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.


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!

Cakes for Week of 3/3/14

This cake was for a Minecraft loving little guy.  The camouflage and “Creeper” are fondant.

Minecraft Sheet cake

This cake was cute and fun, but it also was sentimental for the family.  This design was based on the birthday boys’ favorite book “The Little Blue Truck”.  When the mom picked it up, she explained that the book was given to her oldest son by her father in law, who had since passed on.  So of course, that gave a whole new meaning to what that book will mean to her boys.  I teared up when she told me!  Have I mentioned I love my job?

You can see how I did the truck image here.

Little Blue Truck Cake

Ohhhhhh, THAT’S how they do that!

Ok, so I am not the best at drawing.  I can copy a lot,  but I am not great at drawing stuff without an image to go off of.   I used to work with a girl that was so talented, she would put one hand on her hip and hold her piping bag in her other hand, and draw anything on a cake you could think of.  She was amazing.   I, however, lack that gene.  So when I need an image to look really accurate, I do a transfer.  This is a process where you outline a copy of the image you want on your cake.  Lemme show you how…

First, make a copy of your desired image.  Then you cover it in a piece of parchment or wax paper.  I then tape them both to a cake board.

Transfer 1

Then, outline the image.  Make sure your point is very fine so it doesn’t look sloppy

Transfer 2

After outlining, you can fill in the colors.  Try to leave no spaces in between colors and lines so it looks completely filled in.

Transfer 4

Now that your picture is complete, pipe whatever color the cake is iced in along the entire surface.  This cake was iced in white.

Transfer 5

Next, take a small spatula and gently smooth this layer to be thin and smooth.  This accomplishes two things.   One, it helps to smooth the colors of your image.  Secondly,  it reinforces the strength of your transfer so it will be easier to place on your cake.

Transfer 6

Now that it is smooth, place the image in your freezer.  It usually takes about ten minutes to get solid enough to apply.  It should feel firm to the touch.  Your cake should be iced and smoothed to be ready for your transfer.  When both the cake and transfer are ready, gently peel the parchment from the back of your transfer.  Gently lay it on your cake.

Transfer 7

There will be some lines here and there from piping the design.  Using a small, pointed tip spatula, gently smooth the lines.  Don’t over do it!  I am guilty of this.  I will smooth and smooth and smooth until I have altered the image.  Accept the imperfections and know that it probably looks better than your self scrutinizing eyes will show.

Now you can add any additional touches to complete the image.  This one needed some touches on the frog.

Transfer 8

Voila!  A butter cream transfer.  It’s a little time consuming and tedious, but it just looks so darned good when it’s done!  To save your sanity, try a couple first before you actually need one for a cake.  If your practice runs turn out well, save them in your freezer for future cakes!

Reward time for my awesome customers!

Ok, people…403 and likes on Facebook in my 1st 30 days!!  That is amazing!  You guys are the best.  To thank you for your support, I have decided to have a give away!  To enter, comment on this post telling me your favorite cake flavor.  On Friday, 3/7, I will announce the winner.  The winner will receive a half dozen cupcakes in your fave flavor or 10% off your next order up to $100.  Good luck and I can’t wait to make your next cake!


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