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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vegas Baby!


 
For our friend's 50th Birthday party, we decided to do a casino theme... fun in so many ways! Fun decorations, fun games, fun casino themed food... just fun!
 
 
For my part I did the cake.  I'm not super creative on my own, so my favorite thing to do is scour the internet for ideas and either look for a cake to try & recreate or mash some ideas together for my own twist.  This 'Vegas style' cake was a lot of fun to do!
 
 
Simple two-tiered design... covered in marshmallow fondant with fondant rose accents, fondant coins and an arm for the slot machine too!  For the arm I covered a wooden dowel with fondant, capped it with a ball of fondant, and brushed an edible silver glitter powder on it for a metal looking effect.
 
 


Life's a Beach!


For my daughter's 8th Birthday she decided to have a "Teen Beach Movie 2" party.  I knew we could have a lot of fun with a beach themed cake so I started scouring the internet for ideas.  I found a cake to recreate and put together my shopping list!
 
 
This cake was fairly easy to do and if I'd planned better & started earlier it would have turned out even cooler!  This cake was two tiers... the first tier I covered with light blue tinted marshmallow fondant.  The second tier I frosted with buttercream and lined the outside with Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies.  I then sprinkled brown sugar on the top of the second tier (sand), used Milk Duds as coconuts, a fondant surf board, pretzel rods for trees (with fondant leaves) and a drink umbrella just to be cute!
 
The thing I was most disappointed in was my trees.  If I had done my tree leaves a day or two in advance and let them harden some, they would have looked more natural and I wouldn't have had to prop them up with toothpicks.  But... all in all the cake turned out well.  It definitely went with our party theme and Ginger loved it!
 


Friday, January 30, 2015

Spiderman!

Spiderman!
 

 
I've made a Spiderman cake before... years ago... with a Wilton shaped cake pan and the star tip pattern frosting... but this is the more grown up version of this cool comic book hero!
 
This cake was for a Sweet 16 party for a young lady who likes super heroes.  I scoured Pinterest for ideas (I'm LOVING Pinterest by the way... aren't you?!) and found this design.  I love the simplicity of it... not overdone or too advanced for me and fits perfectly with the Spiderman themed party!
 
I am a huge fan of marshmallow fondant ... it's easy to make, easy to work with and actually tastes good... but I find that whether you're tinting fondant or buttercream there are some colors that are just VERY hard to get right... and red is one of them.  So, I headed down to the craft store to hit the cake aisle for some pre-made red fondant. 
 
Now that I had all my supplies in hand it was time to get started.  For this cake I did three layers of 10-inch cakes for the bottom tier... did a buttercream crumb coat and then covered it with my marshmallow fondant in blue.  I used four wooden dowels in the center of this cake to support the second tier, which was two 8-inch cakes covered in the Wilton red fondant.
 
Once both cakes were covered I placed the red tier on top of the wooden dowels and started the webbing.  I used a pre-made black Wilton tube frosting for the webbing (black is another color that's tough to tint dark enough).
 
 
I set aside a small piece of the red fondant and rolled it out into an oval/face shape and turned that into Spiderman's face for the top of the cake.  This really added a nice detail and also works well to cover up the center of the spider web which can look a little messy/chaotic.
 
 
For the city effect I had to make a choice here... spend extra money on the pre-made black fondant and hope I can get the buildings to set enough to use on the sides of the cake or save the money and make a non-edible option.  I went for construction paper, white paper, a highlighter and a little tape & glue.  I was able to make the buildings, attach them together and place them around the bottom tier of the cake for a lot less money and still get a really cool effect.
 
 
 

 
I really enjoyed making this cake. I'm happy with how it turned out and loved the opportunity to work with fondant again. The more you work with it the more you learn & grow... so don't be intimidated... it's fun and not as hard as you might think! 
 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lacrosse!


One of my favorite things is to do cakes for my kid's "end of season" sports parties!  It's so fun to do sports themed cakes or tailor a cake to go with a specific team.  With Lacrosse season coming to a close it was the perfect time to play with marshmallow fondant a little bit and also
to try out my alphabet cut-outs!
 
I've found it very difficult to cut letters out of fondant... making them all the same size and having them actually look nice... not easy!  Then I saw some alphabet cutters at the craft store:
http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Fondant-Alphabet-Number-Cookie/dp/B0009PU010


We are the "Woodinville Falcons" so I did a bunch of little green & blue W's to go on the cupcakes. I was worried about denting or creasing the fondant if I tried to pop out the W's with my fingernail, so I decided to try a Q-tip to push them out and that worked great.

