Tutorials

Smash Cake Tutorial and George’s First Birthday!

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Pink Floral Cake.

Hi friends and happy Thursday! I have something a little out of the ordinary for you all today but I have a feeling you crazy cake lovers are gonna go nuts for it. It’s a smash cake tutorial! If there are little ones in your life that you want to celebrate well, or if you just really want to dig into a cutesy mini cake all on your own, today’s tutorial is just perfect for you.

George’s First Birthday!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated baby George’s first birthday. The year that has passed since his birth was one of my favorites yet, and it seemed only right that we celebrate this little buddy the best that we could. We hosted a gathering of friends and family at our  home, complete with cake, corn hole, and birthday crowns. The weather was just right and many of our friends showed up, kids in tow, for what ended up being a giant, outdoor free-for-all for more than 30 kids. (Seriously, I think my friends could re-populate the nation if need be.)

The kids ran and threw balls, played in the mud and munched on cookies while the parentals sipped cocktails and chatted. We all know first birthday parties are really just an excuse for moms to throw a celebration, but I’d say it was a success. Luckily, my friend Meghan was there to capture the day, so I get to share some images with you guys! Check it out:

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Balloon arch made from tutorial on the house that lars built. White balloons inspiration.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Balloon arch.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Honey basil margaritas boozer cocktails.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Piñata

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com PInata

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Piñata

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Felt Crown.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Watercolor painted sugar cookies, red and polka dot black and white.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

A Few DIYs

There were a ton of fun blog recipes and DIYs that made this day personalized and delicious. You might recall the painted sugar cookies from a tutorial that I shared last year. The cocktails were honey basil margaritas, another blog favorite, that were a sweet and sour way to cool off from the warm summer air. The cake was a certain raspberry streusel cake that we all know and love, and even the ice cream, coffee cookie dough, was a no-churn recipe that I shared with you all a few weeks ago.

My mom and I made the balloon arch following a tutorial that I found on the fabulous blog, The House that Lars Built. It was a process, but a ton of fun to make and I think it really added something special. The piñata was also homemade and was similar to one that I made for Aimee’s first birthday party following a fun DIY that I found on 100 Layer Cakelet blog. If you have any ideas for future DIYS, I’d love to hear about them! These are certainly some fun ones you should consider adding to your next occasion.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

The Cakes!

And what’s a birthday without a layer cake and candles? It would be a shame if I threw my kids a party without making cake, right? I made one large cake for our party guests and one (slightly larger than normal) smash cake for George to dig in to. Since the party, I’ve had several people ask me about making smash cakes for their own littles and I thought this might be a good opportunity to share some DIY decorating ideas with you all. I’ve prepared a few simple cakes that will hopefully inspire you to make mini cakes of your own next time you are celebrating a special little gal or guy. Let’s get started!

To begin, you’ll need:

-A few small cake layers. I prefer to use 6″ cake layers, but you can certainly use a 4″ or 5″ pan as well. I use these pans to bake 3 layers. You can use any of your favorite recipes, but if you want a sure thing, try halving this chocolate or this vanilla cake recipe. Perfect every time. If you use smaller pans or bake few layers, be sure to not overfill your pans as this can cause underbaked cakes and messy oven spills.

-3 to 4 cups of frosting.  I used a plain vanilla frosting for these cakes, but adjust as desired.

-A 6″ cake board. Cake boards aren’t necessary but certainly make decorating and transporting the cake a bit easier. You can just barely see the cake board in all of my photos.

-A cake turntable. Again, this isn’t necessary but certainly makes frosting your cake a TON easier. Consider investing in one of the inexpensive models or jump to the big leagues with something like this.

An offset spatula. It’s less than $6 and will make your life so much easier. If you’re currently frosting cakes with a knife or a bowl scraper, just buy one of these, ok?

Flower Smash Cake

I always say, when in doubt, just throw some flowers on it. Decorating with flowers and greenery can take a plain frosted smash cake to a sweetly styled work of art. I typically like to use flowers that I can find at my local store or florist, but there are tons of ways to put a little nature on your cake. If you’re unsure about using fresh blooms on your cake, take some time to practice with silk flowers and greenery like I did in the following photos.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Pink Floral Cake.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Pink Floral Cake.

