Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Little Love Cakes: Baking It Cute With Minimal Baking Skills

Pretty, tasty-looking treats are so fun to oogle.  To make?  Well...that depends.  Not all of us are blessed with the skills - or the time and budget to get the fancy details perfect.  But that shouldn't stop us.  I feel like I'm very hit or miss with my decorating skills, but I've figured out a few sure-fire ways to get good enough results to be able to "bake it cute".

Use fun molds.  Shaped cake molds & pans give a cute base to work from with minimal effort.  There are a lot of choices out there too.  To make my sweetheart cottage cakes, I used this mini-house silicone mold (from Wholeport) with basic cake mix:

I just made sure the molds were really greased up and added some extra time to the baking.  The molded details are easier to just trace than trying to free hand designs.

Or if the details don't turn out or the mold is simpler, just go the outline route to define the shape more:

Simple Decorating Gear. There are lots of fancy tools and decorations out there, but for those of us short on time & $$ you can still do big style with a small amount of stuff.  For my Love Cakes I used canned frosting, a Valentine's themed sprinkle set from the grocery store and some cheap, striped cupcake liners from Ikea at Christmastime (remember those from my holiday soap gift sets?).

Think Cheap.  I also go basic with my pastry bags: zip top quart size freezer bags.  Just snipping off the corner and then sticking in the tip assembly is easy & cheap, scoop in some spoonfuls of frosting and you're good to go.  When done, just remove the tips and toss the bag.  Especially handy when short on clean-up time.

Get A Great Tip.  I've found the small round and star shaped tips to be pretty versatile and easy to use, even when you've got no decorating training (ahem me).  Going a little wavy with a star gives nice scalloped shapes like this roof top:

Swirling the same tip on a cupcake and adding some sprinkles/nonpareils looks really nice too.  It's pretty hard to goof-up, so even when you've got kids underfoot or just have a couple of minutes, they'll turn out right.

When In Doubt, Candy It Out.  I'm not so hot at doing tiny details with a pastry bag, so I just do the basics in frosting and then add some colorful candy or shaped sprinkles.  Using them as accents on the roofs and sides of the houses gave them a nice Valentine's feel without worrying I was going to wreck anything at the end.  It must have worked, because I had 3 kids and a husband  leaning over my shoulder waiting to eat these as soon as the pics were taken.  

Do you have any tips, tricks or ways you decorate goodies?  
Share them in the comments!

I'm also sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
Click HERE to check them out!


  1. Really sweet little Valentine houses! These look like they took a lot more time to do. Great job.

  2. Well I think these are just adorable and your skills are better than you think! I love that baking mold! Can you share where you go it from? I found your cute blog on Two Cup Tuesday's!

    1. Aw thanks Chandra! I got it from Wholeport (the link is in the words :mini house silicone mold" in the post). But here's the direct link: http://www.wholeport.com/item/5iy_6-house-molds-silicone-cake-mold-flexible-mold-biscuit-mold-handmade.html. They have some fabulous baking molds.

  3. nice! never have seen that mold before!! very cute for vday!

  4. oh my goodness, these look amazing!! you've done an amazing job.

  5. These are adorable! You did a great job! Happy Valentine's Day! :)

  6. These are lovely!
    Following you through Facebook

  7. I love those little house molds. Here's really easy decorating-just pop in cute cupcake picks! Combined with fancy wrappers-they look professional and you don't even have to dirty a pastry tip!

  8. These are so cute! I love them! I have never seen moulds like that before but I am going to keep my eyes open for them now!

  9. that mold is great, these are adorable. thank you for adding your wonderful blog to the Thursday Favorite Things hop. xo

  10. These look like fun!! Thanks for sharing at Two Cup Tuesday at Pint Sized Baker. These will be featured tomorrow night!

  11. These are so cute! Found you on Thursday Favorite Things and I would love to invite you over to The Creative HomeAcre Hop today!

  12. Oh my...I'm craving chocolate right now and I'm diabetic. This post just about did me in!!!! ;)
    I'm LOVING those cute little houses!!! Oh wouldn't those be cute to decorate with kids...for a birthday party or something. Such a creative genius you are!!
    Thanks so much for sharing with my party!


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