Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Gingerbread Ever!

Posted by Jennifer at 1:48 AM 1 comments Links to this post
South Jordan holds an annual Gingerbread contest mostly for kids and just for fun. This year, I thought I would enter because I've never made a gingerbread house from scratch before. It was even more fun than I thought it would be plus I loved the smell of the house after cooking gingerbread... yum! I decided to make a gingerbread bakery instead of a house considering what I do. I cut windows into the walls of the bakery and assembled the "house" with a mixture of buttercream and royal icing. I covered each wall with marshmallow fondant with a brick texture and added a shingled-type roof made of colorful MMF ovals. I used the same colors from the "shingles" as accents on the door, Christmas lights around the house and on the trees. Pretty much everything on this gingerbread bakery is MMF with the exception of the icing and the walls.
The trees are solid pieces of fondant shaped into a cone. Then, I used cuticle scissors to cut the sides of the tree making it look more like a Christmas tree. I added the Christmas lights and a solid fondant star on top. I accented the gingerbread bakery with my Salt Cake City logo on the window and a cake, cake slice, and cupcakes on a small table outside of the bakery (made from MMF). Lastly, I drizzled thick royal icing on the bushes (made from MMF as well), trees, and the roof. To add even more texture, I blended coconut flakes with granulated sugar and sprinkled that on the wet royal icing creating a thick snow fall.
This piece was so much fun to make because for me, the more color there was, the better it was. I wanted it to be really vibrant and festive :) I hope you like it and I also hope you have a lovely holiday season!

Posted by Jennifer at 1:43 AM 1 comments Links to this post

I just finished this cake last weekend but I wanted to post it now since it’s so winter-wonderland themed. (Don’t worry, I will post the last 25 cakes ASAP J) Leah and Adam wanted a cake with deep blue and silver tones to it and since the wedding was so close to Christmas, we decided to do a snowflake and ornament cake. The whole cake is covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and accented with edible silver snowflakes. The blue border on each tier is also MMF as well as the hand-shaped Christmas ornaments. They ornaments were sprayed with edible silver and blue spray to give them an ornament shine. Then, the bride wanted to top the cake with a porcelain replica of the Salt Lake LDS temple. Originally, the cake was going to be 5 tiers but the replica ended up being nearly 8 inches wide so we had to go with the flow and make it four tiers. I hand molded their initials with MMF and then sprayed it with edible silver and blue to give it a little more depth. Although I didn’t get to see the bride’s reaction, the mother of the bride loved it!

As for the flavors, they had White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake (strawberry cake with baked strawberries layered with rich white chocolate ganache), vanilla cake with milk chocolate buttercream, and Lemonberry Cake (lemon cake layered with raspberry cream filling and buttercream).

I have to tell you a funny story about the tasting. The mother of the bride and bride chose the flavors for their cake tasting together. At the last minute, the mother of the bride emailed and asked to taste a Caramel Macchiato cake instead of one of the other choices. On the day of the tasting, I was ready to go with the three flavors they chose. Because they came straight after church, they ended up bringing the mother, father, two sisters, and brother along with the bride. My cake tastings include full 6-inch cakes so luckily, I did have enough for everyone. We started with the White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry cake that the bride loved. Then, I cut into the Caramel Macchiato cake (which is coffee flavored cake layered with caramel cream filling and buttercream). I noticed an interesting mood shift in the room as I described the cake flavors and asked if the siblings wanted to taste this flavor as well, considering it was coffee flavored (at this point, they explained that their wedding cake topper was going to be an LDS temple replica and most Mormons do not drink coffee). The mother of the bride said, “Oh, don’t worry, the coffee bakes out!” and began laughing. The family is LDS but the mom loves the smell and flavor of coffee so she wanted to try the flavor but the bride was not into the idea at all. I thought it was hilarious and the son almost gave his mom a lecture about Mormon beliefs. Haha…. They were such a beautiful and fun family to have a cake tasting with and every time I saw them before the wedding, it was a good time. The parents of the bride came over the day after the wedding and they looked exhausted but I could tell it was a relief to have their first child's wedding done and over with :) haha. Congratulations, Leah & Adam on your wedding!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cake Ornaments!!

Posted by Jennifer at 12:15 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Just in case you didn't know, I LOVE Christmas. Last year, I saw some cupcakes that someone had made that looked like Christmas ornaments and so I waited all year to make these. That was a bit more dramatic than it needed to be but I have been wanting to make these for a while. Rather than doing cupcakes, I decided to make full sized, round cake truffle ornaments. I made around 30 of them (phew!). Half were chocolate cake and half were spice cake covered in buttercream and then covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. They were accented with MMF decorations including the top gold hook, and then sprayed with edible pearl shimmer. I didn't have the pan that most people use to make these so I hand-shaped them... can you tell they aren't completely round? Ah! I hate that. Here's an up close shot of four of my favorites.

