Favorite Quote Ever :)

Life is short. Eat more cake!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rustic Buttercream Wedding Cake

Loved, loved, loved working on this sweet couple's wedding cake & cupcakes! Wedding cake flavors were: chocolate with oreo buttercream, red velvet with vanilla cream cheese, pumpkin spice with cinnamon cream cheese and vanilla with vanilla bean buttercream. Cupcakes were mocha with caramel buttercream and vanilla bean caramel drizzle, sprinkled with sea salt.

Frozen Birthday Cakes

So it finally happened - I just now had my first request for a "Frozen" themed birthday cake! These fun trio of cakes were for a special little girl who even had princesses coming to her party! Chocolate and vanilla buttermilk cakes, with buttercream frosting and fondant details.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hello Kitty Cupcakes

Fun little cupcakes to celebrate a Hello Kitty fan's birthday! Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream swirls and fondant Hello Kitty toppers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Football First Birthday

Super fun theme for a little guy turning 1! All vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and some fondant details.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Planes Birthday Cake

So I finally had a request for a Disney "Planes" birthday cake! Yay! What a fun theme to work with! Vanilla buttermilk cake with vanilla buttercream filling and carrot cake with cream cheese filling, covered in fondant with fondant details.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 North Carolina State Fair Competition Cake

I always struggle SO much with deciding on a design to attempt for my State Fair cake - I like to use my competition cake as a way of pushing myself and trying new things and I just always have so many techniques or things on my "cake decorating bucket list" that it's just so hard to choose! Thankfully this idea wasn't too hard to settle on! I've slowly been working my way through learning various sugar flowers and thought it would be fun to really create a lot of them to go on a cake - certainly more than I've ever attempted to make & place before! I also wanted to attempt some wood grain and can't even begin to say how excited I am with the outcome there - most folks don't realize the bottom tier is fondant as well until I tell them, so taking that as a good sign. It's hard to see in my photos, but I also made one of the white tiers slightly different - when kneading my fondant, I mixed in some pumpkin pie spice to give it little "flecks" that almost resemble linen! My family will be visiting the Fair on Monday, so we'll see if my attempts garnered a ribbon then :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Ah, Fall baking! A pretty big part of why I love Fall so much! :) Give these a try if you dare...you won't be able to stop eating them!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Swiss Meringue & Sugared Pecans

Sugared Pecans:
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
Cooking Spray
-Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar and heavy cream. Mix thoroughly. Spread into a baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until coating is dry and slightly crystalized, stirring once. Remove from oven to cool and stir once more.

1&1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
6 ounces (or one small) sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
-Heat the oven to 350 F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners. Steam the sweet potatoes until fork tender, about ten minutes. Set aside to cool slightly then mash with a fork until smooth. In a medium bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light in color, about three minutes. Add the egg, sweet potato, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix until well combined. In a large bowl sift the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until no large lumps remain. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly between the baking cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed in the center. Cool for three minutes in the pan then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

2-3 large egg whites (75 grams)
½ cup plus 2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple flavoring
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
-Add egg whites, brown sugar and salt to mixing bowl and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160 F. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (This can take up to 10 minutes or so). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. Add vanilla, maple flavoring and cinnamon, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
 Pipe buttercream on top of cooled cupcakes and top with sugared pecans, if so desired. Enjoy!

*Makes 12 cupcakes

Owl First Birthday

Fun little buttercream cake to match the birthday girl's party invitations! Vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream filling and frosting with fondant details.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Navy & Coral Wedding Cake (And an Exceptional Location!)

I had the pleasure of not only making this lovely bride's wedding cake, but also attending her wedding - set at Willow Oaks Plantation in Eden, NC. And let me just say...the drive was worth it! With the sun setting just as the couple completed their vows - it was truly magical! The couple selected several flavors, their favorite being quite a popular choice this time of year, pumpkin spice with cinnamon cream cheese filling. They also chose chocolate with caramel swiss meringue, vanilla with vanilla swiss meringue and red velvet with vanilla cream cheese. The cake was covered in fondant with piped scrollwork and a ribbon at the base of each tier. I created coral pink peonies from gum paste to top everything off - loved working on those!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spiderman Birthday Cake

I've had quite a few requests for Batman cakes, but finally a Spiderman cake! Had so much fun with this one! Vanilla and Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling, covered in fondant with fondant details.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sofia the First Cake & Cupcakes

Who doesn't love this cute, spunky little Princess? A fun cake with matching cupcakes for a Sofia the First fan :) All fondant decor, gum paste tiara and toy Sofia figure.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Watermelon (Cake!)

So this little mini-cake (only a 4" round) and matching cupcakes was made for a bridal shower - loved, loved, LOVED the theme! Unfortunately the flavor isn't watermelon - could not find a SINGLE watermelon when I went shopping for the ingredients! (I know - really?!) Instead, I used gel coloring to tint the vanilla cake pinkish-red, mixed in mini chooclate chips for "seeds" and then paired that with green buttercream - watermelon flavor, no - but still cute and tasty!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Doc McStuffins & Minnie Mouse Birthday

What do you do when the birthday girl loves Doc McStuffins -and- Minnie Mouse? You give her both on her cake, of course! Marble cake, vanilla buttercream filling, covered in fondant with fondant details and a toy Doc topper. So much fun to design and bring to life!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ninjago Birthday

I'm actually quite surprised that I haven't had a request for a Ninjago cake before now (especially that I haven't had a request from my son being the Lego nut he is!) Really had fun with this design! Chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream filling, covered in fondant with fondant details and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and fondant toppers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One Direction Birthday

I get so excited when I receive a "call to action" from Icing Smiles, Inc.! I do believe this was cake #4 that I've been blessed to work on for them - the birthday girl was a BIG One Direction fan! The cake was vanilla and chocolate with vanilla buttercream, covered in fondant with fondant details and I'm told it was a hit with the birthday girl!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pink Sugar Peony & A Highly Recommended Online Class!

