Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Graduation Cupcakes

These cupcakes were for a graduation party and the grad's school colors  were red and black.  For the grad caps, I topped the cupcakes with mini peanut butter cups and squares of dark chocolate.  Then I piped on a little red tassel with more chocolate.  The diplomas and "class of 2011" plaques were also molded out of chocolate.  The cupcakes were chocolate chocolate chip, vanilla, cookies & cream and red velvet.

West Virginia Cookies

I thought this was a cute idea.  A bride ordered these cookies to include in welcome bags for out of town guests at her destination wedding in San Diego.  As you may have guessed, many of the family members were from West Virginia, and were big college sports fans.  I thought it was a nice gesture and a very personal touch.  The sugar cookies were glazed and decorated with royal icing, then placed in individual cellophane bags and tied with little bows.

Mini Yo Gabba Gabba Cake

This little cake was for a little boy turning 2 who is a big fan of the show.  He was having a small party at the park, so I made a small cake.  The cake was vanilla with cream cheese icing.  I simply frosted the cake and added fondant characters around the outside.   I used foam stamps on fondant to create the circles that spelled out the birthday boy's name.  I hear he wanted to eat all the characters!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

USMC Birthday Cake

OK, so this was my first military inspired cake.  Usually, when I finish a cake, I think "oh, how cute!"  But "cute" just didn't seem right.  This is definitely the most "manly" design I've done.  And it was fun challenge.

What was more fun was doing a cake for John, who I met at a friend's party.  He told me how he never liked vanilla cake with strawberry filling (which is what I brought to serve to the party).   But he came to shake my hand and tell me that the vanilla cake was the best cake he'd ever had.  He said that he was a chocolate fan, and that if he liked the vanilla cake so much, he couldn't wait to taste the chocolate.  So his wife surprised him with this little birthday cake.

I started with a chocolate chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream filling.  Then I combined fondant in greens and browns to create camouflage (I bet you couldn't even see it!)  I added some fondant stars that I painted in pewter and gold just to add some interest.  Then I created (almost) life-size .50 caliber bullets out of fondant and painted them with metallic luster dusts.  For the final touch, I made fondant dog tags and imprinted the birthday message with small rubber stamps.  The chain on the dog tags was also fondant (I made that using a string of pearls mold that I use for wedding cakes - just painted the pearls pewter!)  I added some "sand" around the base of the cake since our birthday Marine will be deployed to Afghanistan soon.  John - hope you enjoyed the chocolate cake even more!  (Especially since I wouldn't want to upset someone who deals with ammo that huge!)  Happy birthday, and thank you for your service to our country!  God bless the Marines.

Pirate Ship Birthday Cookies

Avast ye mateys!  These cookies were for a pirate themed birthday party.  I glazed the bottom of the cookie with brown icing and the top with white.  Then I added red sugar and yellow royal icing stripes to the sails and brown details to the ship.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cherry Blossom Wedding Cake

This cake turned out to be the perfect finale to the wedding reception.  I made a simple, two-tiered square cake and covered it with white fondant.  I piped a simple bead border at the base of both tiers.  Then, I added a detailed cherry blossom branch all made out of fondant.  I formed the branch out of wire and molded brown fondant around the wire.  Once I had the branch the way I wanted it, I laid it on the cake and secured it to the cake with a little more wire.  I then added delicate white blossoms that I made from fondant and dusted with a pink luster dust.  I also created flower buds and little green leaves which I added to the branch.  I finished the design by scattering a few additional cherry blossoms around the sides of the cake, just to add a little more color.  The result was simple and beautiful, my theme for the whole reception.  I loved the way it turned out, almost as much as the guests loved the taste of the cake!  The top tier was chocolate chocolate chip cake with a cookies & cream filling.  The bottom layer was white cake with strawberry filling.  And I displayed the cake on my elegant silver cake stand.  Love it!

Cherry Blossom Wedding Centerpieces

I created these simple centerpieces for a small wedding reception in a private backyard.  The grooms' sister hosted the event and wanted to incorporate some traditional japanese wedding photos that the bride and groom had taken.  So I framed the beautiful photos and set them on the tables next to simple glass cylinder vases.  I filled the base of the vases with river rocks and added a couple of tall cherry blossom branches.  The branches were dramatic, yet still simple.  I bought some branches with pink blossoms and some with white blossoms.   Around the frames and cylinders, I placed a couple pink mosaic votive holders with tea light candles.  I also used small square glass vases lined with river rock and made small arrangements with large white roses and pink spray roses.  For a final touch, I scattered a few river rocks around the vases.  I really liked how simple and beautiful everything turned out.  I've always wanted to do a cherry blossom theme, and I was so excited when I found out that I could get fresh blossoms.  The guests had a great time and the bride was touched.  Congratulations!

