24 In Articles/ Recipes

From the test kitchen…


Hello from our test kitchen! I say “test kitchen” because not only do we “taste test” but we also “recipe test”. There are probably at least 20 different ways to make petit fours but when I tell you we tried different methods… we seriously tried different methods, different sizes, different icings, & different cakes. What I shared yesterday is what I found to be the best method and what I found to have resulted in the tastiest cakes. Not only are they super cute but they also taste delicious. The cake is moist, light and fluffy and the whole cake melts in your mouth! However, when I was reading your comments {thanks!} I realized perhaps I should add a few more things based on your questions, comments, and suggestions!

Here are the rectangular ones:



  1. This process is a process. You won’t whip them up in an hour. I imagine you can tell that by the pictures. If you are impatient and don’t care much for baking… I’d skip this one! 🙂
  2. I think if I had it to do again I’d make the rectangular ones from a jelly roll pan. They were a little more dense, easier to coat and just as cute.
  3. If you choose to decorate the tops I would do so the day you are going to serve them. I made mine on Wednesday and today the hearts and suns are starting to bleed onto the white icing.
  4. You can’t pick them up and dip them in the icing. They are moist and crumbly and you would have a giant mess. The top half would likely be left in your icing bowl. I know because I tried and failed.
  5. I also thought about, but didn’t buy a cake from the grocery store bakery. I know most of the cakes they decorate are shipped to them already baked & leveled. So, if the leveling and baking intimidates you and you just want to frost I would suggest you at least ask if they will sell you a white sheet cake with no frosting. They are likely to raise an eyebrow and think you’re crazy but I imagine people have asked for crazier things before.
  6. I did attempt to microwave a tub of frosting and pour it over. I have to say it wasn’t too pretty. The icing “yellowed” and I couldn’t get it to the consistency that I really wanted it. First it was too runny then it wasn’t runny enough and when I finally got it a good consistency I poured it on it dried too thin and when I tasted it… it didn’t compare.
  7. I also didn’t attempt CHOCOLATE… but maybe soon because that sounds really good too!

If y’all attempt the Petit Fours would you let me know how it goes and let me know if you have any additional tips…

In non-test kitchen news, Morgan finished VBS today and had an absolute blast!


I find such joy in seeing little children praise their Creator. I’m really not sure there is anything sweeter! Paige was too young to attend but I know she looks forward to joining in the fun next year.


Good-bye from rainy Alabama!

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  • Kendall Boggs
    June 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    where did u get the white dress with flowers? very cute!

  • Rachel
    June 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Delurking here, just had to stop by and say how much I am enjoying your blog. Your pictures are just fabulous and your kiddies are beyond cute!!

    The little cakes look delish, you can never go wrong with cake and frosting!


  • morethanthestarsinthesky
    June 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    That must of been some fun taste-testing! They look delish. Your girls look so cute in their rain gear……love their dresses.

    Amanda in Alabama

  • andi
    June 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    So precious!! Love that picture holding the umbrella. Happy Friday NIGHT!!!

  • Keri
    June 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    That rain coat is totally adorable!

  • erika
    June 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    i love morgie in her rainbow flops… and raiger in that raincoat. it's so cute! can i borrow it!?
    yumola again.

  • Gray Matters
    June 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    My little Meg has that same polka dot rain coat – we've been wearing it a lot around here. Curious camera question – in the VBS pic how did you get the background blurry. If there's a handy tutorial out there somewhere, I'd love to know about it. Thanks!

  • Jersey Girl in DC
    June 5, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Your kids and photos are gorgeous! Love your blog 🙂

  • Mississippi
    June 5, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    I plan on trying the petit fours! We have a local bakery that makes them wonderfully. They are a little pricey, but the money goes to a good cause. It is a home for pregnant and single moms. While they are in the home, they cook! What a wonderful ministry! Thanks for the recipes!

  • The Rauths
    June 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    at least you are getting 'em hooked on rainbow sandals early … if you ever need more, let me know … the factory outlet is about 15 minutes from my parents house and we are there all the time … saves some serious $$

  • ~Carole
    June 6, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Thanks for the extra tips on the petit fours. I'll be making them soon and will be sure to let you know how they turned out.

  • Amanda
    June 6, 2009 at 5:38 am

    you are so kind to take so msuch of your time to share all your tips! I am St.Chales bound this morning to meet the one and only…!

  • Christie
    June 6, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I will have to try your recipe! I have already tried your fudge pie and plan on trying your squash casserole soon. The fudge pie was delish!!

    Cute pictures of the girls, too!

  • ashr7406
    June 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

    LOVE the picture of the girls 🙂 I get to start teaching VBS this week, and I'm totally looking forward to it!!

  • Zeb and Anna
    June 6, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Darby, I have been reading your blog for a while and love it. I took a petit four class about two weeks ago from an 81 year old lady who taught Wilton classes for years. She taught us to cover the petit fours with a 1/2 cup measuring cup filled to the brim. Do the sides first and then the top. You can't do the top twice or it will look funny. Hope this helps! Anna

  • Melissa
    June 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for taking all time to figure this out and then posting it for us! Even though I dabble in cake decorating, I've been rather reluctant to attempt petit fours. I think it was the icing that worried me! I am going to try my hand at these sometime this summer! You are the best! Such an real-life inspiration to all of us!

  • LWB
    June 7, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Darby, your pics of your blackberry jam have me wanting to try it. I re-read your post on Apple Butter (which I'm also going to try – fall, right?) and then the link you included on canning. Can you post a recipe you follow for doing jams? I'm assuming that you use the same thing and can sub in different berries? Have you done raspberries or strawberries before? What about peaches? Please enlighten!

  • Kendall
    June 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    The reason your cake was not level was due to over mixing of the cake batter. When too much air is folded into batter it causes channels(air pockets)to form. This is what you would want if you were making popovers. You would need the air to make the bread rise. I can remember being graded in foods classes at Auburn on the amount of channels present in our cake. They sure looked like they would melt in your mouth. You could also buy a cake leveler from Michael's.

  • The Harris Family
    June 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    All i can say from that second pictures is mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • The Harris Family
    June 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    PS-This is totally random but do you think you could {please} do a post on how to make the roman shades you have in that orange bathroom? We've just moved into our new house and it's curtain time! 😉 Thanks girl….as if you don't have enough to do right?

  • Erin
    June 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the easy peasy petit fours recipe.

  • melissa
    June 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Love your blog, wish I could get my daughter to wear dresses as much as your daughters do! She has so many (awesome hand me downs) but won't wear them. How you accomplish all this I'll never know! Am awed.

  • Emma
    June 7, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Darby
    Thanks for all your petit four testing. It's my son's 5th birthday in two weeks and I thought I'd do my own test run. Let me say, you should open a shop! I did not have the knack. We're happily eating through the batch of failed efforts but I'm afraid we'll have to buy ours!

    Also for any of your Australian readers, we don't have the white cake mix but we do have the Betty Crocker Vanilla mix which is almost the same (maybe try leaving out the 3 egg yolks and it would be a little whiter).

    I love your blog, Darby it's a real day brightener and gets me motivated to try new things. Thanks

  • Jennifer Leigh
    June 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I bit the bullet and started baking. It took me all afternoon, but I made petit fours and banana bars, and my oh my, they were tasty (and even deserved their own blog post-with pictures!). Your instructions were wonderful. Thanks for sharing!