My Smash Cake Collection

If you've been to a toddler's birthday party lately, I'm sure you've seen the popular smash cake. These are small cakes just for the birthday girl/boy to smash into and enjoy all for themselves. It's great to watch the kids get so excited over all the icing and cake.

I've made many smash cakes and have really enjoyed coming up with all the different ideas for various themes. Today I've put together a round-up of my six favorite smash cakes. Each had to fit a specific theme, and were a hit with each birthday boy and girl.

Here's the top six smash cakes I've made this past year:

My Little Pony

First up, is a My Little Pony and daisy themed cake for a little girl named Daisy. For this cake, I bought a toy My Little Pony which had a small tiered cake that came with it. To bring in the daisy aspect of the cake, I made fondant daisies to place around the cake. I made a polka dot "Daisy" and platform to bring together all the elements.

Lightning McQueen (Disney's Cars)

One of my first smash cakes I made was this Lightning McQueen cake for my nephew's Cars themed birthday party. It was his third birthday party, but his first with us (he was adopted just over a year ago). He loves anything Cars, especially Lightning McQueen. I made a tiered Cars themed cake, but wanted to make a cake just for him as well. I covered it with red icing with fondant details to make Lightning McQueen's face. The fondant cake border was black and white to tie in with all the checkerboard details of the party.

Sea Turtle

I made a special sea turtle smash cake for a friend from college's little boy. He loves a sea turtle movie, so I made him an ocean and sea turtle smash cake. I created a fondant turtle and fondant star fish which I placed on a cake covered with blue icing. The placed his name in fondant letters on the front of the cake. A piped shell border, resembling waves, was the final touch to this ocean smash cake.


Next is an elephant cake with mainly buttercream details. Other than his name, all the decorations are done in buttercream for this smash cake. I started by covering the cake with light blue icing and a darker blue border. The cake was personalized with a piped elephant and balloon, which matched the invitations. The cake matched a larger cake for the adults, as well as cupcakes. 

Garden Theme

One of my favorite smash cakes I've made this year is a garden themed cake for a one year old girl, Allison. This is a design that I came up with after months of planning. I was really excited about the design, and it was a hit at the party! The side of the cake was surrounded with a white picket fence I created using Cricut Cake, and buttercream piped like grass. I topped the cake with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies as dirt and a fondant flower.

Rose Cake

Next is a rose smash cake that wasn't for a party, but rather a smash cake photo session. My goal was to create a cake that was simple, yet pretty and elegant. I decided to cover the cake with piped roses. For this cake, I added some extra details by covering the cake board in fondant and creating a fondant "1" to stick down in the cake. I finished off the look with small pink and purple fondant flowers.

Hope you've enjoyed this round-up of cake ideas! My Sweet Tooth Tuesdays blog party is still going on through today. Make sure and link up your recipes, crafts, and DIY projects!

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Something Savory #4

As you can probably gather from my name and previous posts, I have a bit of a sweet tooth! Baking is a passion of mine and I spend a lot of time enjoying the hobby. Cooking doesn't come quite as naturally to me, my husband is definitely more into that than I am. But, I'm trying to get better and experiment more in the kitchen. My "Something Savory" series is a way to get out of the sweets and try some savory dishes in the kitchen. I do cook, I just tend to make the same things over and over again. Something Savory is making me try new recipes and expand my repertoire of dishes!

This will be my fourth post in the series. So far, I've shared my easy and delicious chicken pockets, a Chinese coleslaw perfect for a potluck, and a Food Network inspired dinner of burgers and potato flanks. Today is a simple (and scrumptious) pasta dish.

I don't know about you, but pasta dishes are a staple in my house. I love pasta and could probably eat it all the time. My extent of creativity when cooking a pasta dish, though, is changing out the type of pasta... I usually make penne or spaghetti noodles and serve it with a marinara sauce. Sometimes I'll brown hamburger for my husband to add to his (I'm not much on beef in my spaghetti). I will also sometimes have chicken with the marinara sauce, I really like that combination. But, today I am making a twist on typical spaghetti - baked pizza spaghetti!

This dish takes a bit longer than making traditional spaghetti, but it is simple to cook. The best part is you can get as creative as you want with it. Just like there are tons of combinations of pizza flavors, there are tons of combinations of baked pizza spaghetti. I even did mine as two different flavors. I did just over 1/2 of it with pepperoni, and the other half without. Basically you are going to cook your noodles and any meat you want added in (unless it is precooked like pepperoni). You combine the noodles, pasta sauce, meat, cheese, and any vegetables into a 9x13 pan and bake it! It's so simple, but scrumptious!

