June 18, 2011

Evan's Baptism

Here’s a simple 2 tiered chocolate pound baptism cake.  Bottom tier is 8” top tier is 6”. The name is piped with royal icing and the cross is made of fondant. A nice sleek simple design, that I may be duplicating for our little guys baptism, coming up in a few weeks. The heat gave me a bit of a hard time with this cake, but in the end I’m pleased with how it turned out.

If you want to add a fondant bead border roll out the fondant flat (and even) and use a shape cutter (I use a small quarter inch pansy flower cutter). Cut out as many as possible. Then take the ‘pansies’ and roll them into balls. This will ensure a consistent sized bead to border your cake.  That said, I used my new bead mold for this cake… LOVE it.

June 13, 2011

FHS Grad Cake

Another 2011 grad cake… this was HUGE. It’s a 2 layer 12” square (total of 4” high) topped with a 2 layer 8” square (also 4” high) and the grad cap, made of Rice Krispy treats. Now that’s a lot of fudge marble cake! I guess this would be a good time to note… cake is HEAVY. So many people seem so surprised when they get a 2 tier cake and grab it from me, how heavy it actually is. Well it’s probably at least 2 recipes of pound cake, plus buttercream, plus fondant…. It’s going to weigh a lot.  

As for this cake.. I really enjoyed the clean lines, clean design. It was a nice change from kiddish cakes.

Ever wonder how much batter you should use to get a nice high cake? Sometimes a recipe is not enough. Some recipes are actually meant for 1 x 9 inch pan, while others are for 2 x 8 inch pans. Most often I just use my recipe, and experience baking with my recipe. But if you are sure and want a nice high cake refer to this chart… it’s awesome! http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-party-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm


Don’t you just love those fun, bright colors? There’s something about this cake that just makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I would have LOVED a cake like this when I was younger? Maybe I would love it now! All the same, I think it’s just so fun. My client sent me a photo of a cake she liked and asked me to make it the top tier of a 2 tier cake. I had to make a few modifications but in the end the birthday girl did love it, and that’s what’s most important to me! The cake is vanilla pound, covered in buttercream and fondant and decorated with fondant accents.

Want to know how to easily get a scalloped edge on the bottom of a cake? Get a round cookie cutter, cut out some fondant circles, then cut those in half with a pizza roller and tada…. Put them side by side along the base of the cake. What a nice neat border, and you didn’t have to spend any money on fancy tools!

Weekly Cake...

If I had a nickel for every time I heard "Oh your family must LOVE that you bake cakes all the time..." The truth is, we rarely get to eat cake. (Have you noticed a slice missing from your cake? Didn't think so...) In fact, my husband doesn’t like all of the dirty dishes and my three year old gets upset since I do mostly kids cakes and always seem to be making them for other people. Of course, when a special occasion comes our way, I'll bake and decorate and happily enjoy a piece of cake. All that said, with the arrival of our new little guy, suffering with gestational diabetes throughout my pregnancy and just trying to be healthier (and yeah it would be nice to lose the pregnancy weight), I’ve been looking for fun recipes to try. One of which would be a healthy cake. Let me rephrase that. Not healthy like eat the whole thing and you won’t gain a pound… healthy like something that you don’t feel TOTALLY guilty eating. Something that would be better than eating those chemical and preservative filled snack cakes that SO many kids probably take with them to school and eat with lunch. I’m convinced we can eat well and enjoy it. I have the perfect little tester to try this with.

My first experiment was a few weeks ago with a ‘healthy’ brownie. I made bite sized brownies that included whole wheat flour, spinach, carrot and applesauce in the ingredient roster. Mia devoured them! Seriously, she couldn’t get enough. So I have these super cool twinky pans. So I’m thinking, maybe just maybe I can find something equally yummy to bake in those. What’s funny is that I actually dreamed of a recipe last night. So of course the first chance I got I baked it up. At first I thought it was a flop, but I don’t know if you’ve ever tasted hot cake from the oven…it’s never as good as cooled cake. So I waited a bit longer and it really wasn’t too bad. I was sure Mia was going to say it was weird, or tasted funny, or made up one of thousands of excuses as to why she wouldn’t even try it. On the contrary…she marched in and asked if the apple cake was ready. Apple? Uh oh…she saw me put the applesauce in, what else did she see? I said yes I think it is… she asked for some. Ate it. Asked for more. Ate it. Success… success!

So. We sat down and decorated our mini cakes for our dessert with supper. I made a chocolate cream cheese frosting, which to be honest we did not enjoy at all. But we all ate the cake. A few more tweaks and this one might actually be a keeper. So who says cakes are only for special occasions????

Mickey Mouse

This is a bit of a repeat of a cake I did last year... The difference is last time I covered it in fondant and this one is buttercream. The cake is chocolate fudge with red vanilla buttercream. The Mickey head/hat is also cake (baked in the Wilton Ball pan), then covered in buttercream and fondant. The ears are fondant/gumtex mix.

