Hi everyone - I got the chance to do a graduation cake for the daughter of a dear friend. She is a gymnast with a love of penguins and photography. She chose favorite colors of mint green and gold.
Below is what I came up with. I had a great time making it and learned lots (unfortunately some of those skills were not acquired until 2:00 a.m. the night before. lol)
Everyone was beyond thrilled with the cake. But I'm looking for honest feedback / critiques from other bakers / decorators out there. In addition getting the fondant work cleaner, & smoother, I think I should have hit the figure with some airbrushing to add a little dimension ... And next cake will have a fondant covered board ... I'm tired of the foil covered look.
Although it's only a hobby for me, I like to keep improving and 'raising the bar' with each cake (and sometimes make myself nuts in the process) ... So any additional suggestions are welcomed and encouraged ... I'm not at all thin skinned! :-)
[postimage id="4588" thumb="900"]
(Sorry about blurring of the background ... Didn't want to include recognizable people without their permission)
y'know what's funny -- i know it didn't look that way in person -- but in the picture it looks like she's got three arms where the third one is attached somewhere else like the middle of her back or attached to someone else --
it's really the tassle on the grad cap but if you look at it it's kinda like a robed arm coming up and holding onto the cap but then there's the two gymnast arms there and that makes three --
You gotta use the bit of black background for the 'robed' part of the tassle arm
don't hate me -- but i was stumped for a while
you made a nice cake and you already critiqued it
best to you
and fwiw -- i started a thread about maybe going to a competition but it's not necessarily my thing to get my work judged or to make something better than someone else made it --
your post demonstrates why i do cakes -- you handily* personalized a creation with seemingly opposing subjects and you hit a home run for the guest of honor so of course for all the guests -- win win win win win win
we call it "ringing their bell" in a good way not a football way --
and by * handily i mean your design flows nicely -- notwithstanding that you have to catch up on your sleep :)
well done -- you put your right foot in -- shake it all around and that's what its all about it to moi et toi
> high five <
I think your cake is really lovely and the molded figure of the girl on top is AMAZING! The only thing I would suggest is doing a fondant covering on the board; but that's just my personal preference. It just gives it that clean, professional, finished look to an already amazing cake.
What Gingerlocks said........and I will add this, regarding the ribbon used around the base. Ribbon comes in 3/8" width which is too narrow and 5/8" which is too wide. ( its hard to find 1/2" width) The fix for this problem, ( I wish I could remember where I read it, to give proper credit) is to attach a cake board to the bottom of you cake base, eg. if your cake base is a 12" then use a 8"/10" cake board. Then the 5/8" ribbon will fit perfectly around your fondant covered board. And the gap the cake board creates under and around the base is helpful in allowing you to get your fingers under it, to easily lift and move your cake. Hope this makes sense.
You made a lovely cake and managed to pull a theme together from things that do not naturally go together. That takes skill.
I agree it a lovely cake and I probably couldn't have done it better...but you asked for it so here is what I would do different (besides what you said already): I think her arms are too thick in comparison with her body. If I remember it correctly, gymnasts wear those really tide bodies so her arms should be slimmer. Then her feet on the other hand look tiny and should be pointed when doing a split. And the last think I would change is her expression. She looks rather sad looking down... I would have given her a chin up with a big smile on her face, proudly holding up the roll.
Thank you all for the feedback. It is really appreciated.
K8memphis – BAWHAHAHA … It does kinda’ look like another arm
back there!!! I swear, even tho
bleary eyed, I did have the correct number of appendages. I totally know what you mean about not wanting
to do something better than someone else.
I just like caking for the ability to be creative and do things better I’ve
done them myself (in the past). Thanks
for the feedback.
ingerlocks – I totally agree with doing the board in fondant. I considered that, but I started running out of time (and fondant), so I ended up with the foil covering. Fondant covering is definitely going on the next cake.
kstevens – Yes, I was in a quandary over how to incorporate the fondant placard of the announcement. I tried putting it on the front of the cake, but it looked cluttered and didn’t really flow with the lettering. Since I was a little bothered by how the figured looked a bit ‘splayed’ out on the top of the cake, I used it to camouflage that. It would have been cute to have the penguins holding it up, but couldn’t figure out how to get their little flippers to support it. L
carolinecakes – That is brilliant!!! Thank you for those tips. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bent my fingernails back trying to get under the board to move a cake.
julia1812 – Yes, I think my gymnast cross trained in body building (heavy emphasis on upper body / arms). LOL Once I got her leotard on, her arms really looked bulked-up. In retrospect, I should've tried thinning out the fondant and redressing her. My first attempt at the figure looked like … ummm … uhhh … how shall I say - Perhaps an ‘entertainer’ from a gentlemen’s club? Rather buxom … not at all like a teenage girl. I was definitely having proportion issues ... I don't think figure work will be my forte. hahaha
kstevens -- if you put one thumb on her face and the other on only the filmstrip on the left of her face you will see the optical illusion of the robed arm raised up in the air
I don't think figure work will be my forte. hahaha
It isn't mine either lol. Don't be too harsh on you!
continued, hit wrong button ...
the arm doesn't fit on the body -- it just looks like it's holding the cap like if it was windy -- only let the skinny string be the tassle -- the fat tassle is the hand and arm sticking up outa the robe --
my husband said he saw it -- after I explained it -- but he gushed on your cake -- so kudos from him too, cali
This is good example of how people's perceptions differ. Now I saw the arms, but since there was a cap, I was thinking she had on the gown, hence the wide sleeves. lol
WOW! This is amazing work! Her face and leg shapes are perfect. The filmstrip looks perfect. I always failed at Where's Waldo so I can't see the "3rd arm". How did you do the filmstrip?
sugarbritches - The filmstrip is a piece of black fondant rolled out. I punched little squares at top & bottom edges. Then I printed photos on a sugar sheet (with edible ink printer). I cut those out and 'glued' them on with vodka (okay ... yes ... I admit it ... I was also drinking it while I was working .. so the bottle was handy and I figured that would evaporate quicker than water and maybe not make the images a gooey mess before I could get them placed on the fondant strip. It worked like a charm.
kstevens - Yeah ... yeah ... that's it .. the big arms are sleeves on a graduation gown (not). hahaha I wish that was it ... but nope ... she has musclebound arms. Poor girl!
All joking aside, Cali 6422, you should continue to work on figures, humans are the hardest IMO, and you did a nice job.
To make my figures to scale I find pictures of them (google) print and cut out. That becomes my template for getting every detail proportioned correctly. Keep at it, you already know what to do next time to fix those arms and legs.