Saturday, May 31, 2008

Over The Top Birthday

Audra contacted me several weeks ago to order a first birthday cake for her daughter. At first, she ordered my Butterfly Cake, but then kept adding "I want more decoration that on my cake" and "I really want it to be over the top."
I did a bit of research for her, and found an amazing cake by Pink Cake Box. Their cake was full of color, and was definitely what you would call over the top. I emailed it to her and within seconds, she replied "Yes! Let's do that!" (The Pink Cake Box cake is at the bottom of the post).
The only changes she added to the Pink Cake Box cake was that she wanted turquoise, and butterflies. And she wanted it at least two feet tall!
I tried to keep as true to the design as possible, but of course, different cake designer means different results, and I really love how this cake turned out. The bottom tier is neon green, but orange, pink and turquoise stripes. I did hot pink beading around the bottom. There are also hot pink flower cutouts with gumpaste daisies on them.
The second tier is orange, with pink diamond cutouts and turquoise and green flowers at the junctions. The beading was in orange. The 3rd tier is neon green again, with orange, pink and turquoise polka dots. The beads were green. And the top is orange again, with leaf shaped cutouts in pink, and turquoise beading.
All over this cake, there are gumpaste daisies cascading down, in various sizes and with different colored centers-either in hot pink or orange. There are also a few butterflies resting on the cake.
On the wires, I did hot pink daisies with orange centers, and butterflies in pink, orange, turquoise and green. Soooooo cute.
The number I made myself, trying to emulate the number on top of the Pink Cake Box creation. The exact number they used cost about $130, which is just craziness, so I attempted to make it to save my client $$$. I bought Topaz crystals, and glued them onto thick floral wire, and got it into the right shape. Some how, miraculously, it stood straight and didn't fall over!
Since Audra wanted over the top, I added the feather boa again, for extra drama and color. When I was done, I was in love (again).
But, as much as I love these massive, extravagant cakes, I am so burnt out that my hands are cramping from rolling fondant. So, I am taking a much needed week off, starting with the beach! Hopefully my neon pink hands will return to normal in the ocean!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ducky Birthday

I have a soft spot for my cousin Jessy. Even though she is only 10, she has an incredible amount of patience with my two children, and plays with them and treats them with so much love that they just can't help but adore her! Jessy's birthday was back in December, but she was sick for a several weeks with a nasty bout of pneumonia. So, they decided to celebrate her birthday this weekend. Since she is so wonderfully sweet, and also since she had to delay her birthday for so long (and really, how torturous would that be as a kid???), I wanted to make her birthday cake as over the top as possible.
Jessy requested that I make her a rubber ducky cake in pink and yellow. Instead of rubber ducks, she wanted fondant.
She was only having 20 people at her party, but I wanted her cake to be big and ostentatious, so I made it a whopping 4 tiers tall. The top 3 are just dummies, and the bottom tier should have fed about 40, if I hadn't doled out monstrous sized portions to all the kids. :)
The bottom tier is a yellow background with hot pink diamond cutouts. Instead of the beads I usually do at the junctions, I did little flowers. The next tier was pale pink, with hot pink and yellow stripes. The 3rd tier was hot pink, and I made her name from gumpaste letters. And the top tier was yellow, which I tied with a hot pink bow. I stuck wired flowers everywhere I could, in hot pink and yellow, for an extra fun element. And to make it over the top, I trimmed the cake board with a hot pink feather boa, instead of the usual ribbon.
And what other flavor would be more perfect than strawberry? It was delish, and sent a couple of the workers at the party into a cake coma. Needless to say, everyone loved it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Class with Bronwen

For those of you not in the "cake" world, Bronwen Weber is an amazing pastry chef. She is known for winning the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show, but I think she is most famous for appearing on the Food Network Challenge. If you remember, she made Ursala from The Little Mermaid in one, and Popeye in another, and has done several others that I just can't remember right now.
Bronwen taught a class this past weekend at Cake Carousel in Richardson. The subject was Raggedy Ann. I'm not a huge Raggedy Ann fan, but what I was interested in was learning how to make a sculpted cake. My interest sparked in this area when on one Food Network Challenge, The Cake Girls created a death defying Cat in the Hat cake. They some how balancing a ginormous cake on a tiny little ball. Not that this is anywhere near that, but it is the first step towards learning how they did it. (That picture is at the bottom of the page.)
How the Raggedy Ann cake is put together is too cool! She is cake, and mostly edible, except for her PVC pipe frame. When you see something like this, and know that it is cake, you just start to wonder "HOW did they do THAT?" What was interesting was that when broken down into pieces, it doesn't seem too impossible. The engineering and construction behind it are what make her stand, and then your cake sculpting skills give her her form. On top of that it's the fun stuff-making details out of fondant. I loved giving her apron and dress stitches, and adding her loops and loops of hair. What a fun class! I can't wait to see what else I can make with this technique.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cowboys and Indians

