Monday, December 27, 2010

Zebra Strip Cake

I have been seeing Zebra striped cakes for awhile when I Google "fun girl cakes"........or "fun kids cakes"........or really just simply "fun cakes". There are always tier cakes that pop up with crazy tiers in different patterns and Zebra stripes are a favorite of many decorators.

But no one ever says......"hey can you do a Zebra stripe cake?"

Honestly this person didn't either. Instead she asked for a white cake with black polka dots and a giant pink bow. Then later as we talked in emails and I asked what color pink she mentioned that she had changed the theme of the invites a bit and went with a Zebra Stripe and a Pink Box.............what??? ZEBRA STRIPE??? So I took that as my chance and suggested that we dump the polka dots and match her invite. I found some cute Zebra striped cupcake papers to go with the small cupcakes that she also asked for and the rest was a perfect match up.

Then it was all just making the cake and putting the stripes on. Which was going to be sooooooooooooooo soooooooooooo simple..........right?

Yeah, famous last thoughts!

Really this time - laying the base fondant (the white layer) in a perfect covering without a tear or anything (yea me!) was the easiest part. Ironic right? After all those posts about tears due to fondant falling apart. Well anyway.........cutting the Zebra stripes was totally simple.......but picking them up and then attaching them to the white fondant without making a black stain from the icing tint..........that was HARD!! And obviously the only way I know that there would be a black stain on the white fondant if I messed up was because I DID MESS UP!! However, I figured out that if I brushed some water onto the white I could remove the black stain - but it did leave a faint shadow - that Dave said he couldn't see, but of course I saw like it was a neon blinking sign......the curse of the perfectionist. the end the cake was really really cute. I loved it.
The person who asked for it also loved it..........which is the real goal.
This cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Vanilla Buttercream icing covered over with a Vanilla Fondant.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bronwen & Ron's Pea Pods

I know that you have seen a similar picture the 2 Turkey's post. I did a few cakes and cupcakes that week, but I never got around to finishing the posts for them.

This particular round of cake was for my little sisters baby shower. I used all those little sage colored balls and the fleshy/pink colored balls for the fondant pea pods that I created. In all I rolled 140 flesh balls and 280 sage balls.

Then I cut out a circle in more sage fondant.......stretched it just a bit (sorry pictures are hard to remember to take when you are in the "doing" of things)........placed 3 peas into the center of each circle and then closed the circle up and pinched the ends......

Tah Dah...........a pea pod is born!

This is the finished product. The pea pods traveled with me to St. Louis for the party.........that is where all our family lives......and I drew little eyes and mouths on each flesh pod. So they look like little babies - the traditional "pea in the pod" thought.

Easily I popped one pea pod on top of each cupcake. This made serving at the baby shower so much easier. No plates, no Forks, hardly even a napkin!

We just set a table up with various leveled serving dishes........filled the table with the cupcakes and Voila!! Easy Dessert Service.

These cupcakes were half Pumpkin with Cinnamon Buttercream icing and half Chocolate Chocolate Chip with Vanilla Buttercream icing..........and all had a Vanilla Buttercream Fondant Pea pod topper. Fun!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For Jimmy & MaryJo

This post is a quickie for Jimmy & MaryJo..........Dave will love them for this. On facebook they made the comment that they were tired of the Cubs stuff and wanted to see some Cardinals things. Problem one says "Make me a Cardinals cake!!"......which surprises the heck out of me since I live in a house where 3 out of 5 of us are Freaks about the STL Cards!

Each year at Dave's work he takes in a treat for his birthday to share with his friends. One year this is what he asked for. This was probably 3 years back when I was first starting to mess around decorating cakes. And Yes.........he asked to have a Cubs logo on it too so as not to offend any of the friends that he razzes about their team being completely inferior to the Cardinals.
So Jimmy so far this is the most I have done in reference to the Cardinals..........wanna to have a Cards cake for your birthday?
This cake was Chocolate with a Chocolate Buttercream icing. Reese's Peanut Butter cups chopped up and scattered all over it. The cupcakes were also Chocolate with a Vanilla Buttercream icing.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wrigley Field Cake

This cake was fun and I thought would be relatively easy. However, not having ever seen the famous Wrigley field sign I didn't have a true understanding of what it looked like and found myself blank in the head about it. (No comments from those of you who often see me blank in the head).

