Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mrs. Potato Head

So, I thought that I was ready to post the Curious George cake, but I have since discovered that I skipped 4 cakes that I made before the last one I posted.  Oops.  That's what happens when you get so far behind . . . .

My niece Chloe was born in the month of December.  As all you December babies are aware, sometimes this means her birthday gets celebrated in a completely different month.  If I remember correctly, this was the year that her baby sister arrived on New Year's Eve.  So we celebrated Chloe's third birthday in January instead.  Chloe always gives me easy ideas for her cakes and this year was no exception.  She wanted a Mrs. Potato Head cake.

I was pretty excited about making all the little elements for this cake.  However, first I had to carve the right shape for the cake itself.

As most of my sister's kids do, she requested chocolate cake (although I believe her older brother had something to do with that . . . .)

I knew I would have a lot of fondant elements, and I tried to stick with traditional potato head colors.

 I colored the fondant and then started making the pieces.  The shoes and the earrings:

The purse and the eyes (I love the eyes so much)

The lips, ears, nose, and hands:

 I thought about leaving off some of the elements and just putting them on the cakeboard as if the child had not put in all of the pieces yet.  I started with the hat.

Then added the lips.

 Then the nose, eyes, and shoes.

At this point I just decided it would look best with all of the elements on, so I added the arms, purse, ears, earrings, and a little bling for the hat.

Here's a closer look at some of the elements:

I love that purse!

And here is the star of the day, wearing her I'm the big sister shirt.

Unlike her sister Elisa, Chloe is ready to cut the cake and eat it.  We are done admiring it, just take a picture and dole it out already!

Happy third birthday Chlo Chlo!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Curiouser and Curiouser

*I wrote this two years ago and finally got caught up enough to post it!  Only two years of cakes left to post to catch up . .  . . .*

Laura [used to] work in my office.  Her niece was getting baptized and they wanted to have a cake to celebrate.  Apparently, Curious George is quite popular in their family.  So she commissioned a two-tier, yellow cake, with raspberry whipped cream filling and the theme of Curious George.

I decided to do George, sitting amongst the trees.  But you can't have a monkey without bananas!  So, first, I made some fondant bunches of bananas.  They turned out pretty darn good.

Next I made the leaves for the trees and some single bananas.  I had to make the leaves ahead of time so they would dry and harden.  That way when I put them onto the trees, they would hold their shape.

(You may notice the banana peel there)

Now, I had to make George.  I'm getting better at figures, but they still freak me out and I'm not great with the balance.  I didn't take any pictures while I was making him, but I do have pictures of the final product.

I put George on a styrofoam circle, on top of some parchment paper.  This way, if you need to use toothpicks in the bottom or anything like that, you can just stick it in the styrofoam.  The Crisco can behind him is helping to make sure the body doesn't fall over.  I did use a tutorial to make the monkey.

I made the body first, then added the legs and arms.  I made the hands and feet separately and then added them to the arms and legs.  I made the head separately as well and then attached it to the body using a toothpick.  I started with the dark brown part, then added the thin layer of ivory color to the front.  Next I added the ivory colored part of the mouth which goes under the dark brown part.  Next came the nose and ears.  Finally, I added the eyes and piped on the pupils, eyebrows, and mouth.

Finally I made the banana that George is holding.  I used the calyx cutter to make the peeled banana.  It turned out so great!

What would curious George be without the man in the yellow hat?  So, as a tribute to him, a yellow fondant hat.

Now it was time to assemble the cake.  I covered both tiers with green fondant and stacked them.  Then I started adding trees and branches.  The trees are pretzels with green leaves glued on with icing.  The branches are fondant.  I also made a fondant leaf border where the two tiers connect.

I added more trees and started adding vines as well.  The yellow hat went on the top tier.

Then I added more piped leaves.  It really started to look like a jungle.

Finally, I added the bananas and a few flowers.

Meanwhile, George started to get a little tipsy.  So I propped him up with a chip clip against the crisco can and hoped that he would dry well and not fall over.

Delivery Day: I actually left work early to go to Wisconsin for a dance competition, but first I had to drop off the cake.  Fortunately, Laura lives only a few blocks away from me.  I got the cake set up and it was time to add George.

He looked fantastic!

Laura's family loved the cake.  Apparently, her husband said that my talents are being wasted, since I'm an attorney and not a professional baker.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Hunting We Will Go!

So back in October of 2015, I had just started my new job in a new town, three and a half hours away from everyone who knew me.  So of course, I knew I had to show everyone what I could do, so they would want to buy cakes from me!

My co-worker, Jesse, had a birthday in October.  He jokingly asked me to make him a birthday cake.  So I decided to show off a little (it worked, people starting asking me for cakes.  Just saying).

Jesse likes to hunt with a bow and arrow.  I decided to make a two-tiered hunting cake, complete with hunter in a tree, with a bow and arrow.  The tiers would be different flavors.

I made the hunter first because it was the hardest part and needed time to set.  I started out with some manilla/tan colored fondant.  I made pants and the torso first.

What would a hunting cake be without camouflage?  I used my gel food colors and painted the different colored spots on.  I thought it looked pretty good.

As you can see, I used the lid of the food coloring to prop the feet up while they were setting.

Then I added the left arm and hand and camouflaged that too.

 Next I made the head and the right arm.  I needed the right arm to be up in the air because I wanted him to be holding the bow and arrow.  But, as usual, it was too heavy to sustain itself.  So I made a little brown box to help prop his arm up.

And there was my hunter!  (This is actually probably the opposite way of how he holds his bow in real life, but it's cake, don't be so picky.)

Now I needed to make the cake.  I wanted to make the bottom tier camouflage as well.  So I freehanded some lines and then piped different colors in each section, using the star tip.  First tan.

Then light green.

Then a darker green.

Then brown.

I thought that turned out pretty well.

The next tier I colored blue to look like the sky.

Then I added a tree trunk.  I also made a leaf border where the two tiers met to cover any imperfections.

Next I added some branches and leaves.  I made these leaves using a single cutter.  I normally use a different kind of fondant leaf, but I felt the size and texture of these leaves fit this cake better.

Now it looks a lot more like a tree!

For the top of the cake, I made a hunter's perch and some more branches.  These branches would stick up on the top of the cake, so I wouldn't put them in until I got the cake to the office.  I didn't want to risk moving it with them already in place because I knew they would fall over.  I should have made them earlier to give them a little more time to set.

 Once I made it to work with the cake, I added the branches, the perch, the hunter, and the bow and arrow.

Here you can see the bow and arrow and if you look closely, there is string on the bow, made from flower wire.  It's the only part of the cake that isn't edible.

This one turned out to look pretty amazing!

It was quite popular at work.  This was all that was left of all that cake!

Happy birthday Jesse and happy hunting!