Sweets & Cakes
Spices & Sugars
Cupcakes & Cookies
Make the perfect recipes for Friendship

Saturday, April 28, 2012

600 Facebook Fan GIVEAWAY!!

I am so blessed to have 600 people like my Facebook page.  When I started it was really a place for me to put my pictures of cakes and cookies and to share them with my friends.  I have made new friends as I've shared and it's been great to visit their pages and view their amazing work also.  It's great to know that I'm not the only one out there to struggle in making the cake edges perfect and getting the perfect consistency of Royal Icing for cookies, occasionally burning things and trying to work out how much to charge somebody.

It's been so fun and as much as you have blessed me by following my page I want to bless you in such a great giveaway, well great for those who love to bake and like to eat sugar cookies!

I'm going to be giving away a dozen sugar cookies, designed and decorated to the winner's choice and 2 (6" & 8") Magic Line cake pans!! For more information on Magic Line pans, see my previous post Magic Line Cake Pans 

Here's how to enter:
1. Answer this question "What is the name of my very first Wedding Cake I made?" You can find the answer on my Facebook page in one of my albums. Leave a comment here letting me know the answer.

For a second entry:
2. Answer this question "What is the date of my very first post on this blog?" You can find the answer on the right hand side of this page, scroll down to the bottom month. Leave another comment on this page telling me your answer.

Optional entries:
3. Follow me on my blog and leave a comment on this page telling me you did or that you already do.

4. Become a Facebook fan and leave a separate comment on this page telling me you did or that you already do.

You have up to four chances of winning.  Each entry should be left as a separate comment on this page of my blog. Comments on my Facebook page will not be entered into the giveaway.

The giveaway ends 7pm EST, Sunday 6th May, 2012 and the winner will be announced here!  

Have fun and thanks again for all your support and wonderful comments. 

Sugar & Spice, Hannah~

Friday, April 20, 2012

Magic Line Cake Pans and Upcoming Giveaway

When starting out baking cakes I never really gave it a thought of good quality cake pans.  As long as they were round with straight sides they would work, right?! Well over the years I've found that it really does matter, it's taken me a long time to discover this and after so many cakes just not coming out evenly I decided to get more information on how to make that perfect cake.

It was after the purchase of Sharon Zambito's DVD's SugarEd Productions that I found that it was really important to get good cake pans. She recommended Magic Line cake pans, so I found them online and invested in some.  I absolutely love them!  My cakes come out so perfectly level and golden. So I said goodbye to my Wilton pans and just use Magic Line, until I got asked to make a lot of cakes!

For our church's Valentine's Dinner I was asked to make 12, 6" chocolate cakes covered with chocolate ganche. Which means 24 baked cakes!!  With only one 6" pan I knew I was going to be at it all day and night, so I borrowed my friends Wilton pan and then I bought 2 more at Walmart for $6 each since I didn't have time to order my favourite Magic Line. (Still can't believe I bought them!)

Since the Valentine's cakes were chocolate I didn't notice a whole lot of difference in colour only their shape.  The cakes in the Wilton pan didn't rise as much and have a sharp edge on them when turn upside down.  It didn't matter too much as I knew I was pouring royal icing on the top and the edge would be hidden.

A few weeks ago I was asked to make a small cake accompanied with cupcakes so I pulled out my Magic Line pan and a Wilton pan, made up the cake batter and was careful to put the same amount in each pan (I didn't want one bigger than the other.)  I place both cake in the oven side by side making sure I left 2" between the cakes and surrounding walls and I pulled them out the same time, cooled them the for the same time then turned them out on a cooling rack.  Look what happen!!!!

I was simply astonished! I now will ALWAYS use Magic Line pans.  

I purchased mine from Global Sugar Art. They are selling a set of 5 for $35.09 on sale. At the moment they are out of stock, but I am sure they will come in soon.

Here is another place which are $34.99 for a set of 5 pans Cooks Dream (you'll have to research which is the best value including shipping) and for individual purchase I've bought them from Country Kitchen SweetArt 

For my upcoming giveaway to celebrate 600 Facebook fans I'll be giving away 2 of these wonderful Magic Line pans. One 6" and one 8" pan and a dozen cookies. So stay posted.

Enjoy this day

Sugar & Spice, Hannah ~

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream recipe

My son absolutely loves orange.  Everything has to be orange, whether it's his clothes or toys or food.  So when I asked him what kind of cake he would like immediately he said "an Orange cake!" 