 
For the Lacrosse head I used marshmallow fondant to shape the head, shaft and to make a little Lacrosse ball.  Then I piped in white mesh and used blue fondant for the shooting strings. It would have been nice to give it a more 3-D affect on the pocket by doing the mesh out of fondant and letting it harden, but I wasn't sure it would work.  I may have to try that next time!
 
 
Go Falcons!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Leopard Print Birthday Cake - the 'Trial Run'

 
My Best Friend & I are turning 40 this year and celebrating with a joint birthday bash.  We're determined to make it awesome ... right down to the cake!  I love leopard/cheetah print and my BFF loves pink so we've decided on a combination of those two things for our party theme. 
 
I've found a bunch of really cute leopard print cake ideas on the Internet, but the thought of attempting to make a leopard print design is a little intimidating!  I found a channel on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/laurapoopie (Laura Varela of Krazy Kool Cakes) and she shows some GREAT tutorials on cake decorating, including a great one on painting
the leopard print design onto fondant.
 
 
For this design you cover your cake with fondant tinted in a light color (I used tan/beige). Once you have your cake covered, mix a little bit of black gel tint with vodka.  Using a fine bristled paint brush,  paint little C's, U's and parentheses all over the cake (no pattern, just randomly).  You don't want them perfectly shaped either... kind of ragged on the edges & slightly different sizes is better.
 
 
Then you mix your highlight color (in this case I used brown to go with the beige, but you could use light pink & dark pink, lavender & purple, you get the idea....) - mix this gel tint with a little vodka as well and fill in the middle of the C's, U's & parentheses.  You can also use lemon juice
to thin the gel tint, but the vodka evaporates and works nicely with no added flavor.
 
 
To finish off the 'trial run' cake I added a ribbon around the bottom and a bow.  When I do the cake for our 40th Birthday bash I will do a couple of tiers in the leopard and I'll use a darker
pink for the ribbon.  I'm SOOOO glad that I did a practice cake... now I have a good idea of
the areas I want to practice more before attempting our cake (ribbons & bows for sure)!!   
But all in all, the leopard was much easier to do than I expected it to be. 
 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Football Celebration Cake

Great Season Woodinville Falcons!!
 

 
 
 My son plays in the local Junior Football league and we here in Woodinville take our Football very seriously!  We've got a great feeder program in place for the high school with some wonderful coaches & volunteers that help the boys learn about teamwork.  This year my son's team made it to the Semi-Finals and we couldn't have been more proud of them! 
 
 
 
To celebrate we had an 'end of season' party which included some Dodgeball, snacks, awards & cake (of course).  I did a two tiered cake with a football on top.  For the tiers I used my 10 inch & 8 inch round pans and for the football I used the Wilton "Mini Wonder Mold" pan and sliced the bottom at an angle so it would look like a football landing in the grass.
 
 
I chose to do Marshmallow Fondant on the tiers because I feel it looks nicer,
but I did buttercream on the football to give it a textured look.... and buttercream for the
grass of course (I love that 233 tip... so cool!!)
 
 
I hope the boys enjoyed their cake, but most of all I hope my boy realizes that I'm his #1 fan...
...always will be.
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Retirement Cake

Congrats on your Retirement Dave & Joanne!
 


Dave & Joanne are two of the nicest, most positive coworkers that I've ever had the pleasure of working with.  We were all happy for them when they decided to retire (but selfishly sad as well) and I jumped at the chance to make a cake to help celebrate.
 
I decided to go with a cute clock/retirement theme and work in the company logo & color scheme. This was my first time doing a cake for a larger group of people (most of the time it's smaller birthday party cakes for me) so I did a half sheet cake for the bottom (two layers) and then topped it with an 8 inch round for the clock portion.



 
Wow is a half sheet hard to cover.  Trying to estimate the amount of fondant to use, rolling it out the correct size (without being too thin) and then trying to actually get it over the cake without messing it up... very challenging.  I was not successful in getting the cake covered without messing up the fondant a bit, but the good news is that I was able to smooth out the messed up parts fairly easily.

 
As you can see by my messy table... my cutting board was not large enough to roll out the fondant for the half sheet cake.  So... I cleaned my table very well, scattered some powdered sugar and voila... a work surface big enough for gigantor cakes!


 

 
So, things I learned during this cake:


  • Most imperfections can be covered... does your fondant not go all the way to the bottom of the cake in one spot? Add a ribbon or ball border... now you have a cute/fancy edging and no messy mistake.  Have a wrinkle or imperfection in the fondant? Using powdered sugar or cornstarch, gently rub the wrinkle and it will appear much less noticeable.
  • Bows can be a pain in the butt and should not be rushed.
  • One of those plastic roll-up mats that measure your fondant as you roll it out may be a helpful tool... I'm going to have to check in to one of those.
 
This was a fun cake to do... can't wait for the next project!