It’s that time of year again!

Alright, time for a post… in fact, it’s long past time!!!!

So last year I participated in the Redditgifts.com Secret Santa exchange.
It was my very first of many exchanges on the site. It was not actually all that I hoped and dreamed it would be.

I was soooo crazy excited. I made my match this cake. I sent him that along with a bunch of other stuff. Some comics, some local candy, some star trek toys… I was so pleased that I had done such a good job putting together his gift.

I sent it out and I waited. And I waited. And… I waited.
Two weeks after I knew he received it… I finally got the email! My giftee confirmed receiving my gift! Usually people post photos and post glorious thank you notes. I’d been dreaming of this day! I open the page and staring back at me is just one sentence. Not even really a full sentence. “Got a box of cool stuff.”

*blink* F5… nope, still the same.

Sooo my giftee wasn’t as crazy appreciative as I had hoped. Ah well.
I signed up to rematch someone who’s gifter didn’t send them anything. And she was thrilled when I made her a Jaws pillow. So that was great! Since then, I think I’ve participated in about a dozen exchanges! Overall, my experiences have been wonderful.
I’ve given and received some really great stuff.

THAT SAID… this year my match was really cool! She loves colorful things and tie dye things and she even likes to bake! And she has a sweet tooth!

So, of course, I had to go for a round two on the cake!
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I knew right away I was going to make her a wonderful colorful striped cake. And I wanted to direct her to this blog so that she can see that I’m a cake decorator and not just some random crazy internet person who could be sending her some poisoned food lol.

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I knew right away I wanted to pick some wild colors. I went with blue, green, pink and orange. So much fun!!!

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Some photos of the layering. I used the zebra cake technique. Two table spoons of each color alternating in the center…

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I apologize for the sorry state of these photos. My phone cameras are pretty messed up right now and I plan on replacing them :p

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Home made buttercream… sooo yummy!

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Home made fondant. I wore rubber gloves to protect my lovely Star Trek manicure… but that’s a whole other story…

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Filled and covered with the delicious buttercream!

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All done!

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Packaged up to be shipped off to my lovely giftee!!!

I sent this off with a box packed full of some other things I made just for her and a few other trinkets. I hope she loves everything!

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When your friends turn 40…

So, this guy, Tony… he’s awesome. He turned 40 this year and put together a super cool fling for himself.
I was to do the cake and I knew I needed to make something very cool for this very cool guy.

I think I delivered. His party was on the roof top of a very cool building downtown with a great view!

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Hey! I can see my apartment from here!

I covered the cake board with a fancy placemat and decided this cake needed to be TWO cakes haha.
I brainstormed and came up with some ideas. I mean what do you make a super hip guy with tons of interests?!
I settled on a few things. I made a plank of sushi for the large cake which was strawberry flavored.
Then I made a saucer and a mug of coffee which was chocolate espresso flavored cake! And a little fondant cassette tape.
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Everything turned out fantastically!

Birthday boy:
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Golden Girls Cake: Take Two

On rare occasion, I’m asked to recreate a cake I’ve made in the past. This was one of those occasions. The last one I made was a huge hit.
When I was asked to make a second one, I was concerned a bit. Could I truly recreate something like that? It was one of my favorites and I felt like it really captured a moment in time.

I decided to make the cake, but make it a bit different. The buttercream transfer for this cake took me over two hours to pipe. I have to create the image one color at a time, using different icing tips for different line thickness, color fills etc. I create the outlines first and fill in the colors from there. It’s a very intricate process!
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The cake I covered in blue fondant and then applied the transfer.
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I added fondant lace to the bottom. I have a special tool I use to make my lace… I created it by breaking a valentines day cookie cutter haha.
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So, over all, I’d say it was worth making the cake again. It was fun to put a new twist on it and it’s ALWAYS a challenge to make such a large butttercream transfer!

Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun…

My niece turned 3 this year and wow… she is just cute as a button!
She wanted a Little Mermaid cake which I thought was super awesome. I mean hey… that’s the kind of cake I would have wanted when I was a kid!

I wanted it to have a cool “under the sea” feeling to it, so I piped coral and sea weed onto wax paper using candy melt. Then when it cooled, I attached it to the side of the cake. I iced the cake with yummy blue buttercream and topped it with the perfect cake topper candle!
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It was a huge hit!
I was so excited to see that they’d picked up Ariel plates and cups as well!
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And… of COURSE… I had to make the inside count!
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“Flounder” blue and yellow zebra cake and strawberry! Yum!

Happy birthday my love!

Show Jane Some Support… She’s 50!

I wish I could take credit for this clever cake idea, but this is what my friend Jane requested haha.

She wanted something funny and cute for her 50th birthday and this was just the thing.

I hand made the bra by piecing together fondant…
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I tried to be as detailed as possible, adding lace and stitching and other little details here and there like the lacing.

I must say, it all came together nicely!
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Hilariously, in the end, I had to fill the bra cups with icing so they could stand on their own, as I didn’t have time to dry the piece for several days haha!

Thank you for being a friend…

So… a friend sent me a message on facebook asking me to make a cake for his girlfriend’s 22nd birthday… I asked what he wanted it to be and I must say, at first, his response baffled me.

He said, “The Golden Girls.”

I’ll let that sink in for a moment… that he wanted me to make his 22 year old girlfriend a Golden Girls birthday cake.

Ok, you’ve processed this? Good…

So, I googled and tried to figure out how I could possibly pull this off. I found this great cartoon picture and decided a buttercream transfer was my only option here lol.
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I spent over an hour tracing this picture onto wax paper one color at a time. I must have used over a dozen piping bags and a whole bunch of different icing tips. I started with the black outline and went from there. I was intense, but man I was happy with how it turned out.
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I made some lace for the edges by breaking a valentine heart cookie cutter haha. I used it to cut strips of fondant into the scalloped design… then poked the holes with an icing tip.

Last minute I was asked to make the addition of “Thank you for being a friend.” I think it really pulled it together.
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A cake doesn’t last long in a bar…
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Yeah… that happened.

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!

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