Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Addy's First Communion

Eloise's big sister, Addy, received her first communion this weekend.  They had a joint celebration for the two girls.  So, I wanted the two cakes to coordinate nicely, but also be different enough to truly capture both of these wonderful milestones.  

I used Wilton tip 12 to make the pull-out dots on the top of the cake.  The little flowers and the cross are made of fondant. 

 I used a cut-out to make the floral imprint on the cross and I like how that turned out.  

My camera setting makes this cake look yellow, but it was really a nice soft white buttercream.

Congratulations and many warm blessings to Addy on this wonderful occasion!

Eloise's Pretty Petal Cake

A few weeks before my Maren was born, this little Eloise arrived.  My oldest daughter is in Kindergarten with Eloise's big brother, Alex.  The two of them have a LOT in common and it will be great fun to see Maren and Eloise grow up together.  So, when Jessica, their mom, asked me to do Eloise's 1st birthday cake, I was absolutely honored.  She said that she wanted something frilly and pink.  I came across an orange ombre-type petal cake on Pinterest and thought it looked super cool.  I used pink instead of orange and here's what it turned into.

Wilton tip 81 is what I used.  Never used that tip before and now it's one of my favorites!!

Here's a little smash cupcake for Eloise.  I used the same effect with tip 81 to top the cupcake.  Not too much frosting, but just enough!

Happy Birthday, Eloise!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Snowboard in April

So when Jessica asked me to do a snowboard cake for William, I thought, "Cool!  But how sad that William never gets to go snowboarding on his birthday."  Then, I looked outside and even though this is April, it was actually SNOWING!  It's rare, but it does happen from time to time in this lovely unpredictable state of Wisconsin.  

Jessica said that William has a snowboard with flames on it and wanted a cake shaped like a snowboard with flames on it for William.  I was happy to oblige.  

One half of this cake is chocolate cake without filling (William is not a fan of filling...I know...WHAT?!!) and the other half is a yellow cake with raspberry preserves and buttercream filling. 

My daughter is my best critic.  I mean, at almost six, she tells it like it is.  When I showed her the completed cake I asked her what it was and she said, "It's a skate board with flames on it."  Cool.  Hopefully I got it right!!

I hope you had a great birthday, William!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Turtle Power!

I remember when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie came out.  I was in Junior High School and I saw it at the Fox River Mall movie theater, which no longer exists, by the way.  Those were the days.  And while I couldn't tell you ANY of the details of the movie, I still remember laughing and thinking they had such "silly" names. 
So, when Carmen asked me to do a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cake for her son Landon's birthday, I knew what she was talking about and was so excited to get started. 
Here I am carving a secret "clue" in the manhole cover I made.  The question is....where are manhole covers made in the US?  It was the same city in which I spent my childhood. 

I searched all over this house to find an item that would make the markings on the top of this fondant.  ALL.OVER.THE.HOUSE.  Finally, I found one of my daughter's spoon covers and it made the perfect "stamp". 


Before I give you the answer to my question, I'll tell you how I made each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I took some of the cake scraps from the cake and mixed them with some frosting.  Essentially, I was making very large cake pops.  I rolled them in to balls and placed them in the fridge so they'd firm up a bit. 

Then I took the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo and cut that out of gum paste using my handy dandy Exacto knife.  I love this thing!  It has a retractable blade and it's pink.  I found it in the scrapbooking section at Target.  Love it!

After they firmed up, I covered each of the cake balls (TMNT heads) in fondant and decorated them like so. 

I placed the TMNT logo on the top of the cake and I made little manhole covers for the side of the cake so I could include Landon's name.  Kids love to see their name on a cake!!!
I'm so sad I didn't get a picture, but Landon came to pick up his cake with his mom.  I usually don't get to see the excitement on the child's face when they see their cake, but I did with Landon and it was priceless!  His excitement made me feel so good!
Okay, back to manhole covers.  Where are they made?  In the state of Wisconsin...
Up in the Fox Cities, my "hometown" Neenah, Wisconsin.  They're still making them too!
Landon, I hope your party was awesome.  Happy Birthday!!! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013


We celebrated Will's sister's birthday just a few weeks ago and Cake Mama was back for a DINOSAUR adventure for Will's 3rd birthday!  I received this DINO-MITE invitation in the mail (personal information is blacked out so you don't stalk Will trying to get a bite of this delicious cake.)

