Tuesday, December 8, 2009

She thinks my tractor's sexy...

I waited until the very last minute to start this one...and it shows. It really could have been so much better, but I ran out of time. I literally started it a few hours before I had to deliver it. Bad cake maker. Bad.





Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunshine cake

Last minute birthday cake for my mother in law's birthday. I used the fondant and materials I had left over from the martini cake.




I thought it turned out kind of cute!

Martini Cake

This was done for a friend's sister's surprise martini themed birthday party!




The top and bottom tiers were chocolate cake with cherry filling, the middle was vanilla cake with cherry filling. Frosted with chocolate buttercream frosing and marshmallow fondant.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ouch.



Halloween cake that I did for my brother's Halloween party...I carved the skull from cake and then covered with fondant. It's looks a little too neandertal or monkey-like. I think I should have made it taller and maybe thinned the brow a bit...I guess I'll just have to try another. This one was a lot of fun. It's fun to do something gory now and then.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

OOoOOOo! Bats, ghosts and pumpkins! Oh My!


Halloween cupcakes!

Baby Shower cake

This weekend I finished a baby shower cake, the only request being that it incorporate some elements from the invitation:




This is what I came up with:



It was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Yummy. I hope. Since I didn't actually try any of it... :) There are definitely a few flaws apparent in the fondant, but all in all, I was happy with this one!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Themed Wedding Shower Cake

I had a great time doing this one! It was for a wedding shower and the wedding colors are green, black and cream. The only requirements were that there be some buttercream frosting and a skull...




Boo!



I actually got a little creeped out holding this in my hand and painting it. That's how much I like pointy-legged spiders.



Close up.

I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Win!



The quickie, freebie cake I made last weekend for a scratch ticket fan.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

WWE Wrestling Championship!



Here it is...the WWE cake. This one gave me troubles from the start. And honestly, it's my least favorite to date. Bleh.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Backpack, backpack!


I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the MAP!



For Delaney's third birthday she wanted a princess cake. No, a tinker bell cake! No! Mickey Mouse! No! Dora!

I stopped her there. Dora it was. Then the ice cream bucket fell on it on the way over to the park and squished it.

Luckily, it still tasted pretty good...

Holy Cake Batman!




I was happy with this one. It was a lot of fun...Batman had some body issues, but I'm sure he got over them. He's a superhero, after all. He has all those gadgets on his belt, what does he need with hands? Aside from my glaring lack of skill in the figure sculpting department, this cake went pretty smoothly. And everyone was happy with it. The report was that people didn't think it was a cake, but just a table centerpiece.

I'll take that as a compliment!

Cheesecake saga

Oh, how glad I am that this weekend is over. 12 cheesecakes, which actually ended up being 14 cheesecakes because two of them were...um...not pretty. Then there were the two sculpted bithday cakes. I had some really late nights and I only pulled out a few handfuls of hair. ( But well away from the cakes...) And I didn't even cry. For too long.

Do you want to hear about it? About the 3 trips to the grocery store, because I ran out of graham crackers and then because I froze the cream cheese? Apparently, the stuff doesn't freeze well. (Note: When the package says "for best quality do not freeze" BELIEVE IT! ) Then I needed more butter? How about when I was getting low on sour cream and was not about to make my husband run to the store again for more, so I had to find another recipe? Or when my first cheese cake sank in the middle and cracked? Or when the fourth one wouldn't come off the pan and ended up a giant pile of slop? (tasty slop, mind you, but slop nonetheless.)

Anyway...one nervous breakdown later:








Thankfully, the bride was very, very pleased.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Convoy!

This weekend I was busy doing a fairly difficult cake for a 3 year olds birthday...He wanted a Mack truck, flatbed:



First I cut the cake and carved it so it would resemble a truck.



Covered it with homemade chocolate buttercream.



Added the fondant and decorations. Ta Da!




All done! Now, doesn't that sound easy??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yummmy...zucchini bread



On the advice of The Waylaid Wordsmith, I used the giant zucchini that had been lounging on the counter and replaced the shredded carrots in the carrot cake recipe for the shredded zucchini. And oh, yum. YUM!

You should try it. Right now.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cake for Breakfast!

I had cake for breakfast.