I am so excited to share my picture with you today! My very first open sugar peony - I have been wanting to tackle one of these for FOREVER!! Finally did with the help of a great class available on Craftsy - have you had a chance to check their offerings out yet? If not, I highly recommend it! They do have a number of free classes and tutorials available, but this one was SO worth the $! And compared to live classes, extremely affordable at only $20! (I did snag it when it was 1/2 off!) The class I just finished is "Cakes in Full Bloom" by Erin Gardner - again, she show some beautiful techniques and how-to's on sugar flowers - a really fun and well-done class! (And no, I haven't been paid a dime to review this class - just wanted to share!) My peony still has a way to go before I'm completely happy with it...but so excited to finally attempt one - always a work in progress! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Preppy" Floral Striped Birthday Cake

This fun little cake was designed based on the Birthday girl's party invitation - it featured the same bold stripes and colorful flowers that adorn the cake - I just fell in love with them! This was a vanilla cake with lemon swiss meringue filling, covered in fondant with fondant details.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Teacher Retirement Celebration Cake

So, a few weeks ago I had the ultimate privilege of making a cake for one of my very favorite high school teachers, who just retired. I will never, EVER forget how he took his own personal time after school to help me when I was struggling with Algebra - ended up becoming one of my favorite subjects in school! My class as a whole was probably quite the "challenge" for my math teacher - but he was there every day with a smile (and usually a corny joke or two!) I hope he enjoys his new "job" - enjoying time with his family and grandkids! :) I found complete inspiration for this cake design from the fabulous "Icing on the Cake"! The cake was vanilla with vanilla swiss meringue and chocolate with vanilla swiss meringue, covered in fondant with all fondant/gum paste details.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hunger Games Cake

This was (I believe!) my 3rd cake I've had the utmost pleasure of working on for Icing Smiles, Inc.! I was contacted about working on a cake for a very special young lady celebrating her 17th birthday -and- it just so happened she was a HUGE Hunger Games fan! (Um, can you say - match made in Heaven?!) Knowing the AMAZING team over at Duke Children's Hospital goes ALL OUT decorating & planning for these kids - I knew the cake needed to be just as fun! I made Miss Hannah a chocolate cake, with chocolate vanilla buttercream filling, covered in fondant with fondant & gum paste details. Really loved how well the Mockingjay topper turned out - I cut out the circle using some of my cutters, then just formed the mockingjay itself by hand - started with a lump of gum paste! (Really glad it came out looking like a bird lol!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Double Minion Birthday Cake

As one of my "standing" yearly requests - I always enjoy finding out what theme this little guy is going with for his birthday! This year's was a "minion" theme, from Despicable Me and I couldn't have been more excited - especially since the overall design was completely left up to me! I wanted to attempt a cake using not only the familiar yellow minions we've all become so accustomed to, but also the crazy-haired purple minions as well, and I was so pleased with how these party animals turned out! The cake consisted of one tier of chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling and one of vanilla buttermilk cake with vanilla buttercream filling, covered in fondant with fondant details. Have to admit, I was kind of sad to have to let these guys go! ;)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Buttercream Minnie Mouse Cake

I love making pretty, girly cakes - what can I say? I SO enjoyed making this little Minnie Mouse themed cake for my Nephew's little girl, who turned two years old - she's such a cutie! I wanted to decorate this cake with mainly buttercream - I love covering cakes in fondant, and tend to do mainly that - but really wanted to practice my buttercream. Still need SO much practice there! This was a chocolate and strawberry cake, with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream filling and frosting and fondant accents. I used one of my lovely cutters from Not Just Cakes by Annie to cut the name plaque from some white fondant, pulled up a picture of "Disney Font" on my iphone, and used that as a guide to freehand the birthday girl's name (using an edible food-color marker) - have to admit, I was pretty pleased with how well it turned out!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Well hi, there! Long time no post?!

Well...I have not been held captive, not kidnapped by aliens and not taken some time to "find myself"! I have to admit that I did *slightly* forget about my blog for a time...shameful, I know! I AM trying to not over-schedule myself with cake projects though - I'm trying, really I am! So even though I am posting now, just know that my posts will probably not be as frequent as they had been in the past! So, on to cakes!

For now, I'm just going with one of my favorite cakes from 2013 - my entry for the North Carolina State Fair Decorated Cakes competition - my entry was for the "Decorated for Wedding" category. I have always enjoyed looking at all the entries - even before I started "playing" with cakes! It's just so much fun to see what everyone brings. I tried to go with a slightly "North Carolina" themed cake using our state flower, the dogwood, as the main feature of my cake. These were my first attempt at making dogwood blossoms out of gum paste and I really enjoyed using petal dust to make them come to life! I also had a lot of fun working on the ruffled layers - it was a time consuming technique, but a fun one as well! I was so very excited to find a blue ribbon on my cake when we visited the Fair and as usual - I'm already enjoying thinking about what I'd like to attempt next time! :)