Week #52 – Happy Birthday To Me!

Well folks, we’ve made it. Cake number 52.  I always knew I wanted to make the 52nd cake my birthday cake. I wanted to make my cake epic and fun and quirky and purple.  And that’s exactly what I did.

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I made the cake a topsy turvy with a simple fondant covering on the bottom adorned by a ruffle and a ton of pink and silver dragrees. They were a huge pain to attach because they kept falling off the cake but eventually I got them to stick.

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The top tier was covered in hundreds of folder circles to make the pretties ruffles ever!  While I was making them I kept thinking, I feel like I’m on Project Runway. It does look like a fabulous ball gown right?

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The cake was my favorite, vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream.  I dyed half the cake pink and the buttercream purple for a fun little surprise once you cut into the cake.

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Thank you all for a great year+. It’s been a total wild ride and I’ve learned a lot.  Stay turned for recaps and deep thoughts.

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Week #51 – A Jackson Pollock Birthday

First of all, let me apologize for the ridiculous delay in posting my final two cakes.  They’ve actually been done for months now.  Unfortunately, someone (that I might be married to) lost the pictures for this cake so all I have is the spin.

This cake was a very special birthday cake for a very special 2 year old.  When he was a baby, I used to babysit Eli quite a lot so he’s my special little guy.  When his mom asked if I would make him a birthday cake of course I said yes.  But his mom also had some requests for the cake.  She wanted low sugar, low fat and as healthy as I could make it.  This is a major challenge for cake decorators.  Usually you go with the tried and true cake recipes that you know will hold up.  But I decided to be a bit adventurous with this one.

I used apple sauce as a replacement for oil which also added some natural sweetness so I removed some of the sugar.  For the filling, I used fresh berries.  I used my regular old buttercream recipe but there was  a lot less of it because of the berries.

The cake was milk chocolate with a really yummy milk chocolate buttercream.  All the ingredients (except the fondant) were organic and as local as I could get.  It took a little bit more work but I think Eli’s parents were happy with the result.

The party was held at the children’s museum in Tribeca. The theme of the party was Jackson Pollock. The kids got to splatter paint everywhere and make an abstract piece of art. It was adorable. So I decided to go with a gum paste paint brush and palate. And for some color made some fondant paint splatters and paint tubs pouring out color onto the cake.  I loved the way this cake came out.  So cute!

Week #50 – Side by Side Cake

I was asked to make a cake for a fundraising event for my choir, New Amsterdam Singers.  The theme of the night was “Side by Side” so I decided to make a cake that looked like 2 cakes, side by side.

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This was one of the biggest cakes I’ve ever made.  Not quite as heavy as the robot cake but still quite big.  The bottom was a 14 inch square base, followed by a 10 inch square and an 8 inch square on top.

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I used the pearls on one side and the Maggie Austin ruffle technique on the other side. I also topped it off with some swags.

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Since the fundraising event was a cabaret night, I put the top hat on top to go with the theme of the night.

The cake is vanilla was salted caramel buttercream and covered in fondant.

Week #49 – Maggie Austin Ruffles

The wonderfully talented Maggie Austin has generously shared her secret to beautiful ruffled cakes in her Craftsy class. The technique is shockingly easy and has fast become my favorite new cake decorating technique.  I won’t give away her secret here but I will show you the result.

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This was actually my second attempt at the ruffles. My first was this little yellow number.

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I loved the yellow but not a big fan of the pearls on top.  They were a bit too heavy for the delicate ruffles.  I also liked the bigger ruffles.  I thought they looked a little more modern.maggie3

The most time consuming part is actually preparing the fondant.  Make a gradation is hard work and tough on your hands because it requires a ton of kneading the fondant.  But the result is really lovely.maggie4

I cut out each of those blossoms to go on top and thinned them out to look a little more realistic.  Then I dusted them with a little pink luster dust to give it a little more interest.

This cake was made of styrofoam so while technically not a cake and not edible, it was still quite time consuming so I’m going to call it a cake.  I wanted to have a few dummy cakes to put on display in my house so this is one of them.  I think in the future it would make a lovely wedding cake for someone.