These were deceivingly time consuming. Because I hand-shaped them, I had to shape, cool, and then reshape them just to get them round enough for my liking. Then, I had to frost, cool, reshape, refrost, cool, cover, cool, decorate, cool, spray with shimmer, and top with hooks. In the end, totally worth it! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Shoes Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 12:16 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Chelsee threw her sister a baby shower and had a cake design and colors in mind. One thing she wanted for sure were a pair of baby shoes to sit on top of the cake. Chelsee was very organized, especially since she was doing the party planning and organizing from out of state and sent me several cake inspirations and ideas through email. We ended up with this colorful and vibrant design. The cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and decorated with fondant flowers and shoes. Each flower had a tiny little edible dragee in the center and although I tried to use the flowers sparingly, I tend to go overboard!

Both tiers were white cake layered with strawberry filling (the mother-to-be's request). The baby shoes ended up taking a few tries to get right but they were surprising easy to make. It's made from three pieces that I "glued" together (with water) and then stuffed with plastic wrap until they dried in shape. Fun, fun, fun!

Holiday Present Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 11:08 AM 1 comments Links to this post
The Department of Communication was having its annual Holiday Luncheon and so to celebrate, I wanted to do a fun and festive cake. This cake ended up being much bigger than I anticipated but I had fun making it so that's all that matters. Rosie helped dye all of the fondant since I only had one day to put this all together. Consequently, her hands are still dyed red and green while mine are nice and pretty. (Now THAT'S a good friend!) Hmm, I'm not sure what else to discuss about the cake but if you have questions on how I did anything, just let me know. If you search for the other cakes with the "bow" tag in my cake blog, I have explained how to make these bow that I've done here.

The top cake was Peanut Butter No Cup Cake (chocolate cake layered with sweet peanut butter buttercream), the middle was Thankful for Pumpkin Pie Cake (pumpkin cake layered with pumpkin cream filling and buttercream) and the bottom was Rosie's favorite, Banana Cream Pie (banana cake layered with banana cream filling, banana slices, and buttercream).

The whole cake is covered in homemade marshmallow fondant including the top present bow and the bottom red bow. Each of these was made to look like a different type of present with different holiday aspects. I especially loved the blue box on top with the snowflakes. I had such a great time making this cake with Rosie and my department was so gracious with their compliments at the luncheon. A special thank you to Dr. Darling. You are always so supportive and I don't tell you just how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Golden Flowers Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 10:12 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Amber and Ben wanted a wedding cake that was a dramatic statement and centerpiece. Amber had seen a beautiful cake online and wanted to mimic the cake with her wedding colors (shades of yellow and gray). Additionally, this couple was having two receptions, one here in Utah and one in Oregon. Because of this, I suggested I make a predominantly fake cake with one tier real so that they could take this cake to their second reception in Oregon rather than buying to wedding cakes. Although four of the tiers are fake, everything is edible from the buttons, to the silver balls, to the big and little flowers. This is what we came up with in the end.
Amber wanted different heights in her cakes as well as different shapes. I also made four different shades of the small flowers along with three different kinds of borders for the tiers because each tier had a little different character. Above, I attached an up close picture of the big flower taken by Aria Photography. This picture really showcases the texture of the borders, the detail of the big flowers and buttons. There were over 100 edible flowers on this cake and over 20 silver dragees. In this picture, you can see the detail of the buttons and the flowers. It took several hours just to make the flowers but I really loved it in the end. (Plus, I really like tedious, time-consuming work... seriously, I do!)
Along with the fake cake, I made "kitchen cakes" for the wedding reception. Kitchen cakes are NOT sheet cakes because they are the same height and flavor as the main wedding cake (typically three layers of cake with two layers of filling and buttercream). They are in the back for the caterers to cut into in order to create a faster expediting process for the servers. The real tier of cake and some of the kitchen cakes were Lemon Supreme Cake (lemon cake layered with lemon cream filling and buttercream) and the other kitchen cakes were Almond Joy Cake (coconut cake layered with coconut flakes, coconut cream filling, and chocolate buttercream).

Just a funny little tidbit for you (I'm not really sure what a "tidbit" is but I wanted to use it here :) When I went to deliver the wedding cake, a crowd gathered behind me while I put the finishing details on the cake. (Not a scary or nerve racking situation at all! haha) A women came over and gasped in awe when she first saw the cake. Then, she said, "Wow! Is it all real?" I told her that four of the five tiers were fake since they were taking the cake to Oregon and she said, "Well, that's not NEARLY as impressive." I lowered my head, gathered my belongings and cried all the way home. Haha.... yeah right. No crying but I did think it was HILARIOUS that she said that to me. Ah, good times.

