Trinity's Princess Cake

This is an interpretative cake...you have to use your imagination. I was not able to get the "castle kit" to make the princess castle cake nor did I have the time to build one my self. Michelle found some Disney figurines and tiara party favors at the store. She also found the "cake topper". The princess 'dances' and it plays music. It fit perfectly on top of the 6" cake.

Danielle's Birthday Cake

Some how I over looked adding this cake in earlier. This cake was created for Danielle's 13th birthday last month. I was very pleased with how the cake came out. Everything cooperated and was perfect. I am very proud of my work here.

YIKES!! 100% Humidity!

I created a fun graduation cake for Jackie and Amanda this past weekend. The party was outdoors and it was hot hot HOT! 90 degrees and 100% humidity! It became apparent very quickly that cakes + fondant + high humidity = scary situation.

The poor cake was melting, fast! The 'shooting stars' began to curl and the butter cream filling was making the layers shift. Thankfully there were no disasters and the cake was served without incident.

CJ

Anyone who knows me, knows that my biggest fear is snakes. I hate them! So you can imagine how 'excited' I was to make a snake cake. Last month my best friend, Danielle, was having a 4-in-1 party and asked if I could make CJ's birthday cake...only stipulation - incorporate a snake. BLAH!

Sugar High Honors!

...we interrupt our regularly scheduled programing to bring you some breaking news...

A huge THANK YOU to Lindsay and her Blog Directory! After submitting The Sugar High Cakery to the directory for review, Lindsay contacted me offering to make this blog featured on the directory! WOW!!

Please take a moment and visit Lindsay's cake decorating blog directory. There are lots of awesome blogs about "everything cakes" found there. Recipes. Stories. Techniques. It has it all!! 


Thanks again Lindsay!

...we will now return to our regularly scheduled programing...

CHEERS!


In the Community...

I was asked by Brooklyn's Girl Scout Troop to come in and give a cake decorating lesson. I suggested that we do it right before Mother's Day so the girls could take a cake home to Mom. I selected a basic design that every girl could create. The catch was there was only 2 hours to complete 17 cakes. READY? GO!

I baked all 17 two-layer 8" cakes at home. I made upwards of 30 pounds of fondant, and a massive amount of butter cream. Once I got to the school, I set up stations: fondant rolling and decorating. Due to the time, I had to fill and crumb coat all of the cakes.

Easter Cake

I still cant figure out how I don't have the final picture of this cake. But I digress...

Our Easter cake marked a couple of firsts for me.
  1. Basket weave - something I have put off for a long time...but quickly learned there is nothing to it. I would suggest to anyone new to decorating that is going to attempt a basket weave - crumb coat the cake in the same color you are going to make your basket in.
  2. Cereal Treats - I made the easter eggs out of cereal treats. Originally I was going to wrap the eggs in fondant and pipe decorations on them. However, I did not have any fondant premade in the fridge and I was far to lazy after finishing the basket weave. I just frosted them instead. 
  3. Not taking more pictures of the finished cake.....I still can't believe that! Sheesh!

It was not what I had planned exactly, but the kids and guest liked it! It was a very festive centerpiece on the dinner table. 

Thanks for stopping by again! I am really glad you are here sharing in this experience with me.

Until next time...

CHEERS!

The Star Tip

I have decorated a few cakes using only the star tip...they are a lot of fun to make. I pretty basic decorating technique and anyone can learn in seconds. Here are some examples of mine:


The Girl Scout. I made this for Brooklyn's Girl Scout troop. They were having a Halloween party/birthday celebration for the founder of the Girl Scouts.



The Burbank Titans. This cake was a special request for Brooklyn's cheer squad. They were having a "cheer hair party" for a competition the following day. This is what I came up with. The frosting is actually dark purple, but in the picture it looks almost blue.

Brooklyn

Once again, I bit off more than I could chew with this cake! I went idea hunting and found a very nice 3 tier princess cake. All three tiers were tapered and with the top being "quilted". Gorgeous cake! I attempted it...

