A Fisherman's Dream
A Fisherman's Dream This cake was created for my son who is an avid and enthusiastic fisherman. The sugar work was created from gumpaste then dusted. The mermaid is made mostly from modeling chocolate that I had tinted a flesh color before shaping her. Her hair and scales are fondant. The cake itself is the coral reef in which she is sitting on. It is a reverse graduation that I made from an 8" and two 6" round cakes. Once all the cakes were stacked I carved it down and covered it in buttercream. Then the whole cake was refrigerated until it was solid and covered in a grey fondant. I think that she turned out beautifully considering her tail broke on me when I placed her onto the cake and I had to fix it while she was in place.
Oil Derrick Groom's Cake
I found the inspiration for this cake design from a clay sculptor named Scott Rogers. I seen the image and instantly thought….C-A-K-E! Granted his sculpture sat on a table and the spewing oil nearly reached the top of a standard doorway….fantastic but, nonetheless, I can only take modeling chocolate so far! The other issue that I had with this cake was fitting it into the refrigerator. I have two in my home, for the purposes of cakes, and still had to remove 3” from the top of the spewing oil just so that it would fit….rookie mistake on my part but…HA! I got it! So, there is a ½” pvc pipe that runs the length of the oil. To create more support for the bulkier parts of the oil I drilled a hole into the pipe, sanitized the pipe and added cookie sticks; which were taped into place with floral tape. All of this was then covered in plastic wrap before I started sculpting the modeling chocolate around it. I wanted the oil to be shiny so I didn’t mix the color into the chocolate; rather, I painted it with an oil based food coloring. After everything was said and done I found that the refrigeration caused the sheen to fall flat. So, I won’t do that again. The derrick, platform, truck, pipes and barrels are all hand sculpted pieces from gumpaste and then I painted them with a mixture of vodka and copper luster dust. The derrick was created using a template of an image in four parts. Once the cake was on my board, filled and iced I placed the platform (I had cut a hole into the center of it) over the center of the flush mount and male pvc adapter. Then, ever so gently, added the spewing oil and finished sculpting it out. To finish, I placed the four pieces I created for the derrick walls and attached them with gum glue. To finish out my seams I added more gumpaste to each corner and painted it with copper luster dust. When I found out that the groom only liked German Chocolate cake I instantly knew that I was going to use a chocolate ganache versus a chocolate buttercream. Turns out that the ganache creates a far richer flavor to my German Chocolate cake recipe and I plan on keeping it that way from this point forward. I will share this recipe with you all in a couple of weeks. The groom had no idea about his groom’s cake and he was pleasantly surprised when it was delivered! #oilderrick #cake #groomscake #chocolate #germanchocolate #modelingchocolate #spewingoil #sculpting
Birch Bark Wedding Cake
Birch Bark Wedding Cake This four tier birch bark wedding cake was created with modeling chocolate on the sidewalls. I chose modeling chocolate and luster dusts because I wanted to create a more realistic bark. I covered the walls of the cake in white modeling chocolate, cut the top off level with the cake and dusted it with the customer's wedding color, Tiffany Blue. To create a sheen to the modeling chocolate bark I dusted the entire tier in a pearl luster dust. Then I used a the wide tipped Dresden fondant tool, to create the straight lines, and an Exacto knife to create the peeled bark effect. Once I sculpted the chocolate I used an oil based food coloring to paint in the dark lines. Once the cakes were stacked it was a matter of adding the sugar flowers. I made somewhere around 175 sugar flowers for this cake. I knew that I wouldn't use all of them but I wanted to make sure that I could create a full arrangement. I did, however, use about 80% of them. When I started the sugar flowers I made just the Tiffany Blue sunflowers. I had to contact the customer because I felt that they didn't look like sunflowers and was worried that it wouldn't be to the brides liking. She sent me an image of her wedding bouquet which had yellow and white sunflowers. So, we discussed it and decided to go with white, Tiffany Blue and yellow sunflowers. I also added sugar Stephanotis, roses and baby's breath. When I started adding the sunflowers sugar leaves it really brought the flowers out. It took me 7 eight hour days just to complete the sugar work for this cake. All together it took around 75 hours to complete but the bride was stunning, the wedding was gorgeous and the cake was a beautiful hit!
