Saturday, November 21, 2009
This Oilers cake is my second one. It's hard to believe that I live in a town that loves the Flames so much when I haven't yet had a Flames cake order. I guess it's similar to the Riders and Stamps rivalry we have for football in this city. It takes all kinds I guess. Not to mention that the games would be boring if there wasn't a variety of fans watching. The fans make it much more interesting.
Wait a minute, this is a cake blog, not a sports blog.....
This cake was completed back in the middle of October, and so there has actually been several cakes since then which I need to get into posts.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I was given a picture of one of his favorite engines and asked to do the cake using it.
I used the frozen buttercream transfer method again and this time did it a little thicker to make sure it would not break, and of course I got over confidant and held it from either end thinking it was safe and I broke it anyhow. But really, if I hadn't told anyone, no one would know. Just have to learn to keep my mouth shut.
The courses that I teach for Wilton are paying off for me, because I get to practice some of the techniques and keep them fresh in my head for when I need to show them in class. Instead of using the star tip to fill the whole cake in with stars, I did the bottom half of the cake using the basket weave method. The stars were used for the top half and I created the ruffled edge using the rose tip. I also had some royal icing flowers and leaves left over from the classes and used them as accents. So this cake has elements of the Wilton course 1 and course 2.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Even my mom said something about Simba looking a little anorexic. I had to laugh at that. It's certainly one way to describe it.
Not sure if I'd attempt this one again.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Another Wilton instructor told me about frozen buttercream transfers. I found directions on the internet and went to work, foolishly only 3 hours before the cake was due. If the transfer had not worked, I would have been disappointing a group of 5 year old girls, not to mention the mother organizing the party.
Over all it went surprisingly well, and I will be using the technique again. It certainly saves time over the method of piping in all the stars to fill in character cakes.
After throwing a temper tantrum in my kitchen, I started over with one 9x13 sheet cake and 2 9 inch square cakes. I stacked these ones and carved out the shape and put in the proper supports needed to help him stay upright.
In the end I was quite happy with the turnout. He is a little less than half the size of my original Cookie Monster, and all cake this time. The first one had a rice krispie treat head.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Also, in the class I am teaching this month, I was teaching the students how to make decorations from Colorflow Icing. A substitute for colorflow can be Royal icing, but it doesn't dry as shiny. I did a demo on how to make Royal icing in class so I had the leftover icing to use up. Perfect for making the butterflies and flowers. The timing was good.
There wasn't really any problems except that I am not much of an artist on paper, so I had to be careful to get the angle right before I put Thomas on the cake. He's not exactly as I would have wanted to have him turn out, but then again I am always my harshest critic. Besides, what 1 year old is going to tell me they don't like their cake?
I almost didn't have time to make this cake, but it was very important to me that I get it done, as it was for a good friend of ours who was being given a 50th birthday party surprise that we were attending.
I wanted to make it special and original. For the first time in my experience, I made the fondant for this cake. My intention was to make chocolate fondant, but it was a complete loss. Thankfully I hadn't turned all the marshmallow fondant chocolate, so I had enough left over to cover the cake in white. I then made the buttercream icing chocolate to do the Cornelli lace. That is a lot of piping to do on a cake, and this one was a small cake. I can't imagine doing a wedding cake this way. It would have to take days.
I only finished the final touches with a half hour to spare, barely enough time to get ready for the party.
This is a busy month for me, as I will show you soon.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I was so happy with the turn out of the wedding cake that I did in the middle of August. It was the largest cake that I have made so far. The base tier was a 14 inch round and the top was 8 inch. Each layer was about 4 inches tall. And man was it heavy. It weighed 32 pounds once completed. I guess 32 pounds isn't too much, but you try to carry that cake to the car and drive it to the venue. It wasn't easy, but I don't think that I am busy enough to warrant buying a delivery van yet.
The other cake that came before the wedding was Cinderella. I've done this one before, but I think that she turned out much better this time. Making a pretty face out of icing is not easy. Last time I think that I wiped off Cinderella's lips five times before I left it the way it was. She may have looked better with out them though.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The cake itself is quite large, 13 x 18 inches. There's a lot of marble cake under all that buttercream. Leftovers are always good.
I've done this cake before, but in a different way. It was actually almost exactly 3 years ago that I made the original for my niece's birthday. Only then, the three balloons were covered in fondant.
This time around I did the decorating all in buttercream icing. It just tastes so much better. The cake itself was all chocolate. I recently got a new recipe to try out, and wow is it ever good. I am not even a chocolate cake fan, but this one I'd definitely have a slice or two of. I have to thank one of the ladies in my July Wilton class for passing on the recipe to me. I don't think that I will be needing any other chocolate cake recipes for a long time.