Will's mom, my friend Kate, wanted a "cute dinosaur" cake for Will.  You know, not a cake with a Dinosaur eating a unicorn, which I DID see out there via a forward from my dad.  It exists and it is hilarious.   But we thought for Will's party, we'd keep it rated G+.  No gore, just cute.

I'm so proud of the color matching on this one!


So I made a dinosaur out of Rice Krispie treats.  The body was molded using a bowl from my dish set, and the head and neck were molded by hand.  Everything is covered in fondant and with the exception of the dowel holding the neck to the body, everything is completely edible.  And I said we'd keep the gore out of it!  Oh!  And!  I covered the dinosaur with the number 3.  Lots of 'em.    

I placed a few dowels in the cake, and the dinosaur was then placed on top of those dowels.  Rice Krispie treats are a little lighter than cake, but I wanted to make sure that he didn't sink into the cake.  Again, we're trying to keep it "cute".  

Keeping with the invitation's theme, I cut out these dinosaur footprints and placed Will's name in them.  The back of the cake has the word "Dino-mite" in dinosaur footprints.  


Kate also requested cupcakes with dinosaur "spikes" on them.  I have to admit, I struggled with this one.  I made the first half of the cupcakes green and when I uses the large leaf tip to make the spikes, I thought the cupcakes just looked like a prehistoric fern or something.  When I whipped up the orange frosting and made smaller spikes, I think it looked more the way I had envisioned it.  But I think the color combination was really striking!

Here's the cake at its final destination.

And here are the cupcakes.

I was teaching today and therefore had to miss Will's birthday party.  I heard it was a blast and am so thankful I got to be a part of Will's special day!  Happy Birthday, Buddy!

[I'm] Without A Clue

My husband's favorite movie of ALL TIME is Without A Clue, a Sherlock Holmes and Watson movie starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley circa 1988.  I've see the movie once, my husband...eh...about 100 times.  And I remember the one time I watched the movie with him, he was giggling in anticipation of the "funny" moments in the film which distracted me from watching the movie.  He loved it as a child and still loves it today.  If you're a Sherlock fan, I'm "sher" you'll love this one too.  Be prepared for some ridiculousness, however.  You were warned.  And perhaps if you're watching it NOT in the presence of my husband, your level of distraction will be much less and perhaps you'll remember more about this movie that is cherished so very much.  

Without a Clue (1988) Poster

So for our second birthday get together for the weekend, I whipped up this bad boy.  A chocolate flecked cake with Nutella frosting.  I made a sillouette of Sherlock out of fondant and put 221b on the cake.  True Sherlock fans will surely get the significance of that.  ;)

Here's the cake ready to be served!

Nothing is prettier than a candle-lit cake, in my opinion.

And here's the inside of this delicious cake.  You can see all of the wonderful chocolate "flecks" - 1 POUND of chocolate flecks to be exact.  Mmmmmm!

Happy Birthday, Danny!  Can't wait for your next "birthday on the five!"

Friday, April 12, 2013


Well, this is my husband's birthday weekend (or birthday month, as he chooses to celebrate).  He's celebrating a birthday which is "on the five" and therefore, according to my husband, requires a great deal of celebrating and commotion.  We had a family get together this evening and for this fun celebration, I thought I'd surprise my husband with the cake he's asked for since he was a little boy (many "fives" ago).  In fact, since I've been decorating cakes, he's asked for this particular cake every year.    And, every year, I groan and say, "REALLY?  That cake will take me FOREVER."  And then I talk him into something else.

Well, this year I decided to tackle this cake.  How hard could it be?   I was determined to make the R2D2 cake he so desired and surprise him with it.  

After doing many Google searches on the R2D2 cake, I decided on a simple design.  I discovered that they actually sold Wilton R2D2 pans, but I was decorating last night for the cake we'd eat tonight, so there was no time.  I had to free-hand this cake.

Once I really took it all in, I had a moment of Divine intervention (which honestly happens with most of my cakes...a spark, a whisper - it's really neat!).  This really wasn't so tough afterall.

I made a Chocolate-Flecked cake in a 9 X 13 pan.  I then domed the top, cut in some on the sides and cut out the space between R2's front wheely-leg-thingys.  That was the shape I wanted.  The next step was to decorate.

