Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quilted Buttercream Wedding Cake

Hi all! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!! This little number is a quilted wedding cake I delivered to the Sheraton Read House some time ago. The happy couple wanted a cute quilted pattern, but they were not especially fond of fondant. Haha... challenge time! I iced the cake nice and smooth and then, armed with only a 36-60-90 ruler and a hot spatula, I set out cutting facets into the surface of the buttercream. By cutting the "V" shape, it really made the pattern stand out quite well. There was a little math involved to get everything just so, but then there's always that, right?

This week is crazy so I'm keeping this post short. I have an upside-down groom's cake booked for the weekend, so there's a ton of prep work to do!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Cup a Dee Cakes!

Hi all! First off, I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas! I woke up early to find that jolly ol' Saint Nick left me some real treats under the tree! I don't know if I was THAT good!

This wedding cake goes along with the groom's cake from the last post. The Chattanoogan ballroom was decked out in full holiday trim and I thought putting the cake in front of the Christmas tree would really make it pop!

This cake is an elegant buttercream cake covered in buttercream dots, along with edible pearls and gold dragees. Te couple opted for cream cheese icing, which is SO tasty, but it weighs a TON! This was easily the heaviest wedding cake we have ever delivered in one piece.

The bride came up with the lights and the christmas ornaments that surrounded the cake. It was really a beautiful event!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Groom's Interests

This weekend I did a couple of cakes at The Chattanoogan hotel in Chattanooga, TN. This was a groom's cake and in it, the couple wanted to really showcase the groom's interests.

This groom was really into reading, fly fishing, and the Carson Newman Eagles football (his alma mater). We decided to incorporate each of these items into the design.

This was my first "stacked book" cake. I was SO glad that I didn't attempt this BEFORE finding out about modeling chocolate. It made it SO much easier to make the book covers and the pages.

This was also my first helmet cake. I actually went out and bought a helmet for reference. And I was glad I did! It really helped me capture the shape and the spirit of the helmet where I think a picture just wouldn't have cut it.

Merry Christmas to all the readers of my blog. I have discovered so many wonderful friends and ideas through my blogging and I feel really good when I do share with you, so expect more in the future!

UPDATE: I just heard back from the event manager at the Chattanoogan and he said that the photographer couldn't find the groom's cake to take photos of it. Not because it was missing, but because he didn't think it was cake!! Event staff kept telling him it was the books and helmet and he kept yelling back "There's no cake around the books and helmet!" AWESOME!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Beautiful Cakes, Beautiful Pictures

Last December, Chad and I made a New Year's Resolution to learn more about photography and to take better pictures of our cakes. We bought a better camera (a Nikon D60), watched several Magic Lantern instructional DVDs, and practiced by taking hundreds and hundreds of shots, sometimes of just one cake!

But sometimes things just work out, the planets just line up perfectly... beautiful cake, great location, and ideal camera settings. When we went back to look at these pictures on the camera we were very pleasantly surprised with the results.

This cake was all buttercream, decorated with just the couple's monogram and a fresh flower bouquet. My awesome brother made another of his soon-to-be-famous stands (since I couldn't find any hexagonal stands) and the location, the mother of the bride's house, was very elegant.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Candy Cake!

There's something just really fun about decorating a cake with candy, right? I think that's why I have always wanted to make gingerbread houses. Occasionally, I get to make a birthday cake where candy is the main theme.

I enjoy selecting the candies and thinking about the different and creative ways I can use them. The "8" is lined with gummy bears on both sides of gumpaste. I thought it turned out really cute! I spent a good searching through the bulk candy bins at The Fresh Market to find just what I wanted!

I did have a bit of a problem with the Twizzlers and Rainbow sour strips not wanting to stick. A little extra buttercream wrangled them in though!

As always, thanks for stopping by and check back on Friday for our next installment. I promise it will be a wedding cake!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Are you ready for some Football Cake?

