Browsing Cakes!

A Guitar Hero Theme Birthday Cake

August17

I made this birthday cake for a friend’s son.  This two tier chocolate cake was covered in American buttercream, then Satin Ice black fondant (Vanilla flavored).  The decorations were hand painted gumpaste (also Satin Ice brand) and the “notes” were made of fondant.  I really can’t say enough good things about Satin Ice.  It is great to work with, has a pleasant flavor, and held up to a 45 minute car ride beautifully.  I’m done using Wilton products, which are so far below the quality of Satin Ice.  Never again!

The "Rock Meter"

The "Rock Meter" in progress.

Guitar Hero "notes"

Guitar Hero "notes" waiting to be added to the cake.

 

"Rock Meter" and "star power" decorations

"Rock Meter" and "Star Power" cake decorations

Painting a tattoo-inspired gumpaste decoration.

Painting a tattoo-inspired gumpaste decoration.

Finished "rock and roll tattoo" decoration...

Finished "rock and roll tattoo" decoration...

After setup and delivery...my phone took horrible, blurry pictures.

After setup and delivery...my phone took horrible, blurry pictures.

Another blurry decoration.  Meh.

Another blurry decoration. Meh.

 

There should have been a gumpaste ribbon around the bottom tier painted to look like the frets in the game, but it fell and broke thanks to a surprise gust of wind as I was loading the cake in the car for  transport to the party.  I was just so  happy the cake was only dented and not completely ruined, I hardly noticed it was missing.  Live and learn, I suppose!

A Castle Birthday Cake

July20

For everything that went wrong with E.’s 5th birthday cake, who would have thought that her 6th birthday would go so smoothly?  E. wanted a castle cake, and of course, she wanted it to be pink!

This cake was two tiers, and each tier had 3 layers.  The bottom layer was a fudge marble cake (I used boxed mix this year instead of baking it from scratch) baked in a 10 inch round pan.  I used vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream between the layers and to frost the outside of the cake.  The bottom tier is covered in marshmallow fondant.

For the top tier, I baked a small, 6 inch chocolate cake using a round pan.  I cut the rounded edges off of each layer, so I ended up with something that was more or less square shaped.  I used gumpaste to cover it, because I wanted to make sure that the castle “walls” wouldn’t sag.  Here are the pictures of the work in progress:

 

castle birthday cake

Adding the corner turrets.

 

castle door

With the door added.

 

finished door

"Rocks" around the door and "stone" stairs.

gumpaste flowers

The base looked a little dull, so I attached several gumpaste flowers here and there.

Gumpaste wrapped turrets with tops.

Wrapping the turrets with gumpaste and working on the placement of the tops.

Even more flowers

I added flowers and small marshmallow fondant "rocks" to cover any gaps at the bottom of the castle.

Done!

E.'s Whimsical birthday castle!

The tops of the turrets, doorknobs and the number 6 are all painted with gold luster dust diluted with a bit of vanilla flavored rum.

I used Makins Clay Texture Sheets I found over at Amazon.com for the turret tops and the wood grain on the door.

Of course, not everything went smoothly, because the morning of  E.’s birthday party she developed a fever.  I wanted to postpone the party, but she decided that she wanted the presents and to eat some of the cake, so we canceled our guests, and we managed to have a blast in spite of the flu.

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Song Bird Wedding Cake

September7

I was asked by a friend to make a cake for her wedding. She is a botanist, and her husband has a degree in forestry, so they agreed that they wanted a “woodsy” theme for their wedding.

This cake fit their description perfectly.

Song Bird Wedding Cake

Song Bird Wedding Cake

The birds were modeled gumpaste, which I painted with petal dust.

Painting in Progress

Painting in Progress

The colors of the song birds were chosen to coordinate with the wedding reception decor.

Bird Factory

 

Bird Factory

The cake only had to travel a few miles down the road, but transporting it was easily the most stressful part of the process! An egg crate was used to transport the birds:

Don't count your eggs before they hatch!

Don't count your eggs before they hatch!

Once I was at the reception location, I had to carry everything up a flight of stairs! Five trips, to be exact!

Putting the cake together was the easy (and fun) part.

Song Bird Cake

Song Bird Cake Assembled!


Personalized Chocolates On Sale

The camera is crooked...not the cake!

The groom cut the log that serves as the cake plate himself!

 

Song Bird close up

This was one of my favorite birds. Cute!

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Birthday cakes, II!

September2

Okay, so better late than never, right?

Disney Princess cake

E.'s 4th Birthday...Princesses!

Super Mario Bros. Birthday cake.

Super Mario Bros. Birthday cake.

