Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Easy Cake

So we're still adapting to our new crazy baseball schedule with multiple teams and conflicting practice and game times.  It rained here and you'd think that it was monsoon weather the way everyone reacted.  We needed the rain, but unfortunately it added even more changes to our schedule canceling our opening day ceremonies and rescheduling other events.  

It's no surprise that I completely spaced on preparing something for the league bake sale that was rescheduled!  Since I'm a team mom for two teams, I had to donate two items.  It's 5pm on a Friday night and what to do ...what to do...  I decided to power on with items in my cupboard without the extra trip to the store.  The result?  A fun baseball that even my 7 year old helped to create.  

Now I'm not claiming this is an original idea. I'm sure someone somewhere has done this before.  I just haven't seen it on a full size cake.

This a fun and super simple way to make an impactful cake for a team party, game snack or even the league bake sale!

What you'll need:
- Two round cakes (either single layer or double layer will work)
- Two cans of white frosting or approximately 4 cups homemade frosting
- Red and green M&Ms 
- Toothpicks

First ice your cakes once they are cooled.  If you aren't familiar with icing cakes, take this slow.  It's easy so don't stress - but going slower will help avoid crumbs.  Lighter color cakes will make this process easier as the crumbs are less likely to show through your icing. If your cake seems to be particularly crumbly (test this by slowly running your finger around the edge and see if there is crumbling or flaking), freeze your cake for a few hours and ice frozen.  

This particular cake I had made had some small bubbles that popped and left holes on the top.  If you have a crack or holes similar to this, fill with frosting before icing the rest of the cake.  

Spread the frosting evenly around the cake.  Each layer should require about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of frosting.  When applying frosting to the sides of the cake, make sure to make the layer extra thick - almost 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  

Once you are happy with your pretty cake canvases, bust out the M&Ms.  My son loved this part!  He also loved separating the green and red candies out from the other colors.  There may have been a few eaten here or there keeping him entertained. ;-)

Take a tooth pick and lightly draw lines in the shape of baseball lines in your frosting.  These lines should just barely overlap the edge of your cake, but not go all of the way to your plate.

Take red M&Ms and place along the lines that have been drawn to create the laces on your baseball.  Once the laces have been filled in, add the grass to the edges.  This is where the thicker frosting layer will come in handy.  You will need it to hold the candies in place.

My son says the best pattern is two across one on top with the M&Ms closer together that they almost start to overlap.  I thought space would be better (and help stretch the M&Ms supply!) but after looking at the finished product, I think he may have been on to something.  The closesness adds to the grass "effect".  

Mine with space ... 

His without the space ...

I think he did a fabulous job!

Once you've added your grass you've got yourself a cake for for a little leaguer! 

I think this would be easily adapted for soccer with brown M&Ms or a basketball with orange frosting and brown M&Ms. 

Easy - but impactful!

Happy baking!

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