Retro Rocket Cake and Dessert Table

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Hudson's 1st Birthday Cake

Hudson’s 1st Birthday Cake

This is my little baby boy’s 1st birthday cake.  I made some curtains for his nursery out of an adorable fabric by Michael Miller called Retro Rocket Rascals, and I just couldn’t get enough of it, so I decided it would also be the theme for his first birthday.

Bottom Tier of Cake

Bottom Tier of Cake

The white decorations on this cake are made of gum paste, and created using the Cricut Cake Machine.  I got my Cricut machine a few years ago and haven’t used it a ton, but it is great for cutting out intricate, detailed decorations.

Rocket men

Rocket men

A lot of work went into making the retro rocket boy figure atop the cake.  When making a special figure, I often make two just in case something happens to one. Everything here is made out of fondant and gum paste with spaghetti used for the supports.

Retro rocket boy face

Retro rocket boy face

I made a lot of different faces because it took a while to get it just right.  The hair is made of royal icing, and I used luster dust to color the cheeks.

Second retro rocket face

Second retro rocket face

Here is the alternate face.  In this photo you can see that the royal icing hair is still wet.  The black part of the eye is painted using AmeriColor Super Black gel paste.

Finished retro rocket figure

Finished retro rocket figure

Hudson loves a party, and he actually had two parties for his 1st birthday!

Retro Rocket Dessert Table

Retro Rocket Dessert Table

I saved the top tier of his cake to make the cupcake tree for the dessert table.

Top Tier of cake

Top Tier of cake

There were a lot of fun treats for the babies, and I found some straws that fit the retro rocket theme!

Peach Juice

Peach Juice

The paper cups and pretzel cups are from Meri Meri and Paper Eskimo.  I love all of the cute stuff they come up with!

White fudge covered pretzels

White fudge covered pretzels

Popcorn isn’t baby safe, but having snacks for parents is always a good idea!

Kettlecorn

Kettlecorn

These rocket pop cookies were a big hit with the kids.

Rocket pop cookies

Rocket pop cookies

The cupcake toppers and “Happy Birthday Hudson” banners were made using the Cricut Cake machine. I love these Red Wave Baking Cups from Wilton.

Cupcake tree

Cupcake tree

Hudson loved all of the birthday festivities and attention!  He is one perfect little guy!

Hudson eating cake

Hudson eating cake


Teddy Bear Cake Pops

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Teddy Bear Cake Pops

Teddy Bear Cake Pops

My son just turned two, and we had a teddy bear picnic themed party to celebrate!  I wanted to make some extra special treats for the kids, and thought teddy bear cake pops would be perfect!  I don’t have much experience with cake pops, so I stuck to the basics.  I used store bought cake mix and frosting because I was short on time, and didn’t know how difficult this project would be.  It turns out that cake pops are pretty easy and fun to make, so next time I won’t hesitate to branch out with different flavors and frostings.

Cake pop mixture texture

Cake pop mixture texture

Here is what the cake pop mixture looked like.  I baked one box of cake mix in a 9×13 pan and then crumbled it up and added about 3/4 of a container of store bought chocolate frosting.

Cake pop balls

Cake pop balls

Next I rolled the mixture into balls.  These are about 1″ in diameter.  I set them on a parchment lined pan to prevent sticking.

Cake pops on sticks

Cake pops on sticks

I used 4-1/2″ lollipop sticks for these cake pops.  To get the cake balls to stay put on the lollipop sticks, I dipped the end of each stick into the melted chocolate about 1/2″ deep.  Then I immediately stuck the lollipop stick into the cake ball and placed it on the styrofoam block to dry.

Dipping the cake pops

Dipping the cake pops

I used two 12 ounce bags of Wilton light cocoa candy melts to cover 48 cake pops.  The Wilton melts worked wonderfully because they were the perfect consistency.  With other brands, I usually have to add shortnening or paramount crystals to thin the coating; but with the Wilton melts I didn’t!  Pouring the chocolate into a tall narrow glass like this pint glass is helpful because it allows you to get the most dips out of your chocolate.