Here's the recipe for my baked pizza spaghetti:

Baked Pizza Spaghetti ingredients:
  • 16 oz thin spaghetti
  • 24-26 oz marinara sauce
  • 8 oz Four Cheese Pizzeria cheese (or any sort of Italian blend of cheese)
  • Seasoning of choice (red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, etc)
  • Meat of choice (pepperoni, sausage, etc)
  • Any vegetables needed (onion, pepper, etc)
Baked Pizza Spaghetti directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Prepare spaghetti noodles per directions on box, break in half
  •  Rinse noodles with cold water and drain
  • Grease 9x13 in pan
  • Pour noodles into greased pan
  • Pour marinara sauce over the noodles and smooth out the sauce
  • Top marinara sauce with pepperoni, or whatever meat and veggies you would like added
  • Top with cheese
  • Add any final toppings, including seasonings and pepperoni (or additional meat)
  • Cover with foil
  • Bake 30 mins
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 10 mins
Hope you've enjoyed this recipe! There's still time for you to link up to my Sweet Tooth Tuesdays blog link party. Check out the party here to link up! It's not just for recipes, but crafts and DIY projects as well.

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays #3

Welcome to week 3 of Sweet Tooth Tuesdays! This is a special day here at Sweet Tooth Tuesdays because it is my 100th post! Let's make this party extra special today. 

First up, I want to share a few of my favorite link-ups from last week. There were so many great ideas, but these four really stood out to me. Each of these features are simple to make, but extremely clever and creative!!

Watermelon Star Cake from My Turn (for us)
Mason Jar Mini Cakes from Be Sweet
DIY iPhone Speakers from May Richer Fuller Be
CD Envelope Cookie Wrappers from Organized 31

If you were featured, make sure and get a button to display on your site.

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays
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Please make sure and follow me to get updates and see who is featured! Each week I will share features on my social media sites (Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook). These features will also be displayed in the following week's party.

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Sarah Lynn's Sweets

Now for the party! Link up and have fun checking out the other projects. I've extended the party to run through Friday as well this week, make sure and tell others to link up as well! I'd love for you to tweet about linking up to the party to help spread the word.

String Instrument Cake

Today's cake tutorial is a special cake I just made for my mom's birthday! Long time readers may recall I made special 1950's themed cupcakes for her surprise 60th party last year, including a cupcake stand made from real records. This year we had a smaller dinner at home with friends and family. Her birthday isn't actually until later this week, but my husband and I were able to come in for Memorial Day weekend, so it was a great time to celebrate. We had fun getting together and spending time celebrating my special mom! She is constantly doing things for others and well deserving of a special evening just for her.

My mom started playing a musical instrument called the dulcimer about 6 years ago. It's a string instrument with origins in the Appalachian area. She loves her dulcimer group she performs with, so I really wanted to make a special dulcimer themed cake. I usually make round cakes, but I decided to try my first carved cake. My mom was so surprised, and absolutely loved the cake! I know not everyone knows what a dulcimer is, but I wanted to share this tutorial as it would be similar to making a violin or acoustic guitar cake. The main elements (fret board, tuning pegs, strings, body of instruments) or very similar.

Here are the steps I used to create this musical cake:

A day before making the cake I started working on the fret board for the dulcimer. This part needs to dry for an hour, or so. It just makes less work the day of the cake if you make it in advance.
  • I printed out a dulcimer picture the size I needed for the cake, I wanted to make sure the fret board was the correct size
  • I started the fret board by dyeing some fondant a dark brown color
  • Roll the fondant out pretty thin, less than 1/16 inch
  •  Roll out thin ropes of white fondant to represent the frets
  •  Using a print-out as a guide, attach the frets at the positions for the string instrument (attach using a small amount of water on the fret board at the location of the fret

Once it was finished, I let the fret board dry overnight. I also baked the cake in advance, as I was going to have a busy day the day of the dinner. I needed a large cake, so I baked an 11x15 chocolate cake.

Here's how I finished the cake:
  • Place the printout on the cake (mine was a little larger than the cake, but I was going to cut out the head from the excess cake)
  •  Carefully cut out the shape of the cake using a sharp knife
  •  Very carefully lift up the cake and place on your cake board (I used some long spatulas and moved it slowly
  • Cut out any remaining pieces to finish the shape (I still needed to cut out the head and place it on
  • Fix one recipe of buttercream (just enough to cover the cake) and tint it brown
  • Pipe on icing using an icing tip (or ice on with a spatula)
  • Use a spatula to smooth out icing and cover any cake exposed
  • Smooth out icing even more using a non-design paper towel (such as Viva) and a fondant smoother
  •  Place the fret board on the cake
  • Add any other fondant details to the top of the cake (I realized I wanted the fret board to extend to the head of the dulcimer, so I added some more brown fondant to that section)
  • Shape white fondant into a tuning peg shape with a long thin cylinder attached to stick into the cake
  •  Stick the tuning pegs into the cake
  • For the strings, I used un-waxed, plain dental floss. After trying many different ways, I ended up running the floss completely across the cake and just taping it to the board on either end, just off the cake.
  • I finished off the cake board by adding scraps of sheet music and some cute ribbon. I just used tape (not glue) to attach these since the cake was already on the board.

Hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. The cake was a lot of fun to make, and a big hit with my friends and family! Don't forget to come back tomorrow and link up to my Sweet Tooth Tuesdays party! I can't wait to see what recipes, crafts, and projects are linked up this week.

Sweet Treat for Your Blog: Bunting Banner

Today I have a sweet treat to share, but it isn't something to eat! I am sharing a tutorial for a bunting banner for the blog. You may have noticed some new features on my blog. I gave my blog a semi-makeover including a bunting heading and new buttons.

New features for my blog

This bunting adds a creative touch that helps to personalize your blog! I created it easily using free software. It was a detailed process, but simple to do.

I started the banner by creating a 750x112 sized collage in PicMonkey. I needed six pennants, so I created six photo squares and filled them with various PicMonkey swatches.

I saved the collage and re-opened it in the photo tool of PicMonkey to edit the file. I then created triangle overlays in a light neutral color (same as the background of my blog posts). I centered each triangle at the seam between the boxes. 

I continued creating triangles that I centered at each seam. I finished it by creating triangles for both ends of the banner. These triangles help form the pennants for the bunting. 

After creating the pennants using the triangles, I cropped the picture down to have the points of the pennant at the button of the picture.

To finish the bunting, I created a long, thin rectangle out of a deep maroon color. This is to serve as sort of the rope for the pennants.

I then created text blocks and labeled each pennant with the various labels for the sites that I wanted shortcuts for. The bunting is going to have links to my home page, recipe list, tutorial list, link parties list, advertising page, and the contact me page. I centered text files on each pennant.

I saved the picture to my desktop as the highest quality file. I then used an online image mapping tool, Image Map, to create links for each pennant. I wanted to be able to click on each pennant and send it to the specific website it correlates to.

The Image Map website is really easy to use, you just have to follow a few steps. First, I uploaded the picture file and then clicked on "Start Mapping Your Image."

Once the file has finished uploading, click on "Continue to Next Step" to start editing.

I created rectangle sections that dictate the area you can click in to go to a certain website. Once you define the section to click on, you enter the name you want it to be called, and the website it is to be directed to.

Finally, click on "Get Your Code" and copy the html code for your photo. Add your code to a script in the layout section for your blog. Update your code and save the changes.

Hope you enjoy this tutorial! This adorable pennant bunting creates a personalized touch for your blog.

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Strawberry White Chocolate Chip cookies

Summer is almost here and nothing says summer like strawberries! I love when strawberries are in season, they are cheaper and much more flavorful. Strawberries are perfect for a light sweet treat on a hot summer day. I will garnish them on angel food cake, or even just eat them dusted with a little sugar. Today's recipe is a light, simple, and flavor packed treat perfect for summer. I have some friends who are more than willing to try out my baking experiments, and they really enjoyed these cookies!

I've made quite a few cookies on this blog, and several have had white chocolate chips in them. In fact, this will be my third white chocolate chip cookie, including - banana white chocolate chip cookies and red velvet white chocolate chip cookies. I was trying to think of a delicious summer cookie, and instantly thought of strawberries. I have always loved strawberries, especially the combination of white chocolate and strawberry. You may recall my white chocolate covered strawberry cake I made for Valentine's Day. This combination is just as tasty in cookie form, as in cake form! 

These cookies are easy to make, you just start with a cake mix base. I got around 20 cookies out of the batter. I went with a similar recipe as my red velvet cookies. I decided to use only the egg whites, though, to help keep the vivid pink color of the cookies. When I made the strawberry cake, I started with the same strawberry cake mix and used egg whites only. You could use the whole egg if you don't want to separate, but they came out great with just the egg whites.

Strawberry White Chocolate Chip cookie ingredients (yields approximately 20):
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix (Pillsbury was the only brand that had strawberry in my local grocery store)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Strawberry White Chocolate Chip cookie instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Separate 2 large eggs and keep the egg whites
  • Whisk together the cake mix, egg whites, and oil
  •  Fold in the white chocolate chips
  • Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Create tablespoon size balls of dough and place on the parchment paper
  • Using a spatula, slightly flatten cookies
  • Bake 8-10 mins
  • Cool

Don't forget my Sweet Tooth Tuesday party, it is still going on! Come on over and link up your recipes, crafts, DIY projects, and anything YOU made. Each week I will feature some of my favorite projects on my blog and various social media sites.