Cakes for week of 4/14/14

Ack!  I’m a day late!  As my children are wrapping up their school year, my schedule is getting thrown off.  Sorry I’m late but here’s what was cooking in my kitchen last week…

A triple chocolate birthday cake should do the trick!

This little sweety loves her chickens and horse at her house and wanted her birthday cake to reflect that.  The horsey is hiding on the back.

Farmhouse Cake

How’s this for a baby shower theme?!  This child’s life has infinite possibilities!

This one I forgot to get a picture of before it was picked up, so the mom was nice enough to send me one.  I don’t usually get to see them full of candles and with added dolls, so this was fun to see!  This is the sugared cake I did in this week’s Tip o the Week.

Barbie Pink Sugared Cake

No week would be complete lately without a Frozen themed cake!  This party actually had Elsa come to the party!

Tiered Frozen Cake

Hope seeing this was worth the wait.  What do you feel inspired to create?  I would love to read your ideas in the comments!  Have a blessed week.

That is my bag, baby!

I have mentioned before that I tend to be a bit lazy about how many tiny tips and tools I have to wash each week.  Also, disposable bags (especially as many as I use each week) can be expensive!  Parchment triangles can be bought from most bakery supply sites and stores.  They make an easy,  inexpensive disposable bag.  I usually sit down and make 20-30 at a time to have on hand.  Here’s how you do it.

Lay your triangle out in front of you, with the longest side along the bottom.

Bag how to

Then, holding the top point, twist one of the lower points up to the top.

Bag how to 1

Then do the same with the other side.  Pull them tightly so the closed point of the bag is a super fine tip.

Bag how to 2

Then, place a piece of tape around the tip of the bag.  This will help strengthen where it is cut open for a better opening.

Bag how to 3

Next, place a piece of tape along the seam of the bag to keep it securely closed.  Lastly, Fold over the top edges where all the points come together.  This will also help keep the bag together.  I then place a piece of tape along that folded edge to keep it in place.

Bag how to 4

There you have it!  A parchment piping bag that’s easy to customize.

Bag how to 5

For most of my piping, I can just cut a small opening on these bags and use them as they are.  You can also drop in a tip if you need a shell border or a rose, etc.  You can even cut the tip into a V and make it into a leaf bag without using a tip!  If you are just using them to pipe on images or design, cut the triangles in half to create smaller bags.  I only use full size triangles to make bags if I am using them to ice cupcakes or fill in large areas.  That will stretch your parchment even farther!

Happy piping, everyone!

Cakes for Week of 4/7/14

Hello and happy Monday!  Last week had lots of fun cakes.  Check out what was cooking in my kitchen…

This one was for a teen that calls himself N8MC.  He actually posted it on his Instagram account as a “sick cake”.  I have arrived!

Neon Circles Cake 2

Here are some primary color cupcakes that can work for any occasion!  These were for a super hero party.

Primary Color Cupcakes

Here’s a cake for a big fan of Cars!  This uses the transfer technique I taught in a previous tip o the week post.

Lightening McQueen Cake

Here’s a fun way to use edible images.  This was for a friend of mine and his wife found this selfie on her sister’s phone.

30th birthday edible image cakes

What’s a bachelorette party without cake?

Black Scroll Cake

This week is Holy Week and my favorite time of year.   For me, it’s a time to be reflective and grateful for the ultimate sacrifice my Savior paid for me.  As nature comes back to life around us,  I am in awe of the God I serve that created it all.  Happy Holy Week and Happy Easter, everyone!

Cakes for the week of 3/31/14

Hello and happy Monday.  Last week was light for me cake wise.  It was my kids’ Spring break, so I only took a couple orders.  I guard my time with them very jealously and didn’t want to work much that week.  We had a fun week of staycation with a couple days at museums, one at a  park, and lots of leisure time.   One day was my birthday and we spent that day with my sister and adorable nephews.   It was wonderful.

 Only six more Mondays of school left!  I can’t wait.

Here’s what I did last week…

This one was for a good friend of my sister’s.  Her husband arranged it all and surprised her.  Big points for the hubs!