Bright red icing is tough to get. Believe me! I’ve had more than a few bad experiences dying buttercream red. Here are a few tips to successfully achieve red icing…
1.       Add cocoa to your buttercream (so you start with a chocolate icing). I don’t find you’ll get a bright “lightening McQueen” red… but you will get a nice, deep fire engine kind of red. AND the chocolate hides the nasty taste of the red food dye.
2.       DON’T use liquid red. You’ll just end up with bright pink, and a very thin icing.
3.       Use wilton no taste red gel food color, available at Michaels and Bulk Barn (Might be at Walmart and Scoop & Save too – I haven’t personally bought it there before.)
4.       My ABSOLUTELY new FAVORITE is Ameri-color. I ordered it online and you need only a quarter IF that of Wilton’s gel color. What’s crazier… I got a 4.5oz bottle for just a dollar more than what I can get 1oz of Wilton color! I know. WELL worth it.

Popcorn cake

Bag of popcorn anyone? Bet you’d like this kind! Of course, the ‘bag’ is made of cake, vanilla pound, with vanilla buttercream. But the popcorn is actual popcorn covered in white chocolate candy melts! Ya… yum. The reason I covered it in chocolate was to get larger clusters to stick on the cake, or else I’d have a bunch of loose popcorn.

Oh and there’s those great “food writers” (edible markers)… Love them!!!

If you’re making a larger cake and can’t fit it on a plate and don’t want to spend money on those expensive silver cake boards do what I do. I get foam board from the Dollar store and cover it. You could cover it with tin foil, but I don’t like how easily tin foil can rip, and you might end up serving some with your cake. So I use disposable plastic table cloths. You know the ones you buy to decorate your table for a party that gets full of salsa and cracker crumbs and you throw away? Well, I have a giant roll… it’s cheap and food safe! Plus, I love wrapping… so it’s like wrapping a gift each time… kind of appropriate right?

Rapunzel Tower cake

Some cakes I just have so much fun with. Probably because I’m still a kid at heart and LOVE watching cartoons with my daughter. These cakes will keep me young, since I get to ‘research’ for each cake. As I’m sure watching Rapunzel about 15 times was necessary for the preparation of this cake.
The cake is vanilla pound. The client is going to add a Rapunzel doll on the right hand side. I wish I had a picture of the cake with the doll. I always test my accuracy with my daughter. I don’t tell her what I’m making. In fact, most of the time I only start after she goes to bed. So when she wakes up I ask her to come see something. I wait to see if she can tell me what it is. In this case, I probably should have told her, because this is how the reveal of the cake went:

Me: Hey Mia… wanna come see a cake I made?
Mia: Yaaaa!
We walk into the kitchen…
Mia: Awwww Mom…you made me a Rapunzel cake, and a Rapunzel tower for my Rapunzel doll….thanks Mom! Is it my birthday?
Me: No Mia, it’s not your Birthday. It’s for another little girl.
Mia: But Mom, there’s a number 3 on it, just like how old I am.
Me: Mia I’m sorry, it’s not for you.
Mia: Sniff…sniff…sniff…

If you want to add a 3d element to a cake, try making a batch of rice krispies squares and shaping it into what you want to make. I use ¼ cup vegetable oil, heat it, add 1 pkg of mini marshmallows and once they’re melted (over low heat, stirring frequently) add about 5 cups of rice krispies. Remove from heat and stir stir stir. Let it cool until you can handle it, then grease your hands with a bit of shortening (or else you’ll have rice krispy square hands) and shape it as you want. Pop it in the fridge to set and tada… just ice it and decorate.

Summer Treat

How fun is this?
Something great that you should try this summer for your kids. Hollow a round fruit... any fruit... melon, cantaloupe, orange, lime, lemon.... (do this by cutting in half and scooping the insides out) Then pour prepared jello into it, let it set then cut and serve.
My daughter LOVED it. If you’re REALLY adventurous, prepare a few different flavors, the pour just a little, let it set, pour a different flavor, let it set… you’ll end up with a rainbow treat. You might be able to dye lemon jello with food coloring (instead of making so many different flavors)… I’ve never tried that, but let me know if it works, if you do. J

Over the Hill (40)

Here’s my take on the many possibilities/versions of the over the hill cakes circulating on the web. The cake is covered in buttercream and the signs are made of fondant. Did you know that edible markers exist? (the ink is edible, not the marker. J ) I love that I can actually write on a cake and you can eat it and it’s safe! It’s probably one of my most favorite tools right now.

I’ve been asked a few times for tips/techniques, etc… I figured that I’d start offering tips I learnt or my favorites from each cake, for those who might like to know.

The grass on this cake was made with tip #233. It’s probably one of my most favorite icing tips because you can make things look so realistic, like grass, or hair on a person cake, or fur on an animal cake or even a shag rug! J

Nursing Cake

It’s that time of year… graduation. I’ve had the honor of doing a few grad cakes and really enjoy doing them. Graduation is such a special time… such a pivotal time in a persons life. Of course you should celebrate with cake! J

This cake was for a dear friend who’s daughter-in-law graduated from nursing school. The cake is fudge marble with vanilla buttercream. It has fondant accessories, and everything is edible.

Congrats to all the graduates!


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