One of the more fun parts about baking is that it's not always all about what you make or how good it tastes, but about how pretty it looks.

I love learning about new decorating techniques that I can use to make my desserts look as visually appealing as they taste.

In the same vain, sometimes it's nice to display them on pretty things as well, like this light green pedestal cake stand with a dome cover.

Cakes are usually displayed on these very Victorian looking displays.  I think they do the best of making it feel like something grand, which it often times is.

When you go through all the trouble of baking, frosting, layering, and decorating a cake, why not make sure the presentation is nice as well?

Aside from how it looks, it's also just very practical.  It's hard to fit a cake into some tupperware.  You'll end up having to slice up the leftover cake into however many pieces can fit into your plastic containers.

Don't be fooled by the intricate designs either, often times these displays are very affordable.  So you have something that looks great, is affordable, and practical.  That's always a good option.
Silicone bakeware and molds can be amazing to work  with.  You can easily remove anything you make in them due to their flexibility.  Also, they have an unimaginable amount of shapes, from traditional demi-spheres to intricate character molds.

But I have found the trouble with silicone tools (even kitchen tools not used for baking) is that they are hard to clean.

My favorite method

The best method I have found is to hand wash them with soap and water and let them air dry.  Even then, you may see hard water stains leftover after they are dry.

If you wash them and use anything to wipe them dry with, you may see the lint particles from your towel or paper towel.  The material collects particles very easily.

What didn't work

The worst cleaning method I've tried is running them through the dishwasher.  Sometimes it is necessary to do, or you feel it's necessary because hand washing alone didn't remove everything.

Well, often times when I do this, the next thing baked in there tastes of soap.  I haven't tried running them through a second cycle with just water but I doubt it would make much difference as it seems to absorb everything easily and then hold it in for a while.

Do you have any tips?

So that has been my experience in cleaning silicone molds.  As you can see, it hasn't been great and I haven't found a perfect solution yet.  If you have a different method that works, please comment below to share!
This elephant cake pan is perfect for a baby shower.

Lately I have come across a lot of baby shower and nursey decor ideas.  I love the pastel colors and cute baby animals.

Much like this adorable little guy.  This pan may look big, but is a little bit smaller than you may think.

Some may find that annoying, but others might think it's nice to have a smaller sized cake.

For something like a baby shower, I think a smaller cake is nice and it will look more polished.

For something like a birthday party, having a smaller cake could seem more like poor planning.
I am a journal hoarder, this cupcake notebook speaks to me on a personal level.

It's cover had 3D cupcakes printed all over it.  They are all pretty colorful too.

When it comes to buying notebooks, it is absolutely okay to judge a book by it's cover.

Unfortunately, I fall for them every time and have a growing collection of unused journals, sketchpads, and notebooks.

I am slowly trying to designate each of them to something.

At the same time, I am trying to resist buying more, but who can resist when they are this cute?

This ferris wheel cupcake display is truly whimsical.

I absolutely love that fact that it comes in pink as well.  It's perfect for a little girl's birthday party.

Although it doesn't look like it, it can hold quite a few cupcakes.  But certainly not any large amount.

If you had a big batch to display, you might need multiples, or to use this one as a centerpiece and put the rest on a decorative tray.

For some reason I never remember having cupcakes at parties when I was a child.  It was always cake and ice cream.

I think cupcakes are definitely more the norm these days.  They are easier to bake and serve, and they allow for easy clean up as well.
Some may say gold sprinkles are over the top

I think they are absolutely indulgent, yes, but they also can provide a look of elegance or glam.  Sometimes its just fun to make stuff look shimmery or glittery.

Especially when it comes to baked goods, as they often don't have a look of sheen or shine unless there is a glaze on top.

I haven't been a big time sprinkle user in the past, in fact I am only just now discovering that there are actually many varieties of them.

I always thought just the rainbow mix you get in the stores was pretty much the limit.  But I watched a video the other day where a woman used an "Autumn Mix" and it was just so fun.  There were some pumpkin and leaf shaped sprinkles mixed with regular shaped ones, all with very autumn-y colors.

I'm not so used to baking with sprinkles as I've said, but I think they are definitely a fun addition on top of baked goods that can be quite eye-catching.

Mastering the art of baking is something you do over time, and with a lot of practice.  It may seem like it just comes easier to some than others, but it's all down to experience.

With experience comes knowledge and intuition that will help you achieve that level of perfection that we all desire.

Well, I know some of us just desire to have something come out that doesn't taste horrible.  And that's okay too.

The point is, you learn a lot from practicing and you should practice hard and not give up.  After failing many times, you will see that even you can make something good.

I would recommend practicing how to make the following things to help you be a more well-rounded baker. 

These are all the basics of baking, and once you learn how to make them, you can make a lot of different things.

1. Buttercream Frosting
2. Basic Cake (chocolate, vanilla, yellow, red velvet, etc.)
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
4. Homemade Whipped Cream
5. Homemade Pudding/Custard
6. Caramel Sauce
7. Pastry Cream
8. Cream Puffs or Eclairs
9. Meringue (either Italian meringue frosting/pie topping, or meringue cookies)
10. Chocolate Ganache 

You'll see that with the techniques used to bake these basics, you can feel more confident in many baking adventures.
What could be trendier than a unicorn horn?

We've all seen the recent trend of unicorn cakes and unicorn everything else for that matter.  I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about, the one with the cute eyelashes.

While you could probably achieve the same effect by rolling fondant into strips and then rolling a strip around a tapered (cone-like) object, if you want to make one out of something more fragile - like chocolate or sugar - these are your best bet.

I love using candy molds and sometimes find myself making chocolates just to see what the final product out of the mold will be.