The girls I made the cake for are twins, and really adorable ones at that. From what I saw in pictures they had a great time at their birthday. Such a fun age.
Monday, August 10, 2009
But still, I have to let you know about this cake that was finished at the end of July. Toopy and Binoo was done on a 13 x 18 inch cake. It seems to be a popular size the past few cakes (more pictures to come). The kids have their birthdays close together, so they shared the party, which as a mother I completely understand, but as kid I think I would be ticked that I had to share my day with my brother or sister.
Their mom was a great sport about the Treehouse cartoon that they love. She seems to know more than any sane adult should know about all the episodes of the show. Her email contact with me cracked me up. I guess that having kids definitely helps to keep your sense of humor intact. I should know that already.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
At the beginning of July a co-worker asked me to make a cake for both her mother's birthday and her mother-in-law's birthday. The two parties were two days apart. We decided to go with a flower theme for both of the cakes. An easy decision to make since we both work at a garden center.
The first cake I made was based on the final cake of the Wilton course two, Flowers and Borders. I made about 20-25 pansies with Royal Icing and I painted them to add in some details. The cake was two small oval cakes stacked and iced with a basket weave. Then flowers were added. I was told that mom absolutely loved the cake.
For her Mother-in-law I went with purple and yellow royal icing daisies. I wanted it to be different than the first so I decided on a square cake, and no basket weave. I was going for a simple yet pretty look. I was worried though about the petals of the flowers. It's always best to make more than you need in case there is some breakage. I think that I broke petals on about 3 or 4 of the flowers, so I was glad to have planned ahead.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I was excited to see their final cakes. If I get permission from them, I may have to post the pictures to show everyone how well they did. I was definitely impressed. One of my students mastered the Fantasy flower, which is a hard one to do. It's not a real flower that exists in nature but it is a very pretty gum paste flower when done right. I do have to admit that I personally have not had much luck with this flower either. I guess I should practice so that I am able to show my next class a finished one done right.
The next class I am teaching is the 1st Wilton course - Discover Cake Decorating. It starts Tuesday Aug 4th, which happens to be my little brother's birthday. In the class I demo icing a cake. I'll have to make that one in honor of him, but I can't give it to him. I think shipping it to Vancouver would damage it.
In case I don't write an entry that day, Happy Birthday Lyle!!
Monday, July 27, 2009
There is a shaped pan that you can buy to create this giant cupcake, but I decided to do it the hard way and save some money.
I used 2 eight inch pans and one 6 inch pan for the cakes and stacked them up to be carved to the right shape. Unfortunately there were some places where it needed filling in rather than carving, so I added carved off pieces of cake back on. But really in the end you cant see all that. The pink icing does a great job of hiding my construction.
The cake was for a good friend of mine who's daughter was turning two. Originally she had planned to make regular sized cupcakes herself for all the guests, but time and circumstances prevented that so she asked me to step in. Of course I was glad to do it.
It has been a while since I made this cake. And really I should have posted it in time for the Playoffs in May. I do apologise for the quality of the picture. I was in such a rush the Friday that it was picked up. There was another cake being picked up the same evening, and I needed a box to fit this cake. I barely made it home from the store getting a box when the lady arrived to get it. After she got it from me, she was actually in the car almost pulling away when I ran out to stop her because I needed a picture. To top it off, the rain had just started! It was rather embarrassing.
Anyhow, the cake was an interesting one. I carved the cake to the shape and iced, then covered it in grey tinted fondant. In order to get more of a silver look, I used silver luster dust mixed with lemon juice and painted it on. The instructions for luster dust give options of clear vanilla, vodka, or lemon juice, and the juice was the only one I had in stock. Maybe I should have prepared myself more for the Friday rush and had the vodka ready, if not for the cake, then for me to wind down afterwards.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
There are so many things that come with experience that I do not know yet. I guess that I am just going to have to work that much harder on selling more cakes just to get that experience. It would be a wonderful thing to be able to stay home and decorate cake full time instead of being an accountant by day and cake decorator by night.
I want to thank my friends for their support and well wishes on my first day. I needed the confidence boost. I'm not sure that I did as well as everyone said I would, but you have to start somewhere, and it can only get better. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that next Tuesday I don't feel like someone turned up the heat to 30 degrees while I teach.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
They saw my work on my site, I had a phone interview, and I got the position. I will be starting in July working on Tuesdays. The first course that I will teach will be Fondant and Gum Paste, and I believe that every month after that I will rotate through course 1, 2, 3 and then back to Fondant. So in August I will teach the first course, and so on.
This means that my already busy life is going to get just a little busier, but it is for the love of decorating. It means that I will get paid to do something that I love. That is the best job to have.
