I'm really excited about the newest page on the Oak Tree Junction website! I Just finished creating an awesome new landing page for my Instagram followers to make it easier for them to follow the blog, my Pinterest page, my bakery or my Etsy shop. The first time I saw a landing page on the Hollis Co Instagram link and I thought it was an awesome idea. I did a little more researched and learned that its a lot better to create your own landing page on your blog/website than it is to use another website like Landing Tree to make one. I played around with what I wanted on the page and decided on the four I listed above. I hope in the near future to add a few more links to some other things I am working on. As for now go check out the new page and click on all of the links to see what I've been up to!
I am in love with the simplicity of the beautiful baptism cake. The simple white fondant layers with only a few important details made the mother gasp with excitement and was shaking when she hugged me. I love great reactions to the cakes I make!
On the bottom of each tier was a small rope wrapped around twice, with a few faux succulent stems. Lastly, on the top of the cake was a beautiful white keepsake wooden cross and another succulent stem.
The understated beauty of this cake puts a smile on my face and reminds me how beautiful and precious baptism are.
Who didn’t cry when Rafiki smeared his hands over his drawing of baby Simba? I talked about how nostalgic I got when I made these Lion King cakes in my last post, but I rewatched the movie since that post with Andrew and Jack (who had never seen it) and both of them loved it, and I still cried during that scene. Sigh.
To create this individual birthday boy cake, I did the same dry brush technique, but instead of creating an ombre look I was trying to make the cake look like the branch from Rafiki's tree. I kept with the tan tones and added some bark details. I found an outline image of Simba and printed out on regular paper to trace onto the cake. I used a paintbrush with food colors mixed with a little water, that I lightly dried off with a paper towel to give it the chalky appearance as in the movie. I used a small detail paintbrush to make Simba’s face and a round paintbrush with a little red food coloring that was padded dry for the mark across the forehead. Lastly, I used a leaf piping tip to create some buttercream leaves along the bottom of the cake for a little more texture and color.
The cake came out so awesome and looks like it was taken out of the scene in the movie!
This cake brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. I was obsessed with the Lion King or was it more with Johnathon Taylor Thomas who played young Simba, either way, I loved the Lion King. I knew all of the songs and happily sung them all the time, despite not being able to carry a tune to save my life. With the new live animation moving coming to theaters a later this month it doesn’t surprise me that there is has been a flourish of nostalgia for the original Lion King, heck even Target as jumped on the bandwagon with toys and shirts in sizes from newborn to adult.
As amazingly awesome as this cake turned out it was surprisingly easy. Each tier was covered in white fondant, then I hand brushed on the sunrise and dusk ombre using food coloring, a little water, and a dry paintbrush. The technique came out so much better than I thought it would and looked like I airbrushed the layers. I added tan and green grass using a grass piping tip to hold the plastic figurines in place. To create the vines, I used a #3 piping tip and then a leaf tip to give it a little more detail. That’s it. Not much to this amazing cake, but the special birthday boy’s cake, now that is a different story…
This fun cake is why I love making cakes! I love trying to figure out new things and reusing some classic tricks. The rather simple cake is covered in white fondant with a red ribbon fondant on the bottom. Next, I cut out a large circle using the same red fondant and tacked it in place with sugar water.
To create the ghost I printed out the logo using regular printer paper. I cut out white fondant under the printed image using a detail knife. I then cut the center out for the cross out and glued in place with the sugar water. I completed the logo by using black food coloring and a little white writing icing to black out the background and adding the details to the face. The cake was finished by adding some of Slimmer’s green slime that I made by boiling corn syrup with a little leaf green food coloring for a few minutes. By boiling the syrup it made the slime dry harder instead of just staying syrupy and making a mess.
The cake came out so awesome and I love doing things that let my geeky side shine!
I love making sesame street cakes with bold colors and fun characters! The bottom of the two-tiered cake features fondant cut-outs of the shows main characters along with ABC letters. The top tier had the child’s name and their age in the style of the street logo with different sizes circles. To finish the cake, I added fondant stars on dowels and red and yellow fondant ribbons along the bottom of each tier.
