Baseball Hats and Base

Brian & Matt's 30th 11-16-13 (3)

My sister’s boyfriend and his friend both celebrated their big 30th birthdays this month. Since they play softball together, a baseball themed cake was kind of a no-brainer. We went with a fondant covered “base”cake with gumpaste hats featuring the birthday boys’ first initials on the front and jersey numbers on the back.

To keep the cake from just looking like a white square with some lines on top. I carved out the top a little bit to give it some depth. I embossed the lines into the fondant and then brushed it with brown dust to make it look a little dirty.

As good as the base and hats turned out, it wouldn’t be complete without the board it’s sitting on. To make the “field”, I covered a large cake board with fondant, brushed it with piping gel and covered it with crushed graham crackers for the dirt. I used two wide rulers to mark out a “base line” and then sprinkled powdered sugar in the opening. Whenever I include a message on a cake, I try really hard to find a way to make it work with the overall design. I was really stumped on how to incorporate a “happy birthday” message on this one until the very last minute. I had pretty much decided to do without a message when I got the idea to stencil it on using powdered sugar like I did with the base line. To make the stencil, I printed the message in the size I wanted, then used an exacto knife to cut out the letters and numbers. I think it turned out awesome, and I’ll definitely use that idea again.


Ship At Sea



I had a couple weeks off last month and piles of extra cake in the freezer, so I thought it would be fun to let my kids help me with a little project. They ALWAYS want to help me decorate, but kid’s and good food hygiene don’t always mix. So I generally keep them out of the kitchen with vague promises of “maybe next time”. We weren’t going to eat this cake, but I did want to take a picture for this blog, so I wanted it to look nice. This was my big mistake. When my kids hear “decorate”, to them it means dumping on all manner of sprinkles until no blank space remains. They were a little disappointed that I kept tight control over what they were doing. I definitely learned a lesson here. Next time I tell them they can help decorate, I better really be prepared to just let them go crazy and not lay down too many rules.

All of the “waves”on this cake are made out of modeling chocolate. The boat is made out of fondant only because I didn’t have any modeling chocolate in the right colors. Super fast, super fun, super cute!

Monster Birthday!



This weekend’s project was a 3rd birthday cake for my friend’s son. The party theme was monster trucks so she sent me a picture of a cake similar to this one that she found online. After a few little changes, we ended up with this super fun design. Yes,  I know that’s not a monster truck on top of the cake. My friend was providing the truck, so for the sake of the photo I found the closest thing I could lying around the house. This is chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling. All the decorations are done with my homemade fondant.

Baseball Cap

Tommy's 30th 5-5-13 (4)


This weekend we celebrated my brother’s 30th birthday. I’ve had this project in mind for quite a while and figured this would be a great opportunity to try it out. The idea is from Elisa Strauss’s book “The Confetti Cakes Cookbook”. I baked 3 8″round cake layers and then carved them into the shape of a hat. I took out some divots in the sides so the fondant would lay more like fabric on top. The bill is made out of a 50/50 fondant – gumpaste mix. I used a stitching tool for the detail on the bill and cap. The dimensions were a little off on this first attempt, but I know how to correct that now. Overall, a relatively quick, fun project that I’d love to do again.

Happy Birthday little  brother!

Tommy's 30th 5-5-13 (3)

Motorbike Tire Birthday Cake


My nephew is a hard core motorbike fan. I’m pretty sure this has been the theme of his birthday cakes for the last several years. I took the opportunity try my luck at making a cake shaped like a tire. I had to do some research to figure out the best way to do the treads. I ended up cutting out several small rectangles and attaching them to the crumb coated cake in the pattern I wanted. Then I covered it all with black fondant and used a modeling tool to go around each rectangle to get some definition. The center of the cake is covered with chocolate cake crumbles and a little “grass” piped with royal icing. The checkered flags and cake board were very time consuming, but so worth it for the finished product.

Around the rim of the tire I added 8 layered stars with holes in the center for the candles and embossed the birthday boy’s name with letter shaped cookie cutters (although this doesn’t show up very well in the picture).

I make my own fondant and this batch didn’t turn out the greatest. It was dry and kept cracking on me. Fortunately, since it was supposed to look like a rubber tire anyway, the little cracks and creases weren’t a big deal, but I’d love to give this one another try sometime.

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.

Beach Theme 2-7-13 (12) - Edited

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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Beach Themed Birthday


This was done for my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday. Since it was during the dead of winter, it was fun to do a beach theme. The starfish and shells are hand-formed and painted. The blue is sprayed on over buttercream and, of course, a little brown sugar is a great edible stand-in for sand.

Under the Sea

One of the simpler cakes I’ve done, I still love this one for its color. This is a design you can just have fun with. I started with a basic idea of the things I wanted to include (treasure box, shark fins, octopus, fish, lots of seaweed and starfish) and then just had fun placing them on the cake as I went. I used the back of a spoon of create the waves on top. Except for the shark fins, this cake is decorated entirely with buttercream. It is chocolate chip cake and cookies and cream filling inside.


Twin Tents

When my friend asked me to make two separate cakes for her twin girl’s joint, camp themed birthday party I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had just seen a tutorial on how to create a tent shaped cake and knew it would be perfect. The girls each picked their favorite color for their own tent. I think the campground setting on the cake board really made this project special. So much better than just two tents set on two separate boards. The party itself was amazing. They had the kid’s roast hot dogs for lunch, then they all went on a “daddy-led” scavenger hunt. Each kid was given their own drawstring bag to hold their “treasures” and a walking stick with their named burned in it! Then they all crowded in a tent in the living room to open gifts. I was so impressed with the entire party and my own kids still talk about it!