Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wedding Cake - Jacqui & Brian

I love my job.  Seriously.  Sure, I'm gaining some lbs and I work weird hours, but it really brings out my creative side and I feel like an artist.  Now I admit that this cake was inspired by a picture in a magazine but it reminded the bride of the ruching on her dress, and it was so different and interesting that I couldn't wait to try it.

The cake was 4 tiers (6", 8", 10" and 12"), served 120 + guests and included layers of chocolate chocolate chip cake, vanilla cake with strawberry filling, and red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.  I wrapped the tiers of cake with strips of fondant that I cut by hand with a pastry wheel to give it a textured edge.  Then I brushed the whole cake with pearlized luster dust which defined the edges and gave it an elegant sheen.

I topped the cake with a bouquet of hand-made sugar flowers.  I molded each petal out of gumpaste, and brushed on a little color detail.  I made green cymbidium orchids, light pink chrysanthemums, wine colored calla lilies and pink hydrangea blossoms.  I also added some of the hydrangea flowers in a few places around the cake, adding some piping detail for interest.  The cake turned out even better than I had hoped, and I don't know who was happier - me or the beautiful bride.

Congratulations you two!  Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day!!!  xoxo  

Pink Baby Girl Face Cupcakes

Pretty in pink!  I decorated these cupcakes in shades of pink icing and fondant decorations. The client sent me a picture of the shower napkins, and I created the baby girl faces to match the tableware.  Then I added double flowers and baby bottles to the other cupcakes.  The flavors: strawberry, lemon and champagne orange, perfect for a summer baby shower.  Congrats on your baby girl!  

Captain Jack Sparrow Pirate Cake

Question: How do I make a cake for a very close friend who's in another state?  The short answer is: I can't.  BUT, when it's a family friend, and I know that her mom & dad are driving there, then I can send up some supplies and create a "cake collaboration", which is what this one ended up being.

So this 9 year old pink pirate / Captain Jack Sparrow birthday party was the perfect excuse to try another edible portrait.  My friend Cindy and I came up with a plan: she would bake the cake, frost it, and cover the top with graham cracker crumbs and raw sugar to resemble the beach.  I agreed to make a treasure chest out of rice krispie treats (to better handle 10 hours in the car) and the pink pirate flag. I also made some gold and silver dusted jewels and treasure pieces.  The portrait of Captain Jack was a surprise.  I got a pack of cocktail napkins with his picture and used the photo as a guide to my painting (the side by side pirates above shows the comparison - the blue background is on the napkin).  I painted the portrait with food coloring and a little water and attached sticks so that it would stick out of the cake.  Then I packaged everything up with some edible pearls and metallic dragees and sent it up with Grandma and Grandpa with a sketch of how to put the whole thing together.

Funny side note: when Cindy posted the photos on Facebook, it asked her to "tag" Captain Jack - Facebook thought it was a real person!  Ha!  I was just glad to be able to be part of the birthday.  Hope you had a very happy birthday Leah!  We love you!  But why IS the rum gone???

Toy Story 3 Woody Graduation Cake

This cake was also for a high school graduation with a fun theme: "Kevin goes to College!"  As a kid, the graduate was a fan of Woody, and who really wants to grow up??  The base cake was chocolate chocolate chip cake with cream cheese icing.  I covered that tier in white fondant and added cow print spots and a yellow rope border.  (I figured that with the grad attending UC Davis, he'd better get used to cow print).  The top cake was vanilla cake with strawberry filling and I covered it with beige fondant to resemble the moving box with Kevin's college things, topped of course by Sheriff Woody.  Woody was hand molded from fondant and the details drawn in with edible markers.

This was cuter in person (sorry for the yucky was in use and I had to shoot with the dreaded cell phone camera!)

Shabby Chic Cupcake Tower

In a season where I make a lot of black fondant, I was happy to make something a little different for a high school graduation party.  The graduate had a party with a shabby chic theme, so these cupcakes were sweet, girly and pink to match.  

The cupcakes were as follows: cookies & cream (with pink jewels), snickerdoodle (with fondant pearls), red velvet (with embossed fondant hearts), chocolate chocolate chip (with pink fondant double flowers), and vanilla (with flowers and silver heart sprinkles).  

The mini cake that sat on top of the tower was vanilla cake with strawberry filling.  I covered the cake with pink fondant and added a thin bow and a ribbon rose at the bottom (with more fondant pearls).  Then I piped on flower and leaf shapes and brushed them to resemble embroidery.  It was a fun technique and it made a really pretty centerpiece to the tower and to the party.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Phineas and Ferb Birthday Cake

One of the best parts of being a mom is being able to watch cartoons.  And I have to admit that this is my favorite show on the Disney channel.  "Phineas and Ferb" is very clever with great music and funny characters.  So I was excited to try a cake featuring the main characters.  I made a cookies & cream cake and covered it with a layer of light blue fondant.  Then I created the characters out of fondant and placed Phineas, Ferb and Candace on the sides of the cake.  "Agent P", my favorite semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action, got the primo spot on the top of the cake.  And then I made the birthday message to look like the logo from the show's title.  Finally, I added some fondant circles and mini gold star confetti for some color.   I knew it was a hit when the birthday boy (who came to pick up the cake in his Perry the Platypus shirt) saw it and his eyes lit up!  It was a fun project.  So keep it coming!  I'd love to try Dr. Doofenshmirtz next...and maybe an evil cakenator or something.  Curse you, Perry the Platypus!

