Monday, February 26, 2018

stuff I haven't posted: B 10th birthday monster cake

I regret not taking more pictures of this cake because it was so cute and so much fun to make! It's a not-too-scary-super-cute-fuzzy monster for my son's 10th birthday party. His birthday is in October, and he had a Halloween/monster-themed party. I made a pretty tall round, 8" cake with a dome cake on top to make the shape of the monster. The dome was baked in a bowl with approximately the same diameter as the cake pan. I was able to carve the cake slightly and fill in the rest with frosting. As I assembled it, I included a cardboard round about halfway down for added support. I crumb coated it, piped the frosting, and then layered the fondant mouth, eyes, and horns over the frosting. How cute are those horns? I just love the turquoise with the green and orange!

stuff I haven't posted: pokemon cake

For a while there, every kid I knew, including my own (particularly the younger one), was obsessed with Pokemon Go. I still don't totally understand it, but I get that they were all crazed about it. For his 7th birthday, this little guy wanted a Pokemon arena cake. (I think they topped it with some actual Pokemon characters.) My goal was just to keep the shape and size of the other elements as accurate as possible. I added the birthday boy's name in the Pokemon font and colors for an extra fun touch.

stuff I haven't posted: rachael's baby shower

There is not much cuter than a sweet baby shower cake. I've done several cakes with clotheslines filled with onesies, edged with fondant buttons. This cake, for a new baby girl, was a similar idea, but instead of baby clothes, I made cute baby-themed fondant elements - a bottle, tiny shoes, a pram, a rattle, a onesie, and some darling animals. I had a lot of free reign to design the cake - it just needed to feature a lot of pink - so I stayed with a classic pink, gray and white palette and had fun making the ombre frosting with deep pink, light pink and white.

stuff I haven't posted: maya's 12th birthday

You know you're belated when you're posting about the kid's 12th birthday cupcakes and she's nearly 14. Oops! These cupcakes were for one of Bug's closest friends' birthday party. They were very simple vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, but I had fun playing with embossing fondant, which I've only done once before.

stuff I haven't posted: hamantaschen

In honor of Purim this week, here is a picture of the hamantaschen I made three years ago. I would like to tell you what flavors they were, but I can't be sure. The ones in the front are apricot/chocolate chip and raspberry/chocolate chip. The others are probably cherry and I don't know what else.

I have a love-hate relationship with hamantaschen. They are one thing I really don't like to bake myself because I never can decide if I want a yeasted dough or a sugar cookie dough. I have tried several recipes of both and never liked any of them. That said, I do enjoy a good hamantaschen made by someone else, particularly if it's got a good filling-to-cookie ratio, so feel free to send one my way!

Chag purim sameach!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

stuff I haven't posted: puff pastry caramelized onion tarts

These were a delicious treat for a party! It takes a while to caramelize onions, but you can basically leave them alone and cook them low and slow for a long time with just the occasional stir. These little triangle-shaped pastry tartlets also had bits of apple, thyme, and either fontina or gruyere. So tasty and rich!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

harper's first birthday

Turning one is a big deal, and this cutie's parents helped her celebrate with a big party with family and play group friends.

The cake was funfetti with vanilla frosting and pink, white, and orange accents to complement the party colors.

It was fun making bunting and modern/abstract flowers from fondant.

There was a cupcake just for the birthday girl to do with as she pleased.

cookies for turning one

These number 1 cookies were cute and simple party favors for a sweet girl's first birthday party. Lemon-vanilla sugar cookies with pink royal icing, dressed up just a touch with a deep pink heart.

bridging from juniors to cadettes

A simple, festive chocolate cake for a Girl Scout troop bridging from Juniors to Cadettes. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, the Cadette symbol, and sprinkles. Delicious and an excellent accomplishment by a talented group of girls!

(And yes, it's not in focus. Not one of the pictures I took was, apparently, but I didn't want that to stop me from marking the occasion.)

indian elephant cake

The biggest problem with posting pictures of your daughter's 12th birthday cake 9 months late is realizing you never actually posted pictures of her 11th birthday cake.