Hatbox Scroll with Roses

This one was for a old friend of mine’s daughter.  She said she wanted something princess.  I wanted it to be as girly and sweet as possible.  It’s hard to tell in the picture, but I drew the scroll design in piping gel that I mixed glitter into.  I also added glitter to the roses.  Her little sweet face lit up when she saw it, which is why I love my job.

Pretty Ruffle Cake

Stacking cakes…dum, dum, DUMMMM!

So there are lots of you out there that are very talented decorators but you haven’t done tiered cakes.  A friend of mine, who is a far more talented decorator than I am, is one of these people.  As I marvel at her ability to make a cookie look like an action hero, she tells me she doesn’t know how I feel comfortable making stacked cakes.  Now, I may regret showing her just how easy it can be since that will be the last skill in her arsenal to leave me in the decorating dust, but it must be done.  So Heather, this one’s for you…

Let’s start small.  These are a 5″ and 7″ rounds iced and smoothed.  The 5″ has a foil wrapped 5″ board beneath it.  I ice it on a 10″ board to limit the mess.

Stacked 1

Place the top cake in your freezer.  Then, insert a dowel rod into the middle of your base cake.  With a pencil, mark where the top of the icing hits the dowel rod.

Stacked 2

Then, remove the dowel.  Wipe it clean, leaving only the pencil mark.  Then, cut it at your mark.  Using that as your gauge for length, mark your other pieces.  The rule of thumb is place as many dowels in your base as the cake on top is in inches.  So in this case, we will be placing five dowels to support a five inch cake.

Stacked 3

Stacked 4

Check your dowels for loose pieces of wood.  If you are using a sharp enough cutter, it should leave pretty clean edges.

Then, place the dowels in your bottom tier, returning your original center piece to the center.

Stacked 5

Add some icing to serve as “glue” for the top tier.

Stacked 6

Then, take your top tier out of the freezer.  It should be firm to the touch making it easy to handle.  Loosen it from the larger board upon which you iced it, and center it on your bottom cake.  You will then need to pipe around the base of the top cake to fill in any gaps.

Stacked 7

Smooth your fill in piping and you’re done!

Stacked complete

Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  It takes time and smoothing it once stacked can be tricky, but it’s not the impossible feat you once thought it to be.  Try practicing smoothing multiple tiers on dummy cakes.  Then the real thing won’t be so daunting.

Good luck and happy decorating, everybody!

Cakes for 3/24/14

Good morning!  I was busy last week!  These pictures don’t even include an ice cream cake I decorated for my nephew or an R2D2 I did for a friend.  Take a look at what was cookin’ last week…

This one was for a little sweetie whose only request was that her cake have lots of yellow, her favorite color.

Yellow Daisy Cake

Here’s one that could work for any occasion

Blue and Green Birthday Cake

This one was fun.   The mom told me her daughter loves her “Meow meows and Woof woofs.”   Here’s what that inspired…

Cat and Dog Cake

This design is so popular I am doing it almost every week!  Here it is on a 9″ square.

Minecraft Square Cake

This one was for a long time friend’s daughter.  Her little princess loved it!  It was even cuter when I added the tiara she provided, but I didn’t get a picture of it. :(

Pink princess Cake

Have a great week, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by!

Work those coupons, gurrrrrrrrrrrrrl!!

Those of you that already do baking and decorating at home know just how expensive the supplies can be.  I know!  Fortunately since I have a business and can order in bulk, it saves me some money.  But for those of you that are just doing cakes for your friends and family, buying what you need really adds up!  I NEVER pay full price for any cake equipment at craft stores unless it’s just a couple dollars.   Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and JoAnne ALL have coupons each week.  Hobby Lobby has one each day,  in fact!  If you download their app, there is a 40% off a single regular priced item every day!  Plus, Michaels will take competitor’s coupons!  So truly, there is no reason to pay full price for those expensive items.  Cake pans, gel paste, luster dust, oh my!  It all adds up!  You just have to be willing to play their retail game.  So next time you have a cake coming up, stop by and pick up things one or two at a time using those coupons.  You will be so glad you did.

