Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mmm... Chocolate - June 2008

I made this chocolate candy bar cake for Caleb's Kindergarten teacher at the end of the school year.  Earlier in the year we had asked her to tell us some things about herself, and one of the things she said was that she LOVES chocolate.  Caleb liked that.  :)

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Angle View

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Overhead View

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Front View

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Close-up Front View

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Close-up Angle View

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Close-up of Mug

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Close-up of Apple

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Close-up Back Angle View

3D Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - Back View
I baked the chocolate cake in a square 8-inch pan.  After it was cooled I cut one side off a few inches in to give it the rectangle shape of a chocolate candy bar.  Then I made 8 square sections on the top of the cake, and carved between them to make raised squares, like the sections of a candy bar you can break off.

Next, I crumb coated the cake with chocolate buttercream icing and waited until that set.  I wanted the top coat of icing to be as smooth and shiny as possible so it would look more like chocolate candy than chocolate icing.  So, I melted the chocolate buttercream in the microwave for a bit to thin it out so I could pour it on the cake.  It was messier to clean up around the cake later, but I liked the look it gave it.

Now I had heard that when you are carving indentations into a cake that you are going to ice or fondant you should carve a little deeper than you want so when the icing fills it in you can still see the design.  So, that's what I did, forgetting that the icing I was going to be using would not be as thick as usual.  I thought maybe the icing would kind of pool in between the squares, but it didn't as much as I would've needed it to.  So, my squares ended up being much taller than I had anticipated.  [I was hoping when Caleb's teacher saw it she didn't think 'why is she giving me a chocolate Lego brick'.  :) ]  Oh well, it was just a chunkier chocolate bar.  :)

Once the icing set a bit and I cleaned up the chocolate around the base of the cake, I piped some lines with the icing (not melted) around the tops of the squares, and the top and bottom of the rectangle base of the chocolate bar to give it some better definition and a little bit cleaner lines.  I also cut thin lines into the chocolate between the squares to mark where someone would break the sections off.

The little mug and apple are both made with fondant.  The 'Thank You' message is piped on the board with buttercream icing.

I was happy with how the cake turned out, and Caleb's teacher was excited to get this chocolate-y creation.  :)
Andrea - Animated Name

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Penguin Cupcakes Waddle Your Way - June 2008

I made these penguin cupcakes for Cara to celebrate her birthday in 3rd grade with her class at school.  She was going to be having an animal themed birthday party that summer, but she didn't really have an idea of what she wanted for her school cupcakes, besides that she wanted it to be an animal.  So we went on the Family Fun website, looked at some ideas, and this is what she picked.

Penguin Cupcakes - Close-up
Penguin Cupcakes 1
Penguin Cupcakes 2
Penguin Cupcakes - 2 Blue-Eyed Penguins Close-up
Penguin Cupcakes - 2 Green-Eyed Penguins Close-up
Penguin Cupcakes - 2 Brown-Eyed Penguins Close-up
I baked and cooled the cupcakes, then iced them with vanilla buttercream.  I used round chocolate covered chocolate mint cookies for the body and the head (like the Keebler Grasshopper Fudge Mint cookies).  For each penguin you will need 1 1/2 cookies (3 halves).  For the eyes I used a little of the vanilla buttercream icing to make two large dots on the head, and then I placed an M&M Mini on each dot.  I wanted to use all brown ones, but I ran out, so I used blue and green also.  The beak and the feet are dried apricots cut into the appropriate sized triangles.  You can put a small dot of icing under the beak to help it stick to the cookie. 

I thought these cupcakes turned out really cute, but they're also pretty simple to do.  Cara and her class really enjoyed them.
Andrea - Animated Name

Parties I've posted this link to:
  Tuesday To Do Party
Chocolate Drool and Kisses  Somewhat SimpleKitchenFunFun Stuff Fridays

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's the Amazing Spider-Man... Cake! - May 2008

I made this 3D Spider-Man cake for Caleb's 6th birthday.  Caleb knew he wanted a Spider-Man party since his previous birthday (well actually a bit before that even).  He had picked Superman for his 5th birthday (see the It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman! post), but he already knew then that he wanted his next one to be Spider-Man.  :)