Wow, how lucky am I this week? I looove making new designs, and this week, the cakes I did were both originals.
The first cake I did was an "Indian" themed cake. Indian as in India, not American Indian. I think this is the most decadent cake that I have done for a 1 year old yet, seeing as it is painted with real gold on every tier. Every time I look at it, the more I adore it.
Anya is one cool mama. She called me months ago to order her daughter's 1st birthday cake. The first time she called, I was unavailable and returned her call ASAP. Which, of course, I got her voice mail. Arrrgh. I hate phone tag! Later that same evening, she called me back and said something like "I'm sorry I missed your call earlier, but I am a police officer in Dallas, and when you called, I was being shot at. So I couldn't really talk about cake." I thought that was the funniest thing-can you imagine being shot at, and then your cake lady happens to call?
Anyway, Anya said that her daughter's room was done in an Indian theme, and she wanted the cake to reflect that. We decided on a 3 tiered cake. The bottom is a hexagon, done in a dark red fondant. It is actually Super Red and Regal Purple mixed together. There are 6 elephants, each with hats (which I trimmed in gold) and blankets (also trimmed in gold). If you look closely, you will see that the eyes are slanted, and the toes are painted. Around the bottom of the tier is braided fondant, also painted in gold.
The middle tier is a petal shape. I chose a mango orange color to fit in with the theme. I piped tiny stars in royal icing, and then after they dried, painted them with the gold. Where each petal indents, I made swirls from gumpaste, which I painted gold.
The top tier is pink. Around the base, I used a lace cutter, painted it gold, and then went over the seam with beads of royal icing which where, you guessed it, painted gold.
The Indian Girl on top was done in gumpaste. She is holding golden coins, some which she dropped, and has on some gorgeous gold chains and a hat/crown.

My other cake this weekend was for a little boy named Asa. Being curious about his name, I looked it up and discovered that it is Japanese and means "Born At Dawn". I love it!
This weekend is Asa's 3rd birthday. His mom wanted a cowboy themed cake, and wanted both tiers to be done in a bandanna print. She also wanted a little cowboy on the top riding a horse.
All the piping on the cake was done in royal icing. Around each tier, I twisted some brown fondant together to make a rope. The cowboy and horse on top are both gumpaste. The cutout letters for the name are also gumpaste.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Repeats and Jenna's Wedding

This week, although eventful, was full of repeat cakes, so I won't be posting them here. My husband's coworker ordered the Butterfly Cake, as well as the Monkey Cake and Cupcakes for her children's birthdays this weekend. Thank you Kari! It was so great meeting you and your children! My other order was from a new client, who requested the Pirate Cake and matching smash cake for her son's first birthday.
This weekend, Jenna Bush married in my home state of Texas. Check out her cake-elegant and simple, and full of gorgeous fresh flowers. This cake was produced by Houston caterer Jackson Hicks and the cake is lovely. Here is his website of his other amazing cakes: ttp://
The top tier does have some people talking-is it crooked and unlevel? Or did the baker mean it to be topsy-turvy on just the top? It does seem a bit unusual for only one tier to be topsy-turvy, which has had many wondering if it was an accident! Regardless, it was a lovely centerpiece for her wedding.
Jenna was stunning, looking natural and beautiful just like a true Texas Bride. Congratulations, and many wishes for a happy lifetime together!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Barney, Elmo and Camping

This week I did a cake for a new client. Her daughter is obsessed with Barney and Elmo, so she wanted a cake in those colors with lots and lots of pink. I ended up doing 2 fondant figures of the characters, and then added pink accents, like bows and beading. Barney's head had to be done twice-the first time I did it, I asked my own kids who it looked like, and they said "I don't know, a hippo?" Since Barney is one of the most recognizable characters, I decided that I should probably make him over. The second time, I gave him a gaping grin with white teeth, and then made his eyes more expressive. I asked my kids again "Who is this?" And they happily exclaimed "Barney!" Elmo was made with red fondant, and his fur was piped on with bright red frosting, using a small star tip. The interior of the cake was vanilla, with my super popular cream cheese frosting.

For the weekend, my husband and I are trying to enjoy every second we can outside before it gets too hot! So, it was off again, this time to camp in Tyler. We love going to Tyler on the weekends. They have a great zoo there, where you can get very close to the animals. Our favorite activity is feeding time, when you get to watch the workers toss sweet potatoes and watermelons to the elephants, and watch them eat. We also frequent the rose gardens. This time of year is the perfect time to go. They have thousands upon thousands of rose bushes, and they were all in bloom. After climbing up to a balcony, it is breathtaking to look out over the see of flowers, and to breath in their sweet scent.Camping was just about perfect. It was slightly chilly, which is great for sleeping. We snagged a prime spot by the lake, which we could see from our tent, and enjoyed a nice long hike on Sunday morning. We also rented a paddle boat, which by some miracle, Charlotte did not tip over with her tenacious excitement. At night, we roasted hot dogs, and then marshmallows for dessert (both kids repeatedly caught theirs on fire), and told "ghost" stories, which was more like funny stories about dinosaurs. Ahhh. If they would only stay this little forever!
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