I must admit that I'm not a big football fan, but I am very proud of the way this cake turned out! I made this cake some time ago for Mitchell, who is 1/3 of a set of very sweet 8 year-old triplets.

The cake "field" is mostly buttercream, but I covered the football in fondant for a more realistic look. I made the 8 out of gumpaste and embedded wire so that it would slip into the cake very easily.

I hope you enjoy seeing birthday cakes here as well as wedding cakes.

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget... only 2 weeks until Christmas! Let's finish up those last minute gifts!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vendor Spotlight: Lindsay Street Hall

Last night Chad and I visited Lindsay Street Hall in Chattanooga, TN. It's located right beside Bessie Smith Hall at 901 Lindsay Street. The Crisps have spent the last 3 years renovating the 100 year old church and it is absolutely gorgeous. It would make a wonderfully sweet location to get married!!

Besides hosting traditional events, they also feature musicians several times throughout the week. Last night was jazz night and they were really swingin'! Thursdays are singer-songwriter nights and every other Sunday they host "Pickin' in the Pulpit". $15 gets you brunch and some great local bluegrass talent. They even have a cash bar. The next one is on December 20. starting at Noon. Don't be surprised if you see us there!

For more information give them a call at 423-755-9111 or check out their Facebook page.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rubber Ducky Cake

Henry was another recipient of one of our awesome cakes. Henry was turning the big "Oh One" (01) and really like his rubber ducks. So we built him a cake with rubber duckies on it. We used ducky chocolate molds to make all the ducks and painted on the details with petal dusts. The cake was mostly buttercream, with fondant accents (like the dots, the waves, the border, and the letters). The "soap bubbles" were all piped buttercream dots. I thought the effect turned out very nicely.

As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The World is in your Grasp, Kaben!

I met Kaben's Mom at a bridal show recently and the first words out of her mouth was that "her son was a rock star!". Man, she wasn't kidding either! Kaben was turning one and her Mom, Tara (owner of A Silverware Affair), was very specific about the cake she wanted for her son. She wanted a cake that reflected the feeling that the world was within his reach and that all the world was his oyster (lower left hand corner of the cake).

I must admit that my "globe" is non-edible... it's a styromfoam ball covered with fondant with royal icing continents.

This cake also features another of my brother's awesome cake stands. This stand features acrylic walls and is waterproof, so it's the perfect fish tank that also holds your cake. There is a battery operated LED light in the lid that lights the whole thing up. It's very cool and Kaben seems to really enjoy it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wedding Alternative - The Cannoli Tree

From time to time I get a bride that's looking for something different; an alternative for those that just don't care for cake (GASP!) or just want something completely outside the box. Some opt for a cupcake tree. This couple still wanted the traditional wedding cake (see the little basket weave number in the background) but wanted something special on their wedding day. The groom was a HUGE fan of cannolies so we made up a few hundred of them and put them on our cupcake tree stand. We lined the platters with mini chocolate chips which along with being super tasty, also helped cradle the cannolies. A small 6 inch cake was the topper with a little ceramic "just married" car the bride and groom provided. The couple was very happy with their cannoli tree

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gumpaste Iris Wedding Cake

A few months back, I met with a bride that wanted a very natural cake with ferns, fiddle heads, and irises. I had never made gum paste irises, so I started looking online. All of the so-called "irises" really looked nothing like the irises my bride wanted. I decided that my only recourse was to make my own. I got out my Nicholas Lodge DVD and started making notes. Several days later I had a bunch of the little suckers made up. I was pleased with the results!

We delivered this little beauty to the Black Bear Cove Resort in Benton, TN. The setting was very rustic and natural and the cake really fit in with the decor.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Football and Cheerleader Cake

I recently did a cake for a football player and a cheerleader that were both celebrating their 16th birthday. I have been working on my figure modeling skills, so I got out my Debbie Brown book, my modeling chocolate and I went to town making those little cuties! I had such a blast making this cake and was even more stoked when my customer asked me if I might possibly blog about it! I enjoy writing and I really enjoy getting comments and followers, but to have someone request that their cake be blogged about was exciting!!

Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cup a Dee Cakes - Celebrity Edition!

I know it seems like I have been slacking lately, but actually we have been covered up at the bakery! In fact, I can barely find time to hobnob with some of my favorite folks. A few weeks back I spent a couple of days with the Amazing Mike McCarey. Mike opened my eyes to the wonderful world of modeling chocolate! Ever since then I can't seem to keep enough of it made up in the kitchen! Take all the stuff you like about fondant, then subtract most of the stuff you don't like about fondant and you have modeling chocolate! And it even tastes better than fondant. BONUS!

Yesterday, Chad and I took off to Altanta for the day. We visited IKEA, as well as several bakeries. We ended out day up at the Barnes and Noble in Buckhead where we got to meet Jen and John Yates of the oh so wonderfully funny Cake Wrecks! They gave an awesome presentation and slide show. There were several really good wrecklipas there and we really turned the Children's Book Section into a party zone. They were as witty in person as they are on the web, and seemed like such a nice couple.

Well, I must go now; I am preparing for my cake decorating class tonight at Dalton State College. Only 2 more classes and my stint as a teacher will be over I fear. I leave you with a shot of the CakeWrecks crew and the Cup a Dee Cakes crew giving you a big smile that's sure to last all week long!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back to the Future DeLorean Cake

This weekend our very good friends Greg and Kristin were married at Welcome Valley Village in Benton, Tennessee - very close to the Ocoee River. It was a beautifully rustic little place and we had a blast! Even though we deliver cakes to weddings almost every weekend, we rarely get to go to one. Greg is a big Back to the Future fan, and wanted a Delorean cake as his grooms cake. Greg was really happy with it (as were we) and there was a lot of people there that didn't believe it was cake. I stopped counting the Ace of Cakes references at somewhere around 20!

A while back we purchased Mike McCary's Cakenology DVD and ever since we have wanted to give it a shot. Chad and I worked on this cake over 24 hours, but we had an absolute blast making it. Mike certainly makes it look easy, but he gives excellent instruction.

Speaking of Mike McCary and instruction, tomorrow I will be attending Mike's modeling chocolate class at the Nicholas Lodge school in Atlanta. I am absolutely giddy with excitement. I got my first experience working with modeling chocolate on this car and I am really in love with it. I see Chad making lots more modeling chocolate in our future!!

Everyone have a great week and Congratulations Greg & Kristin! Have a great time in Key West!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Skateboard Cake

Hey guys! I hope you've all been having a great week! It's certainly been another busy week here at the bakery! I finished up my cake decorating class this week at Dalton State College, and all my students did such great jobs! Most of them will be back in 2 weeks for the second course. I'm super stoked because during this break I will be taking a class of my own in Atlanta with the super talented Mike McCarey. Will any of my blog readers be there? If so, leave me a comment and let me know so we can talk!

OK, enough about me! Let's talk about this crazy skateboard cake! This week has been so crazy that I reached back into the cake archive to bring up this little beauty. The skateboard is all cake, covered in fondant and covered with edible image skateboard stickers. The trucks and wheels are all fondant. I have dowels running from wheel to wheel and one through the center to support each axle. I tried airbrushing flames on the board and they turned out pretty good, but I wasn't thoroughly happy with it. I wish the colors were more vibrant.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Laser Level Learning

Sometimes you happen upon something that's just too good not to share. I have used this technique before, but was doing it again this weekend and decided to record it, document it, and pass it along to all my cake decorating friends.

There have been several times when I needed a mark on a cake for some sort of decorating challenge. I tried using plastic strips, but they were slightly cumbersome and would sometime still leave a mark on the cake. One day while rummaging through Chad's tools I ran across his laser level. That day I used it and positioned it just by placing it on a stack of cake boards.