It's a great tasting cake, moist, refreshing and really simple to make.  I think it would be a great cake with afternoon tea!!!

Orange Cake
Makes one 8"x 2" sponge cake or 24 cupcakes

8oz/225g (2sticks) butter at room temperature
8oz/225g (1cup) caster/extra fine sugar
4 large eggs
7oz/200g (1 1/3cups) Cake flour (if you are in the UK use Self-Raising flour and not do add baking powder)
2tsp baking powder
2 oranges, zest finely grated

  1. Heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas mark 4
  2. Place the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add sugar and orange zest and cream together until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the mix, while paddling on medium speed.
  5. Once combined mix in the flour and, if using, baking powder on low speed.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the pan using a spatula.
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes for cupcakes and 20-45 minutes for large cakes, depending on the size. The cake is baked when it springs back to the touch and the sides are coming away from the pan. Insert a skewer in the middle of the cake if you are unsure.  It should come out clean.
  8. Once the cake is baked, let it rest about 15 mins, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
Tip: As a sponge cake always rises more in the middle, spread it slightly higher around the sides.


 I am discovering that there are several different types of buttercreams. Non-crusting and crusting buttercream. It's quite important knowing which one to use when you are decorating the cakes in different ways.
The crusting buttercream is great for filling a cake which will eventually be covered in fondant.  The non-crusting buttercream is great for cupcakes or for cake which would be served at an afternoon tea, like the classic Victoria Sponge Cake.

Orange Buttercream
Non-crusting buttercream
8oz/225g (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
8oz/225g (2 cups) icing/confectioners' sugar
2 orange zests finely grated.

Crusting buttercream
4oz/110g (1 stick) butter at room temperature
12oz /350g (3 cups) icing/confectioner's sugar
1-2tbsp milk or water
2 orange zests finely grated.
  1. Place the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment and mix until smooth.
  2. Add icing sugar and orange zest and mix on low speed.  Then add milk if using the crusting buttercream recipe and continue to mix. Turn the speed up and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 mins
  3. Maybe stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  Remember to re-beat before using. 
Tip: I highly recommend using scales to weigh out your ingredients.  It is far more accurate than using cups which is really important when baking cakes. I included the cup measurements by weighing out my ingredients and then finding out the cups. 1 cup of flour does not weigh the same as 1 cup of sugar.

Fill and stack your cake, then put the kettle on for a lovely cup of tea and invite your friends over!
Sugar & Spice, Hannah~

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mr. Men Cake

It was my son's birthday yesterday and he chose a Mr. Men themed birthday.  I kept it very simple as we were very busy with other family commitments, so I decided the easiest decorations would be Mr. Men cookies placed on the cake.  It worked so well and his little face was a picture when he came out in the morning and saw it.  He was so sleepy and had to get dressed first before he saw his cake (his idea).  So the pictures are just too cute of his sleepy face with bed hair and his chosen clothes for his birthday :)

The cookie characters came together really well and quite quickly.  I really love the Mr. Men as their vibrant colours and brilliant names make for a really fun cake!

Mr. Messy!  He was great to create because it really didn't matter how the icing went on as long as it's on the cookie!  I bet my children could have made this cookie just as good :)
Mr. Nosey and Mr. Bump (I actually had an accident with Mr. Bump.  I put my finger on this foot whilst icing his bandages and sadly it left an indent, but it couldn't have happened to a more appropriate Mr. Man!)

Here are Mr. Happy, Mr. Strong and of course my son's favourite, Mr Tickle!  He likes anything orange.  Before baking I inserted toothpicks into the cookies as I wanted to place these on the top of the cake.
Mr. Happy always makes me smile :D

The cake itself is an Orange Cake with Orange buttercream.  It tasted delicious!  Unfortunately though the actual structure of the cake didn't go too well and if you look really close you can see it's imperfections. I tried to hide them as much as possible and would have started again, but for my Mother saying "it looks fine, he's only four and will never know." Of course she is right, but I do get so focused on the imperfections.  I find I am always learning on what doesn't work more that what does!

 I hope you like my Mr. Men cake and it makes you smile as much as it does me.

I hope to post the orange cake recipe and buttercream as it was really moist and delicious and would be a great recipe to share.

Sugar & Spice, Hannah~