Dipped cake pop

Dipped cake pop

My technique for dipping each pop is to fully submerge the pop in chocolate and then pull it directly back out without swirling the pop around in the chocolate.  I found that if I moved the cake pop around in the chocolate, there was a much higher chance that it would fall off of the stick.  When I dipped the pop straight in and back out, I had almost no problem with cake pops falling off the sticks.  Once I had the pop out of the chocolate, I would swirl it around right near the surface of the chocolate (as shown in the above picture) to get excess chocolate off.

Cake pops drying

Cake pops drying

The cake pops dried surprisingly quickly (probably withing 10 minutes).  You can see the change in sheen once the pops are dry to the touch.

Rolling out the muzzle

Rolling out the muzzle

The next step is decorating the pops!  This is the fun part!  I used fondant for the decorations and colored three small pieces brown, black, and tan.  I used AmeriColor chocolate brown, super black, and ivory gel pastes to get the shades that I wanted.  For the muzzles I rolled out the tan fondant using my small fondant rolling pin with pink bands.

Tools

Tools

I used the bottom of a standard decorating tip to cut out the circle that forms the muzzle or mouth area of the bear.  The toothpick cut in half is used to make a small hole for the mouth.

Cutting out muzzle

Cutting out muzzle

Decorating tips work great when you don’t have a small enough circle cutter for what you are doing.

Making the ears

Making the ears

To make the teddy bear ears, I rolled a bunch of small brown balls of fondant and used a fondant sculpting tool to indent the center of each ear.

Cutting the ears

Cutting the ears

I cut each of the indented ovals using an x-acto knife and used the top portion as an ear.  Originally I cut these in half to make two ears, but I found that the ears were too small so I just cut them about 3/4 of the way to the bottom and re-rolled the excess fondant.

Eyes and nose

Eyes and nose

The eyes and nose are just small balls of black fondant rolled into oval shapes. The eyes should be smaller than the nose and more oval in shape.

Plain undecorated cake pop

Plain undecorated cake pop

Once you have the eyes, nose, ears, and muzzle all ready to go, things come together pretty quickly.  Here is a plain cake pop with no decoration.

Step 1 - Add the muzzle

Step 1 – Add the muzzle

Step 1 – Add the muzzle.  My fondant was sticky enough that it adhered to the cake pop just by itself.  If you are working with a drier texture of fondant, you could use melted chocolate or royal icing to stick the details to the pop.

Adding the ears

Step 2 – Adding the ears

Step 2 – Add the ears. Put them on the cake pop so that you can easily see them when you take a step back.

Step 3 - Add the nose

Step 3 – Add the nose

Step 3 – Add the nose.  Again my fondant was very sticky so the nose easily stuck to the muzzle, but you could use a bit of water to get the nose to adhere.

Step 4 - Create the mout

Step 4 – Create the mouth

Step 4 – Create the mouth.  I used a cut toothpick to make a tiny hole for the mouth.  For the teddy bear pop that is smiling in the first picture of this blog, I just used a fondant sculpting tool with a flat edge.  You could also use the tip of a ruler.

Step 5 - Add the eyes

Step 5 – Add the eyes

Step 5 – Add the eyes.  Here is where your teddy bear really comes to life!

Cute teddy bear cake pop

Cute teddy bear cake pop

The only problem with these cake pops is that they are almost too cute to eat!

Bow-tie bear

Bow-tie bear

I had a great time making these cake pops, and will definitely make more cake pops in the future, but as I learned at Hudson’s party, they do have one limitation, heat. The temperature was 82 degrees, and even in the shade it wasn’t cool enough for these poor bears!

Melted teddy bear cake pop

Melted teddy bear cake pop

 


Where the Wild Things Are Cake

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Wild Things Cake

Wild Things Cake

This is a very special cake that I made for my husband’s 30th birthday.  The book, Where the Wild Things Are, is his favorite children’s book; and as you can probably tell, this cake was inspired by that beloved classic children’s story by Maurice Sendak.

Max in his boat

Max in his boat

This cake is super detailed, and my husband had a lot to do with that.  He loves designs that are very realistic, intricate, and detailed, and this cake is a perfect illustration of his style.  The cakes I usually create are a bit more clean and simple, so I definitely made and exception for this one.  But the bottom line is that you really want the recipient to love the cake, especially when it’s your husband!

Monsters

Monsters

Dog

Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cake is frosted with buttercream, and the figures are all fondant that has been etched and painted with food coloring.  The buttercream waves on the top of the cake are probably my favorite feature.