How To

Before styling your florals, frost and chill your cake as desired. Here, I’ve used 3 thin 6″ vanilla cake layers coated with a vanilla cream cheese buttercream. You can half this cake and frosting recipe to yield enough for your mini smash cake. Coat the outside of the cake in a thin layer of frosting so that a bit of the cake edges show. Chill the cake briefly in the fridge to allow the frosting to set up slightly and then begin arranging! I like to use a variety of blooms, leaves, and twigs in different shapes and shades, but you can use any variety you like. Start by adding some flat leaves, twigs, or stems to the top of the cake and then arrange one or two larger blooms on top. Fill in any unsightly gaps with smaller flowers, berries, or filler.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com Eucalyptus greenery cake topper.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

For George’s birthday cake, I knew I wanted to use natural elements as decoration but I didn’t want the cake to be too feminine. As an alternative to flowers, I used some greenery and stems from my neighbor’s garden. To achieve a similar effect, you can purchase eucalyptus, olive leaves, or other green filler from your florist and arrange it in a minimalistic fashion on top of your cake. Get creative and know that practice makes perfect! The more you work with florals, the more comfortable you’ll get with arranging them on your layer cakes.

Stenciled Sprinkle Smash Cake

You can decorate your smash cake with a word or a number in less than 5 minutes and with minimal effort. Simply print out a word or number on a sheet of computer paper. The number should be slightly smaller than the size of your cake. Use an X-Acto knife or scissors to cut out your shape and create a stencil. Center the stencil on top of the slightly chilled cake and sprinkle small nonpariels on top to fill it in. Be sure not to get too many sprinkles outside of the stencil our you’ll be picking them off your cake! Press down lightly to adhere the sprinkles to the cake and remove the stencil. You can use a careful hand or a pair of tweezers to pick off any rogue sprinkles.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

I like to use nonpariels, but if you have a different variety of small sprinkles that you’d like to use, feel free! You could also sprinkle on small candies, cocoa powder, or finely chopped nuts.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Ombre Smash Cake

Frosting an ombre cake remains one of my favorite ways to decorate a smash cake. To get started, all you’ll need is a small, crumb-coated smash cake, about 1-1/2 cups of white frosting, gel food coloring, and an offset spatula.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Evenly divide your frosting into 3 small bowls. Add a small drop of your gel food coloring into one of the bowls, keeping in mind that you can always add more food coloring, but it’s a challenge to lighten the frosting once you’ve added too much. Stir well with a spatula and then color your remaining bowls of frosting as desired. I typically use 3 shades of the same color and just add more or less food coloring to each bowl to achieve my color gradient.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

How to Frost an Ombre Cake

Top your smash cake with your lightest or darkest shade. Smooth out the colored frosting on top of the cake using an offset spatula and push any extra frosting off the edge of the top of the cake onto the top third of the sides of the cake as well. Don’t worry about making it smooth yet, just be sure that all sides of the cake have some of that frosting on it. Move on to the next shade and spackle it onto the middle third of your cake. Finish with the final color on the bottom third of the cake and gently work to smooth it out over each side.

Holding your spatula parallel to the cake, smooth the sides of the frosting out. The more you spread out your frosting the more that the colors will blend together, so be sure to not overwork it. Clean off your spatula occasionally to ensure that the colors don’t get muddled together as you go over different parts of your cake. Check out this ombre cake tutorial for more help. Rosie does a great job explaining the technique and it’s super helpful to watch her do it in her video. She also sells some gorgeous sprinkle blends that you may want to top your cake with so be sure to check those out!

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Blue Ombred cake- looks like the ocean! Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

Rustic Frosted Smash Cake

One of my favorite ways to decorate a smash cake also happens to be the easiest. Rustic or “messy” frosted cakes are all the rage. These cakes require no perfection, no straight edges, no perfectly piped swirls of frosting. All that is needed to create these beauties is a little creativity and an offset spatula.

Smash Cake Tutorial Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. Sharing tips and techniques for decorating mini 6" smash cakes to be served at a little boy or girl first birthday party! You'll find out how to decorate a cake with a stencil and sprinkles, flowers, top with color balls of fondant, ombre layer cake, and rustic frosting style done with an offset spatula or palette knife. Read more about the how to and find some colorful kid birthday party inspiration here! www.woodandspoon.com

The How To

To frost one of your own, start with a thinly frosted smash cake. Allow the cake to chill briefly in the fridge and then use your offset spatula to spackle frosting onto the sides of your cake. You may decide to go for big swoops, parallel lines, or thin stripes of frosting. Whatever you choose, just begin adding frosting to the sides of your cake and smooth out the top edge once finished. The great news is that if you mess up- no problem! Just smooth out the frosting and start all over again. When you’re finished, top the cake with a cute candle or topper. For more rustic cake inspiration, be sure to flip through my Instagram feed.