This weekend I kicked it up a notch and mounted it on my camera's tripod. It made it SO much easier to position the laser where I needed it. I was then able to pipe my band of swirlies right where I needed them! Hope you guys find this useful!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bridal Show Goodness

Wednesday already? Where has the week went? I must still be reeling from the wonderful Premier Bridal Show we were a part of on Sunday. This is the first time we have had a 20x10 booth and we had to scramble to get our layout just right. We brought all of our new faux cakes and they were a big hit, as we hoped they would be. I haven't got the final tally back from the show producers yet, but we met hundreds of brides and most knew exactly what they wanted; something very contemporary that matched their style and personalities. We have already had brides contacting us and we have a whole pile of names that we will start scheduling consultations with today.

In the last 2 pictures, pay particular attention to the AWESOME columns and cake stands that my talented big brother made for me! Aren't they just great?!? He made all the cake stands except the silver and glass ones. I keep telling him he needs to setup a website and sell these professionally. I'll keep on until I get him talked into it - that's what bratty baby sisters do!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bake Like a Pirate Day!!

Avast ye mateys! OK, so it's not exactly "Bake Like a Pirate Day", but it is Talk Like a Pirate Day! So I thought that besides talking like a pirate, we would showcase a couple of pirate cakes from the Cup a Dee Cakes archives. On the top cake, we used a plastic gold doubloon and pressed it into gumpaste discs to make our own shiny gold pieces. some stock clipart and our trusty edible image printer made the map. We molded white chocolate gems and painted them with edible glitter to make them look more like real pirate's booty.

On the bottom cake, we used a lot of the same techniques as in the top cake, but we also molded 2 little pirates for the birthday boys. And each little pirate needed their own treasure chest smash cake. They turned out really great, even though they took us forever! We made each wooden slat out of fondant and built up the sides and top just like a "real" chest would be. I made this before I had my wood grain roller, so we used the tines of a fork to grain and distress the wood.

Well, get out and enjoy Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here at the bakery we'll be busy all day today making tons of cupcakes for all the couples visiting us the Premier Bridal Show at the Chattanooga Trade Center this Sunday. I will certainly blog more about that later! Until then, get out of here before I keelhaul you, ye landlubbers! Arrggghh!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scrolls and Red Rose Wedding Cake

The lesson with this cake you ask? Bring a tool box/repair kit on every cake delivery. I didn't have any cake tragedies here, but I did need several things. First, I had to cut all the flowers and install them on the cake. Then I needed my sticky roller to clean up some of the mess I made on the table. Then I needed a Shout wipe to clean a little buttercream off the table cloth. Lastly, I had to use green floral tape and skewers and rig all the letters so they would sit up above the roses. The small stake in the plastic letters was barely big enough to hold them if you stabbed them directly into the cake, much less towering 4" over. I'm just saying, make a tool kit so you can grab it on your way out the door. Always keep a little of the cakes icing in a bag in cake of a larger tragedy. Last lesson for the day, wrap your ribbon around twice so that it doesn't get soaked with fat from the icing (then secure with a corsage pin). Happy caking!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Piped baby shower with ?

If you don't already know, I am not personally a fan of using plastic on a cake. I'm not judging mind you, I do it. I just try to do it as little as possible. It sure would make life easier and you don't break copyright, which not breaking the law is always a good thing. I'm referring to Elmo and such, not these booties of course. The first tiered cake I ever made was a cake in a similar style of this one. Boy have I learned a lot! I've also learned that people don't always want to spend the money on all gum paste items like booties. Once a customer sees the plastic on a cake, it's hard to "up sale" them to handmade. Just keep that in mind if you don't want to ever "do" plastic. I have such a hard time doing cakes like this that aren't really my "style" anymore. I really do love it when the customers say "do whatever you want". That way you can try that great cake in your head and they get an awesome cake for less than you will charge next time!

