This blog was created to share quick tips, cake and cookie designs, product information and other things cake and cookie decorators want to hear in order for all of us to learn and grow together. Please feel free to send me an e-mail ( if you have comments on any of my blogs or suggestions for another blog.

Thank you. Debra J. Mosely

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 2010 - The Beginning of The Blog

Come into The Closet with me… I’ll teach you to dream in sugar.

Welcome to the 1st edition of The Cake & Cookie Closet Newsletter. I appreciate you going on this journey with me to teach America how to “dream in sugar” and hope you’ll find the cakes or cookies featured and tips offered an important part of your baking arsenal.

This newsletter is broken into different “sides” – the cake side, cookie side, upcoming classes/events and companies I use. Since there are some people who like baking cakes and cookies, and others only interested in one of the two, I thought this would be an easier format to get to what you need quickly. Please send me an e-mail – – with suggestions for other things you’d like to see in this newsletter. Happy baking and decorating! Debra

The Cake Side…

Important Tips/Resources

  • Completely read the recipe before beginning to make it. Sometimes people place ingredient information into the recipe that is not at the top.
  • All ingredients should be brought to room temperature unless noted otherwise.
  • Whenever I say “butter” I mean unsalted butter. I only use unsalted butter in baking. It’s much fresher. Also, some recipes say butter or margarine. I prefer the flavor and texture of butter instead of margarine.
  • I always line my cake pans with parchment circles before greasing/flouring the pan. Makes it easier to remove the cake.
  • Whenever you’re using a new flavor, i.e., coconut, remember that a little goes a long way. It’s easier to add a little more than taking it out.
  • Plan ahead. Give yourself time to bake your cakes without a lot of last minute stress. That’s how ingredients magically disappear. I’ve created several new recipes based on things that were left out of cakes. Supplies are too expensive to mess up your desserts.
  • Two websites every cake baker should be part of – and Both websites feature incredible recipes and sometimes share pictures so you can see what it is supposed to look like. Check out the comments on the allrecipes site for suggestions from people who made the recipe. They sometimes suggest changes that improve the taste.

Featured Cake Recipe

This is my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipe to make for special occasions. I top it with chocolate ganache and make homemade chocolate frosting to complete the fantasy in sugar. Here’s a picture done with the chocolate sour cream pound cake. This baby shower cake was done as a gift for my former attorney’s daughter-in-law. It was taken by Goodhart Photography. The complete story is at

Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

by Softasilk Cake Flour

2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
5 large eggs
3-1/3 cups Softasilk cake flour
½ cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (I’ve used buttermilk as a substitution with no problem)
¼ cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 3 cake pans. (I’ve used 9” and 10” round cake pans lined with parchment circles, sprayed with butter/flour mixture and just spread the batter evenly between the three or you can use an angel food/tube pan. A scale works well for making sure you evenly distributing the batter between pans.)

2. Beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time.

3. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat in flour mixture alternatively with sour cream, beating after each addition until batter is smooth, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in boiling water and vanilla. Spread into pan(s).

4. Bake 30-40 minutes in 9” or 10” cake pans or 1-1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to cooling rack to completely cool.

Sugar Syrup

½ cup water
½ cup sugar

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved in the water. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Let completely cool. Use a candy mold bottle to apply to your cake if you want to keep it super moist for a couple days. Allow the sugar syrup to be completely absorbed into the cake before applying the ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

1 (11.5 oz. package) Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, 70% cacao
1-1/3 cups liquid whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla or Grand Marnier liqueur

Put chips in a large bowl; set aside. Heat whipping cream until it starts to boil. Remove from heat (or microwave) and pour over chips making sure all of the chips are completely covered. Let sit for several minutes. Add vanilla or liqueur to your mixture. Using a whisk, beat the mixture until completely smooth. It is ready to be used on top of cakes now. Let the ganache covered cake set until the ganache is firm before frosting the layers. Use your leftover ganache to make truffles after it becomes firm in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting
By Debra Steward via

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup hot fudge topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together the butter or margarine with the shortening. Sift the cocoa with the confectioners' sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tablespoon at a time of milk to keep mixture smooth. Don't add more than 1/4 cup of milk. Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy.

The Cookie Side…

Decorated Sugar Cookies – Tool Spotlight

Today’s spotlight tool for decorated sugar cookies is the Stitching (sometimes called “Quilting”) tool.

