Our church is very involved in Community Outreach all year long. One of the most recent ones was collecting 128 new blankets for an assisted living location in Pasadena, TX and hosting a Christmas Party for them. I wasn't able to go to the party as we were in Lake Charles. However, I wanted to contribute by making a Christmas cake. Believe it or not, I used to decorate cakes with buttercream icing and/or fondant. I even sold a few!
I made the cake with a cake pan I had purchased many years ago and had never used.
Here is the recipe I use to make medium consistency buttercream icing.
1 1/2 cups Crisco
2 teaspoons Vanilla flavoring
1 teaspoon Almond flavoring
1 stick Land O Lakes Unsalted Butter (blue) softened
1/4 cup water
2 lb. bag confectioners sugar
Mix the Crisco, vanilla, almond, water, and butter together. Slowly add in sugar. (I do turn my mixer off for this step as it will make a huge mess!). Mix all together on medium speed. Never on high other than a few seconds as it will add air to your icing.
This icing can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for one week or it can be stored in the freezer for one month. Once frozen, leave on the counter to thaw out.
My original intention was not to have a black bear. Yes, you read that right and no I am not colored blind. I did not have any brown coloring
and was too lazy to go to the store so I combined red and green (supposed to make brown) and it came out black! Well really kind of gray but after I put it in the freezer to stiffen up some it turned black.
I decorated the entire cake using the Star tip #16.
My husband is my toughest critic when it comes to cakes. He strolls in after I have put in all the hours it takes to bake a cake, make the icing and decorate it and shares his comments. Can you guess what he said? "Boy that is a black bear! Did you want it to be that black?" :) Gotta love it!
Just a note, some times when you add coloring to your icing it makes it thinner than you need it to be to decorate. Just place it in the freezer for a few minutes and it will harden up. One of the times I was waiting for the icing to harden I decided to go and get our recycling bin at the curb. Well I was in a great mood, half of the cake was done and I was not paying attention where I placed my foot. Down I went and scraped skin off of my shin. It was so painful I could barely pull myself up to grab the bin and get inside. Once inside, I sat in the chair at the breakfast table and cried. It hurt really bad. It is about four inches long and there inches wide. I am sparing you the photo. After a moment, I collected myself and praised God that I had not scrapped my hands, only bruised one palm so I was able to finish the cake. I took breaks every now and then and raised my leg with a cold rag. I was happy to have the distraction of the cake so I didn't focus on my injury.
Megan picked up the cake on Thursday afternoon. She got a big laugh out of my story of not wanting a black bear. :)
Have you made any Christmas cakes this year? I usually don't as my family finds the icing to be very sweet and their favorite is a yellow butter cake mix with milk chocolate icing. Yes, out of the box! So easy to please.