Thursday, June 28, 2007

Well fiddle-de-dee

A surprise cake for my Uncle's birthday today. He played his fiddle (we call him a violinist, he calls himself a fiddle player) through the wind, rain and even hail at our daughter's recent outdoor wedding.

And I have to say -- he survived his 1200-mile trip down here to play in her wedding, far better than my fiddle-cake survived the 1200-mile trip up to his home this week.

But at least we have pictures of what it looked like when it left here. And it still tastes good.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Humma!

Our middle daughter turns 22 today. (But I'm still 32, of course.) She graciously agreed to a joint birthday/Father's Day celebration yesterday, having come 'round to the inevitable truth that all birthdays after your 21st are really rather anticlimactic and not all that exciting any more. I loved this pic that her photog-sis took of the cake. More photos below.

Here's the rest of her cake

My new lemon poppyseed cake iced in pink buttercream. She and I share a love of all things lemon, so I actually had two pieces of this cake last night, when I hardly ever eat ANY cake any more. This one is soooo good. Fondant stems and leaves, real Gerbera daisies. WAY too much cake for us, but she'll take the remnants in to work tomorrow for her coworkers to demolish in probably less than 30 minutes.

If the top tier looks a little funky to you, that's because it is. In my efforts to keep this cake small, yet still do a 3-tiered number, I used tuna cans to bake the 3", 3-layer, top tier. (Yes, I washed the cans out first.) If I'd stayed with a 3" 2-layer, I would have been fine. But no. I had to do a 3-layer up there. It ended up going a bit cattywhompus on me, then when I drove the stake into its center to keep it all vertical and standing up together, the hammer (yes, it's a clean hammer) slipped and knocked a whole chunk off the top of that tier. So I had to do the cake spackle routine which leaves the cake slightly less than perfect looking.

Thank goodness for big, beautiful Gerbera daisies!

Happy Father's Day

A personal-sized carrot cake for my frog-collecting husband. Iced in buttercream and decorated with a fondant frog on a lily pad on a lake, with a big ol' slab of chocolate for a sign. And the cattails, my favorite part, are chocolate fondant bits on the end of uncooked spaghetti strands.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I wasn't at all sure I could pull this one off. Seemed like a tall order to me. Thank goodness for the internet. Where would I be without the "Image Search" function? It helped that Shrek 3 is out now, so there were plenty of pictures to study. I wanted to document the creation of this creature for my own records, and thought you might enjoy seeing the pictures of how this guy came to be from just some cake batter, marshmallows, rice krispies and lots of powdered sugar. Problem is, I got so busy doing all the little details when I dressed him and put his face on, that I forgot to pick up the camera and click the shutter along the way. But you can get a little bit of an idea of the process in the posts below.

He was a whole lot of fun to make -- even though I had a horrible nightmare early this morning about it all. It seems I had left home at 5 am and walked to Miami in one hour. Once in Miami, I realized it was going to take me three full days to get back here before I could even think of finishing the cake. While on the one hand being very impressed that I had walked 2,000 miles in one hour, I was in an absolute panic about not getting this cake done on time today.

Yeesh. Do I take my work a little too seriously or what?

"It's only cake!"

We started here ...

with three 8" layers of cake for his body. WAY too much cake, but I wasn't sure I could do anything smaller, so I went big. Wish I would have weighed him before he got sliced into. He was incredibly heavy, despite his relatively lightweight rice krispie treat head.

I wish I'd taken more of these 'in-process' photos - there aren't too many to see after this one. Problem is, I get so engrossed in what I'm doing that I forget to take pics at each stage. Oh well. Better luck next time.

Preparing the body

The crumb-coated body, awaiting the final coat of icing before we take him off to the dressing room where ......

The body is dressed

It was so much fun dressing Shrek. Everything here is all fondant. Arms, hands and shoes are all fondant, legs are rice krispie treats covered with brown fondant, shoes are stuck to legs with toothpicks. I thought he looked pretty cute already, but he definitely needed something more, so.......

Then onto the head

Pretty scary looking at this point. Especially since the head is atop a skewer. The head is shaped out of rice krispie treats, then covered with buttercream. Fondant cheeks and nose build-up shapes are stuck on to the frosting, then I covered the whole thing with electric green fondant, added the eyes, ears, teeth, etc. Stuck the head in the body, and voila! Shrek was born.

Monday, June 04, 2007

We're moved!

We're settled in our new home and we finally have phone, internet AND cable, after nearly a week without (AT&T U-verse was a nightmare for a while, but they seem to have everything fixed now). Yaaay!

And somehow I've done 5 cakes in the midst of it all. This one was a last-minute quickie for our eldest daughter. I already had two cakes due for Sunday which I was working on, then she called mid-morning Saturday to inform me that she and her husband had run into her husband's cousin the night before, and Saturday was his birthday, so she told him she'd have a birthday party for him AND bake him a cake! By 5 pm Saturday!

You KNOW she had no intention of baking that cake herself.

So this is what I came up with -- a small simple chocolate cake with buttercream icing and a melted-chocolate top border, with 3 luscious strawberries dipped in the same chocolate to top it all off.

Scroll down to see the rest of my adventures in cake-decorating since Memorial Day weekend.


Another cake I couldn't say no to ... despite the fact that it was due on the very day of our move! What fun it was to do. Adapted from the party invitations, and my first time to sculpt a unicorn out of fondant.

For Princess Natalie

Despite six days, post move, with no phone, internet or TV functioning in the house, I managed to communicate sufficiently with this mom to provide a Princess cake for her sweet little 3-year-old's party on Sunday. The little doll cake is her own personal cake, and the two-tiered cake was for the rest of the party-goers.

Thank goodness for daughters with cell phones. Yes, I'm the last living human on the planet without one.

Quickie Wedding Cake

I got the call at 2 pm Saturday ... a friend wanted to know if I could have a wedding cake done for him by 7 pm. I laughed. He persisted. "It's just a small one, for 12-15 people. I know you can do it. I'll go to the store for you if you need ingredients."

So, with less than a week inside our new house, and the princess cake above plus our daughter's cake due on Sunday ... I tucked into yet another last minute cake due on Saturday!

This was the best I could do with a five-hour notice to bake, ice and decorate a wedding cake! White almond sour cream with buttercream icing and decorations. Our friend purchased the topper.

Our baby girl turns 19

She wanted a surprise cake this year -- whatever I wanted to do. All she requested was "marble cake." So I created a new soon-to-be favorite flavor. Chocolate, chocolate-chip cake, marbled with white almond sour cream cake. Oh my how incredibly delicious. I think I'll name it "Kate's Cake." It was a huge hit.

Slathered with buttercream, then covered with vertical slabs of white chocolate. Then a red rose bouquet planted on top, with a zillion rose petals scattered on each layer. She loved it.

The view from above