Search Mel's Oven

July 26, 2012

Cake Pops for Free the Children

It seems that everyone I know including me has had something going on in June. I've had to make cupcakes for a volunteer tea (which we're completely adorable but I forgot to take a picture sorry!), and just recently I made mini cupcakes and cake pops for a charity market event with my best friend over at For Goodness Cake.

Our school has been working with Free the Children an organization that strives to help people in need. We have gone as far as being able to adopt a village and be able to make a direct impact on peoples lives. With this organization all you have to do is choose a village to help and a way to help them whether it be through poverty, thirst, exploitation or disease. My school chose to work with Haiti and to focus on thirst. To raise money for Haiti we put on a Haitian market where students can sell items and other people could come and buy the wares. All the money would go to this wonderful cause and help people that are less fortunate than us.

When me and my friend started helping to organize this, it wasn't that hard for us to decide what to sell, we were going to bake of course! Now both of us had made cupcakes before and were not scared at all by that but we decided to take on a new challenge... CAKE POPS! These things are probably some of cutest things you will ever lay your eyes on. But cute comes at a price, and these little morsels of wonder are very time extensive. It gets very messy and very tricky, well at least it did for me.

It seems as if they would be easy enough to make; you roll cake into balls and then you dip them into chocolate. Easy enough right. That's what I thought to but they are a lot harder than meets the eyes. While we were making them we had a few casualties. But for the most part they turned out OK. They're not stunners and no where near the beautiful ones that Bakerella makes. But hey for the first time I'd say we did OK.

One thing we noticed when we were making them is that some of them were getting this weird cracked kind of look, and you know what? I thought it was kind of cool looking... it gave it a nice textured look. And we didn't even try to. Now with out further a do I present to you a recipe for cake pops. Enjoy!

Cake Pops

Yield 40-50 cake pops


  • 1 boxed cake mix (and all the stuff you need to make it)
  • 1 can of pre-made frosting or 1/2 cup of homemade
  • 2-3 bags of candy melts or you can use chocolate chips
  • lollipop sticks 
  1. Bake cake mix according to directions
  2. Let cake cool then crumble it into a big mixing bowl
  3. Mix in half a cup of icing into cake. Make sure not to put in to much icing otherwise the cake balls will be to soft and will fall off your lollipop sticks
  4. Roll cake and frosting mixture into balls with about an inch in diameter
  5.  Melt candy melts in your microwave in 30 second increments until smooth
  6. Dip a lollipop stick into the melted candy melts so about an inch of the end is covered in chocolate
  7. Immediately push into pre-made cake ball. Repeat with the rest of the cake balls. Freeze cake balls for about 15 mins
  8. Now this part may sound like the easiest but it's difficult. You dip the cake balls into the melted candy melts. Be careful not to move it around a lot in the candy because it could fall off. Be gentle. And if they do happen to fall off the stick just scoop them out with a spoon and set it on parchment paper.
  9. Once the cake ball is covered place it on parchment paper to let the coating harden. To speed up the process you can place them in the fridge. 
Resource :
Photographs Courtesy of Steve Eymann

Sister's Birthday

OK so for my sisters birthday she wanted to go mini putting and the cool thing about the place we went was that it was indoors and it was glow in the dark. They used black lights and cool neon art to decorate the inside. You go into different parts of the building and every room has a different theme like some are underwater, some are in the jungle and some have a medieval theme.

So when I was asked to to her cake (no surprise there!) I had the best idea for a cake. It was going to make it  look just like it does inside the mini putt. I covered the cake in black fondant then put neon coloured circle inlays all over it. I finished it off with a ball border in the same colour. I'm really happy as to how it turned out but more importantly my sister was and so were her friends. Happy Birthday Sis!

Inside the beautiful exterior (if I do say so myself) was a white cake with a fudge filling and butter cream frosting. The filling was actually from a can; it was left over from the cake pops I had made... don't judge me! And the cake recipe I found on that's how rushed I was. But am I ever glad I've been busy because the cake was wonderful. White cake has a reputation for being dry but I found this cake to be very nice. It wasn't to dense, or dry and it had a good vanilla flavor to it. It was so good I want to share this recipe, it might be my go to white cake recipe!