To make the adorable smash cake I started by cutting a half oval in black fondant and placing it on the top of the cake where the mouth would be. Next, I colored buttercream red and slowly piped out the fur texture using a grass piping tip. Once the cake was completely covered in the red buttercream, I completed Elmo by making eyes out of white fondant and adding small black circles on each one. Lastly, I made his nose out of orange fondant rolled into an egg shape.
Both cakes were so perfect and I loved how adorable they were and seeing how excited the birthday boy was when he saw his Elmo Cake!
May the Fourth be with you! I love that I got to make a Stormtrooper cake for this day! The best part was I had to make a quick stop at Party City and there was a dad in line dressed fully at a Stormtrooper buying a lightsaber for his daughter who was dressed as Ray! I loved this so much and can not wait to get Andrew into things like this!
Anyways back to this awesome cake! To create the general shape of the Stormtrooper helmet I used a Darth Vader cake pan that I had bought years ago. I cut down the shape to make it a little more round as they are compared to Vader’s helmet. I also created the curves of the helmet by shaping the cake and adding thicker pieces of fondant. To create the lines of the helmet I used smaller pieces of fondant instead of one large piece. Once all the white pieces were in place, I began adding small pieces of the blank fondant to finish the details of the helmet.
I am super excited how this cake turned out and I was able to adapt an old cake pan to make it come out so perfectly!
My Grandmother and Aunt always had/have amazing vegetable gardens during the summer. I remember helping with watering them and picking the ripe vegetables. However, this gene did not get passed down to me. Every year I attempt a garden and every year I kill it without a signal vegetable or fruit. I like to blame it on the soil in my area rather than in my lack of attentiveness.
As for this year, I am trying it a little differently. Instead of messing with our poor foothill soil. I am planting everything in containers. I am going to try a few plants: tomatoes, blueberries, and blackberries. I am also going to attempt growing Greek pepperoncini from seeds since a plant is impossible to find. Jack talked me into getting a few strawberry plants, as well as, some squash. Those, however, went into the old raised bed that I didn’t even get a chance to clean up.
Now that my garden is planted, I hope it grows and I don’t kill it within the next few months!
My heart breaks seeing the news footage of Notre Dame on fire. I was on my way out of town when my Godmother texted me saying it was on fire and for some reason, the university was the first thing that popped into my head. It wasn’t until Jack texted me that I googled it on my phone and was in total shocked. Here was this beautiful cathedral that was centuries old engulfed in flames. There is something to be said about watching a tragedy happening to a location you have visited, rather than just seen on TV. I was horrified watching the Twin Towers collapsed, but it wasn’t until I visited the 9/11 Memorial that I grasped it, it had become more than just footage on TV. In 2005 I went to London and excited several of the tube stations that were later bombed and it was a different filling since I had been there. I knew what it looked like; it was a very different feeling than watching the 9/11 attacks live.
I explain all of this because I have been blessed to visit Notre Dame three times. I also just realized that each time was during a different phase in my way back to faith. The first was before the idea of converting to Catholicism even crossed my mind, the second was when I was in the RCIA program and the lase was after I was confirmed and living in the faith. It was also the last place I ever got to go to with my father. I should also mention the last time we were there was a few days after the Paris shooting, However, sad that trip was, it was also my favorite. The city was quiet and the weather was dark and wet, but it was incredibly beautiful. Several times I cried during the trip. The stress of what was going on in my own life, the terrorist attacks and doing something to help a friend heal. I clearly remember walking into Notre Dame that last visit and felt a warm embrace and brought me so much comfort and peace, I started to cry.
There is something so amazing about Notre Dame, its so hard to explain. My only hope is that it can be restored to its former glory so others can experience its magnificence.
I am a Barbie Girl in a Barbie world…Anyone else grow up in the '90s and is having flashbacks singing that song, or is just me? It's been in my head since I was asked to make this cake weeks ago! I loved Barbie as a kid and this cake took me right back to all of my favorite memories of playing with them. I'm pretty sure I even had a Barbie cake one birthday, but it was no way this pretty!