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this cake was to make. The hardest part about it was trying to figure out how the muzzle of the mask was made. It had so many angles and it was difficult to see because it was black. Once I got that sculpted in it was, quite literally, a piece of cake! The light saber is made from gumpaste. It was purely accidental how I got the shading on his name. I sprayed the light saber silver and when I did it oversprayed the letters of his name. So, I ran with it and placed a sheet of wax paper over the lower portion of his name and sprayed a couple of extra coats to darken the bottom portion. Ha!
Baby Deer Cake
When I found out that the little girl I made this cake for loved her stuffed baby deer so much that she takes it wherever she goes I decided that I had to make this sculpted cake for her. I used one 8" half ball for the body and two 6" half balls that I sculpted down for the head. I was informed by the mother that the little girl was mad at her mother because she cut into her deer and refused to eat any of her cake...I thought "oh dear, maybe she will eat some of her brothers cake".
Dr. Seuss Cat In The Hat
This is the last competition cake that I did for our State Fair. I wanted to create a cake that would indicate motion. To do this I placed the cat in the hat popping out of a hole and reaching for the green eggs and ham. In turn this caused the fish's bowl to topple and splash water everywhere. The miniature cake is also falling from the fishes hand. Originally, I was going to have Thing One and Thing Two catching the miniature cake but decided against it at the last minute. This cake took first in the birthday cake category and third overall.
State Fair Themed Cake
State Fair Themed Cake This cake was a part of the competition. It has so many sugar elements most of which where no bigger than an inch tall; some smaller than that. The Midway tier had the Balloon Bust game, Ring A Bottle, Tin Can Alley, Milk Churn and Bucket Toss. All of which had prizes ranging from sugar puppies to turtles. The next tier up featured some of the foods that you might experience while visiting the fair. There was an old fashioned Candy Floss cart, Funnel cake stand, Popcorn Shack, Lemonade stand (I named it Squeezers and it was shaped liked a lemon). Last but not least was the State Fair corn dog stand. Since the tiers got smaller as the cake got taller I used two tiers for the rides. This tier featured the Ghost Town roller coaster ride (I haven't seen it since I was a child but it was my favorite), the Ferris Wheel, and a Carousel. To finish the top off I wanted to create an inviting aspect that would compel someone to come visit the state fair. So, I made a roll of tickets with the imprinted words "Admit One" and an old fashioned ticket booth. This cake took first place in the Bigger, Better, Best category and second overall. Interesting aspect to this cake...I also had to smash down the top of the ticket booth so that it would meet the height requirement of 24". LOL! Hey, it worked.
Geode Wedding Cake
This is one of the competition cakes that I entered into the State Fair this year. I am happy to say that it took first place in the wedding category and first place overall. It is a dummy cake that I covered in fondant and hand placed the rock candy pieces. I combined it with a bas relief of which was painted gold. The larger crystal pieces were made using a mold and isomalt.
Bridal Shower Engagement Ring Cake
Engagement Ring Flower Box Cake I have been super busy these past few weeks. I had entered into the State Fair cake decorating competition. I quite literally bit off more than I could chew but I did manage to complete 4 of the 6 designs that I entered. Most people would say that it wasn't a big deal if they didn't finish everything but I spent a substantial amount of money on cake supplies for these cakes. My husband would have been very irritated if I had not pulled through. Since, they were to be displayed for a prolonged amount of time I decided that I would use dummy forms of which I was grateful to find a local company that made them. Sorry, I digress. For this cake design I hand made several sugar flowers for this piece that I entered into the shower category. There were 200 baby's breath pieces, at least 2 dozen sugar roses, 10 tiny tea roses, 5 sprigs of sweet peas and four or five yellow large rose buds. It took me a solid 4 days to complete all of the sugar flowers for this cake. The box and lid were covered in a teal colored fondant of which I created a huge loop bow to sit on top of it. The ring is also created out of styrofoam which was covered in modeling chocolate then grey fondant. The ring band was then painted silver. It was supposed to be covered in an edible silver but that was the one item that did not come in on time. So, I improvised. The diamond is actually candy. I had purchased a diamond mold and used Isomalt crystals. Once it hardened up I removed it from the mold but realized that it had air bubbles. My husband purchased me one of those mini blow torches from a local hardware store. I used this to heat a knife of which I smooth the surface of the candy diamond before placing it in the nook I had created for it. To finish setting the piece I added some fondant prongs. Once the ring was set into place I began arranging the sugar flowers around it. The cake board is covered in matching fondant but I added a lace doily look by adding a fondant ruffle and using an array of icing tips and cutters. All together it turned out beautifully. I should know the results of the competition Tuesday afternoon. It's the first competition that I have ever entered and I am quite nervous about it. Wish me luck! #showercake #ringbox #cake #sugarflowers #giftboxcake #sugardiamondring #bridalshowercake
Contemporary Watercolor Birthday Cake
A white chocolate raspberry barrel cake that is decorated with pulled sugar, modeling chocolate and french macarons.
