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Minecraft Inspired Cake

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I had the opportunity to make a Minecraft inspired cake. As I normally do with all cake requests, I got busy looking at photos and watching videos related to the theme. I came up with, what I thought was, a great cake design. I have two little people in my house who are Minecraft lovers so when I told them about my design and sought their input, I was quickly put in my place with a “Mom, that’s not how it works. Put that down and come PLAY the game”. LOL so I didn’t actually play the game but I did watch my kids and got a quick lesson on how the game works. I got some input from my kids and came up with this design:

Minecraft Inspired CakeI wanted to have a sparkling candle on top of the TNT for added effect but didn’t have one on hand. Other than that, I was very pleased with how it turned out and the kids loved it! All of the cake toppers were hand made out of fondant/gumpaste. I didn’t see many cakes with “Steve” in a position other than completely upright so I knew I wanted to make mine appear to be moving so that’s how I modeled him. I also wanted the “Creeper” to have a two-toned look similar to the photos I saw so I made him with a marbled effect. The grass was made with buttercream using the Wilton grass tip 233. The dirt was given the textured look by adding Oreos into the chocolate buttercream. The diamond tools and map were my son’s suggestion. The age was displayed on an Obsidian block. (Notice the diamond tools next to the block. These are the only mining tools for this block in the game). These are all the little details my kids helped me with. The name was displayed on signage similar to what I saw on the game.

Minecraft Inspired Cake ToppersThis was another very fun cake to make!

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Frozen-Inspired Birthday Cake and Cake Pops

I made this cute Frozen-inspired cake and cake pops this past weekend.

Frozen Olaf Fondant CakeFrozen Olaf Fondant Birthday CakeThe cake board covered with powdered sugar for a snow effect:

Frozen Cake BoardThe coordinating cake pops:

Frozen Cake PopsSo much fun to make and I was thrilled when the birthday girl saw me place the nose on the snowman and shrieked “Olaf! I like my birthday cake!”

Art-Themed Birthday Party

I had so much fun planning this art-themed birthday party!

Art Themed Birthday PartyI used my daughter’s artwork and art supplies as decorations. I frequented Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and JoAnn for the items I needed. Every day on my lunch break I would go to a couple of craft stores and pick up a couple of supplies and/or decorations with those wonderful 40% off coupons. I found some great deals in clearance also. I found a 7-pk of canvases for $6.99. The party was for 16 children so I still needed two more 7-pks. Using a 25% coupon on a 40% sale, I was able to get two more packs for $20.98 so I ended up with 21 canvases for $27.97. The acrylic paint, oil pastels, card stock etc was all purchased with coupons.

Art Themed PartyThe fabric I used in the pails to simulate paint was purchased for a few dollars at JoAnn with a 25% coupon on a clearance sale. I saw the idea online but plastic table coverings were used. I liked the way it looked with soft fabric much better and it was only a couple of dollars more. I made the treat “bags” by hot-gluing a ribbon to a clear plastic cup and filling with crayons.

Art Themed Cake and Cake PopsI made the cake and cake pops/balls. The cake pops and balls were displayed in painters’ palettes.

Colorful 36 in BalloonsI purchased those massive 36″ balloons hoping to fill them with helium so I could tie them to chairs but the cost was so much I decided to just fill them with air. That ended up working out perfect because the kids had a blast playing with them!

It was such a fun party and I didn’t spend a fortune!

 

Peacock Cake

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This fondant peacock cake consists of a 9 in tier and a 6 in tier.

Peacock Cake

Peacock Cake

After covering the tiers with fondant and stacking them, I then placed the front accent piece centered on the side of the top tier. This helped guide the peacocks’ tail. To form the tail I started on the very bottom using three different sized circle cutters. I used the largest circle to cut the green feathers, the medium circle for the brown feathers and the smallest circle for the blue feathers. After cutting the circles, I pressed them a bit with the rolling pin to get the tear drop shape. I worked my way up to the top of the cake by reducing the size of the circle cutters every two or three rows of feathers to achieve a tapered look. I added some rolled fondant in the section where the two tiers meet, that way when I placed the feathers on that portion they would not sink and the tail would appear fuller. I also added a few smaller round circles randomly throughout the tail to give a more interesting look.

The basic shape of the peacock on the top of the cake is pretty easy to make. I used a simple bird tutorial as a guide (such as the one here). I made the neck longer and leaner.

To make the peacock’s wings I just randomly cut slits in some rolled fondant using the cutting tool (making sure not to cut all the way through so it would stay together when I lifted it).