The top layer has a hand painted vintage Barbie silhouette on white fondant then sprinkled with some black pearl nonpareils. I traced out a cutout of the silhouette using a detail knife and painted with black food coloring mixed with white writing icing, the same way I did on the cakes last month. To finish the layer I just added a black and white striped ribbon to the base. For the bottom tier, I pipped on rosettes using a large cupcake star piping tip and thick buttercream. I filled in any space between the rosettes with a little more buttercream before piping on a border on the top next to the ribbon. To complete this sweet little girl's cake I added a matching black and white striped bow with a little sparkly rhinestone in the center. This cake is perfect for a Barbie Girl in a Barbie World!
I believe this is the last holiday wreath that I needed to make! I have one for all of the other holidays and seasons, and sadly this beautiful Easter egg wreath kept getting push back on my to-do list. I bought the supplies maybe a year or two ago but wasn't able to get to it until now.
I wanted to keep it simple with just a few Easter eggs and flowers, I even bought an oval wreath that was slightly egg-shaped. I glued some of the longer flowers in place before adding the Styrofoam eggs. Next, I added a few more longer flowers and filled in with the smaller ones. I completed the wreath with a big pink and white gingham bow.
The pastel colors on the dark-colored wreath is so simply elegant and perfect for springtime!
Well, this cake tested my artistic talents! It turns out that I really don't have any, but I am great at looking like I do! The horse on this pretty cake was actually a cut out of an outline of a horse and then traced on the cake using a detail knife. I then painted the silhouette using black food coloring and white writing icing. I used the same writing icing mixed with other colors to create the grass and painted on flowers. The other flowers were made from fondant and gumpaste with little sprinkles. They were placed along the top of the cake around her name and on the painted grass using sugar water. All though I never could have free hand painted this cake, I couldn't be happier with how great it turned out!
A few months ago my husband saw the Godfather for the first time and has been quoting it ever since. Annoyingly I might add. So when I got asked to make this cake I laughed out loud.
This sheet cake seems difficult but surprising was simple, just time consuming to get all of the iconic details perfect. The cake was covered all in white fondant and I added a white fondant stripe to create the area for the buttons and then two triangles to create the shirt collar. Next, I cut out two large pieces of black fondant to create the shape of the tuxedo jacket, and then two more pieces were cut into the shape of the jacket's collar. Black fondant buttons were made using a size 10 piping tip with the holes made from a fondant tool. The bow tie was also made from the same fondant. To complete the iconic tuxedo, I added a red fondant rose. The fedora was made from a jumbo marshmallow covered in fondant and placed on another oval-shaped piece to create the brim.
The movie title was created by printing out an image of it, and then traced on the white fondant using a details knife, and then hand painted using black food coloring mixed with white writing icing. I used it also to write on the red banner on top of the cake.
In the end, the cake came out so awesome and my husband was even super impressed with it. I love the new technique I learned and can't wait to use it again!
It’s hard to believe that this was my first opportunity to make a marble cake! This cake is so beautiful, simple and elegant and the best party was the colorful surprise inside! The cake consisted of six thin layers of French vanilla cake; each colored a different color of the rainbow. The six layers of cake made each tier abnormally taller than no normal, so next time I think I am going to make the cake layers even thinner. The taller tiers did give the cake a really regal look.
Although the cake decoration was simple I struggled with creating the marble look. I ended up having to put two layers of fondant on the tiers! The first layer ended up being more solid grey than marble after being rolled out and smoothing it on the cake. When rolling out the second layer of fondant I added less black food coloring to help prevent it from turning out all grey again. The second layer came out much better and I was happy and relieved that I made the decision to redo it!
This might be my favorite holiday wreath I have ever done! I have made several holiday and seasonal wreaths in the past, including this beautiful winter inspired one last month. In fact, when I getting the supplies for the winter wreath I picked up the flowers and grape wreath for this one since I knew I was going to need a St. Valentine’s Day one. The total cost of the wreath was only $10! The grapevine wreath was $9.99 that I used a 40% off coupon on, the flowers were on sale for $5 and I got to use an extra 25% off on the grand total! I love a good deal.
I did this wreath in a rush, but for more of a step by step guide on how to make your own, you can click here. I first shortened all of the stems on the roses and leaves and moved them on the wreath until I got the look I wanted. I then removed one flower and hot glued it in place and repeated until all of them were glued down. When I held it up I thought it was missing something and after searching through my St. Valentine’s Day storage bin I found the really pretty felt heart. I glued the heart in place and added the bright pink ribbon for an extra dash of color to hide the hook from the wreath holder. I love how beautiful and elegant it turned out. It such a subtle way to decorate for the holiday of love!
