Sunday, September 23, 2012

Butterflies cake

I had a request for a 2 year old's birthday cake (nut free). The theme was butterflies. Since I have a son, I love making girly cakes, since it means bright colors & possibly glitter. Obviously glitter is appropriate for older girls as well (like me).

The mom sent me pics to use as a guide for the cake, and I went to work pinning some butterfly cakes. I love this one but it's a lot to do for a birthday cake. I decided on a tree stump since it would set off the colored butterflies well.

I wanted to do chocolate butterflies but Wilton candy melts and other chocolates are not nut free. So then I attempted to make gelatin butterflies, what an utter failure & mess. I decided on gum paste, since I had some leftover from my Wilton class. That way she couldn't eat it (well, she could but it wouldn't taste good) & I got bright colors like I wanted. I'm no longer intimidated by it & will use it more in the future. I would love to learn how to make realistic flowers. I learned some in my Wilton class, but nothing too detailed, which of course are the ones I like.

I made 4 8" vanilla rounds, stacked 4 high then added some roots & a knothole. It was easy since I had little sculpting to do.

Her Mom says she doesn't have a problem with food colors, but I still wanted to minimize any risk. I used a light & a dark chocolate basic buttercream, that way I knew she would be fine. I raked a fork over it for bark texture and added some circles on top for aging. That was about it for the cake - the work was in the gum paste.

I couldn't be happier with it, I loved it!

Here's the final product:

knothole detail:

I wold up making small & large butterflies, 32 total. Since a 2 year old doesn't need subtlety, I added them all. And I loved it! Here's a butterfly detail: 

Here's a 360 view:

Purple/white interior shot, which is always a hit when the partygoers see it.
I try to make some sort of surprise in every cake.

Another baking success!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

cake pops and why I will never make them again

I had a request for cake pops. I'm not a fan of mushed up cake & frosting covered in some fake covering but I also like a baking challenge. I must've been drunk the day I decided on a price, because I can't even write it here, I'm so embarrassed. I swear on a Bible I looked at other Cincinnati bakeries & got prices. Clearly I got quotes for plain, no decoration ones because I spent wasted HOURS on these.

The client was going to make a life size Angry Birds game and only wanted 16 pops to use as actual birds in the game. I figured, oh, no biggie.

I will never make cake pops again unless someone pays me $10/each. I think I took 5 pics and that was it. Total waste of effort!

My pops - which frankly, came out damn good:

Her cake with my pops:


Lightning McQueen/CARS cake

I had a request for a Lightning McQueen cake for a 3 year old. She also asked for a dozen plain cupcakes to go with it. Me being the perfectionist, I went a little crazy with the cupcakes. This is the cake that made me realize I do not charge enough either. I'm STILl struggling with that.

I made a Pinterest board of ideas, as usual. That site is great for cake inspiration boards! Also helpful for what I can make better. :)

Here is my cake carved & covered with a crumb coat. I put in the fridge to set up afterwards.

I got my inspiration pics out & mixed up candy melts in the correct colors. Then I put in a squeeze bottle and made the shapes. Some required cutting with a knife as you can see with the lightning bolt.

I missed a camera step, apologies! Here is the cake with red buttercream on it. I kept shaping with my hands/paper towels & returning to the fridge to set up. I still can't believe that is buttercream & not that dreaded fondant - I'm very proud how this turned out. My inspiration pic is behind it, I used that for help in carving the shape.

Here's the big cake + a cupcake. ADORBS, right?


 With writing.

The real Lightning McQueen has number 85.
But since this was for a 3 year old, I took liberties.


 A mini fleet of the cutest cupcakes ever.

  The whole shebang!

Ready to go

A closeup of the cuteness!


I love a challenge, and this one was a good one. The birthday boy tried to pick up the cake he thought it was real. Guess that means I helped make it awesome!