Shaping cakes is easy to do in theory...but when the knife touches the cake you quickly realize there is no turning back - no do-overs. I was happy with the shape of the bottom 2 tiers; however, the top "quilted" tier was a disaster! I did not even get the chance to try the quilting technique as I had binned the poor cake.

So once again I was back to a 2 tier cake. The outcome was nice though. Brooklyn loved her cake and all of her friends want the same cake for their birthday. One thing I did learn from this was, if a client gives you full creative freedom to make whatever you want for them, if a particular element does not make it onto the cake they will never know (unless you start a tell-all blog - my secrets are out....lol).

So I guess that makes the score: Whimsy Cakes - 2, Sean - 0

I will revisit this cake and the Topsy Turvy again in the future! As always, I hope you are enjoying the stories. Please comment on anything you like (or don't like) so I know you are out there. What do you think of the new blog layout....pretty nice I think.

Ok....I have 20 pounds of fondant to go make...until next time!

CHEERS!

Payton


This past February, Payton turned 1 year old. I had seen a cake that had "painted" fondant the overall effect was very nice. So in my usual "can do" approach to decorating cakes, I attempted the technique. I was not very happy with the out come - not my best work. However, it went over well with all of the guests and more importantly, the birthday girl.

Its pretty straight forward...apply the fondant to the cake, then use your gel color of choice thinned down with water. This technique is much better suited for creating something like wood grain. I used a fondant impression mat that I then filled in with butter cream to make the middle tier. These mats are pretty handy for creating fine detail on the fondant.

This cake, as with all of them, was a learning experience. Thank you for stopping in and reading. I would like to add a little side note: I am not a big fan of advertisements on blogs. I do however like the amazon ads. It allows me to post a specific item. I think this is more of a tool than an ad because those who do not have access to a Hobby Lobby or Michael's can see what I am talking about and purchase the tool direct from Amazon.com. I will not do this often...just when there is a special or new tool I used in the creation of the featured cake.

Until next time...

CHEERS!

Cheyenne

Our good friend Priscilla asked if I would make a cake for her daughter's birthday. She gave me full creative freedom, just asked that purple, black and white be incorporated into the design. In my mind I thought that purple and white would be no problem....but black?! I had never even made the color black.

I did attempt to make black fondant! It proved impossible. Even using gel color, the amount needed to change the color to jet black was turning the fondant into a gummy mess, and I think anyone that had eaten it would have had black teeth for weeks. 

...Back to the drawing board...

Michelle had come up with the idea of making the shell boarder black to separate the layers. EUREKA! What a great idea. The butter cream was difficult to bring to black, but I kept working at it and found mixing purple and black gels made a perfect jet black. At any rate, this cake still came with a disclaimer to avoid eating the black icing or discolored lips and mouths would ensue.




I also experimented with "shimmer dust". This stuff is expensive but well worth the cost and time it takes to apply. You almost needed sunglasses to look directly at this cake (well that may be an exaggeration...but it was beautiful). Another new addition that this cake helped add to my repertoire were the "shooting stars". They were made out of fondant and applied to the cake with floral wire. Pretty nice effect!

Well thats the story behind this cake....I am trying to get you all caught up. I should have started this blog 2 years ago. I do have a graduation cake to make for this Saturday, then a birthday cake and another graduation cake. I will try to get some more of the old ones posted before I add the new.

Thanks for reading!

CHEERS!

Congratulations Graduates 2009!

By this time, word of my cakes had traveled around our close circle of friends. I was asked by two of our friends, Anna and Danielle, to make graduation cakes for their kids. I was honored! These would be the first cakes I would create for others.

First was Evan and Anna's son, Little Evan. Evan was graduating from the 8th grade. He is truly one of the best all around kids I have had the pleasure of knowing. He is an athlete, musician, and Nation Honor Roll inductee. Just an all around great kid!