This beautiful winter wreath was inspired by an episode of Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel. On the episode, they were making snowflake wreaths out of white Christmas lights and paper dollies. They were really pretty; but just not my style. However, it did make me want to make my own winter wreath, especially now that my house was suffering from post-Christmas plainness.
I purchased the grapevine wreath for a few dollars at a craft store along with winter-inspired colors. I chose shades of white, blue, and a few silver flowers. I also leaned towards flowers that reminded me of snowflakes. While I was also there I picked up some silver glitter paint and a container of mirror chips that is decoration filler. The filler is normally used in flower vases, but I had a different idea in mind. I cut down all of the stems on the flowers and placed them all in a pile. I picked some of the bigger flowers and placed them on the wreath. I then filled in spaces with smaller flowers until I had the full look that I wanted. After I glued all of the flowers and leaves in place, I painted the tips of some of the flower petals with the silver glitter paint. The glitter made the flowers look like they were touched by Jack Frost or Elsa.
Lastly, to complete the winter look I glued the mirror chips all along the wreath. I didn’t use hot glue for this part, just regular craft glue. I placed the wreath on a large trash bag and then squeezed the glue on any part of the wreath that I wanted to have the mirror, including the center of a few of the flowers. Next, I sprinkled the mirror chips all over the glue and didn’t move the wreath until the glue was fully dried.
I couldn’t be happier with how beautiful my winter wreath came out and how the mirror chips look like ice crystals!
How do you even begin to take down the Christmas decorations that took you several days to put up, oh and you decorated every room of your home? One bite at a time… The first thing is to turn on your Christmas tree lights. It will be the last you will get to see them for eleven months and they will help you keep a smile while taking everything down. The second thing is to break down all of the decorations into manageable sections.
The first section I tackled was grabbing all of the blankets, pillows, aprons, tablecloth, towels and holiday clothes that will be stored in the storage bins. Then throw them in the washer (if they are washable of course). For the next section gather all of the dishes, glasses, coffee cups, and servings platters. Yes, even the specials cookie plate for Santa and put them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand.
While all of these items are washing and drying, I gather all of the non-washable items like the tree skirts, stockings, Santa hats or any other fabric items that are not washable and store in large plastic storage bags. I reuse the same ones each year and just leave them in the storage bins. Once everything is in the storage bags I place them in a pile all together to easily grab to put in the bins as needed.
Next up, remove all the knick-knacks, figurines, plaques, signs, candles, books, advent calendars and any other décor. Including any garland and wreaths, you have throughout your home. Wrap them if they are breakable or store multiple items in a box. Place them in another pile until you are ready to put everything in the bins.
Last up; remove all of the ornaments, lights, tree topper and any other items on all of the Christmas trees. Wrap and store glass ornaments, ideally in boxes or plastic bins for extra protection. My plastic ornaments are just placed in plastic storage bags. I also place the string of beads in a plastic bag to keep them from getting tangled. Make sure to secure strings of lights so they also don’t get tangled. Once all of the items are removed from the trees place plastic ones in storage boxes or bags or remove a real tree to be hauled away. By now all of laundry and dishes should be dried and ready to be put away in storage bags and boxes.
Now you are left with piles that need to be organized in the storage bins. I do prefer plastic bins over cardboard boxes; it helps prevent water, rodent and other damage. I start by putting any boxes in the tubs since they are usually the largest items. I next fill in the spaces around the boxes with the storage bags and any other items. This usually takes a few tries to get everything to fit in the bins, but once it is finished and the bins are placed back in the shed or garage your home will be suffering from its post-Christmas magic. Sadly, this always makes me sad until I realize I have whole years’ worth of holiday decorating to look forward to!
Last night I found out one of my cousin that lives out of state would be coming to another cousin’s 30th birthday party that was tonight. I haven’t seen this cousin since they have had their second child and part of my tradition is to make a blanket for all of my second cousins. Their first son got this really cute western quilt, but I was in serious time and budget crunch this time around! I figured the best option would be to do a quick applique blanket. I looked through my tubs of fabric and found some really cute green striped flannel fabric and I just happened to have a soft baby blanket in my future project bin. I always love to pick up these blankets from Ross for quick DIY baby gifts for things just like this.