In any case, I had a great time working with Amber and Ben on this wedding cake and they were truly a beautiful couple. Technically Ben's biggest part here was tasting the cakes. He was great at the tasting.... hehe. Amber and Ben, congratulations on your marriage!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Art Deco Wedding

Posted by Jennifer at 1:43 AM 2 comments Links to this post
Jessica and Jeremy wanted an art deco wedding cake for their red, black, and white wedding. She saw a cake that she loved and we altered it a bit and added her monogram to fit the decor of the wedding. The cake was White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake (strawberry cake layered with white chocolate ganache) covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and accented with silver dragees.

The topper was so much fun to make. I drew out the design I wanted and then basically used it as a stencil when cutting the fondant shape. I rolled out the fondant but left it pretty thick so that I could insert wires into the topper which would help hold it up on top of the cake. Then, it was all about mirroring the image with diamonds, odd shapes, and more dragees. It's hard to see the topper because it was black and the background was dark but it was over the width of cake and had lots of swirls and angles to it. Way fun for me :)

I ended up seeing Jessica at the reception site, which is quite unusual for me. I generally don't see the brides and only hear from them after the wedding but she looked absolutely gorgeous! She had this beautiful, elegant, and sassy wedding dress with a red and black headpiece/feather in her hair. With the red lipstick, she just looked drop dead gorgeous. Congratulations, Jessica & Jeremy!

Autumn Leaves

Posted by Jennifer at 1:35 AM 0 comments Links to this post
I made this cake during a cake class I taught while the other students were making their creations. This was a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream (pretty simple stuff here) covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and MMF accents. The beads around the cake and the leaves are all edible. I made the leaves by cutting out the shapes and letting them dry over crinkled plastic wrap. After a day or two, they were hardened and ready to be painted. I painted them with a mixture of yellow, orange, and brown colors to give it more depth and to show the veins in the leaves. I thought this cake was fun for the autumn season when I originally made the cake (yes, I'm THAT far behind in my cake blogging).

Blue Brooch Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 1:16 AM 0 comments Links to this post
I made this cake a while back as a wedding showpiece and it was inspired by another cake I had seen on cakecentral.com (my total addiction). The cake is covered in marshmallow fondant with a blue MMF border and bow. The brooch is made out of MMF and then I added edible silver dragees to give it a little more sparkle. There was a row of edible beads round the second tier. Other than that, there's not much else going on. Trust me, I wanted to put more but I resisted the urge and tried to keep it classy.

In order to get the bows to stay, I rolled out some fondant till it was pretty thin. I laid those stripes over a PVC pipe (clean PVC pipe of course!) and adhered the ends with a dab of water. I let them dry in place over night and then they were hard and ready to go. Wow, I think that's it. Wasn't that easy?! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ode to my Public Speaking Students

Posted by Jennifer at 2:12 AM 1 comments Links to this post
This semester, I was blessed with a great group of students for my Wednesday night public speaking course. On the first day, many students said that they hated public speaking and so I thought I had a hard road ahead of me. Turns out, the students were amazing. They came to class ready to discuss, learn, and have fun. I realize this sounds very strange considering how many people hate public speaking, let alone 3 hour night classes but we really did have fun. We had so many inside jokes and so I had to turn some of those into a cake for this great class of mine.

This was a pretty big cake but appears much smaller in this picture. It was pretty much the size of the real podium we had in class. There were two tiers of cake within this podium. One was Mom's Apple Pie (spice cake with baked apples layered with cheesecake cream filling and buttercream) and one was a Turtle Power Cake (chocolate cake layered with caramel cream filling, pecans, and chocolate ganache). The whole cake was covered in marshmallow fondant that was marbleized to look like wood grain.

The "paper" (made of marshmallow fondant) reads:

Comm 1020: Public Speaking
1. Take a deep breath
2. Connect with the audience
3. Use cue cards
4. Don't stare at Jennifer

I made a podium because I told the students near the beginning of the semester that I suggest not using a podium. Students tend to hold on for dear life when using a podium therefore limiting their movement and natural nonverbal behavior. During our second round of speeches, two of the students decided to use the podium. After they were done, one of the audience members said, "Why are you letting them use the podium? I thought you said that wasn't allowed." I thought it was hilarious that my suggestion turned into a rule. In any case, I made the podium to make my point stronger. As far as the paper goes, I always discuss the importance of taking a deep breath before giving speeches and also making a connection with the audience through topic selection and eye contact so I had to add those to the list.

