Friday, March 23, 2012

jungle cupcakes - take 1

These were the first cupcakes I did that were labor intensive design-wise. They were definitely ones that helped me decide I woudl love to do this full time. They were for a colleague's baby shower at MySpace. Those MySpacers sure did get a lot of cupcakes to taste - I used to make them all the time & bring in for taste testing!

I made the animals out of melting chocolates & edible marker. They took forever, but hey, it was a learning exercise. This was before I had a toddler, obviously!

Final product:

The palm trees are royal icing & pretzels.

transportation cake

This adorable cake was for my cute nephew who has a love for motorcycles and helicopters.

I know I cheated by buying a heli & motorcycle (& trees). But I did not want to do fondant & the track looks awesome so it makes up for it. I was somewhat limited on time.

The straw bales are shredded wheat + melted peanut butter chips, shaped into logs then cut once they set. These were quite the hit, everyone ate them up quickly! The rocks are a cereal (think Kix, but organic) and melted chocolate dyed black. They may resemble cannonnballs but hey, I worked with what I had.

My dirt track is crushed Newman-Os and melted chocolate.
I piped the grass using Wilton tip 233. See:

miscellaneous cakes

Here's some various cake experiments I did over the last few years when I lived in LA. I learned something from all of them, which is the point I think! I won't use a box mix & love trying new flavors but we will save that for another post. I also am anti-fondant but we'll get to that later.

Margarita cake. Delicious because I used a vanilla recipe but subbed in tequila, Cointreau & lime juice. Used a tangy lime bettercream. It was quite the hit. This was my first attempt at carving and also poured sugar (stem, ice cubes & lime). Poured sugar is hard!
Bowling cake. I used a Wilton ball mold for the ball.

Kitty cake. No carving, just a pretty kitty.

Thomas cake. I made this for my nephew & brought it on the plane from LA to Ohio. Not my best work and it was a hot summer. (Shoulda not used straight buttercream).
Still, he loved it so it was worth it all.

Trivial Pursuit cake. This was for 2 board game-loving friends who have birthday days apart. My first attempt with fondant. I hate fondant covered cakes. They are gross & the cake is usually dry. Who wants to peel off something to eat what's underneath? I'd rather look at a cake, see how pretty it is & eat what I see. I will use it for accents but never a whole cake. And I will try to make my own (much tastier & not hard).

This is my second fave cake. My owl cake is my fave (post coming up).

lots & lots of fondant!



Frankenstein cake. Work contest (I won!). I wanted to cut into it & get an oozy bloody brain. No such luck. Also, my first attempt at a fondant covered cake. I learned a lot here - cake was too soft for it to support the weight of the fondant, how to work with fondant, etc.
 So overall a good lesson. This is why I bake - for fun, and to learn. Well, between that & watching Ace of Cakes/Cupcake Wars/Amazing Wedding cakes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jory's 1st birthday

This party started it all.
Growing up my Mom made & decorated all our cakes. So when my son turned 1, I started researching and decided on a whale theme for his party, determined to make it memorable and fun. I don't do cutesy and am pretty much terrified of using licensed characters for any party.

I spent hours looking for ideas and invites and thinking of ways to make the ideas I saw different, make them unique. I wish more people did this! It makes it so much more special, spending that little bit of time to make your banner or decorate your cupcakes. No one says it has to be perfect, just from the heart.

I made everything except the letters on his banner & the personalized napkins. And you bet I'm super proud of that! Admittedly, I went overboard (ha!) but it was worth it to me. You only turn 1 once!

invite (details were printed on back of whale):

door sign:

dessert table:

homemade macarons & chocolate covered pretzels:

personalized napkins:

cake (homemade fondant):

birthday boy:

cake inside (fun surprise!):

mini cupcake favors:

table decor (blue gelatin + whale):


Hi there.

My office job pushes me to create outside of work, and I plan on documenting some of it here. I love making things, and have 2 art school degrees. My Mom was very creative with us growing up, and if there's 2 things I swore I'd do for my kid, it was homemade birthday cakes & Halloween costumes. Those are my favorite childhood memories.

I decided to start this blog to show some of my food adventures, baking projects and party ideas. Maybe even DIY stuff too. Who knows, I'm flying by the seat of my pants here...

Hope some of my creations inspire you!

ReesieD, age 6