Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's Shower Time!

This weekend I made a cake for a baby shower. "Yellow, gray and elephant themed." So, naturally I start looking online for some inspiration photos. If you ever need a pick-me-up... google image search 'baby elephants'. SERIOUSLY.  Better yet - do an image search on Pinterest. (Fewer random pictures). I think it will just make you smile. Baby elephants are so freakin' cute! So... I was pretty excited to sketch out some ideas of this cake. As I do with all cakes, I provided a few sketched out concepts, some more illustrative, some more graphic and clean. The winner was this clean & simple design. I love how clean the sides are, leaving all the detail in the top. 

The balloons and elephant are fondant with added Tylose powder to stiffen them. The frosting at the top is buttercream (same as inside cake), piped with a petal tip. The side is fondant to provide a super smooth surface.

Happy Baby Showering! 

Want to see the other designs created for this cake? Here are the original concepts:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Sport Of Choice

This week I was asked to make a soccer ball cake. "SURE!" ...I knew I could figure it out, but I'd never done one before. After a few minutes on YouTube and a bit of a 'Soccer Ball Cake' image search, I realized there were a lot of bad soccer ball cakes out there... I'd like to think that this won't  be one of them!

It really wasn't too difficult. A round cake... no tiers. I did invest in a Wilton Soccer Ball cake pan. I used it to make sure the cake I made was perfectly round, but I also used it as a guide for shapes on the ball. That was a good short cut, pretty handy.

Layering one thin, base layer of white fondant over my soccer ball to start, I then cut and placed (without adhering) the various white and black pieces. Once I knew everything fit, I just dabbed a little water on the back of each shape to stick it to the cake and viola! A little bit of stitching and a little bit of fondant grass... SOCCER BALL = DONE.

I did steam the cake as well, before placing it on the cake base. This gave it a high gloss that new soccer balls have. I made sure to not steam the grass. - To be a total cake geek for a minute - I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to steam a cake and test that out so I was pretty pleased about that.(Geek moment over)

Pretty happy with the way it turned out. Didn't hurt that the sun was shining and my Spotify radio was playing the perfect songs all day either. 

Enjoy! Happy Birthday Alek!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Look who's 30!

Over the weekend I made a cake for someone who had won a COTS gift certificate a while back from an auction. She was putting together a big 30th bday bash. I was happy to have the opportunity to make this cake. It was fun, graphic & came together smoothly!

This cake was vanilla with strawberry filling and french vanilla buttercream for one part. The other, chocolate cake with carmel filling --I found amazing carmel filling btdubs-- and chocolate buttercream. Yum!

Here's how the cake turned out. Happy Birthday Blake!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wedding Bells: Now in ombre purple pattern!

How beautiful is this pattern? A co-worker of mine recently got married at The Venue @ Smith Brothers in downtown Columbus. (One of my fave wedding locations in town.) Her colors were purple and navy using an ombre purple in her flowers and invitations. I'd not seen this color coordination in a wedding setting previously but she executed it perfectly! The flowers and decor were so gorgeous in this brick, industrial setting. And of course the space was filled with candles. So gorg!

She also used this repeat pattern throughout her printed materials so we decided to incorporate it on the cake. Each tier is darker than the next and hand-painted. 

Her cake toppers are simple but super chic! Ordered from Etsy. They top the cake perfectly.

The flavors for this cake were almond cake and lemon, both with french vanilla buttercream. They'd requested the almond flavor be very strong. This was tricky because almond is a soft flavor. After a few trials, my solution was to bake with almond emulsion rather than almond extract. Extracts bake out slightly so the flavor is never as strong after it's baked. Emulsions don't have this side effect. They are almost a gel consistency and they provide a much stronger, purer flavor. I highly recommend them for your future baking! You can find them at the local cake supply shops or online. It was perfection!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Back At It

It's been quite a while since my last update. Time flies when you get married, get a new job, renovate a duplex and tear your tricep... What can I say?

How about this news: I'm back in the kitchen! Not as often as I used to be, mind you. I know longer work from home and my flexible schedule is not as flexible these days. But I manage to get a cake order in from time to time and I always enjoy it. It reminds me of my days at art school when I was up late working on some major project due the next day. The only difference here being that this is WAY better. Point being that it takes me back to my 'roots' a bit.

So I may not post as often but if you are looking to get a cake, cookies or some kind of sweet eat - shoot me an email! Let's chat about it. I'm always down for making you a SWEET custom treat if I can. 


