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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

4-H and Weekly Summer Cakes

Our 13 year old daughter has been involved in local 4-H clubs for five years, and our family has greatly benefited from the cake decorating classes and projects in particular.  For the past four summers, she has baked and decorated cakes or cupcakes weekly until the youth fair occurs in August.  At that time, all the cakes are placed in an exhibition building to be admired and judged.  It has been so much fun to watch her skills increase and to taste the delicious projects.

  The cupcakes above were made for our tea party last summer, and the fresh raspberries on top were from our farm.

This beach ball cake was made during her third year of cake decorating.

This was one of her first attempts this summer at making more advanced flowers.

These Lego cupcakes were not as involved to make but turned out so cute with the confetti and Lego brick candies on top.

This cake started out as a disaster because I recommended she use cream cheese frosting, since it was a carrot cake.  Little did I know that type of frosting melts easily, and the top layer slid right off the bottom.  She had to scrape frosting and put things back together the best she could at class.  This is why there are some yellow patches in places.  Her flowers turned out quite well, however; especially considering this was only her second or third try at making roses.

Last week we got a treat with chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate wafers and topped with pink basket-weave or pink rose frosting.  We love it when she surprises us with chocolate or peanut butter frosting in the center.

Our daughter used to make all of her cakes from scratch, but this summer we have taken some shortcuts and used boxed mixes most weeks.  Most of the frosting is homemade though.  We share below our favorite frosting and icing recipes.

My Favorites:
Peanut Butter Frosting
Beat 6 tablespoons of peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add about 2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar and beat well.  Beat in 1/4 cup of milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.  Gradually beat in remaining 2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar and additional milk if needed to make the appropriate consistency.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together (1) 3-ounce package of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  

Our Daughter's Favorites (found in her 4-H Project Book):
Buttercream Icing (for the crumb layer)
Beat 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of Crisco.  Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Gradually add 1 bag of powdered sugar, one cup at a time while beating well on medium speed.  Icing will appear dry at first.  Then add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat until light and fluffy.
Decorating Icing (to use in the decorating bags)
Beat 1 bag of powdered sugar, 3/4 cup of Crisco, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 1 egg white, and 2 tablespoons of water (more if desired) until fluffy.


  1. What a bonus to have a baker in the family!

  2. It is definitely a perk with all the birthdays we have!


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