Easy Hand-Drawn Gift Wrap
First off, here’s a little photo gallery of the wrapping I did for some of his gifts! Toby loves turtles, and so the theme of course, was turtles and turtle-doves. This is our favourite method of wrapping: brown shipping paper and sharpies or markers. I googled “galapagos turtle” and found a few images I liked, using them as models for my free-hand drawing. Then, I did a bible word search for “turtle” and found a nice reference to turtle doves in the Song of Solomon that I thought was most appropriate for the gift of a bible sent from our family out in California. Et voila: turtle wrapping of all kinds!
Marbled Oreo First Communion Cake
Marbled Oreo First Communion Cake
- Wilton Cross-Cake Pan [We found ours at Bulk Barn - and we share it with other families at the kids' school]
Single Layer Chocolate Cake Batter [in a pinch? use a box mix and amp it up with vanilla or a shot of alcohol!]
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 c sugar
- 3/8 c unsweetened cocoa powder preferably dutch processed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 1 large eggs
- 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Single Layer White Cake Batter [in a pinch? use a box mix]
- 1 1/8 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk. room temperature
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7/8 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 3/8 cup unsalted butter room temperature, cubed
The Lunchbox Season's Best Buttercream [Full Recipe]
- 1 c UNSALTED butter room temperature
- 4-8 cups sifted icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbs vanilla
- 4 tbs [and up to 1/2 cup] milk or cream
- gel or liquid food colouring to suit [We used Wilton Green]
- 7 chocolate covered oreo-style cookie or plain oreo-style cookies [We bought ours from the fabulous Ed's Real Scoop ice cream shop here in Toronto - Yes! They do fab chocolates too!]
- 1 package of oreo-style cookies smashed into bits with a meat cleaver or rolling pin [We used PC "Eat the Middle First" Cookies]
Before Making the Batters:
- Heat the oven to 350.
- Spray the Cross-Cake Pan with baking spray or grease and flour it as you see fit.
Prepare each batter in a separate bowl:
Chocolate Cake Batter:
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer using a sifter or a wire-mesh strainer.
- Add salt and sugar to the bowl, and with the mixer set to low speed, beat for 30 seconds or so until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
- With the mixer set to low, add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and blend until just combined.
- Beat in the coffee until fully incorporated.
White Cake Batter:
- In a medium bowl, stir milk, egg whites, and vanilla with a fork until blended.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until just incorporated.
- Add butter and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add half of the wet mixture to the flour mixture and beat at medium speed for about a minute.
- Add the remaining wet mixture and beat for about another minute until combined.
After Making the Batters:
- Pour small clumps of each batter into the cross cake pan.
- Use a spoon, fork, skewer or coffee-stirrer stick to swirl the batter in the pan.
- Bake the cake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. [Okay, it's a little weird "testing" a cross cake with a knife or pick!]
- Cool completely.
- Make Frosting.
- Colour Frosting with gel or food colouring of your choice.
- Invert Cake onto a large serving dish.
- Frost Cake.
- Decorate top of cake with chocolate covered oreos.
- Using your hand, press smashed oreo bits onto the sides of the cake.