Friday, July 5, 2013

Skittles Flavored Rainbow Cake

**Follow our adventures and have the latest
sent directly to your email!!
Sign up for to the right!**

As I briefly mentioned in my last post.
My oldest boy child,
asked for a simple 
Skittles Cake
for his birthday.

He even told me how to make it.
(thanks kiddo)

He said all I had to do was make a circle cake
and put an S on it.

Easy enough.
Not a chance!

So I jumped on-line to look up ideas.
And finally decided that I was going to do 
Skittles colored
Skittles FLAVORED!!

Here is how!

You need:
* 2 boxed cake mixes
(+ ingredients listed on back of box to make these)
* 1 large bag of Skittles
* 1 large tub of Cool Whip

Step 1:  Preparing the Skittle flavors
* Have your kids sort out the Skittles by color.
I didn't get a picture of this,
but they all worked so well together!
And didn't eat TOO many!  

*Turn each flavor/color of Skittles
into somewhat of a  simple syrup.
I measured just over 1/3 c of
each color of Skittles 
then melted them in a sauce pan in 1/3 c of water.

The color comes off first...

Then it turns into the Skittle flavored simple syrup.

Pour the liquid into small glass bowls
to allow it to cool,
while you work on the other colors.

Repeat process with each color.

You will notice,
that there are no blue Skittles.
So I just added blue food coloring to 
the water for the blue layer.

Step 2:  Making the Cakes!
Prepare your cake mix using the instructions on the box,
one mix at a time to keep it more manageable.
Follow instructions on the box,
but, again,
DO NOT add the water!

It will be quite thicker than normal.

There will be approximately 3 c of batter.
Put 1 c of batter in 3 different bowls.

*Quick Tip - coat the inside of your measuring cup
with cooking spray and the batter will slide right out!

Add 1/3 c of your flavored water to each bowl of batter.

 Here is the lime flavored batter.

I wanted to build my cake in the order of the colors of the rainbow:
top to bottom:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

 I cooked 2 layers at a time in 9" pans.
And I chose to start with the bottom two colors/flavors,
so I could start assembling the cake as soon as the layers cooled.

My first two pans in the oven were the purple and blue layers.

 While they were cooking,
I prepared the batter for the next 2 layers (green & yellow),
(which means I had to make my second cake mix too).

When the cakes came out of the oven,
I allowed them to cool briefly inside, 
flipped them out of their pans on to a cooling rack,
then threw the cakes into the freezer.
I wasn't sitting around forever waiting for them to cool
so I could put the Cool Whip on them!
No thanks!

Then I prepared the final 2 layers (red & orange).

 This is what it looked like in the middle of 
stirring in the flavored water.

And fully incorporated:

And into the pan!

I left the cakes in the freezer until I needed the cooling rack again
(for the next batch in the oven).

Then I started assembling the cake!
I leveled off the layers before assembly.

Bottom layer is purple,
then the blue layer.

Then all the other layers followed.
so bottom up:

With a layer of Cool Whip between each cake.

I chose to go with Cool Whip as the filling and frosting,
because I felt there was really enough sugar in the cake
and the light Cool Whip might 
go better with the "fruitiness" of the cake,
instead of the heavy buttercream.

But I couldn't just leave the outside plain...
so I had to add a little interest.

I added the Skittle decorations the next day,
right before we served the cake,
otherwise the color from the Skittles
would have bled onto the Cool Whip.
I didn't want that.

I used the reserved Skittles on the outside.

And instead of the requested big S on the top, 
I chose a big R, 
for the birthday boy's name!

I was so excited about cutting into the cake!

the reactions I got from my family!!

Especially the birthday boy!
After all, his opinion is the ultimate one, right?

This face is worth the trouble!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let's Celebrate!!

4th Of July 

On to the updates:

We arrived back in NC,
just in time to celebrate a bunch of ocassions.
My mom's birthday,
Mother's Day
Rico's Birthday...
were all within a 4 day period.
So we squeezed a whole lot of celebrating
in a short amount of time.

We started the weekend,
May 10th,
by making the hour+ long hoof to
Cary to have lunch with my mom.

We grabbed some of the 
only fast food I happily eat
(Chick Fil A)...
and then we had to get some sort of
sweet treat to share.

We stopped at Gigi's Cupcakes
(which I have NEVER been to)

And had a hard time narrowing it down...
so we wound up with 6!
There were a total of 7 people eating them.
(yes, 4 of them were small children - so what?!?)

I can't remember all of the flavors:
top left - wedding cake
top middle - sopapilla
top right - Miss Princess
bottom left - salted caramel mocha
bottom middle - don't remember
bottom right - margarita 

These things are HUGE!!!
You go into sugar shock on the icing alone!

