f Sarah Lynn's Sweets

Batman Cake

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na - Batman!

It's been a while since I've made a cake, but I had a chance to design and decorate a cake recently for a friend's family birthday celebration. Thankfully my friend gave me full reign to figure that the design of the cake, I love coming up with my own plan for the cakes.

I enjoy all the aspects of making a cake, but one of my favorite parts is trying to envision and design the cake in my mind. I am not a talented illustrator, so I usually leave the ideas in my mind and don't draw them on paper. I find sometimes the idea doesn't translate to the paper quite like I envisioned in my head. This is especially true if I try to get too complicated and make it very busy. Sometimes a busy cake works for a particular design, but most the time less really is more! I was pleased with the more simplistic design of this cake, it came out looking like what I pictured in my mind. Thankfully the family I made it for was pleased with the taste and the look!

Here's how I made the cake:
  • Bake an 8 inch cake of your favorite recipe. I used my all-time favorite chocolate cake, but my second favorite choice is this doctored white cake recipe.
  • Mix together ingredients to create a buttercream for the cake, my favorite is my tweaked version of the standard Wilton buttercream.
  • Add a little black food gel to the icing (start with the size of a kernel of corn and add small bits if needed)
  • Mix the black coloring in to create a gray shade of your choice, don't fully combine the color though, you want to leave some swirls to resemble the night sky and add some dimension to it.
  • Cover the cake with buttercream and smooth using a spatula, or a fondant smoother and non-design paper towel .
  • Dye a marble size of white fondant yellow, or use yellow fondant.
  • Roll yellow fondant out to 1/16th of an inch and cut out an oval shape (I printed out a Batman logo to make sure I got the dimensions right).
  • Roll black fondant paper thin and cut out a batman shape (again I used a printout, I couldn't freehand that as well).
  • Place the yellow fondant on the cake and position the black symbol on top. If neither piece of fondant has hardened much it should stick easily to the yellow. If not, use a small dab of water to help the symbol stay in place.
  • Roll out long strips of black fondant and cut out a skyscraper shape. I did about four building for each strip of fondant. I alternated between short, tall, pointed roof, etc. Once you have one set done, you could use that as a template to create the others if you want a repeated pattern.
  • Using the leftover yellow fondant, create small squares to represent the lighted windows of the building. These can be easily created by flattening a tiny ball of fondant and then trimming the sides to make it square. Place these on the buildings. These should stick to the fondant, but you can use a small dab of water if they are having trouble staying on.
  • Let the buildings set around 30 mins and then carefully place around cake. 
You can also create the fondant pieces ahead of time and save some time on the day you decorate the cake.

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes with Lemon Syrup

After a fairly mild winter, our town got hit with snow and frigid temperatures last weekend. When it's freezing and snowy outside, nothing is better than staying in and warming the place up by cooking! One of my favorite things to cook when we are stuck indoors is breakfast for dinner. We don't get up early enough during the week to cook a big meal, instant oatmeal is the extent of my early morning breakfast. On the weekends we have a few breakfast and brunch spots we visit, so we rarely take the time to cook breakfast then either. But since we were stuck in for the day, we decided to fix some of our favorites - blueberry pancakes, hash browns, and sausage. 

I get bored cooking the same meals over and over, so I enjoy experimenting some with our favorite recipes and meals. This is particularly true when I start with a box mix, I love adding fresh ingredients to the mix and changing the flavor profile. As I did with blueberry muffin mix last winter, I decided to spruce up a blueberry pancake mix with lemon juice and lemon zest. I didn't want to overpower the pancake flavor with lemon, so I didn't add too much zest or juice. Instead, I decided to amp up the lemon flavor by pairing the pancakes with a lemon syrup. The pancakes had a light lemon flavor on their own, but when combined with the syrup the flavor was fresh and delicious! 

Easy Southern Instant Spiced Tea

Any tea fans out there? Even though I grew up in the South, where sweet tea is a way of life, I was never a big fan... I tried sweet and unsweet, hot and cold, tea was just not something that I enjoyed. After avoiding all types of tea for years, I recently found myself shopping with my in-laws at a popular tea store. I was pleasantly surprised to taste test a tea that I loved!

The tea I discovered was a Rooibos tea, it's a red tea from Africa that is naturally sweet with a slight nutty flavor. My favorite is the white chocolate peppermint or the caramel chai. Yum! I also have started trying some white teas including a berry and orange blossom. Now that I've acquired more of a taste for tea, I'm starting to experiment with more flavors and types of tea.

I recently ran across a recipe for a spiced citrus instant tea mix made from powdered drink mixes! Apparently it's a common Southern recipe, I found tons of versions of the recipe all over Pinterest. Each seemed to have a different ratio of ingredients, so I decided to experiment and test out my own version of the spiced tea.

This recipe is delicious, I love the mix of the orange and lemon citrus flavors blended in with tea and spices. The best part of the recipe is that it creates an instant tea mix that then you can use to create a quick cup of hot spiced tea whenever you want it! Plus how cute is the tea mix combined and stored in a mason jar? Definitely a Southern touch for the tea.