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!


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