Thursday, August 28, 2008

Patriotic Cake, Country Style

Here is the same cake design with the colors and some details slightly changed for a country effect.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Patriotic Cake Design

Here's a design for a Fourth of July or Election Day celebration.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fabulous Birthday Cake Design

This is a two-tiered, fondant covered cake. It is dressed with 2-3 different sized pearls, topped with crystals & surrounded with white roses.
A variation on this in white fondant with red roses would be great for a wedding, Valentines Day or Christmas.

Cake Cutting / Ordering Guide

This guide shows how to cut popular shaped wedding tiers into pieces approximately 1 in. x 2 in. by two layers high (about 4 in.). Even if a larger serving size is desired, the order of cutting is still the same.

The first step in cutting is to remove the top tier, and then begin the cutting with the 2nd tier followed by the 3rd, 4th and so on. The top tier is usually saved for the first anniversary, so it is not calculated into the serving amount.


Square Tiers: Move in 2 in. from the outer edge and cut across. Then slice 1 in. pieces of cake. Now move in another 2 in. and slice again until the entire tier is cut.
8 inch for 32 servings
10 inch for 40 servings
12 inch for 72 servings
14 inch for 98 servings
16 inch for 128 servings


Round Tiers: Move in two inches from the tier's outer edge; cut a circle and then slice 1 in. pieces within the circle. Now move in another 2 in., cut another circle, slice 1 in. pieces and so on until the tier is completely cut. The center core of each tier and the small top tier can be cut into 3rds, 4ths, and 6ths, depending on size.

8 inches for 24 servings
10 inches for 38 servings
12 inches for 56 servings
14 inches for 88 servings
16 inches for 10 servings
18 inches for 146 servings


Divide the tiers vertically into 1/2ths, 4ths, 6ths and 8ths. Within rows, slice 1 in. pieces of cake.

10 inches for 36 servings * 12 inches for 54 servings *16 inches for 94 servings


Cut similar to round tiers as diagram shows.

9 inches for 18 servings * 12 inches for 40 servings * 15 inches for 64 servings


Move in 2 in. from the outer edge and cut across. Then slice 1 in. pieces of cake. Now move in another 2 in. and slice again until the entire tier is cut.

10 inch for 26 servings * 13 inch for 45 servings * 16 inch for 70 servings


Move in 2 in. from the outer edge and cut across. Slice and serve 1 in. pieces of cake, similar to oval tiers as diagram shows. Now move in another 2 in., repeat process until the entire tier is cut.

About 25 servings

Monday, August 18, 2008

Drape and Pearl Cake

I'm getting married in the morning
Ding, dong the bells are gonna chime . . .

This ended up being one of the more elaborate and larger cakes I have made, and it turned out beautiful. The bride was happy, the groom was happy and I was happy.

For your sake, we were a more diligent taking pictures of the process of building this cake so I could share the process with you in pictures, but we skipped some of the obvious steps to save time and space.

The Body

Again, we're starting with a white cake with raspberry filling. The plan was four layers: 12" base, 10", 8", and a 6" topper. Each layer was composed of two cakes, each of which was split horizontal for another layer of filling. So, each cake tier had three layers of filling and was covered with buttercream icing. The bottom two large tiers were filled with raspberry filling and I simply used icing as filling for the top two tiers.

The Undergarments

After the layers are filled and assembled, the cake is covered with buttercream icing on the sides and top as a base for the fondant icing that will be it's final covering.

It is of utmost importance that this icing be as straight and smooth as possible, with right angles and level tops.

To acheive this, an abundance of icing is applied, and the extra scraped off. The remaining icing is smoothed out to finish this step.

Now, it is ready for the fondant.

The Dress
Fondant is a beautiful smooth finish for a cake. The lack of texture is a classically simple matte background for whatever you are going to do to dress it up with. Think of fondant as a "little black dress" for cakes.

The fondant is rolled out and then placed over the iced cake. It is then coached down the sides to a smooth finish before the extra is trimmed.

I trim twice. On the first trim, I trim the heavy majority and leave 1/4 inch in case the fondant was stretched and wants to spring back up the side a little once the weight is removed. After I see that all is well, the final 1/4 inch is removed and overall smoothing begins.

Every dress has a hem, and I like to put something around the bottom for a finished look. In this case, I am using ivory colored grosgrain ribbon to match the cake. I wanted it to blend as much as possible with the cake and not call attention to itself because of all the other decor that will go on it eventually.

Then, we inserted dowels into each cake and stacked them up to take a look.
As the layers are stacked (with the exception of the largest bottom layer as it is more difficult to move) the ribbons are adjusted down to fill any space between the layers. The ribbons are just wrapped around the cakes and attached to themselves with scotch tape.


The bride wanted pearls that looked like they were cascading down the cake like a waterfall. She is an artist, but I am not. I was particularly nervous about how to create something she would be happy with, but was really pleased with the results. Each individual pearl was applied by hand.

Here is a close-up picture of the detal work on the two bottom layers.

Using this design as inspiration, I would like to make a Pearl Cake in the future.

Because of the nature of the finish on this cake, it had to be assembled and finished at the reception site.

Therefore, the four layers were plated and anchored in my trunk on rubber gloves so they wouldn't slide around.

There are no pictures of the trip because I had my eyes shut the entire time, praying that the cakes would make it without incident, and without loosing too many pearls.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accesssorize

At the reception site, the cakes were unpacked and restacked with pearls and ribbons intact. Yeah! We made it!

Next, I found myself a workspace and rolled out fondant for the drape. David and toothpicks held the drape on the cake while the piping gel dried to make it permanent.

After fondant drapes were made for each side, I realized that this cake was not pushed up against a wall like at most weddings, but was displayed in the center of the room so there was a 360 view of it. Even worse, the bride and groom had a view of the back! I was going to have to put some sort of last minute decoration on the back, no matter how last minute or lame.

With the fondant drapes finally applied, the fresh flower topper was placed and individual flowers were scattered around the fondant drapes for final decoration.

This is a picture of the finished left side of the cake.

And this is a picture of the finished right side of the cake.

The small fondant drape and flowers on the back of the cake were enough to give it a finished look, without pretending there were two fronts to the cake.

And they ate cake happily ever after.

Grab a Quickie

It was the beginning of August and we had a birthday in the office. Since it was a coon's age since I've drug any of my creations into the office, it was time to whip up a celebratory cake.

Of course, I was busy freezing corn and picking green beans at the time, which is also why I'm writing this after the fact. I was simply busier than a spring bunny in heat.

Which is why this turned into a simple cake.

This birthday cake was a white cake with raspberry filling--which after chocolate filled with crushed Oreos--is everyone’s favorite.

Anyway, I had a wedding cake to make for August 16 and wanted to practice, because the bride also wanted white cake with raspberry filling.

This cake is covered with buttercream icing, tinted tan because the upcoming wedding cake is going to be ivory instead of stark white.

And, instead of an elaborate decoration, I simply snipped a morning-fresh hydrangea head out of the garden and popped it onto the top with minimal decoration.

Since it's just you and me talking here, I'll tell you the truth:
I was late for work--again--and I shoved that purty flower into the top of the cake, right after I slapped some swirls around the sides. Then I crammed the whole shee-bang into my handy-dandy carrier and whisked it off to the office where it was a hit with birthday and non-birthday celebrants alike.

And that's the truth.