Sea Monster

Sea Monster

My second favorite thing is this sea monster.  It reminds me of the Loch Ness Monster and I just love the colors.

More monsters

More monsters

Bottom Tier

Bottom Tier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each tier of this cake is covered in scenes from the book.  It’s hard to capture all of the details, because the scenes wrap all the way around the cake for a full 360 effect.

Room and Monster

Room and Monster

Tent and palm

Tent and palm

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were so many different colors of buttercream for this cake, I had a real mess on my hands in the kitchen!

Cake in progress

Cake in progress

There were so many details on this cake, both of our sisters had to jump in and lend a hand with the fondant figures.  Thank you sooo much Abi and Leandra! This cake was truly a family affair and there was a lot of heart and soul put into the making of it!

Goodnight

Goodnight


Sunny Yellow Gerber Daisy How-To

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Gum Paste Gerber Daisy

Gum Paste Gerber Daisy

Edible flowers are wonderful decorations for cakes, cupcakes and more.  I made these gum paste flowers for the bottom tier of a wedding cake, and I love the vibrant colors.  Gum paste flowers are easy to create and make a big impression.  Keep reading for a step-by-step on making the yellow Gerber Daisy in this photo.  There are so many different techniques for making beautiful edible flowers, and I am excited to share my tips on making this simple and sweet yellow Gerber Daisy.

Flowers in flower forming cups

Flowers in flower forming cups

To make this sunny yellow Gerber Daisy, start with some bright yellow gum paste.  I make my gum paste by simply adding Tylose powder (1.5 tsp per pound) to my fondant.  I generally add the Tylose after I have mixed my color into the fondant, but you can add the Tylose to uncolored fondant and then color it as well. The color used to make this vibrant shade of yellow is AmeriColor Lemon Yellow. Once you have your gum paste colored, you need to roll it out to about 1/16″ and cut out the flower shape using the largest cutter from this daisy cutter set.  I like to use my small fondant rolling pin with the pink bands for rolling out gum paste; it makes it easy to get that perfectly uniform thickness that you need when working with small detailed items like flowers. Once you have your flowers cut out, place them gently into your flower forming cups.  These cups help your flowers to form into a natural cupped shape while drying. If you don’t have flower forming cups, not to worry, you can use a regular drinking glass.  Just cover the top of the glass loosely with plastic wrap and then push down lightly to create a little hammock for your flower.

Feathered petals

Feathered petals

To make the small feathered petals that surround the center of the flower, use the smallest cutter from the Wilton fondant daisy shapes cut out set. Roll your gum paste as thin as possible to make these shapes.  Cut the six-pointed flowers in half and then cut each point down the center to make two points.

Cutting the daisy shapes

Cutting the daisy shapes

Push the outside points of the cut flowers inward so that the little petals are bunched together.  For the base of the Gerber Daisy, stick two large daisy cut outs together, using a bit of water, so that the petals are staggered. Now you are ready to stick the feathered petal pieces to the rest of the flower.

Putting the petals on the Gerber Daisy

Putting the petals on the Gerber Daisy

Use a tiny bit of water to stick the feathered petal pieces to the center of the flower. If necessary, use small pieces of parchment paper between the top and bottom daisy cut outs to keep the flower petals from sticking to each other while drying.  The parchment can also help add dimension and texture to the flower.  Stick a few pieces of parchment between the petals and remove them once the flower is dry.

Petals in the center of Gerber Daisy

Petals in the center of Gerber Daisy

Continue to work your way all around the center of the daisy until the tiny petals make a full circle.

Gerber Daisy tiny petals

Gerber Daisy tiny petals

Continue adding more small feathered petals until you have several layers of texture.  There are three full circles of feathered petals on this flower.

Sunny Yellow Gerber Daisy

Sunny Yellow Gerber Daisy

For the center, roll a small ball of dark brown gum paste and flatten the ball into a small circle.  To get the texture shown on the center of this flower, press the gum paste circle against the bottom of a medium sieve. The harder you press, the more pronounced the texture will be.  Luckily if you overdo it, you can just re-roll the ball and try again.  Attach the center using a dab of water, and your sunny yellow Gerber Daisy is complete! Experiment with different color combinations and designs.  The fun thing about edible flowers is that there are no rules!  You can make them look as realistic or whimsical as you like, so just have fun!


