Well, the long Easter weekend is almost over and I hope that everyone had a very enjoyable time with family and friends.  It was not the warmest Easter on record but given the long and very harsh Winter we had, it was just delightful to finally be able to spend time out doors without several layers of bulky clothing.  The rain has held off all weekend and Easter Sunday was bright and sunny.  Spring has arrived and while not all the landscape is in full bloom, new life is slowly becoming apparent all around.  The first shoots of my hostas and lilies are showing and the burning bush plants as well as our magnolia tree are starting to show their buds. In keeping with Easter season being one of new beginnings, I decided to make an Easter cake this year that featured a little chick hatching out of its egg.  Rather than bake just one cake and carve it as an egg shape, I chose to sandwich two egg-shaped cakes together so that the egg would be free standing.

Free Standing Easter Chick Hatching from Egg Cake

I wish I had a video of the grand girls when they saw this cake.  They thought that the chick was pretty cute and when I told them to turn the cake around they really got a kick out of his little behind breaking out of the egg.

Side View of Easter Chick Showing Chick's Tail

This cake was made using a yellow cake recipe which can be found on Gail Dosik’s site One Tough Cookie NYC.  It’s a delicious cake as I’ve mentioned before (see Ron’s Ski Hill Cake I made) and the texture is perfect for carving your cake into whatever shapes you require.

The following is a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make and decorate this cake.

1.  Bake two yellow cakes.  I used 2-10″ round cake pans.  Let cool before carving.

10 Inch Round Yellow Cakes Recipe from One Tough Cookie NYC

Using a template of an egg printed on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, carve the cakes with a sharp knife. You can discard the cake scraps, use them to make cake balls, or just snack on them!

Egg Shape Template

Yellow Cake Carved in Egg Shapes for Easter Chick Cake

Draw crack lines on both the upper and lower sections of the egg templates, then cut.  Lay the top section of the egg template on your cakes and score a line along the pattern.  Do this on both cakes.  Repeat with the bottom section of the egg template on both cakes.  Then cutting into the cake, about 1/4″ deep, score out the shell pattern.  Cut off the bottom of each cake so you have a flat edge.

Scoring Egg Pattern

Egg Pattern Cut

Turn over one of the cakes and ice with buttercream icing.  When frosting has been completed, place the other cake on top of the iced cake, press together lightly and stand the egg cake up with the widest edge being at the bottom.

Center of Easter Chick Egg Cake Iced with Buttercream Icing

Easter Chick Egg Cake Layers Sandwiched

You will need black, blue, yellow and green buttercream icing to decorate this cake.  First,  apply a then layer of yellow buttercream in the center of the cake.  Follow that up by filling in around the yellow iced area with black buttercream icing.  Then you can dirty ice the egg portions of the cake with blue buttercream.  Repeat this process on the other side of the cake and dirty ice all around the edges of the cake with blue buttercream.

Easter Chick Cake Dirty Iced in Yellow Black and Blue IcingFront Side of Easter Chick Cake Dirty Iced

Back Side of Easter Chick Cake Dirty Iced in Yellow Black and Blue Icing

Rear Side of Easter Chick Dirty Iced

Set the cake in the fridge for about twenty minutes.  Prepare to pipe the details of the Easter Chick with yellow buttercream and a #78 tip.  Fill in the entire yellow section of the cake by piping yellow buttercream icing.  I used candy eyes (filling in the white section with a black edible marker) and for the chick’s beak I used an orange gummy bear, cut in a triangular shape.  I later changed the layout of the beak.

Easter Chick Face Piped with Yellow Buttercream, Eyes Added and Nose Added

Turn your cake around (hopefully you have a turntable for decorating) and fill in the *rear* of the chick by piping yellow buttercream with your #78 tip.  To add the tail, layer your icing using the #78 tip and then shape a little tail with your fingers (wear nitrile gloves if possible).

