Thursday, January 22, 2009

CARS "McQueen"

The things you can do with a few bags of colored buttercream. I treated this cake like a work of art. I stepped back, took a good look and wondered what else it needed.

I gave myself extra time for this cake. I used different piping and cake decorating techniques to give more texture to the cake such as puffy white clouds, outlining and shadowing.

Lately, I've been continuing the decorating along the sides of the cakes as well. I added "McQueen's" famous lighting bolts as an extra special touch.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pick a Theme

You only celebrate your birthday once a year. Why not make it special one, especially for your children. I know the importance of making each year better than the last. It is their turn to be surrounded by their friends and family, everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to them, smiling, just staring with amazement at the cake in front of them. The look is priceless that makes any parent melt.

They grow up so quickly, changing before your eyes. Their tastes also change as we know so frequently. One minute they love Barbie, the next Hannah Montana.

For the next couple of weeks, I will devote my blog on theme cakes. I get most of my inspiration on how to decorate a cake from an invitation, party supplies like a pretty plate or napkin set, baby bedding for a shower cake, or even where the party is being held at. The ideas are endless.

For this Hannah Montana Cake, the client purchased the edible image online ahead of time and I worked the decoration around the image. I incorporated the swirls from the top of the image to the sides of the cake. I also made use of different shades purple, teal and light blue.

I made guitar butter cookies for favors that matched.

Brendan's birthday is October 24 and when he turned 2, he loved Shrek. I made him these cookies as favors for his birthday. They don't make a Shrek cookie cutters so I cut them by hand. What you would do for those you love.

Think out of the box, anything is possible.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Work In Progress

I'm back. It's been a busy week. We had some really cold weather and all my boys were home for a very long 5 day weekend. I have to keep them busy otherwise they will kill each other.

I created a new cake last Thursday for my cousin who is expecting her first child. I admit I don't always get it perfect the first time around. I might just be a victim of my own worst critic.

I think it was special none the less. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Death By Chocolate

This cake is not for the faint or weak of heart.

I baked a simple single layer chocolate sheet cake. Then, I cut it into thirds to make a three layer cake. It should be in a shape of a box as pictured. Fill it with your favorite fudge icing recipe. A softened whipped ganache filling would be even more decadent.

I freeze the cake a little to allow it to set up. Icing a recently filled fudge cake can be difficult. Once set, ice the sides and top with more fudge icing. Not too much. You want to cover with enough icing to allow sheets or rectangles of chocolate fondant to stick to the sides of cake. I rolled it out with the same measurements of the sides of my cake. I do make it about 1/4 inch taller than the cake. I allow the fondant to dry over night at room temperature before I place it on the sides of the cake.

Note: You can also use chocolate plastic, which is made up of chocolate and light corn syrup.
Look for the chocolate plastic recipe in the near future, along with a demonstration on chocolate rose making and much more.

The chocolate fondant should be placed on the cake the day you are going to serve the cake. When you refrigerate fondant for a long period of time, it gets soft from the moisture of your refrigerator causing it to droop or sag.

Tie the cake with a ribbon of your choice, such as red for Valentines Day. Top the cake with 1 pound of your favorite chocolate candies or truffles. I used Fannie Mae Chocolate. Look at those Trinidads. They're calling me. Yum!

To serve, remove chocolate candies as you cut with a hot wet knife. I typically place one piece of chocolate on each cake serving. If you prefer a smaller version of this cake, try making a 6 inch cake for two. After all, chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

This will serve many people because of its richness. This is a luxury gift for anyone you know who is the die hard chocolate lover.

Man cannot live on chocolate alone; but woman sure can.

Viva Chocolat!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Typically when a client calls, especially a new one, they tell me they are looking for a cake, something different. Usually they don't want the standard birthday cake with stark white buttercream and a few icing roses, but something to WOW their guests. So I push them towards color. Not just 1or 2 colors, but a variety of unexpected color and design pattern combinations. Doing so, adds depth and dimension to any cake.

Here are a few cake examples that seem to be a very popular. Both are communion cakes from the past year. The "Blue Cross Cake" stayed away from flowers all together. Boys and flowers don't really go together. I made chocolate dipped butter cross cookies as favors for their guests and saved one for the top of this cake. Just simple, not too fancy or fussy.

Here is the "girly" version. You have to have purple and pink! Every girl's favorite. I added a cross of roses and ribbon in a variety of shades. On the top tier, I also added edible pink and white pearls and airbrushed the cake with iridescent color.
This cake I did for a surprise 50th birthday party for a great friend's wife. They left it up to me as far as decoration. The only thing mandatory was "tilted" and hot pink and yellow.

