Ladybug Cake

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Ladybug Cake

Ladybug Cake

This is a cake that I made for a friend of mine’s little girl’s 1st birthday.  I love ladybugs and had just purchased a new Backyard Bugs cake pan that I wanted to use.  I had a limited amount of time for this cake so I wanted a simple design.  The birthday party invitation featured pink, white, and green so I thought I would use those for the cake.  Using white as one of the colors saves time because it is one less fondant color to mix.

I started with a three layer 10″ diameter cake.  I covered that with white fondant and made the green band that wraps around the bottom of the cake. I made holes in the green band before placing it on the cake.  I then used the same small round cutter that I used to make the holes in the green band to cut out dots to fill those holes. I then made the wavy stripes and straight stripes using the fondant cutter tool.

The second tier is a 6″ diameter, three layer tier that I covered in green fondant.  I made a band similar to the one on the bottom tier and then cut out tiny white flowers to place all over.

Ladybug

Ladybug

The cake topper is the Ladybug, and as mentioned before it is the Ladybug Cakelette from the Backyard Bugs cake pan.  I baked the Ladybug and let it cool before decorating it with a thin layer of fondant.  The eyes are  royal icing.

In addition to this cake, there was a tiny little cake especially for the birthday girl to enjoy all for herself.

Mini Cakelette


St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

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Lucky Shamrock Cookies

Lucky Shamrock Cookies

Fun to make & tasty too, these Shamrock Shortbread Cookies are sure to bring you good luck and brighten your St. Patty’s Day!

To make the Shamrock Cookies you will need the following:
~ Shamrock Cookie Stamp
~ Scalloped Cutter Set or 2 ¼” Round or Scalloped Cutter
~ Emerald Green Luster Dust
~ Lemon Juice

Tools needed for this project are as follows -
~ Rolling Pin for rolling the dough
~ Small Paint Brush
~ Cookie Sheet
~ 8” Angled Icing Spatula or other lifting tool
~ Small Dish for mixing Luster Dust and lemon juice
~ Toothpicks

Shortbread Dough

Shortbread Dough

Step 1 – Begin by making the cookie dough. I used the Shortbread Recipe that comes with the Rycraft Cookie Stamp. This is a very simple shortbread recipe (I substituted superfine sugar for plain sugar) but you could use any kind or dough that is meant to be rolled and cut. The shortbread may seem a bit crumbly in the bowl, but you should be able to press it together with your hands to get it to form a ball.

Rolling Dough

Rolling Dough

Step 2 – Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Roll the dough to about ¼” thick. The surface of the dough doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth or unblemished because you are going to use the cookie stamp to make an impression that will cover imperfections.

Stamping Cookies

Stamping Cookies

Step 3 – Now that the dough is rolled out it’s time to stamp the cookies. To prevent the cookie dough from sticking to the stamp you can dust the stamp with a bit of flour. Make sure to tap all of the flour out of the stamp or use a toothpick to get flour out of the stamp. If the stamp is clogged with flour, you will not get a clean impression. Now stamp as many Shamrocks as you can on the dough you have rolled out approximately 2 ½” apart (center to center). This will ensure that you have enough space to cut them out with your round or scalloped cutter.

Step 4 – Cut the cookies out using a 2 ¼” Scalloped or Round Cutter.

Cutting Out Cookies

Cutting Out Cookies

Step 5 – Remove excess dough from around the cookies.

Removing Excess

Removing Excess

Step 6 – Using an angled spatula lift the cookies onto your cookie sheet. If you are not using a Silpat or nonstick cookie sheet, bake the cookies on a sheet of parchment paper so they won’t stick.

Cookies on Sheet

Cookies on Sheet

Step 7 – Once your cookie sheet is filled put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This will help the shamrock design to come out more crisply and will minimize puffing. Turn the oven to the temperature indicated on the recipe.

Step 8 – Now it’s time to bake the cookies. Pull the cookie sheet directly out of the refrigerator and place in the oven. Bake as per the recipe. I baked these cookies for about 12 minutes.