Carrot Cake. And it was mighty tasty.



Despite the fact that it was 85 degrees in the house, I fired up the oven and baked a cake. All for the love of cream cheese frosting.

It's not really pretty. If I just bake for us I don't bother with making it look good. As long as it tastes good... I used a different recipe for this one. I have one that I usually rely on, but wanted to try something new. I wasn't as impressed with this one. Still good, but not amazing. I guess I'll go back to the old standby...

Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I don't like nuts or raisins in my carrot cake, but it would be easy enough to add either to this recipe.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Carrot Cake...

I really want to make a carrot cake today but the air conditioner decided to go out...Do I really want to turn on the oven? Hmmm...

How bad do I want cream cheese frosting?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rock N' Roll Rulez!!

This weekend I did one of the bigger cakes I've ever made. It was a guitar for a 7 year old boy's birthday. They supplied the invitation and wanted something along the same lines:



I started out with two 13x9 cakes and carved them into the guitar body, then I crumb coated with buttercream.



Another 13x9 cake was cut for the neck and top. I covered the body part with fondant seperately, then put the neck on and covered it. Then I cut the letters and accents out of fondant and applied them with a little water to the back.



To finish it off, I used a little luster dust and some black cake sparkles for a splattered kind of effect. I piped (and wiped and re-piped and wiped and re-piped) the strings on with buttercream. Here's the final result...drum roll please...


Ta Da!

I am actually quite please with the way this one turned out. It was super time consuming, but worth it in the end. I just hope the people who requested it were as pleased.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Camo Cake




This was actually done for a bridal shower! Not a very "girly girl", apparently. :) The theme was camoflage. I tinted the fondant then broke little pieces off of each color and pressed the pieces together in a random pattern, then rolled them all out together with the fondant roller. It worked rather well, I thought. I liked the end result and it was very simple.

The "trees" are plastic and the fondant ducks were a last minute add-on. I think the ribbon would have looked better if it had been brown or green, but when I was picking it out, I didn't have the exact color to match so I went safe and got the ivory. It works, I guess, but I think it would have been better if it matched.

Teddy Bear Cake



This was a baby shower cake and the only specifications being that it be brown and pink, with buttercream frosting. Teddy bears were the first thing that came to mind! I have a hard time with buttercream; I think fondant is so much easier to work with, but I think this one came out ok. Again, not as smooth as I would have liked it, but ok.

The bear is modeled out of fondant, as is the blanket, blocks and ball. I used the edible markers to make the letters on the blocks, then used a bit of luster dust. For the trim, I used buttercream frosting and the Wilton ruffle technique, using tip 104.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dump Truck Cake






Birthday cake made for a friend's son. This was my first paid cake! I had a hard time with this one. I ended up pulling the fondant off once and recarving the cake...The truck sides are made from gumpaste and the dirt was actually mashed up cake scraps and frosting. The cones are fondant.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

Chocolate Buttercream

1 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
6-7 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream together until water and vanilla is throughly mixed.

3/4 cup cocoa
About 4 cups powdered sugar

Add to creamed mixture until well blended. Sometimes I tweak the amount of water and sugar until the desired consistency is reached.

Favorite Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

My favorite peanut butter cake recipe

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 (18.25 ounce) package butter cake mix
2/3 cup water

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour cake pans.

2.Combine peanut butter and butter or margarine. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each one. Add cake mix alternately with the water. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3.Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)until cake tests done.

This is the standard recipe but I usually add a bit more peanut butter. And despite the cake mix in the ingredients, it's still makes an excellent cake.

There are some good peanut butter frosting recipes, but the chocolate buttercream is my favorite with this cake.

