Mickey Mouse Rocket Cake

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Disney Rocket Cake

Mickey Rocket Cake

We just returned from a family trip to Disneyland and it reminded me of a special cake I made for my nephew’s 4th birthday.  My nephew, Cavan, had finally gotten to the age where he was able to tell me what he wanted for his birthday cake, and it was a Mickey Mouse rocket cake.  Of course I had heard of Mickey Mouse, but never a Mickey Mouse rocket ship, so I had to do some investigating to see what it was all about.

Mickey Rocket Cake

Mickey Mouse Rocket Cake Bottom

Luckily I did my research, because the Mickey Mouse Rocket has a very specific look with bright colored horizontal stripes wrapping around the rocket.  I decided to make the rocket out of cake and set it on top of a cake planet.  I used my upper and lowercase tappit sets to make the letters for this cake. The tappit sets are handy because they allow you to add a quick professional looking letters to your cake in a hurry!  I generally use gum paste to make the letters, but if I am in a hurry and only have fondant I will just roll out my fondant and let it set out a few minutes before cutting the letters. This allows the fondant to firm up a bit so that the letters are more stable and easier to cut and handle.

Side of planet

Side of planet

I got the idea for the texture of this planet from the Debbie Brown book, Cartoon Cakes.  I love all of Debbie Brown’s books and this one is fun just to look at even if you aren’t interested in cake decorating.  It is a whole book of wonderful cakes featuring Warner Brothers cartoon characters.  The cakes are expertly designed and decorated by Debbie Brown and they are truly unbelievable.  There is a really cute Marvin the Martian cake, and that is where I got this planet idea.

Mickey Mouse edible figure

Mickey Mouse Gumpaste Figure

The Mickey figure is made of gum paste.  When making a small figure like this, I have to use gum paste because fondant is just too soft and I can’t get the small details. At the same time that I was making this cake, I was looking for a present for my nephew and I came across the perfect a toy called Fisher-Price Disney’s Mickey Mouse Space Rocket.  It was Mickey Mouse with the very rocket ship that I was making in cake! With the cake and the rocket toy I was hoping to be number one Auntie!

Mickey gum paste figure

Mickey Mouse gum paste figure

It’s always a lot of fun to make cakes for children because they have such fun and over the top reactions!  This ended up being a great 4th birthday cake that Cavan loved. I was happy to be able to make Cavan’s birthday extra special, and I am so lucky to have such a wonderful little nephew!


Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

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Scuffy the Tugboat

3-D Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Do you recognize this little tugboat?  If you’re like me and have a fondness for the Golden Books of your childhood you do!  It’s Scuffy The Tugboat from the beloved Golden Book.  The book is a classic that you shouldn’t miss out on, so if you haven’t read it yet go out and find a copy.  It is a beautifully illustrated and written book to share with your children and grandchildren.

Book and Invite

Children’s books offer great inspiration for birthday parties, and  I thought Scuffy The Tugboat would be a perfect party theme for my nephew’s 3rd birthday!  Also it was a great excuse to make a Scuffy cake.  At the time, I thought that everyone knew exactly who Scuffy was, but at the party many people thought the cake was just a tugboat.  I couldn’t believe they had never heard of Scuffy!

Fondant Scuffy Eyes

Scuffy’s Eyes

I knew I had to get the eyes right for the cake to truly look like Scuffy.  The eyes always bring a character to life, and it’s exciting when you get to the eyes, because once you put them on you can tell if everything is going to work.  You can have everything else right, but if the eyes aren’t spot on, you may have to try again.

Scuffy Closeup

Scuffy

Side of Scuffy

Scuffy Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally I wasn’t sure if I would use piping or fondant for the details on this cake.  I tried piping, but the result was not what I wanted, so all of the details are fondant and gumpaste.  The cake itself is just cake (no rice krispies) and though it is a 3-D cake, the shapes are not difficult, so it is pretty simple (as simple as 3-D cakes get).

Tugboat Bow

Bow of tugboat

The tool I use most often for wood grain is a plastic ruler.  I use the edge of it, and drag it across the fondant to make the pattern.  I brushed this wood grain with brown gel paste to bring out the grain.  I love to do fun cake boards, and this is one of my favorite. I went around the cake board with some red grosgrain ribbon and added yellow rick rack on top of that.  I think it is a cute detail for a child’s birthday cake.

3-D Scuffy Cake

Scuffy The Tugboat Smokestack

Scuffy Smokestack

Scuffy Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most challenging part of this cake was definitely the smokestack.  I didn’t know how to make a hollow gumpaste cylinder, so there was a lot of experimenting.  Finally I wrapped a very sturdy paper cylinder from a roll of plastic wrap in parchment paper.  Then I rolled out a rectangle of blue gumpaste.  I cut the gumpaste to the exact size needed to cover the roll, and wrapped it around.  I sealed the seam with a bit of water and let the cylinder stand upright for a couple of days.  Once the gumpaste was dry, I slid the paper roll out and was left with a hollow gumpaste tube.  My previous trials taught me that the gumpaste will stick to the paper tube if you don’t wrap it in parchment.