Strawberry Shortcake Sculpted Birthday Cake I neglected to post this last week. This was my granddaughter's birthday cake. It is made from six 8" rounds and three 6" ball cakes. Hind sight is always 20/20, meaning, I wished that I had used a sheet cake. I felt like I lost a lot of cake in the carving process. Her arms are PVC that was covered in modeling chocolate then fondant. Her head was made from two 6" half balls and the top of her hat is made from one 6" ball half. I had made her hat from gumpaste in advance of which I cut a hole into the center of it so that the PVC pipe would fit through it. Once the hat was in place I set the fondant covered half ball on top of her head and finished it by adding 2 dimensional strawberries to match the brim of her hat. The face is covered in modeling chocolate but this time I tinted the chocolate before shaping her face. I had been using white modeling chocolate that I dusted with a flesh tone powder. It kept leaving streaks. This worked much better. Her hair is also modeling chocolate in which I died red with an oil based food coloring. I then rolled out snakes and attached them to the base of the head. On one hand this made the cake really heavy but on the other it easily gave me the wild unkept look I was trying to achieve. It certainly proved that my cake structure was built good and sturdy! LOL! #strawberryshortcake #sculpted #cake #birthdaycake #modelingchocolate #charactercake
Cheeseburger And Fries
Cheeseburger and Fries anyone??? This cake is made from two 8" half ball cake pans and one 8" round. I cut more off of the bottom bun that I did the top so to create a more rounded bun for the top. The sesame seeds are made from fondant but the burger fixings are made from modeling chocolate. I didn't want the recipient of this cake to have to cut through several layers of fondant. I casted the ketchup cup out of gumpaste over a metal condiment cup I had left over from our daughter's wedding. Finally, I bought a Sara Lee pound cake and cut the fries using a crinkle cutter I picked up for like 2.00. Then I airbrushed them with some brown food coloring. The only thing that I would do differently with this cake design would be to make the cake fries from a cookie dough that doesn't have much baking soda in it. I say this because the fries had to be cut so small that they dried out in a matter of hours. To boot, they were difficult to dip in the cookie icing. To create the cake board I used a square cookie cutter and individually placed red and white pieces together. Viola! Cheeseburger and cake fries!
Ice Cream Adventure Birthday Cake
A four tier...well, it was supposed to be a four tier, ice cream tower cake. A banana split was supposed to sit on top of the Dilly Bar but it didn't hold. Thankfully it fell into my hand rather than onto the cake! The structure for this cake was made from pvc pipe. The four legs that I created I enclosed with ice cream cones. They are made from RKT, white modeling chocolate and covered in fondant. The dollops of ice cream are cake. On top of the four legs I placed an 8" base of which has a floor flange attached to the center. The Neapolitan ice cream sandwich is made from two 8" layers of yummy butter cake that I filled with chocolate ganache. There is another pvc pip that runs straight up the middle. To create the base for the Dilly Bar I stacked and glued three layers of cake boards (7" x 3"). To keep this base in place I used a pvc male adapter, fed it through the hole I created in the center of the boards, and screwed it down with a pvc coupler that is threaded on one side and a slip on the other side. I built this cake in place on the structure rather than icing and covering the cake then stacking it onto the structure. So, as each level was finished I wrapped it in plastic wrap so that I wouldn't slop anything on it. The Dilly Bar ice cream and banana split cakes I used an 11" x 15" sheet pan of which I cut down. Once I had the Dilly bar finished and wrapped in plastic I started the banana split. Well, that didn't go to well. Like I said earlier...thankfully it landed in my hand and didn't hit the rest of the cake. To make matter even worse I couldn't pull the 45 degree pvc elbow out. It was stuck and in a very bad way. So, now I had a pvc pipe bulging out the top of this Dilly Bars head! After I cleaned up the mess and put the cake back into the fridge I had to sit down and figure out how on earth I was going to fix this?!?!?! Then it hit me...the illusion of chocolate syrup being poured over the head of the Dilly Bar. I grabbed our chocolate syrup bottle, rinsed it out and hot glued a dowel into it. I think it looked better with the banana split but, hey, I'm not complaining. It was a fantastic cake fix!