Black Vine Wedding cake

There seems to be a lot of weddings this year with a black and white color scheme. I'm a fan, especially when it's done right! For this 3-tier wedding cake I used my house buttercream with some white color added to it. Most people know this, but just in case you don't make your black icing at least a day before. It will deepen overtime and you don't have to use as much color. This is especially important when you are mixing colors like red or orange that have to match ribbon or an invitation. Make it ahead and make plenty. The only tricky thing with a cake like this is making sure you "caulk" the seams in between the layers so that it looks very clean. When you pipe in black, you'd better mean it. It is hard to undo. This design was given to me by the bride. I tried to reproduce it the best I can, but piping is a little like hand writing, everyone has their own style.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Red & Black Show Cake

I know, I know, I'm like the worst blogger ever! But if you only knew HOW busy we've been lately. I am teaching a decorating class beginning September 15 at Dalton State College and then we have a HUGE bridal show on September 20th!! I have been so busy getting my syllabus ready and my booth designed that I have had no time left over for anything else. I am also trying to make some new show pieces to bring to the bridal show. Case in point - this "little" red and black number I have been working on for the past few weeks.

This is a dummy cake, so no actual cake, just Styrofoam layers, but it has been decorated with actual fondant and food safe materials. The beads are plastic beads that my poor husband lovingly cut from a beaded curtain I purchased online and then hot-glued to the bottom of the separator plates. The cat toppers are a pair of Jonathan Adler kitty S&P shakers that I have had for a while. They may or may not make it to showtime. What do you think? Kitty topper or no kitty topper?

I wanted to do one really huge, striking cake that I can put up at the show that will really draw people in. Here's hoping this does the trick!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Modern Baby Shower Cake

It's been a crazy week here at the bakery, but it's been over a week since I blogged so I want to share a quick pic with all of you before I jump head first into this eyelet lace wedding cake I'm working on for this weekend.

This particular cake I did for a baby shower a few weeks ago and had a fun time making it. Nothing technically hard on this one, just fondant shapes and fondant spheres on a wire (affectionately known here in the kitchen as "doomies"). The Mommy design was an edible image.

Sorry for the shorter than usual post, but the cakes, they are a calling! Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bright Heart Cake

Well, we have had a lot of white cakes lately so I thought we'd mix it up a little. This is the only heart shaped cake I have done to date. It's even hard to tell that it's a heart after I told you! I like the bright colors, but wow it's a lot going on. I'm more of a simplistic design type of person, but when the customer give you specifics then that's what you do! This cake had a lot of silver dragees on it. Wouldn't it be nice if you could put those on ahead of time? The cooler makes them dissolve, even if it's just overnight. ARGH! I really don't like last minute work because so much can happen and you have no time to fix it, but I guess that's the way the cake crumbles. For the border, I just cut a circle in half and used an food safe marker for the design. The piping is thick, #5 I think, but the white helped to break up the color some. This was a sweet sixteen cake and the event was in a big fancy barn. They had giant posters of the birthday girl hanging from the rafters, a dance floor, lights, DJ, the whole works. They had a giant crane directly over the cake table when we got there and I wouldn't put the cake there because I'm protective of my little babies. I waited patiently until the crane was moved. It's bad enough that they cut them, but I couldn't bear it to be squished by a crane!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wedding Filmed By TLC!

Faithful readers of my blog will surely remember that just last week I mentioned that one of my weddings was being filmed by TLC's Say Yes to the Dress. I made the delivery on Saturday and everything went off without a hitch, but I am sad to report that I did not get to meet any of the TLC staff or see any of their crew. As usual, everyone's off getting married while we were setting up the cakes! I did hear back from a friend of mine that attended. She said that the cakes were filmed and pictures were taken. I usually only hope my cakes don't end up on the floor; now I have to worry about them ending up on the cutting room floor! TLC told my "insider" that the episode should air in late September to early October. I will let you know more when I find out!

