Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!! Did you know Texas Had a Birthday!!

What I tend to do is make a cake and then TRY to find time to post it on my blog. However, there are the 3 children and the husband - 2 cakes and 2 hamsters living here and the fact that in the spring and early summer I am at war with the ANT army. Keeps a girl busy and blog passages start to pile up. Pile Up you ask? What do you mean by Pile Up? Well - I generally do get as far as being able to upload them onto the computer - but where the process slows down is that I don't get the time to write the story that goes with it. And so they sit in Blog World Limbo waiting for a story and to be released to the world in my head that they go to. If you are reading are now part of the world in my head.

Disturbing right?

Anyway..........this particular cake came about when a friend that I met at a craft show and through Catherine (obviously) asked if I could do some Birthday cakes for her. 2. 1 for her hubby to take to work and 1 for her to take to work. I said sure - when? She said - well, ah ...tomorrow. OH. Well Birthdays are a big deal to our family so I wasn't going to not do her birthday celebration - so I agreed if it was a simplish cake.....which to me means buttercream decorations. She said sure - and I asked whose birthday it was......she said Texas's Birthday.

Really. I did not realize that my friend was a transplant from Texas. Everyone here in our area of the world is a transplant so I just don't ask so much "where from"........I am almost MORE amazed when the person has family who live nearby so I am more often asking - "Wait, you grew up here?"

Anyway - this friend explained to me just how SERIOUS Texas Independance day is - that it is the Birthday of Texas and that really Texas should be its own country - well she didn't offer that last part up.........I just hear things and asked her if she thought it should be its own country and she agreed - she said every true Texan believes it is anyway. I hear that too. They are making their own academic books to be used in the classroom which will be much different from the rest of the country. But we won't go into that.
Anyway - the funny thing about this cake that was supposed to be so EASY...........well did you read above where I spelled Independance? Do you see how I spelled it here on this cake?

Pop Quiz - Which is right? Independance or Independence?

Remember I had 2 cakes - a His cake for work and a Her cake for work. I did them both with the state flag as requested and then did the message on the sides. The other side said Happy 175th Birthday (they are old!)
I had finished the first cake and then moved onto the second cake. While looking at the second cake I realized that of all words I spelt Birthday wrong!! Birthday - Geez O I spell Birthday a million times a week it seems and I messed it up. Can't even blame distraction by a child on this.........all alone - maybe it was the radio - ever sing to the radio while writing and then find out that you have typed the words to the song out? No? That's just me? Huh.

So anyhoo - I corrected Birthday on the cake and thought to myself - "well worse things could happen. that was an easy fix and it was only 1 letter and I hadn't finished the word completely" - but just to make certain I double checked the first cake..........and guess what I found.......

Yep - a spelling error on a COMPLETED word - and the letter was close to the center - and that meant scrapping a few letters off and correcting the white and PRAYING that the blue didn't leave any so that it would not bleed on the white as I corrected it. It all worked out. But for the love of cupcakes these were the Quick & Easy cakes!
So......did you search the word yet? Which is correct? Is this picture BEFORE or AFTER I made the correction?

Independence or Independance?

Oh and since we are being Patriotic - kinda - I mean they aren't their own country yet so we are talking about a US state..........Happy Memorial Day!! Hug a Vet today!

I can't even remember what flavor cake these were - I mean I could look in my log - but that would mean actually getting up and walking over and I know this woman well enough to know her favorite and his I will guess..........These cakes were half and half - half Chocolate Chocolate Chip and half White cake with a Vanilla Buttercream icing. Yum!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Girl Scout Bridging Time........

Seems like lately I have been getting the option of making cakes with buttercream again. Nice and fun and honestly ....... a bit less stressful. Although both mediums are a hoot.

This cake had an added element of fun. My friend, Julie, asked me to do the cake - but then she added in that she also wanted to watch me do the cake.........which I will be honest about made me a bit nervous to have someone intentionally watching me do a cake. My kids - yes. My mom - yes. My mother-in-law - yes. Hubby - yes. Anyway - the point is that no one has ever really stood and watched. But it was someone who wouldn't make fun of me and someone to talk to that wasn't 11 and under - so bonus right?

Julie came over and the cake decorating began. She was such a cool cheerleader to have!! And then even better..........she wanted to try it out. So this went from my doing a cake for her and her watching to HER doing the cake too!! She helped with most of the center art. I started it and she said I was making it look so easy (which it is) that she wanted to try - so she did. And she seemed tickled that it really was easy. See if you can draw.......then you can draw with any medium - icing is just another type of pencil and cake is just another type of canvas.

In fact - Julie also did all the names of her Girl Scout troop. And then the next week she made a cake for a little girl who is very special to her (and I was jealous because I love the spunky little Bailey and had secretly hoped to make a cake for her) - but Julie's cake was dead on fabulous Rapunzel!!