Elastigirl Birthday Cake
I used two 12" X 18" sheets pans and two 8" half ball pans to make this cake. The face is made from modeling chocolate. I had to place the mask and cut it on the face freehand. For the eyes, I used a technique that I had found from Liz Marek. I combined brown and green oil based food coloring with vegetable oil to thin it out. It worked beautifully. The arms and hands of this character cake are also made from modeling chocolate. The red portion of the sleeves are covered in fondant but the black portion is painted with oil based food coloring. This cake was definitely a challenge.
Magnolia Ruffle Birthday Cake
I made this cake for my daughter. She is our youngest and just turned 21 years old. I should feel old but I don't. Life is good! I've been making my kids cakes for years now. So, it wasn't anything for me to make her a birthday cake. However, this time I decided that this birthday was special and I was going to do something unique for her. There was nothing special about the flavor but I did think about making her favorite which is Almond Amaretto Cream; just not this time. I kept if pretty plain and simple with a vanilla cake and Swiss buttercream. However, I did bury a bottle of Patron tequila inside this cake. It was a fantastic experience!
Air Force Retirement Cake
This four tier cake features the career accomplishments of the recipient, starting down at the bottom of the cake, as an Airman to his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel. BRAVO! Job well done Sir! The American flag was created by cutting alternating stripes of red and white fondant. To keep the fondant from ripping or tearing the stripes were laid down on each tier rather than one solid sheet of fondant down three tiers of cake. To hide the seam this created in between the tiers I rolled out a very long rope of fondant, doubled it over and twisted it as I placed it onto the cake. At the end of each rope I made tiny tassels out of fondant. The rope and tassels were then hand painted with edible gold dust. As for the stars...well...I actually redid that section like 4 times! At first, I punched the stars out of white fondant and placed them onto a piece of blue fondant. To get the stars pressed into the blue fondant I gently applied pressure with my fondant roller. Then, I cut the pieces into strips. I actually had them laid out onto the cake but then I realized that the stars looked bulbous and not like the real thing. So...I pulled the blue strips off the cake and started again. This time I punched the stars out and placed them onto the blue fondant with just a tad bit of water. Then I gently pressed them in with my finger which looked far better. The stars didn't stretch out this time. However, I cut them into strips again and placed them onto the cake. This is when I realized that was a mistake. I couldn't get the flag to look like material and it looked as if I had cut the union of the flag into strips because of the seams. That's when it occurred to me that the union of the flag needed to be one single piece. So, I took it off the cake and started again. This time, one single piece of blue fondant with stars finger pressed into it but I didn't create the piece big enough to create the flowing fabric look. On take four I got it...YESSSS! My husband says that I am a perfectionist and I always reply "Well, yeah but I'm good at it". LOL! When I made the AWACS plane I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to incorporate a finished base. The day before I started assembling the cake, I was thumbing through images of the airplane and came across a desktop AWACS model airplane. That's when it occurred to me that this was what I was searching for. The base was created from a 6" half ball that I under-filled with batter. Then I leveled the top off and cut the face of it flat. After some buttercream and fondant, I painted it with a mixture of high grain, clear alcohol and corn syrup. What happens is the alcohol evaporates off and the corn syrup stays in place; creating a shine that won't diminish. Word of warning...once it sets up do not touch it because it will leave fingerprints. To create the lettering on the name plate I bought these tiny stamps from Hobby Lobby. They interlocked so that I could keep the wording straight. After I imprinted his dates of service and name onto a piece of fondant I cut it to size, painted it with edible silver dust and painstakingly hand painted the lettering. Viloa....C-A-K-E! Well....not just cake but cake art!
