A Zebra Cake, The Petal Technique & The Weekend Whisk – 1/19/13

by Kate on January 19, 2013

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Happy Saturday! Hope you all had a fantabulous week! Things were busy busy on the site this week but we’ll get to that in a few minutes. So, remember last week I was telling you all about the big birthday plans?? Well, they went off without a hitch! Hania, my brother Matt and I spent a lovely day together. After a short train ride, we started our morning strolling the vast hallways and galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We found art in every aspect of the morning.

The Met 1

Tombs and sculpture,

The met 10paintings,

The Met 3even the ceilings and balconies.

The Met 4

We snapped pictures like we were the paparazzi. At one point, my brother actually made that very comment that he felt like he was with the paparazzi.

The Met 9

The Met 8

Both HB and Matt had fun goofing off at times.

HB Birthday Lunch

Birthday Table

We had a fantastic lunch at one of our favorite little spots in The Village that happens to have slate table tops perfect for birthday wishes.

The Met 6

And I enjoyed taking pictures of anything that stood still with my new Canon 7D!!


I have so much to learn and I’m seriously having issues taking photographs inside in tungsten lighting. Yikes! That led to me not quite capturing a few pictures the way I would have liked to. For instance, HB blowing out the candles. Sadly there’s no picture of that this year. Another example is the cake. Unfortunately, I don’t have spectacular pictures for you. I have ok pictures for you. The day I made the cake I had just enough time to bake, decorate and hide the cake before having to get HB from school so I was snapping pictures of this blue beauty only moments before I was plunging candles into it and warming up my vocal cords for a booming rendition of “Happy Birthday!” Despite my novice knowledge of the inner workings of my new camera, you get the gist of it.

Zebra Cake 3

I made a zebra cake and decorated the outside using a petal technique. Both of these things were a first for me. I’d seen my friend Lisa make a gorgeous Zebra Cake a while ago and fell in love with its striped beauty. Mine didn’t quite turn out as perfect due to my own operator error. Word of advice. Pay attention and make sure you are hitting the center when you start pouring the batters into the pan. If not, about two thirds of the way through you’ll come to realize like I did, that all your batter is commiserating more to one side of the pan than the other. Then if you’re like me, you’ll try to “fix this” by every so gently tilting the pan so that the batter is evenly distributed which total screws up your zebra stripes. So, lesson learned. It just gives me an excellent excuse to make anther cake! You can find Lisa’s gorgeous Zebra Cake HERE.

Zebra Cake 4

But want to know what I’m incredibly pleased with? The frosting!! I have seen gorgeous petal cakes all over the place and admired their beauty. They’re breathtaking and I’ve been dying for a time to make one. I wanted HB to have a really outstanding cake that showed it took some time to make and that was special for her. What better time than the present to give this technique a try? Now, it’s your turn! Seriously, this gorgeous technique is so easy to do! Robin from Bird on a Cake has a fabulous tutorial that made frosting this cake a breeze. You can see her fabulous instruction HERE. Oh, and if you like to decorate cakes and want to learn more then you will definitely find her site to be a wonderful resource.

Zebra Cake 2

In the end, we all had a fantastic time in NYC for the day. HB was thoroughly surprised by her surprise party and by her present (she thought our day in the city together was her present) but little did she know I had these tickets up my sleeve. Which means in 2 weeks we get to go back for another fantastic day together!

Chicago Tix

I’m pretty sure this was one of the best birthdays ever for Hania and I know for me personally, this was one to remember. As always, you’ll find a recap of what you may have missed here on Food Babbles this week. Hope you have a fantastic weekend and don’t forget there are not one but two giveaways going on right now so be sure to enter! You can win A Case of Assorted Chobani Greek Yogurt and also, enter to win A Kindle Fire and a $50 gift card to load it up! Enter both and I figure you can eat your yogurt while reading your new Kindle 🙂



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Babbles Bookmarks:

Coconut Buns from Roxana’s Home Baking: Roxana is pretty much a bread-baking superstar! She has so many incredible recipes but I love her bread recipes the most. She recently did a post of 20 bread recipes from her site and I’m so glad she did because there were a ton I’d never read before. One of those were these coconut buns. Soft, sweet rolls filled with a bit of  shredded coconut inside. I cannot wait to make these!

Nutella Shortbread Bars from Kelly Bakes: Heaven. Perfection. Pure decadence! These shortbread bars topped warm, gooey Nutella look absolutely amazing!! The best part is that any self-respecting Nutella addict has each and every ingredient on hand to make these right now. GO! What are you waiting for?