Wilton Course 3, class final






This was my Wilton Course 3 cake final. I will admit that I cheated a bit and used a styrofoam form for the cake. I just got tired of cake. My husband is on a diet, my kids don't need anymore sugar than they already get and I don't need the temptation. It always gets thrown away and a huge one like this would have too much of a waste. Everyone always says to give it away, but my class cakes get a lot of...um, handling and I wouldn't want to cake that someone else had their hands all over. But anyway...styrofoam. My instructor didn't care, saying the class emphasized decorating not baking, so that was good! I had kind of forgotten about the cake and all the work I was supposed to do prior to class, so that afternoon I was turning out rose after rose. I think we were supposed to have something like 40 roses and I barely made 30, but it worked out fine. I was actually having a hard time trying to find a place for the roses I did have, I can't imagine what I would have done with 10 more. The Wilton fondant is so easy to use, I wish it didn't taste like crap. I love the marshmallow fondant but it's harder to work with. It tears easier and doesn't cover as well, but it tastes so good. I'd like to find a pre-made fondant that didn't taste bad. I wonder what the satin ice tastes like? I guess I'm going to have to buy a little and sample it.

Flower pot cake!

I did this one for my aunt's birthday; peanut butter cake with chocolate buttercream filling. She's a fan of pansies and since I had just finished learning how to do the royal icing pansy in my Wilton cake class, I decided to do a bunch of those. I also made a few fondant roses and planted them in a bed of oreo cookie "dirt". The hardest part of this one was the pot itself. I had read that you can actually bake a cake in a flower pot, but I decided to carve it. It didn't end up looking much like a pot and it was a bit lopsided. Putting the terracotta colored fondant on proved to be very difficult. I tried to wrap it around, when I think I would have been better off draping it over the top. I tried to cover the holes and bumps with "moss" and the ribbon also hide some defects. I'm a bit addicted to that luster dust and I applied it heavily to the ribbon and the flowers. All in all, I was happy with it, but next time I make one like this, I will definitely do a few things differently.

(It's supposed to be) Tinkerbell Cake!





Ok...this cake was made for my niece's second birthday. I worked until 12:30 the night before to get it done. Then the next morning the birthday girl got sick and the party was canceled. Ah, well. Fun cake, anyway!

The theme was Tinkerbell and it was harder than I thought to capture her expression. I made her larger than I normally would have because I thought it would give me the room to make more detail, but I still don't think I completely pulled it off. I wasn't too happy with her legs. She has some kind of skin disorder... I had originally planned to make the cake a flower, hence the shape; the middle cake, then the small cakes on the side were originally going to be petals. That plan fell through so I ended up doing the sunflower. The roses I stole off of my Wilton Course 3 final cake(shhh! Don't tell!)and are made off the Wilton fondant (Yuck!) but everything else is made from marshmallow fondant. The butterflies and bumble bee are on wire, but everything else is edible.

It's chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling and marshmallow fondant. I didn't get to taste it, but how can you go wrong with chocolate buttercream?

Monday, July 27, 2009

First "serious" cake



This was my first real paid job, a real wedding, a real serious celebration. And I was a nervous wreck. I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. I waited until the last minute...because, well, because that's what I do. So, the Friday before she was scheduled to pick it up, I'm feverishly baking cakes and making fondant. I finally get the layers stacked and...my top tier collapses helplessly into a pile of crumbs. It's now 10:30pm and I'm out of eggs. I send my poor, dutiful husband out into the wild world, forbidding him re-entry without said eggs. He returned fairly quickly. Turns out the 7-11 carries eggs. Who knew? So, at 11:00pm, I am baking up a storm, making another cake. Fortunately, all three kids stayed asleep and I was able to finish. I waited until morning to put the fondant on and then decorate. The ribbon is real and the flowers are artificial, so the decorating was simple. Thankfully. I wasn't sure how to attach the ribbon to the cake. I tried water, but ended up dissolving a bit of gumpaste in water, to make a glue. That seeemed to work well. It showed through the ribbon in a few places, but it must have dried without marks.

My fondant was pitted in places, which I think was due to powdered sugar lumps and dents in my mat. Next time I think I will use the counter, sans mat, and see if I can get it smoother. All in all, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. And thanfully, so was the bride.

The cake was french vanilla, with a cream cheese frosting filling and vanilla buttercream beneath the fondant. I went with the buttercream, because I was a bit unsure of how the fondant would be over the cream cheese in the summer heat. I had horrifying visions of slipping and sliding, so I decided to play it safe.

Threadcakes entry "The Drummer"



"I had a hard time picking a design, there are so many amazing and funny ones. But not only did the raccoon make me laugh, it took me back to my childhood when we'd feed raccoons on our deck. And while I never actually saw them drumming(or strumming, for that matter), I suspect, that deep down, they all wanted to be rock stars.

