December 8, 2012

An "Out-of-this-World-Birthday"

This is Lucas' fourth birthday. The third cake I have made for him (missed out on his second year) and it is always a wonderful treat to see his face light up for his party.
This year Lucas was having a Space themed birthday. He was all excited about the planets and the stars, but had a love for the (now Defunct) Pluto. So the only request that was made, was for a planet type cake, and to please include Pluto on it.

I decided to do a sheet cake for this, making it a bit easier to have the planets on the cake, and not have to worry about transporting. The cake itself was a chocolate cake, iced in chocolate ganache to get that "shiny" look to it. The planets were made out of cake balls of various sizes, then covered in fondant.

I wasn't overly happy about my planets. The fondant didnt want to adhere to my cake balls without issue, and I was finding the balls were getting soft rather quickly. If I were to do it again, Rice Krispies would be the next option.

The birthday boy loved it.. especially the tiny little brown planet at the very end, just for him:)

November 24, 2012

Is it Grayson's Birthday Again?

Last year I had the pleasure of making this cake for a little one year old. So I was thrilled when I was contacted again this year to make his second birthday cake.
Along with it, I was asked to create a nice cake for a special teenager who would be celebrating her birthday at the same time.

The mother saw my toy story cake I made for my own daughter  a year ago and loved it so much she wanted a replica of it. Since I had already done the project once before, I knew I could do it again, learning from the first round.

The second cake was also an old favorite of mine... the Candy Cake!

I love this one.. so simple, yet so crowd-pleasing and delicious:)

Happy second birthday G!

October 27, 2012

An Alice in Wonderland Fail

 I had the honour of making a close friends' 30th birthday cake. She requested an "Alice in Wonderland" Rosebush. I was curious about how I would do this, so it was a challenge I wanted to take on.

Needless to say I learned some lessons from this one.

The first thing was baking a LOT of cake. I think this was 7 layers of cake all stacked together. I needed to carve this into a somewhat bushy looking cake, so I froze the layers so it would be easier to carve.

Mistake #1 - 7 layers of cake, iced frozen.... no supports in it. Dummy

Next was the tedious process of piping all of the leaves on it.

Lots and lots of leaves..

Getting there!

Finally a completed Bush.
Mistake #2 - Failing to notice the cake was already leaning to one side

I went to bed that night wanting to wait until morning to attach the flowers to the cake, rather than letting the buttercream moisten up my royal icing flowers. So I hit the sheets and promptly ignored the warning signs..

Mistake #3 - Stupid Stupid Stupid...

This was what I woke up to the next morning...

Hmm... that ain't right.

It was a good thing I have a decent sense of humour and because this was for a friend, and not a client, it was easier to laugh off this horrible monstrosity.

I quickly realized the error in not putting supports in my cake and cursed myself for the rest of the morning. But I still had to fix this as best I could. Using my (clean) hands, I pushed the cake back up into an upright position. This of course meant I had chunks of icing come off the cake and it required a repair job.

Mistake #4 - Stupidly STILL not realizing I should have added supports through the cake at this point. Even a few dowels here would have at least kept it upright... But Noooooooooo..... Im not so S-M-R-T.

Another icing job taken place and the final decorations attached.

This would be the one and only time it looked "sort of straight"

By the time I got to my friend's house, who is only 6 minutes away, it looked like this:


Thankfully I have good friends. She still thought it was the best thing she ever saw, everyone at the party thought it was great and most didnt even notice the horrible leaning it had..(Were they drunk???)
I was able to laugh it off, and put this in my box of fails, which thankfully, is very small. I learned a ton about supporting my cakes by doing this, so at least it wasn't a total fail..

October 16, 2012

A Minnie-rific Birthday

It was my Youngest's second birthday, and she has been crazy for Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Since my Older daughter got a Mickey Themed Birthday for her second fete, I decided to go more with the Minnie route this time.

Since we were doing a birthday party with all of the kids, and then a birthday dinner with family, I decided to do cupcakes for the party, and then a "simple" cake for the dinner.

The cupcakes were incredibly cute. I decided to try making Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead of the standard buttercream. I had heard good things about it, so I wanted to give it a try....