Here's a cake pop wedding I did last summer. In the kitchen currently I'm whipping up a custom, ombre printing wedding cake confection. Sure to be super chic and super yummy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Year, New Sitch.

Happy New Year baking buddies!

You may have (or may not have) noticed that I've been baking, blogging and posting less these days. I have not stopped baking all together. It's just that, well... 2011 brought on a lot of newness for me to which I am still adjusting. A new marriage, a new JOB, a new kitchen,a new situation.

The past couple years I have been working from home doing graphic design. This was a great set up. It allowed me much more time to bake, decorate and play in sugar all day. (- While working hard at my REAL job, of course.) Although it was great fun and I loved the connection it was allowing me to form with you... I was getting antsy for my next career move. I missed the daily socialization and hustle and bustle of it all. So I began to look around...

Meanwhile, I got married. (Hooray!) That was fun. Aside from all the obvious newness that a new marriage brings, it also brought me a smaller kitchen. My previous kitchen was very accomodating. Both in storage and counter space. Unfortunately, my current accommodations do not allow for such luxuries. We're living in the Short North which for you locals, you understand it's a FUN place. But we're paying for location. Not space. Bummer. It still works. It just involves much more strategic baking, as most of my tools are in storage. (Yea, it stinks.) Ah, city living!

Fast forward to a newly set up apartment. All boxes finally put away, I'm trying to imagine future baking scenarios. I get a call. "You have an interview. Today. In two hours.(With a very reputable company.)"

#$!@@!. Where did I put EVERYTHING??! A quick trip to target, Old Navy, my storage unit and suddenly I find myself sitting in a glass conference room in a very pretty, sleek office.(Cough, Cough, DC3, Cough, Cough) 

I got the job. I got the job? I got the job! WOooo HOooo! That was a good day.

This brings me to present day. 2012. Since no longer working at home, I have tried to balance baking and work. It has been difficult. The luxury of flexibility is something I no longer have. For this reason, I want to let you know that I have to bake less. I've already come into a disappointing situation where I had to let a customer down and I don't want to do it again. So, I will have to be much more selective with the cakes I commit to. (For example, I have a wedding cake order coming up in June for which I will post pics and blog about.)  

The good news (aside from the fact that I have a great new job, a great new husband and a happy home)? I also have a friend who is a PHENOMENAL baker and she's looking to expand herself. This is not the end but the first chapter. Stay tuned friends. You'll be meeting her very soon. :)

Until then, enjoy some personal highlights of mine from 2011. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Hot Tip 2 & 3: Last minute DIY!

Can you believe it's the week before Christmas? Holy cow! If you're anything like me, this week you're scrambling... But still interested in doing everything as unique as creatively possible.

If that's the case, I've pulled together some great inspiration to share with you via Pinterest (@cfg86)...
Using scrapbooking paper to cut out the intials of the person receiving the gift is a great way to add color, texture, print and interest to your presents. 
Stamping is a great thing to do all year around. You could stamp on images, or any message with various letters.
Every store always has so many bows, snowflakes and other fun, graphic shapes. This is a nice variation on the expected gift bow. (And, they can save it for next year!)
Another great idea: Cut outs. Either doilies or felt cut outs... I know I've passed by many shapes like this at the craft store that could be applied toward some nice gift-wrapping.
Ok, to those of you out there who are crafty, but nearly broke or just on a tight budget AND tight on time... this is truly the perfect gift. You can choose from a million cute (and cheap) plates and any Home Goods store and make it look like a million bucks.

If you're planning on making a plate purely for decoration, I'd use an acrylic paint pen (found at Joanns). If you expect it to get used, I'd use the porcelaine paint pen seen above. Found at Joanns or
I made this gifts a few years back for my parents. I did a series of plates and drew on each house they've lived in since they've been married. They are now hung on display in their kitchen.

Other ideas: Monogram, graphic print, bird, quote... whatever comes to mind. But it's a great gift for a small price.

And now for another great, quick Holiday Recipe:
  • Brownies (by box or by hand - but it's the holidays, you're busy enough as it is... go for the box!)
  • A bag of white chocolate chips (exact amount is up to you and your preference.)
  • Peppermint sticks crushed OR crushed peppermint sprinkles (found at some grocery stores or at Joanns)
How to make:
  • Make your brownies. Meanwhile, soften or warm your white chocolate chips. 
  • The second you bring them out of the oven, sprinkle your white chocolate chips over top of the brownies. The chocolate will quickly start to melt. Just spread around gently with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle crushed peppermint over top.
  • Let chill for a couple of hours before cutting up.