So I started by carving the cake based on a picture of the sign I found on the Internet and a picture of another cake I was copying.

Then I iced the cake once with a crumb coat..........followed up by doing the edges in black.

After that I kinda got into doing it.......found the lettering a bit frustrating.....I wanted so badly to get it perfect that it got into my blank head and became a fixation. This is where sometimes fondant is easier then using buttercream - fondant I can use an alphabet cookie cutter and simply cut the letters out.......with buttercream I need to try to replicate writing styles that aren't my natural handwriting.

Once finished though it become easier to NOT look at the fact that the OM in "HOME" isn't all I wish it were and that each identical letter isn't actually identical to one another.
And instead just see the finished cake - which resembles the goal and makes others pretty excited to see.
This cake was a Spice cake with Vanilla Buttercream. Yum!
That is the real goal right........making a party fun with a cool cake. Tah Dah!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Every Cake Has a Story.......this was a Slam Dunk

A friend of mine asked me if I could do a cake for her. It was a last minute kinda thing - although really there were 2 days before she needed it - but we all have kids so anything ends up being last minute really. I knew her families birthdays were done for the moment.........but this cake was special and sweet. This was for Mike.

She told me Mike worked with her. He is a guy who works all day for a non-profit here in town - Project Oz. Project Oz works with youth to prevent drug abuse, working also to empower youth and young adults and assisting the homeless and runaway youth - helping to keep them in school.
Then when Mike is done working there for the day he heads over to Western Ave. - another non-profit in town - and works with youth in the after school program.
It was his birthday. How many of us take the day off work for our birthday? Focus on ourselves? Have some fun.........sounds norm right? Well my friend knew that Mike would be at Western Ave. working with the kids having fun - so she wanted to bring in a cake to share with the kids and to celebrate Mike - who works so hard every day to celebrate others.
How Totally Sweet is That??
The Mike's of the World totally deserve to be celebrated!!
This cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Vanilla Buttercream icing and a small piece of Vanilla Fondant in "red" for the nets rim.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My New Favorite Swirl Tip

I have been trying to figure out how to make cupcakes look "pretty" without having a decoration on them.........and not look boring regardless of their taste. Some people, like Dave, do not want a decoration that adds a little crunch thing on their cupcake - they just simply want a cupcake.

I have seen the nice smooth swirl of icing that a lot of shops use to deliver the icing. Nice, but not me"ish" and honestly.......some of those smooth swirls of icing are like giant globs of icing when you bite into them. This tip does exactly what I was looking for. Icing, not too much, not too little, delicate, fun........

and they look good in a box. This one is a keeper!
These cupcakes were Milk Chocolate with a Chocolate Buttercream icing and White Silk with a Vanilla Buttercream icing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Laptop Cake - OMGOODNESS!!

I am starting to do some cakes that I thought were very cool, but probably not possible for me to do. Well, if I am being honest it is not that I thought they weren't possible, I just thought that I would fall apart doing them and not ever want to take a photo of them.........yet I am turning them out!! Maybe I can do an impressive business in my future??

This cake was for a friends daughter. Her name is Carly and she loves iCarly - and like my daughter I guess she wants a laptop. In fact, as I started to pull up other laptop cakes Andersen said, "Mom am I getting a laptop for Christmas?".......always good to be hopeful I guess.

The photos on this are spotty - it was a school party day and I had a few other cakes to finish. So since my attention was divided I wasn't remembering to take photos. I completely forgot to photograph the "top" of the laptop - paying too much attention to doing it to remember to take a picture. However, I covered the "computer" part of the laptop with fondant.......

PERFECT EDGES!! Yes, I am completely obsessed still with the thought of perfect edges. Surely in the near future when I am just doing them each time I won't be so over the top in love with the idea of having made them perfectly. Maybe. Probably.........they are perfect edges!! how can I not be excited after all the tears from fondant having defeated me?
Perfect Perfect Edges.........Perfect Perfect Edges..........
Yes, I am completely aware that I am ticking off Fate right now and most likely Fate will take me to my knees for the cake I am doing fondant on this weekend. Or others would say "self fulfilling think you will fail and you will fail".......yet others will say God will get me for vanity.....still PERFECT EDGES.......whooo hoooo!!
The base of the cake was a 1/4 sheet covered in Buttercream.....simple enough. Then I popped the laptop base on there and popped the keyboard on that. My original keyboard was apparently too thin for the members of my family to approve it - so I went back and made a "thicker" version. And yes, based on my own keyboard the keys are correct.

