Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Yoda Cake!

So, my son wanted a standing Yoda cake, and my husband was right on board with that idea. He's brilliant with design and sculpting, so he took this cake on with no complaints!! We baked 3 6-inch x 3 inch cakes first. My husband used a piece of pipe and a plastic plate (used for socket covers, found at Lowe's) to make a reinforcement piece for the center. He glued the plastic pipe to the plate (plate was for support on bottom) He cut a circle in the middle of each cake, then placed each cake over the pipe, with frosting in between the layers. About 2 inches of pipe was left sticking out (for the head, of course!)Next, he did a coat of frosting over the body and it was time to dress Yoda! He cut a large rectangle of dark brown fondant (under coat), two large pieces of tan fondant for his robe, green fondant for one of the hands and the feet (the feet were made of rice krispie treats)

Yoda's head was formed from rice batch was enough...and made a hole in the bottom to fit over the end of the pipe sticking up from the body. He molded the head, covered with wax paper, and placed in the freezer. Once cooled, he put a layer of frosting over the head, then covered with green fondant and molded the face. Not easy!!! For the ears, he used fondant mixed with gum paste, molded then frozen...but they were very uncooperative and collapsed. He made cardboard ears, instead, and covered with fondant. He waited until right before the party to put the head on top of the body and to add the ears! At the last minute, the ears kept sagging, so he inserted pieces of wire hanger on each side of the head and hooked the ears on....hey...whatever works, right??

To finish off Yoda, he used a dowel covered with brown fondant for a walking stick and a green light saber. This was a tough cake...lots of detail...and many lessons learned. If we'd thought about it, we should have dried the head in front of a box fan...instead we kept putting it in the freezer, so he would "sweat" when we brought him out. As you can see, he did some time in front of the fan, but only after we got online and tried to figure out how to dry out the fondant!! (about 2 hours...should have been continuous!) If anyone has ideas about the ears, let us know!!! But regardless...our son loved his cake and loved eating the "brains" out of his head! He didn't even want the cake part...he just wanted Yoda's rice krispie head!!!

Crazy Cake!

My niece is a very 'colorful', unique little girl. She wanted a polka dotted cake with flowers and I made a cake that was as bright and vibrant as she is!!! The cakes were fudge marble and white, with buttercream frosting, fondant polka dots, butterflies, and flowers. I added little plastic, spiral picks at the top, with party hats and a happy birthday note! My husband commented that the colors were so bright, it looked like it was made of playdough!!

Microphone Cake

I made this cake for my sweet niece who wanted an American Idol, music-themed microphone cake! She chose the colors for the microphone all by herself! The cake was fudge marble with buttercream frosting...I added music note cupcakes, a black fondant cord, and some flair to make her feel like the superstar she is!!

Pirate Ship Cake

My nephew wanted a pirate ship cake for his birthday and in order to do a reasonably good job, I checked out some other pirate ship cakes online. I found pictures, but not many instructions to go along with the pics. So I'm posting a few of the pics from the process and step-by-step instructions to help anyone who's interested! My first attempt at this cake was a complete failure, as I blogged a few days ago! This time was great...while it takes time to make the details, it wasn't a difficult cake to build and I really enjoyed myself!

First, I baked a 1/2 sheet cake. I find my cakes come out of the pan better if I line the bottom with wax paper intstead of just greasing and may cause more crumbs, but my cakes don't fall apart so easily!

Next, I cut the cake into 3 equal sections and stacked two of the sections, one on top of the other with frosting in the middle. The third section, I also cut into three equal sections. On one end (the stern, or back end) I stacked two of the pieces with frosting in between. At this point I cut two dowel rods the same height as the stern, and inserted them an about an inch or two from each side, towards the center, to give support. On the other end of the boat, I added the last piece, frosting in between the layers, to make the bow of the boat. To make the front (bow) pointed, I cut each side at a slight angle...I did'nt take too much off the sides for fear it would collapse!!! I also added a dowel to this end for support.

This leaves a nice deck area in the center. Next, I crumb coated the entire cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. For anyone who uses the Wilton buttercream recipe (1 stick butter, 1/2 cup Crisco, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 4 cups powdered sugar, 2 TBL milk), just add 3 oz. of melted bakers semi-sweet chocolate and 1-2 extra TBL of's so yummy! For this cake I used a double batch of frosting, you may want to triple it just to be safe! Once I did one good crumb coat, I went over it again with another layer and put it in the fridge to cool.

Once it was cooled overnight, it was ready to decorate! I used a toothpick to make the long wooden planks all over the boat...and then I smoothed it over with a knife dipped in hot water. It made it look "old"!! I used short pieces of straw and dowel rods covered with brown fondant to make the railings around the bow and the stern. I rolled black fondant into small cannon balls to put on the deck. The three cannons on the side were as follows: I made three black fondant squares and attached them to the side of the ship with corn syrup. Then I used a dowel to put a hole in the middle of each. I cut 3 dowels about 2-3 inches long, covered half of each with black fondant, and inserted the other end into the middle of the black squares...voila! Cannons! I decorated the boat with red buttercream frosting, added 2 little pirates, used blue and white buttercream to make the water and FINALLY...I added the sails! I just printed a skull/crossbones from the computer for one smaller sail, then "Happy Birthday Tyler" for the other, larger sail. I used a hole punch on each end and inserted a dowel through.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It happens to the best of us...

So, I'm in the process of creating 4 cakes for the weekend...a layered "girlie" cake, a giant microphone, a pirate ship, and Yoda. Last night I spent time frosting the layered cakes so they would have time to crust over a bit before decorating, then I dove into the pirate ship! Can you say "Cake-tastrophe"?? I built it according to the directions I found online, but the cake was too moist from the get-go (maybe underbaked?), so it kept falling apart. And sadly, at 2:00 AM, I had to throw in the towel when the whole back-side of the ship collapsed! Aaaaagh! I was more tired than upset, really, and I had been eating my mistakes all evening so I was nursing a MAJOR sugar-headache! Lesson learned, attention to the cake...if it seems too mushy, it's probably going to 'act out' and be extremely uncooperative. Unfortunately, you can't discipline cake. But, these disasters happen to all of us and it helps us to become better at what we love to do. At least I have until Saturday to get this fixed!! :)

My next post will (hopefully) show the step-by-step instructions of the pirate ship cake with pictures! I need to shake it off and try again!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Baby Cupcakes!

These are some of my favorites to make...the babies are made of MM fondant. It's fun to customize baby blankets for different showers!!

Daphne's Mermaid Cake

This was one of my first theme cakes for my niece...I used regular buttercream frosting, the water is blue jello with Swedish fish, the rock was made from a brownie baked in a small bowl. I took the legs off a Barbie (what fun!) and after streaking her hair and decorating her face, I put her into the rock and made the mermaid tail from frosting. The sand was made from crushed graham crackers and the shells were MM fondant

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