchment paper.

    In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream, vegetable oil and vanilla.

    In another bowl fitted with paddle attachment, gently mix the dry cake mix to break up any clumps.

    Add wet ingredients to dry and mix slowly till just incorporated then turn to medium speed and mix for about 2 mins more. 

    Divide into for pans, bang sharply on the counter to remove air bubbles and then cook for about 35 mins.  Check for doneness with toothpick.


  • Cupcake Bouquets

    So I have started to make cupcake floral bouquets.  These are the prettiest thing ever and such a nice change of pace to the standard box of cupcakes.

    I have been making the floral cupcakes for some time now so that part was a “piece of cake”...sorry...had to say that...but the packaging has proved to be quite challenging.

    It was easy to pack them all up in their individual “secret” containers but when I had to wrap the tissue around the bouquet and the cello it was next to impossible.

    I tried cutting it to different sizes and even making the cello round instead of the suggested square but still it all fell in on the pretty buttercream beauties.

    I also needed an extra pair of hands so this whole concept was starting to fall by the wayside. 

    But finally, it occurred to me that the weight of the cello was the issue.  You need to have a good thick gauge cello wrap in order for it to hold its shape. 

    So how come nobody mentioned that ANYWHERE! 

    All that said, here is my recipe for the most delicious chocolate cupcake (or cake) ever.

    This is my go to...

    Chocolate Cupcake/Cake Recipe


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
    • 1 cup milk buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable  oil, or melted coconut oil
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
    • 1 cup boiling water


    1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring. Or 2 place 2 dozen cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.

    For the chocolate cake:

    1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix thoroughly to combine.
    2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
    3. Distribute the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
    4. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.



    This cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake. You will love it!





  • Keeping up with the blog...is that like keeping up with the Jones??

    Well, the road to hell was paved with good intentions..and so was my blog.  I knew it was going to be difficult over the holidays to keep up with all of the commitments (one of them being my blog) but I didn't realize it would be impossible.

    At first I let my ideas accumulate, taking pictures and preparing to write and telling myself that as soon as I was on vacation I would dedicate time to my entries.  All sounds well and good right??

    Well the time came and I was off on vacation.  I packed my bags and took off for Toronto and then to Panama.  I made the decision not to take computer because I had my trusty phone which had all my pictures and videos on it and I was taking my Ipad so who needs a computer...

    I wrote my first entry in Word a couple of days later and then went to upload it. (I learned a few months earlier that it is not a good idea to write directly into your blog because too much can go wrong) Well guess what...I couldn't open my website because I couldn't remember my ID and password.  Of course it is saved on my computer but that was back in Vancouver.

    So now I had to contact my host and find out how to log in.  Well that took a couple of days to resolve and now it was actually Christmas.  The entry I had written was on a pre Christmas dinner party I had hosted and it kinda felt old so I ditched it.

    But that is ok because there is lots of material to write about at Christmas. However that didnt happen because Christmas came and went and it was time to pack for Panama.

    I knew going to panama was going to be an adventure so there would be lots to write about on that beautiful country.  But here I go with the excuses again...I was having so much fun there, you didnt hear from me at all..

    I am going to post the cutest cake ever here...a little Reindeer with tasty meringue antlers...but other than that you are just going to get my appologies and my whinning...

    I am 8 days away from going to Puerto Vallarta (it sucks to be me)..so look for entries when I get home.  I promise to make a better effort and give you lots of new material mainly in the form of pictures!  

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