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50th Wedding Anniversary Cake

May 9, 2017

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This past weekend I made a cake for a 50th Wedding Anniversary party.  The focus was on the couple and the motto they have for their marriage, “Together Forever.” The cake was decorated with circles that represented a huge part of their marriage, their kids and grandkids. What an accomplishment, 50 years with your soulmate!

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I made the cake topper a week before the party so that it had plenty of time to dry.  This was the first time I had made glasses for a fondant figurines, they were pretty cute. All I did was take my needle nose pliers and bend the floral wire into circles. Don’t forget, whenever you have non edible items on cakes to always tell your customer to remove before eating or don’t eat the figurine at all…it’s just for decoration. It’s crazy to say but some people would seriously eat the glasses. I had one customer when I first started making cakes eat a whole figurine in one bite! I said “There’s a toothpick in figurine! It’s the internal structure for the fondant and you just ate it!” I guess he was okay the next day because we didn’t hear anything from them…..I’m glad they were family friends. (It was actually half a toothpick, but still I couldn’t believe he just ate it)

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The larger circles on the cake represented the couple’s kids and grandkids. Initially, I was going to paint the names on each circle but it just looked to harsh. I tried black writing, blue and white writing for the colored circles but it just didn’t look right.  And then I remembered these little letters in the clay section of Michael’s craft store near our house. I imprinted each name on the fondant circles with the clay text embossing set. It looked so much better than writing them and much more elegant.

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Above is the rice cereal love seat that the couple was sitting on. I made a big batch of rice cereal treats, let them cool a bit and shaped them into a tiny couch. Later, I covered the rice cereal treats in brown fondant and used a Wilton tool to score the fondant to make it look worn. I also brushed brown petal dust on sections of the couch to give it a “leather look.”

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Here’s to long marriages and many more years to come!!!

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Baseball Theme Cake

April 14, 2017

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It’s baseball season again and our family are now fans of the Seattle Mariners! I made this cake for a dinner party that revolved around baseball.  I only had to feed 6 people so I made an 8 inch square vanilla cake…with plenty to spare! I made a bag of peanuts because peanuts are a staple for watching a good old baseball game. The Mariners hat has the retro Trident logo from Spring Training and the baseball is decorated with lots of fondant seams. I never noticed that baseball bases have lined patterns on the top and are  not totally squared. The edges of the base are sloped so this made my icing job a little easier because the corners and the top didn’t have to be level. The base was dusted with cocoa powder to make it look like it was used and stepped on.

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All of the baseball decor is edible and made from homemade Rice Krispies Treats, covered in fondant. The peanuts were made by rolling a ball and then using your finger to roll an indention in the fondant to resemble the shape of a peanut. I used one of my rubber mats to impress the texture on the peanut. I dusted each nut with cocoa powder to give them more dimension.  The grass was made from left over vanilla buttercream and the dirt was crushed graham crackers.

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Here we are cheering on the Mariners!

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Chalkboard Baby Shower Cake

February 28, 2017

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This weekend I had the pleasure of making a baby shower cake for some of our awesome friends. The theme of the party was “A Baby is Brewing.” It was a party for everyone and it had plenty of great beers and lots of great food. My friend, the wonderful host, made the cutest beer bottle labels that matched the decorations perfectly. The invitation to the party was a chalkboard style so I decided to go with that theme. This was my first chalkboard cake and I had a good time putting it together.

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The cake was a 7 inch round vanilla filled and iced in vanilla buttercream. I covered the cake in black fondant and painted it with white gel color. I watered down the thick food gel with vodka and hand painted the lettering. This was a pretty simple cake but made a good statement. One thing that I would have done differently was use smaller brushes. My white “chalk” lines were pretty thick. I really need to invest in some tiny brushes like the ones you see that have 3 bristles.

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The cake topper was a paper garland that matched the party decorations throughout the house. I wanted to keep the other decoration on the cake simple because the topper and “chalk” writing were so busy. Little fondant balls are perfect decorations to fill space, give color or just make a cake look fun. I hope you like it!

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Beach Theme Cake

January 25, 2017

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This week I made a cute little 6 inch vanilla cake that was all about the beach. It was such a simple and clean cake with a few details that really made you look twice to see how it was put together.

The beach chair on top was started 5 days before cake was due. I cut all of the white slats of fondant and let them dry for four days, flipping them over each day. Here’s a link to the template that I used for the chair:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1716241

You have to be very patient when putting the chair together.  Have your royal icing in a bag with a small tip to pipe on little amounts to the joints that hold the chair together. It’s almost like a puzzle.

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I don’t have any sea shell molds so I searched Pinterest on how to make fondant shells. I found these great tutorials at wickedgoodies.net and this is how to make the shells above without a mold:

https://www.wickedgoodies.net/modeling-chocolate-seashell-tutorial/

For the starfish, I cut out a star with a fondant star cutter. I shaped the arms with my fingers, squeezing them at the end to make them thinner. I pressed a rubber mat on the star to give it texture. Last, I painted the star with pumpkin color petal dust to give it a little more dimension.

