Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gingerbread Castle 2010

You followers out there will remember that we try to make a family gingerbread house every year. So this year, we decided to make something to submit to a real gingerbread competition. This is our edible replica of Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland. Now, I have to admit that it is usually a more family-oriented project, but this year, mommy kind of took over and did about 90% herself.

*** I have received numerous requests for the instructions and templates for this design, but unfortunately I don't have them! This was created for fun and not for mass production. So sorry! ***

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Star Wars Lego Cake

Growing up, I was the only girl on an all-boy street. I remember Lego's fondly; the boys next door had bazillions of them, and we would spend hours in their garage building. And as children of the 70's, we lived and breathed Star Wars (also a good game to play when you're the only girl around...I always got to be Princess Leia!) So this was a fun project for me. I made a two-tiered cake (chocolate chocolate chip with cookies and cream filling on the bottom and red velvet with cream cheese filling on the top). I covered the whole cake with blue fondant and piped a white bead border around the layers. Then I added writing in piped icing and little stars around the cake. I created Lego's out of gray and white fondant, cutting bricks with a pizza cutter and the tiny circles on top with a drinking straw. I made the Death Star and a Tie Fighter (yeah, no Internet research needed...I was a huge fan) for the sides of the cake out of fondant (detailed with an edible marker). I also added the birthday boy's name in the style of the Star Wars logo. Then I created the little Lego men out of fondant. Luke and Darth Vader battle it out on the top of the cake with light sabers that I made from plastic drink stirrers. And Yoda sat at the bottom tier of the cake. I loved their little cupped hands...a detail that I forgot about until this week. So funny! I think the force was with me.

Sew Fabulous! 40th Birthday Cake

I admit that this was not at all what the client ordered. But when the client is your good friend's husband and he wants a "over the hill" cake for his wife, and his wife was in your wedding, and said husband says "I trust you", then this is what happens. I couldn't, in good conscience, put black fondant on this cake. (Sorry Russ!) But I did like the end result. The dress form was actually my husband's idea, and I thought it was adorable. The birthday girl is an excellent seamstress, and I thought a "Forty and Fabulous" theme would be more fun with some sewing-related details. So I baked the cake (cookies and cream with chocolate filling) and covered it with vanilla butter cream. Then, instead of the usual cover of fondant, I decided to make a "quilt" out of fondant squares which I textured with some cool, fabric-like texture plates. I added "yarn knots" by piping white icing at all the quilt piece corners. Then I created some fondant details (roses, measuring tape, bobbin spools) to add to the base cake. The crown jewels of the fondant details were the little silver high heeled shoes (because every fabulous woman needs a hot pair of shoes!) I made the shoes from a little cookie cutter kit that I bought at the ICES convention over the summer. Then, on to the dress form! I actually started with rice crispy treats and molded them into a bodice. Then I spread on some frosting to act like glue and covered the form with white fondant. Since this was my first foray into cereal treat molding, I discovered some valuable lessons here. The white layer of fondant was really lumpy and looked like something like a botched liposuction job (not so fabulous). So then I rolled out some purple fondant and gave it a pretty texture, and created a dress. The second lesson I learned was that no matter how many episodes of Project Runway I watch, I am NO fashion designer. That is just hard, whether working with fabric or fondant! I finished my sugar dress with some silver roses on the shoulder and a silver ruffle at the bottom. The last touch was the birthday banner for my forty and fabulous friend! Hope it was a great birthday and a delicious treat! Love you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Soccer Cookies

These cookies were for "the Bruisers" and their end of the season party. I topped my sugar cookies with white icing glaze and drew on the black details of the soccer balls with my edible markers. I thought they came out cool, and I didn't have to use fondant (which I think just overpowers the taste of the icing glaze). Then I added the names of all the team in blue royal icing and wrapped the cookies up in bags with matching ribbons. Go Bruisers!

Princess / Monster Truck Cookies

Seeing as how my kids were born 2 years and 1 day apart, I understand the double-birthday party. So I didn't even flinch when I was asked to do party favors that were half princess, half monster trucks. I made my favorite sugar cookies (which are really addictive...I have a hard time resisting those cursed cookies!) and topped them with a icing glaze. Once the glaze dried, I added details with white royal icing. The princess crowns got an extra little sparkle for the girly girls: I added some fondant jewels that I had leftover from my antique jewel wedding cake. They turned out really cute with little pink fondant gemstones on top. All the cookies were individually wrapped in cellophane bags with coordinating ribbon tied at the top. I hear they were a big hit, and my daughter was so excited to actually get to eat a pretty one since she was a guest at the party. (We usually get ugly leftovers with weird leftover icing colors in my house!)

Book Worm Cupcakes

These cupcakes were for my Mother-in-Law's book club. She came up with the idea too, which I thought was adorable! The cupcakes were margarita flavor (my kind of book club!) topped with vanilla buttercream. I rolled the cupcakes in red and lime green sanding sugars and added a fondant leaf with a tootsie roll stem. Then I molded the worms out of green fondant and made them poking out of the apples. I finished the design with little books that I also made out of fondant. These may keep the doctor away, but not the dentist!