As for #3 on the paper, one of the students asked who was going to hold his cue cards while giving his speech. I asked, "What cue cards?" He tried to convince me that I told the class that someone would hold cue cards in the audience while they speak. I swore up and down that he had made it up and the other students in class backed me up. Regardless, it was the first time a student has asked to have cue cards and so it soon became a reoccurring joke for the class.

Lastly, I oftentimes get students who speak to me (since I'm assigning grades and all), rather than to the audience as a whole which results in them staring at me for the length of their speech. When this happens, I write "Don't stare at me" on their evaluations. These students will almost always ask me after class, "What do you mean? I wasn't staring at you!" I tell them to watch their video so they can see how awkward I feel when they make a bee-line for my eye contact and practically stare at me the whole time they speak. It's fun to be a teacher :)

Anywho, I truly enjoyed this semester with my students and wanted to reward them for their hard work and for putting up with me for 3 hours every week. Thank you, Kyle, Rich, Jesse, Brooke, Kevin, Annette, Jared, Wade, Travis, Will, Shay, Jessica, Trevor, Casey, Brittany, Virginia, Stephanie, Duc, and Daniel. You were awesome!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Labyrinth Inspired Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 4:12 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Does anyone remember way back in the day a little movie starring Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie? That's right, the Labyrinth! Oh my gosh! When Nathan emailed me saying he wanted to surprise Sarah with a birthday cake, I was already excited. When he said he wanted it to be Labyrinth inspired, I was REALLY excited. When he said he wanted it to be inspired by the crystal ball scene.... well, I had to go watch the movie again just to see what I could do. Nathan mentioned that Sarah loves the little work and owl in the movie so I had to add those too. Here's what I came up with.

A while back, Sarah created this completely unique flavor that she loved and so Nathan wanted the whole cake to be that flavor. It was Chocolate Cherry Cake with baked cherries layered with sliced almonds and coffee flavored cream cheese frosting. Yup, that's right! Apparently she loved it :) The whole cake was covered in marbleized homemade marshmallow fondant with marshmallow fondant pearls around the cake. To get the marble effect, you take a handful of white fondant, a handful of deep blue, and a handful of light blue fondant. Roll each of those into a long tube and then place them right next to each other. Roll the three tubes into each other for just a bit and then roll them out with a rolling pin (or PVC pipes, like I do). Then, just cover the cake in the marbleized fondant.

This is the little worm from the Labyrinth. You should check out the picture of the real thing because yes, it is this ugly :) haha. He has a blue afro-thing going on with a red scarf. He took quite a bit of time to complete with the hand-painting the colors on there and getting the hair to stand up straight. Oh, so much fun!

This is the owl from the movie. I hand-sculpted him and then painted him with brown food coloring to get the shading down.

This mask was completely edible and could have probably been worn as well. I painted the blue and light brown shading with edible food coloring and then accented the mask with silver dragees. I tried to match the pearl beads on the cake with a top line of beads on the mask. In the end, I was pretty happy with the cake and so was Sarah :)

Sun, Moon, & Stars Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 3:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post
I'm always excited to make cakes for Bill because he's so trusting and supportive. Bill wanted a small but meaningful cake for his wife, Jody, this year. She loves sun, moon, and star decor so he wanted to incorporate that into her cake and basically said, "go for it and do what you think will look best." Bill loves the Brownie Lovers cake (chocolate cake layered with brownies and rich chocolate ganache) so he ordered that again. I think they both got what they wanted in this case :) The cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and then accented with buttercream stenciling, marshmallow fondant accents, and edible silver dragees.

It's always funny to me how the small and simple cakes end up taking me more time that huge wedding cakes. What's up with that? I had to redo the fondant job twice and the stenciling about three times. Ugh! Those darn little cakes! hehe.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Moulin Rouge Wedding Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 7:36 PM 5 comments Links to this post
Cayli and Brandon were having a really unique red, black, and white themed wedding complete with Cayli's red shoes and sash. She wanted a very bold cake to match and saw a Moulin Rouge/Burton-esque wedding cake that she fell in love with. I did my best to do her vision justice and had a ton of fun making it come together.

Two tiers were Lemon Supreme Cake (lemon cake layered with lemon cream filling and buttercream) and two tiers were White Almond Cake (almond flavored cake layered with cream cheese frosting and almond slices) and they were all tapered in just a bit at the bottom. This 6-8-10-12 inch cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant with MMF accents. I made the swirls out of fondant by rolling it into long vines and then shaping them into swirls. I inserted a thin wire into the end so that when they dried, I could just stick them into the cake to stay. The roses were another story. Each petal of each flower was hand-cut and then the edges of each petal had to be softened with a fondant ball tool in order to make the petals look soft and real. After they dry and harden a bit, I wrap individual petals around a rose "bud" (made out of fondant) using water to adhere the petals. There were about 12 petals per rose and around 15 roses on the cake (you do the math :) Very time consuming but I loved the end product and so did Cayli, so that's all that matters. After adding the marshmallow fondant swags, I added edible silver dragees to give it just an extra touch.
The original cake had a slight lean to it but I wasn't sure if Cayli liked that aspect of the cake so from one angle, I made it straight and from the side, there was a slight lean. Thank you for trusting me with your vision, Cayli! Congratulations!!