The cake was a 14-10-6 3 tier cake. The school colors are blue and white. The middle tier was gold with stars to honor Evan's induction to the National Honor Roll. We were all very proud of him.

My best friend in the whole world asked me to make her a cake for her graduating kids. Kayla was graduating High School and CJ was graduating 8th grade. This cake proved challenging...the school colors were different (Reavis: Navy and White / Liberty: Red, White and Blue).



It was not my goal to have this cake look like a 4th of July cake...but that is how it turned out. Also, I did not have a star cutter for the middle tier. So they were all cut out by hand. I did attempt the mortarboard cap for the top tier; however, the fondant was not cooperating and I ended up ditching it. 

This cake also marked a new filling: chocolate fudge butter cream. Really good but almost ended in disaster as it melted between the layers in my hot kitchen.

Sorry for the short post! These were pretty straight forward cakes and nothing major happened that stands out in my mind. I would imagine thats a good thing for me...but does not make for an interesting read...lol



Stay tuned...you will be able to laugh at me soon enough!

CHEERS! 

<------
PS:  Sheesh...nice of Amazon.com to place this =)

EPIC Fail? Almost!

With several cakes under my belt, I decided it was time to up the difficulty level. Apparently I believed "anything you can do, I can do better..."! Brittany had just graduated High School and we were throwing her a graduation party. I searched the internet high and low for the perfect cake to recreate...and I found it. 

Picture from pinkcakebox.com


This is a very whimsical cake. They are typically called Topsy Turvy or Mad Hatter cakes. I quickly learned I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Needless to say my mind was set...I was going to create a Topsy Turvy! The amount have cake it took to make this cake still floors me to this day...and mind you...this was not only my first attempt and a whimsy cake, but my first attempt at ANY tiered cake...period. Ya...looking back this was foolish. 

I started baking the layers a few days in advance and freezing them (mistake #1). Once it came time to assemble the cakes, I took them out of the freezer to defrost. I crowned the layers and noticed that the centers were still cold but not frozen. I decided to go ahead filling, carving, and crumb coating the tiers (mistake #2). I began noticing that the cakes were sweating though the crumb coat...there were beads of condensation. I feared the worst but the cakes dried and everything was fine. I wrapped the bottom tier in plastic and moved it on the turntable to the washer machine (mistake #3). I wake up the next morning to find the bottom tier in the wash sink. "Someone" had moved the cake to add a load of laundry into the washer. The *facepalm* moment comes when that "someone" returned the bottom tier to the washer....the cake survived the wash cycle but I am guessing the spin cycle proved to much!

Well there was not enough time to re-bake the tier. So we moved forward with a 2 tier Topsy Turvy. Everything went off without a hitch after the washer incident. There were a few things I did learn from this cake. Notice how the blue fondant looks cracked? It turns out this is a result from using corn starch as a dusting agent on the counter to roll the fondant. I have since switched to Powdered Sugar and never had this problem again. Also to maintain with "school spirit" I colored the cake of the middle tier (now the bottom) blue. The idea was good in theory; however, it turns out that blue is a very unappetizing color to eat.



I can't help looking back at these early cakes and laughing. The tools I was using...its amazing to me I was able to make anything. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this. I am finding it therapeutic telling the story behind my cakes. Stay tuned...more to come...

CHEERS! 

Practice makes perfect


I had to ditch the plastic sandwich pastry bag...and fast. I found myself at Michael's to procure some much needed tools. I did not want to spend a lot of money on cake tools as this was just a hobby for me. I picked up a few tips and real pastry bags. I also got the workbook for the Wilton cake decorating course.

Over the next few weeks I practiced decorating cakes with some tricks I learned from YouTube videos and the Wilton workbook. I surprised myself with the outcome of the practice sessions. I know they are not Food Network worthy cakes; however, they are mine and I was officially hooked!


The Grapevine Cake. This was my first cake using proper tools. I pulled the idea for this cake from the Wilton workbook. I very quickly realized that decorating with butter cream was much harder to do than it looked. Overall I was pleased with this cake and was eager to learn more and make another.