Step 9 – Remove cookies from the oven and let cool. Move to a cooling rack.

Mixing Luster Dust Paint

Mixing Luster Dust Paint

Step 10 – Once the cookies are completely cool, it is time to decorate! This is my favorite part! Begin by mixing together the luster dust and lemon juice. The lemon juice is used because it is clear and will help to make a paint out of the luster dust. You could try other clear liquids. Clear vanilla and vodka work as well. Mix the luster dust and lemon juice to the desired consistency. I wanted the emerald green to be a vibrant and saturated with color, so I used very little lemon juice to luster dust. Try 1/8 tsp luster dust per 1 drop of lemon juice. From there you can add more of either depending on what shade you want. Use a small paint brush to mix the luster dust and liquid.

Step 11 – Paint the Luster Dust paint you have just created onto the cookies. Make more paint as needed. If the mixture dries out, add more lemon juice.

Painting Cookies

Painting Cookies

Step 12 – Let the cookies dry for a couple of hours before stacking so that the paint will have set up.

Now you have beautiful St. Patty’s Day treats to share. I love the look of the shimmery green luster dust paint that decorates these cookies. These cookies will last for a long time (at least two weeks) when stored in an airtight container.

Enjoy!


Farm Animals Cake

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Farm Animals Cake

Farm Animals Cake

Fondant Animals on Farm Cake

Fondant Animals

I made the Farm Cake for my Sister’s baby shower. She loves cows and the shower was farm themed, so I thought this would be fun.

The animals are made of fondant colored with gel paste colors. Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes helped to inspire me for this cake. Instructions on making the pigs and sheep can be found in this book and the barn is similar to a barn shown in the book. Other items such as the cow, chick, and vegetables are also made of fondant. The sculpting set helps to make these figures and it just takes patience and trial and error to see what works. I recommend making the animals at least 3 days in advance and preferably a week to a month in advance so that they have set up by the time you put them on the cake. I use a small paintbrush and a very, very tiny amount of water to attach fondant to fondant such as when attaching the ears to the pigs and cow. These figures must then be left to set so that the fondant will bond.

Once the fondant figures have dried, they will be easier to move around and attach to the cake.  I attach all of the figures to the cake using a basic royal icing recipe.

For the barn I bake a sheet cake and cut it into rectangles to make four layers. I put 4 lollipop stick supports through the first two layers of this cake, and cut a cake cardboard to fit and place this on top of the second layer. I then place the next two layers of cake on the barn and frost it using an 8″ Angled Spatula. I placed this in the refrigerator to set up. The barn is covered in fondant strips that have been etched with a wood grain using the point on the end of a ruler.


Circus Cake

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Circus Cake

Fondant & Chocolate Circus Cake

I made this cake for my nephew’s 1st birthday. The birthday party included a trip to the zoo so I wanted to include animals. This cake is fondant and chocolate (candy coating). The peanuts, elephant rocking horse, and animal plaques that surround the cake are all made of candy coating/chocolate melts. I use the candy melter palette to keep many different colors of chocolate warm at once so that I don’t have to keep rewarming as it solidifies. Using a small paintbrush I paint the different detail colors into the molds. I let the detail colors set for at least five minutes before using a squeeze bottle to fill the background color of the mold. I attach the chocolates to the cake using a basic royal icing recipe. This cake went for an hour and a half ride in the car and nothing fell off, so the royal icing is pretty reliable. This cake drum is simply a white cake drum. It does not have any thing attached to it. I use fabric glue to attach blue rick rack to a 5/8″ yellow grosgrain ribbon and use it (attached with hot glue) to cover the base of the cake drum. This is one of my favorite cakes; I like the simple color scheme, retro feel, and the combination of chocolate and fondant decoration. This is one of the few cakes that turned out the way I intended. Also it is one of the easier cakes I have made and this is partially because the chocolates were all made in advance so the final decorating involved getting the fondant on the cake and then just attaching and placing the animals. Happy decorating!