3-D Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Scuffy 3-D Cake

Well that is the Scuffy cake!  I hope you are inspired to read the story and maybe make a Scuffy cake or cupcakes of your own!

Scuffy Book

Scuffy The Tugboat Golden Book


Owl Houndstooth Cake

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Owl Cake with Houndstooth

Owl Cake

This cake was a last minute idea for the birthday of a very close friend of mine.  Colleen is one of my best and oldest friends, and as you can probably guess, she loves owls.  When I was first thinking about what to do for her, I thought about making a 3-D shaped owl cake or cupcakes.  I looked at a lot of different owl images. Owls are very popular right now, but a lot of them seem a little too cartoonish, and I didn’t want the cake to look like it was for a child.  I thought that I should stick with a “grown-up” color scheme and maybe something fashion related to fit Colleen.  That is what brought me to the houndstooth pattern. Owls are wise and dignified and the houndstooth pattern, being very classic and timeless, seemed to fit, so putting them together just worked for me.

Owl Topper

Gum Paste Owl

To make the owl, I used gum paste, which I make by adding tylose to my fondant.  I like this method because it allows me to take already colored fondant that I have on hand and turn it into gum paste for modeling.  I know there are commercial gum paste brands, but I have never used these. I also used gum paste for the houndstooth pattern.  I cut each one of these with an x-acto knife.  It was a painstaking process, and since then I have searched for and found a houndstooth cutter.  The benefit of cutting by hand is that you can customize the pattern size to your cake.

Owl and tools

Weighing gum paste owl

When modeling figures, a scale like this Salter comes in very handy.  I use it to measure small amounts of fondant and gum paste so that I will know how much to use next time.  The owl is made of 3.3 ounces of chocolate brown gum paste.

Modeling Owl Eye

Eye made of gum paste

Owl and tools

Weighing gum paste owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked through all of my scalloped cutters hoping to find one that would be just right for the green part of the eye, but I couldn’t find one small enough so I ended up using a bismarck tip (Wilton #230) to cut the little half circles and make the scalloped detail.  I continued to improvise with the bismarck tip and found that it worked wonderfully for making the little green feathers on the owl’s wing.  For the white and black parts of the eye I used tip #2A and tip #1.  I tinted some gum paste egg yellow, and used a small daisy plunge cutter to help make the feet.

Owl Houndstooth Cake

Owl Side View

This was such a fun cake to design and make, and I was honored to be able to make it to celebrate the birthday of an amazing friend!


Cake and Cupboard Cake

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Cake & Cupboard Cake on Pedestal

Cake & Cupboard Cake on Pedestal

I love polka dots!  They just seem very versatile and cute!  I can think of a thousand polka dot things that I love: polka dot fabric, polka dot ribbon, polka dot pillows.  I could go on. I even have a favorite polka dot sweater. Soooo, I have always wanted to make a polka dot cake and specifically I have always wanted to make a cake that looks like the one in our logo!  My brilliant husband designed the logo, and of course it is perfect for me considering my love of everything polka dot, and my love of cakes.  So what could be better than a polka dot cake that looks just like the one in our logo?

Polka Dots Closeup

Polka Dots Closeup

I looked at my round cutters to find a fairly small size for the polka dots.  I ended up using a 3/4″ round cutter and I designed the scallops using a piece of cardstock that I cut into a pattern.  The cake is covered in white fondant and then a layer of dark brown gumpaste that went about 3/4 of the way down the cake.  I laid the cardstock pattern against the fondant and cut the scallops using an exacto knife, being careful not to cut into the white fondant behind. I then used a ruler to mark the placement of the dots and I cut those out with the 3/4″ round cutter and filled them in with the 3/4″ dots I had cut out of pink gumpaste. Voila!  As far as time, this cake is one of the quickest and most simple I have made.  I love simple designs, but also find that the simpler the design, the more perfect it needs to be because the flaws really show.

Cake & Cupboard Polka Dot Cake

Cake & Cupboard Polka Dot Cake

 

You can see some creased fondant and overcuts in the brown gumpaste. I was in a bit of a hurry with this one (just trying to fit it in during my baby’s naps) so it is not flawless, but I still think it’s a super cute cake.  As with all cakes, there are things I would do differently if I did it again. The cake is a 7″ round cake and next time I would go with a 6″ round cake to elongate the shape and give more height.  You can’t tell but the middle cake layers are actually smaller (probably 6 to 6-1/2″ in diameter) to give the cake sort of an hourglass figure as it appears in the logo.  This effort was definitely lost, but I think it would show up better on a taller 6″ cake.  The other thing I would do is lose the cake drum bottom and just have the cake sit directly on the pedestal for an appearance more similar to the logo.  In this case the cake drum was necessary.  I made the cake for my own birthday adventure which was bike riding  around Angel Island, and I knew it would be going on a bumpy ride so I designed it for maximum stability (it is doweled into the cake drum).  Maybe it is just because I love polka dots, but I feel like it is a fun and simple cake that could work for birthdays, showers, anniversarys, etc.  I hope you had fun taking a look.  I am sure there will be more polka dot cakes in my future!