Good morning!

Our intrepid blogger Cassidee is feeling under the weather these days. Join me, won’t you? In wishing her a speedy return to health…and a speedy return to her blogging duties here at Vista Cakes!

Get well soon, my darling girl! We miss you.

New Video “Meet Vista Cakes”

Bonjour friends. I wanted to let you know we will be adding a new video to our website soon. Please take a minute and watch it. Thanks for visiting!

Have a great week!

Fat Elvis Whoopie Pies

Ladies and Gentlemen! Elvis has left the building!

Have you ever had a Whoopie Pie?

2the finished fat elvis' ready to deliver

A Whoopie Pie is a treat from my childhood. Back then they only came in one flavor.

Chocolate cookies…almost like cake in texture…and a slightly grainy marshmallow

cream center. Good, but kind of boring.

Flash forward to today. The Whoopie Pie has enjoyed something of a renaissance.

While the remembered chocolate is still around, dozens of flavors join it in happy

proliferation on the web. A clients request led to hours of blissful experimentation

with Red Velvet, Banana, Lemon, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla and yes, the still delicious

Chocolate.

Our client is an adventurous soul, and after some consultation decided to order

lemon Whoopie pies with Raspberry filling and the well-named Fat Elvis. What’s a

Fat Elvis, you ask? It’s a banana Whoopie filled with a decadent peanut butter filling

and then the edges are rolled in crispy, caramelized bacon. Yes. You read that right.

Bacon.

I can see you’re scared. Don’t be scared. Breath. Better? Good. Because a Fat Elvis

is nothing to be scared of. It’s out-of-this-world delicious! You don’t have to take

my word for it, though. I’m including the recipe so you can try it yourself. Don’t be

scared!

Let’s start with the Whoopie itself.

Banana Whoopie Pies:

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 cup whole wheat flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 4 tablespoons butter, soft

• 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I use Crisco)

• 3/4 cup granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 2 large eggs

• 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (I freeze bananas when they start to get too ripe

to eat out of hand. When you thaw them they turn black. Don’t let that throw

you! It’s normal. Discard the black liquid that leaks out when they thaw…it’s

kind of bitter and will dye your batter an unfortunate hue!)

Thaw the bananas in a rimmed dish

• 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional…I opted out)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I ran three pans at a time through my oven. You

may opt to just do one at a time. If so, position the rack dead center in your oven.

Cover your sheet pans with parchment paper and drag out your 1 tablespoon scoop.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Okay. Let’s be real. NO ONE SIFTS! Not even

me. Put the dry ingredients (minus the sugar…you know that’s a ‘wet’ ingredient,

right??) and whisk them together to lighten and combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl) beat together the butter,

shortening, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes or so.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gradually beat in half of the flour mixture, scraping down the sides a couple of times.

Add the second half of the flour and beat to combine for 1 minute.

Add the mashed bananas and the pecans if you’ve ‘opted’ for them. Beat on medium

speed about 2 minutes to completely combine and lighten.

Batter is light and fluffly

Drop by one tablespoon measures on the parchment lined cookie sheets, spacing

them about 2 inches apart.

My handy 1 tablespoon scoop

Bake about 10 minutes or until cookies just begin to

brown.

Golden brown and delicious

Remove from the oven and let them stand on the sheet for 5 minutes or so

before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Now we’re ready to move on to the filling.

Peanut Butter Filling:

• 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter. This is the main flavor ingredient, folks. Buy a

good one.

• 3/4 cup butter, soft

• 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar, powdered sugar, 10x…all the same

stuff.)

• Pinch of salt

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl and your trusty hand mixer)

beat the butter and peanut butter together on low speed until very smooth and

creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt and beat to incorporate. Raise the

speed to medium and beat until the filling becomes fluffy and light, about 4 minutes.

Whip it.  Whip it good.

Candied bacon for the edges:

Cut 3/4 pound of good quality bacon in half crossways. Lightly coat each side of the

bacon with brown sugar.

On one of your rimmed baking sheets…you have several, right?…lay out the bacon,

leaving a little space between each slice.

Lay out the bacon

Bake at 350 degrees until crispy. Drain well.

(Save that bacon fat! Fry potatoes, make a roue for mac and cheese, saute veg or

chicken…endless goodness for free with bacon!) When it’s cool enough to handle,

crumble into fine crumbles and lay out on a plate.

Take one Whoopie and pipe approximately 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center.

Fill with peanut butter filling

Cover with another cookie, squeezing gently to bring the filling to the edge. Roll the

cookie in the crumbled bacon. Avoid licking your fingers. Repeat with all the other

Whoopie pies and filling.

Makes about 24 Whoopie pies.

2the finished fat elvis' ready to deliver Dessert table with Whoopie pies 2

Painting on Fondant

We made a fortieth anniversary cake this weekend for a couple we’ve known for several years.  So of course we decided to try something we’ve never done before.  ‘Cause it’s such an unimportant occasion and all.   :: shakeshead ::
A small, intimate gathering was planned for them.  Beautiful linens and china were juxtaposed against rustic flowers and mason jars for drinking glasses.  It was not only lovely but it was seriously fun!  The cake was a 9”x13” oval covered in fondant and then “painted” with food coloring.  While we have used this technique in small ways in the past this was the first time actually painting the whole design.
Check it out!  Let us know what you think.
painted cake

Wedding Cupcake Tower

cupcake tower

Not all of our brides think conventionally, and that’s a good thing! This weekend, Sarah and I made two hundred and fifty cupcakes for a charming “second-time-around” bride who wasn’t interested in a traditional wedding cake. We stacked them high and proud, topped with a six inch tier just to hold her cake toppers! Check them out…the groom is an avid golfer, she an avid shopper. I think you see the inspiration here.

Flavors? I’m so glad you asked! The top tier was marble (laced with a warming dollop of Crème de Cacao). The cupcake flavors were Cookies and Cream filled with, yes, cookies and cream frosting, Vanilla Bean filled with (say it with me) vanilla bean frosting, Lemon filled with lemon curd, Dark Chocolate Fudge (with rum and crème de cacao…yum) filled with fudge filling and frosted with dark fudge frosting, German Chocolate (yes, we added crème de cacao. It would have been rude to leave this one out) filled and frosted with Coconut Pecan filling and finally Pineapple (rum, of course) filled with coconut pastry cream (more rum) and frosted with coconut cream frosting (and more rum, but you knew that.)

The finished tower of cakes looked and smelled wonderful. The bride kindly gave us a call later that evening to report how much the guests had enjoyed them. A classy touch from a classy lady!

What flavors would you want for your cupcake tower?

Anniversary Cake

We were contacted by a lovely woman in need of an anniversary cake for her in-laws.  As we normally do, we asked what the original cake was like…flavors, flowers, frosting…to get an idea of the direction we should go.  In this case we didn’t have that to go by as there had been no cake! (I know, right?  Shocking!)  Our client did specify that the top tier would be chocolate with vanilla cream filling and the bottom tier would be vanilla with chocolate fudge filling, and that a shade of Country Blue would be nice.

And nice it turned out to be!  We made Freesias, Daisies, Stephanotis and Peonies for a bridal “bouquet” and painted a ribbon of Country Blue around the base of each tier.  What do you think?

anniversarycakecloseup

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