Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tennis Birthday Cupcakes

I should have snapped some photos of the room at this party because it was so adorable! These cupcakes were for a 70th birthday for a lady who still loves to play tennis (you go, girl!) The cupcakes were coconut cream cake with vanilla butter cream and peanut butter cake with chocolate butter cream (my 2 favorites! too bad there weren't any leftovers this time) For the tennis balls, turns out it's hard to find chartreuse sugar, so I made my own by mixing yellow and green sugar in a bowl. I iced the cupcakes, then rolled the tops in my sugar mixture. Then I piped the white lines on top to finish them off. For the tennis rackets, I sprinkled the chocolate frosting with green and yellow non-pareils, then I molded chocolates using green, yellow and white candy melts. Once the candies were set, I popped them on top of the chocolate butter cream. Then I got to deliver these to the party and set them up on my dad's custom cupcake tower. To dress up the tower, I molded some chocolate number picks and added them to a couple cupcakes at the top of the tower. Then, I had an extra fondant banner from a cake this weekend, so I wrote the theme of the party, "Grand Slam!" with my green food writer marker. It was really a cute centerpiece to an already cute party!

Monster Truck Cookies

These "monster" cookies were party favors for a 5th birthday. The sugar cookies got a blue frosting glaze, then I attached black fondant wheels to the wet frosting. Once they were dry, I piped the white detailing with royal icing and added some silver highlights with luster dust.

Beach Party Cookies

These cookies were for a beach birthday party. I had tried in the past to add sanding sugar to my glazed cookies and was unsuccessful (turns out if you sprinkle it on top of wet icing glaze, the sugar actually sinks in and it looks really weird!) So I was excited to discover this technique for sugaring the tops. Once the glaze dried, I "painted" the area I wanted to sugar with water and sprinkled the sugar on top, shaking off the excess. (The water acted like a sugar glue once it mixed with the icing glaze. Cool!) So the sand castles got some white sugar highlights, the sand pails got a stripe of red sugar and some blue sugar to show the inside of the buckets, and the beach balls got stripes in 4 colors of sugar. They turned out super cute, and I loved the sparkle! I finished off the buckets and balls with some royal icing highlights and voila! Beach party fun!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jungle Sports Baby Shower Cake

So it's been a while since I've had an audience for cake decorating, but I actually had some girlfriends over while I started this one, so it was kind of fun. Maybe I should do a full tiered cake class?! Anyways, this cake was a fun idea...it was based of the soon-to-be parents' baby registry which included this pattern called "Team Safari" for their bedding and nursery items. All the animals were featured with various sports balls, as I replicated in fondant. The cakes were vanilla cake, one with chocolate butter cream frosting & filling, and the other with strawberry butter cream frosting and filling. I was proud of myself for thinking of the strawberry butter cream...I whipped it up on the fly, and it was pretty tasty. It passed my quality control board (i.e. husband and daughter) with flying colors. The cakes were decorated in fondant animals, including the hand-molded fondant elephant and the palm fronds. I finished off the cake by piping a chocolate icing border and some vines. I put the "welcome" to the baby on little pennants at the top of the cake, which I thought was fun and very "boy". Congratulations! Hope you have a smooth delivery! ;)

Dessert Buffet - Ni Hao Kai Lan Birthday

These are the mini trifles and sugar cookies that matched the Ni Hao Kai Lan Birthday Cake. We carried the turquoise and red color scheme into these mini desserts as well. The trifles were layers of vanilla cake, vanilla pudding, strawberry filling, and topped with a swirl of frosting. The sugar cookies were topped with a frosting glaze and white course sugar to add sparkle. And everything got a little fondant flower accent to tie it all together. This is a fun way to have desserts at a party...who doesn't like a sampler platter?