Soccer Cupcakes

With soccer season coming to a close, I got to do a few soccer projects. These cupcakes were for "the Teal Turtles", as you may have guessed. I made vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. I added soccer balls that I stamped in fondant and colored with an edible marker. For the turtles, I added legs and heads that I molded out of fondant. Go Turtles!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wedding Cupcakes - Vanessa & Michael

I thought that these turned out so adorable! I made coconut cream cupcakes and Margarita cupcakes for this sweet couple's wedding reception at the Bahia Corinthians Yacht Club in Corona Del Mar. The coconut cupcakes got a layer of shredded coconut on top and a tiny navy blue fondant heart. The margarita cupcakes got a swirl of vanilla butter cream and a sprinkle of coarse white sugar for some sparkle. The bride provided the flags, which she made using templates online. And for the happy couple, I made them a personal 6" cake for cutting which was red velvet with cream cheese filling. I decorated the cake with a layer of butter cream icing and shells that I molded out of white chocolate. I also added a white chocolate anchor to the side of the cake. I added luster dust to the chocolate and pearl candies to add an elegant shine. And for the monogram cake topper, I molded the bride and groom's initials out of navy blue fondant and added wire to turn them into toppers. The initials also got a coat of luster dust for a finishing touch. I got to set them up at the reception on my custom cupcake stand. I think it looked so cute and was a perfect compliment to the decor. Congratulations Vanessa & Michael!

Dora the Explorer Birthday Cake

This cake was inspired by a couple of my other cake designs. The theme was Dora and the colors for the party were hot pink, yellow and orange. So I designed this cake to be super fun and girly with a bit of Dora and her friends Boots and Isa. The cake was 3 tiers: lemon cake with vanilla custard, chocolate chocolate chip cake with chocolate custard, and coconut cream cake with coconut cream filling. The whole cake was covered in vanilla butter cream, then a layer of pink fondant. I added rolling hills, trees, and 3D leaves and flowers all out of fondant. Then I added large rolled roses in yellow and orange at the bottom of the cake and on the top tier. I hand-made the Dora characters out of fondant and added details with a food writer marker. I piped the white bead border and the flower centers out of white butter cream. Then to finish off the design, I added a "1" which I hand-molded out of fondant to the top. I also made a banner of fondant and wrote "Happy Birthday" with my favorite markers. I cut out the letters for the birthday girl's name out of pink fondant and gave them a little stitching detail, then attached them to the top tier. This cake was Hannah-approved (my 4-year-old critic daughter), so I felt good about the overall product. Hope you liked your cake, Sonya!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 40th Birthday Cake

We all know that the big "4-0" can be scary. Especially when it is served up like this. This cake was for our friend and neighbor Darren on his big birthday. The bottom tier was a German chocolate cake with coconut pecan filling. The top tier was vanilla cake with strawberry filling. Both tiers were covered in butter cream icing and wrapped in a coffin of chocolate fondant. On the bottom layer, I added tombstones of marbled fondant and bright fondant pumpkins. I drew on the wording (and the bats) with a food writer marker, then added a little greenery and candy bones to finish it off. For the final touch, I brushed on a coat of luster dust and sprinkled on some edible star glitter for a spooky night sky. On the top tier, I free-hand piped a spooky design in orange frosting and added white chocolate sculls around the sides. For the top of the cake, I crumbled a chocolate cupcake and stuck the crumbs on top with some chocolate frosting. Then I balanced a cupcake on a large flower nail in the middle. To hold the cupcake, I created a skeleton hand poking out of the "dirt". I dipped pretzel twists (and smaller pretzel pieces) in white chocolate and chilled them to harden. Once the chocolate was set, I pieced the pretzel bones into a hand, using melted chocolate to glue the pieces together. (I have to admit, I impressed myself with this idea!) Then I topped the cupcake with chocolate frosting and a big chocolate "4" and "0". I put a few white chocolate bones on top of the dirt and piped on a birthday message to finish my spooky masterpiece. The best part of this project: I actually got to eat a slice! Happy 40th Darren! We'll drink to that! ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monogram Cake with Baby Shoes

Ever since I went to the ICES convention, I've been wanting to try these little baby shoes! So I was excited when I got this project and it just needed the shoes for the finishing touch! The cake was for a baptism; it had layers of vanilla and cookies & cream cake with chocolate Bavarian cream filling. I covered the cake with white fondant and quilted the sides with my wheel tool. On top, I added a cut out circle of fondant and carved the baby's initials. Then I added the purple ribbons, bows and flowers out of fondant. The crowning touch were the shoes; I bought some special tools at the convention and molded pieces of purple fondant into these darling scalloped sandals. I added flower buttons and a little luster dust to shine them up. I finished the cake by piping Swiss dots on the top and at the intersections of the side quilting. The design combined elements from 3 separate cake photos that the client sent me, but ultimately ended up being a unique design in itself. So bring on the baby shoe cakes! I have a couple more patterns to try...

Baby Doll Birthday Cupcakes

This was such a cute party idea! It was for a 4th birthday party for one of my daughter's friends who loves playing with her dolls. So I made these lemon (diaper pins) and cookies & cream (babies) cupcakes for the party. I molded the diaper pins from chocolate, as well as the pacifiers (my own pattern). Then I piped on ears, noses, and eyes on the babies. They were a big hit with all the little mommies!

Ducky and Dots Cupcakes

These cupcakes were for a baby shower for a mom-to-be who didn't know the sex of her baby. I think it's really fun when people do that, since there was no way I could wait to find out! We decided to match the napkins which had large polka dots and duckies. I also took the colors from the napkins. The polka dots were piped on, and the duckies were molded out of chocolate. Simple, but cute!