Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pretty Present

Seriously. I don't think I will ever tire of a cake that is topped with a cute little bow. This one is no exception. Kim requested a cake for her mom's birthday. She wanted a smaller 6" cake and one with a bow on top because she thought her mom would enjoy that.

When it came down to actually planning the cake, Kim requested a mint green cake with a light purple bow (some of her mom's favorite colors) and some flowers along the side. And here's what I delivered today.

It's a vanilla cake with buttercream and homemade lemon curd filling, covered in fondant with a gum paste bow and flowers.

I hope that Kim and her mom had a fabulous lunch and I hope they enjoyed the cake!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Garden Delight!

Mari requested a Garden Party - themed cake for her daughter, Ali's, 1st birthday party. It's a good thing that Mari reserved me about 4 months in advance because it took almost that long to plan and execute this cake! But this was an EXCITING one to make. It put to use ALL of the skills that I teach in my cake decorating classes; buttercream, royal icing, fondant AND gum paste!

The flowers alone took about 5 hours to complete. But I am SO happy with the result. I love this cake.

After taking the pictures and looking at them, I decided the cake needed a little height. So I added the #1 made out of gum paste. Yep. Just what it needed.

And here's the birthday girl!

The top tier of the cake was chocolate with buttercream filling.

The bottom tier was a vanilla cake with strawberry preserve filling.

I think she's all caked out. :)

Ali, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your special day! I love gardens and I absolutely love cakes, so I had a blast! Happy birthday to you, my dear!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grandma Dorothy!

Saturday will be my Grandma Dorothy's 91st birthday. Here she is last July on her 90th (photo courtesy of Robin Downing Photography).

You can see the cake I made for her last year on my Cake Mama site. This year, I made her a smaller cake; one that she could share with her friends in her hometown, as she will be celebrating her birthday with my Aunt and cousins in western Minnesota this year. A cake wouldn't make it all of the way out there without melting from southeastern Wisconsin in this heat and humidity.

My mom picked out this one from But she wanted me to use buttercream instead of fondant wherever possible. And she thought that my grandma would get a kick out of bow on top of the cake.

So here's what I made for my Grandma Dorothy:

It's a chocolate cake with raspberry preserves and vanilla bean buttercream filling, frosted with some more of the vanilla bean buttercream. The bow is made out of gum paste and the flowers are the only fondant on the cake.

I hope my Grandma has a fantastic, joyful birthday! I look forward to seeing her soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hunger Games!

I had the honor tonight of hosting a book club meeting with a group of my friends. Because I hosted, I got to choose the book. The last time I hosted, I made the mistake of choosing The Power of One which turned out to be total DUD, in my opinion. The MOVIE was great. Book? Not so much. Anyway, I was SUPER excited about The Hunger Games and gave the group about 5 weeks to read it. Many of the people in our book club went on to read the 2nd in the trilogy and I actually finished the third this morning. I HIGHLY recommend these books. SUPER great, albiet pretty violent books. Reader beware.

My friend Kate ( started the book club last Fall and we meet about every 5-8 weeks to discuss another book. Everyone takes turns hosting and it's something that I look forward to so much! Kate, who planned the first one, established it like this:

1. The host picks the book and the location. We can meet at the host's house OR she can choose a restaurant, coffee house, that sort of thing (we've always meet at someone's house, but we're always open to meeting somewhere else).
2. The host provides the beverages for the event. Soda, water (LOTS and LOTS of wine)
3. The host facilitates the discussion. We start out by going around in a circle and rate the book on a scale of 1-10 and then explain our rating. Then the host usually asks questions pertaining to the book, but it's really open to discussion. Other people ask questions, we're really casual.
4. Everyone else brings a small dish to pass. Chips, salsa, sushi, dips, fruit, cheese, crackers - it's ALL good.
5. The book club is open to our friends and friends of friends, so everyone is welcome to bring a guest. The more the merrier.
6. AND - you don't even have to read the book to come, although you'll have a better time with the discussion part if you do. :)

Tonight, I was joined by Kari, Robin, Kelly, Mari, Beth, Kate, Erin and Kristi and we had SUCH a good time! The book was really well liked by everyone. The average rating on a scale of 1-10 was a 9! Yay! We're all looking forward to the movie next year. :)

I also took this opportunity to make a cake for the event. I AM the Cake Mama afterall. Here's what I came up with:

The terrible humidity did NOT like the fondant/gum paste flames coming out the back of the cake. They stayed up long enough for me to get a quick picture and then they faded off. But here's my stab at the Mockingjay, made out of gum paste and a little fondant.

The cake was a red velvet with cream cheese filling. For those of you who have read the books, I'm sure you understand my reasoning behind the red velvet.

If you haven't already read the books, I highly recommend them. The first one is a VERY fast read that gets started pretty quickly. I hope you enjoy!!

My Little Pony - Take 2

I got the call from Scott about making a My Little Pony cake for a 2-year old birthday cake. He liked the one I had done earlier this year for Clare but wanted the colors to be brown and pink. At first, I was a little stumped, because Clare's was SO colorful, but then it hit me. I could use many different shades of pink to add to the color pool I was using. I also added a little white just to accent a little. I finished it up with little colored fondant balls around the base and here's the cake:

This is a yellow cake with raspberry preserves filling.

I hope the birthday girl had a wonderful 2nd birthday!

Animal Loving Birthday Girl

Heather requested a 10th birthday cake for her daughter, Melissa. Melissa absolutely loves animals and volunteers at her local Humane Society. Her biggest dream is to become a veterinarian. After thinking about it, I suggested we do a cake that has the Veterinarian's logo on the top with different animal prints along the side. Both Heather and Melissa loved the idea. And here's what I made:

It's a red velvet cake with vanilla buttercream filling.

I hope that Melissa had a wonderful birthday celebration! I'm also curious to know if she was able to identify all of the different animal prints on the side of her cake! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, USA!!!

My neighbor, Kris, ordered a batch of cake pops for her daughter's 4th of July festivities this weekend. I was so excited to do these! It's been a while since I've had the order for one. Although, it seems so counterintuitive to put so much care into baking a cake just to throw it in the mixer and destroy it to make the pops. But, what a great result, eh?

Chocolate cake and buttercream frosting mixed together, rolled into balls, dipped in white chocolate and wrapped...seriously, could it get any better?

For my family's celebration this weekend, Josie and I made cupcakes. Josie doesn't get to help me bake in the kitchen UNLESS it's for a family function, so she was MORE than excited to assist her Cake Mama.

The white cupcakes are red velvet, cream cheese filling and buttercream frosting. The blue cupcakes are chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. Josie added the sprinkles - and did a FABulous job, I might add!

And on the actual 4th of July, we enjoyed the traditional strawbery (and blueberry) shortcakes for dessert. Homemade shortcakes with delicious strawberries and sweet blueberris. Doesn't get more patriotic (or delicious) than this!

I wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!