Monday, October 24, 2011

Pink Pumpkin Cake!

Anne requested a cake for her daughter, Eve's, 1st birthday. She wanted a cake in the shape of a pink pumpkin. I suggested we do a pumpkin cake in the shape of a pumpkin and she thought the idea was a good one. I had a FANTASTIC recipe that I've made once before and still daydream about it. It's a delicious pumpkin cake with a whipped cream and brown sugar frosting. Super moist and super light!

Now, getting the cake into the shape of a pumpkin...that's where I was stumped...but my good cake-decorating friend, Heidi, had done one before and blew my mind when she said you just use two bundt pans, one inverted on top of the other. Duh. (As an aside, almost everything Heidi tells me leads to this response. She's so wise. And thank you again, Heidi!)

Baking the cakes was a cinch and my house smelled absolutely divine. Once the cakes were cooled, I FILLED them with the whipped cream. If I didn't do this, the frosting to cake ratio would have been too dismal.

Added the top tier.

I filled the inside with rice krispie treat to maintain its' shape.

And then I crumb-coated with more whipped cream. I could have stopped right here and the cake was delicious!

But Anne requested a pink pumpkin and a pink pumpkin is what she got!

I made the pumpkin leaves out of gum paste. I used some pink luster dust to add some dimension and shading and added the pink sparkles, per her request.

I hope that Eve had a most excellent 1st birthday party!

Cute as a Baby!

What fun to do this cake again! My client contacted me requesting a baby shower cake for his wife. He requested a moist marble cake with chocolate mousse filling. Yup! I can DO that!

The only issue that I had was (and remember, I'm a from-scratch baker) finding a mousse recipe that DIDN'T have raw eggs in it. I came across Alton Brown's recipe which uses unflavored gelatin as a substitute. I wanted the mom-to-be to be able to enjoy her cake, right?! Anyway, I think the mousse turned out great (I also skipped the alcohol), and paired with the marble cake, it was a delicious combination.

Congrats to the new parents-to-be!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Lorraine requested golf-themed cupcakes for her daughter's golf outing this weekend. They were for the girl's golf team in Oconomowoc and simply had to be gold and purple. I agonized about what to put on top of the cupcakes and thought about fondant golf balls or paper golf balls on toothpicks. I scoured Michael's to try to come up with some ideas and just before I finally headed home, defeated, I stopped by a candy shop downtown Oconomowoc, I saw that they carried basketball, baseball and soccer ball chocolate candies but I wondered if they carried golf balls.

They did!

But they'd be in next week.


The employee asked me what I needed them for and I told her I wanted to put something on top of my cupcakes. She excused herself and ran to the backroom and a few moments later came back with a golf ball candy mold.

AWESOME!!! She made the little white chocolate golf balls especially for this project! I absolutely love the way they turned out!

The cupcakes are chocolate with buttercream filling and frosting with sprinkles and white chocolate golf balls on top. Phew!

I hope Carly has a great event! Thanks for thinking of me!

A Gerbera-Worthy Affair

Lori requested a Cake Mama cake for her son and daughter-in-law's wedding reception. They were married in early September and had a beautiful Colorado ceremony and then had a Wisconsin reception this weekend. Paul and Ryan's wedding cake was a lemon poppyseed cake with cream cheese filling, but I'm told that neither got a piece at their reception last month. So, they requested another.

This was a fun project to take on. I found MANY poppyseed cake recipes and plenty of lemon poppyseed loaves or muffin recipes, but had difficulty finding a lemon poppyseed cake recipe. So, I had to make my own and I hope it turned out well!

I made two, 2-layer sheet cakes for the special occasion. One was decorated with hot pink Gerbera daisies to match the flowers on the table, the other was simply frosted and cut into immediately. Here's how the decorated one turned out. Gotta love those gum paste Gerbera daisies!!

Congrats to Paul and Ryan on their marriage!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

This was a really fun cake to do! I've done a soccer cake before. I've done a rugby cake. And this weekend, I got to do a baseball cake! And I worked on it right as the Brewer's won their game. What a great night and such fantastic inspiration!

Jake's cake is a chocolate cake with cream cheese filling, buttercream frosting and fondant decor. Gotta love the grass tip!

I hope Jake's birthday was fantastic! So much to celebrate!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

On Sunday we celebrated my mom's birthday. A few days early, but in my family, we celebrate birthweeks (my husband prefers to celebrate birthMONTHS...oy!) anyway. Well, we have a trip to Disney World coming up and my mom's favorite Disney character has always been Goofy. So, why not a Goofy cake?

Here she is with two very excited grandchildren!

My mom's favorite cake is poppyseed cake. I'm making two lemon poppyseed cakes this weekend and needed some taste-testers so I thought I'd kill two birds with this one. My family never seems to complain when I do this. I think the cake turned out extremely well! The lemon zest and lemon juice in the cake made it absolutely delicious and moist!

Happy Birthday to you, Mom! Thanks again for all you do for me (and my family)!

I love you!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Beautiful Day for a Wedding

Teri was planning a beautiful Fall wedding and asked me to make her wedding cake many, many months ago. Teri and I went to high school together and I could not be happier for her and her lovely new hubby, Michael. The two make an absolutely beautiful couple! I'm INCREDIBLY thankful for Teri's belief and support in me. She asked me to do her wedding cake before I had even done one before. Seriously. I love that!