My opinion???


The frosting was WONDERFUL to pipe with, and I would love to make it again, simply to frost a cake with it, but damn... I did not care for the taste. A normal buttercream is about 4 parts sugar to 1 part butter, whereas Swiss Meringue is the opposite. I felt like I was eating a stick of butter. (shudder)
Now I should say I was not alone in my thinking, but there were a few people at the party that actually preferred this icing to the traditional stuff. So I think its one of those things, if you love sweet, stick with the normal buttercream, if you prefer a less sweet icing, give the swiss one a try!

Anyways, I made Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry cupcakes, each one decorated to look a bit like Minnie. I thought they were adorable:)

For the cake with the family, I used the same cake flavors, Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla. I made a neopolitan style cake, 5 layers, with buttercream and jam in the centers.

Then covered the whole thing up with buttercream and simple decoration..

It was pretty devine:)

Oh, and as a party favor for the kids at the birthday, I made Mickey Mouse Rice Krispies... Huge Hit!

Happy Second Birthday my Baby Girl!

September 20, 2012

Are you ready for some Football????

My brother's neighbour was celebrating another birthday. I had done Carlos' birthday cake last year which was a Surprise cake.
This year, my brother wanted to surprise him with another cake. The four of them were going to San Francisco in October and would be attending a 49'rs football game. I guess they are all big fans.

So my brother asked for a appropriate cake. Originally I was going to make another football cake, but decided to try out a helmet. I kind of wish I had documented more on how I did the construction for this, but I forgot!

The cake started out with a ball shaped pan, and a few 8 inch rounds. Once stacked together, I carved the helmet shape out as best as I could. It was then I realized I needed another layer of cake to get the right height.
A last minute layer was added to the bottom and reshaped.
I decided a simple star tip would be the best way to pipe this cake, and completed it with a frozen buttercream transfer of the 49ers logo.

I also created a fondant face guard to complete the look. Overall I was pretty pleased with the cake. Not bad for a first time helmet! I definitely learned something new and would do things a bit differently a second time.

Close up of the transfer

I have been told the birthday boy tweeted the picture to the 49ers.. but never got a response back.. But he was thrilled with it, of course:)

September 14, 2012

A very special Wedding cake

 One of our oldest and dearest friends were finally getting married! They have been together for almost 13 years, and FINALLY a wedding was happening. Both my husband and I were thrilled to be standing up for them and sharing in their special day.
On top of that my girlfriend had asked if I would make their wedding cake.

And of course, I wanted to do it. Thankfully they only wanted it for pictures, and not for serving, so it was easy to create something that didn't mean I would be slaving over a hot oven the day before the wedding.

The cake started about two week before the wedding. She wanted red roses all over the bases of each cake. And these require a lot of time, and a lot of days in order to dry. So to start them off I had to create all of the rose bases..

This was only about a third of the bases drying on the flower rack.

Once the bases were all dry - about two days later, then I started assembling the roses. 

Because I needing about 45 roses, this took about 5 days to complete them all, with about 2-3 hours a night doing them. Lots of tea, and television time!

Finally once the roses were complete, I could start to assemble the cakes. The bottom tier was a dummy cake, and the top tier was the actual cake. Simplicity was the theme, so the cakes were covered in plain white fondant and a black ribbon. 
 Then the flowers were inserted around each base.

Looks pretty classic, right?
But it wasn't complete. The bride wanted Hearts piped onto the fondant in a "elegant, classy way"
Good thing she had an inspiration pic that I could work from!!
Now piping is still something I am working on. I haven't had the opportunity to pipe a lot of cakes, so I was looking forward to piping this and seeing what I could do.

The final result.
The cake toppers were made by our close friend Melanie, who was also the Wedding planner She is the creative one when it comes to clay work.

The cake photographed by the wedding photographer. Somehow they can make things look a lot better looking than my point and click camera can!!

The cake made it to the wedding in one piece. And the bride had surprised her guests by cutting into a Rainbow colored cake. Something which got lots of oohs and ahhs as people watched.

It was wonderful to be part of their special day in more ways than one and I was glad that I could give them a beautiful wedding cake.