First Communion Cake

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First Communion Cake

First Communion Cake

This is a cake that I made just last week for my goddaughter’s First Communion! First Communion is a pretty big deal, and I have never made a religious cake before, so I was a little bit stumped on the design.  My goddaughter, Kylie, is such a wonderful, talented, beautiful little girl and I needed to make something extra special for her big day! Luckily Kylie let me know that she wanted the cake color scheme to be purple, pearl, and black! Gotta love a girl who knows what she wants!  Such a sophisticated choice as well!

Purple Fondant

Purple Fondant

It all started with the purple fondant.  I really wanted a beautiful shade of lavender, but once I started the coloring process, I got more than I bargained for.  I just could not get the shade that I wanted with my “go to” Americolor gel pastes.  I tried both Americolor Royal Purple and Americolor Violet, but the violet was too blue, and with the royal purple I kept ending up with muted dull mauve colors that just looked dingy. I started adding Americolor Fushia to the mix and ended up with a slightly better shade, but it was still not ideal. I decided to try a completely different brand of coloring, Wilton neon purple.  I’m not sure if you can buy this color individually; I had it as part of a Wilton neon colors set, so I thought I should give it a try.  To my delight, the Wilton neon purple created a perfectly pretty shade of purple.  The first four colors (starting on the left) in the photo above were created with Americolor Royal Purple and Americolor Fushia gel pastes combined. The two colors on the far right are colored with Wilton neon purple.

Before - Purple/Lavender

Before – Purple/Lavender

After - Cornflower Blue

After – Cornflower Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more thing about purple…it fades like crazy! After coloring my fondant I wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it rest overnight.  When I woke up the next morning, my beautiful shade of lavender had changed to cornflower blue. Argh! In the face of this disaster I went online to see what other people were saying.  I found that this was a common problem that some said could be fixed with baking soda, if you add it before the fade occurs. I couldn’t save the original batch, so I started fresh with some new fondant and added 1/4 tsp baking soda per 4 ounces fondant.  I couldn’t find any exact recommendations on the quantity, so this was a test. I again let this set overnight, and I woke up to fondant that was still lavender, but seemed to have darkened a bit more than normal.  I determined that although the color was darker than I had planned on, it would work.  During this process I got to thinking back on other purple cakes that I have made.  I realized that my purple gumpaste has never faded.  I don’t know why this is, but it seems that when you add tylose to fondant (this is how I make my gumpaste) it protects it from fading.

First Communion Invite

First Communion Invite

Once I past the first hurdle, it was time to work on design.  I took a cue from the invite and used a silhouette portrait of Kylie to make a personalized child praying silhouette. I used an x-acto knife to cut through the paper template and etch the silhouette outline into black gumpaste.

Frame for silhouette

Frame for silhouette

The shape of the invite lent itself to being the frame for the silhouette.  The frames and silhouette are cut from rolled gumpaste using an x-acto knife with a new blade.

Silhouette

Silhouette

The background of the invite gave me the idea for stenciling the bottom tier of the cake.  I found a damask cake stencil that I could stencil onto the cake with royal icing.

Masking the cake

Masking the cake

This was my first time working with a cake stencil, and it turned out that my cake was shorter than the stencil. I could have cut the stencil to the right height, but the stencil was expensive, and I still wanted to be able to use it on a taller cake.  I masked off the portion that I didn’t need with masking tape so that the top edge would be clean.

Stencil with royal icing

Stencil with royal icing

I made one batch of royal icing and thinned it slightly with water to use as my stenciling medium.  I spread it onto the stencil with an offset spatula, and then removed the stencil. The stencil worked alright, but I found that stenciling on a round cake is much more difficult than stenciling on a square or rectangular cake.  The stencil needs to have direct contact with the cake to make the stenciling come out crisp, clean, and uniform thickness.  On a round cake, your sides need to be perfectly square all the way around so that there are no gaps between the cake and the stencil.  My cake had relatively square sides, but there were some varying gaps, and as a result the stenciling was not a uniform thickness all the way around and there was some blurring.  One length of the stencil was not enough to go around the cake completely, so I waited 15-20 minutes for the royal icing to dry and then applied the stencil to the remaining area of the cake.  I overlapped the stencil so that the pattern would line up seamlessly. On a round cake, I can’t see a way around having a seam.  The place where the stenciling finally meets up will just be the back of the cake.  Again, on a square or rectangular cake, you won’t have this problem.

