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.