Peace

Use edible paper, an airbrush and some basic piping and you can make this eye popping peace sign cake!

Makenzie loves the peace sign, making this a perfect birthday cake choice. She loves all colors and especially adores chocolate! This cake is filled with cookies and cream mousse for fabulous flavor.

Ready to make your peace sign cake? This cake is a 9″ round cake, the perfect size for working with edible paper. First, bake your favorite cake. Split and fill the cake with your desired filling. I enjoy having 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of filling. This means you will split one layer in half and just level the 2nd layer. First, place one of your split layers down on the board, then fill with about 1 cup of filling. Lay your full cake layer down and top with filling. Finish by topping with the last half layer and crumb frosting the cake. Use your favorite frosting to frost the cake and then you are ready to make the peace sign. Make sure to keep the top of the cake frosted in white, but the sides may be any flavor or color you like. We’ll pipe the top color on the cake.

  1. First you can either draw your own peace sign or look at clip art for your image. Print or draw the image to a size that will fully cover a 9″ round cake.
  2. Now, you will cut out your peace sign that is printed on regular paper. Lay the cut out peace sign on top of your edible paper and carefully cut through both the paper and backing. Get your airbrush out and plugged in.
  3. Bring your blank peace sign on edible paper over to your airbrush workstation. Fill your airbrush with your first color. I find that starting with the lightest color and working to the darkest color works best. Spray some of your peace sign with your lightest color. Clean your airbrush. Repeat with each color until your entire peace sign is filled in with your desired colors.
  4. Gently peel the backing off your peace sign and lay the image on your frosted cake. I find that putting the image in the freezer for 30 seconds allows it to peel more easily.
  5. Now it is time to complete your embellishment. Using a #16 star tip, pipe little stars in the open spaces on the top of the cake. Then, switch to a #21 star tip and pipe a shell border around the top. For the bottom of the cake, keep your #21 tip but pipe big round swirls and top with a large sprinkle.

Angry Bird Cupcake Toppers

The Angry Bird phase has lasted almost a year in our house. Xander still loves them, and birthday time is upon us! His request; Angry Bird cupcake toppers on lemon cupcakes with lemon filling and buttercream frosting.

Want to make your own Angry Bird cupcake toppers? First, decide which Angry Birds you’d like to have. Bake your cupcakes and begin. *Note if you know ahead of time that you need to make these, you may make them and store them in an airtight container for a month or longer.

  1. If you have angry bird stuffed animals, grab the ones that you want to make and bring them to your work space.
  2. Get all your materials ready; fondant, edible markers, sugar glue, gumpaste tools, roulepat mat, and a rolling pin.
  3. Now begin by forming the body of one color bird. Add features, working quickly so that the fondant add ons adhere well. If you need to you may use sugar glue or water to join pieces.
  4. Repeat until you have all the birds you need.

 

Lions, Monkeys, and Alligators, Oh My!

Cupcakes with a mini cake for the birthday child are a fun way to celebrate a birthday. They are even better when they are topped with some great sculpted animals!

Sophia is an alligator girl, and also wanted some lions and monkeys for her cupcakes. As is often the case, I hadn’t made alligators or lions before. Monkeys have been very popular lately, so I have some experience with them. For this post, I’m focusing on the alligator, Sophia’s favorite.

Ready to sculpt lions, monkeys and alligators? They will keep for quite some time in an airtight container, so you may make them whenever you like. Make sure you have designed your plan for your cupcakes and cakes if you make them ahead. This way, you won’t find yourself rushing to make more at the last minute. Before you begin your sculpting, you’ll want to have a knife and a beading tool, several colors of fondant, and some edible markers. You might also find it helpful to have a book for sculpting out of clay. It doesn’t need to have anything particular for the animals you are doing, but some basic technique pictures to look at can be a nice help. For the alligator, I’ve shown the steps in pictures and given written directions below the images.

  1. First you’ll roll out the alligator heads from green fondant. Start with round balls and then slightly elongate them.
  2. Use small pieces of white fondant to make eyes. Roll into round balls and place on the alligator heads. Allow to dry slightly and then use an edible marker to draw in the pupils. If you don’t have a marker, use a small piece of black fondant for the pupil.
  3. It is time to give your alligators a body. Use a larger piece of fondant and roll it out into an oblong shape. Angle it slightly and make it slimmer on the back to look like a tail. Then, use petal tip #102 to make scales on the back of the alligator.
  4. Roll out four legs for your alligator and attach them to the completed body. Use a small beading tool or knife to mark toes on the feet. Roll out very small balls of green fondant for the nose. Use your beading tool to make a little circle in the center of each nostril.
  5. If you have made your cupcakes, cover some of them using a leaf tip of your choice to give them a bit of a jungle feel. Place the lions and monkeys and alligators on the cupcakes. For the small round cake for the birthday child, cover it with swirls of blue frosting to look like water. Edge the bottom of the cake with your leaf border and cut out several fondant flowers. Top with 2 alligators to look like they are swimming in the water.