Stenciled Bottom Tier

Stenciled Bottom Tier

You can see the uneven thickness of the royal icing in this photo as well as some of the blurring.  Even though this is an imperfection, it gives it texture, and adds some old-world charm to the cake.  It feels like it could be part of a beautiful old cathedral.

Gumpaste pearls

Gumpaste pearls

I still needed to incorporate pearl into the cake, and the thought that gumpaste pearls would be lovely for the bottom border.  I use a 4mm pearl mold to make the strands of pearls.  The key to making pearls is to brush your pearl mold liberally with pearl luster dust.  I used CK Products Super Pearl Luster Dust here. I make all of the pearls and then trim off the excess with an x-acto knife before applying them to the cake.

Gumpaste pearl border

Gumpaste pearl border

The pearls make a very elegant touch, and they are deceivingly simple to make. I wrapped the cake drum in a lavender satin ribbon. I am so fortunate to have such an amazing goddaughter, and it was such a pleasure making her First Communion cake!

 


Circus Cake

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Circus Cake

Circus Cake

So this is my favorite cake.  Yep, it’s really my very favorite cake (that I have made). It is even more extra special to me because I made it for my nephew’s 1st birthday!  I had been wanting to make a circus themed cake, and I had a picture of this one in my head long before I started. It all began when I found the retro chocolate molds for the animals on the cake.  The adorable elephant, monkey, and seal chocolate figurines were calling my name and crying out to be part of a fun, cheerful circus cake!

Elephant Chocolate Topper

Elephant Chocolate Topper

You may already know this about me, but I’ll say it again, I am a BIG fan of using chocolate on cakes!  Especially now that I am a mom and have to try and squeeze in cake projects here and there, being able to make chocolate figures ahead of time is unbelievably convenient.  When I saw the cute little retro elephant rocking horse chocolate mold, I knew it needed to be the center of attention on this cake!

Monkey Chocolate

Monkey Chocolate

The peanut border is a fun detail that reminds me of the circus.  I made these with some peanut butter flavored candy melts, not for the flavor, but because the color was perfect.  The yellow stars on the top tier are made of fondant using a pie crust star cutter from Williams-Sonoma.  I love their pie crust cutter sets because they are so versatile.  I end up using them for so much more than just pie crust!

Seal Chocolate

Seal Chocolate

The chocolates on the cake are pretty substantial, and I was worried that if I didn’t connect them properly they would just fall right off the cake. I whipped up a thick batch of royal icing and it held the figures on with no problems.  Royal icing is such a lifesaver!

Elephant Chocolate

Elephant Chocolate

The scalloped red and yellow vertical stripes on this cake really bring everything together and give it that big top feel.  I actually placed the vertical stripes on the cake and then cut the scallop pattern using a piece of cardstock and an x-acto knife.  I had to be careful not to cut through the base layer of yellow fondant, but this method was much easier than transferring the individually cut pieces onto the cake.

Top of Circus Cake

Top of Circus Cake

The cake drum is wrapped with yellow grosgrain ribbon and blue rick rack.  I think the rick rack adds to the retro style of this cake, and I love using it as an accent on cake bases. I always hot glue my ribbon to the cake drum.  I have tried other methods such a double stick tape, and white glue, but I really want to know it is going to stay put, and hot glue is the only reliable method I have found.  Thinking back on the making of this cake, it was one of the smoothest and easiest cake experiences I have had.  Maybe that’s why it’s my favorite cake! Once I had the cake covered in fondant, all I had to do was pop on the chocolate figures, which had been made in advance.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Thanks for taking a look at this cake, I hope it inspires you to try a cake with chocolate details!

 


The Great Cupcake

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The Great Cupcake

The Great Cupcake

I am a sucker for a fun cake pan, and this Great Cupcake Pan has been calling my name for quite some time.  In spite of my efforts to be selective, somehow my collection of specialty shaped cake pans keeps growing, but who can resist a giant cupcake? I think I can squeeze one more pan into the attic!