Ni Hao Kai Lan Birthday Cake

It's a good thing I have a 4-year old daughter to help me with these cakes sometimes. She knew exactly what "Ni Hao Kai Lan" was all about. But when I found some clip art on the Internet with the characters holding the dragon, I thought that would make a cool cake. Turns out I was right! This turned out so fun and colorful, and I love the way the characters a really came to life with my edible markers. The cake was vanilla with strawberry filling on top, and red velvet with cream cheese icing on bottom. The whole cake got covered with a turquoise blue fondant, and fondant details with a red accent color. I also made cookies and mini trifles to create a little dessert buffet for this party. It was so adorable! And I always know that I have a successful design when my daughter announces "this is the cake that I want for MY birthday!" Success.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hot Pink & Zebra Topsy Turvy Cake

This wild cake was for an adorable little girl who was turning 1. Her mom put together a beautiful party with zebra stripes and hot pink accents everywhere, and I was excited to build this cake to top off the event. No, it's not falling over...this is in fact my first "topsy turvy" cake. It was an adventure in cake carving! I was happy with the way it came out, eventually. I actually had some trouble and had to take the cake apart and re-carve the bottom layer. But I eventually got it right. Both layers were white cake with raspberry filling. Once I covered the cakes with white fondant and stacked them, I painted the entire cake with a pearlized luster dust. This made the fondant nice and sticky (and it looked really cool). So then it was easy to apply the zebra stripes - I cut them out of black fondant free hand with a pizza wheel and just pressed them onto the white fondant. Once they were in place, I also painted the stripes with the pearl dust. Then I made a ton of beads out of hot pink fondant, stuck them in a plastic bag, sprinkled in my pretty hot pink luster dust, and shook them like "Shake and Bake" chicken! This gave the beads a pretty shine. I placed all the beads at the base of each cake. Then I made the free form flowers out of hot pink fondant and silver dragees, gave them a coat of pink luster dust, and placed them in a cluster on the front of the cake. Since it was a first birthday, the birthday girl needed a "smash cake" to destroy and get all over herself. So I made a giant cupcake that could be lifted off the cake and served to the birthday girl. I added a pink fondant strip around the cupcake for a "wrapper" and topped it with a swirl of buttercream frosting. I also added a little "disco" silver edible glitter and a fondant "1" to the top. I was really happy with the results, and even happier when I heard that the cake made the trip to Vista in one piece! Phew! I love adding new techniques to the arsenal...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bob the Builder Cowboy Cake

This cake was for a little man who was turning 3 and wanted a Bob the Builder cake for his party. However, his favorite Bob video was a cowboy story. So I used the artwork from the cover of the DVD to design this cake. I decided to do a close up of Bob and his (adorable!) horse by cutting the shapes out of fondant. Once I pieced the fondant together, I used food writer markers to draw in the detail. The whole design was placed on top of a cookies & cream cake covered with blue buttercream icing. I added fondant ropes, hats and stars all over, then finished the design by piping a bead border and writing in chocolate buttercream icing. The cake was so cute that it makes me want to watch the video... I'm sure it's in my near future with my son.

Pink and Black Baby Shower Cupcakes

Aren't these just the sweetest? I just love pink and black together, and they turned out so simple and adorable. You should have seen them on my pretty jeweled cake stand! I made double flowers with hot pink and black fondant, then added a candy pearl in each flower. The flowers sat on top of a swirl of baby pink buttercream icing. The cupcakes were black and white as well - cookies & cream cake in black and white damask paper liners. Babies are the best!

Billiard Ball Cupcakes

These mini cupcakes were part of a large order (240 minis!) which was mostly just swirls of frosting with sprinkles. But a portion of them I made to look like billiard balls. They were just so colorful and fun that I thought I'd give them their own post. I covered the cupcakes with buttercream icing and rolled the tops in different colors of sanding sugar. For the stripes, I covered the edges of the frosting with wax paper before dipping in the colored sugar. Then I removed the wax paper and dipped the edges in white sugar. Then I added the little white circles of fondant on top and wrote on the numbers with a food writer markers. [*Note: to all those pool players out there: forgive me for omitting the #7 and #15. I didn't have any burgundy sugar...really, who wants that?] And if you noticed that, then you're spending way too much time in a) pool halls or b) my blog.

Bingo Card Cake

This was a cake I made for Bingo Night at Trabuco Hills High School (every Thursday, 6 pm - it's quite a production! ) It was a fundraiser for the music program there. The cake was layered with chocolate chocolate chip cake, cookies and cream cake, and chocolate custard filling. I covered the cake in buttercream icing and made the bingo card, red letters and little circles all out of fondant. I wrote the numbers on the card with a food writer marker. It was very well received and I hear it was all gone pretty quickly. Hey, gambling makes you hungry!