This week has been a busy, busy week for me. I baked a total of 17 cakes for Teri and Michael's special day. They requested not only a wedding cake, but also a groom's cake to be delivered the day of the wedding. This made for a lot of planning and precise execution!

Here's my staging area. All of the cakes are accounted for:

2 - 6 inch red velvet cakes
3 - 6 inch white cakes
2 - 8 inch chocolate cakes
4 - 8 inch white cakes
4 - 10 inch white cakes
2 - 14 inch white cakes

I also made some more of my raspberry buttercream for half of the wedding cakes and a chocolate ganache for the other half of the wedding cakes. The groom's cake was red velvet filled with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake filled with buttercream.

The wedding cake design was a simple white cake covered with fondant with a geometric design in orange striping and orange flowers. Really elegant.

To keep in line with the elegant orange flowers, Teri and Michael ordered this as their cake topper. Can you even believe how cute they are?

Teri and Michael wanted a Pac-Man themed cake for the groom's cake because I'm told that Ms. Pac-Man played a roll in their first date. Gosh, I love that game! So I found a great picture online that included a "groom" Pac-Man and a "bride" Ms. Pac-Man, veil and all!

With the assistance of my mom (again - THANK YOU!!!), these two cakes were assembled and delivered safely.

Now, onto the rest of their lives! I wish you both all of the happiness in the world!!! Thanks for asking me to be a part of your very special day!

PDSA & ITP Awareness...and CAKE!

On September 24th, 2011 we hosted our 2nd Annual Platelet Disorder Support Association 5K Walk/Run in Oconomowoc, WI. This was yet another fantastic fundraising effort. It's tough to even imagine that all of this would have been possible from that first walk around the lake 3 years ago on Father's Day where my family and I raised $500 for PDSA. That marked PDSA's first EVER fundraising event.

The next year, I helped to raised nearly $8,000 by getting the "right" people involved, which sparked a national outpouring of support including other states hosting their own 5Ks and fundraising events for PDSA. Snowball that into this year where PDSA purchased some new fundraising software and the potential grew exponentially. Not only did we raise over $13,000 this year (and the number continues to rise), other walks throughout the country (and WORLD) have raised funds and awareness as well.

I came across this link just a few days ago and was blown away by the generosity of people. This gentleman, Lance, raised over $50,000 for PDSA earlier this month all because he knew Brian, a kid with ITP, and he wanted to do something about it.

The month of September, again, is recognized as ITP Awareness Month, which just continues to bring even more awareness to the disease. So many people have helped raise awareness of ITP and funds to support PDSA and I couldn't be more appreciative. It's a humbling position to be in when people are so willing to assist and eager to do so. Seriously, I had a couple of "moments" last weekend, just looking around at the crowd that gathered. Knowing we were all there together, for one purpose.

Danny's team from Wells Fargo!

One 14-year old girl, Liz, who has ITP, raised over $1500 and brought 39!!!! people to walk with her. She was on "Team Liz" and her mantra through her disease has been Live, Love, Laugh, Liz. That was the saying on all of the t-shirts her friends and family wore to support her. They were an amazing group of people; so supportive of Liz.

Another 14-year old girl, Emily who also has ITP, raised over $2000. She raised over $1000 last year. Think about that! She's 14!!!

Both of these girls are only teenagers, dealing with a difficult disease that not many people, INCLUDING doctors, fully understand. But this walk/run has given them purpose and an opportunity to do SOMETHING about it, which is exactly why I started the walk 3 years ago. I couldn't heal my Dad, but I AM a planner!

Our medalists!

Our fundraising efforts have been grand this year. Better than I could have imagined. My co-coordinators, Kim, Trudy and myself, asked anyone we could think of to donate gift certificates, tickets and memberships to our raffle. We got a license through the state and raffled off gift baskets that were each worth $750-900 each.

We had the:
Dream Date Deal (gift certificates to about 25 restaurants, a one-year family membership to the Milwaukee County Zoo and a one-year family membership to the Milwaukee Public Museum), the
Sizzling Sports Spectacular (tickets to the Milwaukee Wave, Milwaukee Admirals, Milwaukee Bucks, a Milwaukee Bucks autographed jersey, Milwaukee Brewers goodies and a heart-rate sports monitor), and the
Priceless Packers Package (autographed football with all of the 2011 Super Bowl champs and staff and tickets to the Bishops Charity Event plus other Packers swag).
The raffle alone raised around $2200!!

And we're already planning for next year. Kim has a dream that we'll give away a Disney Vacation next year!! We'll be doing the Dream Date and hopefully the Packers again. But stay tuned for more raffle information. I'm excited to see what we'll come up with for next year. It'll be better than this year, if you can imagine!

Also, Lance, the gentleman in the link I included, has expressed an interest in helping us out with our fundraising efforts next year. Peak Performance, the gym where he trains, has a chain in Hartland, WI. Think of the possibilitities.

And all of this from a little walk around Fowler Lake 3 years ago. And I can't wait to do it again on September 29, 2012.

I love you, Dad!

If you'd like to donate to the Platelet Disorder Support Association, please check out our link here: