Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cops and Cake

This one was easy....yet hard. Sometimes people will ask for a cake that I have no clue how to make. The original request was for something that was Fun, but that was a Normal Police Car (the town, not the kind)- it was for a 4 year old, a 13 year old and a 60+ year old. So I figured cute, but close to the real looking car. Sent a few ideas and then got back - less cute - my original was a cartoon type police car along the lines of Speed McQueen from CARS. Admittedly probably not what a 13 year old of 60+ year old would want.

Switched gears then.......get it - car cake - Switched Gears??

Googled the police car in question......not easy to find. Too bad they weren't in another town because every bordering town had pictures of their police cars. Finally found one and began building.

The background obviously needed to be Blue. Why? Ahhhh.....because in my head Police Officers wear Blue. Is that in anyone elses head? Then I began to put the shape of the car up. Then I quit taking pictures because I got into doing the decorating and totally forgot about the camera. Sorry.

In the end the cake looked like this. There are a few subtle detail lines that are carved into the cake instead of done in icing, but it is hard to photograph. The windows I put some sparkly silver flakes to try to give it a reflective look like glass. Hubcaps too.

In the end the cake turned out very cute. Well....not TOO cute. Realistic enough, yet obviously still a bit on the cartoon side.

The cake was half Yellow and half Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Vanilla Butter cream icing.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sometimes You Wing It

My wonderful niece's graduation cake. Not hard really until you factor all the elements that went into it.

#1 - not my kitchen
#2 - I was on vacation for an entire week before doing this cake
#3 - I had virtually none of my cake stuff with me and had to make things up
#4 - the few fondant pieces I made ahead of time kinda broke

Still I think the cake turned out pretty cute. Now....does it look like it is leaning a bit? Yeah, that is because the couple of things that were supposed to be bought for me were kinda forgotten - other people have crazy lives too - so we made due with what I could create.

See how the edges of the cake look like they are sinking into the lower layer? That is because the divider to keep it stable is a Butter Box. Yep it is the thin cardboard that surrounds 4 sticks of butter. Then I folded it in half and wrapped it with plastic wrap. Tah Dah......a cake layer divider was born. Although not a terribly stable one. Since I had no dowel rods we used those skinny wooden skewers. Again - not terrible stable, but they worked for the little time the cake needed to stay together.

Everyone loved the cake - The graduate was happy - and really that is all that counted. Although maybe it is my vanity that makes me think the cake is what made her happy that day. Perhaps it truly was the fact that she was GRADUATED from High School and moving on toward the next big challenge in her life........College!!

The cake was 1 layer White Vanilla - 1 layer Chocolate Chocolate Chip - 1 layer Banana. Vanilla Butter cream and Vanilla fondant for the extras and the name.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cheer On!!!

After many months of playing it "safe" and doing cakes with Buttercream only........I thought it might be time to try another fondant cake. And this seemed the perfect cake to do. Although I did decide to ice the cake with a blue buttercream leaving the center white.....I added elements of fondant with the cheerleader, the stars and the banner.

At first I was a bit nervous about cutting things out. I currently had zero tools. So it was a wooden rolling pin and some knives that did this handy work. Oh, I did however have a star cookie cutter. There was a bit of self induced aggravation at first ..... I had not figured out how to keep the porous rolling pin from sticking to the fondant once it was worked a bit. However, after figuring out that dusting the pin with powdered sugar helped (duh) things went a bit more smoothly.

The cake is for a friends daughters party. She is in 7th grade so I was a smidge worried that this would be too "cutesy" for her. Until I delivered it. Although I have seen her very cute smile several times - for the most part she is a typical preteen - a smidge too collected to be giddy in front of adults. She took a look at the cake and got a giddy giggle in her eyes and clapped her hands. Then of course she quickly composed herself and said, "Oh that is very nice."

Bonus - I got a moment of girlish giggle glint!! I love delivering!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cupcake Break

Time to take a cupcake break. See if you hadn't noticed a lot of the cakes that I do are for my own family and friends. Which of course makes the process much less stressful. Friends of friends are people that I am not as familiar with and I would worry a good deal more about making things perfect. Not a big deal. Easy enough to worry about. Honestly I am kinda of looking forward to worrying about that - because with worry comes the feeling of accomplishment when the person LOVES the cake in the end.

So why a Cupcake Break? Well because you may also have noticed a theme in flavors. Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Banana, White, Yellow and a few Marbles sprinkled in. With Butter cream icing. Totally yummy........but if I ever consider having a bakery I need to have some flavors besides these three. If I am going to offer flavors besides these three I need to start perfecting them. So hence the Cupcake Break. Baking an entire cake and then eating it - well that would make for one big Dave and a nice chunky Patti and a few rolly polly kiddo's. To keep from having to eat a bunch of slices of cake - I am baking individual cupcakes.........and then farming them out for taste tests.

Smart? Brilliant? Maybe. I do know that now when people see me coming with a brown paper bag they smile BIG!!

This set of cupcakes was a from scratch Yellow cake that I was testing. Topped with a Chocolate Cinnamon Butter cream icing. The cinnamon was easy to taste - which surprised me - I thought the chocolate would overwhelm the cinnamon flavor.

Sent them with Andersen to a friends house for a taping of the Yesterday Show she and her friends produce.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Tiger

"I want a Tiger who is sitting on green and blue." At first that meant (in my head) that he wanted a tiger who was sitting on Blue - you know, from Blue's Clues. And when I tried to help him envision that he giggled and showed me a crayon and we talked about colors. Again still I thought he meant TIGGER.......you know, from Winnie the Pooh. Again......nope, just a tiger.

So this is what we agreed to. He found a picture of a tiger that he liked and I copied it. He was so happy. Roared about it even. Always nice to make the customer happy.

This cake was half Chocolate Chocolate Chip and half Banana Spice. Buttercream was the flavor of icing.....easy to change colors like green and blue.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Communion Banner Cake

First Communion is a lot of work on the kiddo's part. Memorizing prayers, learning more about their faith, taking part of communion for the first time in their life. Stuff that can certainly make a kiddo nervous. To make it fun they do things that show their faith through venues they better understand - like art. Ben made a banner that reflected what he saw as his understanding of his First Communion. I will admit that we "went around" about it a few times. My vision was slightly different. Of course the banner was not supposed to be my vision. And it was perfectly Ben's.

Once Ben had the banner done it was my turn to create. This was simple. Almost every celebration in our family ends with a cake. First Communions are no different. We copy the communion banner for our design.

The colors were basic (thank you Ben) and so the cake was easy to color. The design was also straight and to the point (thank you Ben) and so the cake was pretty easy to finish. The most time consuming part was coloring the icing. Not a difficulty really.

The cake was half White Vanilla and half Chocolate. Butter cream icing topped the cake. Yummy.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Off to College

Cake art. Yeah yeah we see them do it on those TV cake shows like there is NOTHING to it. HA!! You know full well that before it airs they have cut out all the parts where the staff are cursing like sailors becaus it is so crazy trying to get that exact right angle for the edge. If they say otherwise they are FIBBING!!

How do I know this?? Well I know this because I am beginning to start working with more detailed cake carving.

This cake was for our niece, Meghan, who was finishing up high school and getting ready to head off to college. I thought - stacked books - too cute. Googled the thought and designed something off of other wonderful cake decorators who have gone before me. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Crumb coated......what is the little round cake? The topper........wait til you see.

Fondant was not my friend this day. Still brand new to doing fondant I will admit that I had to roll this out 3 times before I got the right shape. Think I need one of those rolling mats that details the sizes? Yeah, me too.

In the end it looked okay. This is my first book ever.......so I was fairly impressed with myself. I admit that I did whisper a few curse words to myself, but later I patted myself on the back too.

Another "of course" moment. Not long ago I realized how they painted on stuff - diluted food color and a paint brush. Duh..........and Of Course!! All in the same stream of thought. So I diluted a bit of brown food dye and got ready to paint the books.

However, I did not paint this book red. This is the base book that was covered in red fondant. Then I took the food coloring paint and created the look of some pages.

Layed some lines on the sides of the books with thin strips of fondant - kinda gives it a more "bookey" feel don't you think?

>Stacked the books on top of one another. Do you see what the smaller round cake was now? The base for a Graduation Cap. The top part is a piece of black fondant......the tassle is red fondant. I did those pieces a few days before.

The final touches were a bit of icing to detail the cakes. And TAH DAH!!

Cake flavors were Chocolate Chocolate Chip and White Vanilla cakes. Icing was Vanilla Butter cream and a Vanilla Fondant.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby's First Ribbit

Now this cake was about 3 years ago......in a few months it was 4 YEARS AGO!! Can you believe my BABY BOY is going to be 5 Years Old!! True - so sadly True. Yet at the same time it is so exciting to see him grow up each and every day.

The first year of his life he seemed to be quite a jumper. Sure he was a baby, sure he wasn't really "jumping", but his energy was the same as jumping all the time. Thus a frog seemed the perfect symbol. This was his little 6" baby cake - that he got to mash up and eat all on his own.

Then this cake was a half sheet of goodness. Half Banana cake and half Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake.....covered in Vanilla Buttercream. Yummy!!

And just in case anyone is a Stampin' Up! fan....yes this image is very similar to a stamp they make.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Simple Chocolate

Some days are easier then others. This is true in life and true in cake decorating. Being the mom that I am the kids will often times come in and say, "I really want to do something special for my teacher." This day it was Andersen who wanted to give her teacher a Bday gift. "Oh, make her a lovely card. You are getting so good at making those sweetie!" was my initial thought.

