Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fathers Day Cookies

I have wanted to venture into cookie decorating a bit more but can never really think of a reason to make that many cookies when it is just Justin and I that would eat them. So, since we teach a class of young kids in church I thought I would make them some cookies for their dads for Fathers Day, little did I know everyone would make cookies for the dads but oh well. They are just a basic sugar cookie hand cut into a tie pattern (I really need to get some cookie cutters or learn how to make my own) and decorated with royal icing. One thing I learned is no matter how fast I think things will go I am wrong, it will take a LOT longer. I stayed up till about 2am decorating these little things but I think they turned out really well and the cookies are super soft which is always a big plus. I did decide that the stripe pattern looked better than the supposed to be flowers turned dots so that is why there are more of those in the group pic. Sorry the bottom pic is sideways but you get the idea.

Monday, June 22, 2009


When my sis in-law Brit got married she asked me if I would do her cake and I was super excited to be able to do it. She didn't have a whole lot of requests for what it should look like other than she wanted it to be white on white and she did like the cakes that were square and round stacked so I took that and came up with something I was hoping would work. I was so nervous that she would hate what I came up with I made sure that I called and let her know the basics of what it was going to look like so she wouldn't be disappointed on her wedding day. Her cake was a 3 tiered chocolate cake with a plain buttercream filling and then covered in a marshmallow fondant. The middle tier had small royal icing hearts piped on and the ascending spray of calla lilies were hand made out of gumpaste and painted in a shimmer pearl dust. I had to travel about 20 minutes to the reception area with this cake and I had all the flowers in the back of the car not realizing that the road was relatively bumpy and they are all hooked on wires that bounce around and made the flowers bang together. I figured out what was going on about 2 minutes before I got there and already had plans to run to a craft store if needed to get some fake flowers. Thankfully gumpaste is not quite as fragile as I expected and the cake and flowers all made it looking great so that I could hurry and put it all together.


When my aunt Amy got married it was a pretty small affair for just close friends and family. They both had been married before and didn't want to spend a lot of money but still wanted a celebration for their family. I asked her if I could do her cake which would help us both out since I wanted to build up my portfolio a bit and I could do it cheaply for her. She didn't really have any requests as to what it should look like so I came up with a design using her colors of black and white. The cake was a 2 tier devils chocolate cake with a strawberry filling and a marshmallow fondant with buttercream underneath. The flowers were hand made roses and calla lilies out of gumpaste and painted with a glitter pearl dust and a little color was added with some other type of dust (I can't really remember what kind). I think the cake turned out really well but I still need to figure out how to make the middle where all the fondant pieces come together look a little nicer. For this cake I just covered that spot with flowers.


When Chelsea got married she knew she wanted something a little less than traditional for her wedding cake which made me very excited since I like to try new things. We looked and looked at pictures of cakes until she found one that she liked from Wedding Cakes by Dawna that fit the style she was looking for. The cake ended up being a 4 tiered chocolate cake with a chocolate bavarian cream filling and covered in alternating chocolate and regular marshmallow fondant with chocolate and teal colored buttercream underneath as well as used for dots in the decor of the cake. The bottom 2 tiers were styrofoam.
This was the 4th wedding for my family in a period of about 3 years so we are pretty much becoming pros at the wedding scene. My sister Mandy made some very pretty earrings for all the girls in the family and did such a great job. She is actually going to set up a shop on etsy and I will let you know when and where to find those, her stuff is really good.


While in Idaho I was talking to a lady in church who was telling me that her daughter was asking for a pink cake for her birthday and she wanted to do something fun but didn't know what to do. By the end of us talking I had come up with making a pink purse cake since there was some mention of purses in the conversation. I was explaining to her how to make it and instead she just asked me if I could do it for her so of course I agreed. It was my first shaped cake so that was pretty exciting. The cake is a chocolate cake with a buttercream filling and a marshmallow fondant. The shoe and details of the purse are made with chocolate marshmallow fondant with some gumpaste added so that they would harden and hold their shape. I learned a lot with this cake as well about the thickness of the fondant when putting it on a shaped cake. It probably wouldn't hurt to add a little gumpaste to all the fondant before putting it on so it doesn't sag. By the time I was able to deliver the cake the buttercream had sagged a little but it actually made it look a little more realistic so it worked and I didn't have to redo it.


When my friend Sheila got married I was lucky enough to make her cake. She just wanted a very simple dot pattern (the dots were done in buttercream) on the cake, it was very pretty. The flowers were done by a florist, I don't know who. The cake was a 3 tiered white cake with a strawberry buttercream filling, covered in a marshmallow fondant with a bit of buttercream underneath. I am always nervous when I deliver a cake but we had to travel about an hour in the middle of July to deliver this cake so I was extra nervous that the marshmallow fondant wouldn't hold up, thankfully the air conditioner worked and we made it there with no problems.


So this was the very first wedding cake I ever made. It is a 4 tiered white cake with a chocolate bavarian cream filling and covered in a chocolate marshmallow fondant with chocolate buttercream underneath. The second and third tier are actually Styrofoam so that my mom didn't end up having tons of extra cake left over after the wedding.
I was surprised that Mandy let me do her cake considering I had never done a wedding cake before but I was very excited and learned a lot while making it. I did learn the importance of dutch process cocoa since my fondant wasn't quite as dark as we were hoping but it still looked really good. It is also the first time I put flowers onto a cake, that is was almost more nerveracking than making the cake. All in all I was pleased with how it turned out.