My bride in this wedding was in a wheelchair and thus wanted to make sure the cake did NOT tower over her, so we opted to do a small 8" cake on each table and then a smaller bride's and groom's cake as the main centerpiece. It was held in the ballroom at the beautiful Sheraton Read House in Chattanooga, TN.

The groom was a big LSU fan, so we recreated the LSU Eye of the Tiger Fleur de Lis just for him. We cut the shapes of the fondant and pieced them back together like it was a big cake jigsaw puzzle. It was very difficult to do, and sometime around midnight we began to kick ourselves for going that route, but when it was finished we were glad we went the extra mile.

I must admit that with a total of 31 cakes to deliver and setup that it was definitely the most complicated setup I have had to date. It took us 2 hours to get everything setup and JUST right. Even logistically getting all those cakes there (in one piece) was a feat.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wedding Cake at The Farm (and TLC!)

Sorry I have been incommunicado this week, but things have been cRaZy! I found out that a wedding that I am doing this weekend will be filmed by TLC's Say Yes to the Dress. It has really unnerved me a bit. I always try to make sure my cakes are flawless, but with this bit of info I'm stressing even more now! After I see what happens on Saturday I will blog more about it. Wish me luck!! It would me great if my cakes (or even me) were on TV!!

OK, about this cake... I did this cake last weekend for a lovely couple that were having their wedding reception at The Farm. The bride wanted the cake to tower over her, and that's exactly what she got! I had to stand on a chair to get the crystal vase on top of the cake. The florist did an excellent job placing the hydrangeas and the cake turned out beautifully. The sides were finished only with sanding sugar (click on pic to see detail) which made for a very elegant effect. I enjoyed making the cake and staff at The Farm said it was the largest wedding cake they had seen at their facility.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wedding Cake at The Mill

During this past weekend I was lucky enough to do a wedding cake for a lovely couple at The Mill in Chattanooga, TN. What a beautiful event hall!

This cake was inspired by the bride's dress. Her dress featured overlay lace, and I used an impression mat to achieve a very similar pattern on the second tier. On the top tier, I molded a ornate plaque and hand painted the couple's monogram. I used the buttercream flavored Fondarific and the extended work time allowed me to get a really nice effect.

In case you were wondering, the floral arrangements were done by Divine Designs by Amanda and the table linens were provided by The White Table.

The spotlights made a hot spot on my photo, but click on the picture to see a close up picture that show a lot more detail. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Head in the Clouds!

When you do as many cakes as we do, you sometimes find yourself using the same techniques over and over. Recently I was asked to come up with a design for a fellow's 75 birthday. He liked Cessna-type planes, but they didn't want a sculpted airplane cake. We didn't feel as though we could make a gumpaste plane, so it was off to the hobby store to find a small model. It was harder to find the plane than it was to put together!! The cake was a 3-tier buttercream cake and we used fondant to make the trees and mountains.

The clouds are where the "new technique" comes into play. I made a batch of marshmallows and piped them into pillowy cloud shapes on a bed of powdered sugar. They came out so perfect! They were fluffy, cloud-like, and delicious!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tennis Cake, Anyone?

This week is finally over and Thank Goodness!! I had a couple of weddings on Saturday and even one for today. This tennis racquet cake was one of them. I'm always so excited when a couple can step outside of tradition and really go all-in for a cake that REALLY showcases their interests and personalities. I made the racquet full size (using a real tennis racquet and some butcher paper to make a template. The handle was made from crispy rice treats; I have done 2 racquet cakes previously and used cake for the handle. The cake is so high and so thin that it wants to sway a little. The rice treats work SO much better. For the strings, I used a clay gun to extrude small fondant ropes. I had to mix in a little Sweetex to give me extra working time, but it was worth it. I needed the extra working time so I could weave the fondant ropes for a more realisitic look.

