I was thrilled with how this castle cake turned out, although the photos don’t quite do it justice! Made for a three-year-old’s party, it got dolled up with a few Disney princess figurines once it arrived at the party.
Construction notes: The towers are made from rice krispy treats, which were a great success. I had my worries about them staying solid (dreams of melting marshmellow and swiftly tilting towers), but they remained upright the whole time, especially with a nice coating of buttercream to stick them to the cake. The pointed roofs are ice cream cones with a coating of buttercream. I’d say it turned out fit for a princess!
Decorating a cake for an artist is a high-pressure job! After all, they’re definitely going to notice the proportion of the design, the symmetry of the lines, the small details. I started out thinking that a cake done in the style of Mondrian - the painter famous for his color-block works - would be relatively easy… until I started to realize that one shaky line or offset rectangle would ruin the entire illusion. Gulp! Thankfully, I made a carefully-measured paper pattern before I started, and with its trusty rectangles in hand, everything came out OK.
Why Mondrian? Gary, our departing art director, used Mondrian-style designs in several of his layouts. It was a natural choice!
The cake was white almond sour cream with raspberry filling; the colored squares are cut out of fondant, and the white background and black lines are buttercream. The “Artist Gary” figurine is made from fondant (the paintbrush, however, is real).
An appropriate cake for the fall football season! This cake was made for a co-worker whose fiance (now husband) is a Dan Fouts fan - hence the Dan Fouts San Diego Chargers jersey. The jersey itself is fondant, as are the numbers and logos on the side of the cake; the mini football is chocolate cake covered in modelling chocolate, and the rest is buttercream.
Hi, my name is Stephanie, and I made my own wedding cake.
Now that I’m back on the blogging wagon, as it were, I’m posting one of the cakes I’m most proud of: my wedding cake.
You made your own wedding cake? Are you insane? Even pro bakers don’t necessarily do that!
Yes, I know. I suppose I am a bit crazy… but in a good way, I swear!
As I started planning my Sept. 2004 wedding, making my own cake became a challenge I couldn’t ignore. It would be more personal, too, I told myself. After all, my favorite buttercream is my mom’s recipe, and I’d just discovered a great recipe for an almond sour-cream cake — not to mention the fact that I really love the look of tilted, Alice-In-Wonderland-style cakes. Read the rest of this entry »
When our managing editor, Kathy, decided it was time to leave for greener pastures, the entire staff wanted to make sure her send-off was extra-special. We ran through lots of cake ideas: Hawaiian luau? A stack of books? A laptop computer with an image of our Web site? But we kept coming back to ideas that featured Kathy’s beloved dogs, Frances and Mickey (Mickey’s the dachshund). I decided this was a good chance to really challenge myself by making 3D versions of the dogs.
So we sneakily borrowed and photocopied Kathy’s dog photos while she was away from her desk, and I came up with a design that incorporated not only our magazine (hanging from Frances’ mouth), but also the giant blue mug that lived on Kathy’s desk - an item that everyone fondly associated with Kathy. After a few experiments, several construction diagrams, a double batch of buttercream, and a big dose of “hope-this-works!” faith, two very obedient cake-dogs showed up for the party.
This was certainly one of my most challenging cake endeavors. Both of the dogs are iced in buttercream; their heads are built on styrofoam bases frosted in buttercream, and their ears are fondant. I decided to use styrofoam for the heads because using real cake would have made them too heavy to stay in place (in the case of Frances - I didn’t have time to build a wooden frame that could support a carved cake head) or too crumbly when carved that small (Mickey). Frances’ front legs are made of iced plastic tubes, but other than that, both dogs’ bodies and paws are cake. I took a little artistic liberty with Mickey’s body length, obviously, but it was used to good effect when the blue mug was placed in the middle!
We ended up not cutting into the dog cakes at the party - there was enough cake in the oval underneath the Frances cake to serve everyone - so Kathy took both of them home, where the real dogs had a chance to pose with their sugary counterparts:
And here are a few pre-party photos, taken before I added the magazine and blue mug (click to enlarge)
Who’s a good girl, fetching my magazine for me? awwww… now, where did I put those snausages?
When my friend Kacey’s wedding shower took on a Hollywood theme, I was excited - that’s a great theme for cake-making! I had lots of ideas: a big pile of film canisters, or something like the Hollywood sign, or an old-fashioned movie marquee… but this walk-of-fame star stood out: it was simple, bold, recognizeable. After much research (thanks, Google Image search!), I created the star template and got down to business - the cake is a 12″ square, and the marble stone-style design is made by flattening together small dots of colored buttercream so they meld into one flat surface. The plaque in the middle is fondant, but everything else is buttercream; I painted the star border, the names, and the plaque with gold luster dust to give it a nice shine. Time to start working on that Oscar acceptance speech!
(click on the images below to enlarge)
This is one of my favorites Made for a departing coworker, Clary, it’s a giant iPod complete with headphones and a little fondant figure of Clary herself. The song titles have all been “tweaked” to include grammar- and journalism-related terms, which is why the first one reads “Comma Chameleon” instead of “Karma Chameleon,” for example. The cake is iced in buttercream, with a silvery fondant strip around the bottom to mimic an iPod’s metallic backplate. The headphones are cake and iced pretzel sticks. Sounds good, eh?
(click on a photo below to enlarge)
A creation for our editor’s baby shower, this rocking horse cake involved stacking the horse’s body (it’s one solid cake - made from the Wilton 3D duckie pan and a little judicious sculpting) on four plastic pillars which were embedded in the bottom oval cake. The rockers, saddle, and reins are fondant, but the rest of the cake is iced in buttercream.
I had nighmare visions of the leg-pillars splayed out in all directions with the horse embedded nose-first in the cake below, but everything stayed in place to form a very cute cake. Curious about what it looked like post-dissection? Still cute, but slightly creepy:
This is my second-ever wedding cake, created for a wedding held underneath the gorgeous redwoods near Pescadero, Calif. A chocolate-yellow marble cake filled with cheesecake mousse, it’s frosted in buttercream with the delicate triple swiss-dot pattern and gorgeous blue hydrangeas (parked safely in water vials to keep them fresh and out of the cake itself).