Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Puppy Love!

Lindsay contacted me to make a cute little doggy cake for her daughter's 1st birthday party. She requested a white cake, chocolate mousse filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. The dog she had me model this after was a cute little Karin Terrier. They have longer, shaggier hair and are the happiest looking dogs I have ever seen!

Doing a cake in buttercream was a fun treat, as the majority of my cakes require fondant. I used the "fuzzy" tip to make the hair out of buttercream and think the cake looked super cute!

I hope Lindsay's daughter had a great party! Happy 1st Birthday!!

Retirement Part-ay!

Beth asked me to make a retirement cake for the eight teachers at her school who were retiring. She wanted me to incorporate on the cake, a symbol for each of the teachers they were wishing well. The school colors were blue and green and the school mascot was a little cute frog. All of this should be incorporated into the cake.

I ended up making a 4-tiered cake with many different flavors and fillings. Here's the front of the cake:

Top tier - White cake/Chocolate buttercream filling
2nd tier - Yellow cake/Chocolate buttercream filling
3rd tier - Red Velvet cake/Cream cheese filling
Bottom tier - Chocolate cake/Oreo buttercream filling

The front view shows the symbol for Mike (Wisconsin W) and Pat (Rocky Mountains).

This view shows the symbol for Joan (Sheltie) and Chris (Irish).

This view shows the symbol for Marcie (Sun) and Arlene (Earth).

Last, we have Mary (book) and Tom (60's car).

I hope party was a great time for all. Congratulations to the retirees. I hope that this next part of your lives is the best one yet!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Little Princess

Today we celebrated my daughter, Josie's, 4th birthday. Her birthday usually falls right around Memorial Day weekend so we thought that celebrating a weekend early would be best. I'm certainly happy we did because the turnout was fabulous! What a treat to see so many kids having such a great time outside.

Coming up with a theme for this party was a no-brainer. Josie has been pretty fond of the Disney princesses for quite some time now and this was super fun to plan. The only potential problem I had was coming up with fun ways to engage the little boys who were attending the party. After giving it much thought I decided to make all of the kids go on a QUEST TO SAVE THE PRINCESS!!!! They were ALL loving this!

The first step of the quest was to find one of the princess' hidden jewels in the yard. Each kid just had to find one in order to go on to the next part of the quest. The big kids and the little kids had a great time with this. Easter wasn't too long ago and they all knew what to do!

The best part of the search was that it had all of the kids running around our 3/4 of an acre yard. So when they all came back to learn what their next step of the quest was, I told them that they had to kiss a frog! They ALL knew where they had seen a big frog, so we ran back to the barn to play "Pin a Kiss on the Frog". The cutest part was they all got there before I did and they all took turns actually kissing the frog! Seriously, this could not have been cuter!

After our game, the frog looked like this!

(A shout out to my mother-in-law, Marcia, who made this cute little frog prince!)

The last step of the quest was to defeat a scary dragon. I asked the kids if they had seen a scary dragon and they all rushed back to the tree where they had seen him. Each kid had at least three tries before they defeated him. And what was inside? CANDY!!!!

Their reward for completing the quest was a bucket filled with prince and princess things. The bucket came just in time to hold all of the delicious loot!

Here are the brave princes and princesses posing for a quick picture! What fun they had!

After lunch, there WAS cake (I am the Cake Mama afterall). This one was a super fun one to make. I might add that it was totally more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Humidity and fondant don't mix and making this one was no exception, but it was totally worth it. I really do love the way it turned out.

And here it is at its final destination surrounded by all of the inspiration.

The top tier (Princess Tiana) I took off before carving and froze it for Josie's actual birthday. It was a chocolate cake with Oreo buttercream. The second tier (Cinderella) was a Chocolate Covered Strawberry cake (chocolate cake, chocolate ganache filling with freshly cut strawberries). The middle tier (Princess Jasmine) was a chocolate cake with Oreo buttercream filling. The forth tier (Princess Aurora) was a Rootbeer Float cake (rootbeer flavored cake with vanilla buttercream filling). The bottom tier (Snow White) was a Banana Split Cake (banana cake with chocolate fudge and fresh strawberries and crushed pineapple).

Happy Birthday, Josephine! I love you with all of my heart!

Welcome Maggie

This mommy-to-be registered for bedding from Pottery Barn. The bedding is called the "Haley collection" and it is absolutely adorable. Kristie, who requested the cake for the shower, thought it would be pretty cool if I could incorporate the bedding into the design of the cake somehow.

Isn't this totally cute???

So here's what I made:

The cake was marble with chocolate ganache filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. I wish the mommy-to-be a heartfelt congrats as you welcome little Maggie.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Landing Landon's Cake

Landon turned 1 last week and his parents wanted me to recreate his favorite toy into a cake to celebrate this wonderful occasion. Here's Landon with his favorite toy car:

His parents requested a chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream filling. They also requested little to no fondant covering the cake; only buttercream. That was a challenge because fondant would have really been go-to covering for a cake like this. So, I decided to make this cake the cutest it could be by using the star tip and going to town with a bunch of different colors. I used fondant to make the little doggy driver, the tires and I used fondant in the front to make the stop and go. Other than that, it's ALL delicious buttercream.

