Friday, June 22, 2012

The Little Fire Engine That Could

This cake was for my littlest boy, who turned two back in February (this is how behind I am with my blog!)  He was obsessed with fire trucks for a few months, and I knew a fire engine cake would absolutely thrill him.  I just about didn't do it since I had no idea how to go about carving a fire engine. But after searching on the internet for awhile and finding a really simple way to stack and carve the cakes, it all came together in my head.  Getting my head around the cake is half the battle!

After stacking, carving and covering the cakes, my DH and I worked on the decorating together.  It was a lot more fun to do it together, and my DH had all sorts of ideas how to make the cake special with some cute details.  He kept asking if he was taking over my cake, but I couldn't have been more thankful for his help!

The last little detail we added was our little boy's name written with the hose.  I rolled that hose so many times!  The fondant kept on drying and cracking each time we tried to write his name.  I'm glad we persevered, though.  It just adds so much to the cake.

Our son was a little overwhelmed with all the people, so didn't show terribly much emotion during his party.  However when the cake came out, his eyes got just a little wider.  I think he approved.  I love making these cakes for my kids. 

Speaking of kids, we'll be welcoming a third addition to our family this Fall!  Hopefully early this coming October!  Sadly this pregnant body is just in no shape to create cakes so I am taking a break.  It's really hard on the back to hover over a cake for hours on end.  Not to mention the fact that I've got two little boys to run after!  I've got a few more cakes to blog about that I completed earlier this year, and then it will just be a post here and there about cakes I create for my kids. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Can we build it? Yes we can!

No, not Bob the Builder, but this cake makes me think Bob the Builder with all the construction going on! This was the first cake where I used plastic toys on top. I like it! It really works well with the whole construction theme.

I looked around for awhile for some inspiration for this cake. The only thing that was super cute was a cake decorated to look like a large chunk of cake was being taken out by a backhoe. The backhoe I had to use was pretty small, so my DH suggested cutting a hole into the middle of the cake to make it look like it was digging. I loved that idea! So I cut the hole, smeared in some buttercream and pressed in some oreo crumbs to make it look like dirt. I also put a little piping gel onto the hoe of the backhoe in order to dirty it with more oreo crumbs. My DH also gave me the idea of piling a mound of piping gel beside the backhoe and cover it with crumbs. It worked beautifully and won't just fly off the cake with the slightest bit of wind. Even though I've got two boys, I'm not terribly familiar with how all the construction vehicles work together. My DH is responsible for the placement of all the machinery on the cake. I'm so thankful for his input!

Once I had most of the elements on the cake, it was all looking a bit brown, so I added a strip of grass beside the road, and the colorful chocolate rocks in the dump truck and beside the front end loader are such a fun addition.

The last element was David's name being pushed in with the excavator. I love that part! I added some traffic cones and ribbon around the bottom to give a little dimension and called it good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pretty Purse

I love this cake. Plain and simple, I love it. I made it for a beautiful little girl who turned four this past Christmas. Her mom is a very dear and wonderful friend of mine, and I love that I get to make cakes for her daughters. I get to play with pink fondant and I'm usually afforded quite a bit of creative control. I also got to cheat on this cake and not put it on a cake board. Somehow not having to decorate a cake board made the process seem so much faster!

I started out with a rectangle cake which I cut into three equal pieces and stacked with buttercream in between the layers. I wanted to keep as much cake in tact as possible, so did as little carving as I could to achieve a purse shape. Unfortunately the fondant went on horribly (I had a little boy run to my legs and want to be picked up in the middle of covering the cake, which was not helping matters) but the white band detail on the bottom really adds something and hides the puckers. I made the flowers by pressing fondant in a silicon mould. These type of moulds are great since you get so much detail. This was the first time I had used this mould, and I love these little flowers! To make the butterfly, I just cut out a butterfly shape with a cookie cutter and sort of moulded the wings how I wanted them to look. After all the details dried, I dusted all them with white pearl dust to make them pop. The pearls were just a little added sweetness and are supposed to look a like the path the butterfly has flown from the flowers to the clasp of the purse.

I used gum paste to make the handle, which dries faster and harder than fondant so you're able to make these type of details without the fear of them drooping or falling over. It's also very light, so easy to adhere onto the cake.