Ok, now that you guys know all of the cute and simple ways to decorate your kiddo’s smash cakes, I wanna see them! I gain so much inspiration from you guys so if you’ve created some recently or in the past that you think I might like, please shoot me an email. If you have any ideas for future tutorials, holler at me in the comments section below so that I can get cracking. Let’s just learn all the different ways to create beautiful food for the people we love, okay? Have a great week and be sure to pop by next Tuesday. We’re going to be talking biscuits and sandwiches and Father’s Day, so you’ll want your appetite. Cheers to you and Happy Thursday!

If you like this smash cake tutorial, you might also like:

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies and Gold Splatter Tutorial

Painted Sugar Cookies Tutorial

Confetti Ice Cream Cake and Naked Cake Tutorial

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies and How To Gold-Splatter Sugar Cookies!

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood and Abby Hollar of The Hollardays Blog. This is a simple recipe for homemade cutout sugar cookies flavored with dried lavender and vanilla bean paste. The icing is simple and dries quick and doesn't require a piping bag or tip like Royal icing. The gold lustre luster dust is mixed with alcohol to create a shiny metallic paint that you can splatter on your cookies with a basting brush. Find the tutorial and how to paint cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

This past week on “Real Housewives of Alabama,” Kate drove to the big city, hopped a plane to Orlando, and spent a kid-free weekend at the beach with her college girlfriends(!!!) Yes, it’s true- for a glorious 72 hours, there were no diapers to change, jobs to clock in to, dirty boxer-briefs to pick up off the floor. Just 4 gals, the crashing waves, and a super classy box of red wine.

With no deadlines to meet or tiny humans to tend to, the hours of the day passed lazily with cozy blankets and rabbit trails of conversation that usually began with “Remember when…?” and ended in fits of laughter. Time away is good for the soul and helps me to dust off little bits of myself that ordinarily hide on the bookshelf. These girls have been around for over a decade now, and every time we see each other, I’m always reminded how good it feels to be known. What would we do without the people in our lives who love us without agenda and in spite of ourselves? Bless. Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar CookiesLavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
photos by jesse walsh dreamtown photo co

Tutorials with Friends!

One of my little beach bunnies, Abby, recently started a lifestyle blog called The Hollar-Days where she shares DIYS, painting tutorials, and snippets from her life as wife and mama. Abby shares my love of delicious food and beverages, so when she suggested we plan a little beachside picnic for our girl’s trip, I was all in. A few cookies and cocktails later (you know, for “testing purposes”), we came up with a few treats that I’m thrilled to share with you.

Exhibit A: lavender vanilla bean sugar cookies.

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar CookiesLavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

These cookies are quite similar to my favorite cutout sugar cookies that I shared with you all a while ago, except they have specks of vanilla bean and lavender. I adapted my favorite icing recipe so that you can simply dip the face of the cookie in the glaze, and I have to say, it makes preparing these cookies easy breezy. While lavender vanilla bean sugar cookies are certainly special enough on their own, we decided to fancy them up a bit by splattering them with little gold speckles. I was inspired by a recent article in Martha Stewart Magazine and knew I needed an adaptation of my own. Maybe the girliest, most lovely little cookies of all time!

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
photo by abby hollar

Cookie Tags!

Abby, the super crafty lady that she is, came up with a coordinating champagne cocktail for us to enjoy and even hand-painted some tags to adorn the packaged cookies. With a vanilla bean simple syrup and super jazzy lavender bitters, champagne cocktails have never been so chic or Provencal (and you all know how I feel about the French).  Check out the her post for the cocktail recipe and watercolored tags as well as a few photos from our time at the beach. The rest of her blog is equally charming, and you may even catch a few snippets of her darling little Margot, who I’m certain is destined to be Aimee’s BFF someday. (Fingers crossed!!!)

Cookies are great, but sometimes, a little time away with your bests is just what the doctor ordered. Give these lavender vanilla bean sugar cookies a try, and share them with your favorite gals (or guys!) this coming Valentine’s Day. You can also find a few other delish cookie recipes to share with your besties here. Oh, and PS, I’m chomping at the bit to share ALL THE CHOCOLATE RECIPES with you guys throughout the month of February, so hold on to your hats, belts, and everything else, and prep your gullet for some melt in your mouth goodness. It’s going to be a delicious 28 days for us. Cheers to you!

