Oops #2 – Textured Buttercream

Textured Buttercream (1) 2-4-13

As promised, here is the second cake I decorated after my major mess-up. (See Oops #1 – Buttercream Ruffles and Carnations) I went with a stucco pattern because it seemed really hard to ruin. I’m so excited to find out how seriously fast and easy this technique is. It dresses up an otherwise simple cake and makes it look like I actually know what I’m doing! I added some royal icing roses and sent it to work with my mom. I get rid of the cake and my mom’s a hero. Win – Win!

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Oops #1 – Buttercream Ruffle and Carnations

A couple weekends ago I made my first big mistake that couldn’t be fixed or covered up. I had just finished frosting both tiers of 2-tiered birthday cake when I realized I had used a different filling than the customer requested. Amazingly, about an hour after that major – Oh $#@!- moment, I found out that the party had been postponed for a week giving me plenty of time for a re-do. I’m guessing that lucky break used up all my good karma for a while, so I’ve been EXTRA careful lately.

Buttercream Ruffle (1) 2-4-13

Since I now had two perfectly good, undecorated cakes sitting on my counter, I decided to try out something new…. and then get them out of my house quickly so someone other than me would eat them! The ruffles on this cake are done with buttercream, which held up better than I expected. The gumpaste carnations were leftover from the Wedding Fiesta Cake I did last month. Ironically, those were also kind of an oops. They were supposed to be bright red, but the color faded in a few hours and didn’t match the cake colors anymore so I didn’t use them. But I thought they were perfect with the white ruffles. I think if you put this cake on a nice presentation board it would look great on it’s own, or as part of a tiered cake where the other tiers have a different design.

I’ll be doing another ruffle cake soon for a fundraising event. I’m going to try a bigger ruffle this time and see how that looks. Watch for that post in the next couple weeks and let me know which one you like better!

The second cake I did in a textured buttercream. Check back to see that post coming soon, too.

Elephant vs. Giraffe Volleyball Match

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I haven’t done a lot of 3-D fondant and gumpaste figures, so these were really fun. The elephant turned out fantastic and I had a great time adding all the little details. Yes, I know the giraffe is not anatomically correct. But really, he’s playing volleyball. How life-like do we need to get here. I think he’s pretty cute. Although my husband maintains that I made a really nice yellow cow.

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Love my kid’s teachers!

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I think this year marks the most I have ever acknowledged or celebrated Valentine’s Day. I’m stubborn about it and think that if you really love someone you should be finding ways to show it all year long and not feel the pressure to do something “big” on one day of the year. By the same token, I think it’s kind of silly to expect big gifts or date nights from someone else on Valentine’s Day. If we pay attention and appreciate the loving things they do for us all year round, do we really need over priced flowers or date nights on Valentine’s Day? I’m sure I’ve offended someone now so I’ll move on.

I do think Valentine’s Day can be a nice reminder to acknowledge the people we love. (And a good reminder to teach our kids this concept as well)  Especially, those we may not do a great job of appreciating throughout the year. Those people for me are my son’s preschool teachers. They are amazing! And that’s probably an understatement. As a stay-at-home mom of two boys under 5 it is beyond my comprehension why someone would actually want to spend half their day coralling 20 kids aged 3-5. But not only do these two women seem to like it, they’re able to construct a well-rounded, productive three hours for these unpredictable little balls of energy.

I’ve helped out in the class a few days this year and know first hand what an incredible accomplishment that is. You would think with that many kids against 2 teachers it would be glorified babysitting with a little education thrown in. But I can tell my son has really learned a lot this year, and I am grateful to them for making so much of the few hours a week he spends at school.

So this cake was made as a big, fat thank you to them and all the other teachers at my kid’s school, and my way of saying that I love them for what they do 🙂

Sweet 16

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This cake is buttercream with fondant zebra stripes on the top tier and royal icing polka dots on the bottom tier. The cake board and both tiers are trimmed with black and purple satin ribbon. The topper is made up of about a dozen royal icing roses.

Most people like fondant for the smooth, polished  look it gives a cake. I completely agree!. But it is possible to get a really clean look with buttercream, too. It takes a lot of practice, and I still have a lot of room for improvement, but it’s funny how satisfying it can be when your buttercream comes out really smooth and the edges are sharp. Kind of like learning the fundamentals of any sport, it’s a pretty basic skill, but perfecting it makes a huge difference is the finished product.

Happy Birthday Stephanie!

Love The Beach

 

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Here’s a fun, quick project for a beach loving birthday girl. It is chocolate cake with peanut butter filling (a dangerous combination to have around my house). The cake is frosted in buttercream with some blue coloring around the bottom, some piped white coral and a piped rope border. The flowers, shells and starfish are all handmade out of fondant and a little sugar dust.

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The “sand” covered cake board was done by first covering the cake board in tan colored fondant. Then I rubbed some shortening around the edges and packed brown sugar into it to make it stick. Finally, I used a toothpick to draw words in the brown sugar, which you can see in the first and last pictures. I have to admit that decorating this cake while it was dark and rainy outside got me to start doing some early planning for a family trip to the beach this summer 🙂

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Baby Shower Cupcakes

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For this yellow, gray and white themed baby shower I made 50 cupcakes decorated 5 different ways. Half the cupcakes were covered in fondant with either polka dots or layered flowers with button centers. The other half were frosted with buttercream. Some were topped with coins embossed with an “E”, some were topped with letters to spell out EMILY and the rest were piped to look like flowers with some sugar glitter and sugar pearls in the center. Half the cupcakes are red velvet and the other half are white velvet.

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