Friday, September 3, 2010

Seuss Graduation

I had a request for a Dr. Seuss-themed graduation cake.  Now, due to copyright laws, there is only so much Seuss-ness one can put on a cake.  However, you can make a very Seuss-looking cake without actually doing any Seuss-ness at all.  Here's the inspiration picture I was sent:
Baker Unknown
Once again, we're trying to do this as much fondant- and gumpaste-free as possible.  The customer wants only two tiers, so we're doing the bottom two in our example today.  I decided the easiest way to do the bottom tier would to be to ice only the side blue:

Then add all the fluffly white goodness on the sides afterward:

I iced the top tier red, added some wonky striping on the side, and sat her right on top of the bottom tier:

Next, the it (arguably my favorite part of the cake... it just makes it so.. Seuss-y.  So I rolled out some gumpaste and cut a kite shape:

Then used the ever-useful Wilton Food Writer Pens to decorate my little kite:

So.  Cute.  I think so, anyway.  So now we place the kite on the cake, add a tail (with bows!) and little wind lines to make our kite float through the breeze:

Voila.  A Seuss-themed cake.  The customer has a Cat in the Hat graduation figurine to put on top, so if I get a photo, I'll post it up here.

That's all for today, folks.  Check back soon for more Cake in Progress.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Carousel Complete

Today began day two of our Carousel cake adventure.  I got up nice and early (read: 10:30 am) to make icing.  It's never ceased to amaze me that this seemingly incompatible pile of ingredients seen here:

Could turn in to a delicious and creamy bowl of icing in a matter minutes:

Tricia stopped by again; we filled the hexagon cakes: 
Then colored the remaining icing a light lavender as to serve as the base color of the cake.  We iced, staked, and stacked the hexagons.

Now comes the fun part: decorating!  We outlined oval "mirrors" on the smaller hexagon with a darker shade of purple, then did a snake border around the bottom.  Here's a pic of Tricia doing some stripey magic on the bottom tier:

The next thing we knew, this cake was really coming together!  We dipped some lollipop sticks in a little melted chocolate (tinted purple, naturally) to use as the poles for our little prancing ponies.  On went the top tent portion, and we were getting more happy-go-lucky by the minute.

All that remained to do was place the ponies and cheerful little flags.  After a few mishaps, we "glued" the ponies on their posts using a little remaining melted chocolate.  Flags were placed, and our creation was complete!

We decided not to add the characters this time (remember, we did this cake entirely fondant- and gumpaste-free).  Although we were able to make the ponies and flags out of royal icing, seated characters would be a touch more difficult (if not nearly impossible).

However, I think we were able to pretty successfully create a nice carousel just by looking at a photo and going off instinct alone.  

What do you think?  Let me know in the comments section.  And if you see a cake you think I should make, post me a link or photo and I'll do my best!

Until next time!
Katie M.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adventures In Cake

We all get bored sometimes.

What do you do?  I find pictures of cake and re-create them, my way.

So I was aimlessly clicking around some sites looking for inspiration for a cake for a friend's child's birthday, when I stumbled upon this:

It's perfection.  The little horses.  The faces and detail on the characters' outfits. It's also made by one of my heroes in cake, BethAnn Goldberg of Studio Cake in California.  If you're a Food Network Challenge addict like I am, you may have seen her on the Simpsons 20th Anniversary cake challenge (she won), or the Shrek Cakes challenge, or the Dora the Explorer challenge (she won, again).

So I nonchalantly posted the pic on my Facebook, and people said, "Make it!"  I said, "Okay!"

And now, here we are.  I've decided to document my cake makings.  Some will be successes, and some failures, but I'll put pictures of the intermediate steps and then the final product.  

The first step would be in deciding what I need to make a carousel cake.  I've decided to go all hexagon, as opposed to Studio Cake's circle base with hexagon interior.  I used a classic Wonder Mold pan to make my tent top.

Shazam, baked cakes:

Now, I'm not a super huge fondant fan, so I've decided to do as much of this cake as I can footloose and fondant-free.  What does that mean for the ponies? Voila, royal icing characters.  My friend Tricia came over for assistance.  Enter ponies (and adorable little flags to decorate the top):

Here, pony, pony

You have no idea how excited we were about these.  But, that's all for today, folks. Cakes are chilling and ready for a good soaking of vanilla simple syrup and decoration tomorrow.

Check back later for more Cake in Progress.