I did all of the black outlines first with a Tip 5 and filled in the white, the gray, the blue and finished with the red thingy on top (can you tell I'm the BIGGEST Star Wars fan?!!).

I'm sad that I didn't have a picture of Danny's face when he saw the cake last night.  He was absolutely ecstatic!  He finally got his R2D2 cake and I'm so grateful we got to share it with so many wonderful people.  

Happy Birthday, Hon!  Here's to "birthdays on the fives!"

Sunday, April 7, 2013

D-d-d-d Dora! F-f-f-f-for Kaylin!

I was super excited to do this next cake for my friend Elly.  She and I met at Disney World while we were participating in Disney's College Program "just a few" years ago.  It was really something, because she was one of the first people I met there and there were students from ALL over the WORLD.  But Elly lived in Wisconsin, just a few miles from where I lived.  Excuse me, but I have to say it..."It's a small world, afterall."  

Here's Elly and me on our College Program graduation day.  I think we both graduated with our Ducktorates.  Mine is still hanging in my office.  ;)

Well, Elly's daughter, Kaylin turned three and she was so excited to be having a Dora the Explorer cake.  And I was so excited to make it FOR her!  I've logged a few hours watching Dora the Explorer with my daughter and the show is super cute and educational.  

A day before I started on the cake, Elly posted this picture on Facebook.  Every year she makes cookies for her kids and this was to be the color scheme of the cake for Kaylin.  Aren't these beautiful cookies?  They must have taken FOREVER!!

And here's the cake I made for Kaylin.  I absolutely love how it turned out.  The cake is a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge, Oreo and buttercream filling and frosting.

I found Dora and her playhouse online and couldn't resist!  It was absolutely PERFECT for Kaylin's cake.  

Look at how cute Dora is!  I'm not that great at sculpting things out of fondant - not one of my strengths.  I always admire the work of people who do that really well.  But if I were a kid, I have to be honest - I'd rather have the toy! And this was too cute to pass up.  I found "Dora's friends" at Target and had to include them too.  They were so colorful, and...

...the set included SWIPER!  

I put him at the back of the cake because he tends to be on the naughty side.  Let's pretend that he's trying to steal the number 3, shall we? 

I had a great time decorating this cake.  Lots of fun colors and I used a mixture of gum paste/fondant and buttercream.  The path leading up to Dora's playhouse is made out of brown sugar.

Kaylin, I hope you had a WONDERFUL 3rd birthday!  Thank you so much for including me in your day!  

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool's - Cake Mama Style

Well, it's April Fool's Day.  A day that I've always enjoyed celebrating.  Josie has always been too little to understand the whole "April Fools" thing, but this year, as she's about to turn six, I figured this was the perfect time to introduce her to this lovely little "holiday." 

All day long, I've been telling her, "We're having cupcakes for dinner and hamburgers and French fries for dessert."  And all day long, she's been correcting me because, "We don't eat cupcakes for dinner!!!"

What makes me feel really bad, yet incredibly proud of my daughter, is that she kept saying, "I want to have something healthy with my cupcake.  Like carrots and strawberries too, okay Mama?"   Oooh...I had her convinced!  This prank was in the bag!!!

So, here's the cupcake she had.    It's a meatloaf cupcake with mashed potato frosting and a tomato on top. 
Look at the excitement on that face!  She can't believe she's about to eat a cupcake for DINNER!!! 

And then, after she teased me for putting a tomato on top (silly Mama) she tried it.  "EWWWWWWWWW!!!!!"  Spit, spit, spit....  "That's not frosting!!"  
"I'll just eat the cake part."  She removes the "frosting."
Drops the "cupcake" on her plate like it's poison, "Ew.  Gross....  What is that?"

(Not happy with her meal, I supplied her with food I knew she would like.  A cheese quesadilla, carrots and strawberries.  She was thrilled with that.) 
Now it was time for the "Main Course."  I was serving hamburgers and French fries with ketchup on the side. 

Yep, this was a hit. 

For the French fries, I bought a small Sara Lee pound cake, let it thaw at room temperature and cut it into strips.  I placed the strips on a cookie sheet and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  They came out crispy and golden brown.  The fries were dipped into raspberry puree.

For the hamburgers, I picked up some Nilla wafers for the bun, Keebler Grasshopper cookies for the hamburger, and yellow and red frosting for the mustard and ketchup. 

Happy April Fool's Day!!  What was your best prank (either given or received)??!!!