I also talk people into considering stacked cakes as opposed to the standard sheet cakes.
When you are ready to order your cake, dare to be different and have fun with it. Don't be afraid of a little color. Or even a lot!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bulmers and Cartman

I think the real reason I decorate is especially for my family. I love to always challenge myself and give them something that no one can duplicate.

When I first started doing cakes for my brother-in-law Brian, he hounded me for weeks, "Where's my f***ing cake, where's my f***ing cake!" I gave him this in response.

Notice the expletive that has been doctored. I thought it added that extra something special.

My goal for every birthday is to try to top the cake I did the previous year. He recently celebrated his 30th birthday. Brian's favorite drink is Bulmers so I came up with this design.

I used about 15 edible gold squares at the neck of the bottle and airbrush with gold and brown to give the real effect.

I have months to come up with another birthday cake design for him.

After all he is my favorite brother-in-law!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baby Block Cakes

These baby block cakes were centerpieces for a baby shower. Each cake had a block with a different letter. Table cards with the guest name had a letter on them, which told them what table they were seated at.
I decorated the cakes to match the table runner that was made for each table.
The diaper pins were piped with royal icing and airbrushed silver. The babies and bottles were made out of fondant. The letters I made ahead of time with flood icing and placed on the cake the day of the event at the reception hall.
When ordering these cakes as a centerpiece you will have a ton of cake left over. As we know, an average of 8-10 people are seated per round table. An 8 inch bottom and 4 inch top were used. I can make smaller versions of these cakes for less cost and less servings.
The cakes were served on glass pedestal cake plates.
You can really impress your guests when they walk into your party with these alternative delicious centerpieces.

Monday, January 5, 2009

White Chocolate Oreo Snowmen

Looks amazing but easy. Anyone can make these cute, yummy snowmen. I made them for "The Annual Lach Christmas Party".

Around the holidays, even I look for shortcuts because I'm so busy.

I made the ever so simple Oreo truffle recipe of 1 lb. ground Oreo cookies and 8 ounces of softened cream cheese. Even the most inexperienced baker can make these to die for treats. I mixed the two ingredients and started to roll into three different sized balls to form a snowman. Press together one on top of each other so they stick and not roll off. They shouldn't be taller than 2 inches. After all, they are rich. Freeze.

While freezing on a parchment lined sheet pan, I melt white chocolate almond bark with about 2 tablespoons of shortening in deep narrow microwave safe bowl. I melt in the microwave constantly stirring breaking the small blocks of chocolate. Don't overheat! The key is constantly stirring between heating, about every 30 seconds.

Prior to making the snowmen, I purchased a long flat 2 inch thick Styrofoam piece at my local craft store. I cut 1/3 of it off with a serrated knife. The other 2/3 piece I covered with fake snow, trees, presents etc. which was applied with glue gun. I also purchased lolly pop sticks in two sizes.

Usually after the chocolate has melted, the Oreo snowmen have harden slightly. You don't want the snowmen to freeze completely. Please note: If you dip them in white chocolate frozen, when they thaw, they will expand and the chocolate will crack.

I carefully insert a lolly pop stick into the bottom of each snowmen, dip in the white chocolate, tapping gently off side of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place snowman stick side down into the spare 1/3 piece of Styrofoam. Repeat until all are dipped.

I piped a face with colored icing. I used a thick flat icing of confectioners sugar, water/milk, little corn syrup, and vanilla to taste.

To make it even easier, draw on a face or decorations with food safe markers that you can purchase down the cake decorating isle at your local craft store such as Michael's, Wal-mart, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics etc.

Have fun trying to make these adorable snowman. Don't be intimidated. YOU CAN DO IT!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Princess 1st Birthday

The cake is iced with my buttery icing. You don't have to pay the extra money for a cake covered with rolled fondant. I omitted the standard "Happy 1st Birthday" with the simplicity stated "Mia" whose this cake is for. The crown and and wand is made out of fondant. Don't forget, 1 year old birthday cake orders come with free smash cake.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Cupcake Favors

Here is new item I am introducing. I made jumbo Christmas cupcakes for teacher gifts for one of my regular clients. Just the perfect little indulgence for that special teacher. They are 4 inches round. Great to give along with a gift card. Around the box, I tied ribbon that coordinated with the colors of the cupcake decor. I will create more like these in the near future so be sure to check back for updated themes!