After posting the first part of my patriotic July 4th roundup HERE, I realized I wanted to throw two new ideas into the mix as well – the first for a red, white, and blue Star Spangled Cake, and a Patriotic Cake Cup for the other. See below for a quick overview on the directions. And before all of you Americans checkout for the holiday weekend, make sure to click through the links at the bottom of the post to browse a few of my favorite 4th-friendly DIY projects and recipes from the blogosphere. Just as a warning, be prepared to be bombarded you with so many ideas for your holiday parties this weekend!

July Fourth CakePatriotic CakeCup

Star Spangled Cake: For this cake, first frost a cake with vanilla buttercream (or pick one up from the store if you’re short on time!).  Whip up a batch of vanilla buttercream and divide it into 3 bowls. Add red dye to one bowl and blue dye to the second bowl, mixing each until the color is combined. Place each of the three frostings in its own pastry bag (or ziplock bag) with a star tip, and sporadically add those patriotic buttercream stars to your cake!

Patriotic Cake Cup: Prepare a vanilla cake batter to your liking (either with a box recipe or your own). Divide the batter into two bowls, dye one bowl of batter red and the other blue using food coloring. Bake cakes in separate pans. Once cakes have baked and cooled, use the top of a jar to cut out circles of cake. If your cake is thick, cut each circle so that it’s 1/2 – 3/4-inch high, then layer the cake circles in between vanilla frosting inside your jar, alternating colors. Top off with frosting and sprinkles, and don’t forget to serve with a spoon!

Holiday Weekend Link Love

Greece Blue DomeIt seems so many people have been visiting Greece recently. Funny enough, as I was stalking my friend Kelly of StudioDIY‘s incredible Greece updates on Instagram, I received a cake request for one of those beautiful blue Greek church domes. The order came through for a Bride-to-Be’s bachelorette party cake. The bride will be getting married next month in Greece, so her sister and friends wanted a cake to celebrate before they head over. Such a great idea…and a perfect way to celebrate an upcoming destination wedding, if you ask me! Continue on to take a look at the cake.  And if you feel like taking a virtual vacation to Greece (as I’ve done multiple times already) you can find a recap with the most incredible photos from Kelly and her husband’s honeymoon in Santorini HERE.

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With Fourth of July celebrations starting in just a few days, here’s a look at some of my favorite projects and recipes from the past. Click on each photo to be taken to the specific post.

Patriotic-Ice-Cream-Sandwich1DIY: Patriotic Ice Cream

 

 

Firework-Cookie

DIY [VIDEO] Patriotic Cookies

Patriotic-Cake-PlatesDIY [VIDEO] Stars & Stripes Serving Plate

Craft On Patriotic Dog TeeDIY [VIDEO]: Dog Shirts for the Fourth

FlagCake2 copyDIY [LINK]: Flag Cake

Alana Jones Mann RK PopsiclesRemember when you were a kid and had to make really hard decisions – like how you were going to spend your dollar at the ice cream truck?! The agony of just picking out one popsicle…only one! At least that’s how it went when the ice cream truck came down my cul-de-sac! I was thinking back to those sweet summertime childhood memories and was inspired to pay a little homage to some classic popsicle and ice cream treats from my day. What resulted was a batch of delicious chocolate covered rice krispie treats. Continue on below to see how to make them!

Fudgesicle and Choco Taco Rice KrispiesRainbow and Lick a Color Rice Krispies TreatsRainbow ChipsREAD MORE PEG BOARD

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Tropical Cake Cup

I recently whipped up this fun cake cup that would be a perfect treat to serve at your next summer party, if you ask me! Just looking at this Tropical Cake Cup sends my mind to a relaxing vacation with an ocean view, and makes me simultaneously crave a frozen drink AND some cake. I’ve put together a DIY for this cake-tail for P.S. I Made This, so head on over to the P.S. blog HERE to follow along!

Tropical Cake Cup 2 Tropical Cake Cup 3

Rainbow Umbrella

It’s been a busy week over here…and it’s only Tuesday. There’s been a few orders to fulfill, a few cakes to make, and now there’s more than a few other to-dos that I’ll hopefully manage to check off in the next couple of days. Work (if you can call it that) seems a bit confining at the moment because all this San Diegan wants to do is soak up these warm NYC days at the beach!  But inside it is, at least for the next few days. Before I get back to the grind, I wanted to share some updates with you.

First, a few updates with previous tutorials…

  • Summer BBQ Macaron DIY: There’s now a shop-able box available at DanasBakery.com that has all the macs you’ll need for the DIY. And don’t you worry, they ship nationwide! You can purchase the macaron set HERE.
  • Gemstone Cupcake DIY: I received a frustrating note from someone trying to make the geode, which bummed me out. But, I get it – it’s a little tricky to make – especially for someone who is new to sugar. Regardless, I added a few updates / tips for those who may be new to using sugar. Hopefully that helps with any future frustrations!
  • Wallpaper Cake Tutorial: I put together my Wallpaper Cake DIY to inspire people to create their own wallpaper cakes using the technique…and that is exactly what I’ve seen happen! I LOVE when people try out the tutorial and make it their own. Just how rad is THIS one!! That was made by Alysa, a textile print designer in NYC (@withones), who painted the design before scanning and printing it onto edible paper. Endless possibilities, people!
  • Pizza Cake: Sent another one of my pizza cakes off today. For this cake I improved the toppings in terms of taste – was beyond pleased that I didn’t have to use any fondant! Those Pizza Cake tutorial updates will be posted shortly!