I hope Landon had a fantastic 1st birthday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oh Baby!

Kristie requested a baby shower cake for Sara and Ryan who were going to be having a couple's baby shower. Kristie told me that the two are a little untraditional. They decided not to find out the gender of their baby and have been referring to the little bundle of joy as "Pat" from the old SNL skits. (LOL!) She also told me that the two absolutely LOVE Jack Daniel's, so if there was any way I could incorporate that into the cake it would be great.

I figured that making a cake with a baby drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel's wouldn't have been the greatest for my portfolio (and my mom would be WAY proud), so I decided to see if there were cakes that had Jack Daniel's IN them. And I was lucky - the Jack Daniel's website was the first place I looked. http://www.jackdaniels.com/Recipes/Food.aspx I used Jack's Birthday Cake recipe for this cake.

Then to figure out how to decorate the cake. Hmmm. The couple sounded like they had a great sense of humor so I asked Kristie about making a cake to look like a baby face crying. She loved the idea and here's what it looked like.

Good luck, indeed, Sara and Ryan! I wish you the best with your new little bundle of joy...er...Pat. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tracy's Spring Birthday Cake

My friend Robin requested a cake for her sister's birthday on Saturday. Robin tasted our friend Katie's Festival du Love wedding shower cake and fell in love with the flavor and look of the spiral cake. She wanted the same thing for her sister. I was happy to help. The only direction I got from Robin was to do something springy and happy and flowery for her sister. Done.

This time of year always makes me think of Robin and her family. In the house where she grew up, the backyard was always overflowing with daffodils in the spring. They came up in little clumps throughout the forested backyard and I always loved how natural they looked there. A welcomed sign of spring. So, the flower I wanted to make for Tracy's cake had to be the daffodil.

It had been awhile since I'd made one and had to reteach myself. But I think the effort was well worth my time. The royal icing daffodils turned out well and make for a VERY springy cake. :)

A very happy birthday to you, Tracy! All the best in the coming year!

Aidan's First Communion

Kelli requested a communion cake for her son, Aidan. Together, Kelli and I looked through the Wilton.com website to come up with some ideas for the blessed event. She was looking for something a little different than just the plain sheet cake which she finds at the local grocery store.

She came across the Faith Mosaic cake from Wilton.com. http://www.wilton.com/idea/Faith-Mosaic-Cake She loved the design but asked me to include some darker blues in the mosaic mix.

Because she was looking for something a little more interesting, I offered to color the cake batter as well, in different hues of blues and she loved the idea. I used a white cake recipe and colored the batter in three different blue colors and swirled in some white as well. Here's what it looked like right before it went into the oven.

This cake is a two-layer white cake with buttercream filling. I opted to leave the filling white to prevent everyone's teeth and lips from turning blue. :) Covering the cake in fondant wasa little tricky as I had never covered one in the shape of a cross before. And, finding the topper to the cake proved to be a little challenging. Michael's didn't carry it, but my local Ben Franklin did. At the last minute I was able to find the last little communion boy and get it for the cake. Phew!

I think the cake turned out really well.

Congratulations on your First Communion, Aidan!

Baby Block Shower Cake

Trudy asked me to do a cake for her daughter's baby shower and she forwarded this link to me from Martha Stewart:


I thought the idea was absolutely adorable and was looking forward to getting started. I had some challenges, though, with this one. Martha wanted me to start out with a 12X18 sheet cake. After it bakes, I was to cut the cake in half and place one half over the other in order to make a two-layer cake. Then, I was to cut the cake into twelve, 3X3 inch pieces. None of this was challenging, but when I started working with these mini-cakes, the difficulty level raised dramatically. Frosting each with buttercream was sloppy and covering them in fondant was a whole different world to me. I'm used to working with cakes at least twice that size.

After a few hours (yes, it took more than one) I had each of the cakes covered in fondant and was working on decorating them. If you see from the picture from the website, Martha only shows 9 mini-cakes. The sides of the inside cakes weren't decorated, but everything on the outside was. I had to come up with at least 24 different designs on the sides and top and THAT was actually hard. I kept asking my husband, "What else can I put on a block?" He'd say, "A duck." Got it. "A boat." Got it. "A boot." Ooh! A BOOT!! Didn't have that one. But finally, I got them all decorated and the overall effect was really quite cute.

Trudy requested a white cake with strawberry buttercream. Her daughter is having a girl, and the pink filling was in honor of her soon-to-arrive granddaughter. The plan was to cut each of the mini-cakes in half, providing 24 servings. Nice.

I hope the shower was lovely! And congrats to Trudy and her daughter on the new addition to their family. How exciting!