Hello Kitty Face Cake

I feel like the Hello Kitty Cake Studio this month!  The challenge of this cake was to make it hot pink and red without making it look too valentine-y.  So this is what I came up with.   I covered the vanilla cake with strawberry filling with vanilla buttercream and a layer of hot pink fondant.  Then I added Hello Kitty's face to the top of the cake.  I cut a ribbon of white fondant for the bottom edge of the cake, then added red fondant polka dots and bows that mirrored the one in her hair.  The final touch was some black detail with a food marker and the birthday message piped in white buttercream.

El Dorado High School Graduation Cake

This cake was for another cousin of mine (there are many!) on his graduation from El Dorado HS in Placentia.  I created the school mascot logo as a focal point of the base cake, then added black and gold details.  The top cake tier was shaped into a grad cap and topped with a fondant covered piece of cardboard.  The tassel was also made of fondant, and dusted with gold sparkle dust.  The top cake was chocolate chocolate chip and the bottom was cookies & cream (Matt's favorite).  I always enjoy making cakes for family (probably because I get to eat them!)

Punk Hello Kitty Cupcakes

Seems like Hello Kitty is as old as I am.  However, I don't remember her punk period...even in the 80's when she probably decided to rebel.  But I admit that I thought that that these punk designs were adorable.  I mean, everyone likes a pirate princess, and who can resist a cute skull on a plaid bow?  This was a fun variation on a theme.  The cupcakes were cookies n cream and red velvet.  They all got hot pink frosting and fondant decorations.  Too cute!

Graduation Dessert Buffet

I set up this display for a triple graduation party.  The oldest daughter was graduating from high school (school colors teal and black, "sharks" mascot), the middle daughter was graduating from elementary to junior high (school colors royal blue and silver, "coyotes" mascot, and the youngest son was graduating from preschool to kindergarten (red, blue & yellow abcs).  The client ordered a variety of cupcakes, homemade truffles, and parfait cups to represent all three of the kids' accomplishments.  She also rented my display pieces and we created this elegant display for the party.

American Flag Cookies

These little treats were individually wrapped and handed out as favors for a patriotic picnic at a private school.  They were so simple and festive that I thought they needed their own post.  Yay USA!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tinkerbell Twin Birthday Cakes

These twin cakes were the focal point to a beautiful dessert buffet for twin girls turning 3.  The cakes (one chocolate, one vanilla with strawberry filling) were covered with lavender fondant and topped with darling ceramic figurines featuring Tinkerbell with a number 3.  (Yes, they are ceramic.  I'm good, not that good!).  Then I embellished the cakes with piped borders and fondant foliage.  Addi's cake was decorated with fondant flowers and leaves.  Lexi's cake was covered with butterflies and ivy leaves.  Then I added flowers and butterflies on wires to add a little height and drama.  They were really bright and cute!  What a fun theme...gotta love the girly parties!  

Tinkerbell Birthday Dessert Buffet

Along with twin Tinkerbell cakes, this dessert buffet was part of a very special birthday party for twin girls turning 3.  I just had to post the picture of the whole set up...the hostess did a spectacular job of decorating the dessert table at this park pavillion.   I carried her theme of bright purple and lime green into the desserts.  There were chocolate and peanut butter parfaits, mini red velvet cupcakes, and mini chocolate cupcake cones.  I added tiny decorations (flowers, hearts and butterflies) out of fondant to tie in with the birthday cakes.  It was a really fun theme and I had a blast finding my "inner pixie".

Baseball Team Cookies

These custom cookies were for the "Giants" for their end of the season party.  I made square cookies that I glazed with orange icing.  Once that was dry, I added fondant baseballs and piped on the players' names on each cookie.  Each cookie got a cellophane bag and a black bow so that they were ready for passing out.

Vintage Wedding Cake Trio

Three beautiful cakes for one beautiful wedding!  I also got to coordinate the day's events on top of making these three cakes.  The wedding was in Old Town San Diego and these cakes really complimented the feel of the whole event.  The theme of the day was "vintage" and "rustic", with colors of ivory, khaki and olive green, live olive topiaries for centerpieces, olive branches tucked in the napkins, and lots of candlelight in a historic courtyard at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  [A shout out here to the Cosmopolitan - what a beautiful property in an awesome location - right in the middle of Old Town.  The food was good, the rooms were quaint, and the beds super comfortable!  I give it a thumbs up.]

OK, back to cake.  These cakes were meant to look "vintage" and homemade.  So I used classic techniques to decorate in ivory buttercream.  The square cake was red velvet with cream cheese filling.  I textured the frosting with a spatula to give it some interest, and added buttercream roses and fondant leaves to the top.  The round cake in front (top photo) was chocolate chocolate chip cake with vanilla custard filling.  I used a combing tool to texture the edges, then added an olive branch to the top, which I molded from fondant and brushed with luster dust.  The other round cake was lemon cake with lemon and cream cheese filling.  I piped a basket weave pattern to the sides of the cake, and finished with a shell border on bottom and a reverse scroll border on top.  Then I made the lemon blossoms and leaves out of fondant and placed them on top. I was really happy with the way they turned out (and super happy that they survived the drive to San Diego!)  They looked so beautiful and wedding-y, and the special touch of the cake table was the actual vintage cake topper from the bride's grandparent's wedding cake.  It was a special evening and I was honored to be a part of it.  Congrats Kim & Kris!  xoxo