The tennis balls were made larger than real size and are all fondant covered cake. I sprayed the balls with a new product I got called pearl sheen and I just loved the look. I ordered more of it tonight. I used a small fondant covered Styrofoam riser so that one of the tennis balls would set a little higher. I hope you enjoy the cake and I hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brown Modern Wedding Cake

This is a cake I did this weekend. Another bakery in Torrance CA designed it, so I can't take credit for the elegance. I am so happy that a bride was so brave to go out of the box and do something completely different for Dalton, GA! We delivered it to the Farm Clubhouse in Rocky Face, GA. Her colors were pink and brown. She even made homemade apple butter as favors for the guests. It was packaged beautifully.
Anyway, to the cake. It was a 4-tier white cake with raspberry preserves (seedless of course!), my house buttercream and chocolate fondant. The lines and roses were made from white chocolate fondant. Super tasty, but I find it's very hard to work with, especially for these flowers. It is just so floppy even after I added some tylose. I found the crystals in the floral section at Wal-Mart. I attached wire through the hole in the crystal and built the simple rose around it. Not all had crystals. I had to let them dry in a clean egg carton so they would hold some of their shape. Another trick for a cake like this is that I made about a 1/4" well in the layers that help hold the preserves, that way they next layer sits on the outside 1/2" of cake and doesn't go sliding off. I don't think I'm explaining this as easy as I see it in my mind. Can you just get inside there? Well, maybe you don't want to do that! Anyway, if you just make an icing dam and fill it with the preserves (or other slick filling) your layers will slide. Some fillings don't ever change consistency with they get cold and that makes keeping the layers lined up a challenge. Lastly, my husband is still not allowed to lift anything over 25lbs and this cake was well over. It had 12lbs worth of fondant! My mom offered to help me and she tried, but she was so scared she was going to drop it that I ended up having to grab it and run. A little scary! She and I have learned that there are things she can help with, but at 67 with bad knees, carrying cakes will not be one of them. She did keep me very good company and made friends with all the staff while she waited on me to take pictures. We had a good time!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tree Stump cake

Well another stump cake already! The location for the reception was the Chattanooga Nature Center. I got to see a baby bunny and a chipmunk in the short time I was there. I just love animals! Anyway about the cake, I am finding these pretty easy to do which is nice for a change. This bride wanted the limbs coming out of the trunk so I used rice krispie treats and put a couple wooden skewers in each. The roots are also krispie treats. I used a 12"/11"/10" and 3 9" rounds. There was a cake board under the 3 9" so I could dowel under it. I use a french buttercream and when I add chocolate you can't get too much or it will become runny so it's necessary to airbrush to get the darker bark color. I used black and brown (last time I used yellow also, but like it better this way) After it was moved a couple of times it made a "crack" where the top 3 layers met the bottom 3 layers. I hate that! It's easy enough to fix except when you have airbrushed. I was able to totally repair it but because I was worried it would happen again in transport, I brought my entire airbrush set up just in case I had to fix it again. For the top, I airbrushed the circles and then went back with my icing spatula and smoothed it again. It made them not as harsh. The fern leafs were gumpaste, leave were fondant. Oh, the heart was fondant that I carved deeply so that when I pushed it in the dark brown icing behind it came through a little. I pushed it in so that it was flush with the icing. It would have looked bad to just sit on top of the icing. Wouldn't have looked realistic at all. The bride was happy and the Nature Center said they were going to use it in the wedding brochure. GO ME!

Piggy Farm Cake

Oh a cake to lift my spirits! I made such a happy little cake and it just oozed cute (well, I thought so anyway). The sweet birthday girl asked for a chicken for her birthday (that is precious) and the party was on a farm, hence the design. I love this mom because she gives me general guidelines and I get to go from there. In fact, she has triplets and this is just one from the weekend. I made a barn for the front and back of the cake, several animals just cut out with my cookie cutters and painted with food markers, and hand molded a few chickens and a muddy pig. I dry painted the sun with petal dust. I made the grass with buttercream (not as easy as it looks to be precise). The fence posts where made ahead out of gumpaste so they would go on nice a straight. I would have loved to do so much more but at some point you know you have to step away from the cake or you will be losing money. I wish I could do all I wanted to every cake. That is my biggest frustration most weeks. I guess being on a time limit is a good thing otherwise we my never stop! Now put your hands above your head and say "over decorating". I am called out that way at least twice a week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TV cake-not as easy as it looks!

