Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dora Cake

I had a ton of fun with this cake! The mother wanted something that incorporated Dora for her daughter's second birthday. We agreed on a design similar to this one. This was a white cake with strawberries and sweet cream in the middle and white chocolate buttercream. I had a few scraps left over from leveling the cake and I have to say, this was one of the best cakes I've made.

I used a plastic Dora - mostly because I knew this cake was for a 2 year old and if someone was eating Dora...well, that might not have gone over well. Plus, I thought it would be cute for her to have after the cake was gone. Everything else on the cake is edible. I use prezel twists for the tree trunks and bubble gum to make the roses and the stars name plates. The pathway and the rocks are Bunch-a-Crunch.

I really had a good time decorating this cake. Kid cakes are the most fun!

Baby Shower Cake #3

This cake was for a baby shower yesterday. The invitation colors were white, baby blue and mint green. I tried to get the icing as close to that as possible! On this quilt cake, I added the fringe at the bottom and because my icing was giving me so much trouble, I took the star tip all the way down and around the cake. I'm probably going to get carpal tunnel soon.

The blocks on top also gave me some trouble. I cut them out of a square cake but when I went to ice them, things just weren't working out. I decided to whip up a batch of rolled buttercream and cover each cake with that. I also had to add little cardboard squares to the bottom of each cake so that they would stand appropriately and not bleed onto the bigger cake. (icing is greasy!)

I liked the way this cake turned out - I especially liked the fringe on the bottom! Hopefully they liked it too!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cookie Cake

This cookie cake was made for Tango, for Valentines day. Four chocolate-chip cookies, stacked, smoothered with cream cheese frosting. The inspiration for this came from an awesome poster on and, she's one of the greatest decoraters I've ever seen!!

EASY and DELICIOUS cake. It ended up being very moist and cakey - not hard or doughy.

Bubble-gum flowers for decoration!

Bubble gum roses

Started experimenting with my gumpaste kit. Not using gumpaste though. I made these flowers out of double bubble. I like the idea of making things that are enjoyable to eat. Gumpaste isn't exactly good but bubble gum that's something I can get behind! Not to mention, it's fairly quick and easy in a pinch. I also started experimenting with starbursts and tootsie rolls!

Stars Cake

This cake was made for someone at Charlie Tango (co-worker of Rodney's). This cake was made out of 4 sheet cakes. Two stacked in the middle and two split (two that were stacked on one another) in half to form each side (the arms).

This cake was pretty hard. Just trying to get the design right and the colors down took forever. You never really realize how intricate things are until you try to duplicate them. It probably would have been much easier to use fondant - but I happen to hate the taste of fondant. I've made a batch or two of marshmallow fondant (which tastes SOOOOOO much better) but I haven't worked with it enough to actually cover a cake this big yet.

Double credit on this cake - Rodney definitely worked overtime. There has to be 500 piped stars on that cake.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the cake - I was unhappy with the arms and how you can't really tell they are seperate from the body of the jersey but everyone loved it (including the birthday girl) and that always makes me happy!

Cookie hell

These are pictures of the 300 cookies we made for a hospice supplier. It literally took 3 days almost non-stop to complete this order. After this order I realized that my prices are WAY too low and I will NEVER, EVER again do cookies on a stick. These cookies happened to be slightly on the larger side and wouldn't fit any cellophane bag that I tried. We ended up having to buy a giant roll of cellophane and cut 300 squares. We then had to individually wrap each cookie and tie a bow on it. I had lots of help with this order - my husband was awesome and stayed up all night with me, every night to get them done. I would have never finished if it weren't for him. I also would have never finished if it weren't for Amy - she came over and watched Rylee so we could concentrate on cookies. Thanks P!

Superbowl Cupcakes

Made these to take to a super bowl party. Simple and quick - the toppers were free-handed with candy melts.

Baby Shower Cake #2

Cake 2 of 2.

This cake is a onesie cake carved from a 9x13 pan. I used an actual onesie to cut the outline of it - though, this is the second cake. Rodney does most of the cake carving and somehow the first one he carved came out SUPER small. I had to make an entire new cake to get this one.

Pretty simple but I think it's pretty cool and different!