So if you want to learn how to decorate cakes, go to any Michaels store to sign up for a class. You may end up one day in one of my classes. I hope that I am as good at being a teacher as I am at being a student.
Here are a few samples of the cakes that I made in class while I was taking the courses.
The first course final cake, buttercream icing with buttercream roses.
The second course final cake, buttercream icing basketweave with royal icing assorted flowers.Course 3 we learned some fondant techniques and made a small fondant covered cake with fondant ribbons, bow, and decorations. And also in the class we were taught more flowers and how to make a teired cake. The tiered cake was the final cake for that class.
During the Fondant and Gum Paste course we learned more fondant techniques as well as how to use Gum Paste. My final cake was fondant covered with gum paste flowers and accents.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The only way that this cake was possible was because of other decorators out there. I have a friend who I was in the Wilton cake classes with who has a very large network of friends who she gets cake orders from. Like I do, she leads a very busy life and did not have the time to make this cake, so she passed the order on to me. I had never made a topsy turvy cake before, and was nervous.
Next, the thanks goes out to You Tube and a decorator who posts how-to videos. In an 8 minute video, I learned the tricks to get this done so that it stays standing. I would have never known.
And again, I also have to thank Pink Cake Box. The original picture that the birthday girl picked out was from their cake gallery.
So here's my version, done as requested by the sweet 16 birthday girl.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This cake was based on one from Pink Cake Box. They do beautiful work. The mom who ordered it has picked 2 cakes now from the site.
I was asked to do a one tier version to keep the cost lower. I decided to purchase decorative butterflies at a local dollar store, as making the sugar ones would be time consuming. They might be fun to make but time is a factor to consider. I seem to always be running out of it. Too bad it can't be purchased. I'd add it to by business expenses.
I tried to get creative when taking the pictures of the cake. it was a really nice day when I finished the cake so I took it outside to see if it might look good against a backdrop of my own flower pots. I guess another thing to add to my wish list is a studio area for picture taking. The list just keeps getting longer......
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Regularly? Really, can I say that? I have been so busy the last couple of months that I have not been keeping up with my posts. There should be one per cake, but I think now I am at least 3-4 cakes behind.
If it keeps going strong like this maybe one day I will be able to rely on selling cake to pay the bills. But for now, I still have to go to my day job everyday.
Thanks to everyone out there who is keeping up with my blog and passing my info along to those in need of cake. I truly appreciate it!!
Keep those orders coming.
Friday, June 5, 2009
This CCC (cupcake cake) when to school with the birthday girl. She requested that I make the cupcakes really "girly" because there were some boys in the class that she wanted to gross out. I don't know if a flower design would have that effect on the boys, but if they didn't want to eat a pretty cupcake, that just leaves more for the girls in the class.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I decided that I would try to use a scene from the movie to create the cake this year, with some edits and simplification of course. My handy husband made me a stage out of wood, and I covered it with fondant and added icing decorations. Next came the car. We didn't need a lot of cake because we were having a small party, so I only made the front half of the car. I was pleased with the end result and my son was pretty excited.
His party this year was at Chuck E. Cheese's and we had a lot of fun. I couldn't believe how many kids were there for birthday parties. I think that there were at least 5 parties at a time, and as soon as we cleared out, they were setting up for another round of parties. That's a lot of kids and a lot of cake.
Next time around, I won't be as lucky so I had better plan out the spacing beforehand.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This time around, the birthday boy wanted to have a Buzz Lightyear cake. The mom asked if it could be in the signature "hero" pose. I figured it had to be out there somewhere. Granted, I did think that the hero pose was might have been with him pointing off into space when he exclaims"To infinity and beyond!" but there are no photos that I could find like that. This is the picture that depicts Buzz's signature stance.
Secondly, I really am glad that I took the Wilton Cake Decorating courses. Right away in course one you are taught the best way to "copy" a picture onto a cake. Without that method, I am not sure if I could have drawn this picture as well as it turned out. Those of you who have taken the course know this valuable secret, and those of you who don't, call me and I can make the cake you are looking for. ;)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I used a 9 x 13 inch pan and trimmed off portions to make the shape of a front view of Thomas. The black and grey icing were iced smooth while the red and blue was done with stars to fill the whole thing in, including the sides.
I heard later from the mom that the birthday girl loved the cake.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
This wedding shower cake was made for a bride who is having her wedding in Vegas. Not just a small quick wedding though. She is having lots of guests go with them for a big fun filled wedding, Vegas style. Now that would be a great party!
I'd love to see their wedding cake, once it is done with their colors in mind. They ordered it based on this one from Freed's Bakery of Las Vegas. Gorgeous!