Wedding Cake Pops

OK, so I resisted the cake pop craze long enough.  I saw this idea on the web, and it was just too cute to pass up.  Truth be told, I didn't make true "cake" pops.  These are what I call my "truffle pops", because I prefer these homemade truffles to the cake pops.  (Why would I make a cake and then smash it up into a big mess?  Besides, I can't control the ratio of frosting to cake in a cake pop; I prefer 10 to 90, myself.  But I digress...)

So my truffle pops come in several different flavors: double chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate chip cookie dough.  I made these double chocolate pops by rolling the truffle filling, freezing, then dipping in white and dark chocolate.  Then I piped on lacy collars on the white pops and a bow tie on the dark pops.  Then I packaged them in pairs with a personalized tag.  They made adorable wedding favors and the guests loved them.  They'd also be cute without the sticks packaged in little boxes.  When it comes to chocolate, I do!  

Oak Creek Golf Themed Cupcakes

How do you get a retired father excited about his daughter's cake business?  Mention the possibility of trading cupcakes for some rounds of golf!  I created these cupcakes for a women's charity event at the beautiful Oak Creek Golf Course in Irvine.  There were about 90 women who participated in a golf tournament to support breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  So I was glad to also support a great cause and get my cupcakes in front of a large group of ladies.  Besides, how cute are they?  I had so much fun creating these designs.  I brought an assortment of cupcake flavors for the golfers to try:  chocolate chocolate chip, coconut, vanilla with strawberry filling, s'mores, champagne orange and red velvet.  I made a different design for each flavor, incorporating golf, breast cancer research, Oak Creek, and even a plumeria flower for my new business name.  The chocolate cupcakes were by far the most popular, but I still can't decide if people just like chocolate the best, or if the ladies needing convincing that the golf balls were made of chocolate and not plastic.  It was fun to meet the golfers and the staff, and they couldn't have had a more gorgeous day to play.  It was an all around great event, and I was happy to be part of it.  Thanks Oak Creek!  And I hope all you ladies enjoyed the treats.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bridal Shower Mini Purse Cupcake Tower

I am such a geek when it comes to cake stuff.  I had bought these cool little sets of purse cutters last summer at the cake convention, and hadn't had the chance to use them yet.  So I was SO excited (like really, I need to get out of this kitchen more) when the opportunity came my way.  These cupcakes were for a beautiful bridal shower (really gals...the decor was awesome) and they added an element of fun to an elegant event.  The cake was vanilla with strawberry filling, covered with cream cheese icing.  I piped a scroll pattern all over the cake, added a border of fondant pearls at the bottom with a few bright colored fondant flowers.  For the top of the cake, I added a mini bouquet of real hydrangeas in a greenish white color.  The matching cupcakes were also vanilla cake with strawberry filling and a dollop of white cream cheese icing.  I made all the toppers out of fondant: the little double layer flowers plus all the mini purses.  Coordinating with the bride's wedding colors, I cut out each bag from white, black, fuchsia and lime fondant which I textured to resemble fabric patterns.  Then I assembled each little purse and decorated with mini fondant flowers, luster dusts and metallic dragees.  I even made a little bride and groom purse!  These little works of edible art were worth the wait.  So adorable.  And I just love the presentation of the mini cake on top of my custom stand with the cupcakes below.  It was wedding-ish and whimsy all in one.

Hello Kitty Cake and Cupcakes with Keroppi

Hello, Kitty!  Yet another order with Hello Kitty, but this time with a flowery theme.  The client sent me a picture of a paper plate so that I could match the design.  We also decided to throw in some "frog" cupcakes ("Keroppi" for you die-hard fans) for those manly party-goers that would recoil when asked to eat a flowery fondant kitty.  I also made some simple flower topped cupcakes for the adults.  The cake was vanilla with strawberry filling.  The cupcakes were chocolate chocolate chip, s'mores, and a few champagne orange for the grown ups.  And I got to see the 2 year old birthday girl grin when she saw her cake.  Adorable!  What a great job I have.

Beach Theme Cupcakes

What a beautiful weekend for a beach themed party!  These cupcakes turned out simple and pretty.  I made red velvet and vanilla cupcakes, topped them all with cream cheese icing and raw sugar sprinkles to look like sand.  Then I made tiny sea shells of chocolate, brushed them with a little gold and copper luster dust, and placed them on top of the "sand".