Thursday, December 17, 2009

South Pacific cast party cake

This cake was created for the cast party of a South Pacific production. It was really fun to make. Once again, lots of fondant for the characters.

The palm trees are thick pretzel sticks with paper leaves wired to the top. I would have liked to do fondant leaves, but time ran away from me and I was lucky to get done the parts I absolutely needed to have!

The blue and green icing is just tube icing that was glittery. I thought it looked nice as water. The 'sand' is crushed graham crackers. The grass 'skirt' on the hula guy is paper as well. Cutting the fondant so thin made it break apart too easily. The paper ended up looking pretty good.

Chicago Blackhawks hockey cake

This cake was created for Ian, who was turning 3 years old. I also call this cake Revenge Tastes Like Buttercream. If you get that, you know the story. If you don't get it, it's too hard to explain! LOL

Every time I do something new and different, I say "this is my favorite thing I have done yet." This cake is no exception. I have never pieced together a logo this complicated before using fondant. I have also not created as detailed a character as this hockey player. And last, I have never actually covered anything with fondant, so covering the Ding-Dong hockey puck was new, too!

I don't even know where to begin on what I did on this cake, except that I printed out several different sizes of the Blackhawks logo so that I would have a variety to choose from when assembling my cake. The big logo on the cake is about 6 inches in diameter. I cut up a printed logo and used the pieces to cut out the correct parts from different colors of fondant. I purchased all precolored fondant to save my hands all the kneading and mixing. I mixed the orange myself, and the skin color. All others were precolored.

The hockey player was made out of fondant. The hockey stick was fondant wrapped around a core that was a sucker stick. I rolled fondant super thin to create the 'tape' on the stick. The logo on the jersey was just paper (I cheated!) and the 'puck' is a fondant wrapped Ding Dong with a paper logo and icing writing. The guy was originally supposed to stand up, however, these fondant figures are HEAVY, and he had lots of pieces.

The Blackhawks logo was pieced with fondant cut out with an exacto knife. Yes, every piece! I was super proud of how this turned out. It really looked neat. It was easier than I expected, because I just kept cutting out the pieces of the logo like a puzzle, putting the paper on top of the fondant, and carving it out. Then placing on the pieces already assembled. It was fun to do. Time consuming, but fun to do.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pretty Princess first Birthday Cake

Here's a pretty pretty princess's first birthday cake. The shaped crown cake is a Wilton pan (I think), and the smash cake is a number one. Off to deliver it now!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A flowery birthday cake

This cake was created for a surprise birthday party for the mom of the girl with the Autumn reception cake. All the flowers on the top were created using gum paste by hand. They all had individual stems and were colored with non-toxic chalks to give them depth. The rest of the cake has simple frosting drop flowers and vines to give the whole thing a flowery feel.

The gum paste flowers are roses and lilies. I also made a few leaves to stick in here and there. I think I did a half ball cake on the top that was frosted to stick the flowers into. But I can't really remember. I think this cake was done in 2005.

Star Wars - Death Star cake

This little boy had the Treasure Chest cake for his 5th birthday. He requested a Star Wars Lego cake for his 6th Birthday. I did some fast research, then asked my good buddy Matt to look at this cake link, and tell me what that weird gray thing was at the bottom, and if it was significant to the cake design. He stared at me like I had grown a second head, and he said "Tess, that's the *death star*." At my blank look, he quickly searched and pulled up Wikipedia's description of the Death Star. Uh. OK. Yeah, it's important. At that point I shamefully admitted I have seen exactly ZERO of the Star Wars movies. Yes, I am a geek that has NOT seen Star Wars. However, I can make a Star Wars cake, so THERE!

I cheated and bought lego figurines for the cake. I DO have a life outside of crafting, yanno. So, Lego Store got my business. I found these cute mini figures, that were actually made to be magnets, but take them off their base and they were perfect for this cake.

The Death Star was made with the ball pan from Wilton (gee, I am a walking talking Wilton advertisement). I sprinkled it with black edible glitter flake stuff, and tried to recreate the surface, not very successfully, I thought.

But, I do like the laser beam touch, which was made out of a battery operated fiber optic light thingy that is supposed to be used in floral arrangements. A green Sharpie turned the fiber optic strands the right color. It was hard to see in the picture, but the laser beam was actually green and lit up. Ooooh. Aaaaaah. :)

The letters are cut out of fondant with cookie cutters. And the logo was printed, cut and pieced together to try to be super accurate.

It wasn't my idea to have Obi Wan and Darth on top, but that was my son's suggestion, so I did it. I also got pictures of my son attempting to eat the entire Death Star later. He made it about 3/4 of the way through, then looked a little sick. Hey, he tried, though.

