The Fish Cake

Whenever I get a project, I usually give it a nickname so that when I’m working on it, I can remember which cake I’m getting things for or baking for, need which pans for etc. Some times it’s something elaborate, but most of the time it’s pretty straight forward. This was simply… the fish cake.
A while back, at least a year ago, but probably more like two, I saw this fish cake pan somewhere at a yard sale or a thrift store or something for like a dollar. I knew I had to have it.
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It sat in my cabinet forever, but I knew one day, it would get it’s chance to be filled with batter and baked to perfect fish perfect.
So when my old friend Katie from high school contacted me asking if I’d ever done a fish cake, I sprung at the chance to say, “Nope, but I have JUST the pan!”

I made the fish strawberry as sort of a gross gesture to fish guts. I mean, it was a little boy’s birthday cake. They’re into that kind of thing… anyhow, I made a 1/4 sheet cake and dressed it up all boggy with crushed oreos, a pool of blue frosting, gummy worms and buttercream grass…
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I iced the fish and then proceeded to cover it in scales… one scale at a time. I used an icing tip as a cutter and cut out what felt like a million little circles and laid them one at a time.
One they were all laid, I added the other details and hand painted the entire thing with some diluted food coloring gels.
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It was so great to get to see my friend again when she came to pick up the cake. We got to catch up on things for a while before she headed out, delicious cake in hand.

Seems it was a big hit. I mean, what kid doesn’t like cake covered in oreos and candy?
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I guess you cut the heads off of fish before serving.
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By the time I was finished looking at photos of fish and painting this thing, I’d decided fish were hideous aquatic troll creatures. I would probably still have taken a bite of this one though.
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Tutorial Tuesday: How to make a checkerboard cake

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This was my first attempt at a checkerboard cake. If I could do it all again, there are things I would do differently, for sure. So keep an eye on that commentary. I’ll say this is a more advanced project. If you’re not already pretty great at frosting cakes, this probably won’t end well for you.

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I started with two different color cake layers which I then sliced into four thinner cake layers. Mistake #1. I either should have made four layers the original size… or I should have just worked with the two layers as they were.
I let the cakes freeze for a while so they’d be easier to cut. Then I found some round things… like bowls and containers that I could use as guides to cut rings out of the cakes about two inches apart.
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I arranged my layers and then put some wax paper on my board and some frosting to hold down the first layer.
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Carefully place each layer and carefully frost the top of it. Using hot water on your spatula will help you to keep from shredding the cake. Stack and frost each layer. Don’t forget to alternate color schemes. It’s a labor of love.
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Once it’s all stacked, you can sort of smoosh it down with your hands maybe… you can see here why my layers being too thin was an issue. Once I got to this part, I was starting to panic. It sort of looks awful…
Somehow, I used my cake frosting magic to turn that into this:
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From there I chilled the cake for a while and then covered it in fondant.
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My results were decent…
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If nothing else, strawberry and lemon always taste wonderful together.

I had a great time this weekend in Wisconsin with my bff Liz. If I get time, I’ll add some great photos from our trip at the end of this post soon!

The Star Cake

I always love doing repeat business! To me, it’s a huge compliment and I feel super lucky to make cakes for the same great people I’ve made cakes for in the past.

I had already done a bulldozer cake for little Atreyu’s 2nd birthday and now it was time for his sister’s 1st birthday!

I even got to add a new pan to my cake arsenal for this one!
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I wasn’t sure exactly how to level this thing haha, but I worked it out.
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It was a great zebra cake inside. I was pretty stoked on how bright the colors came out.
The exterior was awesome as well. :) I tried a new technique with this since I wasn’t sure exactly how to cover the star with one sheet of fondant, plus, we wanted the panels to be different colors. So I cut panels of fondant to attach at each corner.
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Perfect!
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Super happy with how it all turned out! Can’t wait to make another star cake!

Also, I love that this cake included two of my favorite things to do with a cake… zebra cake and zebra stripes!

Mystery Machine Birthday Cake!

