Friday, March 18, 2011

A Turtle Treat for a Terrific Teacher - October 2008

I made this turtle cake for Caleb's 1st grade teacher.  A few weeks after school started Caleb came home and told me that his teacher had been in a bad car accident when someone ran a red light and hit her.  She had a broken back among other injuries.  After almost a month she came to school to see her class and talk to them about some things since she'd be coming back soon.  She showed them the brace, called a turtle shell, that she had to wear around her torso to let her back heal.  (She also had a little stuffed animal turtle named Shelley to keep in class, and each child got to take it home for a weekend.)

I decided I'd make a welcome back/get well soon cake to give her on her first day back, and I thought it would be cute to make it in the shape of a little turtle.

3D Turtle Cake 1

3D Turtle Cake - Side View 1
3D Turtle Cake - Back View
3D Turtle Cake - Side View 2
3D Turtle Cake - Overhead View
3D Turtle Cake - Close-up of Head & Apple
3D Turtle Cake - Close-up of Sign 1
3D Turtle Cake - Close-up of Sign 2
3D Turtle Cake 2
I used one half of a ball pan to bake this cake in.  I trimmed a little off the cake on the side where the head was going to be.  This would make a little flat spot so I could make it look like the hole where the turtle's head would come out.  I crumb coated the cake, let it set, and iced it with green buttercream.

Since I knew the head was going to be pretty big I used foil to make the bulk of it.  After I got the shape that I wanted with the foil I covered it with green fondant.  I used the excess fondant to continue from the head and make the neck.  I set that aside to let it dry a bit.

I iced the flat spot where the head would be with dark green buttercream.  I used the same dark green to pipe the details onto the shell.  For the design on the top and the lines on the belly I used a round tip, and for the wide edge along the bottom of the shell I used a wide flat ribbon tip.

I attached the turtle head to the cake with a couple of toothpicks.  It was pretty top heavy and wanted to pull away, so I propped it up with a box of toothpicks for the time being.  I cut the signs from rolled out fondant, attached them to some cut bamboo skewers, painted the words on with blue food coloring, and set them aside to dry.  I cut the eyes for the turtle out of fondant and painted on the black pupils, nostrils, and mouth with food coloring.  I made the feet and tail out of fondant and slid them in place under the cake.  Then I put the signs in the foot and tail to make it look like the turtle was holding them.

The head still didn't want to stay right when I tried to take away the box, but I certainly couldn't give her the cake with a box of toothpicks on it.  :)  So I decided to make an apple out of fondant and put that in place of the toothpick box to prop up the head.  :)  It ended up being a good thing that the head was not cooperating because I really liked the way the apple looked as part of the cake.  I thought the color contrasted nicely with all the green.  Plus, you know, an apple for the teacher.  :)

Caleb's teacher was very excited about the cake!  I thought it turned out really cute, and we were happy to do something special for her and very happy that she liked it so much.  :)
Andrea - Animated Name
Parties I've linked this post to:

Tuesday To Do PartySomewhat Simple

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Rose Cake by any Other Name Would Still Taste YUMMY! - August 2008

I made this rose cake for my mom for her birthday.  This was the original idea I had for her cake the year before when I decided to make her Scrabble cake instead (see the Triple Word Score for 'CAKE' post); so I was very excited to finally get to make this for her.  She loves roses, and is very good at growing and taking care of them.

3D Rose Cake 1
3D Rose Cake - Overhead View 1
3D Rose Cake 2
3D Rose Cake - Level Viw
3D Rose Cake 3
3D Rose Cake - Overhead View 2
3D Rose Cake 4
I started this cake by baking it in a ball pan.  I put a layer of buttercream icing over the whole cake (thicker than a crumb coat, but not as thick as a regular coat).

I rolled out some fondant I had tinted a color pink like one of her favorite roses and put it flat on the very top part of the cake.  This would give my fondant petals something stable to stick to at the beginning of constructing the rose.  I rolled out another thin piece of fondant and started with the middle curled petal of the rose.  I continued to layer my thin pieces of fondant around it to form the petals of the rose curling out the tops of the petals to give them that 'frilly' rose look.

I had intended on putting the green sepal 'leaves' at the base of the rose, but when I was running out of time I decided it looked fine without them.  Although I really like the way it turned out, looking back at it I wish I would've made the time to put them on as I think it would've just completed the look of the rose better [oh well, next time :) ].

My mom really loved the cake and thought it was just beautiful.  :)  I think my favorite view of the cake is looking down from the top.  It looks the most like a real rose that way.  :)


Parties I've linked this post to:

Made by You Mondays - Skip to My Lou

Friday, March 11, 2011

'Gone Fishing'... in My Kayak - July 2008

I made this cake of my dad fishing in his kayak for his birthday.  My dad has always liked fishing, that's actually some of my favorite memories growing up, fishing with my dad.  So, a few months or so before I made this cake he was fishing and he saw someone with a kayak going out to fish.  They got to talking and before you knew it my dad bought a kayak to go out fishing in.  He really enjoyed it, so I decided that would make a nice cake for him.  [The story about the sign on the cake will come later in the post. :) ]

Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake 1
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up of Dad in Kayak with Fish 1
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up 1
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Overhead View
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up 2
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up 3
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-ups of Fish, Frog, Dragonfly, and Sign
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up of Dragonfly and Cattails
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up of Dad in Kayak with Fish 2
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake 2
I baked two 8-inch rounds for this cake.  I wanted the cake to look like you were seeing a cross-section of the water and you could see under the water at the fish being caught.  So, I cut a little space out of the edge of the cake, big enough to have a fish in.  [If I were doing this cake over again, I would design things a little bit differently to show what I wanted, but it worked out well this way, and my dad got what I was trying to do right away. :) ]

I crumb coated the cake and let it set.  I iced the cake with green and blue buttercream.  I piped along the edge of the water and the bottom of the cake with green buttercream using a grass tip.

Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Close-up of Empty Kayak
This is how the kayak looked by itself.
I made the kayak out of fondant.  I wanted to make it look like his so I asked my mom what kind he had so I could find some pictures online.  For some details on it I used fondant and  for some I painted with black food coloring.  

I made my dad figurine out of fondant.  I gave him a hat like the one he always wears when he goes fishing (it's one of those outback type hats).  Some details on him are done with fondant and others are painted with food coloring.  I decided to give him a nose this time :) (see the Building Your Birthday Cake post).

I painted toothpicks brown to use for fishing poles and put a bit of fondant at the end to secure the fishing line to the pole.  I made the fish, little bobber, rocks, dragonfly, frog, and sign all out of fondant and painted details with food coloring.  The cattails are made with toothpicks I painted with green food coloring and wrapped with a little bit of brown fondant at the top.

So, now for the story behind the sign.  My dad was telling me about a conversation he had recently had with his brother.  They live in different states and were talking about getting together.  His brother was saying that they should go do something really cool.  I think skydiving came up and things of that sort.  So, somehow kayaking comes up, which my dad was doing now and his brother had done down a river with rapids before.  I guess my dad mentioned that he had been out on open saltwater before, and his brother was surprised that he would go out like that instead of just going on rivers and things like that.  So, my dad starts telling him about this Extreme Kayak Shark Fishing he'd heard about, like they should go do that for their thing.  Okay so, evidentially people go out in a kayak and fish for sharks... in a kayak... for sharks... did I mention the kayak and the sharks!!!  CRAZY!  Then (if they manage to not be eaten) when they catch the shark they just tow it in behind them or put it up across their kayak, like on their legs, and paddle back in!!!  [You know to advertise to all the other sharks where lunch is.  :) ]  His brother was like, I don't know about that, you'd have to be nuts!  (And he's right.)  Now, my dad wouldn't really seriously do it, he was just trying to shock him, but after his story my mom and I let him know that we were not-for-that, just incase.  :)  So, when I made him the cake I thought it would be funny to add a different version of a 'NO FISHING' sign.  :)

My dad really liked the cake :) , and when the party was over he and my mom took home the fondant dad and kayak.  When I was over their house sometime after that I was looking at the figure on the counter, and much to my horror I realized that I had forgotten to put my dad's tattoos on!  UGH!  Now, no one had noticed and no one would have cared (especially now)... but... it bugged - ME.  So, after that on one of my trips over their house I finally remembered to bring my green food coloring so I could complete it.  :)  And here it is...
Dad Fishing in Kayak Cake - Dad in Kayak WITH Tattoos
Ah, that's much better  :)
Andrea - Animated Name

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's a Jungle Out There... Well at Least on This Cake - July 2008

I made this jungle animal cake for my daughter, Cara's, 9th birthday.  She was having an animal themed party so I showed her some different ideas I had, and this was the one that she liked the most.  Her favorite animal was a white tiger, so we made sure that would be one of the animals on the cake.  :)

Jungle Animal Cake 1
Junle Animal Cake - Back View
Jungle Animal Cake - Close-up Views of Elephant
Jungle Animal Cake - Close-up Views of Giraffe
Jungle Animal Cake 2
Jungle Animal Cake - Close-up Views of Hippo
Jungle Animal Cake - Close-up Views of White Tiger
Jungle Animal Cake with Zoo Pals Animal Plates & Cups
Zoo Pals plates and cups worked great with the theme.  :)
Jungle Animal Cake with Jungle Animal Candles
My mom found these cute jungle animal candles for Cara to blow out.
Jungle Animal Cake 3
For this cake I baked 3 cakes, a 10-inch round, an 8-inch round, and a 6-inch round.  When I stacked the cakes, instead of centering them right in the middle, I shifted them toward the back to give me some extra room in the front for the waterfall and animals (you can see what I mean if you look at the back view of the cake in the pictures above).

After I crumb coated the cakes and let them set, I used a food coloring marker to draw where my pond and waterfall would be.  I iced everywhere except where there would be water with buttercream icing I tinted green.

I tinted some buttercream blue and put it in the microwave until it had a thinner consistency, just thin enough to pour easily, but not super thin and runny.  I started at the top with the pond and poured the icing out to fill in the space for the water.  I continued to pour off the side and down slowly to let it flow down the cakes naturally.  After it was set just a little I poured over some spots again to fill in any spaces that were missed and make some more of the drippy water look.  I used a grass tip to pipe the grass around the bottom of each layer and all along the edges of the water.

I sculpted each of the animals using fondant and painted on the details with food coloring.  I would have liked to make more animals, but I didn't have enough time.  I liked all the animals on the cake, but I really liked the elephant squirting water from his trunk, it may have been my favorite.  :) 

I thought the cake turned out really cute, and everyone enjoyed it, especially Cara!  :)

Parties I've linked this post to:
 Somewhat Simple


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