2013 in Review

Can you believe 2013 is almost over?! Today is the day to reflect on the past year and all the things that happened. My 2013 was an interesting year. We had moved at the end of 2012 after my husband lost his job (long story - read about it here). The first few months of 2013 all kind of blend together. The months were filled with days of endless job hunting for myself. I distracted myself from the frustrating search with tons of baking, cooking, fondant work, and blog work.

Here's a brief look at my year, at least in terms of cake decorating and blogging. Throughout the year there have been certain posts that have been the most popular on Pinterest (TMNT cupcake toppers, marshmallow fondant, pizza spaghetti). But this round-up is filled with my favorite posts from the year. My favorite recipes and cakes that I made in 2013.

January - Penguin cake toppers

In 2013 I did a LOT of fondant work for various cakes and cupcakes. My favorite piece, though, was one I made in January. I have always loved penguins, so I made a cute penguin topper in preparation for a special Valentine's Day cake. I loved how the little penguins turned out. You can read about the "Love Birds" topper, as well as the special cake.

February: All Things Zebra

One of my favorite things to do in cake decorating is making something for my niece and nephew. In February, my niece turned five! She was all about pink and zebra print. I made her a special two tiered zebra print and hot pink cake, complete with fondant bows. The cake was even zebra print! We finished it off with some pretzel chocolate candy made from Hershey Hugs, pretzels, and M&M's. The hugs melt and make a zebra print design! You can check out all my ideas and party food in my Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.

March: Garden Party

Another month, another fun birthday party to decorate cakes for. I actually did a ton of smash cakes throughout the year, but this was one of my favorite parties I decorated for. It was for a garden themed party for a one year-old. I made an adorable smash cake, as well as flower cupcakes. You can read all about the party cakes in the Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.

April: Take 5 Candy Bar Trifle

I did some cake decorating in April, but one of my favorite posts from April was my Take 5 Candy Bar Trifle. This was an idea I came up with on my own, and I liked how it turned out! If you haven't had a Take5 candy bar, you are missing out. The delicious candy bar contains some of the tastiest ingredients - pretzels, peanuts, peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate. Each of those flavors is represented in the trifle.

May: Burger and Potato Flanks

In 2013, I started working more on my savory repertoire and recipes. One of my favorite recipes we worked on was a Food Network inspired meal of Bobby Flay burgers and Guy Fieri potato flanks. Yum! The meal is easy to make, but packed with flavor.

June: White Chocolate No Bake cookies

I love no bake cookies! Not only are they easy to make, but they are so delicious. I didn't think anything could improve the cookies, that is until I tried the cookies with white chocolate in place of the chocolate. To me, white chocolate is so much better than milk chocolate (I know I'm weird). I wasn't sure how the cookies would turn out with the white chocolate, but the end result was delicious! In fact, I think I will definitely make them this way again.

July: Mickey Mouse Apple Pie

My family loves that I am into baking and cake decorating, I make and decorate cakes for all their birthdays. Well all except for my dad - he doesn't like cake!!  I decided to make him his favorite pie, though, for his birthday. I still personalized it by adding a Mickey Mouse twist. He loves all things Disney!

August - Ladybug Cupcakes

I made and decorated a lot of cupcakes in 2013, but one of my favorite cupcake themes I worked with was the ladybug theme. I made three different versions for a birthday party. Half were topped with red buttercream with chocolate chip dots, the other half were topped with fondant lady bug toppers. The third type was a special cupcake for the little birthday girl. It was decorated with buttercream to look like a cute little ladybug!

September: Crochet Cake

September brought a couple more cakes, this time for adults. Both my husband and my mother-in-law have birthdays in September and I enjoyed making cakes for them. My favorite was my crochet cake I made for my mother-in-law. I used a $5 Play-Doh tool to create strings of fondant to form the yarn balls. You can read about the cake here, and using Play-Doh tools with fondant here.

October: Banana Foster Milkshake

In 2013, I got an ice cream maker and started experimenting with different frozen treats. One of my absolute favorites has to be this delicious bananas foster milkshake. Caramel. Bananas. Cinnamon. Ice Cream. What more could you want?!

November: Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

These DELICIOUS snacks are perfect for Fall and Thanksgiving! They are snickerdoodle cookies filled with a yummy pumpkin cream cheese icing. Nothing quite says Fall like the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin!

December: Italian Cream Cake

One of my favorite recipes of the year has to be the Italian Cream cake I made for Christmas. This is a cake my family always had every year at Christmas, and it was made by a special lady. We hadn't had one for the holidays since she passed away. My mother-in-law gave me the recipe she had, though, and I was able to continue the tradition. The cake isn't just nostalgic, it is also delicious!

Well that was my 2013 in a nutshell, at least for my blog. I hope you enjoyed the recipes and tutorials I shared this year. Make sure and check back to see what all 2014 has in store!

Hope you have a very sweet 2014!

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