There’s another tool like this that makes solid lines (it has a large/small circle on either end). This stitching tool is perfect for rolling all over your fondant in different directions like the purse or in a pattern design like the shoes. I used it on my sneaker cookie as well to make the lines. It’s also perfect for making the stitch lines on hat, t-shirt or pants cookies. Use light and even pressure because if you press down too hard, you leave deep marks in your fondant. Practice before you apply it to your cookie so that you get the hang of it. Pretty soon, you’ll be embellishing everything with a few stitches!

Featured Cookie Recipe

I cannot remember where I found this recipe but the rave reviews keep coming in for it. I use a large cookie scoop and have 6 monster-sized cookies on a cookie sheet. You can make them smaller if you wish but the monster sized ones are a hit when given as gifts.

AWESOME Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Author Unknown

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups brown sugar (packed well into measuring cup)
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
5 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or you could substitute 5 tsp. Bailey's Irish Cream for a different flavor)
4 heaping cups all purpose flour (meaning that you just dip the one cup measure into the flour and then shake the excess off -- doesn't matter if the top is not completely level)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (you would substitute milk chocolate chips if you like those better)

Preheat the oven before you start putting together this recipe. Mix together in a mixing bowl (or KitchenAid mixer), the butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and extract (or Bailey's Irish Cream if you chose to use it). Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it's completely blended together.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add it slowly to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the chocolate chips and blend well.

Use your cookie scoop to portion the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. The cooking time will vary according to your oven -- they're generally done in 10-12 minutes. I start them on the middle/bottom rack and then once you see the bottom part turn brown, I move them to the top rack and then put another pan of cookies on the middle/bottom rack.

Parchment paper helps make your cookies easy to remove from the pan and gives them all a uniform golden brown color on the bottom. I have twelve cookie sheet pans that I use when I'm making lots of cookies to speed up the process.


May Class Schedule…

These cakes are part of my Miniature Hats/Miniature Purses class.

All classes listed below are being taught at Cookology in the Dulles Town Center Mall, Sterling, VA between Macy*s & Dick’s Sporting Goods on the lower level. I am currently working with Bob at Little Bitt’s in Wheaton, MD to schedule classes there either later this month or in June. I sent a proposal last month to Cakes Plus in Laurel, MD with suggested classes. Note: There are no classes scheduled at Fran’s Cake & Candy in Fairfax, VA this month. Classes will resume in June.

Fashionistas Rejoice
(Find out how easy it is to decorate fondant covered dresses, shoes, purses and hat cookies)
Saturday, May 15, 1-4 pm

 Decorating Cupcake Hats & Purses
(Learn how to cover miniature cupcake hats and easy to make cupcake purses)
Sunday, May 16, 2-4 pm
Decorating Sugar Cookies for Kids
(Kids learn how to design their own cookies the easy way)
Saturday, May 22, 2-4 pm
Decorating Wedding Sugar Cookies
(Have a wedding coming up? You want this class. Learn how to make diamond ring cookies, wedding cake, monogram designs, tuxedo and bow tie cookies.)
Sunday, May 23, 2-5 pm
Baby Shower Celebration Cookies
(Celebrate babies by learning how to make onesies, booties, bassinette, bottle and bib cookies.)
Sunday, May 30, 3-5 pm

Other Classes are Available

Don’t see a class you can attend above? I also do private classes, children’s classes at parties and girl’s night out classes. Please send me an e-mail for more information.

Companies to Check Out…

Listed below are some of my favorite companies. When you check them out, please make sure to let them know that I sent you to them. Thank you. – I’ve started using their flavors to add amazing flavor to my buttercream frosting. Sandra Mallut contributed an incredible recipe to my book and can be reached by e-mail - - if you have any questions or would like to try a sample. – My all-time favorite fondant to use. Check out their flavors and you’ll be in love. – Alan and his gang have cake & cookie decorating tools and other products.

Now it's time for you to show off using the simple techniques I teach you to become a superstar cake and sugar cookie designer when you prepare cakes or cookies for that special woman in your life.  You can order an autographed copy of my new book The Cake & Cookie Closet: All Dolled Up in Sugar at

 Please feel free to share the link to this blog with people you know who love to bake and decorate.

Thank you!