Now this being said, just because we like to make frosting doesn't mean we are good cake decorators or good at frosting cakes. I am horrible at frosting cakes; however, Big Sissy has been bitten by the cake decorating bug. My mother-in-law is actually pretty good at decorating cakes as she has taken a few classes and has a fair amount of the necessary tools and she has introduced Big Sissy to cake decorating. In fact, they worked together on Big Sissy's birthday cake this year.
This being said, it is still my nemesis.
As you know, 4-H had a big impact on my life and 4-H actually has a cake decorating project; however, I never took that project. I stuck to sewing and foods and showing livestock to name a few. Now Big Sissy is not old enough to be in regular 4-H yet as in our state you have to be in third grade; however, she is old enough for mini 4-H as you can start that in kindergarten. Lucky for me our mini 4-H program has a cake decorating project and Big Sissy signed up for it for the second year in a row.
She really enjoys this project, but I have already warned her that she will not be able to take cake decorating in real 4-H. And believe it or not, this decision is not based on my lack of cake decorating skills, but the fact that cake decorating is judged the same days as foods and gardening and she has already expressed an interest in those projects so I think we will have too much on our plates for that day. Thus, no cake decorating in real 4-H for Big Sissy.
For those of you wondering, Mini 4-H is like Daisy Scouts for those of you familiar with Girl Scouts ... not quite a Brownie or Girl Scout, but in training to become one. Mini 4-H allows the child to take a few projects, attend special mini 4-H meetings, and exhibit their projects at the fair.
So this year, she had to exhibit 3 frosted cupcakes with a design or pattern made from candy. We had seen pictures of pig cupcakes in a magazine awhile back and decided that is what she would do for her mini 4-H project. Of course, we didn't rip the picture out of the magazine so we were going to be stuck creating her cupcakes from memory until Liz saved the day.
As if she knew I needed it, Liz posted a picture of a baby shower where she made farm animal themed cupcakes. The picture was great as I could show it to Big Sissy and thanks to email, Liz even shared some great tips like using pink marshmallows instead of white and cutting off a part of the marshmallow to make the ears. Thanks for all of your help Liz and to Kraft for making pink marshmallows.
So one blue ribbon later, Big Sissy is by far a better cake decorator than me so I will stick to the baking.
(Chocolate chips were used for the eyes and were also used to help make the indentations in the pig's nose.)
For those of you that are interested, here is the recipe for the butter cream frosting:
3 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
4 T. milk
1 t. vanilla (I always use pure vanilla extract for baking.)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix on low until combined and then beat at a medium speed.
One recipe should be enough to frost a 2-layer cake, 9x13 sheet cake or 24 cupcakes.