Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Ours was wild, crazy, hectic, exhausting and super fun. Way too much eating go on for the last few weeks! (Going to have to diet a bit before we shoot the topsy turvy DVD, LOL) We had a big family party to attend on Christmas Eve and I hosted dinner at my house for 17 people on Xmas day. Now that I have slept for the better part of 3 days I am ready to roll! OK, maybe not quite yet.

What did you guys get? Santa was very good to me. I got a new macro lens and tripod for my camera, so I can try to kick my foody photos up a notch. I am so excited and cannot wait to try out my new stuff. But not quite yet. Still. Too. Tired.

J got Rock Band 2 for his X Box, and when he opened it he literally screamed and and ran around the house in circles. (I think that was a good gift choice.)

D got a nice winter coat and about 800 video games. (He likes video games.)


I'm still way too pooped to bake anything, or get my photo stuff out, so I thought I would blog about some of my favorite (cake) things. I get asked all the time for my favorite recipes, brands, tools, etc. So here are a few of my favorite things:


Sharon's Crusting Buttercream:

** I make the following recipe to fill my 5 quart mixer. Adjust the recipe volume to fill your mixer properly as discussed in the video Perfecting the Art of Buttercream.

5 generous cups Sweetex shortening, or other brand of hi ratio shortening
5 pounds powdered sugar
4 TBS Wedding Bouquet flavoring (or substitute your flavoring of choice in the appropriate amount)
11-12 TBS hot coffee creamer liquid (as discussed in video)

Cream the shortening , flavorings, and hot liquid with paddle attachment until well combined and creamy. Then stream in first 3 pounds of powdered sugar with mixer running at speed one. When incorporated somewhat, stop and scrape down sides of bowl well. Stream in last 2 pounds of powdered sugar at speed one. When incorporated, turn the mixer up to speed 6 and let it beat for 5-7 minutes until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl very frequently while the mixer is going at speed 6. The goal is to get all of the icing down into the belly of the bowl and fill the bowl from side to side with no air gaps around the walls, as well as covering the paddle up to the springs. If the icing is making a sucking or "kissing" noise after all the sugar is in, add just a few drops more of liquid, while scraping down the sides,with the mixer running, until that stops. You should create a bowl full of icing side to side, where the paddle is completely submerged and beating in a vacuum under the icing. 5-7 minutes at speed 6 and you should have a smooth as silk and nearly airless icing. Cool before using. Keeps at room temp for weeks or fridge/freeze indefinitely.

Youtube clip of Sharon making icing: Video

Sharon's Chocolate Crusting Buttercream:

2.5 cups butter
2.5 cups shortening
Splash of vanilla
Dump in cocoa and mix all of the above till very dark brown (I do not measure it)
5 pounds powdered sugar streamed in
Coffee creamer liquid (as shown in DVD) in amount needed
Good at room temp for several days to weeks. Fridge or freeze also.

Kathy Finholt's Crusting Cream Cheese Icing:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco
16 oz. cream cheese
3 lbs powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Kathy says:

Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes.
This makes a fairly stiff icing if you use 3-1/2 lb. Powdered sugar. For a softer one you can use 3 lbs. of powdered sugar. Can stay out of fridge for several days. Freezes well.



WASC (white almond sour cream) by Rebecca Sutterby:

1 box mix (does not work well with DH since they changed their formula)
one cup sugar
one cup flour
1 1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond if desired
3 whole eggs or 4 whites
one cup sour cream
2 tbs oil

*you can make this into any flavor by starting with flavored mix, and adjust extracts as desired . Bake at 325.

Durable cake recipe from Cake Central:

**My favorite for chocolate cake and best for sculpting

This cake is moist yet very durable and will hold up to many shapes and designs. It is light in taste and stays moist if making a day or two ahead.

1 cake mix
4 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (add 2 more TBS for choc recipe)
1 small pkg of instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325.
Incorporate all ingredients together one by one on low speed.
Make sure to mix thoroughly between each ingredient.
Once all ingredients are mixed turn mixer to medium and mix for approximately 2 minutes.

**Mixture is very very thick.

Contributed by: Heartsfire on Cake Central



Massa Grischuna ** by far the best
Satin Ice / Pettinice



Fondant Smoothers
Palette Knife
Clay Gun
Ribbon Cutter
Cardstock (to make templates; I luv to make templates)
Agbay Leveler
Exacto Knife
Pasta Roller
Viva paper towels
Turntable (#35-100 )


Piping gel
Melted chocolate (for glue)
Edible dusts (FDA approved)


(No particular order)

Dallas Foam (cake dummies)
Art Supply (fomecore)
Baker's Kitchen (Sweetex)
CK Products (wholesale only)
SugarEd Productions (fabulous DVDs and supplies!)