An Autumn reception - my first 'wedding' cake

This was my first really large tiered cake. I made not only the cake itself, but the flowers and cake topper, too. I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter at the time, and I really felt it by the time I finished. This was a LOT of work, but my friend and her husband seemed to love it, so it was definitely worth it. I told myself at the end that I would not do another wedding cake until my OTHER friend got married, and I stuck to that (Beachy wedding cake coming up in the next post.)

I really liked to tone on tone icing. It was very subtle with the scroll design, but I think it turned out nice. I did cheat and use the Wilton Scroll press set to save myself some time.

And a closeup of the topper... there are 2 cutesy little Autumn Scarecrows in the lighted gazebo. Yeah, cutesy isn't for everyone, but she seemed to like it. All the other flowers were just silk flowers that were arranged on the separator plates as well as on and around the topper gazebo.

Beachy wedding cake

This is the cake that brought me out of wedding cake retirement after creating the Autumn Wedding cake for another friend. Once again, I made not only the cake, but the cake topper and florals between the tiers, too.

I am probably most proud of the score that got me the sand castle topper. I was really struggling with what to have on top. The bride left it entirely up to me, which usually, I really like. I don't want to promise something to someone and then not be able to deliver. Since I am not a professional at this (and in fact, don't make any money at all on my cakes), I have been really firm that I can't really promise specifics beyond flavor and color.

This sand castle is a candle holder that I found at Kohl's on a clearance table. It was perfect, and I was able to incorporate it into the topper pretty easily. This cake was TALL! I was worried about the balance of everything as I assembled. Luckily, I usually make too much cake, so losing the top layer would have been embarrassing, but everyone would still have gotten to eat cake!

The whole cake:

And the bottom layer close up:

The top layer closeup:

Safari cake

This was made for my daughter's fourth birthday party. She wanted safari animals, and specifically, an alligator, a hippo and a monkey. So, of course the Princess gets what she requests...

All animals are made out of fondant. This was my first attempt at creating figures. I did get some inspiration from online searches, but the water from Jello idea is one that has been in my mind for some time.

I made blue jello and let it set in a 16" round cake pan. Then, i assembled the tiered cake, with fondant cut out leaves and animals, on top of the jello jungle watering hole. The best part was that the hippo and alligator sort of started to melt into the jello, creating some bubbles around where they were sitting on the water. It made it sort of like the water was moving around their bodies. Kind of unexpected, but cool!

WARNING! The animals sitting on the jello will absorb moisture from the jello and be very sticky when you take them off!

Here is the princess with her cake. You can see that I have a problem making small cakes... they just get bigger and bigger!

And here is a close up of the King of the Jungle:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another monkey, since 5 wasn't enough...

After making the previously posted Monkeys Jumping on the Bed cake, I had to whip out a coworker birthday cake the same weekend. Since I already had the fondant and the sore hands, I created this little monkey guy and plopped him on top of a very basic cake. I created his hands waving and holding a candle. The cake was lemon filled and iced with buttercream, my favorite. Delish!

Twins Birthday! Monkeys jumping on the bed cake

This cake was some work. Probably the most complicated thing I have done, outside of wedding cakes (damn, where are those wedding cake pictures???) Mostly because it wasn't just one cake, but one monster cake and 2 smash cakes.

First the smash cakes... similar to the monkey I posted before, but these 2 didn't turn out quite as good, I don't think. But this was at the end of about 3 days of marathon baking/making/decorating. I cut myself a little slack on that part of the project.

Next, the centerpiece was inspired by the 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed story/game. This was a huge, HEAVY cake. The bed is a two layer 12x15 cake with raspberry filling. It is iced with buttercream. The bedspread is made out of Fruit by the Foot. I cut the fruit into 14" and 18" strips. After doing that, I weaved them together, using a bit of water on a paintbrush to seal the ends of the strips. After completing that, I draped the blanket over the "bed" and turned back the top of the blanket.

I created 2 pillows out of fondant, and added ribbons of icing on the pillows and around the bottom of the bedspread for ruffles.

The headboard is gumpaste that I colored a very light brown, then I colored another chunk a darker brown. Then, I mixed them together, but not too much, because I wanted it to be swirled to resemble wood. Mission accomplished!! I rolled it out flat and cut it freehand. I let the gum paste dry for a couple of days so it would be nice and hard. The bedposts are rolled with a gum paste ball attached to the top.

