Monday, October 31, 2011

My first stacked/tiered cake!

Ever since I finished my cake decorating classes back in June, I've been looking forward to expanding my horizons with one last bit of cake decorating knowledge - stacked cakes. Not just wedding cakes, although that's what most people think of, but I also saw this as a different way to make a lot of cake without doing a half sheet pan that takes up an entire table. So I signed up for the class, thinking it would be a lot of talking, maybe working with some styrofoam, and that would be it. Nope. I had to bring with me to the class a 6" two-layer cake and a 10" two-layer cake. My first thought was "what the heck am I going to do with all this cake when I'm done?". And then, at church the day after I registered for the class, an announcement was made about the fall festival and a need for baked goods. Yes! So right after church was done, I zipped to the back, talked to the lady in charge of the festival and offered to donate my cake to serve as a dessert for the turkey dinner on Saturday night. She was thrilled, and so then I began on deciding the flavor and design of my cake.

Flavor was easy - I wanted something fall-ish, so I went with applesauce cake for the top tier. Then for the bottom tier I chose pumpkin cake. For the design, I went simple - I had a set of small cookie cutters in the shapes of an apple, a pumpkin and a leaf, so I used them to cut out shapes in gum paste, scored veins in the leaves and then made three gum paste mums for the top. I frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting (and used buttercream to even out some of the bumps - thus the mottled look) and used buttercream again to make grass, leaves and vines. Despite the imperfections, the cake was a hit - it was gone in just over an hour!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baby block cakes!

When I got the invitation in the mail for my cousin, Jessica's baby shower, of course I got all excited about making a cake for the event. It didn't matter that the shower was only one week after the wedding that I was scheduled to make the groom's cake for - I was doing it!

Of course my Aunt was happy to have me make the cake, and even gave me complete creative license. Her only request was that the cake be chocolate, and no girly colors, since her grandchild-to-be is a boy.

It took a bit of searching - so many ideas and so little time - but I finally decided on a baby block cake. Now I had heard some horror stories about working with smaller cakes, which I believed because working with the little round cakes for my niece's smash cake was very challenging (good thing I was able to just fix it with lots of frosting!).

So, to make things easier on myself, I opted to make 4 inch cubes instead of 3 inch ones. The frosting part was easy, and the fondant part wasn't too hard, except that I had lots of little wrinkles at the bottom of each block. Easy fix though - just covered it up with frosting lines.

 And here's the fun part. All four cakes were chocolate, but each had a different filling. One was vanilla buttercream, one was peppermint buttercream, one was chocolate buttercream, and the last one was peanut butter buttercream.

Congrats and best wishes to my cousin - hope you (and your baby!) loved the cake!