 

Week #48 – Nina’s Baby Shower Cake


Sorry it’s taken so long but I have a new job and it’s been occupying a lot of my time. That being said, I have new cakes!nina1

I decided to throw my friend Nina a baby shower.  I didn’t have much of a theme other than pink (she’s having a little girl).  So I just went with it.  I threw the party at my house and literally just grabbed any pink decor I could find.

I just bought some new chevron cutters from Etsy and I wanted to try them out.  So I set out to make a cake with chevrons on top, polka dots on the bottom and a big floppy bow on top.

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To top it all off, I made my first “realistic” person topper.  I made Nina all cute and pregnant on top of the cake.  The most fun part of the topper was definitely her hait.  I used a clay extruder to make long strands of hair and then to get them to be curly, I wrapped them around toothpicks and let them dry for about 5 minutes or so.  I also covered the top of her head with the same color fondant so you wouldn’t see any bald head peeking through.  It came out great but boy were those curls delicate.nina2

The cake was vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream (which is definitely my fav now). The 12 or so guests at the party were only able to eat the top tier of the cake so I packaged it up and sent it home with Nina for her and her hubby to enjoy.

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Week #47 – Boys 1st Birthday

A former co-worker of mine asked me if I would make a birthday cake for her son’s 1st Birthday.  How could I say no?

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I had to make the cake ahead of time because I was going out of town so I needed to make sure it was a cake they could refrigerate. So no fondant.  I decided to go with the ruffle buttercream because it looks great and even though it’s a ruffle it’s pretty gender neutral.

The only thing I had to work with was a picture of a banner that I translated into his name and a onesie with a big striped 1 on it.

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The cake is vanilla butter cake and the bottom tier has a salted caramel buttercream, the middle tier has a lemon buttercream and the top (the smash cake) was vanilla all the way through.  The cake was a lot of fun to make but surprisingly time consuming.  Many thanks to my wonderful mom who actually helped with the letters and rolled all of those colored beads for me.

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Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa Cake

If you’ve never seen this before…you’re welcome.

Week #46 – Mini Birthday Cake


I made this mini birthday cake to go with my Epic Robot Cake but I forgot the cake during delivery.  Turns out I really didn’t need it but I thought the cake was too cute to just leave.

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So I brought it to my in-laws and we shared a little dessert after dinner.minicake2

The cake is vanilla butter cake with vanilla buttercream.  I made the candles out of fondant with a wire running through them. It came out super cute.minicake3

Week #45 – Epic Robot NY Tech Cake

I was asked to make a cake for the NY Tech Council for their 3rd Birthday/Networking party.  I was only given a logo and some colors to work with, the rest was up to me.  I immediately thought about robots as the universal icon of tech-dom and put him in a party hat, sitting on a bunch of presents.

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The challenge with this cake was that it’s big, really, really big.  I would guess when it was all assembled it weighed about 50 pounds. My poor husband had to carry it to the taxi and then to the party.  The base of the cake was a 16″x16″ square and had 3 layers inside of it.  This was a big, heavy cake.

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The robot and box top are made from rice krispies and the “tissue paper” is gumpaste rolled out very thin.

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The cake was vanilla butter cake with coffee buttercream and Nutella. The cake was brushed with amaretto and simple syrup.

I used several pounds of fondant and tons of buttercream on this guy.  I have yet to tally up how many eggs, sugar, butter, flour… I used but I’m sure it’s excessive.

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I was very excited to get to use 2 fun non-edible features in the cake.  The first are these adorable wires that I bought from Duff’s cake decoration line.  You can make your own fondant bobbles to put on the end of the wires and they really do create some drama.  The other was these awesome LED party lights for the robot eyes.  I bought them at party city . They last for 8 hours and have a twist on/off mechanism.  I think it really made this cake super special.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to do a rotation video of this cake because it was too heavy for my turntable.robot4

This is the biggest and most epic cake I’ve ever made. It took me about 20 hours total to make and another 10 hours of just planning and sketching. I’m exhausted and I would like to rest now.

Win one of my cakes!

I’m baking a cake for the winner of this auction.  Right now, you can get a great cake for a little more than $200!  Perfect for your next birthday, wedding, party or event.  Bid here!

The money raised from the auction benefits my choir, the New Amsterdam Singers.