Well, it was bound to happen, I had a cake tragedy. I am trying to look at it as a lesson but I'm so tore up that I did not deliver a product that wasn't what I promised. Here is the set up. A mother of the groom (MOG for short) called me with 10 days notice because her other baker decided she could not handle the cake they wanted. The MOG met us at the Dalton Bridal show in January. They didn't use us because they were told, not by us but lots of others, that no baker would make the bridal cake they wanted because it had live goldfish in between the tiers. Anyway, the request was for a 3-D flat screen TV cake with ESPN on the screen and any prop items we had time to make. We made a box out of 1" x 4" wood and 1/4" hard board in the back. We drilled a hold in the bottom and a piece of PVC with threads went all the way up. My brother made me a great stand that was heavy with a metal thing in the middle for the threaded rod to screw into it. I just saw them do this sort of thing on "Amazing Wedding Cakes". The cake girls made a great box of sweet tarts. Those shows make it look SO FREAKING EASY and it's not. We spent hours on this cake, 7 decorating. We set it up and it looked great. THEN the fondant screen starting sliding. It tore at a weak point that should not have been, I don't understand why it did what it did. We sat there for 50 minutes and watched it slide and total of about 1/3". I used black royal icing to caulk the boo boo, it looked fine. We left, went shopping at Wal-Mart and the ladies at Trevitt Hall called and told us it was buckling. We went back and it was about 15 minutes to show time. The screen had slipped another 1/4" inch. I did the same caulking job and it was still OK. 85% of people would not have noticed it. I had to leave and hope for the best. About 11:30pm the venue called and told me that as someone was walking by, the cake PVC rod broke and fell. Luckily the person caught it and nothing hit the floor or anything. They laid the screen down on the table and cut it as a sheet cake. Everyone got cake and it didn't break until after everyone sat down for dinner. I guess that's the good news? I don't know how upset the MOG is, but my heart is broken. What I learned....I should have insisted on a pound cake. I should have used a metal threaded rod (I don't know for sure that the PVC snapped until I pick up the stand). I should have stacked the cake in small layers, as opposed to the big sheets of cake that filled up the box. I should have put it vertical the day before decorating it so it could settle all that it wanted before I put the fondant on. I think I'm going to do the cake again and see how it goes with all my newly gained knowledge. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Buttercream Diamond Wedding cake

This wedding cake was a elegant design and a little challenging. The Diamond design is created by heating my metal spatula and melting the icing into the design. It's tricky because you can't melt it too deep. The fondant oval is lined with pearls that are then painted with luster dust. The scroll work took about 3 hours, but it came out pretty good! We delivered this wedding cake to Trevitt Hall in Dalton, GA. I think that catering hall is more beautiful every time I go there. They just out do themselves!

Fondant calla wedding cake

This 3 tier cake was for one of my favorite brides every! Do you ever meet someone and just enjoy ever dealing you have with them? Well, that's Karen. We delivered her wedding and groom's cake to the Chattanooga Nature Center on a very hot morning. She was very smart to move her time up so it was early. In fact it was the earliest I have ever delivered a wedding cake, 10am! Of all things the topper gave me a fit! Even fondant cake is not per stable enough. If someone bumped the table, that crystal cake topper was coming down! Since it was see through, it was impossible to put skewers or anything in or around it. I ended up putting a couple of silver wires and royal icing around it just until the event started. Another benefit, I saw a chipmunk and baby bunny on the way out! Yeah nature!


Related Posts with Thumbnails