Lemon Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding from The Moonlight Baker: I love rice pudding but I’ve only ever had the classic version with a dash of nutmeg and raisins in it. I love this version flecks of vanilla bean and lemon zest in it. 

Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Spinach from Two Peas & Their Pod: I made this pasta dish on Thursday for dinner and it was fantastic, not to mention healthy! Whole wheat spaghetti tossed with sun dried tomatoes, wilted spinach, tangy feta cheese and fragrant garlic chips. It was light but definitely not light on flavor. 

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ poet in the pantry January 19, 2013 at 8:24 am

That is still one gorgeous cake–I don’t care if you think you didn’t do the zebra part right. 🙂 You know how much patience I have for those things, though we’ll be trying that patience shortly. 😉 Sounds like you had a fabulous day in the City celebrating her birthday!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:39 am

We definitely had a nice day and thank you for your kind words about the cake. Overall, I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.


suzanne January 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

I love your cake, its beautiful and you have mad piping skills. What a wonderful time you all had, I have been thinking about getting that camera, do you like it? Is it difficult to use? I take all my pics with my iphone and am thinking of graduating to a real camera.


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thanks Suzanne! As for the camera, I am still learning but I love it! I had a Canon Rebel xti before I got this camera so for me the transition is a little easier but the 7D is a more complex piece of equipment. I’ll email you a bit more about it 🙂 I wouldn’t recommend it for your first camera though unless you have some previous photography knowledge. Thanks again!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet January 19, 2013 at 11:58 am

So pretty! I love the petal technique and the color you chose for the frosting!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Thanks Anna!


Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking January 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

The cake is absolutely gorgeous! I love the color and you have so much patience to talent to do the petal technique! Wow!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Thank you very much Roxana!! I’m flattered.


Lisa January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Kate..You got zebra stripes! I think it turned out amazing! When I made it..I used like 2 tablespoons per drop..it was almost arduous! I was sure it wouldn’t turn out, but then when I sliced into it..I couldn’t believe it. I if I make it again, I guarantee it won’t turn out like that one. I think it was just one of those ‘the planets aligned’ deals lol That said, what a cake and what a lucky B-Day girl! I love the petal pipe and drag! It’s deceiving because it looks extremely difficult, but it isn’t! My favorite type of cake decorating! Glad you had a great time in the city at MMOA..one of my favorite places in the world, and love your Pink Floyd shirt!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Well next time I think I’ll have more patience and make sure I hit dead center as well as dropping a smaller amount. I want to make one as gorgeous as yours but I’m so happy to hear you like mine. Oh and the Pink Floyd shirt… I own my fair share but that’s actually my oldest daughter pictured there in the Pink Floyd shirt 🙂


Robin @ Bird On A Cake January 20, 2013 at 12:10 am

Kate, I think your cake looks fabulous! I LOVE the frosting color. Thanks so much for linking to my blog! 🙂


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Thank you, Robin! Loved your tutorial. I find your site to be such a wonderful resource.


ChristineM January 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

I have seen the petal cake over at Bird on a Cake, she did a great tutorial, your cake looks yum! I like the zebra effect, very nice! and a nice camera too!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Thanks Christine! Don’t you just love Bird on a Cake?? One of my favorite sites.


ChristineM January 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

yes I do! I like her site…


Kate January 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

She’s so talented 🙂


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom January 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm

What a gorgeous gorgeous cake!!! and is that your daughter? Happy Birthday!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Thank you Alice! And yes, that is my oldest of the 3 daughters 🙂 Thanks for the happy birthday wishes. I’ll send them her way.


Liz January 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

Wow!!! Gorgeous cake! I won’t tell you how many times I’ve tried and failed to make a zebra cake…I used Lisa’s recipe, too, but it did not come out striped 🙁 Congratulations on perfection!


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm

It’s definitely a challenge, that’s for sure! Thanks so much for the compliment. I don’t know about perfection but at least there were some waves going on in there 😉


foodwanderings January 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I don’t think I will ever be good at petal or any decorating techniques. Takes so much patience which I lack. 🙂 I do however appreciate the talent you possess! 🙂


Kate January 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Well, that decorating technique definitely needed patience and lots of it 😉 It took quite some time to do but loved the end result. I’m happy you liked it also!


Kim Bee January 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm

That’s such a gorgeous cake and it looks like you all had so much fun. Love days like that.


Kate January 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Thank you Kim! We really had a wonderful day and it was such a wonderful birthday.


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