3D Spiderman Cake

3D Spiderman Cake - Close-up of Spider Symbol on Chest
3D Spiderman Cake - Close-up of Head
The shoulders and chest of Spider-Man are made of cake; Spider-Man's head is actually made from a hollow craft egg.  I was looking for a styrofoam egg, but I couldn't find one the right size.  I did find an egg the right size made out of a really thick cardboard type of material that worked though.  It kind of reminded me of a very hard paper mache type of thing.
3D Spiderman Cake - Underneath the Icing
underneath the icing
So, the part that is cake is made from two 6 inch round cakes and one 9 inch round cake.  (I found the basics of how to make the shape of this cake from a website called 'Coolest Homemade Birthday Cakes'.  It is basically just a site where people post cakes they've made to share with others and the cakes are separated into categories - Spider-Man, cats, etc.)  The two 6 inch round cakes I stacked to make the chest.  The 9 inch round cake I cut into quarters and stood them up on their sides to make the shoulders.  I used the part of the cake that I cut off when I leveled the 9 inch cake on the top of everything to make the transition to the head a little more natural.  I covered the craft egg with foil and 'chiseled' a hole in the bottom so I could insert a dowel [this is where I wished I had found a styrofoam egg :) ].  After the dowel was in the head I inserted the dowel into the cake so that Spider-Man would now have a head.  :)

I crumb coated the cake and the egg.  After that was set I covered everything with red buttercream icing except a small part of his arms and the sides of his chest, I iced there with blue buttercream.  I piped the outline of his eyes with white buttercream and filled them in.  I piped around his eyes with black buttercream icing and piped on all the webbing for his head.  After the head was finished I went on to piping the webbing for the chest and shoulders, outlining the blue sections, and drawing the spider symbol on Spider-Man's chest.  After I cleaned up the board at the base of the cake I piped a thin border around the base of the cake with black buttercream icing.  I thought it gave the cake a more clean and finished look.

Caleb was so excited about his Spider-Man cake, and it was a big hit at the party.  :)

After Caleb blew out his candles and while we were getting everything ready to cut the cake, my dad had loads of fun entertaining the kids [and himself :) ] by rotating Spider-Man's head from side to side and talking to the kids like it was Spider-Man talking.  The kids were cracking up!  I think it was just more from how he was moving the head 'looking' back and forth at the kids as they would say something than really anything he was actually making it say.  It was funny.  :)
Andrea - Animated Name
Parties I've linked this post to:
Chocolate Drool and KissesTuesday To Do PartySomewhat Simple

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spider-Man Cupcakes - April 2008

I made these Spider-Man cupcakes for Caleb to take to school for his birthday in Kindergarten.

Spiderman Cupcakes
Spiderman Cupcakes - Close-up 1
Spiderman Cupcakes - Close-up 2
After I baked and cooled the cupcakes I iced them with buttercream.  I used my piping bag to draw Spider-Man's head with buttercream icing tinted red.  I filled it in except for the part where his eyes would be, since they are white I just let the icing underneath show through.  Next I used buttercream icing tinted black to pipe on the webbing and outline the eyes.
Andrea - Animated Name

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt Cookies - March 2008

I made these Easter Egg Hunt Cookies for Caleb's Kindergarten Spring Party.

Easter Egg Hunt Cookies

Easter Egg Hunt Cookies - Close-up 1

Easter Egg Hunt Cookies - Close-up 2
I made a batch of sugar cookies.  After they cooled I used my grass tip with buttercream icing to make a little bed of grass (see the 'Maybe They Should've Registered For HIS and HERS' post if you want to know what a grass tip is).  Next I used a single round tip with a large opening to make the eggs.  Those were also made with buttercream icing tinted three different colors.  It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to make egg shapes.  They kept wanting to have points on them, but even the ones that came out a little pointier didn't look too bad.  The kids didn't seem to mind, I guess odd shaped eggs taste just as good as nice shaped ones when they're made of icing.  :)  [Of course you could always use jellybeans, egg shaped malted milk balls, or other egg shaped candy instead of piping the eggs on with icing.  :) ]
Andrea - Animated Name
Made By You Monday - Skip to My Lou
Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop - Homemaker on a Dime
Just Something I Whipped Up - The Girl Creative
Show Me What You Got - Our Delightful Home
Tuesday To Do - The Blackberry Vine
Whatever Goes Wednesday - Someday Crafts
What I Whipped Up Wednesday - Sugar and Dots
{wow me} wedneday - Ginger Snap Crafts
Bunny Hop!  Easter Link Party - Mrs. Fox's Sweets
Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party - Mrs. Fox's Sweets
Cast Party Wednesday - Lady Behind the Curtain
Sweet Treats Thursday - Something Swanky
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday - Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons
For the Kids Friday - Sun Scholars
Fun Stuff Fridays - Toys in the Dryer

Maybe They Should've Registered For HIS & HERS... - February 2008

This is the 4-wheeler themed groom's cake that I made when my sister, Casandra, and my now brother-in-law, Joe, got married.