Oh, I have to thank Beck Lutz for her amazing pictures of the cake. If you're in Utah and need an awesome photographer, you can check out her work at http://photographybybeckylutz.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1957 Chevy Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 7:46 PM 1 comments Links to this post
Mona wanted to get a very special birthday cake for Ken this year. I'll be honest, when she first emailed I was quite a bit scared... she wanted me to make a 1957 Chevy for the cake because it's Ken's dream car. Now, I have to apologize to Ken because he got a cake, and not a car for his birthday (sorry man!) BUT it gave me the opportunity to take on a huge challenge. Although I was hesitant, Mona was so awesome to put her trust in me and encouraged me the whole way through (this sounds so dramatic, I realize that). It took many, MANY hours to complete this cake from the multiple sketches to measuring the specs to the sculpting and "fondanting," which I know isn't a word. In the end, Mona and Ken loved the cake so that's all that matters.

The cake was a deep purple-ish/blue-ish color with silver and white trim but the pictures came out a little darker/bluer (is bluer a word?) than the cake really was. It was a Chocolate Dipped Cherry Cake (chocolate with cherries baked into the cake layered with chocolate buttercream) and covered in all homemade marshmallow fondant. For those of you just looking for the pictures (like my dad), stop reading now but if you're interested in making a similar creation, here are my reflections on the process...
First, I have to say that I sketched this cake out several times. It's very different to have pictures of a cake rather than detailed sketches with measurements and dimensions. Generally, it's very tricky to take a 2-D picture and turn it into a 3-D thing so doing it in cake was definitely going to take a lot of planning. I baked rectangle shaped cakes first and let them cool. I stacked and layered them with frosting just as I would any other cake, making sure to put a little extra in the middle for the roof. I covered it all in chocolate buttercream and let it sit in the fridge for a while. This allows the cake to firm up a bit which makes it easier to carve. The whole process really took a lot of patience because it took several pairings of carving the cake and then icing the cake just to get it to look even remotely close to a car. (Don't worry, I bounce my ideas about 3-D cakes off of my man-friend, Paul, since he's WAY more of an artist than I) After we were both satisfied with the general shape of the cake, I covered it in one last coat of buttercream and then covered it in fondant.

Now, I wanted the car to shine like a paint job so I painted over the purple fondant with a deeper purple and then made the bumpers, windshields, headlights, roof, and wheels out of fondant. It's hard to see in these pictures but I cut the windows just slightly into the cake so that they had some depth. Also, the car was actually propped up so that Mona and Ken could see underneath the car and so the car looked like it was being held up by the wheels. The last thing I did was paint on edible shimmer and silver to the trim. Phew! It was such a great challenge and I was just so happy to hear how much Ken loved it :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Flavors!

Posted by Jennifer at 10:21 PM 1 comments Links to this post
Hey everyone! I decided to have a few flavor brainstorming sessions and we came up with 11 new flavors. You can check them out under "Cake Flavors" here and I will try to upload them onto the website ASAP. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blue and Purple Wedding Waves

Posted by Jennifer at 8:44 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Chris and Annie wanted a big and fun wedding cake that reflected the two of them. Their wedding colors were baby blue and dark purple and they saw a beautiful cake done by The Cake Girls that they wanted to model their cake after. The cake was Old Fashion PB&J flavored (peanut butter flavored cake layered with strawberry filling... and it really did taste like a PB&J sandwich). The cake was covered in homemade marshmallow with marshmallow fondant accents.