The bananas are just candy that was purchased in individual packets for party favors from Oriental Trading, I think. You could pick all the bananas out of 15 boxes of Runts, but this was probably easier.

Next, the adorable monkeys! Each of these creatures was made out of fondant. I created a different pose for each one, and a different facial expression. I can now make a monkey out of fondant in about 20 minutes, if all the fondant is already colored. Boy, were my hands sore after kneading all that color. I did cheat and use the precolored fondant for the black portions.

The noses were a little unique. Just a small ball, and I used a dry embossing stylus to make the nostrils. I think it adds a little something, dontcha think?

Here are a couple of closeups of the monkeys.

My favorite part of doing this cake? Watching my 12 year old son eat the big huge ball of Fruit by the Foot after I took it off to cut the cake. He was green by the time he was done. Mmmm, love me some Red Dye #40!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monkey cake

This little cake was made for a first birthday (duh, the sign is pretty self explanatory). The monkey on top is on a clear plastic plate that can be taken off for a smash cake for the baby.

The monkey was made from the Wilton Mini stand up bear pan. I had to slice off the ears and nose to build the monkey body correctly. It was my first try, but came out pretty good, I guess.

The cake is just 14" layer cake. The layers took forever to bake. The colors were pulled from the invitation that was sent out. Simple smooth iced cake and big dots made this a snap to decorate. The monkey was the challenge.

My Little Pony Carousel cake

This little girl is the sister of Treasure Chest cake and Star Wars cake boy. She requested a Ponyville cake. I've always wanted to do a moving carousel cake, and now I finally have!

This was a super easy cake to make. No advanced decorating techniques here, which was a good thing. I think I remember working on this cake up to the very last minute. Then, I had to assemble at the site of the party, and didn't know for sure how it would all work out until I actually put it together. Nothing like the pressure of a deadline.

The base of the cake is just a half sheet cake. then, I have a small cake circle on the top, with dowels underneath to hold the weight of the carousel. Then, I have a standard cake plate, then the turning portion of the cake is a decorating turntable from the cake decorating section of Michaels. The round layer on the turntable 10 inches, I think.

Next, a smaller (8 inch?) cake plate turned upside down with crystal clear pillars creates the area for the carousel ponies. Another cake circle on the top holds the 10" top layer. The top layer goes all the way to the edge of the cake circle by design.

The top of the cake is just a single layer cake with the curved top left on, and frosted. I used the garland marker set from Wilton to help me divide the cake easily.

Sleeping Beauty Princess cake

Here's another princess cake. Apparently, Princess Aurora has a taste for Captain Morgan. Can't say that I blame her...

The designs on the dress are just random, whatever looked good as I went. The frosting is homemade buttercream (Wilton recipe, yummy.)

* On this cake, I wrapped the bottom half of the doll with saran wrap and incorporated the icing up to the top of the dress, matching as best I could.

* Use globs of frosting to smooth up from the top of the cake up the dress to make a nice transition from the skirt to the doll.

A Pirate's Treasure birthday cake

This cake was a special request for a friend's son. He had a pirate themed birthday and requested a treasure chest for his special cake. This one was a bit complicated, but turned out even better than I thought it would.


* I cut a trough about 3" x 8" in the bottom of the treasure chest and lined it with saran wrap to keep the 'treasure' clean.

* I used straws on the back side of the lid into the base as a sort of hinge. The lid is on foil covered cardboard, which you can see a bit in some of the pictures (I'd do that differently next time)

* Straws also held up the front of the lid. I made them the same height sticking out of the cake as some jewel colored kalidescope party favors I found at a local party supply store.

* The rocks are actually candy coated chocolate pebbles. This was probably my favorite touch on this cake.

* The gold coins are plastic, but you could get foil wrapped chocolate for an edible touch.

Princess cakes

Ah, what little girl hasn't requested a princess cake? These are made with the Pampered Chef batter bowl. The large one works best, so you can use a real barbie doll in the center.

* Wrap Barbie's body in saran wrap so you don't have to take her clothes off.

* If you don't want to risk getting greasy (!yum!) frosting on Barbie's clothes, you can use tulle to wrap her body strategically to resemble a crossover or halter style outfit. I'd still wrap her lower body in saran wrap so you can prevent frosting from getting into Barbie's leg joints or cootchie.

* Use the small Pampered Chef prep bowls and tiny princess dolls from the dollar store for individual mini princess cakes for the little princesses attending the party.

* If you haven't discovered Wilton's Cake Release, please pick some up. It's fantastic and a must have. You can find it at your usual Wilton places, like Michael's and Hobby Lobby, but The Evil Empire (Walmart) sells it, too.