So maybe some day Julie and I can start a business?

This cake was half Chocolate and half White. Vanilla buttercream for the icing AND for the decorations! Great job Miss Julie!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lemon Drop Cupcake

Short post.........but worth the suggestion. Lemon cupcakes with a Lemon buttercream icing. Ummmm yummmmmm..........

Want the recipe just email me. These are tart, but sweet. Making them is nice because you squeeze all the lemons and the kitchen smells FABULOUS!! Of course these are good without the lemon in the buttercream - tastes like a lemon push up.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Cake for Catherine

If you have followed this blog since I decided to switch from hand crafted cards and move into posting my cake hobby.......then you know that my friend Catherine has had a lot to do with my getting over being nervous about doing cakes for friends and friends of friends. See to date EVERY cake that I have on this blog is made for either a family member, friend or someone in a committee I volunteer in (which broadens the scope of possibilty for knowing people by a trillion!) I know directly ........ or ........ a friend of a friend or family member. Someone recently said, "There is no way you know that many people." to which I responded in my childrens fashion, "Way."

So Catherine has helped me get over my fear of cake making failure and just embrace the fun that is creating. Catherine and her family (and other friends close by) often are also the guinea pigs that taste the flavor combo's I put together. One of the cupcakes became Catherine's always hoping I have extra for favorite - white cake - chocolate ganache filling - peanut butter buttercream icing. So for her birthday she asked for 2 dozen. I asked if she was taking them to work to share. She said "no", but that she thought asking for only 1 dozen was not enough to make it worth my making. I suggested we grow the cupcake up and turn it into a cake - she giggle with glee. And so it was.

Only she didn't give me deco instructions and I knew she did not want her cake covered in fondant. So I looked at the cake and decided to go another route. Just swirlies. But as I made the swirlies Andersen came by and started turning the swirlies into "objects" like you would a passing cloud. Which gave me the idea to incorporate a few things that are nearest and dearest to Catherine's heart - her family.

See the C and the T? Catherine + Tim =

See the N? Nicholas.

See the M? Muriel.

All the things that Catherine loves most about her life.........course there are parents and sisters and neices and nephews and all those grands and such - but I didn't have their initials........although that is a cute idea for a future cake.

Happy Birthday Miss Catherine!!

This cake was as mentioned - White cake - Chocolate Ganache filling - Peanut Butter icing. Yummy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sports Theme Baby Shower Cake

Here is a fun little easy buttercream iced cake that was set for a baby shower party at our elementary school for one of our teaching assistants. Not too long back I was asked by my sister in law to do something in a sports theme for her sister for a baby shower and I started searching Sports Theme'd Baby Showers. A cake popped up that had a border of various balls used for sports and I filed that away in my head.

Then when my friend, Tim, husband of Catherine, asked me if I would make the cake for the teacher and that it was going to be a baby boy and they would do sports.........I already had my idea.

I took some fondant and shaped some easy baseballs, footballs and golf balls. You can't see it, but the golf balls have a texture to them. Supposedly making them more golf ball like.

Then I drew a bunch of green and blue lines - AS YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE. Cute & Easy!!

This cake was half Chocolate and half Butter. Iced in a Vanilla buttercream and just a touch of vanilla fondant for deco.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Henna Thank You Cake

This was another quickie cake that I did. I know - you probably look at this and think "Quickie? Is she nuts?" Really though it did not take NEARLY as long as the cakes that need all the little pieces cut out and dried and delicately placed. It was truly a Quick Cake in comparison!

The way it came about was not expected so it had to be Quick. My friend, Julie's, mom, Waiva, used to make wedding cakes. Lately as I have been asked by friends to do fun cakes for their kids she has noticed some of my things - and Julie, who is a photographer, had asked me to do some cute bride & groom cupcakes for booth at a wedding show. Her mom ate a few and then decided to give me her cake baking pans. Just because she is sweet - well and she wasn't using them anymore. Having those pans cuts my baking time in half when I am doing something with 2 layers. I soo soo soo appreciated it.

While I was using them for the first time - and it was a super busy week with tons of stuff the kids were doing and a few too many cakes to fit into that frame - I thought - these pans are AWESOMELY helpful - when it is her birthday I want to make her a cool cake. So I called Julie and said, "Hey when it is your moms birthday let me know so I can make her cake." She responded with, "Really? Because her birthday is the day after tomorrow." I responded with, "Really? Great."

So an easy cake was needed. Julie has a LOVE LOVE LOVE for fondant - I knew her moms favorite color was the cake would be purple. In trying to figure out what easy design I could put on the fondant I remembered a cake that I saw in a Charm City Cakes book I read. So I searched it and while it wasn't easy to find I did find Henna Art - which is what was done to the cake. Another search for Henna Art Cake brought a picture up that kinda displayed the cake I was looking for - at least enough to give me a green light in my head on the idea.