White Chocolate Cupcake Shell

White Chocolate Cupcake Shell

I love the scalloped detail that makes up the “cupcake liner.”  I wanted to preserve this detail but I was afraid that it would get lost if I covered it in frosting, so I went a completely different direction, chocolate!  I melted some white candy melts and threw in a few pink candy melts to get a light pink color.  I sprayed the bottom part of the cupcake pan with non-stick spray and then wiped out the excess.  Then I brushed the melted candy coating up the sides of the pan.

Inside of candy shell

Inside of candy shell

To make sure the candy shell was nice and sturdy, I painted two coats of chocolate.  I waited for the first coat to dry before applying the second.  I left the candy shell to set overnight and then unmolded it in the morning.  I wasn’t sure if the chocolate would stick, so this was experimental, but to my surprise and delight, the shell released from the pan beautifully!

Cake in chocolate shell

Cake in chocolate shell

You may recognize the cake here; it’s Funfetti! This cake was for my goddaughter’s birthday and she always makes a special request for Funfetti.  The bright colorful spots always liven up a party, and kids especially love it.  The cake fit perfectly in the shell; I just leveled it a bit to make it slightly shorter than the top of the chocolate shell.

Frosting top of cupcake base

Frosting top of cupcake base

I added some light pink frosting to seal in the cake and make sure no cake would peek through.

Top of Great Cupcake

Top of Great Cupcake

So this is the top that I originally made.  I covered the cake in poured icing and added some confetti sprinkles.  I was happy with the color and sprinkles, but the icing started to crack, and that wasn’t the look I was going for.  Also it looked more like an ice cream than a cupcake.  Hmmm… Scratch that one!

Cupcake with poured icing

Cupcake with poured icing

I went ahead and put the top on just to see the overall look.  As you can see, the top of the cupcake is a little too small for the cupcake base; it doesn’t go all the way out to the edge of the chocolate shell.  Details, details! These are the kinds of issues that you just can’t think of! The top portion of this cake would make a really cute shell for a snail cake.  I’m putting that one on my list!

Frosted Cupcake

Frosted Cupcake

So here is the revised version frosted with Ateco tip 825 in pink buttercream. It takes a lot of frosting to cover this cupcake! Hint –  Use a large pastry bag to get one continuous swirl of icing.

Great Cupcake with sprinkles

Great Cupcake with sprinkles

A few confetti sprinkles and voila! Time to dig in! This giant cupcake is sure to be the center of attention at any party!


Farm Animal Baby Shower Cake

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Farm Cake

Farm Cake

This is a very special cake that I made for my sister’s baby shower.  The shower had a farm theme, and so I wanted to do something bright and cheerful.

Pigs

Pigs

The sheep and pigs figures are from a book I had recently purchased, Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes, a book that I still look at all the time!  I absolutely love Debbie Brown’s work.  She is so talented at modeling figures from fondant and gumpaste, and her work always looks so polished and professional!  I was inspired by her work, and this cake was my first attempt at 3-D modeling with fondant. If you are intimidated by 3-D modeling, her books are the perfect first step.  She lays out all of the pieces and gives you a step by step on how she constructs her figures.

Sheep

Sheep

The little sheep peeking out from the bushes are so cute and remind me of spring.  To cover the cake drum I rolled out white fondant and embossed it with an embossing wheel.  I then wrapped the edge of the cake drum in a cute red and white gingham ribbon.

Chick and apple box

Chick and apple box

This cake has a lot of details, but any of the figures could be used individually as a centerpiece or cake topper.  This little chick would look just as cute on top of a cupcake.

cow

cow

Cows are my sister’s favorite animal, so the cake definitely had to have a cow.  The rectangle portion of the barn is cake and the roof is molded rice krispie treats.

Tree

Tree

Here is a top view of the cake.  My amazing husband made the tree for this cake all by himself!


Oakland A’s Baseball Cap Cake

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Oakland A's Cake

Oakland A’s Cake

So I don’t follow baseball at all, but my brother in law, Peter, is a die-hard Oakland A’s fan.  He the biggest sports fan I know, and he is unwavering in his dedication to the Oakland Athletics.  I wanted to do a special cake for his 35th birthday, and because he is an absolute A’s fanatic, I knew it would have to be an Oakland A’s themed cake.  I needed the cake to be compact so I could easily transport it, and this baseball hat cake was a last minute idea that fit all the criteria.