Fishing Bobber Cake
Every once in awhile I make a cake for my husband's shop. They were having a fish fry this week, so, I decided to make a cake. To be honest, I am inundated with cakes for the month of July. I wanted to make a reverse graduated tier of fishing bobbers. I even thought about making just a plain cake with a sculpted fish, of some sort, out of modeling chocolate. I just didn't have time for it this go around. The bottom tier is a vanilla cake with homemade vanilla custard filling. To get the watercolor effect I just used my spatula and dabbed on small amounts of four different colors of icing. Then I took my larger spatula and smoothed it out. To create the ripples in the icing I took a Dresden fondant tool and made indentations into the buttercream and smoothed out the rough spots. The top tier (fishing bobber) is a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and, of course, chocolate Swiss buttercream. The red top to the bobber is a piece of fondant that I rolled out and shaped and for additional character I painted the little pin. The worm was just a quirky little thing. Cake one is finished and I'm looking forward to the rest! I will soon finish a sculpted AWACS for my next cake and post the result here when I get it done.
Graduation Tower Cake
Graduation Tower Cake Where does time get to??? This year, my niece graduated from high school and I made this cake to help her celebrate the occasion. It is a split design because I wanted to include her boyfriend of which graduated from the same school. One side is done in blue and yellow (school colors) stripes while the other side is more feminine with rainbow sugar roses. If I had the rainbow sugar roses to do again I would do them in solid white, let them harden and airbrush them in multiple colors. I think that this would have made them look more realistic. The wasp mascot is made from white modeling chocolate of which I hand sculpted and painted with an oil based food coloring...messy, messy stuff that doesn't dry but the colors were very vibrant.There were a lot of comments that it looked mean but that's actually what the facial expression looks like. The cake stand is made from 1/2" pvc of which is actually straight up and down. I knew that I was going to use a wedge of fondant to get the graduation cap cake to tilt but the top square tier was a bit more difficult to figure out. I ended up using a 1/4" mdf fondant covered board of which I screwed a threaded pvc adapter into at an angle. This allowed me to create stability for a tier that hangs in mid air. The cake is marble of which was torted and layered with alternating vanilla and chocolate Swiss buttercream, per the request of my niece. Once I layered the cakes I took it a step further and iced the top half of the tiers with chocolate Swiss buttercream and the bottom half in vanilla Swiss buttercream. All in all the cake turned out beautifully and she was very happy with it. I gotta say that I love it when I get creative license to design a cake.
Native Harvest Queen
My niece is huge in native culture and nature. So, I created this bust cake for her birthday. The bust of the cake is a reverse graduation of which the head sits on top of. The face is made out of white modeling chocolate that I dusted with flesh colored petal dust. Her eyes and eyebrows I used a layer of fondant because I didn't have enough time to order oil based food coloring. To create the feathered look on the back of the headdress I took the inside of an icing tip and created indentations before I painted it with food coloring, which mostly left the indentations white. I then painted the indentations with buttercup yellow. All of the sugar work for the headdress was made prior to baking the cake so that it would harden. It was as simple as stabbing the sugar pieces into the headdress. All of the connecting pieces of the fondant in the headdress and the neckline were covered with decoration pieces. The cake board was covered in fondant, airbrushed and chocolate shavings were added.
Fight Like A Girl
I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer or cancer of any sort. I am quite certain that it is life changing and if you know of someone that is affected by cancer you should do what you can to help. A very special person I know was diagnosed with Breast Cancer recently. I decided that I wanted to make her a cake to lift her spirits and show her that she is supported. I pulled my inspiration for this cake from an image of a tattoo that she had posted online. The tattoo featured a female figure floating in a hot air balloon that was covered in butterflies; truly inspiring, indeed. The hot air balloon is not edible but rather made from a Styrofoam ball that is covered in fondant with a wire frame. I did this because I needed the top portion of the cake to stay as light as possible. This cake had to travel to another state and I wanted to create a realistic balloon in which had no center pole support shooting up the middle of the basket. There were 98 sugar butterflies for this double barrel Espresso Soaked Chocolate cake with Espresso Ganache and Chocolate Swiss Buttercream.
