Making Angry Birds

My son is obsessed with Angry Birds! He has a large collection of stuffed animal friends, many painted rocks from his grandmother, a water bottle and more. It was only a matter of time before he asked for an Angry Bird party!


He arranged his bedroom, created a guest list and begged to have a piñata. Then, he arrived with fistful of his saved allowance money, asking to “order a cookie cake” for his friends. Of course I didn’t take his money, but he did end up with a delicious cookie cake!

The Angry Birds are fun to make, and look great on top of any edible concoction.

Want to make your own Angry Bird cookie cake? First, decide which Angry Birds you’d like to have on the cake. Then, make your cookie cake. You’ll need several colors of fondant and a few good knives. Now you are ready to begin:

  1. Print out (or draw) images of the Angry Birds you want to create. Make sure they are all roughly the same size. Cut the paper shapes and lay out parchment paper and/or a roulepat mat.
  2. Lay the angry bird cut-out on top of the fondant and gently cut out the base shape with a clean sharp knife.
  3. Now that your base shapes are made, cut the features (beaks, eyes, etc) from the paper. Use these as templates to make the features. Add features one by one to your birds. To give the eyes dimension, make them rounded instead of flat.
  4. Add features with other colors of fondant, black fondant, edible markers and/or paint brushed food coloring.* I did the tails with paint-brushed food coloring, and used edible markers for tracing the edges of beaks.



Making Sugared Flowers

I needed fresh purple flowers for a recent cake. We planned on fresh lavender but it wasn’t available this time of year. Time for plan B; sugared flowers!

First, it is important to know which flowers are edible. Make sure to look for flowers grown without pesticides if your guests will consume these flowers. Arm yourself with plenty of patience and pick a great podcast to listen to as you work. To get enough flowers for a cake, plan on 2-3 hours for sugaring.

I selected pansies because of their color and size. Starting with a small flower would give lots of opportunity for practice! I have very little patience so I set this project up in my kitchen and did 4-6 flowers at a time over a couple of days. They were beautiful, not that hard to make and actually fun! Watching this delicate flower that would wilt on a cake in less than an hour turn into something that can be stored for up to a year was incredible.

When you are ready to try sugaring flowers, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. You’ll need a large cooling rack with waxed paper on it, a small bowl, one egg white, a delicate watercolor paintbrush, super fine sugar, a large bowl and a small sifter/strainer. Don’t forget to have flowers ready.
  2. Pluck your flowers off the plant, leaving a large chunk of stem for holding. Wash the flower to remove pollen. *many sources tell you to remove the stem completely at this point and use tweezers to hold the flower. I tried this for the first 3 flowers and didn’t like the method. Keeping the stem on for now makes it easier to paint the surface. Then removed the stem with scissors after the flowers are dry.
  3. Whisk your egg white in the small bowl.
  4. Have your sugar ready to put into the sifter/strainer. You’ll shake this over the flower petals. *If you can’t find superfine sugar, you may use a food processor or blender to make granulated sugar more fine.
  5. Hold your flower and gently paint every surface lightly with the whipped egg white. Hold the flower over the large bowl and lightly sift sugar onto the flower. You want to cover the entire flower. Then place on the prepared cooling rack to dry. *As you use up your sugar sifting it over the flowers, collect it in the large bowl and re-use. The sifter will catch any lumps that come from egg whites. Just discard this. 1/2 cup sugar will make an entire tray of pansies.
  6. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Marvel at your AMAZING flowers!

With this cupcake, I thee wed …

I have made many cakes and cupcakes for many different occasions, but I just had to share this specific occasion with you!

A young man ordered a dozen cupcakes to be delivered to a bed and breakfast. He was quite specific about the date and time, and then he told me about his plan. His girlfriend had told him that when he proposed to her, she wanted to have a delicious cupcake to eat right at that moment.

Well, he found me, I made those delicious cupcakes, and brought them to the bed and breakfast before they arrived.

So, this past weekend, on a lakeside dock in the Finger Lakes of New York, an innkeeper arranged cupcakes on a cake stand, a young man proposed to his girlfriend, and a young couple enjoyed the start of a life together.

Ah, sweet.

Sculpting Owls

Cute character owls are all the rage right now. This fun owl cake for an 11 year-old girl started with her very own drawing.