Back of A's Hat Cake

Back of A’s Hat Cake

I have a hard time thinking of cakes for guys.  Maybe its because guys hobbies and interests usually aren’t easily translated into big swirls of pink frosting, or maybe its just because I have made fewer cakes for men.  This cake is great because you can just change the colors and logo and you have the perfect cake for any baseball fan, guy or girl.

Side View of A's Hat Cake

Side View of A’s Hat Cake

The hat is baked using a sports ball pan (one half) cake stacked on a 6″ round cake carved into a wedge.  I wasn’t sure how I would get just the right shade of green for this cake, and it turned out to be a combination of Americolor forest green and leaf green gel pastes.  The entire cake is covered in green and yellow fondant, and the stitching was done with a Wilton cutter/embosser tool.  Hopefully this season will be a good one for the A’s!

 

Top of Hat Cake

Top of Hat Cake


Dancing Goldfish Cake

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Dancing Goldfish Cake

Dancing Goldfish Cake

This is a fun little cake I made for my mom’s birthday.  I was inspired by the goldfish chocolate mold, and couldn’t resist putting this little happy goldfish on top of a cake.  I like using chocolate figures on cakes because I can make the figures way in advance and then just pop them on the cake at the last minute.  For this particular cake, I knew I would be short on time and sleep because I had a two month old baby at home. Even though I was short on time, I wanted to make something special for my mom, so I chose this design.

Painting Chocolate Mold

Painting Details on Chocolate Mold

I have tried a lot of different methods for “painting” chocolate molds, and for fine details like these I prefer to use a candymelter palette and paint brush (one that is dedicated to food use only).  Once I found the candymelter palette, I really got excited about chocolate because it allows you to keep up to ten colors warm at the same time in the small aluminum cups attached to the palette, and for painting details, there is nothing better.  When you stop having to worry about keeping all of your chocolate melted, you find there is so much more you can do with your designs.

Painted Details Front of Mold

Painted Details Front of Mold

The basic strategy for painting chocolate molds is a layering technique where you paint all of the details first and then fill in the background color.  You need to leave a little bit of time in between layers so that the colors don’t run.  For example, I painted the black pupil of the eye first and had to let it set before applying the white part so that the two wouldn’t run. All of the colors that you see are melted candy coating (a.k.a candy melts, confectionery coating, summer coating, chocolate wafers).  Candy melts are not actual chocolate.  They have a higher melting point than chocolate, do not require tempering, and come in a variety of colors, so they are quite convenient.

Filling in the Background

Filling in the Background

Once all of the details have been painted and are dry, you are ready to fill in the mold.  For this, I use a chocolate squeeze bottle. I melt my background color, pour it into a chocolate squeeze bottle, and then fill the mold.  Make sure to tap your mold so that all of the nooks and crannies are filled in with candy coating.  Luckily, the molds are clear so you can just lift them up over your head to see if there are any gaps or bubbles.  For this goldfish, I stuck a lollipop stick in at this point since I knew I would be putting it on a cake!

Goldfish in Mold

Goldfish in Mold

This goldfish just makes me smile!  It is so cute and it reminds me a bit of Cleo, the goldfish from Pinocchio.  The pretty pink flowers and lovely bow remind me of my mom.  Once your chocolate is dry, you can flip the mold over and unmold your figure.

Unmolded Chocolate Goldfish

Unmolded Chocolate Goldfish

Once your goldfish is unmolded, you are left with a beautiful, shiny, chocolate goldfish!  Looks like the perfect cake topper to me!  This happy goldfish looks like it is dancing for joy.  I was so excited about the goldfish, I almost forgot about the cake!  For my mom’s cake I wanted the chocolate goldfish to be the focal point, so I needed something simple that would coordinate with the goldfish and not detract.

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

To keep things simple I frosted the cake in cream cheese frosting and decorated the sides with toasted coconut.  I love how the toasted coconut is a thousand different shades of golden brown.  I am partial to Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut, and use it whenever I can.

Dancing Goldfish Cake

Dancing Goldfish Cake

Whimsical, simple, and fun!  That is how I describe this cake.  Next time you need a cake in a hurry, think about using a chocolate cake topper.  It adds a lot of interest and detail to the cake, and can be made well in advance so you don’t have to invest a lot of time decorating at the last minute!  You may have noticed that there is a happy dancing boy goldfish as well!  Hopefully someday soon, I will be able to make a happy pair of dancing goldfish!