Chick's Tail Piped on Back Side of Egg Cake

Using a #30 tip and blue buttercream icing, pipe in all the egg area of the cake.  Use green buttercream icing and a #233 tip to frame the bottom of the cake with *grass*

Egg Section of Easter Chick Cake Piped with Blue Buttercream Icing

Repeat this decorating on the back of the egg and along the edges.

Easter Chick Cake Piped with Blue Buttercream on Egg Section of Cake

When I had finished making this cake my husband asked *How are you going to cut it?*  Good question!  Come time for dessert however we had it figured out.  I just cut down into the cake from the top, a few inches and then cut across to start the slices.  They weren’t uniform sizes but they were delicious!  Happy Easter everyone :)

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Ron and I have been in Florida for six weeks now and in just over two weeks times we will be heading back home.  We are hoping that all the snow will be gone by the time we arrive back in Perth but given the Winter that we left behind for sunnier and warmer climes, we doubt it very much.  Whatever is left waiting for us however will be short-lived as Spring is right around the corner!

We have enjoyed being members of Brooksville Golf and Country Club during our stay and this year I was invited by my friend Nicole to join in with her group who golf together every Sunday and enjoy lunch together at the club after an 18 hole round.  The ladies were most welcoming to not only myself but to two other *newbies*, Wanda and Chantal.  We have had a lot of fun these past several weeks becoming not only golfing pals but enjoying building new friendships as well.  As three of us will soon be leaving the group to return home, a little *end of season* party was held last Sunday.  Phyllis was the hostess of this event and everyone contributed to the delicious and varied pot-luck luncheon.  Phyllis not only opened her home to all of us but went the extra mile in graciousness by providing us all with a little gift bag along with a commemorative photo of *the gang.*  The photo was attached to a pink sheet of card stock and had some lovely words of wisdom (both in English and French) about using time.  One of my favourites…*Time passes, things change, but memories will always stay where they are, in the heart.*  Our little Sunday group has made some great memories together.

Ladies Golf Group Brooksville Sunday RoundsFront Left to Right:  Phyllis, Paula, Mike, Carol, Marilyn

Rear Left to Right:  Wanda, Nicole, Chantal, Virginia

Sunday will be our last round together before the group says goodbye to a few of us so as it is the day before St. Patrick’s Day I decided to make the girls some cookies.

Shamrocks in Hearts Sugar Cookies

I didn’t bring a Shamrock cookie cutter with me but I did bring a heart-shaped cutter so I decided to trace a shamrock onto the heart and go from there.  I chose green, white and orange for the colours as these are the colours in the flag of Ireland.  According to Wikipedia, the green represents the Gaelic tradition of Ireland, the orange represents the followers of William of Orange and the white represents the aspiration of peace between them.

To make these I did the following:

Baked up some heart-shaped vanilla bean sugar cookies.

Heart Shaped Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie

Drew and cut out a shamrock and traced it onto the center of the cookie with a green edible marker.

Heart Shaped Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie with Traced Shamrock in Center

Piped the outline of the shamrock with green piping icing and then flooded the shamrock with green flood icing.

Shamrock on Heart Cookie Piped with Green Piping Icing

Shamrock on Heart Cookie Flooded with Green Flood Icing

White piping icing was used to trace around the heart.

Heart Outlined Piped with White Piping Icing

White flood icing filled in the remainder of the cookie and orange dots were applied wet on wet.  A toothpick was run through the orange dots to create little hearts.

White Flood Icing and Orange Wet on Wet Hearts Applied to Shamrock on Heart Cookies

I’ve also put aside some for my grand daughters.  They (and their parents) fly in from Ottawa on Monday evening to spend a week with us and I’m almost beside myself with excitement!  I haven’t seen Ella and Sophie since we left back at the end of January (save our Facetime chats) and being able to see and hug them has been a much long-awaited moment for me.  I can’t wait for us to leave for the airport to pick them up.

Wishing everyone a very happy and luck-filled St. Patrick’s Day!

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