4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake 1
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake 2
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Logo & Topper
Joe's 4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Topper 1
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Side View
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Back View
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Angled View 1
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Angled View 2
My sister, Valerie, took the picture below - thanks!  :)
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Topper 2
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake 3
The story behind the cake is: Joe had been riding 4-wheelers for quite sometime.  When Casandra started dating Joe she joined in too and really enjoyed it.  When they were making wedding plans Casandra came across a wedding cake topper online that had the bride trying to pull the groom away from his 4-wheeler.  She laughed and showed it to Joe.  He said 'You'd never pull me off my 4-wheeler' and Casandra said 'Only so I could have a turn'.  Then she thought that it would make a cute cake to have it with a little sign above her talking about wanting a turn riding the 4-wheeler.  They decided they wanted the topper on a tabletop jump with a logo that Joe and his two friends had created on the side of the jump.  Now to find someone to make it... :)

So, they asked me if I could make the cake for them.  I was honored that they asked me, but since I was one of the matrons of honor, Ronnie was singing in the wedding, Cara and Carissa were flower girls, and Caleb was the ring bearer, I was hesitant because I didn't think I would be able to do it well within the time constraints or, you know, without going crazy.  :)  I actually told them I didn't think I could, but then my mom and I came up with me making a dummy cake that would look like what they wanted, and then they would just order a sheet cake or two from somewhere to actually serve.  It was still a bit crazy getting it done, but at least I was able to work on it a larger span ahead of time without worrying about having to keep the cake fresh, remember I'm still a beginner too.  :)

So what would be the cake is actually styrofoam.  I took a long piece of styrofoam (I think it was originally 4"x12"x36") and cut it at a few inches more than half.  I stacked the two pieces and adhered them so I could carve the shape of the tabletop jump.  Now, why I started carving on the approach side of the jump (having never worked with styrofoam before) instead of starting on one of the other sides, I don't know.  I ended up making the approach too steep and there wasn't much I could do about it :( .  I could go into a long explanation of different options at that point and why I did or didn't do them... but I won't :) , let's just say 'on I went'.  :)  I finished carving the shape of the jump and adhered the jump to the foam core base board.

The next thing I did was cover everything with brown fondant.  (Normally I would put a layer of icing on before fondanting, but since it was styrofoam and no one would be eating it I just used water on the styrofoam to help it stick.)  Now I had NEVER come even close to covering anything that large with fondant, so, needless to say I underestimated how much I would need.  So, I decided to just put the fondant on in pieces and then just smooth the seams together... that didn't work.  :)  I mean it went on in pieces, but it didn't exactly smooth together like I thought it would.  So, I thought 'it looks fine with some seams, it's dirt after all, it kind of looks like cracked earth... muddy :)  Right... right... '.  Okay, we'll come back to that later.  :)

4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Logo with TemplateI took a break from the 'cake' and started to work on the logo.  This was an important part of it for Joe, so I wanted to make sure it really looked good.  The letters on the logo stand for Joe, Travis, and Matt, which are Joe and his two friends who have been riding 4-wheelers together a long time and created this logo to represent it.  Joe provided me with a couple drawings he did on the computer of the logo and how he wanted the colors on it.  I printed one of the logos off the size I needed it and laid it on top of a piece of white fondant I had rolled out.  I poked a pin through the paper logo lines every so often into the fondant underneath.  Then lifted off the paper and cut out the flames and rest of the outer outline of the logo by just cutting along the pin holes that had been made in the fondant.  I used the knife to cut into the fondant (but not all the way through) for the inner outlines of the logo (the JTM).  I used red and yellow food coloring to paint the logo's flames, blending them where they met to make the orange, then I used black to outline the JTM. 
So, now I was back to the 'cake'.  It was time to start on the grass... there was a lot of grass.  :)  I made the grass with buttercream icing using a grass tip (which is a just a special multi-holed decorating tip).  Before I put much of the grass on the front side of the jump I had to adhere the logo to the dirt fondant. I used some water and some buttercream icing to stick it to the fondant, but the logo had other plans.  The logo was about 8" long and fairly thick which made it heavy, so at first it wanted to keep sliding down the face of the jump bit by bit.  Grrr...  Finally after messing with it a while (and some patience) it stayed in place, hooray!  Now I could go back to filling in the grass.  The only place I did not use the grass tip was around the logo.  I had to use a regular single-holed tip for that to be able to get in all the nooks and crannies.
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Logo