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The edible sand was made in my food processor with graham crackers, Vanilla Waffers and light brown sugar.  It was delicious sand!

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Plants Vs. Zombies -Chomper Cake

January 7, 2017

This week I decided to make a gravity defying cake for my son. It’s Christmas break so I had some time to fiddle with cake stuff and come up with something I’ve never made before.

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This is a Chomper! My son plays the game Plants vs. Zombies and it has so many characters that are colorful, creative and very weird. The game is made up of all kinds of plants that are fighting zombies to keep them out of their town.

I decided to make a chomper because it’s a main character in the game that eats zombies. I really wanted to create another gravity defying cake and this was a good time to do it. The shape and make-up of the chomper has nice curvy lines that have an organic flow, like the of a stem on a flower.

I got my carpenter tools out and put together pvc pipes and flanges on a solid wood base. I referenced my favorite book, Artisan Cake Company’s Visual Guide to Cake Decorating, for structure help.

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Chompers eat zombies! I decided to sculpt a half eaten zombie leg that hangs out of the mouth of the chomper. I tried to tell a story using the cake and the board together. I put footsteps in the mud on the board showing that the zombie was walking and the chomper gobbled him up, leaving only his leg.

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Here’s me and my little guy and his crazy video game.

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There wasn’t much cake in this chomper but just enough for our family. The bulk of the cake was made of Rice Krispies Treats, styrofoam and PVC. I made a couple of mistakes with the structure of the chomper but I’m so glad this was just a cake for my family….they’re my testers! The head of the chomper was in two parts, the bottom was RKT and foam and the top section was cake. The main mistake I made with the head was I put too many RKT on the bottom of the foam…hanging RKT really DON’T work. After we cut into the cake the RKT started to sag and separate from the foam. I learned my lesson!!

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Above is the aftermath of my family devouring the chomper cake. As you can see, the bottom of the chomper head totally fell off. I still have so much to learn about cake structure and sculpting. I really enjoyed making this cake for my son and learning how versatile cake can really be.

 

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Busy Cake Poppin…

December 11, 2016

This weekend my son’s school had a Craft Holiday Shop for students to buy small affordable gifts for Christmas. I decided to participate and get a table to sell some goodies. I ended up making both chocolate and vanilla cake pops that were covered in white chocolate and dark chocolate.  I also sold some hand painted ornaments that I made for next to nothing.

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The reindeer cake pops above were so simple to make. The pops were dipped in dark chocolate a left to dry. The eyes of the reindeer were Wilton white flat sprinkles with drawn on pupils with an edible pen. The noses were red fondant rolled into an oval shape and glued on with melted chocolate. After drying, I put the pops in bags and tied the bag with tan pipe cleaners.

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These cake pops are the party pops! I made these same cake pops for both of my kid’s birthday parties. Kids really gravitate to the sprinkles. I used paper straws from the craft store as the stick but I had to cut off two inches from the original straw because they were a bit long. For the pop stand, I wrapped two boxes in Christmas paper and stacked them for a cheap and easy set up.

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The snowman pops were made of vanilla cake and covered in white chocolate. I used vanilla cake on these because chocolate cake tends to make the pops very dark. After the dipped pops were dry, I piped on chocolate eyes, mouth and a orange chocolate carrot nose.

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These are my hand painted ornaments that sold pretty well. I really should have made more Cubs ornaments…we are in Chicago Cubs territory! Other ornaments that sold well were the semi personalized ones, like “BEST DAD EVER and BEST SISTER EVER.”  Now I know for next year what themes to focus on.  These ornaments were wood slices from a branch in my father-in law’s backyard. We cut 50 slices, sanded them and drilled a hole in each for the ribbon hanger. I painted and glittered each ornament with love…just like I do with cakes!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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BRUTUS the Buckeye Cake

November 20, 2016

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This weekend I created a cake for a family friend that was of the Ohio State University mascot, Brutus the Buckeye. I had no idea what a buckeye was until I did a little research on the mascot. A buckeye is a nut from Ohio that is supposed to bring you good luck when you carry it.  There’s my lesson for the day.

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Here he is, Brutus from Ohio State.

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This cake that I created was HUGE! It measured 9 inches tall by 14 inches wide. I started the cake by stacking four 11 x15 inch chocolate cakes. You can’t see it but I put a structure in the cake. Basically it’s two cakes stacked on each other with dowels to hold it up. Any cake that is over 6 inches must have dowels or some sort of support. If this cake didn’t have the structure, it would buckle and eventually fall over.

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After the cake was chilled, I used a sharp serrated knife to carve the cake into the buckeye shape.  Let’s just say I had LOTS of cake scraps that I will be using for cake pops.

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I just wanted to show you how big the cake was…and my little partner.

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I made the baseball hat out of rice krispies treats and covered it in fondant. The cake board was also covered in fondant to match Brutus’ uniform he wears for every football game. This was a fun cake to make and I’m glad I got to learn a little more about Ohio State University.