White Cake

Yield enough batter for 2-3 9inch pans


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F grease pans
  2.  cream together the sugar and butter. 
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then 
  4. stir in the vanilla. 
  5. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl
  6. Add in flour mixture alternating with milk
  7. Beat until it resembles a yellow whipped cream
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 mins
  9. To test the cake insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean it is done or see if the cake springs pack into place after you press down on it. 
Photographs courtesy of Steve Eymann

May 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 "Number one, I absolutely love making chocolate chip cookies. I mean, it's fun. It's exciting. Beyond the fact that I love making them, I love eating them. "
Debbi Fields

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Yield 16 Big Cookies


1 cup softened butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Stir together flour and baking soda and set aside
Beat butter for 30 seconds then add both sugars and beat on medium speed for 1 minute
Add the eggs and vanila and beat for 1 minute on medium speed
Add half the flour mixture and blend on low then add the rest of the flour mixture
Using a wooden spoon or spatula mix in chocolate chips.
I like to line the cookie sheet with waxed or parchment paper but you don't have to.
Use an ice-cream scoop to get evenly sized cookies and leave about 2 inches or 5 cm between each cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

Slightly adapted from:
Better Homes and Gardens Step By Step Kids Cookbook
Pictures taken by: Steve Eymann

April 18, 2012

Leftover Cake & Piping Tips

Have you ever been making a cake and had cake batter left over? Well instead of over filling your pans just make a little cake or a couple cupcakes! Over-filled cakes never have a happy ending.This will also help you with your leftover icing. This method will work a lot better than eating it by the spoon. Not that i do that though.... Well this Easter after i was making my cake (post soon to come just waiting on pictures to be delivered, i forgot to take pictures for you guys!) I had some left over frosting and cake batter so i made a little 6 inch cake and practiced my piping skills. Which by the way aren't that great, which is why i practice! The old saying Practice Makes Perfect really comes into play here because unless you have been born with awesome amazing piping skills, unfortunately  most of us aren't, practicing when ever you get the chance really helps. Here are some tips to help you if your having trouble:

1. Make sure your icing isn't too stiff, if it is it will really hurt your hand and make it hard to push out of the bag. Especially with smaller tips.
2. Every once and a while cool down you icing in the fridge because the heat from your hand will make it too thin and it won't hold it's shape.
3. Make sure your icing doesn't have any chunks in it, if there are make sure you have a toothpick near by to clean out the tip, whenever you feel it getting harder to get the icing out. If you don't clear the tip you run a high risk of exploding you bag. Ya it appended to me. Not good
4. If you find that  your icing is really airy with lots of air bubbles, take a spatula and calm down the icing by gently stirring and folding it till nice and smooth. This happens a lot with royal and butter cream icing I find.
5. Always make sure your tip is clean, this will keep your piping looking clean and sharp.

April 8, 2012

Fondant & Whipped Cream Recipe

Now normally covering cakes in fondant isn't that hard, you dirty ice your cake in butter cream then cover it in fondant. When iced it in whipped cream I didn't think there would be a problem since I was just covering it in fondant anyways. Although little did I know that whipped cream and fondant don't mix.

With butter cream in between the fondant and cake it acts as glue of sorts because it is thick and can hold its weight. But with whipped cream even though it holds it shape OK it's way to light to hold the fondant. With my cake all the whipped cream slid off the cake and started oozing out the sides. Ya not pretty :P I did my best to fix it but with the cake always moving and shifting it was quite difficult. I had to take things out of my design and add new concepts in just to hold the cake somewhat together!

But lesson learned now. Attention everyone: DO NOT USE WHIPPED CREAM IF YOU PLAN TO COVER YOUR CAKE IN FONDANT! But as you can see from my top tier fondant works really well if you use butter cream. Even cream cheese icing works better see here.

Whipped cream isn't all that bad though it is great on ice cream, pancakes, as a filling, and great on pie! So don't ever be intimidated by whipped cream. Here's my recipe for homemade whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Yield about 4 cups

2 cups whipping cream
4 tbsp icing sugar

Place whipping cream and icing sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed until light and airy like whipped cream.

Marshmallow Fondant

1 bag of mini marshmallows
500g icing sugar
1 cup vegtable shortning (Crisco)
 1 tbsp water

Clear a big work space for your fondant like a counter top or table

Throughly grease your workspace and a big microwavable safe bowl

Place marshmallows and water in the bowl

Mix the water and marshmallows together

Dump all the icing sugar onto the greased work space

Microwave the arshmallows and water on high for 30 secs and stir

Zap marshmallows and water in 15 sec intervals until all melted stirring in between

Grease your hands and beware this gets very messy

Pour melted marshmallows onto the icing sugar and knead until the icing sugar stops sticking to the fondant.

In the beggining it will seem like it's not working but keep at it and you'll make your fondant.

Store in a air tight container wrapped in plastic wrap.