I Want To Make A Really Neat "generic" Birthday Ca

Decorating By JCE62108 Updated 8 Feb 2010 , 3:05am by JCE62108

JCE62108 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 4:46pm
post #1 of 32

Ok, I had a customer place an order for just a generic birthday cake to surprise her son. Its going to be delivered where he works...at a major law firm in down town Orlando.

She really didnt care what it looked like at all. She couldnt even tell me any colors she wanted. She just wanted it to say happy birthday with his name.

So, Im thinking Ill just do a simple buttercream frosted birthday cake. But then I thought, oh heck no. That's what I did when I worked at a grocery store.....PLUS this is going to a huge law firm. The way I feel, every cake I do is an advertisement for my business. So Im thinking I may do something nicer than just a grocery store looking grab and go cake.

Its going to be a 9" round. Any ideas how I can make a nice, "generic" birthday cake...probably with fondant so it looks more impressive. I have no clue what to make though that wont look to kiddish. Its for a 22 year old.


31 replies
delisa01 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 4:57pm
post #2 of 32

How about a gift box cake with bright colors and a loopy bow. Good Luck!!

MainCake Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 4:59pm
post #3 of 32

Maybe make some books out of fondant to set on top and label them 'Tax Law' or 'Personal Injury Law' or something to that effect? You can also roll out some fondant pretty thin and shape it like a manilla folder or something and maybe if you can write small enough, write 'Jason vs Age 22' or something like that? Or maybe a briefcase instead of law books. Or a couple of law books sitting on a briefcase?

Edited to say: Jason being used as a substitue for the man's name. Also, I realized after posting, these suggestions aren't all that generic... Sorry!

JCE62108 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:01pm
post #4 of 32

Oh cool ideas!!

overindulged Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:02pm
post #5 of 32

IMO, You can't go wrong with modern masculine bold prints... stripes or dots or even argyle.

I love this black/gold cake by MayWest.

mandymakescakes Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:04pm
post #6 of 32

Since you want this cake to showcase your talent, what pattern or design or technique are you really, really good at? If it's too feminine, then square up the curves, or substitute simple cut-outs for flowers, etc. As for colors, pick a combination that will attract attention, in a good way of course. Most of all, HAVE FUN WITH IT! The recipient and his officemates will be able to tell that you enjoyed making the cake, weird, but true, and in turn they will enjoy it... and then coming barging through your door for cakes of their own. icon_wink.gif

JCE62108 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:06pm
post #7 of 32

Wow I love both ideas....considering she is only paying $70.00 with delivery, I may opt for the easier gift box idea. Maybe blue, green, and yellow? That's guy-ish, right?

overindulged Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:08pm
post #8 of 32

DH would prefer blue and green. LOL "no yellow" he says.

delisa01 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:11pm
post #9 of 32

Hi, Blue, green and yellow would work. But that black and gold cake by MayWest is really cool and I bet you can make a gift box using those colors. I guess it really depends on if you want to make it spunky and fun or sophisticated and mature. I hope you get more business out of this!

overindulged Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:25pm
post #10 of 32

masculine gift cake!
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1444952 icon_biggrin.gif You can easily pick a tier design and incorporate it with your colors. (I love the "lid" aspect of it.)

JCE62108 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:39pm
post #11 of 32

Black and gold is really nice. Hmm...maybe darker colors are more sophisticated for a male? The thought of working with black fondant isnt all that appealing though. Last time I made black fondant it dissolved in my hands from all the dye I had to add. I wont have time to order black fondant.

Maybe Ill go to the law firms website and see if they have company colors....

Sashybakes Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:47pm
post #12 of 32

Could you start out with chocolate MMF and then dye it black from there? Then you wouldn't have to use so much dye.

JCE62108 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:50pm
post #13 of 32

I just noticed you posted that black and gold cake. That is very nice.

I think I may stick to something fun though...only because the mom requested a generic birthday cake...something with black and gold colors probably wouldnt fit under that category.

Honesty...I dont know what Im really good at. Ive only been doing this two years and I get lots of requests for all sorts of different cakes. Usually whimsical or carved, etc. There isnt really a type of cake I do more than the others.

I think I may just do a simple package with stripes...maybe darker green, blue, and gold (instead of yellow)?

I appreciate everyone's suggestions. I dont know why a package cake didnt come to mind. That's why I love you guys. <3

JCE62108 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:59pm
post #14 of 32

The company colors are red, white and blue. i think Ill pass on that.

Ive actually never made box with a lid before. How do you guys make the lid for it? Is it just an extra piece of fondant laying on top? Do you cut a square piece for the top and just add strips around the sides?

saffronica Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 6:11pm
post #15 of 32

I'm sure you'll do a great job with whatever you decide, but personally I like gold/black better -- it's just as masculine and it's more refined, which is what you seem to be going for. It's just fine for "generic," too. I'm guessing that when she said she wanted generic she meant she didn't have a specific theme or colors in mind, not necessarily that she is opposed to any great ideas you might have. Oh, and if you don't want to do black, you could use dark brown instead. It would look just as nice, and I think it's more appetizing on a cake.

multilayered Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 12:10am
post #16 of 32

Instead of black fondant why not make dark modeling chocolate and add black POWDERED food coloring. It's tasty and is great to cover cakes with. Not to mention super easy to makeicon_smile.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 12:28am
post #17 of 32

If you're in Orlando, can't you go to Jester's in Kissimmee for fondant? Aside from that, could you ask her what his favorite food is (like an oreo cookie!) and make a 3d cake designed to look like it?