A little decorating of the base and the lettering going onto the keyboard. However, now the keyboard is correct, but the lettering is not physically possible (for me at least) to do with even the smallest fondant I improvised some of the words and did some symbolism for some meanings. Honestly - I doubt a single kid at the party noticed. If there was an IT techie there perhaps she/he did, but I doubt they cared.

Lid of the laptop in I have yet to venture into rice crispy treats on a cake. I will be doing that for a top hat lapel soon, but on this particular week I used a piece of Styrofoam covered in fondant. The photo is also non-edible. I do not have an edible photo printer - probably years from that.
After everything was ready I put wood skewers going from the base of the lid into the cake - going deep enough to hit both cakes to hold the lid in place.

and........TAH DAH!! A cute laptop cake!! The birthday girl's mom said she LOVED it!
This cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Vanilla Buttercream base - the laptop was a White Silk cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Vanilla Fondant.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Black Hawks for Jimmy

I have had the chance to tackle more Sport theme'd things lately. My own kids always go for the weirdly unique and/or animally things........other kids (boys Ben knows) seem to like the traditional sports things. This one was fun though......and I will admit to having almost fallen apart doing it from frustration, but in the end it worked out and looked pretty impressive.

My biggest hurdle was the part that was WAY simpler to make then I had thought. The Jersey! Goodness........this jersey was my slight fear. What kind of a template to the end I just rolled out the fondant and cut the shape of the shirt - and it worked!! The part that made me come to tears was moving it onto the cake though - no spatula big enough for a jersey to fit a 1/2 sheet cake and the arm started to tear off during the process.
What to do What to do.........well fondant is I wetted the ripped area down and started to smooth the tear together - kinda like water and sugar welding. Also put a smidge of buttercream over the top to make the sugar look smoother. AND IT WORKED!!

The only other hardship was that I was in a time crunch and didn't roll the fondant out large enough to cover a 1/2 sheet. This was my first time trying to cover a cake that large. Instead of rerolling the fondant I just said a curse word (my automatic backup plan) and then cut the fondant so it only fit the side - piped on some black buttercream - rolled out some red fondant to use as edging around the cake - and that was that. I actually thought that looked nicer then the original "all white" idea. Made it look less girly - if that is possible.
All the fondant sports equipment I made a few days earlier. So they were all hard and solid for standing up like I posed them on the sides - and for on the top of the cake so they didn't sag and look unreal.
Ben said the kids loved it at the Ice Skating Party. So TAH DAH!! I would bet that I redo this cake another time in the future too.
This cake was Half White cake and Half Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake.........Vanilla Buttercream icing inside and a Vanilla Fondant with tinted Buttercream for the deocrations. Yum!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Contrast in Chocolate Cake

So I had this extra cake...........and I wasn't totally certain what to do with it........but I wanted to show another "something" that I do - and I had about 30 minutes to finish it. What to do what to do........make something chocolate to decorate the outside? Sure - why not - that is easy enough.

I iced the outside in a chocolate buttercream so it made sense that the chocolate I used for contrast on the outside would need to be white. I melted down some white chocolate chips and piped them into an odd shape - wasn't really going for anything - just something kind different and funnish.

Then I tacked them onto the ouside of the cake. Honestly......this was one of those pieces of art that you finish and go "Uhh...." and figure it is going to be sitting around your house for awhile. You walk away - you come back and it seems less weird and you are maybe a smidge more proud of it....... I took it so the Craft Show to put on my bakery table.......and dang if it wasn't the second cake out of the 5 I had to go. The person was "inspired" by the shape and contrast to share it with her
I so don't know art I guess - even when I create it. I would have sworn the Owl cake would have been the first to go.
This cake was a White Cake on the inside - Chocolate Buttercream on the outside and White Chocolate for the Deco.