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar CookiesLavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

For a link to Abby’s cocktail recipe and Valentine’s gift tags, click here!

To check out the culinary lavender I purchased, click here!

To find lustre dust, click here!

Print

Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

The lavender vanilla bean sugar cookies are soft cutout cookies scented with dried lavender and vanilla bean. Decorated with a glaze and a gold splatter, the tutorial for these cookie is easy and fun!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract

For the icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 36 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate your cookies, you will need

  • Food grade gold lustre dust (see notes)
  • Clear extract or liquor (I use clear vanilla or vodka)
  • A silicone basting brush

Instructions

To prepare the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grind the lavender slightly using a food processor, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle. Combine the lavender and remaining dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and extract and cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low just until combined.
  4. Dump the dough crumbles out on to a lightly floured surface and work together into one ball with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to just over 1/4″ thicken and use a medium sized cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the dough ever gets too soft, refrigerate briefly.
  5. Place shapes on a baking sheet and freeze briefly for about 5 minutes.
  6. Once chilled, bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes and then cool on a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely prior to icing.

For the icing

  1. Sift or whisk powdered sugar to remove lumps.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and the extract, whisking until combined. Continue to add milk until it is the right viscosity. You will want thicker frosting for piping. To test viscosity, run your whisk or a knife through the bowl of frosting- your frosting should slowly move back together until you can’t see any trace of the whisk any longer. This process should take about 6-8 seconds. If the frosting is too thick, it will not pool back together, and if it is too thin, it will pool back together too quickly. Add more milk for a thinner icing and more powdered sugar if your icing becomes too thin.
  3. Cover tightly in a tupperware or with a wet paper towel if you are not using it immediately, as frosting will dry out and become clumpy. Whisk occasionally and add more milk if it becomes too thick.
  4. When ready to frost your cookies, cover your work space in wax paper. Set out some cookie racks to place your frosted cookies on. To frost, hold each cookie by its rim and dip the face of it directly into the icing. Allow any excess to drip off the sides. Add more milk or sugar, if desired, to modify the consistency of your icing.

To decorate your cookies

  1. Cover your workspace in parchment or wax paper. Lay dry, frosted cookies out on the paper.
  2. Scoop 1/4 teaspoon lustre dust into a small dish and add 1/8 teaspoon of extract or liquor. Stir until the lustre dust is all dissolved. You can add an additional 1/8 teaspoon of liquor, if needed, but take care to not add too much, as this can cause your sugar icing to dissolve and bubble up.
  3. Dip a silicone basting brush in the liquid gold, and dab any excess off on the side of the bowl. Do a test splatter on a paper towel or extra sheet of wax paper. To splatter, I hold my silicone brush parallel to the work surface, draw back slightly at the wrist, and then fling the brush downward, like you’re swatting a fly or hitting a drum. The size and shape of your silicone bristles can change the way your splatter looks, so do a few test splatters before you move to your cookies. Once ready to decorate your cookies, splatter then in the same manner you did your tester and allow to dry completely before packing or storing.

Notes

  • For a deeper, more concentrated gold color, use as little alcohol as you can. The more liquid in the splatter, the lighter it will be.
  • I tested this technique using a natural hair basting brush and it was not successful. I recommend a silicone brush for best effect.
  • If desired, you can pipe the icing on your cookies for a more polished, perfected look. There is a tutorial for this in the cookies archives of my blog. You will need you frosting to be a bit thicker.
  • Be sure to purchase food grade, edible lustre dust. I purchased mine on Amazon!

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Adapted from: Bridget Edwards

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies Recipe and Tutorial by The Wood and Spoon Blog By Kate Wood. This is a recipe for almond vanilla sugar cutout cookies that doesn't require chilling the dough. The dough holds its shape for cookie cutters. The frosting isn't like a royal icing- it is a simple glaze made with milk and powdered sugar and flavoring. you can pipe or dip the cookies icing on and then paint with food coloring gel and alcohol. Find the how to on the blog thewoodandspoon.com

Forget the Kardashians. Forget Birkenstocks and ombre hair and cold shoulder shirts. Forget Lebron and matcha and cold brew coffee. Yeah, all of those things might be having a moment… but painted sugar cookies? Well, in my book, they’re really having a moment.

I get a million and one food related questions on any given week, but one of the most frequent items I get asked about are painted sugar cookies. Why? Well, for one, sugar cookies are a crowd pleaser. I’ve literally never heard anyone say, “I don’t like sugar cookies,” and I can tell you that if I did, we wouldn’t be friends. They’re sweet and celebratory, and if you know what you’re doing, they’re fun way to tie desserts into any themed event or party.