Emma also sent along other pictures for inspiration, including a type of flower she liked from my cake gallery pictures.

It was so fun to make these adorable little owls for Emma’s birthday. Interested in making your own? Check out the picture tutorial and instructions below.

 

  • Start the owls
    Make a small recipe of Rice Krispie Treats. I just melt some marshmallows and butter and stir in the Rice Krispies until it is a nice consistency. Form the mixture into the shape you desire. Then allow to harden for a half hour or longer. * I didn’t add the ears at this time, just made the wobbly-looking figure.
  • Smooth & put on the first layer
    Use a new nail file dedicated just to cakes, and file the shapes until they are mostly smooth. This will make it a little easier to coat your owls with fondant. Roll out your base layer of fondant (this can be any color you have) and cover your owl with a first layer. Next, make your triangle ears from fondant and place on top of the head of the owl. Allow to dry and harden a bit. If it still looks quite bumpy, don’t worry: you will cover these bumps with your final layer of fondant.
  • Cover with a final fondant layer
    Roll out your final layer of fondant and carefully drape it over your primed owl. It will take a bit of time to smooth this layer out over the ears and get things very smooth. Be patient and carefully smooth out all the surfaces.
  • Embellish
    Use other colors to add features. This is where the fun comes in, making your owls look exactly as you wish. Make sure to affix each piece of fondant very carefully. If you need to use water to make things stick, be very careful to avoid getting water spots on the fondant. Water dries shiny on the otherwise matte finish and will stick out as a mistake.
  • Add feet & wings
    Many of the fun little owls out there don’t have feet. Emma’s owl drawing had feet and she wanted to make sure that her cake owls had feet. Cut out some feet with brown or chocolate fondant and place the owls on top of the feet. For wings, cut out oval shapes and stretch them a bit so that they are a little irregular. Use a knife to make them look more like feathers.

Ballet Slipper Cake

baileyballet

Ballet slippers are the perfect adornment for a ballet-themed party. I had a vision of beautiful white glittery ballet shoes, and set about making them for Bailey’s 5th birthday party.

I included a picture tutorial below showing some of the steps (no pun intended) to make the ballet shoes. You’ll see the steps for making the complete cake below the image. If you give it a try, let me know and share some pictures: I’d love to see how your ballet shoes come out! Have plenty of gum paste on hand. I have to be honest: before my successful pair, I had one very odd looking first attempt! I was glad to have the extra gum paste for a second take!

How to make a ballet slipper cake:

  • Start the Ballet Slippers
    Use a template as a starting point or design your own.
  • Roll & Cut
    Using a roulepat mat or parchment paper, roll out your gum paste and cut your ballet slipper top and sole. Take your pieces and work them together to form the ballet slipper. This part is the trial and error part. I had my daughter’s ballet slipper to look at and just kept working with it until it was realistic.
  • Glitter
    When your shoe is fully formed, brush it lightly with water and sprinkle fine sugar on the top. I used organic sugar for a slightly off-white look. It will not stick on the dry surfaces. Wait until fully dry and then shake off the excess sugar.
  • Bows
    Roll out your gum paste and cut into thin strips. Form a bow out of a strip. Then take a second strip and make a little ribbon rose. Place both the bow and the ribbon rose on the ballet slipper. Allow the entire shoe to dry for at least two days before placing on your cake. (Repeat steps 2-4 for your 2nd ballet slipper, flipping the pieces)
  • Prepare Cakes
    These slippers sit on top of a 10″ round chocolate cake. Bake your favorite chocolate cake recipe and allow the cakes to cool. Split one cake into two layers, and fill with vanilla mousse frosting. Crumb coat with buttercream and chill until you are ready to decorate.
  • Frosting
    Tint icing pink. Frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula. Use a 104 tip and prepare a bag. Position the prepared cake on a turntable and begin making ruffles down the side of the cake. Use a back and forth motion from top to bottom and then turn the cake slightly and repeat.
  • Finish
    Place the ballet shoes on top of the cake. Add any writing or additional adornment. To make the cake look just like the picture, roll out white fondant to make a ruffle to go around the bottom. Place it on the cake and then use a #8 tip to pipe a bead border around it with white buttercream.