I decided to keep the blanket simple and just go with a capital “W” for his first and last name. I printed out a few “W” using different sizes to choose from and went to work. I used Heat N Bond Iron-on Adhesive to glue the cut out “W” to the baby blanket before using my sewing machine to sew it in place. I know I didn’t need to sew the letter in place with the iron-on adhesive, but I like the little extra detail the stitches give the blanket. In under an hour, I had a perfectly adorable blanket to give to Wyatt!
One of my favorite Christmas Day treats for as long as I can remember is good old fashion fudge. There was always a platter with this homemade sweet treat and I always managed to take a few extra pieces when packing up leftovers. I would look forward to sneaking a piece here and there usually all the way up to New Year’s Eve. Sadly however our Christmas gatherings have gotten smaller over the last few years and that means no delicious homemade fudge.
This year I decided to change that and make my own and I could not believe how easy it was! Don’t believe me? Its only two ingredients and only took five minutes…try it. I bet you will impress everyone on Christmas!
14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
For my little pumpkin’s first birthday this past weekend, we decided to have a small party with only close friends and family. I know Andrew will never remember and I know the party is really only for me, which I am totally fine with. I called it “I survived the first year party” and it included good food, great desserts, and even mulled wine! Nothing says fall to me like a bowl of chili with a slice of cornbread so decided to have a chili bar. With the help of my mom, we had three kinds of chili: classic five bean chili, turkey pumpkin, and chorizo chili. We used a roaster that had a three tray divider to keep the chili nice and warm. I baked potatoes in a slower cooker for anyone who wanted to put their chili on one. There were also two kinds of homemade corn muffins: regular and jalapeno and cheddar cheese. To finish the chili bar there was tasty toppings: shredded cheese, red and white onions, and sour cream. I had hot apple cider, peach tea, and mulled spice wine for the drinks.
The food was amazing and the main benefit of having a chili bar was everything was able to be made/prepped well in advance. The roasters and slow cookers kept everything perfectly warm so there was no rush or stress. I was able to have a cup of mulled wine and be able to enjoy the time celebrating me surviving the first year!
I can’t believe this adorable first birthday smash cake is for my little Andrew! It feels like just last month I was making the cake for my baby shower. Since my little man is a fall baby and is my favorite season I thought it would be super cute to have his first birthday party be a little pumpkin theme. I will go over the menu and budget in a future post, but for now, let’s talk about his fun smash cake! Since I bake and decorate a lot of cakes Andrew is no stranger to the sweet treat. So, sorry no “healthy” birthday cake for him. Is there really such a thing as a healthy birthday cake anyways? Not only do they look gross, but they also don’t sound all that great either. It’s their birthday give them a real cake and I’m not talking about pre-mix over food colored sweetened frosting you find at a grocery store bakery either. Andrew’s cake was a simple vanilla cake with my delicious cream cheese frosting. I baked the cake in my dome cake molds to create the round pumpkin shape. I then colored the cream cheese frosting with all natural yellow and red food coloring that I found on Amazon. I filled the two domes with frosting and took a little off the top and bottom to make the ball shape look more like a pumpkin. I knew I wanted the cake to create a mess so I didn’t cover it with fondant, but instead covered the entire outside of the pumpkin. I created the groves of the pumpkin by using a frosting spatula to make lines in the frosting. I topped the cake with a stem out of brown fondant that I didn’t blend completely to create the look of a real stem. I finished the cake off with a few green leaves and vines. It’s the perfect birthday cake for my little pumpkin!
It’s Halloween time! My favorite holiday and even more my favorite party we host! This will be our ninth annual Halloween party and Andrew’s first. For this year party theme, I stuck with the classic Halloween colors: orange, black, purple and bright green. I found super cute plates at Hobby Lobby with all of these colors. They even had matching cupcake liners.
To go with these fun colors I went with French vanilla cupcakes that I divided into orange, purple and green. Then using a small disher layered the three colored batters before using a toothpick to create a swirl.
Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I frosted them using orange, purple, green, and black buttercream frosting. Actually, the black was made from chocolate frosting which gave the cupcakes a nice surprise. I placed each color in its own piping bag and then placed all floor in another piping bag with a large star tip. This created the perfect Halloween color swirl on every cupcake.
I’ve done this technique before with two and three colors; but four was a little harder and lot messier. However, they came out perfect and even turned your tongue black and now that is the perfect Trick and Treat!
I might have gone overboard on decorating Halloween this year. EVERY room in our house is decorated, even our patio! To be fair our annual Halloween party is mainly in the backyard and it makes sense it would be decorated there too. I love Halloween as most of you know and this is Andrew’s first Halloween which makes me even more excited this year. I tried to make sure nothing came off as scary, but fun and colorful. From homemade pillows. to cute Target and craft store finds, to all of the stuff I already had I went a little crazy. I could give Jack Skellington a run for his money. Check out the galleries to see all of the amazing decorations and for some future post on how I made specific items!
First up is our living room. Most of these decorations I have had for years and look forward to putting them out every year!
Most of the decorations were bought for only a dollar each. Can't be that deal!
Andrew's room might be my favorite. I love how the homemade pillows came out and look forward to reading him Halloween books while curled up under the blanket.
Our bedroom looks like it can be in fancy Halloween Hotel. I love the perfect Hocus Pocus themed pillows I found on Amazon and a discount store. The blanket was made from a Halloween tablecloth I bought at Home Goods and added a flannel backing to, its perfect for a little extra warmth as the nights are getting cooler.
Our Office was kept simple with just a few decorations, just enough to make me want to go in there to work!
Even our bathrooms got a little decorations! I made the Halloween garland on the shower curtain to match the garland on the mirror I bought at craft store. The labels on soap and lotion bottles were Halloween beverage stickers I've had forever and fit perfectly on them!
The patio was kept simple with just a few homemade outdoor pillows I made! Just enough to get comfortable and read a good book in the fall weather!
I love how each room looks and every time I walk into another room it makes me smile and isn’t that the most important thing in the end? Bring on Halloween!
In my standing tradition of fair cakes, I recreated a piece of art on a cake. This year’s masterpiece was inspired by one of Claude Monet’s water lily paintings. I had a fun time playing around with new techniques to decorate the cake, from hand painting to piping buttercream, even some fondant work.
This cake is truly is a masterpiece!
Update: I got first place!
I’m not even going to lie and pretend I enjoyed making this cake. Wedding cakes make me all sorts of nervous. It is someone’s big day and you are responsible for making a huge focal point of the wedding. To top it off this cake was for my good friend and Andrew’s Godmother. Talk about added pressure! It was nice to be able to continue to make all of her cake for her marriage though; I made her bridal shower cake back in July and last month got to make her bachelorette party cake. How cool is that! She wanted to have the wedding cake be carrot cake with pecans instead of walnuts and the same delicious cream cheese frosting as on her other two cakes. The even scarier part of making her wedding cake was that she wanted it to be a naked cake. I love how naked cakes look, but it is something that I am not very good at. I have had problems in the past with the frosting being too thick and tearing the cake, causing crumbs in the supposedly simple pretty cake. With the lessons I have learned with past naked cakes, I prepared the frosting much thinner to give it a smooth clean finish and thankfully it worked out well.
Being honest I still wasn’t happy with the cake though. However, once I added the fresh flowers to the cake during the setup it made the cake look more complete. But then…the cake and the cupcakes I made to go along with the cake were displayed on a table in front of a beautiful old window that was used as a room divider giving it a 360-degree view of the cake. There was no way to hide any flaws. To make matters even worse, the wedding and reception were in the morning. Where they placed the cake table was in the direct sunlight, something they normally don’t have a problem with afternoon weddings. The sunlight light started to warm up the filling in the cake causing it to sink. My heart broke. I wanted to cry and no amount of turning, flower placement, or extra support was going to hide it. I was happy that I was able to take a few pictures before the cake started to sink. They also cut the cake before it got even worse!
Later the bride told me the cake was perfect and tasted amazing, and in reality, her opinion is the only one that truly matters.
I created this blog to share my creations with hopes that it will inspire others to show their creative side.