Up until a few years ago, I had only been exposed to the two extremes of sugar cookies: a soft, lofthouse style cookie with a thick and creamy butter-based frosting, and a hard, crunchy sugar cookie with tooth-shattering, cloyingly sweet royal icing. Enter painted sugar cookies. These little guys are a soft yet stable sugar cookie that holds its shape in the oven. The icing is pipeable and easy to decorate with but without all the fuss of a royal icing.

Painted Sugar Cookies

If you’re anything like me, trying to pipe a bunch of designs on a cookie is a daunting, time consuming, and ultimately disappointing task. I’ve done it before, and I can say that I won’t be doing it often in the future. Painting the cookies allows me to decorate the cookies and flex my creative muscle without all the mind-numbing tedious work of piping. I love it. 

Once the sugar cookies are iced and dry, you simply mix a small amount of gel food coloring with a clear liquor. I prefer vanilla vodka, but really, you can use any type of clear liquor. (Sidenote: If you would prefer to not use alcohol, you can try clear vanilla extract.) Once your paintbrush is wet with a teeny amount of liquor and food gel, you are free to paint away! I usually just paint solid colors on the cookies, but if you’re super artsy, you can Monet and van Gogh all over that goodness. The world (read: cookie) is your oyster, so go for it. 

For cookie inspiration, you can check out the cookies I’ve made here, here, here, and here.

Let me know how your cookie making goes and be sure to have a blast doing it. Cheers to you!

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Items Needed:

Cutout sugar cookies, approximately 30 small-medium, recipe below
Sugar cookie frosting, recipe below
Piping bag fitted with #2 tip
Gel food coloring
Clear liquor (vodka, rum, etc)
Clean, unused paint brushes
 

Directions:

Fill piping bag halfway with sugar cookie frosting. Pipe borders around cookies, being careful to not get too close to the edge. Using a paint brush, “paint” frosting into the center of the cookie, filling in to the outside border. (For a good tutorial on this method, check out the Ina Garten video here) I typically will border and fill 4-5 cookies at a time. Continue this process until all of the cookies are iced. Set aside for 3 hours, or until icing is set and dry. If you’re in a humid climate, you can use a small fan pointed at the cookies to help expedite this process.
Cover your work surface with wax, parchment, or newspaper. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of liquor into a small glass or bowl. Set out a plate or some other type of palette for your gel food color “paints”. Squirt small, 1/8 teaspoon drops of food coloring on your palette. Dip your brush in the liquor and then into the gel food coloring. Notice how the food coloring will thin out and bleed. The more diluted your food coloring is with alcohol, the less vibrant your colors will be. For more saturated tones, use less liquor. You can test out the colors on a paper towel or extra cookie. When you have the desired color, begin to paint! Try to avoid over-saturating your cookie as this can cause the icing to loosen up or become sticky. If your brush becomes too wet, dab it a bit on the paper towel. Once completed, allow your cookies to dry thoroughly before enjoying!
 
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Cutout Sugar Cookies

Perfect every time cutout sugar cookies get the royal treatment with some cute and colorful painted icing! Find the tutorial and buttery recipe here!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 30

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 11/2 teaspoon princess cake and cookie emulsion (or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract)

For the icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 36 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla extract, or bakery emulsion

Instructions

For the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and extract and cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low just until combined.
  4. Dump the dough crumbles out on to a lightly floured surface and work together into one ball with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to just over 1/4″ thicken and use a medium sized cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the dough ever gets too soft, refrigerate briefly.
  5. Place shapes on a baking sheet and freeze briefly for about 5 minutes.
  6. Once chilled, bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes and then cool on a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely prior to icing.

For the icing

  1. Sift or whisk powdered sugar to remove lumps.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and the extract, whisking until combined. Continue to add milk until it is the right viscosity. You will want thicker frosting for piping. To test viscosity, run your whisk or a knife through the bowl of frosting- your frosting should slowly move back together until you can’t see any trace of the whisk any longer. This process should take about 10 seconds. If the frosting is too thick, it will not pool back together, and if it is too thin, it will pool back together too quickly. The ten second test doesn’t lie. Add more milk for a thinner icing and more powdered sugar if your icing becomes too thin.
  3. Cover tightly in a tupperware or with a wet paper towel if you are not using it immediately, as frosting will dry out and become clumpy. Whisk occasionally and add more milk if it becomes too thick.