I was asked to make the gift box cake using the wedding colors and add a bit of Vegas theme to it. I was a little nervous because it could have turned out pretty gaudy if I had used too many colors so I decided to stick with black and white decorations on the colored base. I like how the poker chips turned out. It's a good thing we had a box of them sitting around waiting to be used. Who knew the first time they'd get used was to copy the design onto cake decorations?
For those of you who don't know me well; I am not particularly into sports watching. I will attempt to play sports, but am not great at that either, but I try.
The same goes for recreating someones favorite team on a cake.
This next cake was for a 40th birthday party (duh, obviously) where the big surprise present was a trip to go see the Green Bay Packers play a preseason game. The birthday boy will have to wait a little while, as the games don't start till after all of our freakish snow storms are gone (go away stupid snow) His wife didn't want a lot of green and yellow icing, so I went with the basics.
This next one got me into a little bit of trouble. I've been told by my husband that it was inappropriate to make an Edmonton Oilers cake when we are Flames fans. Who said I was a fan of any hockey team? I don't know. But if I were asked to make a Flames cake, I would do it. It's just that no one has asked me to. This cake was being driven to Edmonton for the birthday party. Does it make it any better since it was being taken out of Calgary?
I do think that I forgot to mention when the cake was picked up that heavy blue icing will color teeth and any thing else it gets into contact with. Oops.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I am getting good at these character cakes. It used to be that I would go out and look to buy a cake pan that was the shape of the character request, but thanks to the internet, any picture can be made into a cake. This time around, I used the same image that would have come with a Minnie Mouse cake pan and drew it on a flat cake, therefore saving the cost of purchasing the $10 to $20 cake pan that might only get used once.
My last two cakes were both Backyardigan cakes. Last Saturday.
I had originally gotten orders from two different moms who liked my Pablo cake, and wanted the same thing for their one year old's birthday parties. I was surprised at the coincidence.
One of the children was a girl and one a boy, so I asked the mom of the girl if she'd like to have one of the "girl" characters from the show rather than Pablo, a "boy" character. I am glad that I did ask her because I was very happy at the turn out of Uniqua. That was definitely a girly cake.
I have more characters to come. The next post will be Minnie Mouse, once she is done. Let's see if I can do the post in a decent amount of time.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I guess because I freehand draw my templates they will never be exactly the same, although sometimes I would prefer that they could be. Here is my original.
I also learned the hard way this time around that I really need to read my request instructions well ahead of time. I made the cake board the right size for the cake, but neglected to make it big enough for the inscription. So, I had a choice to either try to lift the cake to another board without causing too much damage or add an extension to the existing board. I chose the addition. I did not want to have to fix the cake if it became a mess.
This cake helped teach me a lesson, hope I can remember it for the future.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
She is having a special on now, so if you've been thinking of having pictures done you should check out her site and contact her soon. Great job Leah!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Enter the Smash Cake. A lot of people are getting little cakes for their little ones to demolish on their 1st birthday while everyone else gets a cut of the main cake. We decided that this smash cake would be a great prop for our pictures.
Rest assured we saved those photo frames til the end of the session. Once I have seen some of the results I will see if Leah doesn't mind if I post her work in my blog.
I've heard you either love cupcakes or you don't. Personally, I'm on the fence with this one. I've had good experiences and bad ones with Cupcake cakes, sometimes referred to as CCC's.
Regardless, I get orders for cupcakes occationally, and if the customer wants it, I will make it.
So my latest CCC was for a baby shower made with 24 cupcakes into the shape of a rubber ducky floating on bubbles. I had found via Google a picture of a cake done with that idea so I recreated my way in cupcakes.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I've seen the 1st Madagascar movie and liked it, but I haven't seen the second one yet. Maybe one day I will rent it for the kids; OK, for me too.
My neighbor's oldest daughter was having a birthday party and she chose to have a "Gloria" birthday cake.
This week I had two cakes to make for the same day, both for pick up in the same hour, so I was a busy girl last night. I'll post the second cake next.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I really hope that they believe in the saying "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" because, I came across a cute cake that had both the jungle theme and a monkey. So my challenge was to use that picture and recreate it as best I could as well as adding a couple other details to make the picture more suited to my clients son. I made sure that the pictured baby had hair; definitely important to a proud mom, and I am speaking from experience.
Monday, February 9, 2009
But once I was asked to make a "Pablo" cake, any time my son was watching his shows I was waiting and actually hoping that I could see the Backyardigans show. The things they come up with are creative, and nothing I would ever think of. It encourages kids to dream up things and use their imaginations.
I really think that the writers of these shows must spend their days with children waiting for them to act out their imaginations so they can use it in their shows. I really wish I knew why it is that as we grow older we have less and less imagination. Kids think of the strangest things to say and do, and my kids are continuously surprising me. Almost makes me wish I could go back and be that carefree again....
Anyhow, back to real life. Here's Pablo: