My Best Friend’s Wedding

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I have an amazing group of girlfriends who are my best friends. And this past weekend, one of them got married. Katie asked me to make her cake and I knew for Katie it had to be all out. We went with a huge four tier square cake and cake pops.

It’s funny, I actually tried to be proactive with this and I spent a couple of evenings before I made the cake doing things like getting all the decor cut out on my cricut machine. I spent forever rolling out sheets of gumpaste to dry over night and then cut them all out the next night. Well, when I got the cake stacked and went to decorate… guess what? I’d cut all the decor an inch too tall!!!!! Crap.

Well, I went with a plan B. I made an emergency run to the craft store and picked up a mold that you can press fondant into to get some nice shapes. In the end, it all came together wonderfully.
It was an outdoor wedding, but there was a lovely little air conditioned room for the cake. It was perfect.
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I had never made cake pops before, but they turned out just lovely!
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The white and pink went so nicely with the aqua!

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So cute!
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The funny part about this cake was that some of the cake… was, in fact, a lie. LOL
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The bottom tier was made of foam! It wasn’t really cake at all. It was a false tier lol. the large tier was lemon cake filled with a delicious lemon filling, the middle was vanilla bean filled with vanilla bean buttercream and the top tier was strawberry with vanilla buttercream.
It was the first time I had ever worked with vanilla beans! I loved it. I cut them open and the whole house smelled like vanilla! Yum! Even though the strawberry tier was the smallest, I put an entire carton of fresh strawberries into it! haha. The strawberry to cake ratio was almost equal lol
Katie wanted the lemon cake to be the largest because it’s her favorite. Originally, I was going to make the lemon curd myself, but while I was at Cake Craft picking up supplies, I saw they had some premade… the ladies swore to me that it was delicious and I figured it would save me an hour or so of my life, so I went for it haha. It was so good and it even came in an awesome bag that you just snip the tip off of and pipe it into the cake!

In the end, it was a heck of a night and a hell of a party. There was a taco bar, a lot of beer and a lot of dancing.
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Congratulations you two. <3

Steak Cake Take Two!

I think this is technically my third steak cake related post lol. It just turns out that the steak cake is a popular subject…
And I think I’ve really perfected this whole thing haha.

I decided to make a label… I did a google image search and found a label I liked. I made a few… changes to it lol
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I even made some garnish for this one. Some leaves to kind of set off the whole thing like it’s sitting on a nice bed of greens.
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Of course, the cake was red velvet.
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I’m told he didn’t even want to cut it! :D

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!

Tutorial Tuesday: Simple Cake Frosting

Some things are second nature to me. I do them so much that I just forget I used to have trouble with them. I just skip them as a step and casually say “Oh just go ahead and level/fill/crumb coat/frost your cake and we’ll go from there.”

lol

Ok, so today is the most basic. How to do these simple starter bits. I know what frustrated me the most when I first started teaching myself, so I’ll try to cover these things.

Start by leveling your layers. I showed you how to do this here. Here’s a bit of a refresher though.
Remember, score only to the point you want to level, then carefully remove the top. Or whatever leveling technique you feel comfortable with. You MUST level it though. Don’t stack dome-topped cakes. lol Also, PLEASE, let your cakes cool before you do anything.
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Next, place strips of wax paper on your cake board. You’ll put the cake over them, you just want to be able to pull them out from under the cake when you’re done. They’ll protect the board from rouge icing globs.
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I suggest the Wilton buttercream recipe for your icing.
Now, we start the crumb coat. Whether you’re doing fondant or buttercream as your final product, you have to master the crumb coat. Remember when you were a kid and you’d get out that tub of frosting that was either too stiff because it’d be put in the fridge or too goopy because… well, because that’s just how it is, and you’d dip in your butter knife and try your very hardest to smooth that glop across your un-leveled cake, shredding the sides as you went. Maybe you didn’t even let the thing cool first. I mean… I have those memories lol. If only I’d known about the crumb coat!
First we’ll place our first layer and give it some filling. I don’t like a ton of frosting in the middle, personally. I just put enough to even out any imperfections and stick the two layers together. If you want to fill with fillings or a lot of icing, I’d scoop out a small amount of cake so that there’s an area for the filling to be in without squishing out the sides…

*IMPORTANT: Always keep a cup of hot water at hand. If you start having ANY issues with the icing sticking to your spatula, dip the spatula in the hot water and scrap off excess icing.*
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Once it’s pretty smooth in there, go ahead and place your second layer on top.

Keep that hot water in mind, don’t forget it’s there. Use it often. You don’t want water dripping all over your cake so tap off excess water, but seriously, keeping your spatula hot will keep your frosting happy.
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Glop some icing on top. Don’t be shy. If you don’t have enough on there, you’ll be frustrated. Start smoothing. Keep your spatula hot. This is a thin coating of frosting and you want it to gather the loose crumbs and hug that cake!
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Cool. Now, toss it in the fridge just to set up a bit while you prep for round two. From here, this cake could be covered in fondant as shown here… or you can cover this cake with more buttercream.
I’ll be showing you that now.
I like to crumb coat in white, but you can now cover with whatever color or flavor you like. I’m using blue.
Again, a big glob on top. This is where you want to be very liberal. Really glob it on. The first time I iced a cake, I didn’t have enough frosting and I was so frustrated. And I can’t stress that hot glass of water enough. You might even want to refresh that glass, the temp has probably gone down some by now.
Start this the same as the crumb coat. Glob it on and smooth it out.
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Little lips on the edges like this can be smoothed inward.
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Not bad, not bad. I could make myself crazy trying to make buttercream look fondant smooth all day, but I am not that good with it, so I don’t bother. This is good enough for me. Icing is an art. And I’m just a tourist in the buttercream world. Fondant is my deal haha.
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Now you can remove that wax paper. Viola! Your board is clean :)
Now, as for all those bottom parts and top parts that aren’t perfect, that’s what boarders are for silly!
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My buttercream was a little thinner than I like to use it here. Possibly because I threw in some cream cheese. Ah well. Still not bad.

As always, happy caking! Happy frosting! And I hope I’ve answered some questions! Also, having one of these snazzy cake turntables helps SO MUCH. I think these basic ones are literally like $5 at the craft store. It’s nice to be able to turn the cake as you smooth the sides. I think I take it for granted sometimes. Also, sorry if some of the photos suck this week. (Don’t drink Four Loko at 3pm on a Monday and try to decorate cakes… it SOUNDS like a fun idea… but you’ll wake up at 7pm in a kayak in the middle of your living room with a chihuahua on your head. True story…)

Tutorial Tuesday: IRL

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You won’t be learning much in today’s edition because I took this Tuesday to do an in real life Tutorial Tuesday! My friend Kevin is awesome, he’s done two of my three baking related tattoos and I’ve known him since he used to make lattes for a living before he became like one of the coolest tattoo artists ever.
Also, he has two of the cutest kids I’ve ever met. Well, they were kids… and now they’re like… these crazy sort of grown up looking people. I don’t really know how this happens because last time I saw his daughter I think she was reading me a Dora the Explorer book and she came over today and was as tall as I am. Haha. Parents, stop letting your children grow up! It’s making me feel old!

Anyhow, Eros is 13. Almost 14, as it turns out. And she loves Ace of Cakes. She watches it like crazy and she’s obsessed with cake decorating. She’s been rolling play dough over tin cans as her practice, which, I think, is pretty darn adorable. Now, when I first started, I also loved Ace of Cakes. I didn’t know where or how to get started. Then I helped a good friend with an art project by helping her illustrate a children’s book she wrote. I didn’t ask anything in return, but I came home to a package in the mail… it was this:
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Just a few little things to get me started… and look how far I’ve come!
So, I made her a little starter kit!

Just a few things to get her started, icing spatula, some silicone spatulas, pizza cutter, pastry brush, measuring cup, couplers, 4 icing tips, three different kinds of sprinkles and I made her some fondant to play with.

I’m also passing on the two decorating books I started with. They were a great inspiration to me when I got them and I know they’ll be a great inspiration to her.

I prepped a few cakes to work with her on. I made two tiny tiny cakes and pre-iced them so we could just cover them in fondant. Then I baked and leveled two other small two layer cakes to show her how to fill and crumb coat a cake.
We started by covering the two tiny cakes. I didn’t get photos of us covering them because I was obviously a little busy haha, but she did great.
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Right away we started cutting out pieces of decoration for the cakes. She was a total natural.
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She picked everything up so quickly and anything she didn’t get right away, she figured out within minutes!

We moved on to filling and crumb coating the larger cake, again, no photos of this, I was covered in frosting lol. Then we covered these in fondant. She found out that getting a nice, smooth, even coating of icing on a cake is hard work haha. I helped her a bit, remembering how hard it was for my the first time I crumb coated a cake.
She did a great job with the fondant though :)
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Right away she was decorating every side of the cake and having a blast.
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This was her finished large cake :)

Eros is obviously super creative and has some skillz! I think if she really wants to do this, she’ll do great! I’m so glad that I could be a part of helping her learn. She did such a great job and Kevin said she was super stoked on everything. I made them take home all of the cakes hahaha. My husband just lost 80lbs, so… we try to not keep a lot of cake around these days lol.

She wants to come over some time and help me out with a cake which would be great!

I think next week, I’m going to do a tutorial on how to ice a cake using just buttercream and make it look great! Stay tuned! Hope you enjoyed seeing Eros have her little cake making dreams come true! I had a blast working with her today!

Dog Birthdays

Listen, dogs are people too. Er… well, that is to say, they’re part of the family. And since I’m evidently reproductively challenged, my dog is like my child. And that child is turning 4 on the 15th of July! *sniffle* They grow up SO FAST! Well, my tiny man is super spoiled and everyone loves him… so this is your chance to share the love!

Please download this banner template in the large size from my flickr and design your own panel! Then email it to me at plasticshakeupsnow@gmail.com and I will download and print off all the panels made! Then I will create a banner for Eddy’s party and you’ll all get to be a part of it!
Eddy's Birthday banner!

Download the largest size (actually labeled medium 640×621)here on flickr by right clicking to save to your computer.

Have fun with it! Use photos or ms paint, use photoshop or if you can figure out how to print it out, draw on it and scan it back in and make it the same size again, well more power to you. haha. Make Eddy’s birthday fun!

Here’s a look at his past two birthdays!

When little man turned 3 last year I made him this cake!
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Full post here!

And he got his first cake at two years old!

Full post here!

I look forward to posting this year’s cake! Suggest the color combination for his potato “frosting” and go create those banners! The party is July 15th!

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