After finishing I phoned my friend to describe what I had done. I was worried that it was too simple. I love simple and clean, unfussy design, but not everyone shares that same esthetic. After describing it to her I told her that if I had a daughter and this cake was for her, I would stop decorating now, and leave it. That was all she needed to hear. Thankfully she loved it, and most importantly her daughter loved it, too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This cake was for a friend of mind who's son was turning two. This was my second car cake and it was really nice to do a repeat of a shaped cake. We decided that it would be easiest to use the car pan and decorate it like a race car. I think this pan makes a really cute Herbie-like kind of car, and used that car as my inspiration while decorating. I kept the cake board pretty simple with a race track and a few chocolate rocks here and there as to not take away from the car.

It was fun to decorate and when I asked how her son had enjoyed her cake, she said he had thought it was a real toy car! That's exactly what I was going for. Love making cakes for these little people. They're always so amazed and excited.

Monday, January 16, 2012


This cake looks deceivingly simple but was anything but. Once again I made the mistake of not researching a design before agreeing to it. Even if I had, I would have said "yes" to this cake, but still...I had no idea what I was in store for when I started. You think...oval...yeah, that's simple. And an outline of a bat...yeah, that's simple. Um...nope, not exactly. You see, pans do not come in an oval shape, and I only have a certain size of rectangle pan. Thankfully I have a perfectionist husband who enlarged and traced both the oval and bat to scale and encouraged me all along that it could be nearly perfect.

It ended up that I could piece together cake to make a true oval, which is a lot trickier to make out of a rectangle than I originally thought. You see, in some ways it's easier to carve an abstract shape than to create a symmetrical shape since the abstract leaves room for interpretation and even an ounce of imperfection.

For the bat, I used the paper template that my DH had made for me and by the third or fourth try, got it just right. I loved it when it came together, but the journey there was quite the learning experience!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dinosaur Party

This summer, a my dear friend, C, really wanted to make her son an amazing birthday cake. Her son was turning two and loves dinosaurs. So the cake design was obvious. A dinosaur. She found a design online and phoned me to see if I could help her make this dream cake a reality.

She started out by borrowing my pans to make the base, which is an 8 inch double layer round cake and the dinosaur's body, made from half of a ball pan. We then set up an evening to me to come and show her how to drape the cake in fondant. That first evening we got both cakes draped and started forming the dinosaur's neck out of rice cereal treats. The next morning I went back and helped with the decorating. We cut out leaves to go around the base of the cake and made a cute tail and feet. C created the face, and I love it. It's the best part of that dinosaur and makes him super cute. A few more details of spots and spikes down the back, rocks to make it look complete and we were finished. It was fun to work together, and I do believe that C will be creating amazing cakes every birthday for her wonderful son!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ladybug's Picnic

This past summer my oldest son turned four. Four! I can't believe it! I remember when he was born that kindergarten seemed worlds away. And now it will be here in a year's time. Birthdays always seem to remind me of how quickly time passes by and how important it is to cherish each moment. I forget this too often. I love how we make a big deal of each birthday at our house. Lots of friends, family, food and of course a special cake chosen by the birthday boy. O loves to think about what kind of birthday cake he'll have all year. He's already got his fifth birthday cake picked out!

So this year, O's cake of choice was a ladybug. He loves all things ladybug so this was a natural choice. He originally wanted another ball, but after I told him I could make him a ladybug...well...there was nothing to top that! He was excited. The crazy thing is, this cake just about didn't happen. I got really sick the week before his birthday and was confined to my bed the day I was to begin decorating his cake. Thankfully my sister was willing and able to come over the day before the party so I could quickly make this cake happen. I'm not sure I could have pulled it off without her help.

The cake design is pretty simple with the base being an 8 inch double layer cake and the ladybug body being half a ball pan. I covered the base with leaves for the ladybug to sit on and made her some fondant feet. To make the ladybug head, I mixed together some extra cake and buttercream to make a cake ball. I chilled the ball so it would be easier to cover with fondant. I love how it turned out. So cute!

O had also wanted a butterfly somewhere on the cake, but I didn't have a butterfly cutter, and my molding skills do not apparently extend to "butterfly" so in the end, just the caterpillar made it on the board. Oh well. Can't do it all! I have to constantly remind myself of that. O loved the cake, and had a blast at his party. I'm so thankful for all the friends and family we have who lavish love on our kids not only on their birthdays, but all year round. We are blessed!