That's all my weary brain can think of right now. I think it is nap time. Maybe a little snack first. Tell me what your favorite cake things are!




Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list! It's great :)

I have a question though.. when you say :

"1 box mix (does not work will DH since they changed their formula)"

are you saying that the DH cake mixes don't work well with the WASC cake? I usually always use DH, but am willing to change it up with BC works better! :)

angelabarton said...

Thanks for the recipes and the suggested list of companies you buy from! I finally got your DVD's for Christmas and I've watched half of your buttercream DVD, and I'm waiting for a chance to watch the rest later! (I've got two kids!) Take care and I LOVE getting your updates through your blog! Best of luck in the New Year with all your baking!!
Angela B

Candy Apple said...

What a great post! So much useful information. I love looking at and learning about cake decorating even though I am more of a polymer clay artist myself. Nonetheless, I'll be coming back soon and getting some tools from you. Congratulations on a successful holiday season!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Dera Sharon
Thanks for sharing your favourite things really helps in sugarcraft.

Julie said...

I love my FMM Funky Letters and Numbers cutters!
Oh, and LUSTER DUST - I never seem to have enough colors!!!

SugarEd Productions said...

Thanks ya'll!

Alexandra that is correct!

Anonymous said...

WOW Sharon.. you are simply GREAT.. ALL I can really say !

Janell said...

Thanks for the recipes! I tried the chocolate cake and it really is great!

Heatherly30 said...

So how do you choose which brand of fondant you will use on a cake? I'm trying to find some that actually tastes good...not having any luck.

SugarEd Productions said...

Heatherly, i prefer the Massa to any other brand in performance and taste. Fondx tastes pretty good too.

Samona said...

Sharon, first of all thanks for all of the your wonderful help and expertise. Is the WASC great for carving?

SugarEd Productions said...

Samona I find it a bit too soft though many do use it. I prefer the Durable recipe for carving.

Anonymous said...


Love your work I aspire to your expertise. Having said that my cake carving recipe is lacking the professional results I desire. I have tried the durable cake recipe to no avail was too moist to support the fondant it collapsed before I could decorate and tier it.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Does the DH exclusion apply to both recipes?

Kathy Savage said...

Thanks so much for the recipes. One question for the Buttercream Icing recipe, what is the powdered coffee creamer to water ratio and is there a particular brand you like better?
Kathy Savage

Cat said...

I watched your Successful Stacking and Perfecting the Art of Buttercream today. They are wonderful. My question is, what kind of pans do you use? I didn't see it listed. It's late, so I probably missed it. I'll go back and re-read your list of favs. Thanks Sharon!

Anonymous said...

I made the chocolate cake recipe above and it looks very dense, which I like. It is also very heavy and sorta dips in the middle. Anyone else have this? I wonder if it is a little too thick?

Cat said...

Is there 3/4 tsp. salt missing in this recipe? I was looking at the one on CC. Thanks.

WASC (white almond sour cream) by Rebecca Sutterby:

1 box mix (does not work well with DH since they changed their formula)
one cup sugar
one cup flour
1 1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond if desired
3 whole eggs or 4 whites
one cup sour cream
2 tbs oil

*you can make this into any flavor by starting with flavored mix, and adjust extracts as desired . Bake at 325.

Kristina said...

Hi Sharon! I know this post is old, but someone just mentioned it and I noticed something. Your recipe of Kathy's Cream cheese has 6 oz of cream cheese. The Cake central post says she uses 16 oz. Which do you use? I can only assume one is a typo since there is such a big difference. Thanks!

jackie rodgers said...

hi , i always use DH in a wasc recipe and never had any problems. in fact people love my cakes. can someone please tell me what problems they are having?

Anonymous said...

Like Jackie, I use DH and always get rave reviews on the WASC or any other cake with extenders mentioned on CakeCentral. I am interested in knowing what problems folks are having with DH.

David said...

Thank you so much for your videos. I have a quick question regarding buttercream icing.
What is the ratio of shortening to sugar?
The reason is I have a 6 qt. mixer. The mixture doesn't reach the top and I'm getting air bubbles throughout.
I thought of adding one more cup of shortening and one more pound of sugar.
Does this sound right to you?

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