The cake itself was refurbished the following weekend for  a Bridal fair which was held in our city. I had replaced the cake on top with a foam dummy and recovered and repiped the cake. It held up beautifully for the show, and once it was complete, the cake was then sold to my Michaels Store for display. Currently it sits in my classroom, waiting to be placed behind glass for future students to view.

August 24, 2012

Display Cakes

I had a chance to make a few display cakes for our store this month to help spruce up our classroom and get some more interest in the classes.
I got to do our Course II display and Course IV display.

Course II is mainly Royal Icing work, with a bit of gum paste thrown in there for fun. This is also the course where student learn the basketweave, which is why many take the class.

Our Course IV showcases Advanced Gum Paste flowers.. All flowers, no cake. Its a great course with some beautiful new flowers to learn. Everyone loves the Stargazer Lily:)

These cakes are now behind glass, and hopefully will inspire many more students to take my classes.

August 20, 2012

Baby Shower Cupcakes

My cousin is having a baby in the late fall, and her baby shower was this weekend. It happened to fall on my own birthday, but I was happy to celebrate with her.
I was asked to make cupcakes for the party and I happily obliged.

She is expecting a little boy, so the request was made to have green and blue pastel colors and nothing too fancy. So it was a very easy request:)

The bears were made with chocolate melts in a bear shaped mold. Sometimes I love playing with melted chocolate, and I need to learn more!

The new mother-to-be loved them and was very happy I shared my birthday day with her to attend the party:)

August 7, 2012

Spiderman, Spiderman, Does whatever a spider can!

This was a last minute cake for a little boy's 5th birthday. He is a huge Spiderman fan and this was a fitting cake for him.
They didn't want anything flashy, just something simple and to the point, so what better way to do it than Spiderman and Chocolate!

July 10, 2012

A Toy Story Reboot

At the beginning of June I did a Pirate birthday cake for a playgroup whose kids all had birthdays within May/June. One of the mothers from that group contacted me a few days after, asking me if I could make her son's birthday cake. She loved my Pirate so much, that she trusted me to take on the actual birthday cake.

She got a look through my previous cake pictures and fell in love with my own daughter's Toy Story birthday cake from last year. While I loved making that cake, I was not looking forward to reproducing the same thing again.

So I offered up a different take on the same idea for that cake. The mother loved the idea and couldnt wait for the birthday party to arrive.

I started off by making the bed frames first, letting them dry and painting them on the last day. Of course, my luck I ended up snapping one of the posts off when I tried moving them off my counter. And of course, I had no backup piece. I decided to fix it and move on since there wasn't enough time to make another frame and have it dry in time. (if you look closely at the picture, you can see the "fix" in the post)

The cake itself was the floor. I covered a 9x13 cake with fondant, resembling hardwood, similar to the cake base I covered for my daughters. With the new ribbon and cutting tool from Wilton, this made things a lot easier to mark my floorboards properly and have things even. I dont use it often, but there are times I'm glad I don't have to use a ruler!

The bed was the size of 1/4 of the 9x13. I took half of the cake and split that into the two layers. This was then covered in fondant to look like the bedding. I could have made it look a little more ruffled and "loose" around the bottom, but I measured out a little too closely, and ended up trimming off a bit more than I had wanted.

I loved how this one turned out. I am still working on making beds look proper and will try a different way of doing the bedframe next time, but overall I liked this cake. I can totally see doing this idea for a myriad of ideas!

My pillows need work though:)

June 23, 2012

Ariel Birthday for a special girl

My eldest daughter is turning 4 soon. But 5 weeks and 1 day prior to her birthday, is her very first friend has a birthday.
This year, I got to make her birthday cake:)

My girlfriend asked me to make the cake. Something princessy, but nothing fancy. Then her daughter found a picture of Ariel on a cake and decided that was what she wanted. So I took that and ran with it.

We decided to stick to buttercream since it would be mainly kids eating it... Ok, my girlfriend hates fondant..I was actually happy about it because most of my cakes this month have all been fondant. I enjoy it, but I do like working with buttercream too!

