The Baking Owl

a blog written by an aspiring 17 year old baker.


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pumpkin pecan cake.

Thanksgiving in the Abbas household consists of many traditions; family ping pong tournaments, way-too-intense games of scrabble, jazz music (which I’m still not exactly sure how it became tradition), watching football & cricket, and of course food. So Much Food.

The obvious main part of Thanksgiving is forgetting you’re on a diet and proceeding to eat the whole dining table, but in my family, it’s a little bit different. Every year we attempt (mostly successfully) to create a weird Pakistani-Indian-Also Partly Vegan-American fusion of our Thanksgiving dinner which somehow results in more food then we can devour at once. The hardest part hands down is stopping ourselves from eating too much so we have room for dessert.

Which leads to my (shocker) favorite part, dessert.

Desserts sometimes vary from year to year, but most of the time we stick to at least two different types of pies, three different types of ice cream, and a cake that I take responsibility every year.

This year I opted for my favorite pumpkin cake with roasted pecans and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s a bit of a handful to say, but it sure was good.

This was three layers of crunchy pecans, creamy icing, and soft, spiced cake. Everyone knows that eating anything pumpkin flavored is basically a crime before the holiday season so this was basically what I dreamt about for the ten months before Fall started.

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Naked Dark Double Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Vanilla Cream Cheese

Last week, my aunt came all the way from Pakistan to visit my family here in California. I of course had to bake a “Welcome to California” cake, so what better than this decadent naked dark double chocolate cake paired with my favorite vanilla cream cheese frosting? Nothing. Nothing is better than this.

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It didn’t hurt that my aunt is also a chocoholic like me and my brother ;).

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Gold & White Red Velvet Cake w/ Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (Cake 4 Kids Contest {2015})

It’s been a whole year since the last Cake-Off 4 Kids, so you know what that means…

I just competed in the 2015 Cake 4 Kids contest! If you don’t know already, for the past two years, I’ve competed in this cake competition. This competition is held by the non profit organization I volunteer for called Cake 4 Kids. I’ve always loved competing in this contest, so I was really excited to be baking for this one again.

In the past two years, I was in the “Made by Kids”  category, but this year I didn’t register in time to be in this category, so I had to choose a category that wasn’t filled up. I ended up choosing the “Best Tasting” category.

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Graduation Day Mini Cupcakes

Yeah, It’s that time of the year again! Students are graduating from school and moving on to the next stage of their life. I want to especially congratulate all of you who have graduated. I myself have just graduated middle school which is very exciting.

(I’ve added a couple of my middle school promotion pics down towards the end of the post)

For our last week of school, I wanted to make something special since it was also going to be my last week in middle school. Last year, I had made these  graduation day cake pops for a neighbor that turned out to be pretty cute. So I decided to do something similar this year but with cupcakes.

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Thanksgiving Desserts

This Thanksgiving I was with my family and cousins in Tampa, Florida. And as usual, I was in charge of the desserts.

My cousins had never tasted any of my desserts before so I wanted them to try some of my specialties – that included moist and delicious red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin spice cupcakes, flourless chocolate cake and cinnamon rolls.

It was a lot of fun making these desserts even though I wasn’t in my own kitchen and I didn’t have my faithful Kitchen Aid mixer with me. But they all turned out great as all these recipes can be made by hand with just a little more effort.

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Game Wheel Cake

A couple of weeks ago I made a cake for a surprise birthday party for my dad’s friend’s 40th birthday party! This cake was a really fun cake to make and the end result got many smiles at the party. I was asked to make the cake that looked like a game wheel with a spinner, so after some research, I finalized my cake design.

This cake took me awhile to make and I faced some challenges with fondant. I decided to go with a white and blue color theme with a bit of brown.

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I figured out how to get the spinner to really spin and everyone was spinning it to see what they got! The wheel and border decorations were all made with fondant.

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I also dusted the top of the cake with lots of silver dust (maybe a little too much :/)

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This cake was a 4 layer red velvet cake with a cream cheese icing for the filling. All the adults and the kids at the party really liked how the cake looked and tasted and I got lots of encouraging comments and compliments.

I also have YouTube tutorials on how to make red velvet cake and cream cheese icing up on my tutorials page!

If you enjoy reading posts like this and would like to get updated when ever I post something new, please follow my blog by typing in your email in the “Follow The Baking Owl” box on the right ->->.

Thanks for reading! 😉

 


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Red Velvet “Cake 4 Kids” Holiday Cupcakes #4

Hi everyone! It has been some time since I made a cake for “Cake 4 Kids” ( a Bay Area non profit organization that gives cakes to under privileged children). Since I had time last weekend, I took a request for 2 dozen holiday cupcakes.

When I think of the winter holidays, I immediately think of red velvet. So, I made 2 dozen of the BEST red velvet cupcakes ever! You can find the recipe on my recipes page. But, nothing goes best with red velvet then cream cheese icing swirled right on top of the cupcake! Also, to make these cupcakes more festive, I added red and white sprinkles on top. I really hope the children liked them and I hope you do to!

Please remember to follow, like, and comment if you enjoy reading Sweet Baking! Thanks!

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Cake 4 Kids Contest

Hi everybody! Last weekend, I participated in the annual cake 4 kids contest! It is a contest held by the non profit organization I volunteer for. (Cake 4 kids) 50 bakers competed in different categories. The contest was very well organized and was attended by a large number of people. It was held in a nice hotel in Sunnyvale, CA.

Overall, It was a really great experience for me and I had a lot of fun. All bakers were required to make 1 small 2 layer 6 in. cake for the judges to taste and judge and one 8 or 9 in. 2 layer cake for the public to try. It was fun to see and try other competitors’ cakes. I was very happy with the taste and look of my cake, and received a number of compliments from the public as well as other bakers.

The flavor of my cake was red velvet with cream cheese icing and was covered and decorated with fondant.

Anyways, I decided to go with the owl themed cake because if you have read my About Me page, than you know that I love owls and plus I thought that this would be really adorable to do. I made the owl with fondant and hand cut it. I used a special cutter for the border. The judges were very happy with my cake and the best part was that I won 3rd place in my category!

Here are some pics we shot at the competition:

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