Cakes For 3/17/14

Last week was busy!  Along with cake orders, I had two personal events for which I made cakes.  That’s right…my own friends and family eat my cake too.  Proof that it must actually taste good!  Check out last week’s cakes:

This one was for a Hello Kitty fan.

Hello Kitty Cake

Here is a smash cake and cupcakes for “Mommy’s little Monster”

Little Monster Cake

Here is a bridal shower cake for a couple’s shower.  This shade of blue is one of the wedding colors.

Cake with Pearls and Fondant border

This cake was for my son’s Scouting Pack.  It was a 30 serving cake along with 125 cupcakes!  It was a labor of love. :)

Boy Scout Cake

The den of boys that was “crossing over” from Webelos to Boy Scouts got special recognition.  Their den mascot is this bird.

Boy Scout Cake 2

This cake was the most special of all!  My husband and I just completed the nine week Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey.  Our church hosted a church wide initiative.   In addition to the videos being shown to large groups, we were placed in small discussion groups.    These people have become dear friends over these past nine weeks.  We had a graduation party at our house last Friday to celebrate all of the great changes our families are making to obtain financial freedom.  If you have never taken this class, read Dave Ramsey’s books, or listened to his radio show, I highly recommend it.  Although my husband and I have always done fine, we now feel like we have a new direction towards “living like no one else so we can live like no one else”.  Plus, we have all these sweet new friends!  It has truly been a blessing.

Credit card cake

It’s a sticky business, but somebody’s gotta do it!

Fondant,  while currently overused in cake decorating (in my humble opinion), is a great material for designs on your cake.  Lots of people buy commercially made fondant, but it is expensive and doesn’t taste that great.  I make my own using marshmallows and a couple other ingredients.  It’s easy to make and keeps really well.  In about 15 minutes, you can make enough fondant for several cakes!

Start by greasing a large bowl with shortening.  I use high ratio shortening which is commonly used in cake decorating.

Fondant

Then, add one bag of mini marshmallows, 2 tsp. water, and a drizzle of corn syrup.  I realize that’s not a technical measurement, but I’m not a technical girl.  You basically just need a tablespoon or two to add elasticity to your fondant.  Fear not, this recipe is hard to mess up.

Fondant 1

Then, microwave this for a minute at a time, stirring after each minute.  I grease my spatula too to keep the mixture from building up on it.  Once all of your marshmallows are melted and your mixture looks smooth, add half a bag (1 lb) of powdered sugar.

Fondant 2

Stir this in until it incorporates and starts to ball up in your bowl.  Now you are ready to start kneading in more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it isn’t sticky to the touch anymore.

Fondant 4

I now take it out of the bowl and knead it on my powdered rolling mat a few times until it feels soft and smooth.  Don’t over knead or it will get tough and dry out.  I then separate it into four balls that I lightly cover in shortening.   This will help keep it from drying out when it’s stored.

Fondant 5

Now, tightly wrap each ball in plastic wrap.  I then stack the wrapped fondant in a tupperware container.  I personally like Chinese soup take out “tupperware”.  The lids seal tightly and easily.

Fondant 6

And there you have it!   A fresh batch of stretchy, yummy fondant just waiting for your masterful hand.  I go through this much every week, but it will keep for two or three weeks if sealed tightly.  Some people color theirs when they are making it, but I choose to wait until I need it to color it.  When you use is it may become sticky.  Just add a little powdered sugar.  If it dries out, knead in a little buttercream.  It truly is hard to mess it up.  Try a batch and let me know how it went!

Cakes for 3/10/14

This cakes likes summer and warm hugs

Olaf Cake

These cakes were for a little man born on the luckiest day of the year!

St. Patrick's Day Birthday cake

This cake was for several  family members celebrating their birthdays together.  The youngest recipient got to choose the color scheme.

Red and Black Birthday Cake

This cake is good for several themes.  This little girl was having a Frozen party and loves the princesses.

Snowflake Cake

Hope you feel inspired to create a beautiful cake this week!

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