So we stayed simple. Chocolate and Vanilla cakes, Pudding for a filling, and a buttercream icing. Fondant made it into the decorations, and an Ariel bath toy made the perfect topper. All of the girls loved the cake and were "ooohing and ahhing" prior to cutting it up. I was happy to see the enjoyment on their faces:)

The buttercream was done by mixing blue icing with white and spreading it on. I had to work in a single layer and once the icing went on, there was hardly any movement for change. I wanted it to look a little more like the Ocean rather than the sky, but that was my own fault for not darkening the blue color more. Probably for the best since almost everyone got blue tongues!

It was a fun cake to do. And I got to play around with one of my new Fondant and Gum Paste Molds from Wilton!

Happy Birthday Emma!

June 19, 2012

Wedded Bliss

A few months ago, I was at a friends place for an Epicure party. While there, she introduced me to her niece, who was getting married this year and was planning on making her own cake and cupcakes. My friend knew that this was a bad idea, so she was hoping I could help steer her away from it, and possibly give me another client in the process.

While I know a lot of brides out there think its perfectly feasible to make your own cake and such, I highly discourage it. Not because I think you need to pay someone a ton of money to do a piece of dessert for you, but because as a Bride, the last thing you want to have to worry about on your wedding day is whether you will get your cake done in time, and not have icing all over yourself!

In any case, I gave the bride my advice, and told her if she wanted to speak with me about doing her cake, I would be happy to oblige. If she decided to go with someone else, well at least I could convince a Bride not to do her own cake.

A month or so later, she contacted me.

The wedding was a average size, but the Bride wanted a very small cake for cutting purposes and a few cupcakes for guests to eat instead. We went back and forth on some pictures she had sent for inspiration and I was glad to see it would be relatively a simple task. Elegant but thankfully simple.

Since this was my first "paid for" wedding cake, I was pretty excited to do it, and was counting down until the big day.

The colors were Blue and Yellow. Different than I had seen at a wedding before, but they actually did a nice job with the set up and the reception room looked wonderful. Too bad I didnt take a picture...

Blinged out Cupcakes

The cupcakes are blinged out with Edible hearts, blue and yellow cake sparkles and white sanding sugar, which hopefully glittered when the lights shone on them.

The wedding cake was a simple design and simple was what she wanted. I was overall pleased with the cake, but I found it to be a little too simplistic. The problem was the inspiration picture was a two tiered cake which had a large flower sitting on the side of the tiers. Being a single tier, there wasn't much I could do to add to it, without being completely hideous (in my opinion)
So I stayed simple.

At least at the wedding the cake looked like it fit in a lot better than it did on my kitchen counter:)

Unfortunately the Bride decided to forgo any stand or plates for these, so it was just placed on the table. I only hoped when the couple got there, someone was able to find something to place the cake on to elevate it a bit..

I hope the Bride and Groom loved them at least!

June 9, 2012

Pink Kitties and Blue Dragons

I got a request to do a 3 year olds birthday cake. Her request was a little unusual but it sounded like a lot of fun to do. She wanted a "Pink Princess Kitty and a Blue Dragon and a castle"

Cute, no?

So this one require fondant figurines to make. Something I am still incredibly new at doing. However this time, a good friend of mine was over the previous weekend and she loves to create things like that, so she offered to make them. I happily handed over the fondant and gum paste:) She can definitely create better figures than me.
It worked out well because I was very nervous about creating these, and this gave me a chance to watch and see how she did them, so I might have a better time next offering of figures.

Anyways, I decided to make a small castle from 6 inch rounds to go on top of a grassy area. I made a sheet cake for the bottom, then piped grass all around, made a little oreo cookie pathway that led to the castle where the princess and her pet dragon sat on top of.

Adorable isn't it?

A close up of the figures.

I hope the birthday girl has a great third birthday!!

June 4, 2012

Princess Party Galore! Cakes #3 and #4

My final cakes of the weekend were for Sisters born two years, 13 days apart so the parent decided to have a joint birthday to make life easy. Sine their eldest is heavily into Princesses, that was the theme of the party.