We met Nana and my bestie 
at a little park down the road from her office.

We noshed on Chick Fil A
washed that down with a smorgasbord of 
Gigi's Cupcakes,
I cut them each into at least 4 
pieces and we all go to get a little 
taste of each.

We ran back by Nana's office,
and unfortunately,
they don't allow kid in the office.
(too much of a distraction)
So since she has a corner office,
we peeked in to see her office
and all the pictures of the kids up on her wall.

We made the haul back to the house
when we got there,
I pulled out the cupcakes.
This is what happens when you leave cupcakes
sitting on the dash in 
in North Carolina!

We still ate them!

That evening,
my mother-in-law came down 
for her first visit 
since we 
had moved back.

I snapped this pic while we were outside waiting on 
her arrival.

Mr. T is pushing his big sister around on a skateboard.

The following day,
almost everyone came down to see us,
to celebrate 
Mother's Day.
I say almost,
cause the baby sis didn't make it.  
She had to do that 4 letter thing

Ms. Priss had to accessorize her outfit
for the occasion:

Then she decided NeeNee 
needed to try on her hat
(when she asked for her necklace back)

We had:

fried chicken
a waffle bar!

Sounds like the perfect
Mother's Day Menu!
(I'm so glad to be home)

 Quick picture of the mothers!
(It was my sister's first Mother's Day -
I am so glad I was able to celebrate with her!)

(left to right:  mother-in-law, me, sister, mom)

Here are all the men and kids,
post-meal TV vegging!

And Papa showing the littlest 
person in our family,
our fish tank.
She, however,
is not impressed with this
puny tank.
She has a bigger, cooler one!
Which we can only aspire to emulate
one day down the road!

We just relaxed the following day,
the REAL Mother's Day.

And I made a birthday cake...
for Rico...
my oldest...
as I always do.

This year, 
he wanted a Skittles Cake.
He wanted it simple.
Just make a round cake,
and make an S on the top.

"Simple cake"
is no longer a part of my vocabulary.
So I couldn't just make a 
plain round cake
an S on it.

Since Nana's birthday was Friday
and we celebrated Mother's Day on Saturday...
we ventured back up to Raleigh,
to have a joint birthday party 
my oldest boy child
my mother.

I volunteered to bring dessert,
since I had to bring the birthday boy's cake.
(next post will be more about the cake,)

Before we headed up to Raleigh,
we hit up Chuck E Cheese
since my mother-in-law
was still here
when we are with her,
a trip to Chuck E Cheese wind up making 
its way onto the agenda.
Its kinda funny.
She comes prepared with coupons
and as soon as the kids know she is coming,
they start talking about Chuck E Cheese!

I have shown enough pictures of Chuck E Cheese on here,
but the best part of this trip...
it was EMPTY!
We were literally the 
ONLY ones there.
We went on Monday morning,
school was still in,
so no one else was there.
The kids got the royal treatment
a personal visit from Chuck E Cheese, himself,
a trip to the ticket booth,
and then daddy showed up!
It was one of the best times I have had there.

Then we headed up to Raleigh to take care of 
some business...
and PARTY!!

Again the baby sis couldn't make it,
stinking work!

But thankfully there is this thing called Skype,
that totally helped me make it through those 
18 months in Texas

Aunt Mimi wishing the birthday boy a happy birthday!

Opening presents:

Super excited over a pair of "Heelies"

Skimboard from Nana & Papa for his
birthday trip to the beach.
(he has already learned how to use it
and has gotten pretty decent at it!)

A "Holy Cow" card from mom,
since I do seem to say that a bit...
glad he caught the humor in it.

Loving the money falling out of Aunt Mimi's card!

Then he decided to make it "rain up in here"...

Here is Lucy's aquarium...
see, its a little bigger than ours.
And has a whole lot more "stuff".

Nana got to open a couple of presents too...

Mr. T was excited.

Then on to the birthday cakes...
I totally spaced out when making Rico's cake the day before
and wound up making a normal cake...
so I repurposed it...

Cut out little rounds:

And made little individual strawberry shortcakes
(using the strawberries we had picked a couple of days before)
just in case people would prefer that over
 A Skittles Cake.

I think they turned out really cute!

Then on to the birthday boy's cake.
If you've been around a while, 
you know that my kids aren't allowed to see the cake,
before it is presented to them.

I think I got Rico's seal of approval on the look:

(makes it all worth while!)

Birthday kid always gets to make the first cut:

(not my most ellaborate looking cake...
on the outside)

I love the facial expressions on these next two:

The cake had a layer in every color of the rainbow...
yes, 6 layers...
one in every Skittle flavor too!

Stay tuned for more on the 

Happy 9th Birthday Big Boy!!