So, now we get back to the dirt.  I was not liking the way the seams looked.  It did not look muddy or like cracked earth, it just looked like a big seam that did not smooth together, to me at least.  I mean you could see much less now with the grass on, but there was a seam on each slope of the jump, and they were just too noticeable.  So, I took some of the leftover pieces of fondant that had started to dry out and crumbled them up.  I sprinkled them onto a part of the dirt and thought that it looked good; it gave it a little texture on the path like a coarse dirt.  Once I decided that I wanted to make the dirt that way I decided to put the fondant pieces in the food processor instead of crumbling them.  I liked that look much better.  Of course I only had so much fondant that was already dried to that point, so for most of the dirt I had to make new fondant just to let it dry out to get ready to put it in the food processor.  If it wasn't dry enough it would clump together and not give the right texture or size.  Now, here's the thing, when you don't want fondant to dry out it seems like it happens so quickly, but when you are waiting for fondant to dry it seems like it takes forever.  Some of the fondant was still a little too moist when I put it in, but it was close enough that I could make it work.  To adhere the 'dirt crumbs' to the path I just brushed the fondant path with water and sprinkled the dirt over it, filling more in here or there, to make it look consistent.  Since there was brown fondant along the edge of the cake where I decided to not take the grass totally to the edge I also sprinkled the dirt there to give it the same look.

For the bride and groom topper I covered the white base of it with brown fondant to match the dirt so that when I put it on the cake it would look cohesive, like they were standing on the dirt instead of just a topper stuck on the cake.  I had to wait to sprinkle the dirt on though because I wasn't actually putting the topper on until I got to the church.

I made the caption out of fondant, painted the words 'Come On, It's My Turn' with black food coloring, and hit the edge with some gray to make it stand out more.  I wanted the caption to be part of the topper, not stuck into the cake.  I wanted it to look as inconspicuous as possible so I decided to run a wire holding the caption up along one of the creases of the bride's dress on the back of the topper.  Now I needed a wire that would do this.  I needed it to be thin, flexible, but sturdy enough to hold up the caption.  This proved more difficult than first thought, but after trying different things I came up with stripping the plastic coating off of a twist tie.  This left me with a thin, but somewhat stiff, wire.  I ended up using 4 of them and twisting them together to make them sturdy enough to hold up the fondant caption without bending.  Now since the topper was made of plastic I couldn't just stick the wire into the topper.  So to actually secure it I put a thin bit of white fondant up along the bottom part of the crease.  Then I ran the wires up along that crease and covered the bottom part of them in white fondant.  This little bit of fondant at the bottom inch of the wires was enough to secure it to the topper.

Once I got to the church I set the cake on it's table and positioned the 4-wheeler topper and the bride and groom topper in their places on the cake.  I tried to get the bride and groom as flat with the top of the cake as possible, then I wet the brown fondant covering the base of the topper and sprinkled the dirt crumbs over it.  Voila!

Joe and Casandra had taken a picture of them acting out what the cake topper was going to be with Joe's  4-wheeler, and they placed that near the cake.  It was cute.  I suggested beforehand that they also put a picture each of them riding so that people could actually see that it is something Casandra enjoys too.  So those pictures were near the cake as well with their names written on the pictures.

Their wedding was beautiful!  I was really pleased that they liked the 'cake' and were really excited about it [even with the jump approach too steep; which, yes, he did notice, but was gracious and liked the cake just as well  :) ].  Another good thing about it was that since it was made from styrofoam they were able to keep it and use it at another reception that they were given a couple weeks later out where Joe's family lives.
Andrea - Animated Name


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...