Side view

Mario Cake!

Next week: Wedding cakes!

I’ve only done one so far…but I’ll post it soon!


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Cakes of Birthdays Past I

April19

I had so much fun writing about E.’s birthday cake, that I wanted to share some pictures from previous birthdays.  While browsing on my computer for pictures to add, I have decided that since there are so many, I should just make another post next week with more.

Scottish Clan Crest Birthday Cake

My husband's birthday cake from last year.

Rose teapot and tea cups

Rose teapot and tea cups for E.'s 4th birthday!

A rose "tea cup" cupcake.

A closeup of one of the pixie tea cups.

Don’t forget to come back next week!


The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Birthday Cake Experience

April9

This week started out to be very promising.  Despite not having a car at the moment, I was able to get E. a Princess and the Frog doll to put in her birthday cake.  I made the cake earlier this week and found that it was too short – the top of the skirt was about mid-thigh on an average barbie doll.  I made more layers – chocolate ones this time.  It was the perfect height.

Everything else was going well, until Friday night – the night before the party.   I made the fondant pieces for the skirt portion of the cake and decorated it.  I opened the box with the doll inside and as I tried to remove the dress, I realized that it wouldn’t come off!  I had inadvertently bought the Tiana doll whose dress turns into a plush frog.   Then came the discovery that the doll had no legs…it is basically just a torso sewn onto a stuffed animal…yeah, I don’t really get it either.

I squeezed the frog/dress part of the doll and wrapped it tightly with saran wrap. No good, it still wouldn’t fit into the doll-sized hole I had made in the cake!  I considered wrecking the toy and just cutting off the plush part, but then I realized that E. would get a doll without legs and a ripped up, stuffing-less plush animal to play with…which wouldn’t be much fun for a 5 year old.

With all the hope I could muster, I tried to see if any 24 hour stores had the doll in stock – the nearest one was 80 miles away.   I thought about whipping up a plain old layer cake, but remembered that E. had specifically asked for a doll cake.  I decided that the only thing I could do was to use a different doll, but since E was asleep in her room, finding one was no easy task.  You see, when E. puts her dolls away, she just tosses them into her doll bin, one on top of another like so much cordwood.  If I were to move the wrong doll, the whole pile could potentially topple like massive, tangled Barbie Jenga tower.  I held my breath and plucked a slightly disheveled Barbie doll from the very top of the stack.

I was relieved that the doll I happened to pick up was newer, and NOT one of the old ones that look like Courtney Love after a three week bender.  I washed the doll and put some plastic wrap around her to keep her nice and clean and made a fondant bodice.  I put the doll into the cake and made a sash around her waist to cover the seam.  I also used a little bit of the white fondant to cover the tiara the doll was wearing and make it look a little bit more like the one Tiana wears.

I was very tired, so I decided to save the decorating of the cake board for the morning.  The cake was too tall (with the doll inserted) for both the refrigerator and the freezer…so I put the doll into the oven for safe keeping.  I was a little worried that the oven would get turned on with the doll inside, so I left the oven light on and went to bed.

E., being very excited about her birthday woke me up at 7:30 am.  I opened the oven to take the cake out and saw THIS:

Yes!  Fondant CAN melt!

Yes! Fondant CAN melt!

Slip sliding away.

Slip sliding away.

Melted.  Icing.  Bad!

Melted. Icing. Bad!

Yeeeeeah.  The icing was in puddles at the base of the cake, and it tore the fondant skirt pieces as it slid down.  Apparently, with the oven door shut, the light can generate heat up to 100 degrees!  (**head desk**)

Feeling only slightly less deflated than the cake, I briefly envisioned chucking the whole thing outside in the snow.  After I managed to calm down a bit, I decided that it was still early enough that I could make a new batch of frosting and redecorate the skirt.  I was out of the white fondant and thanks to a snowstorm couldn’t even leave to get the ready made variety.  I had barely enough of the green fondant left to make the outer skirt “leaves”, but I think over all it turned out ok.  I did happen to have a tiny bit of left over gumpaste, which I tinted purple and used to remake the sash and bow in the back.

I decorated the cake board and used the final bit of green fondant to shape a lily pad for my gumpaste Prince Naveen to sit on.  Despite my initial bout of hysteria, the cake turned out okay.  Remember all the fussing I had done over not having the right doll?  E. quickly decided that the doll was Charlotte (Tiana’s friend from the movie), trying on Tiana’s dress.  Now, why didn’t I think of that?!

Anyway, here is how it turned out:

Purple Bow

Purple Bow

Finished.

Finished.

She loves it!

Not too bad for a quick save...