She looked at me......"Yeah, and you can make her a cake too." Something whispered to me that this was her original thought. And so a cake was baked - because I too loved her teacher.

The cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake with a Dark Chocolate Buttercream Icing. Then some crushed Heath Bar sprinkled on top. HB = Happy Birthday - the cake was a 6" double, so not enough space to write a bunch with the crumbly candy up there too. Simple side sweeps for the deco. My favorite way to decorate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Swinging with Banana's

Monkeys are always fun! This cake was based on a Baby's Room Bed Set. The Mom To Be's sister asked me to match the set they were using for the baby. Easy enough. Wish I had a picture of the set so you could see how easy it was to copy.

The cake was Marble.........although come on now - everyone knows this cake should have been a BANANA cake!! This angle shows more specifically how the banana's were raised up off of the cake to give it a slight 3D effect.

The Monkey Baby is holding a slightly peeled banana. This is basically the beginning of the sculpting that I have learned to do with fondant. And the first time ever that I thought ........... "hmmmm....I can probably paint this with food coloring right? That is edible." Duh!!

So this was a lot of fun and a first to learning a few new things that I could use on future cakes. Again - it was a Marble cake - the icing is Vanilla Buttercream (another usual favorite).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Take Us Out To The Ball Game

When baseball season ends here in Central Illinois it is a signal that it is time for some Celebration Cake at the awards night gathering. Okay okay......so that gathering is at the park next to a playground right after a game. If you get a trophy then it becomes an awards nigth gathering. If you get cake then it is an official celebration - right?

This cake was for our guys baseball team. I believe they were the Cardinals - but that just might have been what Dave kept in his head. Flavors were Chocolate on one side and Yellow on the other - not marble, but still the traditional "Safety" cake flavors. Vanilla Buttercream for the icing. Totally moist and delish!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Little Magic

I LOVE this cake. It is just so darn cute! The bunny ears...the hat...the dots of candy confetti. There are cakes that I step back from sometimes and think - "eh, well the kiddo will love it." not exactly loving it myself and wondering if the friend who asked me to do it would care for it much at all. This cake is not like that though. I finished it - looked at it and I swear to goodness it made me wantt to go find a stuffed bunny and hug it!

This angle shows you some of how the bunny ears overlapped as they folded - giving it a flat, yet raised look all at the same time. Magical right? Oh please, you knew I had to say it at some point in this post!!

The cake is Chocolate Chocolate Chip and the icing is a Vanilla Buttercream. Yummy!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

That Cake Was A Mess - FOOD FIGHT!!!

Look at how pretty these kids look. All of Andersen's friends. Clean. Well mannered (well most of them). Nice. Smart. And very happy to have been invited to Andersen's 10th Birthday Party. Why? Well because they are all her besties in the world right? Oh...........and because the party was a FOOD FIGHT!!

To fit the theme we made certain the Mess Up The Cake before it was ever even served. I asked Andersen, "How do we make the cake reflect the theme of the party?" She said, "Throw the cake." Well you can't serve cake that is already thrown, so instead we made it look as though it had been thrown. And then after serving it I am pretty dog gone certain that some of it WAS thrown!!

Because all those cute and clean kids ended up looking like a big 'ole mess by the end of the day...........hoses anyone?

The cake was Yellow on one side and Chocolate on the other side. The icing was Vanilla Buttercream.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Biking Along

Guess what Andersen got for her birthday....can you figure it out?? It was blue....it had 2 wheels.....she was totally excited to get it....

Think really hard and I bet you can figure it out....yes...yes...it is a BIKE!! Ding ding ding ding - you guessed!!!

To celebrate the bike I made a tiny quick cake - this was in an 8" square. Banana cake.......I am starting to think this is the ONLY cake my kids ever ask for. I swear to goodness that they do ask for other flavors!

Vanilla Buttercream icing and then some really quick freehand without thinking much writing on it. Tah Dah!! A birthday cake is born.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spidey came to Party

Okay........it isn't Ben's birthday all that often, but I have A LOT of cakes that have never been posted!! I am trying to clean the closet of pics and display them all.

This year Ben was asked "What kind of cake do you want for your birthday". He was silent for a second and then looked down at his robe....it was early in the morning....and then he said "Spiderman"....it was on his robe.

Starting to think that I really really enjoy looking at the process others go through as they create thier cakes. So I took a few more pictures besides the finished product.

Okay so maybe I could take pictures that are in "different spots" of where I am in creating the cakes......I will get better. Maybe.

But in the end the cake turned out super cute!! The birthday boy was very happy.........and I matched his robe perfectly!

Cake was Banana (noticing a theme) with a Vanilla Buttercream icing so the coloring tints would stay as true to the Spiderman theme as possible - see Ben notices this stuff!