Baby Shower Cake #1

This was one of two cakes made for a baby shower. It's made to look like a quilt - the colors were taken from a picture of the baby's room. It's a simple vanilla cake with vanilla bc. The clothesline was made from scrapbooking pieces found at Michael's. I like the look of this cake but I should have chosen a bigger star tip to make the design. My hand HURT when I was finished. Not to mention I had a tiny set back following the completion of this cake. I had just set the cake over on the dining table after the last star was placed. I started washing all of my dishes, which took me about 15 minutes. I turned the water off and heard a very loud, "MMMMMMMMMMMMMM" coming from the dining room. I looked up and saw that my 14 month old daughter had taken it upon herself to drag her tiny piano chair over to the dining table and have herself a taste-testing.

I cried. Seriously, tears.

Luckily the damage wasn't too bad and I had enough icing to repair everything. This picture was taken after the "taste-testing" and you can't really notice, no harm done I guess! Just nearly made mommy have a breakdown but what else is new?

Lola's cake

This was made for one of the co-owners of Charlie Tango. (also Rodney's boss) It's a mocha-almond fudge cake. The cake is chocolate almond, whipped chocolate ganache filing and chocolate-mocha bc icing. I made the L with bakers chocolate. I'd bought a quilting mat the weekend before I made this cake and decided to give it a try! I love the way it looks but I definitely need more practice using it!!

New Years Cupcakes

Made these for new years. French vanilla-cinnamon cupcakes with vanilla bc. I sprinkled each cupcake with luster dust (edible glitter) and used my the silver dragees I got for Christmas (thanks Amy, Tyler and Tyler's parents!) to decorate. I also made the 07's out of candy melts.

Did you know it's nearly impossible to find silver dragees in the the US? What gives? Apparently the US doesn't care for these edible balls of silver, something to do with mercury poisoning. Several states banned them years ago citing that they were "dangerous to our health." Though you would probably have to consume hundreds of them at once to actually do any harm. Today they are made completely mercury free and yet they are still hard to find here in the US. When you do find them, they are SUPER expensive. Lucky for me I have friends whose parents bring them from Canada. They have bulk bins there!

Cheesecake and brownies

The first two are cheesecake cups. One is regular cheesecake in a chocolate cup and the other is pumpkin cheesecake in a vanilla cup. The cups were made from the cordial mold using candy melts. The cheesecakes were made from my own, secret recipe (sorry)!

The little brownie cakes were cut with cookie cutters, stacked using bc as glue and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This idea came via Martha Stewart.

Whimsy Cupcakes

Made these for a double birthday party at Charlie Tango. Both people LOVE music so each cupcake topper was made with melted chocolate. The cupcakes are devil's food and butter cake with whipped chocolate frosting. Whimsical swirl on top. (one of my favorite techniques!)

Petit Fours

This was my first time making petit fours. I made these for a Christmas Function that the Episcopalian Society of Dallas was having. I had never made these (of course) so it was a big time learning experience for me.

What I did: I needed two kinds of petit fours - so I baked two cakes, each in a 9x13 pan (sheet cake). One was french vanilla, one was devil's food. After they had come out of the oven and I'd flipped them out to cool, I transfered them to my freezer to harden. After about 3 hours, I took them out and cut 100 1x1/2 squares from each of them. I then made two different fillings, one raspberry bc and one mint buttercream. I filled my piping bag and stuck the smallest tip I could find into the center of the top of each cake. I squeezed the filling into the middle of the cake for about 3 seconds. (I had to "taste" a few to figure out the correct timing for the amount being squeezed) The raspberry bc went into the vanilla cakes and the mint bc went into the devil's food.

To cover - for the vanilla cakes I melted down white chocolate candy mets and then poured it onto each cake that was set atop a cooling rack with a cake pan underneath (to catch the drippings). (I melted dark chocolate candy melts for the choc/mint cakes) Once covered, they were put in the fridge to set for 10 minutes.

After all of that -- it took me one entire day, I had to individually decorate each tiny cake. This took another full day.

I was very please with the outcome of these, I just never realized how much work they took!

