However, I realize the majority of the world finds it to be a happy-feel-good kind of day to celebrate with their partners. More real talk: That's all Geoffrey Chaucer's fault. If he wasn't so highly regarded in the literary world, I'd be hella pissed with him. But enough of this English teacher/blogger's lessons in literary history and greeting card scams, back to the day itself. When I was a wee lass in elementary school, Valentine's Day was a pretty big deal in homeroom, and although I was still the world's most cynical seven year old, I quickly made the connection between February 14 and boatloads of candy and desserts (a clever, cynical seven year old). So while I never could get on board with the overall idea of Valentine's Day, I think we all know I'll use any holiday as an excuse to bake things (really tried hard this year to come up with something for Groundhog's Day. Legitimately.).
|But a groundhog cake didn't seem very visually appealing, so I went with heart cakes.|
|Oh look, a hollow metal cavity where a heart should be...|
Aside from the fact that my husband will be gone snowboarding over the Valentine's weekend (my gift to my husband: Cakes, a break from my cynicism, and a chance to fling himself down a mountainside), I also wanted to bake these cakes early so I could blog about them in the event any of you are looking for something special to do for your loved ones on Saturday. You could always bake a 9x13 cake and cut out hearts yourself, or you could go to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Walmart, etc. to look for heart pans like mine in the seasonal aisle. I bought mine on Amazon a while ago, and the prices have since SKYROCKETED up to about 40 bucks for this pan...yeah, I told you this holiday was a racket. So avoid Amazon (literally never said that in my life), and go to an actual store to look for these, or Wilton's website. While shopping for your pans, pick a cake mix of your choice, sprinkles, tubes of decorator frosting in pinks and reds, etc., whatever you want for decorating your hearts. Let me give you the rundown on tips, flavors, and more if you'd like to mimic any of my cakes!
|Am I the only person who willingly still eats candy hearts?|
|...so that thing on the right doesn't happen to you.|
|I had forgotten the power of the frosting gun.|
|Things will get messy, I promise.|
|I have a better tutorial in the link above, but remember the whole idea here is to ensure you're making little ribbons of frosting in S and squiggly shapes all over the cake. Just make sure they don't intersect or cross over each other.|
|I dragged the edges down from the top so I could connect the sides and give a seamless look. I also had some crumbs that managed to peek through, so I also used the lace to cover these crumbs up. Frosting is forgiveness.|
|Here you can see how I've connected the edges from the top down to the sides.|
|Repeat on all sides, and you've got a cake fit for a bridal shower! Hmm...that's not a bad idea. The wheels are turning.|
My next cake took all of five minutes to decorate, and after how crampy my damn hand was from that delightfully gorgeous cornelli lace I needed an easy cake. Ahh cornelli lace...like most gorgeous things, it will eventually cause you problems for some reason or another. My simple cake mimics a candy heart, so you could really put any message in there. Txt Me is by far my least favorite addition to the new candy heart messages. I'm surprised there wasn't also a "Tinder Me" or "Binge Drink L8R?" heart in there, too.
|I went for the classic, "Be Mine." Not at all creepy in message, only in theory. I used a toothpick to draw out my message to make piping easier.|
|I used a Wilton #6 tip to write my message in decorator frosting dyed hot pink, and honestly, I think it is too big. I think a #3 or even the #2 from the cornelli lace would work better, but live and learn and eat the cake anyway.|
|I finished off the cake by adding a candy heart border along the bottom. Delightfully kitschy!!|
|Then I followed suit and piped the bottom of the cake.|
|And you better believe I finished off by topping my cake with red sprinkles. Isn't it just so joyously romantical? Jesus..who the hell typed that?|
While my pink cakes were cooling in the freezer with their final coats before I decorated them, I took the pink frosting, added a few drops of red dye, and mixed. Then I crumb coated my last cake red and set in the freezer while smoothing out both my pink cakes and then decorating the first one. Then I took the red cake out of the freezer and gave it a final coat and set it to rest in the freezer while I decorated the second pink cake. Head spinning yet? I did this so that I wasn't up until 1 a.m. on a Saturday decorating cakes, as it was already 10 p.m., with no clear socialization in sight. Not that I mind missing an audience when it comes to frosting. I end up covered in the stuff, and that's just embarrassing for everyone because I will still lick it off my arms whether you're in the room or not.
|For my last cake, I fitted another #18 tip to a piping bag filled with decorator frosting dyed light pink. Instead of piping shells this time, I went for a rope border on the top and bottom of the cake.|
|Because one sappy candy heart message was enough, I finished this cake off with white sanding sugar on top.|
Honestly, the thing that took longest about these cakes was the crumb coat-wait-final coat-wait-smoothing process for three different colors of cakes. If you wanted, you could make all your cakes in the same color to speed this process up, but I really liked the variety.
|Thanks, doilies, for being a completely acceptable stage for my cakes once a year. Or maybe at bridal showers, too...they did come in a pack of like 50...|
Since my cakes were filled with the cream cheese mix, I put them into a cake safe and left out in the garage fridge. My husband couldn't find them since we usually reserve that fridge for booze and soda, and I'm pretty sure there was a fleeting moment he was worried I ate all four without him while he was out playing poker. What can I say, I really know how to keep the guy on his toes.
|Don't worry, I was just keeping them..safe.|