Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pencil Cake..Back to School 101

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If you want to be mom of the year..then read on
If you are already mom of the year, I am totally jealous. 
You can just add another jewel to your rockin mom crown!

As you know, I have 3 girls at my house. 
Therefore, I spend a lot of money this time of year. I also deal with a LOT of drama. 
Also, my chickadees never forget..anything..ever.
That is why I make a pencil cake every year.

Some years have been better than others, but no matter what the cake looks like-my girls love it!
So, I thought that I would share my "secret" pencil cake tutorial.

(the first year I made "THE" cake.)

This cake is super simple. If it was the least bit hard, I would 't do it.
I am not an elaborate baker or cook. I can follow a recipe, but I do have a passion for cream cheese frosting.
Who doesn't?
So, the cake is from a box, but the frosting is homemade. 
You could totally use store bought frosting. Unless you have an addiction to all things cream bought cream cheese frosting is just NASTY!

I found this idea a few years ago on Family Fun.
Mine does not look exactly like theirs, but I like mine better.
 Their version was a little more time consuming, and lets face it, I'm lazy.
They also used brownies in their version, I use a cake mix. I also baked mine in a cookie sheet. I did NOT make mine long and skinny. I prefer chunky stuff, but that is totally up to you.

Follow the cutting steps as outlined here.
(info from Family Fun)

    1. Pencil Cake - Step 1
       Turn the cooled pan of brownies upside down and tap on the bottom to remove the brownie square. Cut it as shown (A) and arrange the two largest pieces into a pencil shape (B).
    2. Pencil Cake - Step 2
       Cover the pointed end with white frosting. Tint 1 cup of frosting yellow, then spread it over the middle of the cake.
    3. Next, tint 1/2 cup pink for the eraser. Pipe on a chocolate frosting zigzag and pencil point using a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.
    4. For an added effect, set the pencil on a piece of foam core decorated to look like lined paper and pipe on a chocolate frosting message.

    OK-now that you have your shape, you get to ice it! If you are all kinds of talented with a piping bag, just use your imagination. 
    I am not one of those lucky people that are blessed with the talent to use a piping bag. So, I pulled out my pampered chef frosting thing. It worked fabulously! 

    You need 4 colors of frosting.
    white- writing on the pencil

    I used about 1 tbs. of mini chocolate chips for the tip. 

    Cream cheese frosting is a little more gooey to work with. So, if you don't want to go that route, just make up some butter cream instead.
    Again, I am no baker, but I do make a mean frosting. 
    These are my favorite frosting recipes, just in case you don't have any tried & true.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    1- 80z.1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese-don't use no name brand, it will not be as creamy. I use 1/3 less fat because it is already soft when you pull it out of the fridge
    1 cube of butter-softened
    smidge of salt
    1 tsp. of vanilla
    Powdered sugar-sorry, not sure on the amount, just guesstimate it. About half  a bag or so.

    Throw it in your Kitchen aid, turn it on low and let it do it's thing. 
    Add color as needed.

    Butter cream Frosting

    1 cube softened butter-real butter please
    smidge of salt
    1 tsp. of vanilla
    powdered sugar-about a half a bag. Just add a little bit of it at time until it looks yummy and creamy.
    A splash of milk-don't use too much, it will be runny. 

    Throw it in your Kitchenaid, turn it on low and let it do it's thing. 
    Add color as needed.

    A couple of tips that will make your new tradition easier..

    1. Throw your frosting in the fridge for about an hour before you start to frost. It will be easier to work with. 

    2. After your cake is finished baking, put it in your freezer for about an hour. Your cake will be much easier to cut and you will not have a crummy mess when you go to frost it.

    Another fun tradition that we do at our house for
    (my 3 favorite words in the English language)

    We have 2 large honey locust trees in our front yard. 
    I make the kids and the neighbors, stand by the tree EVERY year.
    They whine and complain, but I think that they secretly like it.

    I love it!

    So, pick a spot in your front yard and get to "torturing" your kids.
    It really is a simple thing, but aren't those the best kind of traditions?

Happy Back to School!


1 comment :

  1. I am in R'dale, and we start school tuesday... So am going to do that!


Thanks for stopping by. Hope that my craziness might have inspired you! I would to hear what you have to say. (as long as it is nice)

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