Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Simple Polka Dot Cake

Here's a cake I made this summer for my granddaughter's first birthday party. The theme was multi-colored polka dots and she's always dressed frilly and wearing big bows with those fuzzy little feather things in them. So I combined the two and came up with this design.
Typically, the dots would be made of fondant, but I was especially busy at that time so I purchased a bucket of foam shapes at Michael's with all different shapes and sizes in every color! It saved me a huge amount of time and nobody cared that it wasn't all edible. I just took the non-edible decorations off as I served it.
Just another example of how you can save a little time without compromising visual appeal!

Simple Flower Pot Cake

I recently made this Flower Pot cake. It turned out alright, but I learned a lot about what not to do!! First of all, when I do it again, I'll use fondant instead of butter cream icing. I prefer using butter cream because I can throw a cake together so quickly with it. For me, fondant takes longer, but with this cake I think it would have turned out much better.
It really wasn't that difficult. I just put together a staked cake, only upside down, and trimmed the cake edges to keep it smooth. I tried to construct a lip around the top by keeping the top layer a little larger than the next layer, but I didn't allow for the icing and it wasn't enough to really notice, so I just smoothed it out.
And I used silk flowers, of course!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Simple Pumpkin Cake

Here's a picture of a Pumpkin Cake I made for our Thanksgiving Dinner. It's made using two bundt cakes put together. The most difficult part was getting the buttercream icing the right shade of orange!
I used a Marble Cake recipe that I make every Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time I just made two of them, leveled them off, put them together with the Fudge Icing that I then used for a crumb coat. I then iced the whole thing with my orange icing. I added a fondant stem and leaves that I had made a few days ahead of time.
That's it! One of the easiest cakes I've made so far!

If you would like to try it and have questions, just let me know. I'd be glad to help.

Simple Bike Cake

This is a very simple cake, easy for anyone to make and decorate. There's not a lot of work to it. Just make a sheet cake (I used a 12" x 16" pan), ice it with buttercream and use candy for the bike, border and sun. I used three different colors of gift-wrap ribbon, curled slightly, on the handlebars. This cake was made for an eight year old boy. It was not my original design; I got the idea from another cake site and loved it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's A Piece of Cake!

I have four children. While they were growing up it was a constant birthday party – or so it seemed! I would just get one party out of the way and it was time for another. I always meant to take classes and learn how to make neat birthday cakes for my kids.

But, alas, that never happened. So we usually bought the birthday cake. I did make the occasional cake, but it usually wasn't much to look at. So after I started having grandchildren and had more time on my hands, I enrolled in Wilton cake decorating classes and fulfilled a dream! Finally!! So now I'm making cakes for my granddaughters' birthdays and great-nieces and great-nephews and anyone else who is willing to let me learn on their cake! I've decided to use my blog as a photo gallery of sorts. Show off my work and give other want-to-be cake decorators some encouragement. Share what I've learned and prove that you can make a cool cake fairly easily.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when doing cakes for kids is that they don't look at every minute detail. Their mom might, but generally, they just look at the shape and see if it's what they asked for. Sometimes they will show you a particular cake and want you to make their's just like it. It's usually pretty easy go do.

In the Wilton classes I took, I learned how to make the fondant and gum paste flowers – they can take hours to make!! And if you charge for your time, a cake can get very pricey very quickly!! So I only do this for the person who is willing to pay for it. Your typical kids' birthday party doesn't usually have that kind of budget! So I don't spend a lot of time on that type of thing.

I said earlier that I now have more time on my hands, but I do have limits!. So I tend to use silk or real flowers instead of spending hours making them. Instead of using fondant for add-ons, I sometimes use foam shapes. You'll see this in future pictures. Just make sure to let your customer know what's edible and what's not!

Using a few shortcuts such as these, you can make really attractive cakes in a relatively short amount of time.