Pirate Spongebob Birthday Cake
Spongebob Pirate Birthday Cake I was given the theme of “Pirate” for my granddaughter’s birthday this year. I searched all over the place for inspiration and was completely stumped as to what to make her for her birthday cake. Everything that I came across was either too grown up or too easy to make. I had to have something that would hold light to her sister’s Dragonvale cake. At least, it had to seem that way in her eyes. Then it suddenly occurred to me…”what is her most favorite thing in the whole world?” Who lives in a pineapple under the sea! Yep, the theme song actually rolled through my head. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the annoying little character but, oh, this little girl is head over heels for him. So, I began searching and found a cartoon image of a pirate Spongebob sailing on his best bud, Gary the snail upside down. Yep, some MDF and a little bit of PVC and this cake came together. Gary is made from a 10” round, two layer, torted cake that was firmed up in the fridge before I carved him down. Spongebob is made from an 11” X 15” sheet cake that was cut down into 3” sections, torted and stacked. The support system consisted of a 16” round MDF fondant covered board. Then an additional MDF fondant covered board that measured, I believe, 4” X 7”. Because Spongebob was only 4” in thick and the cake had to be transported I wanted more support than just a single rod. So, I used two ½” PVC pipes that ran the length of both characters. Each PVC pipe is also covered in plastic wrap so that it doesn’t come into contact with the cake. Gary’s eyes are made from a heavy gauge wire that I covered in floral tape. I shaped each one prior to inserting them into the cake. Starting at the PVC pipe, I ever so gently pushed the wires through the fondant covered cake. Since Spongebob was going to be standing I could leave the wires exposed above the Gary cake. I tightly taped them to the PVC pipe to hold them in place then covered the exposed wire with fondant. Gary’s eyes are just two balls of fondant. I didn’t use colored fondant because of time and for the sake of killing my wrists. I decided to completely airbrush this cake. I wrapped the bottom half in plastic wrap and worked my way down. The finishing touch was the water. The last few cakes that I had done have had a water feature of some sort but this time I wanted to create depth. So, I still used piping gel but this time I had clear, sky blue and royal blue. Basically, all I did was cover the cake board with the darkest color first, sky blue second and finally clear. However, a word of caution…the next morning the gel contracted and I had cracks in my water. I’m thinking that it was because the piping gel was far too thick. Fortunately, I still had some clear piping gel in which I used to repair the cracks. And there ya have it…Pirate Spongebob sailing on the back of Gary the snail! Of course, my granddaughter recognized him. I got greeted with MY Bob Bob cake in between squeals of excited delight. I even got an ARRGGGHHHH! I love it when I can bring that much happiness to someone! Especially my grandchildren! Happy Caking!
Dragonvale Birthday Cake
We just celebrated my granddaughter's fifth birthday. She is a fan of the Dragonvale video game. At least I think that it would be considered a video game. I was thrilled to find out that the platform for this game had floating mountains in it. Each mountain is a different environment. So, I created her a gravity defying cake with floating mountains. There is a cold, jeweled and, from what I understand, a dragon breeding mountain. The floating mountains are suspended on a pvc platform stand. Each cake consists of reverse graduated 4" and 6" round cakes. The middle mountain is a 4", 6" and 8" round. The smaller dragons and structures are 100% edible but the Bloom Dragon in the center had to be made from a heavy gauge wire form and was wrapped in aluminum foil. This was to keep the weight of the piece down. Then the whole thing was covered in textured fondant. A couple of weeks ago I created a Zoo themed cake that had a water feature. I wasn't to crazy about it because it didn't look realistic enough. So, this time I made the same piping gel but colored one and left the other plain. It gave it a much more realistic effect. In the end she was ecstatic about it and I was relieved that it was finished. Thus, everyone was happy!