contact me

Send a little note!  I'd love to hear from you...




Pineapple Up On Top Cake

apollina baker

A little twist on the pineapple upside down cake - just throw the whole thing on top!  

Well, half of the whole thing... 

Pineapple Up on Top Cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups whole buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pineapple puree 
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • a whole pineapple, smallest one you can find 

Pineapple Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • a couple tablespoons pineapple puree
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Some lemon zest, to taste

Directions for Frosting:  Beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed, so it’s really fluffy and creamy. Add other ingredients to desired taste and consistency.

Directions for Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan.  Throw the butter in the mixer and beat it at medium speed until creamy; gradually add the sugar.  Once fluffy, add eggs 1 at a time and beat well after each.   Mix in vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mix into the egg/butter mix alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mix.

Pour the batter into the buttered and floured pan and bake until a wooden pick (I often use a chopstick b/c I can never find the toothpicks but toothpicks are definitely recommended) inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then flip it onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Frost the cake and put it in the fridge to firm up a bit so the pineapple will sit on top and not sink into the icing. 

For the pineapple topper:  Get a small sized, good looking pineapple with a pretty stem (is that what the tops are called?) – often organic markets or whole food type stores will have smaller ones.  Hold it up to the cake to determine how much of the stem you'll need to cut out/off with a pair of kitchen scissors (or a sharp knife – be careful!).  Then you are going to cut the pineapple in half.  Make sure you are cutting so that the prettiest and most symmetrical side of the pineapple will be face up. After you half it you have to gut it - scrape out all of the “meat” and then soak up all the juice with a paper towel so juice doesn’t drip on the cake, you want a dry shell, as much as possible. Once the icing is solid, place the pineapple half on top of the cake and voilà! It's not the easiest to cut into but it looks pretty cool;)

Love this fun artwork and this sunny little girl...  Keep enjoying that summer of yours!

Summertime fun

apollina baker

Amara and I are in the water almost every day because it's so stinkin' hot in Texas!  I am resisting the urge to buy these amazing pool floats because we don't have a pool ourselves (the large and lovely swan probably wouldn't fit in Amara's baby pool) and I would look a little silly dragging my giant donut to the public swimming hole.  When I get this house and pool I will definitely be stocking up on giant swans.

I must be a Palm Beach girl at heart because I am always drawn to palm leaves, bright pink flamingos, pineapples and coral (my favorite color, along with gold).  I also have a mild obsession with mermaids which I project onto my daughter every opportunity I get. Mom perks:) 

Summer dressing is the best kind of dressing because you can be super fun and playful, like these Net-A-Porter's tropical selections...

A few items on my personal summer shopping list:  A flamingo swimsuit, palm leaf sandals, a mermaid phone case, this pineapple bag (more of a wish than a potential purchase), a fruit print head bowpalm playsuit and definitely this mother/baby girl mermaid print!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far!  We are doing our best at keeping busy...

Hope life is treating you well...

apollina baker

Hi guys!  How have you all been?  I feel sometimes this conversation we are having is a little one sided. ;)  How was your Mother's Day?  Brad's brother and his wife, my beautiful and sweet as pie sister-in-law Jen, came and stayed with us for a few days.  Amara adores Auntie Jen because she spoils her rotten with hair pieces, shoes, jewelry, clothes and tutus galore!  Every day Amara came toddling out of Aunt Jenny's room with a new outfit on (sometimes twice a day) and matching accessories.  It was quite fun:)

Aunt Jenny also got Amara a beautiful little dolly which she took to right away.  I am so blessed to have married into such a loving, supportive and generous family.  Jen, you're wonderful, we love you and miss you so much!

Amara continues to be enthralled with water.  She loves the tub, she loves the rain, she loves the pool and she loves the splash park.  What I love is that she just goes for it, she doesn't even bother to throw a glance back in my direction.  As fast as her little legs can get her there she is out in that water!  She's brave and unintimidated.  She knows what she wants and what she doesn't and she's not the least bit ambivalent.  On the playground she often generates comments like, she's so active, she's a climber, she's like a little boy!  I'm always chasing after her, apologizing when she appropriates other kids' food/bike/ball and spotting her so she doesn't fall when climbing on ladders/fences/other children.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to sit and talk to other Moms while my child plays nicely at my feet, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  She is exhausting and I love her for it.