The Floral Cake. I know...it looks like a floral shop exploded on this cake! I was trying to practice floral techniques. Roses are by far the most difficult to make..for me anyways. I continue to have problems with them to this day. Hopefully, I will receive formal training at some point to master them as learning from a book has been very difficult. The flowers around the boarder are called drop flowers and are created with a tip in one smooth motion...very easy. As with the Grapevine Cake, I still had not mastered making a traditional shell boarder, so I opted for the easier stars. 
Side note: I have uploaded a lot of my cakes to a website called cakecentral.com. The site provides cake decorators of all skill levels to share creations and recipes. This floral cake received more views and comments than any of my other cakes. Go figure the cake I hate the most, has been the favorite to many others.







The Crop Circle Cake. This is last cake I will share with you on this post. It was made as a special request from Michelle. At the time we both were big into playing the game FarmTown on Facebook. (big thanks to my mom for getting us hooked into that...lol) Anyways, she wanted a farm cake, so this is what I came up with. There had actually been a crop circle cake I had seen online at one point, so it thought this would be a perfect opportunity to recreate it. This cake was another big hit with the kids and on cakecentral.com. It was a lot of fun to make!


Well, that it for this edition of "As the Cake Turntable Spins"! Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!

CHEERS!



What started it all...

In 2008, I started making cakes for fun. Cakes from the grocery store were going up in price while going down in quality. I had purchased a cake for Michelle's birthday from the bakery case and asked if they could write "Happy Birthday Mommy" on it so the kids could give it to her. Well, what seemed to me a simple request, turned into a major production involving the bakery and store managers. The first attempt looked as if one of our kids had actually wrote on the cake with finger paints. The bakery manager's "fix" included a thick 2 inch ribbon of butter cream icing to cover the previous decorator's abomination.

After it was all said and done, I was saddened by the lack of skill these "professionals" possessed and the poor customer service on the part of the management. From that point on, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury became the standard for all of our cake needs. 

I cannot tell you how it came to be that I enjoyed creating cakes really. I was more of a "look at that cake...I can do that!" type of deal. That in combination with the uprising of shows like Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss, and Challenge, I began to try new things. I started with plastic sandwich bags with the corner snipped off as my piping bag. I out grew those very quickly. Also I had to come up with something better for the icing. The "tub icing" is not good for decorating cakes...nor is it great for taste.

I turned to the internet. I was surprised to find that there is a virtual culinary school worth of videos on YouTube. All of my technique, has been self taught with the help from YouTube. This is also where I learned everything from making icing and fondant to fillings and making roses. This also sparked my love-hate relationship with Michael's. (They love my wallet and I hate it)

Anyways...I guess thats the condensed soup version of how this all started.

As for the cakes. Here are a few of the first documented cakes I made. There were many before this...but I never thought that this would become a career choice at the time.




Priscilla is one of our dear friends. This was a cake I made for her birthday last year. This was actually my first time making and using fondant. This was also still in my "plastic sandwich pastry bag" days. (*sigh* notice the "border") I was very proud of this cake and marked the beginning of the end, as they say.




Priscilla's birthday party was shared with another friend. This was Fabian's birthday cake. I made this one right after Priscilla's. Major lessons learned on this one!! First, I stacked the cakes then wrapped the fondant over both of them. That was a no-no. Second, the bow...hot mess...enough said. You will see in later posts that I have improved some since this monstrosity. 


I hope you enjoyed reading about the beginning of it all...I look forward to sharing all of the other cakes I have pictures of and documenting things to come...

Thanks for reading! 
CHEERS!

Hello World!

Well...I guess I am going to jump on the Blog bandwagon! Better late than never I guess! I will go back though the past year or so of cakes and tell the story behind them. There are a few exciting things coming up for me that I will be looking forward to sharing with you as well. (whoever you are!) lol

**sigh**

So it begins...

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