For her 11th birthday, she requested an Indian-themed party. We dressed in Indian clothes - some borrowed, some purchased for a Bollywood-themed auction a few years ago - and draped the girls in skirts, scarves and bangle bracelets. We did henna tattoos on hands and feet. We served Indian food. And I made a cake with brightly colored frosting and a bedecked elephant. She claims it was her favorite cake that I've made her. And I have to say, I loved how the elephant came out. It was so much fun making little fondant adornments.

My favorite things on the elephant are her blanket and her wrinkled skin. Please don't fault me if this elephant doesn't look authentically Indian. I think the African elephants' ears are shaped like Africa, so hopefully this one is close enough.

I love the technique of smearing the frosting together to blend the colors. It's fun and it looks cool. Plus it comes out different each time.

Little fondant flowers.

sprinkle velvet cake

My girl likes to remind me that New Year's Day has another important meaning: it's her 3/4 birthday. Yep. She is possibly the only person in the world to mark that occasion, but she talks about it every year. Since we've just moved into January, I'm realizing that I'm approximately 9 months late to post her 12th birthday cake pictures. Oops. She had very specific wishes for this cake. Velvet cake (if I remember right, it was a layer of pink, which looked magenta, a layer of blue-green, and a layer of orange), fluffy vanilla frosting, sides covered in sprinkles, and a dozen frosting balloons, each in a different color. Of course, she got what she requested, plus an extra balloon to grow on.

Covering the sides with sprinkles had an interesting effect of making the frosting fall off in large clumps as I cut the cake. I'm not sure why, but it didn't seem to affect anyone's enjoyment.

I was asked to document the different frosting colors.

I know it's belated, but happy 12th birthday, Bug! I love you so!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

citizenship cupcakes

Every year, I donate a gift certificate for baked goods to my son's school auction. This year's winner called me up last weekend and asked for mini chocolate cupcakes to celebrate her becoming a US citizen. I was so touched and excited to help her celebrate. I've had a few good friends become citizens in the last number of years, and I've always been taken by how emotional the process is. I hope she had a wonderful celebration with her friends and family, and I hope these shimmery red, white and blue star cupcakes helped make it sweeter.

cakes for a favorite client

Still catching up... Here are a couple of cakes I did for one of my favorite clients. She has three little guys, so there are lots of fun opportunities to celebrate!

First was a turquoise-and-purple, Lego-themed party. I don't know if there are round Lego pieces like this (probably not), but I do love how the candy-dipped Oreos are just the right size to be the Lego studs.

Next up was a surprise birthday/baby gender reveal party with a tropical island theme. I can't get enough of making free-form fondant fish. And the octopuses! So cute. I've done a couple of similar cakes, but I never made a beach blanket and flip flops before. (Luckily my kids love cocktail umbrellas in their smoothies, so we always have them on hand.) It's also super fun to mix the shades of blue and white frosting to make waves. Not only is it a fun and easy way to frost, it gives the cake a swirly sense of motion that I like.

Then the birthday girl had her first communion. I don't know much about the symbols involved, but luckily, I was given very explicit instructions about what the cake should feature. A chalice, host, and dove; mostly white with just a hint of blue accents.

And finally, little brother had a Harry Potter party with his own book of magic spells.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

boy-o birthdays 8 and 9

I'm way, way behind on posting... such that Boy-o is now 9 1/2 and I haven't posted pictures from his 8th birthday or 9th birthday. Ouch.

For his 8th birthday, we had a party at a local golf-n-stuff place. He was super into flag football, so we had a football cake. (He seems to be super into flag football every fall, and then forget about it for approximately nine months.)

If I knew anything about football, I'd say something clever about the blue guy who seems very intent on this play. But I don't even know what position that's supposed to be. Or, for that matter, why there are red and blue guys on both sides.

This past year, he wanted to make a crazy candy cake, and he wanted to decorate it himself. We did blobs of colored frosting swirled all over the cake, and then he and his sister went nuts with every kind of candy they could get their hands on. You can see there is some method to the madness, but it was definitely a sugar fest. (And you should have heard the ruckus of all those 9-year-old boys, hopped up on sugar. Cue the children wrestling on my bed.)

Happy two years of birthdays, Boy-o!