Monday, April 25, 2011

Benjamin's Baby Shower Cake

Happy Monday! Ok, so I'm a day off of my usual due to Easter and travelling. I just got back from a wonderful rollercoaster week at my daughter and son in laws house...they had their baby on the 14th and I stayed to help. I'm missing my new grandson already! A few days after his birth I had a baby shower cake to complete...nope, this biz doesn't stop for babies!LOL!

The Mom to be is a past client, I did her Plumeria Wedding Cake last summer! I wanted this cake for her to be extra special but with my daughter about to have a baby I knew I couldn't promise too much. So what I did, and you can do this too, is to make all the pieces that went onto the cake and then let them dry out. Carried those with me, packaged carefully to prevent breakage, so that if I had to do so I could buy a store bought cake and put the decorations on it. Yup, that's a "secret" that I passed onto you a few weeks ago! This was my back up plan in case we were at the hospital the day of the shower. Fortunately my grandson made his entrance 3 days before so I was able to get the cake made and decorated in time for the shower.

All of the decorations, from the hat to the booties to the sports balls and the letters are all made from fondant that has had a bit of tylose added to it. Tylose helps the fondant to dry a bit quicker. The cake is frosted in fresh buttercream and the pieces were added on with royal icing as "glue". The actual cake is lemon with lemoncurd buttercream, the Mom to be's favorite cake. The cake is offset to show off all the little balls on the cake, including the two on the back. There is only one hockeypuck as a mini spotlight to the Mom to be and Dad to be's passion for the sport..and their team, the San Jose Sharks.

And check out the water bottle next to the cake! Those are part of our event companys work. We do custom water bottles for any event. This one was, of course, sports themed so the water bottle lables were customed designed to match the rest of the decorations for the party.

Next week we dive into some chocolate decadence! See you Sunday!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

String Work Cake

Happy Sunday! It's a very happy one for us since our grandson arrived on Thursday! We have been enjoying his company since!

Today's cake is a demo cake. I had been taking a Master Decorators class. I wanted to work on detail work which included different piping techniques as well as sugar flowers. Over the next few months you will see examples of the new flowers I learned how to make but this week you get to see the piping techniques. I was required to show 7 different techniques in this one cake for my final "exam". For this cake I used bridge work, string work, line work, coronets, ruffling, sugar flowers and shell work. That's a lot of different looks to try to put into one cake and we had to come up with our own design, not copy from the teachers work.

I have to say this is the hardest bit of piping work I have ever had to do on a cake. The instructor warned us that for every 1 string we got to string properly we would end up wiping 3 away. I had no idea that was an understatement! It took me two hours to do the string work alone! The fun new technique that I learned was the ruffling. I've done a form of ruffles before but this is such a more realistic, not to mention easier, version of what I've done in the past!

Now you are probably wondering why I bring up my classwork here in the blog. For one thing it was something that took me 3 months to learn and a whole lot of work and I wanted to show you all that I'm still learning. No matter how much I think I know about decorating, there is still more to learn and it's fun to discover new things to do with sugar and icing. But the other reason is to encourage others here that may be reading this to go out and explore the classes in your area. Michaels has several levels of classwork and many cake supply shops also offer them. Lastly, check online to see if you can find one that works for your interests. If you still can't find something that works for you then please do explore YouTube. Yup, you'd be amazed at how much I've learned thanks to that website! Tons of videos that you can play over and over again till you get the technique down and all for free! Can't beat that.

More cakes to come over the next weeks. Next week I'll share with you a baby shower cake I delivered just this afternoon!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rose Birthday Cake

Happy Sunday! As promised from last week, there's more on the "rose" technique that you used on the cupcakes last week. Since I found the tutorial ( to make this lovely design I have seen the design popping up all over the place in one form or another. This is my own version.

Due to the fact that this is a very small cake, just 6 inches by 3 inches tall, I didn't want too much buttercream frosting on it in proportion to actual cake. The roses take a lot of buttercream to make so I decided to lightly frost the sides and save the roses for the top. Now if this was to be a larger cake, say a 10x4, then roses all over it like in the tutorial would be fine. There would be a lot more cake to icing ratio then. Lastly I wanted to add a bit of "bling" to the cake and that's where this week's secret comes in!

If you visit Michaels, or any other craft store that has caking supplies, you will see a whole section dedicated to sprinkles and sugars and glitters in which to embellish your cakes and cupcakes. Edible glitter is in flakes, not sprinkles, and can give your cake that little bit of extra sparkle when you need it. It's inexpensive and a little goes a long way. Unlike sanding sugar or other types of sprinkles, edible glitter doesn't alter the texture of the icing very much so you don't end up with a gritty feeling in your mouth from it. One of the many reasons I prefer it to sanding sugar.

Over the past few months I've been taking "Masters" classes. Next Sunday I'll share with you the outcome from my final "test" for the course!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Rose" Cupcakes

Happy Sunday! This week brings some new fun stuff I can share with you! Fun stuff YOU can do for your own cupcakes that is easy to learn! These cupcakes require only some buttercream icing, a piping bag and an extra large open star decorating tip. This tip looks like a pointy top crown.

Put the tip into the bag (no coupler needed) and fill the bag with buttercream. Twist the top of the bag and hold it straight up and down about an inch from the top of your cupcake. Starting from the center of the cupcake swirl the icing around in a flat circle and when you've covered the entire cupcake let up the pressure and angle down to finish the line and stop and pull away. You can practice this on wax paper a couple of times to get the hang of it but once you do this will be SO easy for you to do quickly!

Close up

Now another fun tip for this design. At Michaels you can find spray cans of food safe dye that you can use to add color to your roses. Lay your cupcake onto wax paper and, holding the can about 6 inches away, lightly spray on your color. A fun combination for this is to spray on some yellow and then a lighter layer of pink. This makes some really beautiful "roses" for your party!

More on this technique next week!