So I whipped up some Royal Icing and start piping it on the cake in a Henna design. It turned out pretty cute I thought. The kids came home from school and were all in awe about the cake. Even Dave thought it was super cool. That made me realize it was a hit.

I even got to deliver it to her mom that night while they were preparing for her birthday dinner - so I thanked her personally for her gift to me by gifting her a cake. A Cake for a Cake Maker. Sweet right?

This cake was Chocolate on the bottom and and small White cake on the top. All covered in a Vanilla buttercream icing and Vanilla fondant with Vanilla Royal Icing.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Okay here is another cake I have been sitting on for awhile. I posted the finished cake on my facebook blog link, but never did get it up here. This cake was fun. Michelle - the person who asked me to do it - found the base idea of the cake in a seach, but she wanted it tweaked a bit to include 2 themes - Phineas & Ferb at the beach & Dr. Doofensmirtz and Perry on another layer. But most of all we both wanted to see the "Logo" for the show on the I started by staring at it and thinking "how will I ever copy that to look authentic". After I did that for a few minutes I made fondant and began the process.

Being kinda caught up in what I was doing I forgot to take pictures (sound familiar). Honestly though my camera has more sugar on it then the cereal my kids are eating these days - so it might be better that I don't take pics during the process - for the life of my camera!

To create the logo I used an Egg Shaped cookie cutter and a tiny Oval shaped cookie cutter. Then matched the fondant up. I also printed the logo out 2 times. One was for referencing as I put things together and the other was to size that I wanted to make the logo for tracing the words Phineas & Ferb.
So basically - I cut 2 layers of the background orange. I placed the sucker pop sticks that I use for Cake Pops in the center of the 2 layers and adhered them to one another with Caro syrup. Then I placed the yellow layer and the small red dot in the middle on top and let it sit for a bit. (I am only NOW noticing that I forgot to pipe "and" in the red dot).

While that was drying a bit I rolled some gumpaste out really thin and let it set up (dry) a bit. This doesn't take long - maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Long enough to read a short book to a 5 year old who will hardly make it to the end of the book. Then I began cutting the letters out. Layed them over the top of the fondant and cut them out with a very sharp knife - or exacto knife. Once these were done I layed those on top of the logo to complete it. Phineas's hair didn't want to stay up and since it sits on the edge I decided that while it was drying for the next few days it would have a support - so I tucked some papertowel underneath it.

Then a few days later I began to assemble the cake. The top layer was Phineas and Ferb at the beach surfing. This is very close to a copy of the original cake Michelle brought to me.

The bottom layer though is different. In the version she and I decided I would create we did a lab for Dr. D and Agent Perry to be in. I asked my 9 year old what things a kid would expect to see in Dr. D's lab..........he said he had no clue. What??? He watched Phineas and Ferb for 2 hour stretches - kids. In fact he informed me that he really wasn't that "into" P&F anymore. Which I guess meant he was sleep watching all those episodes the day before. Kids.

Michelle and I agreed there would need to be a computer screen that said the birthday boys name.........

After that I figured there would need to be a Ray Gun and a few computers. It was fun looking at images of Dr. D's lab and then trying to bring them onto the cake with fondant.

One image I saw over and over was the lab - or some kind of a dome shape that looked like maybe it was a view from outside the lab? I wasn't sure, but I thought it looked fun to copy so I did. Later Ben came in when the cake was done and looked at it. His eyes lit up and he said it was totally cool. He walked around the cake and pointed out various things I had put in the lab and named them off - so I did copy the lab in a way that kids would recognize things - yea!!

And since this cake - Ben has found a renewed love for Phineas and Ferb. He has been watching it a lot lately. Sweet because I kinda like the catchy songs they sing.

This cake was chocolate on the bottom with a Oreo cookie buttercream center - and white on the top with a vanilla buttercream. All topped with a vanilla fondant. Yum!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Confirmation Mosaic

So it is that time of hear........Confirmations, First Communions, many fun celebrations. A friend asked me if I would make a Confirmation cake for her son. Well originally in my head when she asked I thought it was for her daughter - and I proposed a nice white cake with a pink background and beautiful small was really pretty in my head.

And she totally agreed - but then she pointed out it was for Nate and not for her daughter so Blue themed might work a bit better. I poked around on the internet to see if anyone had come up with a brilliant idea for making a cake seem less girly for Confirmation. And I found a cake that wasn't for Confirmation - but it was a mosaic. This made me think of my friend Jeanette and all the beautiful mosaic's she does on her blog - Jeanette Eats Spaghetti and an idea was born. That is what I love about this cake art hobby - you literally can bring any other craft you do into a cake decoration.