 

Cars Cake

The movie Cars and Cars 2 is very popular with young boys. I’ve made several Lightning McQueen cakes over the years, so I was really excited when Jonathan’s mom wanted a more general Cars cake. It gave me the the opportunity to do something a little bit different.

Are you interested in making your own Cars cake? It is really useful to sketch a design. Your design conveys your ideas to your customer but it is also great for honing down the steps that you’ll need to follow. I was thrilled when Sandy liked my very first idea! She was very forgiving of my rough sketch, somehow trusting that it would look fantastic in frosting.

At this point I knew that the Piston Cup would require an airbrush and gumpaste with some support. I also realized that I could either model cars or have the family buy cars as a birthday present for Jonathan.

I have the steps shown in pictures, with all the directions written below the pictures. It is a lot of fun to make!

Before you begin decorating you’ll need to bake your favorite cake recipe. This cake is a 10″ cake, so make sure to properly size your recipe to make enough batter for the pans. Prepare your frosting and then fill and crumb coat the cake. I used sky blue as a base coat for the cake after the crumb coating layer.  After you apply your base coat of frosting to your cake it is time to start decorating!

 

  1. You’ll need a 10″ parchment round. Roll out black fondant to completely cover the 10″ parchment round. Then, cut away the middle of the circle so that you are left with a road for the top of the cake. Transfer this parchment paper and fondant to a rimless baking sheet. Freeze for 5 to 10 minutes. After the time in the freezer, remove the fondant carefully from the parchment paper. It will be cold and easy to transfer. Gently lay on top of your frosted cake.**I just figured out this technique with this cake. In the past I’ve tried to make the top fondant surface a day or two in advance. It works well, but sometimes the top will crack when you are transferring. I didn’t want to risk cracking the road the cars would drive on!
  2. Begin adornments. For the Jonathan piece you’ll need red and gray fondant, silver luster dust and a black edible marker. Roll out your gray fondant into a rope and gently form into a V shape. Roll your red fondant out and cut with a knife. Using a dry watercolor brush, use the silver luster dust to gently paint the gray fondant. Now write the name of the birthday party child on the red fondant. Lay the red fondant on top of the silver and set aside.
  3. Begin the Piston Cup. You’ll need a circle cutter, a lily flower former, a drinking straw and a small sharp knife. First roll out a thick base of colored gumpaste and use a circle cutter to cut it out. Next, cut your drinking straw to the size you wish, about 2 inches and wrap around the straw. Roll this until it is thick enough and feel sturdy taking care to leave about 1/4 inch of exposed straw on the top and bottom. Stick the pillar part into the base. Now, roll the gumpaste a bit thinner for the cup. Wrap around a lily former to dry and use a circle cutter to cut off excess. Secure the cup to the base, using keeping the lily former until it hardens just a little bit. Next cut out “wings” for the cup and attach them to the sides. Allow to dry until hardened. Use an airbrush, gold leaf mixed with spirits, or a spray can to paint the Piston Cup with edible gold. Allow to dry.
  4. Now it is time to make the fun bottom border. Simply roll out white and black fondant and cut into small squares. Alternate the squares around the bottom of the cake. Use a flower cutter to cut out clouds. You will need your knife to cut out carefully around. You may also use frosting for your clouds. Place your center emblem on the cake.
  5. Finish embellishment. Using a grass tip, frost the center and sides of the road to look like grass. Add a few bits of grass around the bottom as well. Use white fondant to form the white stripes in the road and place the Cars on the road with sugar glue or frosting. Sandy and I chose real cars for Jonathan. It was a nice birthday present for him, and well let’s be honest, it saved me from sculpting 6 realistic looking miniature cars! Secure the Piston Cup to the cake. You may simply place it on top, or if you have a skinnier straw or skewer you can run that through the center of the support straw. I did the latter and it remained well secured to the cake on a 30 minute delivery drive.

Sweet 16 Cake

Sweet 16 birthday parties are always so much fun to bake for. One of my baking highlights this Spring was the opportunity to bake a tiered cake for Autumn.

The cake was inspired by 3 other cake designs that Autumn’s mother sent to me. It was fun to take what I considered to be the most interesting parts of each cake to arrive at something perfectly customized for Autumn.

Making the Cake

Once you have a nice drawing of your final plan (and hopefully a great image in your head), it is time to bake the cake. I suggest you bake the cake and crumb coat each tier the day before you final frost and tier it. This cake is a 10″, 8″and 6″ combination. Bake each cake, fill, and frost with a crumb coat. Each cake should be on its own cardboard round trimmed to the size of the cake. Store them in the fridge overnight. Continue reading