This is the third cake I've done for this family, and to be perfectly honest, I didn't love the first two. The very first one was when I was just starting out, and it had flaws I look back at and cringe. The second one was only my second time doing a topsy-turvy cake, and my first time hand painting lepoard spots - and again, I look back at it and cringe.
So this time, I wanted to give them something that I was delighted with. (Because obviously they don't cringe about my cakes, considering they keep ordering from me).
I'm thrilled with how cute the baby and the saddle turned out. I'm thrilled that I finally got to use my leather impression mat. I'm thrilled with how well my new tiny baby mold turned out. I'm thrilled with how well the paisley turned out (paisley has thwarted me in the past). I'm thrilled with the star sprays, which are way more professional looking than my first few tries, which were fondant stars stuck through with aluminum tent stakes. Don't judge. I'm thrilled with how flawlessly those tiny hay bales turned out - another thing I've never tried before.
This first one is a super simple cake, I get that. Normally I wouldn't have even taken a picture, but guess what? That bugger is BUTTERCREAM!
Yes, that is significant.
It was the first time I was able to get that dang blasted Viva paper towel method to work. After about a gazillion tries, I finally gave up on smoothing buttercream with paper towels. But then I moved into the bakery, and started using the uber-sweet, nearly nasty buttercream we buy in bulk. Turns out not only does it taste really good once you add some extracts or oils, but it also crusts like a dream! Who knew, right?!
These other two were for the same customer. I am honored to tell you that she chose me to make her first custom cake order. She was pretty cute - I could tell she had never ordered a custom cake before when she asked if I offered marshmallow flavored fondant. (I make a small, fresh batch of marshmallow fondant for every cake I make. I don't use Satin Ice or any of those pre-made versions). I'm guessing she tried marshmallow fondant at some point, and thought it was from a store.
I used glitter cardstock I found on Walmart's website to make the number and seaweed. The inspiration cake my customer sent me had these decorations made out of gum paste and disco dust. I know, I tracked down the original cake and read all about it. But ain't nobody got time for that. (You have to read that line in the right voice. If you don't know what I'm talking abount, you don't spend an unhealthy amount of time on Pinterest like I do. Good for you.)
This week was a super busy one for cakes. I'll have to do different posts for most of the cakes, just so that they can have their own spot to shine! But first, the one I was most pleased with.
My customer was helping plan a party for her grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary, and wanted me to re-create their wedding cake. I loved the idea, but it did make me nervous, because I had never done a cake in that style - fluffy, all buttercream, hand piped, vintage, etc, etc, etc. You know the type. So I was already nervous...and then I got the picture of the original cake:
My first thought was "Well THAT's not very helpful!!" And, having never done cakes like this, EVER, I literally had no idea where to start. But after some awesome advice from the amazing cake decorators on my favorite cake groups, I had some ideas. The best idea they gave me was to buy some vintage cake books - and so I did! So with some good suggestions, authentic, printed in the 1950's cake decorating books, and a fool's confidence, I went for it:
I even haunted Ebay (for what felt like hours) trying to find the same cake topper. I don't think I found the EXACT one, but everyone in my cake groups agreed that the one I bought was the closest. And the customer's grandma said it was the closest out of the three pictures I sent her. (My OCD wanted me to find the exact one, but that crazy lady can't win all the time.)
It was my first time piping. And my first time making buttercream roses. And my first time using tuck and ruffle (how much of a pain is that stuff?!) And my first time getting the Viva paper towel thing to work!
But I was pretty delighted by how it turned out. As it turns out, I can do more than just crank out fondant covered novelty cakes. In fact, I may have some actual, old school decorating skills lurking somewhere, waiting to be encouraged!
I've been seeing dessert bars all over the Internet. So for my daughter's birthday this year, I decided to try one out, instead of a big cake. It was a 1950's Beach Bash, so I did cupcakes and royal icing cookies to match the red and black polka dot decorations.