I knew it would take me forever to do a mosaic all over the top of the cake - so I just did a small border of pieces around the main focal point of the cross. Which, by the way, I printed my own stencil out on paper ...........

So I did the most eye catching piece of mosaic on the side of the cake. Now......if you clicked over to Jeanette's blog and looked at the lovely tray that she mosaic'd (is that a word?) then you will see she used all her empty space. Me - not so much. But it was my FIRST time doing a mosaic. Now I would love love love to do something outside in our yard this summer. I am already looking about plates to break........

This cake was Chocolate with Vanilla buttercream icing and a touch of vanilla fondant.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Batman........Make Your Own Template

There are SO MANY totally cool tools out there to use on the market in order to make MILLIONS of neat designs on cakes!! Believe me.........I search them for fun in my spare time and that would be cool to have. Save it to Favorites on my computer (which drives Dave mad because I have a never ending list if you click "favorites" on my page on the computer - but I can find everything in a heartbeat so it works for me).

A few months ago I bought a Cricut for fondant. Also very cool. Used it 1x. Probably I will use it again - eventually - hopefully! because the dang thing was $100 (I used Christmas money that I had sitting around for those of you who know I am too cheap to splurge on things - and a 50% off sale - bonus right?). So anyway - the box ......... and tons of blogs ......... said that I could use it to make every design possible - which may be true - however, you have to buy a million cartridges to do this - which my friend, Julie, apparently has - but who preplans this stuff? Oh yeah, me. I do preplan, but I don't gather all the materials needed in time all the time.

Plus - honestly - making my own template free of charge is often Quicker - Easier - and more Accurate as to what I am looking to make. CASE IN POINT - This Batman Cake -

All I wanted to do was a simple Batman Logo. So like any techie I searched it. Then I copied the picture and pasted it into a Publisher document. Easy enough right?
Then I baked a cake (okay you caught me - the cake was baked already - and cooled - and iced - and I had already placed a beautiful topper of fondant over it). Ready to be CREATED into something...........

I printed my Batman Logo out. If I were doing buttercream then I would have kept the logo close to the cake as I freehand drew it onto the cake in buttercream icing. Hard to do, but doable.

However, for this cake I was going the mildly easier route and using fondant. So I used this template in STEPS.

Step 1 - cut the template out around the larger black oval - toss white paper into recycling and then place on black fondant and cut around the oval.

Step 2 - remove the same template off the fondant and then cut the template around the yellow oval - toss black trim paper into recycling and then place on yellow fondant and cut around the oval.

Step 3 - remove the same template (are you getting the hang of this?) off the fondant and then cut the bat template out of - toss the yellow trim paper into recycling and then place on black fondant and cut around the bat.

Step 4 - Assemble all those pieces on top of one another in the center of the top of the cake.

Voila!! Easy - AND - Free.

Then I added the birthday message and did something cute, easy & similar to the sides of the cake..........

I rolled more black fondant out and cut it into different shapes - squares, rectangles, points, and placed them along the sides to look a bit like a city landscape. Used some yellow royal icing (dries faster then buttercream) and dotted the city to look as those it were "awake" with lights.

Tah Dah!! See...............the tools you use decorating a cake do not have to include $100 (with Christmas money and a 50% off sale) cutting devices. It can just be your IMAGINATION and INGENUITY and you are golden........

This cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip with Vanilla Buttercream and Vanilla Fondant - plus a little Royal Icing for deco. Well received and big applause from the friends who ate it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is it Legal for Thomas to have Beer?

This was a cake I did quite some time ago. I posted it to Facebook, but never on the blog here. Thought I would upload these pictures for anyone who might wander in here and look for a train cake.

Now - this is really cool looking........this is Pre- TheMat (Ihaven't posted about TheMat yet have I?), but my fondant overlay isn't terrible.

My friend asked for Thomas drinking a Beer. Thomas was her son's favorite character when he was a little kiddo. And of course the big milestone for turning 21 is to have a legal drink. I wasn't quite sure how I could make Thomas look like he was drinking a beer since he doesn't have arms. While my imagination is GREAT - my sculpting skills are still developing. So it seemed to make sense to have Thomas carrying a beer.

Also - I googled Thomas Train Cakes and found a lot of clever ideas - the best (in my opinion) I included. What a clever way to show a tunnel.......boulders....tree's......add a few birds for color.

Since the focal point was going to be on the Thomas image and the Beer - the side images were just Icing On The Cake so to speak - and Pun TOTALLY intended.

It was a lot of fun to make. The most fun piece to create was the beer.

This cake was White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Vanilla Fondant. No Magic Dust - because 21 years ago there was no Lady and no Magic Dust. A bit of Trivia for you - this cake was Old School Thomas.