Chef’s Night Out

Chef's Night Out 6-21-14

Recently, my local United Way hosted an event called Chef’s Night Out that included a Dessert Auction. I always love the opportunity to help with fundraising events and decorating cakes has given me a great way to do that. This donated cake was White Velvet Raspberry with Champagne Buttercream. I wasn’t able to attend the event, but heard it was a very successful night. This cake also gave me a chance to practice this vertical ruffle, which I will be doing for another event this summer. Keep checking back for that!

Happy Birthday Grandma Alice!

Grandma's 80th 6-14-14 (2)

My grandma recently celebrated her 80th birthday so, of course, I had to bring a cake to the party. Being able to make something special and personal to help celebrate a special event is the greatest part about doing custom cakes. That is true whether I’m making a cake for family or complete strangers. But, of course, when it’s family it’s especially fun.

The dot design on this small 2 tier was much more time consuming than I anticipated. I thought “circles of dots…I’ll have that done in no time!”  Wrong. Partly this was because of my attempt to be frugal. I could have prepared a separate piping bag for each color and different tip size I used. Then I could have quickly grabbed different sizes as I worked my way around the cake. But instead I prepped a bag with each color and changed the tip on that same bag for each circle. This meant I was changing the tip about every 20 seconds. Not fun. The couple dollars I saved by using 7 less piping bags sounded good at the time, but was definitely not worth it. A lot of the time I spend on cakes could probably be cut down if I were willing to spend a little money on some time saving tools. I think we all forget sometimes how valuable our time is, no matter what we’re doing.

Happy birthday Grandma Alice! I’m so glad I was able to add something a little extra special to your day.

Simple Sunflowers

6-8-14

 

This 2 tier cake is decorated with textured buttercream in a horizontal swirl, modeling chocolate sunflowers and a simple, modeling chocolate border with embossed stitching. I think textured buttercream combined with very minimal decorations has such a nice effect. The pop of yellow from the sunflowers makes it feel just like summertime! Inside is Freckled Mocha with Chocolate Buttercream and Vanilla with Lemon.

Sweet Bee Honeycomb

honeycomb

 

Here’s the cake I did last weekend for an anniversary party. Each tier is a different cake flavor frosted smooth in buttercream. Once the buttercream was set and well chilled I spread on a shiny clear sugar glaze to give it the “sticky” look of real honeycomb. Then I cut wide bands of fondant to the fit the circumfrence and height of each tier. I used a small hexagon cutter to cut out the design and then wrapped the fondant around the tiers using Jessica Harris’s wax paper transfer method. Check out her class on Craftsy.com if you’d like to learn more this. I spread a little more sugar glaze over the fondant for some texture. The bees are made out of dark modeling chocolate with melted white chocolate drizzled on top. The wings are made from gumpaste. A piped buttercream border finished off the look. Love, love, love this one!

Black Clamshell and Daisies

 3-1-14

Every year my kid’s school hosts a dinner and auction fundraiser. They always include a dessert auction with dozens of different delicious items up for bid. This cake was my contribution to this year’s event. It is a maple cake with maple buttercream filling covered in homemade vanilla fondant and decorated with white chocolate daisies. As always, with a cake project that I donate or do for my own family, I tried out a new skill. This time it was stenciling. I chose this very small clamshell design and first attempted to “paint”on royal icing just like you would when using regular paint with a stencil. The result was very messy and unevenly distributed icing. In the end, I used the stencil and a pin to mark the pattern on the fondant and then piped over it free-hand with the royal icing. It was not the skill I was hoping to master, but I did get some good piping practice and the finished look was much better.

Pretty in Pink

Emily's 1st Birthday 2-21-14

 

My friend’s daughter turned 1 this month. This precious little cake was destined to be mashed beyond recognition by her sweet little fingers in a matter of hours. The piped buttercream roses provide an extra large layer of frosting for her to sink her hands into. I hope it made for lots of great pictures and memories! I also made some pretty pink cupcakes for those guests who didn’t want to scoop up Emily’s leftovers.

Emily's 1st Birthday 2-21-14 (2)

 

Sweet and Simple Birthday Cake

Brenda's 50th 1-1-14 (2)

I don’t know about you, but I always have a hard time looking past Christmas into the new year at what events are coming up. January always seems still so far away until about the week before. This is why my aunt’s birthday, which happens to be January 1st, managed to catch me surprise. This simple birthday cake was so easy to throw together on short notice. This buttercream frosted cake is decorated with modeling chocolate. I used my brand new pasta attachment for my electric mixer to roll out a wide band of modeling chocolate for the bottom. I cut a scalloped edge around the top and poked holes with coffee stirrers to give it an eyelet look. The flower is white modeling chocolate tinted light yellow. Happy Birthday Brenda!

Black and White Cake for Seattle Children’s Hospital

Gala Dessert Auction 12-7-13

For almost 4 years I have been a member of a local guild that raises money for Seattle Children’s Hospital Uncompensated Care Fund. Each year in December we host our Annual Holiday Gala fundraising event. This year featured a live dessert auction and I’m happy to say it was a big success. We had 12 desserts and this part of the evening alone raised around $1000 toward our cause. This cake was my contribution. A 6″ white velvet cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. The flowers are dark chocolate with buttercream backfill.

Black and White Birthday for 3!

10-6-13 John's 50th, Ed and Mom's Birthday

 

My mom and two of her brothers have birthdays really close together, so I did this cake for their joint birthday party. One of the brothers turned 50 this year so I went with a black and white theme. My main fous was to just make it playful and not girly. I had some fun with the vertical stripes and made them all a little bit different. This was also my first time making Red Velvet cake from scratch. It turned out really well, but I think I’ll make sure to wear gloves next time and try to avoid dying my hands red 🙂

This cake is frosted in vanilla buttercream and all of the decorations are made out of fondant. For the topper I dipped floral wire in melted white chocolate and stuck black and white balls of fondant on top.

So Pretty Pink

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Here’s a pretty pink cake for a girl’s birthday. The flower is made with white modeling chocolate and the circles are modeling chocolate in shades of pink. The cake board is embossed with a birthday message. Sweet and simple 🙂