A week before the wedding, Annie called to say she had a cool idea. She said she couldn't find a "white bride and brown groom" wedding topper so we improvised :) She sent me a picture of these ADORABLE vanilla wafer cake toppers. I made these toppers out of fondant and they have mini-vanilla wafer faces. We added some blue and purple flowers to match her bouquet and Chris's flower and tie combo. Congrats, Chris & Annie! You both looked so happy and beautiful on your wedding day! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall Leaves Wedding Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 9:55 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Hillary and Scott wanted a fall themed wedding cake with marshmallow fondant leaves and branches. I had so much fun making this cake because leaves don't need to look exactly the same so I really just varied the look of them and adopted an "anything goes" attitude. I cut out leaves in yellow, dark orange, and brown. I placed them on top of crinkled seran wrap and let them dry in different shapes. Once they were dry, I hand-painted a darker shade of yellow, orange, and brown on all of them to give them some more character. FUN FUN FUN! :) I like that type of work. The whole cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and the swirls and dots on the cake were also made of MMF.
The top tier was Ruby Red Velvet cake and the middle tier was Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (chocolate cake layered with hazelnut cream filling and buttercream). Here is an inside flavor shot for you:
The bottom tier was Spices & Cake (spice cake layered with cheesecake filling and buttercream). Here is that flavor shot:
Hillary wrote me after the wedding and said that the cake was exactly what she was looking for. It really fit into her wedding scheme and reception area. It was beautiful with all of the leaves and deep oranges and browns. SO fall! :) Congrats, Hillary & Scott!

Quad Cake Tasting

Posted by Jennifer at 8:44 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Amber and Ben had a cake tasting a while back to decide the flavors for their wedding cake (those pictures to come). As I've mentioned in previous posts, I recently started decorating the cake tasting cakes so that the bride & groom can get a good idea of what marshmallow fondant tastes like as well as a trick for myself so that I can tell what's inside the cakes :) The left cake was an Almond Joy Cake (coconut cake layered with coconut flakes, coconut cream filling, almond slices, and chocolate buttercream). I've attached an inside flavor shot for you below.... yummmmmm.....
The second cake was a Traditional Carrot Cake layered with cream cheese frosting. The third cake was a Lemon Supreme Cake. As you can see from the picture below, this cake is lemon with lemon cream filling and buttercream. The last cake was a Turtle Cake (chocolate cake layered with caramel, chopped pecans, and chocolate ganache). All of the cakes are covered in buttercream or chocolate buttercream with marshmallow fondant accents.
The cake tasting went really well and we solidified all of the details for a 5-tiered wedding cake with different shapes and cascading flowers. Just you wait, that picture is coming :) I apologize for being so behind but I have about 25 cakes to post before I'm caught up. I'm getting there, I promise. For pictures of my most recent cakes without the descriptions, you can check out my facebook page at www.facebook.com/saltcakecity
See you there!

Rainbow Bright!

Posted by Jennifer at 3:56 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Drew's birthday was around the corner and Rosie and I didn't quite know what to make for her. She teaches 4 and 5 year olds during the day and is still capable of being energized and fun when she gets home. Because of her cheery disposition and bright personality, we decided to make the cake fun and bright as well. What better way to show happiness than with a rainbow. The cake was all buttercream and the colorful dots were made out of marshmallow fondant.

The cake was a German Chocolate Cake (chocolate cake layered with coconut, chopped pecans, and chocolate buttercream). I later heard that it was the hit of the night. Yay! Happy Happy Birthday, Drew! :)

Cowboy Cupcakes

Posted by Jennifer at 3:12 PM 0 comments Links to this post
My bonus son (step-son) turned 4 last month and for his birthday, he wanted a cowboy themed celebration. Dallen LOVES cowboys and anytime he wears a belt, he says it's his cowboy belt. When he wears a hat (any hat), it's his cowboy hat. When he wears shoes (any shoes), they are his cowboy boots :) He even says "Howdy, Ma'am" as he tilts his hat. Oh, he's SO cute! I realize I'm bias but he's just the cutest kid EVER!

For his cupcakes, I made cowboy hats, horseys, cow patterns, cacti, lassos, and sheriff stars. The toppers were all made out of marshmallow fondant sitting on top of buttercream. I hand-cut each of these shapes with the exception of stars. Half of the cupcakes were chocolate and half were vanilla. He loved them and I loved making them for him. Got me some really good hugs with these puppies :)

Orange & Crimson Wedding Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 2:54 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Jill needed a cake for her daughter's wedding and needed it pronto! We organized all of the details quickly and came up with this design based on a few different design ideas that they both loved. They wanted to alternate square and round tiers but also wanted to keep the cake very simple without too much going on. Each tier has a white-on-white pattern with just a thin orange border around each tier. I've attached a closer picture so that you can see the detail on each tier.

