The thing I love most about doing cakes for family is that I can experiment a little bit without worrying too much about things back-firing on me. Yes, I want to make a cake that is just as beautiful and delicious as one I would make for any client. But, I know they will be more forgiving and still order cakes from me if something doesn’t come out perfectly. Luckily, my experiment with this cake worked out and I’m so excited about the options it opens up for me.
My mother-in-law ordered this cake for a party that was less than 24 hrs after I got back from a 5 day vacation. Now, I typically bake my cakes ahead of time and freeze them, then thaw them out a couple days before they’re due to fill, frost and decorate. However, I knew that timeline wouldn’t work in this case. So after a little internet research I decided to try completely assembling and frosting the cake and THEN freeze it. So when I got back from vacation I only had to thaw it out and decorate. Completely do-able in half a day. I’m happy to say it came out great! It tasted just as fresh as any other cake and nobody could tell I had done anything different. So if you’d like to make a special cake for a party, but don’t have the whole 2 days before to spend on it, give this a try! You can do most of the work in advance and only have to add your decorations at the end!
I will still stick to my normal method of freezing only the cake in advance. But it’s so nice to have this option in my back pocket if I know I’m going to be strapped for time on a particular order.
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.
OK, bear with me because there is a LOT to see on this cake. It’s gotta be tough to narrow down 40 years into just a few special milestones and achievements, but this guy’s wife did a fabulous job coming up with all of the items included on this cake. I was able to represent his own birth, marriage and the births of his children, work and school achievements and hobbies all in edible form.
This was a great crash course for me in 3D fondant modeling as well. I will do teddy bears anytime! They’re so easy and they just turn out so darn cute every time.
This was also a good lesson in cake design. Figuring out where to put everything was as challenging as the cake itself. To solve that problem I made a small top tier and “steps”out of rice krispy treats covered in buttercream just have to have more room to place things. With so many different elements and colors going on, I used a simple black and white back drop for the cake itself.
This year I had THREE cousins graduating from high school and was fortunate to be asked to make a separate cake for all of them. Haley and Macey had a party together and each designed their own cake. They are so different and yet I still can’t decide which is my favorite.
Joe’s cake was the very first 3 tier cake I’ve done. As always, it was so fun adding all of the custom decorations that make each cake so pesonal. I created the track and field symbol by using one of his team’s t-shirts as a template. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the fondant football and basketballs are textured using a real football and basketball.