Friday, June 6, 2014

Mermaid Lalaloopsy Cake

Vanilla sheet cake 11x15" covered in sky blue buttercream. Royal blue zig-zag border tip 32.

Leaf tip for piping on the seaweed.

 The eyes are from a button mold. The letters are using funky letter cutter/molds.

 The mermaid and her friend are piped freehand using a petal tip 103 for the mermaid tail, tip 12 for the faces and arms, tip 5 for hair.

Ombre Rosette Birthday Cake

Happy birthday to me! 

Ombre colored rosettes using tip 21 on a 4" round cake. Start from the bottom row of rosettes and swirl from the inside out for each rosette. After the row is completed, empty the frosting from the piping bag, cut frosting amount and add white buttercream to achieve a lighter shade. Fill piping bag and pipe next row. Repeat until you gt to the top of the cake with the lightest color.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Finding Nemo: Sculpting Fondant Characters

Nemo: You can find Nemo tutorials here, here, here and the one we used here.

 Peach the starfish: I used this color swatch as a guide and this tutorial for starfish to make the texture.

Pearl the octopus:

 Mr. Ray the stingray:

 Other fondant decor:

Name in "Nemo" font. Hand cut little fishes in the holes.

Puppy Birthday

What a very fun 3D cake to work on! This puppy was so cute I almost didn't want to see it go.

I used 2 8x3" rounds and 3 cupcakes following this guide I found online. I did one round and one cupcake vanilla, and one round and 2 cupcakes chocolate. I cut the vanilla round in half and stood the halves upright against each other for the body. From the chocolate round, I followed a template I drew to make the head, snout, ears, hind legs. I cut both of the chocolate cupcakes in half for paws and cut the vanilla cupcake in half to go on the end of the snout.

Puppy shaped, piped 233 tip fur in ivory and brown, orange collar, orange bow on head, black fondant eyes and nose. Black toes and mouth piped on.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Beer Can Cake

I made this for extended family as a surprise "beer"thday cake! The cake is a Swiss Roll Cake, Chocolate sponge cake in a jelly roll pan with marshmallow buttercream filling and covered with marshmallow flavored ganache using limited edition marshamallow candy melts. I had to pour the ganache onto a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray, in a rectangle 9x8", move it into the freezer for about 15 minutes, then flip the sheet of ganache onto the cake and cut off the excess. I used the back of a knife to press it under the cake.

 I made "ice cubes" out of corn syrup and sugar molded in a mini ice cube tray. I used the brush embroidery technique to do the mountains in the logo.

 The beer foam or bubbles are white fondant rolled into different size balls and coated with gold luster dust. I attached them by piping a stream of buttercream then randomly pressing them into place.

 The top and bottom of the can are white fondant, sculpted and I even made the pop tab open. Sprayed the cake with silver color mist. I hand painted the logo and blue stripe on with color gel mixed with cake flavored vodka.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Marvin the Martian

Chocolate Cake 
3 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
8 eggs
5 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups milk
15 ounces chocolate

In stand mixer, cream together sugar, butter and vanilla. Add eggs and beat for 1 minute. Add melted chocolate. Add flour, baking soda and salt mixture. Gradually add milk. In 11x15" sheet pan spray with oil, coat sides with cocoa powder and line with parchment paper. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees. I rotate my pan after 20 minutes to ensure even baking. Cool to room temp on wire rack then move to fridge to chill before frosting.

Having a cake frosted and ready to decorate is like a blank canvas for an artist; it gets me pretty excited!

Sweet Buttercream
2 cups shortening
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
1/2 tsp butter flavor
1/2 tsp sweet almond flavor
24-26 tsp water
2 lb. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp meringue powder
pinch of salt

Cream shortening flavors and water. Add powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt. Beat on low until ingredients are combined then beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

For the buttercream transfer, I used a reverse image taped to a clipboard and taped waxed paper over that. The I piped in the main colors: white, black, red, green blue, light and dark yellow. Then outlined the whole image in white and filled in the back so it was level. I put the clipboard in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once the buttercream was somewhat hardened, I untaped the waxed paper, positioned it where I wanted it on the cake and flipped the buttercream over. Pressing down firmly to get the transfer to stick to the cake, I peeled back the waxed paper. Then I took black icing and a tip 1 and did the fine details and outlines. The hand, glove, brush, helmet, etc. were all outlined in black.

I love being able to do buttercream transfers so that the cake can match party decorations exactly. Any image can be replicated.

Hello Kitty Birthday

How fun! This cake by itself has no artificial color or flavor (especially if you use real vanilla in the buttercream as opposed to clear vanilla extract). The piping on top of course has artificial colors, but it's a healthy cake, if one can call cake healthy.

Fresh Strawberry Cake
24 oz strawberries, stems removed. = 3/4 cup strawberry puree
1-2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp bourbon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.

Combine strawberries and 2 tsp sugar in blender to make puree. Reserve 3/4 cup. Refrigerate remaining puree.

In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs. (Very important to use the butter softened, it affects the texture).

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide into 2, 8" rounds, greased and floured and with cut parchment. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating after 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack 20 minutes then invert and continue to cool to room temp before moving racks into fridge to chill.

Strawberry Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp clear vanilla
1/4 cup mashed/pureed strawberries

Add all ingredients to bowl of stand mixer. Beat on medium until fluffy.

For Hello Kitty's face, I used a reverse image and piped clear piping gel onto waxed paper, then transferred the outline to the cake and pressed over the lines. Peel off the waxed paper then pipe in the colors.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sesame Street/Elmo

I took a project class Saturday for tiered cakes and I was required to make a 10" and a 6" round cake both 4 inches high  to stack in the class. I don't like having that much cake around the house so when my fiance's cousin asked if we could make a cake for her daughter's birthday on Sunday I knew exactly where I was going to send that cake!

My fiance was also taking the tiered cakes class with me and we were going to work together on our cake for class, so I only thought it was fair he helped me with the decorating too. He helped and he was a good sport. He was actually very excited to work with fondant when he realized it was like play-doh and you could make whatever you want out of it.

All decorations for the top tier of the cake and to rest on top of the bottom tier.
Dots for the back of the bottom tier.
Thank goodness I just got a new cookie cutter set to make the letters! I let this harden around the outside of my 6" cake pan for a couple nights so it would be a plaque I could just slide into place.
Balloons! Made from fondant/gumpaste, threaded onto lollipop sticks and held in place with gum glue. I added a glaze that was a mix of equal parts clear vanilla extract and corn syrup to give them that latex shine.

Have to start with smooth, straight sides.
In the class itself, I doweled and stacked the cakes, piped on happy birthday, and piped on E's face with grass tip 233. I put the fondant half-moon shaped mouth down first, piped around it to create a fur texture, then added the fondant eyes and nose.

I also added the dots in class. Just piped a little dot of buttercream on the back and stuck them on. Later after I was home I placed the crayons and  goldfish. On the top tier, I did a sun and clouds with a white bead border tip 10 and stuck in the balloons.

 The plaque fit perfectly. See the little "2" peeking out?

I love the look of the glaze on the balloons!

I cut the goldfish using a cookie cutter out of yellow-orange fondant. Painted a bit of orange food coloring with clear vanilla and used a black food writer.

My fiance did most of the work on the street scene. The lampposts are threaded onto lollipops sticks and We even brushed the globes with the glaze that we used on the balloons to make them glossy.

Final Sketch