They chose three flavors for this cake. First, the bride and groom cut into a Ruby Red Velvet cake (red velvet cake layered with cream cheese frosting). Next, they ordered Mom's Apple Pie Cake (spice cake with apples baked into the cake layered with cheesecake filling and buttercream) and lastly, Lemonberry Cake (lemon cake layered with raspberry filling and buttercream). The whole cake was covered in marshmallow fondant and accented with MMF as well. I'm not a big fan of piping buttercream onto cakes so I simply rolled out fondant into thin ropes and curled them to make the pattern they are in on the cake. I also cut out small dots from MMF and applied those to the cake as well. The couple supplied the beautiful flowers and the monogram on the top of the cake. In the end, I thought the cake was very elegant. It's hard for me to resist putting more and more detail on cakes so I held back and loved it in the end :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Doing it Old School in a New School Way

Posted by Jennifer at 11:48 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Marlana wanted a unique cake for Tommy's birthday. She saw a cake that I made a while back with a Mario theme and wanted something similar. I asked her which version of Mario Tommy plays and she said the Wii version so we decided to update the old school idea with the new school game. I LOVE Wii Mario Bros and so I was totally excited to make this cake. After doing some sketches, Marlana and I agreed that this was a cool design idea. If you have ever played Wii Mario, I hope you can make the connections here. In the game, there are these hills that are off in the background with giant spots on them. In order to get that look, I hand painted these hills onto the fondant. Then, I added some 2-D elements including the turtle shells, tunnels, and coins. I loved that there was some dimension in this cake with the hand-painting, 2-D shapes and then the 3-D star and cloud on top.

The bottom tier was Banana Cream Pie Cake (lightly flavored banana cake layered with banana slices, banana cream filling, and buttercream) and the top tier was a special flavor that Marlana wanted, which was a Chocolate cake layered with strawberry filling and strawberry slices. I hope Tommy loved the cake because I REALLY enjoyed making this cake and I hope my brothers are proud as well!

Tasting Trio Part 2

Posted by Jennifer at 11:26 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Hillary & Scott needed a cake tasting to narrow down the flavors for their wedding cake. In the past, I would made cakes for the tasting and not really decorate them but I thought it would be fun to make a trio of cakes again. I really didn't have an idea of what I wanted them to look like and instead just started decorating. As I tell my students in cake classes, that is generally not a good idea :) While these three cakes have some similar elements, they don't go together as well I wish they would have. Let that be a lesson to me! Sketch first, then make.

One of the cakes was Ruby Red Velvet cake (red velvet cake layered with cream cheese frosting), one was Chocolate Hazelnut (chocolate cake with a light hazelnut flavor layered with hazelnut cream and buttercream), and the last one was Spices & Cake (spice cake layered with cheesecake cream filling). I covered this first one in marshmallow fondant and then added MMF accents and also piped on some green detail.
These other two cakes were covered in buttercream and then accented with MMF with some tiny piped green dots. These cakes ended up mixing piping with fondant with molds so it was good for me to combine different techniques into one cake order.
The couple loved all three flavors. They wanted to cut into the Red Velvet and then had the middle tier as Chocolate Hazelnut and Spices & Cake for the most servings and bottom cake. You will see their wedding cake on the cake blog soon! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crimson & Gold Stripes Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 7:43 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Natasha saw a wedding cake that I had done a few months back and wanted something similar just with her wedding colors. Her colors were crimson and gold so we made the base color white with just a little touch of color. She wanted these particular flowers on there and they matched the stripes pretty well here. The whole cake was Brownie Lovers cake (chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache and layers of brownie) covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. I made each tier 6-inches tall, instead of the typical 4-inches tall, which really gave this cake some height and character. I ended up really loving the color combination and the crispness of the sides. So much fun! :) Congratulations, Natasha!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gerber Daisy Cupcakes

Posted by Jennifer at 2:20 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Lea was having a reception back here in Utah after her destination wedding in Hawaii. In order to tie in the Hawaiian theme, she wanted some bright and fun cupcakes. We decided to do bright orange, yellow, green, and pink gerber daisies made out of marshmallow fondant to top most of the cupcakes and then a few cupcakes with just bright colored frosting. This was the end product! I have to give a quick shout out to Dennis Jones Construction for his AWESOME carpentry skills in making this beautiful cupcake stand. It was hand-crafted and mailed to me from Carmel, CA, and I was so completely pleased. Every time I saw it, it made me smile. This cupcake stand exceeded even my own expectations of his abilities and I just can't say enough about it. Thank you so much! I will definitely be using DL Jones construction in the future :)
Now to the cupcakes. Lea wanted Tuxedo flavored cupcakes and so there was quite a lot behind getting these babies to be just right. First, I baked chocolate & vanilla cupcakes (I scooped half chocolate batter into the cupcakes and then scooped vanilla on top of that). You can see in the first picture how the chocolate is peaking through on some of the cupcakes. Second, I dipped the cooled cupcakes into rich, chocolate ganache (picture 2). When the ganache had cooled, I piped sweet buttercream on the tops of the cupcakes (picture 3). Finally, I added colorful marshmallow fondant flowers to the tops of the white buttercream and piped bright colored buttercream on the tops of some of the other cupcakes (picture 4).

