Back in September, I was asked by a friend’s church ministry leader if I could make them a cake to be displayed during their church ministry fair on the first week of October. I wasn’t sure about accepting this project because first-I have not made a cake for anyone outside my family and circle of friends, second -this was a commissioned cake- so that meant I had a “client” who must be pleased and I wasn’t sure of myself if I would be able meet their expectation. I spoke to the ministry leaders by phone . They wanted a cake for the ministry fair so it could be a conversation piece. They also requested that the elements of their ministry (Family and Marriage ministry) be incorporated into the cake. I wanted to challenge my cake decorating skill and after speaking with them, I felt more confident so I accepted the request. So this is what I came up with:
I wanted this cake to have a nice view on all sides so on one side I put a train for the bride’s gown.
On the other side I placed butterflies of varying colors and sizes flying up into the sky. The little girl is trying to catch the butterfly with her butterfly net.
All of the figures were hand-made ahead of time using fondant and or gumpaste, with each adult figure averaging 4 hrs (combined) to make. I had to use an internal armature using aluminum foil to support the bride, groom, mom and dad as they were a little over 5 inches in height. The butterflies were made using my 5 petal cutter. I took the 5th petal out and shaped what was left into a butterfly then placed a yellow stamen for each butterfly. I hand-painted the details of the butterfly using vodka+ black food color. The bottom tier was a 14″ dummy cake and the top 2 tiers were edible.
I LOVED putting this unique cake together and felt so HAPPY doing this cake for the Church. And yes, my client was pleased =)
I was scouring for pictures in my laptop and found pictures of Liam’s first birthday cake. His cake was a gift from my brother in law. He ordered this cake from Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken aka Cake boss. I made the cupcakes to match the jungle themed party. I would have done his first birthday cake too if I only knew how to work with fondant then.
I celebrated my birthday back in October. I did not make myself a cake but made one for my nephew who I share the same birthday with. I remember meeting him when he first came to the US, he was 18 months then- he was this shy little boy, who always clung to his dad. That was back in 2005. For his birthday this year, he requested a Dinosaur cake. I wanted something different since he was turning the big 7- after all he is a big kid now! I honestly did not know how to go about making this cake. I wanted to make a 3d dinosaur but I had not done cake structure and had no idea how to go about it. I decided to use my cricut cake machine and used the Dinosaur tracks cartridge. I was a little frustrated wtih the cricut as it did not cut clean- but it was a matter of finding the right consistency for gumpaste- and then I was able to make a clean cut. Each dinosaur was layered to achieve that effect. It was challenging but fun to make!!!
The Volcano is a 6 inch chocolate cake with marshmallow buttercream filling stacked and then carved to look like a volcano. This was then covered with Satin Ice chocolate fondant (tastes like tootsie roll!) making pleats and folds to make a ridged effect on the sides. The base is 8″ chocolate cake. I used the grass tip and used green buttercream.
candles on top of the volcano= erupting volcano
Happy 7th Birthday Josiah! May you always be the sweet and good boy that you are. God Bless you!
Some of my friends have asked me how this cake was done so I am posting this earlier than scheduled ( I made 2 cakes prior to this which I haven’t blogged about) I made this cake for my sister in law’s birthday. Since I did not get to attend that shoe class that Wayne taught, I decided to buy my own shoe former kit, and to just do a trial and error method to learn this until I attend a formal class. I bought the shoe kit from here. My biggest problem was I did not have a template for a shoe. So I surfed online and was inspired by this shoe. I made this sugar shoe ahead of time since it takes time for gumpaste to completely dry.
The cake is a 10x 10 chocolate cake cut in half, stacked and then covered in chocolate ganache. I covered the cake board in Fondant before laying the airbrushed cake on it. I used my cricut cake to cut the letters for her name using the Songbird cartridge.
The Gumpaste roses were made ahead of time. I used petal dust to achieve depth and make it look more realistic.
Since I didn’t have any edible image printer, I had to hand cut the Logo using my Xacto knife. This was achieved by first copying the logo to a heavy cardstock and then carefully hand cutting it. I then placed this pattern over gumpaste, and handcut it again. I photocopied another logo and placed the cut gumpaste over the letters and laid it flat to dry overnight. The tissues were made out of fondant+ tylose mixture cut into triangles and folded whichever way and then was left for a few hours to dry.
The lid was made out of coreboard and covered in fondant. Ideally, the lid and box panels should have been made ahead of time but since I was not able to do that, I had to freeze the panels before assembling it so it could hold its shape while I attached it to the cake.
I used my air brush system for the first time. The airbursh colors used for the box were a mixture of Americolor chocolate brown + white + a few drops of yellow.
It was challenging but fun to make this cake. And as always, what makes me the happiest is seeing that smile and astonishment when the recipient sees the cake.
To dearest Maiko, wishing you all that best that life has to offer and many more happy returns! God bless you and your family always!
On the last week of June, I took a class from Wayne Steinkopf of Swank Cake Design. I left early from work and headed for Burlington, NJ. It was my first class related to cake decorating. The class was in 2 parts: first was about Isomalt preparation, cooking and handling and the second part was about making edible jewelries. For the first part, we were taught how to handle isomalt, a type of sugar that dries out clear when cooked in the right conditions. It is actually hard candy. The second part of the class was about gumpaste jewelry, and it was the more exciting part for me. We were given silicone molds made by Wayne and were asked to mold the brooches. I was working amongst professional bakers and what took them 5 mins to do took me 2x longer. We used highlighter dust and vodka to paint the brooches which gave the golden or silver appearance. Disco dust/ pixie dusts were also used to achieve the glittery look. Edible dragees were used to mimic pearls and the isomalt jewels were used to give the expensive look.
materials included disco dust, highlighter dust, gum paste, edible glue, dragees, silicone mold
my work, a far cry from Wayne's LOL!
me and Wayne
I originally wanted to attend his edible shoe class but ran out of slots. He’ll be back in winter for another class and I’ll make sure to sign up early!
Wayne's shoe class teaches students how to make these shoes
My brother in law Mike is into photography and for his birthday cake, I wanted to do something unique. I wanted to give cake carving a try. This was my first carved cake. The camera was meant to look like a Nikon D7000. It was carved from chocolate cake, ganached and covered in black fondant. The lens was also chocolate cake. I had to use the circle cookie cutters to get the shape , stacked them up, ganached and covered in fondant. Since I made the lens separate from the camera, I had to use a dowel to attach it to the camera (during transport the lens partially separated from the camera =s) I hand painted the details using americolor bright white. I used texture sheets to achieve the rough effect on the sides of the camera. Base is a 10 x 10 kahlua cake with whipped mascarpone filling. Mike’s name was cut using the cricut cake, and then the name Mike on the camera was cut individually using my Xacto knife. I used the arial font in bold italic to make it appear like the Nikon logo. I did the back of the camera too but unfortunately my husband was not able to take a clear picture of it.
When my friend Maria decided the she will pursue a degree in nursing, I was happy for her. She definitely made the best decision and gave the best gift she could give herself. I admire her greatly for balancing her full time job, managing to do schoolwork and topping her exams all at the same time. And so when she was recently awarded full scholarship for her college education, I was overjoyed. In celebration of this achievement I made her this purple ruffle vanilla cake =)
She loves purple!
The ruffles were done using strips of fondant thinned and frilled at one edge using the ball tool and foam pad. I used Americolor’s regal purple, starting with a dark tint, and adding more white fondant for each ruffle layer to achieve the faded effect. The gumpaste rose was done ahead of time using the teardrop cutters and then dusted with petal dust a shade darker than yellow.