I started with the raccoon, sculpting him out of fondant. I gave him pink eyes, like the illustration, but then my two year old daughter wanted to know why he had ladybugs in his eyes. So, perhaps I should have stuck with a more common mammal eye color, but anyway, I digress...I then baked a pound cake in a loaf pan, then used a plastic cup to cut out the trash can shapes. They are also fondant, as are the lids and painted with luster dust. I liked the idea of edible trash cans, so I had to add some tasty trash. The crumpled up paper, banana peel, apple core...all the trash is also fondant, then painted with vodka and food coloring. (And that's the only reason I had the vodka out. Really.) The dirt is oreo crumbs, the pink "Boom" and other shapes are fondant, on wire (which is the only non-edible item on the cake.) And at one point, there was a mouse scavenging through the garbage. But my son ate him.

As for time, I'm not not really sure how long this took. I have three children who "helped". So, it probably took about three times as long as it would have. As it was, it took the better part of a day, with many, many, many, many, many interuptions, to finish. It was so much fun to make, though, and I really don't want to eat it. My kids have been asking, so it won't be long. I'm just going to make someone else cut it. "

First threadcakes entry. Since I love raccoons, I had to do this one. I want this shirt.

Threadcakes entry



"If only I'd worn shoes and a shirt, I'd be dining at the Quadrilateral Parallelogram Bar and Grill. Pity...I hear they make a mean margarita.

Get it? Huh, huh?? See...it's the thinker? And he's thinking outside the quadrilateral parallelogram? Get it? Huh, huh? "I like to think outside the quadrilateral parallelogram." See?

What do you mean it's not that funny? It's hilarious.

This is my second entry and will be my last. I've grown too intimidated by the amazing entries that have been submitted so far and I hereby surrender my fondant. But in my last entry, I had a spelling error, so obviously, I had to make another cake so I could regain my dignity.

This one was a ton of fun to make. Once again, I had three small people "helping" and all flaws will be blamed on them. Working over the course of several days, I started with a vanilla cake, cut it in three equal parts and filled and iced it with vanilla buttercream, then stacked them to make the restaurant. The masonry work is done is fondant, as is the thinker, who I'm sad to say is not as svelte and sleek as Rodin's. Mine is a bit more...shall we say...robust? More like a sumo thinker, perhaps? All the other little details, signs, flowers, etc. are also made out of fondant. The leaves on the trees are royal icing. (And that small interlude with the royal icing may lead to a life long love affair.) Hmmm...what else? Not much. I think that about covers it.

However, once it was finished it was quite obvious that my proportions were a bit off. Even if the sumo thinker had been wearing appropriate attire, he still wouldn't have fit through the front door. Perhaps there is a back entrance?

Perhaps that's what he's pondering..."

That was one of my threadcakes entries. I know that I don't have a chance in hecksville of winning. Have you seen some of those entries?? Oh. My. God. Enough to give me a severe inferiority complex. But I entered anyway, figuring a little practice wouldn't kill me. And it didn't. And I had fun in the process. I'm anxious to see who wins this contest. Amazing, amazing cakes!

The cow jumped over the moon!


This the Birthday cake I made for my son's first birthday. The cow jumped over the moon...hey diddle, diddle and all that stuff. I figured since he's only one, this will probably be the last year he doesn't have any kind of request, so I decided to do a cake I'd wanted to try for awhile. And it was quite fun! It's a simple white cake, with lemon pudding filling. It's so easy and tastes so, so good. I made two 13x9 cakes, and one half of the Wilton sports ball pan (isn't that a great pan?!) for the moon. All is covered with marshmallow fondant. The figures are sculpted from fondant as well. Using powdered food coloring and some cheap vodka, I painted the sky, the sun and the grass.

One hint when using pudding as a filling; DON'T forget to put it in the fridge. Like I did. Yech.

Prologue

I've been decorating for a few months and a few insane (but lovely) folks have actually given me money to make their cakes! Crazy, I know. I'm still waiting to wake up. But until then, I have this blog to keep note of the things I've done and learned. A place to keep track of how not to do things and maybe even a few triumphs. (Here's hoping, anyway!)