My niece Sophia turned four this year! So crazy how fast the time flies.
Last year I made her this cake:
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This year she’s obsessed with Scooby Doo. Some one suggested I make the Mystery Machine and as much as it stresses me out to make vehicles, I decided I could make this happen lol…
I baked the cake for the van in a bread loaf pan sort of like this one:
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Then I stuck it in the freezer for a while to let it get hard so that I could trim it down a bit without it falling apart on me. The cake itself was a hilarious idea that I had to add half a package of strawberry jello and a few handfuls of fresh diced strawberries into my cake mix! (IT WAS DELICIOUS)
The bottom cake was tiedye zebra cake :) (See how to make this type of cake here!)
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That cake was gone in like… a split second haha. It was eaten about as fast as I could cut it! I think I cut almost 30 slices out of it all and there were only two left over! I call that sweet success! ;)

ps… someone send me a google+ invite!! plasticshakeupsnow@gmail.com
LOL

I love it when this happens…

Some times when I make a cake cool inside, I never get to see what it looks like when it gets sliced. If it’s a cake I’m giving some one as a gift or a cake a friend had me make for one of their family members etc.
I mean… I know, in theory, how the cake SHOULD look when you cut into it, but there are so many things involved and little things can go wrong or whatever. When you’re trying to create art with the cake batter, you can never be 100% sure how things are going to turn out.

I was so glad I got the chance to get a photo of the inside of the tie dye cake!

Sure, it’s just a phone photo, but you can still see that it turned out pretty darn well! I’d totally eat a slice of tie dye cake!

Well, coming up after this weekend, I’ll be eating not just one, but two of my own birthday cakes :)
I turn TWENTY SEVEN this weekend!!! How did this happen!?!?
In any case, my good friend Crystal is an artist and she came over to help my make my cake for Saturday! It’s pretty much done and the theme is awesome and so me.

Sunday, we’ll be with my husband’s family celebrating a triple birthday! My niece Tori turned 14 yesterday, I turn 27 Sunday and my niece Lauren turns 2 on the 30th. Soooo of course, since we’re having a triple birthday party, I decided to make a big ol’ 3 tier cake with a tier for each of us! I think I won’t pipe a boarder around the bottoms so that I can unstack them and send the girls home with their tiers in boxes and we can just eat from the large bottom tier with my name on it at the party. I’m going to have cake coming out my ears.

Can’t wait to show you guys the cakes!

Also, I was given news that when Crescendo got his snare drum cake, he wouldn’t let anyone eat any of it at the store because he wanted his wife to see it whole haha. WIN.

More Than Meets the Eye

So, through the wonders of technology, I’ve set this to post while I’m actually on the road on my way to Wisconsin. Right now, I’m probably chugging Monster and rocking out to The Postal Service.

So anyhow-
A while back, I made this awesome Darth Vader cake for my friend Janna’s son’s birthday. Darth Vader Birthday Cake!

It was an epic party and I’ve made several cakes for people who were at the party and saw the cake.
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Well, now I have another to add to that list. I was contacted by Jennifer about making her son a cake. He likes Transformers. I’ve done one Transformers cake before, but this would be a bit more involved. She wanted it to be similar to the Darth Vader cake with the logo on top and then a decorated cake on the bottom.
She said he likes Bumble bee, one of the characters on the show. Not the new version though- the old school version. Love it!

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I used black fondant on top and then painted the logo with edible silver dust mixed with a little bit of vodka to make a paint. Then I outlined all that in buttercream.

The bottom part had a little VW and a Bumblebee face on the sides.

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The best part though…
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You had to know it was coming!! Bumble Bee inside!!!
So cool. I’m told the cake was a big hit and everyone loved it! That’s the best thing to hear and I never get tired of hearing it!

And of course, the zebra cake tutorial!

This photo was sent to me by the lovely Kelsey because it pains me to try to something cool inside of a cake and then never know how it turned out!
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This was my first attempt at zebra cake.

I’m told she loved the cake and look… she even wore the plastic tiara, buttercream and all haha.
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