Notes

  • Icing will keep in the fridge for up to a week and can easily be colored with gel food coloring.

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Recipe Adapted From: Bake At 350

 

Easter Cake

easter cake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a how to on making a layer cake covered in robin egg blue frosting and speckled to look like an egg. This tutorial is adapted from the cake blog. Step by step how to and photos for this easter / good friday / spring time cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Easter Cake TutorialAbout one year ago, almost to the day, I made the decision to be more intentional on social media as a means of determining if blogging and putting myself out there on the interwebz was something I was ready to do. About two weeks into this experiment, I made an Easter cake, speckled to look like a robin’s egg, topped with little nests of swirled chocolate buttercream, and studded with leftover jelly beans from Aimee’s first Easter basket. (Shameless shout out to other moms who buy candy “for their kids” that just so happens to be their own favorite varieties and wind up hiding in the secret, “mom’s only” corner of the pantry. I feel you.) The cake was adorable and because I was pretty excited about it, I posted a photo on Instagram. Imagine my surprise when, hours later, Food and Wine magazine re-posted the photo. MY photo. I found myself victory dancing in the living room, high-fiving my husband, and with a new batch of Insta-followers. To me, that Easter cake was a moment of much needed confirmation that I was to continue forward.

easter cake

Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask how to make that humble little cake, so in honor of Easter, you’re going to get a fancy little tutorial today. This Easter cake is fairly simple and is a perfect excuse to get messy in the kitchen. If you have kiddos, or if you just share my affinity for pretending to be artsy in the kitchen while simultaneously stuffing your face with Easter candy, this cake is for you! Little ones can help with the speckling and will love the opportunity to sneak a jelly bean or a lick of the frosting bowl. Be warned that this process can get a little messy, so be sure to protect your work space with newspaper, wax paper, or old t-shirts of your husband’s that you secretly want to make disappear. 

easter cake

This Easter cake is one I plan to make for years to come and seems like a brilliant tradition to start with my family in the kitchen. My babies aren’t even old enough to say the words “Easter Cake”, but I’m eager to make memories with them on special holidays. If you have any traditions or recipes you like to share with your family during this holiday, I’d love to hear about it below in the comments section!

Happy Easter and Happy Baking!
easter cake

To make the Easter cake, you’ll need:

  • One baked cake (I used a 2 layer, six inch cake in a lemon poppyseed flavor which will be coming to the blog soon. You can try this recipe if you’re looking for a no-fail cake recipe)
  • 3 cups of frosting, divided
  • Light blue gel food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • M&M’S Eggs, Jelly Beans, Cadbury Mini Eggs, or any other bean/egg shaped candy
 

Tools you’ll need:

  • News or wax paper to cover your work space
  • A clean, unused paint brush or a natural bristle pastry brush
  • Piping bag fitted with a 1M tip
 easter cake

Directions:

  • Set aside 1 cup of frosting.
  • In a bowl, add a small drop of light blue food coloring to the remaining two cups of frosting. A little goes a long way, so add slowly. Once your frosting it too dark, there’s no going back! Also, keep in mind that the frosting will darken as it sets.
  • Fill and frost your cake. I like to smooth my cakes with an off-set spatula like this , but a butter knife will do the trick!
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder and the vanilla extract until a thin, watery slurry comes together.
  • Set your unfrosted cake on a clean, covered work surface. Do no speckle close to anything you can’t easily wipe down with a wet rag- things are about to get messy!
  • Hold your paint brush or natural bristle pastry brush at the base of the bristles. Squeeze, applying a small amount of pressure with your fingers to fan the brush slightly. Dip the tips of the brush in the cocoa/vanilla “paint” and find a spare corner of your covered work space to practice your splatter. While continuing to fan your brush with one hand, use the fingers of your other hand to lightly pull back the bristles and release. This will be a slingshot type of movement and will result in a splatter effect on your work surface. Once you’re confident with your speckling skills, move on to the cake! I start with the sides of the cake and finish with the top.
  • Mix your remaining cup of frosting with the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Add a small amount of water, if needed, until frosting is piping consistency. In my experience, a medium consistency frosting works best here and can best be described as frosting that, when peaked, will droop slightly without collapsing back into the blow.
  • Fill piping bag with this frosting and pipe away! I did simple swirls but you can get as fancy as you’d like.
  • Top each swirl with one piece of candy.

easter cake

 

Technique adapted from The Cake Blog