I cannot get over this precious swimsuit and swim cap that was generously sent to Amara in a care package from the ever so lovely Rebecca from Obsessed with Polka Dots.  Amara is so blessed to have wonderful people love her and I am blessed to have met such sweet friends.

Our Memorial Day weekend was made up of blueberry pancakes, the water park, a redneck party (epic party at my new dentist/new friend's place!), burgers, beach balls, motorcycle riding/fixing and lots of coffee.  Right now, it's way passed my bedtime so I have gotta go to sleep. Brad, if you're reading this, you may be taking morning shift tomorrow. (He is sitting right next to me on the couch asking me if I am ready for bed yet:)

I hope you all had a great weekend, talk to you soon!

A Birthday Party for Miss Amara Dielle

apollina baker

Amara's birthday party was a wonderful day.   It was lovely to celebrate her first whole year of life with my Mom and the new friends we've made here in Austin.  Amara, however, wasn't feeling all that wonderful. That whole week of her turning one (and ever since) was rough.  Learning to walk, breaking teeth, discovering she is a whole person separate from her Momma and growing bigger by the minute is hard on a little one.  That morning, she was pretty cranky and kept hitting her hand to her poor little teething mouth.  When she woke from her second nap, she was greeted by lots of happy faces but didn't quite know what to make of it all!  She was a little groggy at her party, maybe she thought she was still sleeping and this was all a crazy dream:)

One of the best things about the that day was meeting my new and already dear friend Hollye and her lil' blue eyed beauty.  Hollye is an incredibly talented photographer who just moved her small family to Austin too.  We have so much in common it's kind of freaky.  We had been talking for a couple of months before we met at Amara's party.  See, the Chrismansour wedding photographers,  also did Hollye's wedding.  Being the awesome friends and people they are, they introduced us via email a couple of months ago because they knew that both of us made/were making the move to Austin without any family or friends. Just how sweet is Hollye?  She brought her camera to take pictures of Amara's day as a gift to her!  I love her photos, it was the greatest present possible.  Her daughter is just a couple weeks older than Amara and they have become fast friends too!

I made chocolate cupcakes and these delicious almond shortbread cookies (the things this woman does with cookies is like, insane).  I dipped them in white chocolate, adding some coconut oil to make it dippable; the coconut flavor actually tasted awesome with the almond.  To make the messages, I used this World Market cookie cutter set which was a lot of fun for me:)  I also made a two tier strawberry and vanilla cake using my absolutely favorite strawberry frosting from the always amazing Sweetapolita.  I stamped out "Amara my Sweet" fondant letters with these cutters and sprayed and glittered them gold.  For Amara's cake, I had always wanted to try my hand at edible gold leaf and this was the perfect chance:)  I cut a heart out of fondant and foiled it using this tutorial as my guide.  Gold leaf is so delicate and tricky to work with, I'm glad I tempered my ambition by only using it on a small portion and not applying it directly to a cake.  I had a safety net because if I screwed up I could just cut out another heart.  Although, I had to be careful with making sure I had enough sheets of gold for my screw ups!  I LOVE the look of gold on cake.  

Or gold on anything.

We didn't quite know what to do with the cake at first.  She was much more concerned with whether or not I got some. 

With a little help, eventually we got the hang of it!  And we had our fill.


Brad, my Mom and I made these DIY crowns from this awesome blog I found through Pinterest.  I made a couple different flower headbands for Amara, neither of which she was interested in wearing.   

It was a sweet, sweet day 

Thank you to Hollye of Hollye Schumacher Photography for the beautifully captured memories!

Cinco de Mayo!

apollina baker

Margaritas & guacamole.  I don't know of a better way to improve a Monday.  

We celebrated yesterday at a block party downtown.  Amara wasn't enthused with the picture taking but loved the mariachi band and petting every dog she saw.  "Doh! Doh!" (deep breathy voice).  Still her favorite word:)  

Have a good one!!