I had also made the daughters birthday cupcakes last year so it was nice to be considered again for her 3rd birthday.

The client had requested Princess themed, but other than that had no restrictions on what I could create. Since I knew there would be at least 40 people attending the party, I wanted to make sure there would be enough cake for everyone. And since there were two cakes, I definitely needed two different flavors

I was lucky I got to try out my new Imprint mats on these cakes. I highly recommend them too:)

There are a few things I would have done differently, with the biggest one being that I would have made the Sash a little bit smaller. It kind of took over the cake more than I wanted it to. I also need to work on writing. My printing is really not pretty!!

Overall I was happy with the look of the cakes. I love the imprint mat for the diamond texture. I can definitely see using that one again.

I do have another princess cake due in a few weeks, so hopefully I can find something a little different to do for that one.

Happy Birthday Girls!!

June 3, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake.. Cake #2

My Client, the same one who ordered the Pirate cake and cupcakes, asked for a Strawberry Shortcake Cake for her daughter's third birthday. I had made her second birthday cake, so I was thrilled to be asked to once again create a cake for her.
We had gone back and forth via messaging to decide on the final design, and flavor options. I actually ended up having a Pin in my cake decorating board in Pintrest that was perfect for the occasion.

I was pretty excited for this one because it was an inspiration cake I had marked for possibly making for my own daughter's birthday. Only she was into Strawberry Shortcake for all of two weeks. (She has since requested a Wall-E birthday cake) So this was a cake I really wanted to try out.

I had to start by making up some decorations for the cake, including some very cute strawberries:

The next step was to create A Strawberry House for the top tier. I'm still fairly new to shaped cakes, so I needed to minimize the shaping for this one as much as possible. I ended up having a perfect metal bowl in my kitchen that had a nice roundness to it, that worked out to be a great top to the house. The rest of the cake I made with a 6 inch round and carved to fit. Then a covering of red fondant to get it started.

I have gotten a lot better on covering my cakes in fondant. But this one I wasn't completely thrilled with. Thankfully the errors could be covered up with a border, and hidden in the back.

The bottom tier was a basic white fondant covering with red and green stripes. I was amazed by how many cakes I looked at online, that all had this red and green theme. But it does look very cute when done right. (A lot of "Wrecks" out there:))

I was doing a pink overlay on top so I wasn't too concerned with the top of the stripes. I did end up having to trim them down a bit because the edges were so sharp they were ripping my pink overlay! I would have also liked to have taken more time to ensure all of my stripes were even and straight. from certain angles it looked like the bottom tier was leaning over!

Finally the assembly was complete and I could end my first long day out of my "Weekend of Cakes"

I was pretty proud with how this one turned out. There were a few things I would have liked to have changed, but my time constraints wouldn't allow me to be 100% what I wanted. This is something I need to work on, figuring out my time better, and somehow being able to get my husband to take my kids away for a few hours so I can work in peace!!

Arrrrr Matey!!! Cake #1 of 4

I had a super swamped weekend of cake making behind me, and now I can finally share the results and how everything turned out.

My first two cakes came from a previous client whose daughter was turning 3.They had a large playgroup of kids who have birthdays in May and June so they requested a Pirate themed cake, with 6 cupcakes to match.

We settled on a pirate face for the main cake, with 6 matching pirate cupcakes for each of the birthday kids. I was pretty excited for this one because I had yet to make a "face" out of a cake, and the final look of the cake was a pretty clean and simple looking cake. Suprisingly it did not take nearly as long as I thought it would... Or maybe I'm just getting better the more I do?:)

Anyways, the cake started out with a covering of fondant, with a black bandana  on his head.

I must say, for not having done a lot of fondant covered cakes over the past 3 years, I am getting a lot cleaner with it and my last few cakes have been incredibly smooth and "error" free!

Next came the face and details on the bandana, making him look like the pirate he is meant to be:)

And of course, the matching cupcakes. My client wanted 3 boy pirates, and 3 girl pirates, so each child had their own special cupcake for their birthday.

I was really pleased with how they came out. Nice and cute, no scary pirates here!!

Next on the list was my client's daughters cake... Strawberry Shortcake themed