Peacock Feather Making

Peacock Feather Making

I used the top of a Number 12 icing tip to make the smaller feathers around the peacock’s neck.

Dalmatian Fire Truck Cake

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Mid-week last week, I received a request to do a dalmatian fire truck themed cake. This cake was such a great learning experience and I am grateful for friends who have given me the opportunity to bake for them.

Dalmatian Fire Truck CakeIt’s all about the little details:

Dalmatian Fire Truck Cake BackAll the decorations were molded from fondant. I used the fondant puppy tutorial here as a guide. The position of the dalmatian was different so I just saw a sample picture and using the techniques from the video link above, was able to recreate the dalmatian.

The fire hydrant was very easy to make and I just recreated it by looking at a picture of one. I secured the fire hydrant and dalmatian to the cake with toothpicks. The hose was just yellow fondant rolled into a long, thin piece and attached to the fire hydrant with edible glue.

The birthday boy was turning two so I added his age. His mom really liked this touch.

Dalmatian Fire Truck 2The number above and letters below were made with the Wilton alphabet/number mold set. I made two sets of each letter, one in black and one in red. I then rolled out the black letters (a bit) so that when the red letters were placed on top, the black outline would be visible.  The molds are pretty easy to use. Just sprinkle the inside with cornstarch, apply a small amount of rolled fondant in the color you need, remove the excess around the outline of the letter making sure the edges are clean, then just pop them out. All decorations were attached with edible glue.

Dalmatian Fire Truck LettersTo make the large circles, I used a round fondant cutter, approximately 1.5″ in diameter. For the smaller circles on the cake and the tires on the fire truck, I used the base of a 1M icing tip. I used the base of a standard icing tip for the white part of the fire truck tires and the tip of a #12 round icing tip for the inside circle on the tires.

Strawberry Cakes

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I made two strawberry cakes this past week. Every time I have a chance to bake a cake, I try to experience with a new technique. The only thing constant every time I bake one is the fact that I’m reminded of how little I know and how much I still have to learn. Here is the buttercream cake I was given the opportunity to bake for a 9 year old little girl’s birthday. Her request was a vanilla cake with strawberries. I had seen this rose swirl cake on Pinterest several months ago and always wanted to try it. I created the swirls with the 1M icing tip. This also gave me the opportunity to practice on getting my buttercream smooth. I also got to practice my cake penmanship (which is a lot harder than it looks especially on the sides of cakes). I had always avoided writing on cakes as much as possible because I have seen too many times how an otherwise beautifully decorated cake can quickly go from “wow” to “meh” with poor handwriting or bad spacing. I am taking baby steps and used this technique here which begins with writing the inscription with a toothpick. I cheated by using a very small round icing tip and tracing over the letters with many little dots instead of writing in one smooth motion. I am very pleased with how the cake turned out.

Buttercream Strawberry Cake

Earlier in the week, I made this basket weave cake with whipped cream icing. Whipped cream is a lot harder to work with as it doesn’t hold its shape for long but it’s not as sweet as buttercream and has less calories. Disregard the overripe strawberries, it was all I had in the fridge and it was just a “practice” cake.

Basketweave CakeA closeup of the basket weave technique (first attempt).

Basket Weave Whipped IcingThe first time I filled the icing bag I filled it almost to the top. I noticed after about 5 vertical lines, the icing was losing shape so I started with a new bag and only filled it about 1/4 full. This way, I was able to use the icing before it melted and didn’t have to waste any. Later I read online, how it is also helpful to keep a cold drink nearby to cool your hands with so they don’t heat the icing too much. Another great learning experience and the kids LOVED this cake!

Igloo Cake with Penguins and Snow Display

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Here is the igloo cake I made for my son’s birthday. It was pretty easy but a little time consuming (because he wanted the penguins too). The recipe for the cake and trees is here.

Igloo CakeSugar cone trees with buttercream icing:

IMG_7817The penguins were made of gumpaste. Here is the tutorial I used. I, of course, modified my penguins.

Gumpaste Penguins
Here is a closeup of the penguin and igloo. The igloo was covered with white chocolate candy coating topped with sparkling sugar. The sugar gives it a more realistic ice-look.

Gumpaste PenguinFor the display, I used these containers to add varying heights for a more interesting look. These little containers are so practical, I have used them for many things like mixing paint and icing colors. Best part? I get tons of them for free when I order take out.

Display RisersOnce I found an arrangement I was pleased with, I covered the containers with white cotton candy. I then placed plain sugar cones on top to determine the tree placement.

Sugar Cone PlacementAnd lastly, added the trees!

Igloo Cake with Trees

 

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