Ryan's dragon cake

I'd never made a dragon cake before but one of our very best friends, Ryan was having a 30th birthday bash and he decided the theme of this bash would be dragons. After all, he was born in the year of the dragon. Plus, I think he just likes dragons. So I just had to make this cake. Surprisingly it wasn't too difficult. It's arranged from two 8 inch cakes, one 6 inch and 2 ding dongs (the head). The cakes were split in half and then placed side by side to form the body (one of the 8 inches and the 6 inch). The other 8 inch made up the tail, the neck and some other random fill-in spots. The hardest part about this cake was icing it. Once it was iced and set, I gently pushed on it to form a scale-like effect. The eyes were made of marshmallow fondant (fondant made from marshmallows) and the fire was red decoraters icing.

I made the block of cheese out of yellow candy melts. Ryan loves cheese so it only made sense to incorporate it into the design. Everything on this cake was edible except for the candle on top of the wedge of cheese. I had a great time doing this cake. Ryan seemed to especially love it and that's all that matters!

Ryan's birthday cake #1

This was ONE of Ryan's birthday cakes. He really wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, however I was making him a dragon cake as a surprise and couldn't use a chocolate frosting. So, I made him this small cake as well. I free-handed all of the music notes and the 30 using melted chocolate. I was pretty happy with the outcome of this cake even though I felt it was a tad busy.

Made these for an 18 year old's birthday party. French vanilla with strawberries, vanilla bc and chocolate drizzle - devil's food with chocolate bc and piroulines. (the pirouline cakes are POPULAR). I love the chocolate drizzle. It makes everything look good and covers up all of your little imperfections.

Christmas Cookies

A few of the 100 I made for my MIL. NFSC with Rolled BC.

Tango Anniversary Cakes

I made these cakes for Charlie Tango's 11th anniversary - the white one is french vanilla with straberries, sweet cream and vanilla bc (buttercream - though I don't use butter in my frostings). The round is dark chocolate with mocha bc and piroulines lining the outside. I loved making the round cake, it's easy, fun and delicious. I HATE doing square cakes. I struggled with the square cake. All of the decorations are piped chocolate transfers and the little balls are whoppers! I was fairly pleased with these when I was done with them but now that I look back, I know I can do better.

Jim's Birthday Cake

This was the first birthday cake I made for someone that wasn't in my immediate family (thanks for eating all of my creations guys!). Two 6 inch devil's food cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate drizzle. I really liked the way this cake turned out but I HATE the plaque. This was made before I learned the beauty of disposable piping bags and PARCHMENT triangles (was I on Mars, how did I not know?). The size of the plaque is wrong and the writing is terrible - they loved it though so I guess it was alright. This cake was also the beginning of my journey to learning how to properly smooth a cake. At this point I was using the Viva paper towel method (wait until the the icing sets, place a viva paper towel over and smooth out the icing), which I've now dropped.

Rolled Buttercream Cookies

This was my first attempt at making the rolled buttercream cookies. I've made them a million times since and it's gotten a lot easier but they definitely gave me a hard time to begin with. They're made from the NFSC (no fail sugar cookie) recipe found on - they don't expand when you bake them and they are relatively easy to handle. I really love the effect of the rolled buttercream - very nice and clean. I combined extracts to make a slight cinnamon taste. This paired with the buttery cookies are delicious! (I used Wilton's cookie icing for decoration)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Numero Uno

Okay, so I've decided to start this blog - besides, everyone's doing it, right? I also kind of wanted a place to post pictures of the cakes and other pastries I've been making so that other people can see what I've been up to. And essentially I can start tracking my progress (which I can already tell you is great).

Baking is a funny thing. Very tempermental and moody. I think this might be why I seem to understand it. I take a lot of pride in the fact that most of my cakes/treats taste pretty good. There's nothing like going to a wedding and having an AWFUL piece of cake. We've all been there - it looks pretty and delicious but it's actually pretty disgusting. A bad piece of cake can sometimes ruin my evening. Then all I remember from so-and-so's wedding is, 'their cake was NOT good.'

I have a ton of pictures to start posting. I imagine I'll post a picture of something individually, explain what it is and how I made it, and possibly comment on what I would change now.

Thanks for reading! Get ready for a BUNCH of pictures! Bring on the sweets!

*theses posts are backwards starting with my newest. if you want to see my progress, start at the end and go up!