JCE62108 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 1:01am
post #18 of 32

I order from Jester's all the time. I love them. Ive only been there once though because they are so far from me. D&G is closer to me, but still like an hour and a half from me. I live in the boonies, but I work in the Orlando area mostly. I dont really want to make a 3 hour round trip there tomorrow, plus I have to go grocery shopping for the supplies (and family icon_smile.gif )

I think I figured out what Im going to do. Ill be making it tomorrow Ill post photos when Im done for your critique. Thanks guys!

dandelion56602 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 6:58am
post #19 of 32

Oh poot. I wish I'd seen this before now. Books are really easy to do. You could easily to a sheet cake & cover in buttercream if you don't want to use fondant. Then you could write the name of the firm on the book cover. I did the Western KY cake in my photos (but it was an open book, yet sooo easy to do!!!). I can't really say how many guys would like a gift box. Those are more feminine to me (not knocking everyone's suggestions). But if my man were to choose he'd rather have a cake w/ stripes, no bow whatsoever. And I'd go w/ ivory as a base, blue, green &/or brown. Guys are sooo hard to make a cake for!

And I like this one, even though it has a bow icon_smile.gif


Can't wait to see what you make

meegz Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 7:35am
post #20 of 32

How about a chocolate transfer or chocolate curls type of thing??? They're pretty generic...

KitchenKat Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 7:43am
post #21 of 32

the ideas all sound fab. But what's the customer's budget?

foxymomma521 Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 12:39pm
post #22 of 32

I wish I could've gone there! I was in Kissimmee on vacation last week, but ALL of my kids were incredibly sick and I couldn't stop. There are no cake supply shops near me in NY, so I would've loved to get lost in there for a while! Good luck with your cake!

JCE62108 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 7:12pm
post #23 of 32

Ok, I think its ok. I hated the bow. Couldnt get it to stand up for the life of me, but oh well. It was my first time making a gift box cake. I didnt know how to do the lid, but it turned out ok I guess.

I think its fun, but still masculine. It looks like a guy's birthday cake to me. My hubby said it was acceptable in his eyes (although he would have prefered a chewbacca cake if it was his b-day!) so...here it is. icon_smile.gif

EDIT: As you can see, I took all the "black and gold" suggestions, but I wanted something bright in there too. icon_smile.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 7:20pm
post #24 of 32

I like the stripes! I'm sure he'll love it!

JCE62108 Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 7:21pm
post #25 of 32
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

I wish I could've gone there! I was in Kissimmee on vacation last week, but ALL of my kids were incredibly sick and I couldn't stop. There are no cake supply shops near me in NY, so I would've loved to get lost in there for a while! Good luck with your cake!

lol! You shouldve seen me! I didnt even know I was gonna pass the place. I had a delivery in Kissimmee and I saw the sign when I was driving by and nearly choked on my soda I was so excited. I stopped by after my delivery and spent like, $130.00. Their stuff is priced pretty darn good. Better than the other shop I go to in my area. I order from them online now whenever I can. Their shipping is reasonable too. Actually, last time I ordered I bought a 5 pk each of 12, 14, and 16 cake boards, and a box of gumpaste roses and shipping was $10.00, which I would have spent in gas had I drove....actually I would have spent more like $20 in gas. Ok, Im done advertising for them now. lol.
(fondant source dot com) ok sorry, had to.

Renaejrk Posted 5 Feb 2010 , 7:49pm
post #26 of 32

I think it turned out great! A lot of people do the closed lid gift box cakes - the open lid ones take more time and would be more expensive for the customer anyway! I was trying to decide on a 30th birthday theme for my brother (party tomorrow - okay, can you say "procrastinate?") and this may be a good idea for him too icon_smile.gif

dandelion56602 Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 1:35am
post #27 of 32

For your first it's great. Next time make the loops ahead and let them dry a bit w/ tissue or paper towels in between the loops. If you have some tylose powder add it to your fondant and it will aid in the drying time. But I'm sure he'll love it!

JCE62108 Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 3:01pm
post #28 of 32

I only had a day notice with this customer. No time for it to dry, and I did add tylose. But in my experience, it doesnt seem tylose helps very much when using MMF. Honestly I should have done gumpaste...and I was going to, but I made a split second decision to use tylose instead. Ive learned my lesson. icon_smile.gif Oh and I did have paper towels in the loops too. I finished the cake at 5pm the day before, and by 9am the next morning I had to take them out for delivery and they collapsed.

Anyway, the customer absolutly LOVED it! I got THE BEST email from her this morning! Dont ya love that?

dandelion56602 Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 3:37pm
post #29 of 32

I've noticed I have to add more tylose to MMF (about 1/8 tsp for spit a golf ball size). Then put them in the oven with the light on. The heat aids in the drying. I you have time to roll out a couple of loops one day just to see I it works for you. I also like to put them on parchment on a cooling rack so the air can circulate. A days notice sucks! But nice emails are great!

JGMB Posted 6 Feb 2010 , 7:58pm
post #30 of 32

The cake is really, really cool -- you deserved the nice e-mail! thumbs_up.gif

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