My mom, who lives in California, was visiting that week and happened to help me make all 100 or so gerber daisies that were cut by hand, shaped, and topped with a ball of marshmallow fondant that had been rolled in tiny candy balls. This just gave them a little extra color, pop, and flavor. Thank you, mom!!

Lastly, here is the cake topper that Lea and her now-husband cut into. The flavor was Ruby Red Velvet (red velvet cake layered with cream cheese frosting) and the cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. All-in-all, I loved how this cake order came together. I was so pleased to have the help of Mr. Jones (who made the stand), my mom (who cut out so many little flowers), and Rosie & Drew (who helped deliver all of the cupcakes and set it up in site). Thank you all for your help in making this beautiful display!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Skulls & Graduation Hand-in-hand!

Posted by Jennifer at 10:46 PM 1 comments Links to this post

Bill wanted a personalized graduation cake for Kalee. When he contacted me to tell me that, I said, "Buuuut, you do realize it's September, right?" He admitted he was a bit behind on the celebration but it's always nice to apologize for lateness with cake :) His daughter loves skulls and the color orange so he sent me a print that she loves that alternates hearts and stars. I incorporated that into the sides of the cake (pictured below) and the lady skull on top with a graduation cap. The cake is covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and all of the decorations are fondant as well.

Bill has ordered several cakes from me in the past and I just recently learned from one of his daughters that HIS favorite flavor is Brownie Lovers (layers of chocolate cake and brownies covered in chocolate ganache). I was pretty impressed that he ordered his favorite because I can tell he's a very thoughtful guy for those around him and I'm just happy that he get something he loves as well. It's always a pleasure to create something for Bill and his family and I look forward to many more completely unique designs from their creativity! Congrats, Kalee!



Balloons on a cake!!

Posted by Jennifer at 10:38 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Colleen wanted a colorful and fun birthday cake for Leah's first birthday party. Since Leah has begun a recent fascination with balloons, we thought we would incorporate those into the cake. The colors were inspired by the other decor of the party and for some reason, purple always looks blue-ish in my pictures. In any case, it was green, purple, orange, and pink :)

The cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and everything on the cake is edible, including the balloons and bow on the top. One tier was Ruby Red Velvet cake (bright red velvet cake layered with cream cheese frosting) and the other tier was Rainbow Bright cake (sweet vanilla cake dyed to match the colors of the party and layered with sprinkles and buttercream). Leah obviously needed her own cake to "smash" into so I ended up making a matching cake. It was pretty big for a 1-year old but that's okay. I'm sure she loved it :) The streamers popping out of the cake are also made of fondant. This cake was so much fun to make because I always love when people order colorful and vibrant cakes. Happy Birthday, Leah!!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stack of Books for us Nerds

Posted by Jennifer at 2:37 PM 3 comments Links to this post

Corrinne was the one we grad students went to for... well, pretty much everything. If I didn't know what to register for, I asked her. If I didn't know my copy code, I asked her. If I needed something changed for class, I asked her. I don't know if everyone relied as much on Corrinne as I did but I was definitely sad to hear that she was leaving. Corrinne really just moved to a different office on campus because she's TEACHING now! (woo-hoo! Now she can get the joys that we get!) Even though we were all very happy for her, it was still a very bitter sweet goodbye. In her honor, I decided to make her a set of books since she loves to read and let's face us, all grad students are nerds, right? :) One "book" was Mocha Java Cake (chocolate cake layered with coffee buttercream), one "book" was Coconut Cream Pie Cake (coconut flavored cake layered with coconut cream filling, coconut flakes, and buttercream), and one "book" was Banana Cream Pie Cake (lightly flavored banana cake layered with banana cream filling, banana slices, and buttercream).
In order to make these books, I had to pre-cut the covers of each book so that when the fondant hung over the sides, they wouldn't sag. I dried them slightly over a fake styrofoam box and then that way, I could just lift it off and place it on the cake. The book's cover design was made by using a stencil and gold colored buttercream. I accented it further with molded cut outs. It's hard to see here, but I scored the marshmallow fondant along the book sides in order appear as though they are pages.

I remember being a few minutes late to the surprise get-together for Corrinne and so the new graduate advisor, Hilary, was waiting for me outside. I quickly carried the books toward her and she asked where the cake was... then she stopped and said, "Wait, this is a cake?!" When we finally got in and set the cake up, Corrinne came in to the surprise party, which at this point wasn't such a surprise because us Comm students/faculty and really talk :) She started to cry and then we cried and then we ate cake. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction. Corrinne, you really have done so much for us (me especially) and you are greatly missed! Come visit us soon!
 

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