Also for those of you in NY or LA…

  • NYC – Cactus Cupcake Workshop: I am looking for a cool space in NY (Manhattan or Williamsburg/Greenpoint) to host my cactus cupcake workshop. If you have recommendations for a reasonably-priced (or free) space that would accommodate 15-20 people and some cupcake decorating, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or send me an email.
  • LA / San Diego: I’m coming for you in early August! Can’t wait to be back home for a bit!

Also, even though it’s busy, I still have some new projects coming your way! One tomorrow and one on Thursday, so stay tuned!

It’s official, Summer is HERE!!! And I already want to be anywhere but indoors. And by anywhere, I mean at the beach or at a pool. Here’s a little classic summer inspiration to start the season off right!

vintage florida postcardgracekellyParty Waveclassicsummer4Summer Stripesretro pool party

1. 1960’s Florida Postcard // 2. Grace Kelly by J. Smith // 3. Georges Dambier for Jour de France (1959) // 4. Unknown // 5. Motel Pool via aeon Magazine // 6. Vintage André Courrèges ad // 7. Ladies Home Journal, June 1963 via NYMag // 8. Twin Villas Postcard via Flickr

Nature CakeIt’s so refreshing to receive a cake request for a “Nature Cake” – especially when the request comes in directly from a six year old for her birthday cake. No commercial, character-driven, princess themes here, just a simple nature cake. Girl after my own heart! I had so much fun putting this cake together. Here’s a few details and tips if you’re looking to create something similar for your next cake.

Forest Cake

Perhaps my favorite part of the cake was the mushrooms. I made two different types of mushrooms – the taller, neutral ones were molded out of fondant and dusted with cocoa powder. The smaller ones were also made out of a white and a deep red-dyed fondant. Once set, I brush a light layer of sugar water on top and dipped them in a bowl of white sprinkles.

Sugar MushroomsCake Details

The stump was made entirely out of buttercream. I used different colors of brown and ivory-dyed buttercream and used a brush technique to get the texture details on the trunk. The moss was a rice krispies and marshmallow mixture that was dyed a deep green. The acorns were molded out of caramel and modeling chocolate. The little ladybugs and bees were molded out of fondant. And for that deer – that gal was plastic! Recently when making cakes like this, I prefer to keep any big figurine details in plastic, so I don’t have to charge additional for the time it would take to mold and paint a fondant figure. I personally don’t see the point in molding a large fondant fixture that never gets consumed anywho when you have nice aesthetically-pleasing plastic options. And when I add on a plastic figurine, I make sure it fits with the look and feel I’m going for with the cake (like the dinos I painted for THIS cake).

Cake StumpCake Banner

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there today! And to all those who are celebrating their dads, whether in memory or physically together, I hope everyone has a beautiful day celebrating the very special, irreplaceable men in their lives. Since I know there’s one dad in particular who checks my blog, I’d like to take a second to thank him for a few things I don’t often get to thank him for.

Dad – Thank you for being so cool – sorry if I didn’t always recognize that as a kid. Thank you for taking the raddest photos. You took awesome “selfies” and dressed up our dogs for photos way before they were cool things to do! And you took most breathtaking photos of mom and our family that I will forever treasure.

DAD DOGSThank you for my tall genes. And good looks! And thank you for my athleticism – although I would have gladly taken a little more of that from you!

DadPolevault

Thank you for being the spiritual, loving human that you are. I love chatting about big-picture life with you. Thank you for showing me strength and always saying the right thing when I’m going through something rough. Thank you for giving me the best life – whether you realize it or not, you absolutely did. And I am forever thankful for it. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you. I love you Dad!!

Young Dad

BBQ Macs2

While I love to use all types of baked goods for DIY projects, I haven’t experimented too much with the famous french macaron. I’ve definitely tried to bake these and after a few failed attempts, I quickly gave up. Baking macarons just ain’t my thing, however, eating macarons…well that most certainly is my thing! Lucky for me, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting one of my favorite macaron makers a little over a year ago, Dana of Dana’s Bakery. I have tested a fair share of macaron bakeries in New York and by far, Dana’s Bakery holds precedent in my opinion when it comes to taste and flavors. On top of making the most delicious macs (and shipping nationwide!), Dana of Dana’s Bakery is such a force – a go-getter in every since of the word and a very inspiring, powerful girl boss! So, when I decided I wanted to step my feet (and my blog) into the DIY macaron world, Dana was the first place I went…because if I could make fun DIY’s with delicious macarons that wouldn’t result in frustrated baking experiments, why not go for my favorite macs?!

So with all that said, I present to you the first Alana Jones-Mann X Dana’s Bakery macaron collab – a set of Summer BBQ-themed Macarons!  With summer officially just 3 days away, make a batch of these to bring to the next BBQ you head to – they will surely turn you into the most talked about guest at the cookout! Below you’ll find the DIY for the bbq grill macarons, a cheeseburger macaron, and a 3-macaron corn on the cob. I’ve seen variations of these on cupcakes for years now, but wanted to out my own spin on them…and put them on macarons! There’s also a pie macaron to top things off, because no barbecue is complete without desert! I’ve listed the ingredients and steps for each themed macaron individually so you can choose to follow along with just one, or all of them. Click through for the DIY and many more photos!

UPDATE: Dana’s Bakery put together a shop-able box of the macs you’ll need for the DIY – you can buy that HERE!

BBQ Macs4BBQ Macs4-2BBQ Macs3BBQ Macs_Grilled2READ MORE BBQ MACARONS

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