I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve shamelessly neglected my blogger duties this past year. But a new job, and setting up one’s apartment in a New York can be, well, awfully distracting. But as I walked past classic brownstones … Continue reading
Tis’ the season for spooky pastry endeavours! Since I’m currently employed at Magnolia Bakery NYC, I find myself oriented towards classic PG themes this Halloween season. Witches, ghouls, ghosts and pumpkins were the inspiration and buttercream my vehicle.
For this first design, I iced a 9″ cake with pale blue buttercream. Using a darker shade a blue I piped random horizontal lines all over the sides and top of cake. I then smoothed out the sides and top creating a “sky” effect. After finishing this I realized that if I added a few streaks of orange to the bottom I could achieve a cool sunset/twilight effect.
I outlined a circle on top of the cake and filled it in with pale yellow icing. I then smoothed out the shape with a small off set spatula dipped in hot water. Using a small tip (number 2 or 3) I piped halloweenie shadow designs: Witch profiles, trees and bats.
For this next design I used a similar technique but iced the cake in white and applied chocolate and black buttercream streaks to create and old/vintage effect. I then decorated with classic Halloween staples: Spider webs, skeletons and pumpkins.
For the White ruffle cake, I iced the bottom cake layer with a thin layer of buttercream. Then, starting bottom to top, I used a ruffle tip like the 406 Wilton tip.
For the purple Ombre tired cake I used in total 5 colors to create the fading effect. I then piped black bat details and a witch on the moon.
Lastly, of course, I gave all cakes a good helping of rainbow disco dust.
I was asked with two days’ notice to produce a chocolate guitar shaped cake for about 15 people. I was so excited about his project I didn’t even flinch about the lack of time! This design features handpainted detail … Continue reading
It’s the middle of Winter. Sigh. Christmas is long gone and it seems like there’s nothing to look forward to (I mean seriously, what goes on after Valentine’s day?). I long for Spring blooms and the day that I can … Continue reading
I found this recipe when I was trolling the internet for a simple cookie recipe that didn’t require using a mixer. Making cookies is simple enough, but sometimes I feel so drained that even the idea of whipping butter with … Continue reading
When I was a little girl, I’d spend long afternoons flipping through my Mom’s Women’s Weekly “Children’s Birthday Cake Book”. Not a recipe book per say, just a collection of pictures with simple instructions to achieve colorful cakes usually covered in gummy bears or M&M’s.
I LOVE this book. Every year before my birthday I’d sit down and carefully select the cake I wanted, innocently asking my Mom “can you do this one?? …and this one?“. I’d always be surprised when she’d say Yes.
The most memorable cake my Mom made from this book was the “Train Cake” on the last page for my brother’s birthday.
Each car was filled with different kinds of candy, popcorn and cookies. When you’re a kid, that’s the best of the best.
So years later, the family tradition continues. My Nephews come over one day and the oldest, Ryan, picks out the tattered Birthday Cake book from the book shelf. He flips through it and when he gets to the last page his eyes go wide. Immediately he jumps up and announces that he wants the train cake for his 6th birthday. Needless to say, I was super excited.
The original train cake (left) in the book is frosted with colored buttercream and decorated with candy. For my version, I went for the smooth look by covering the cakes in fondant. For the wheels I used chocolate cookies and filled the cars with brown peanut M&M’s to resemble coal.
I’m glad to say that my Nephew loved it and I’m even happier that our family cake book is out of retirement.
I was asked to make two similar cakes for a birthday boy who loves to watch the cartoon “Jakers!“. Since he was only turning two, I wanted to keep the design simple and focus on molding the characters to resemble the cartoons as much as possible.
I really wanted him to recognize the figures, and, well… basically go bonkers when he saw the cake. When the cake was presented to him I’m happy to say that he got very excited, started pointing and immediately proceeded to yank Piggley Winks from his comfortable and delicious seat.
For cake nº1, I created and apple tree motif and for cake nº2 I added wood plank detail, grass and daisies.
For the cake itself, I made a light sponge cake with strawberry jam filling. Kids seem to prefer sponge cake; I’ts sweet and airy and not as heavy as a butter or chocolate cake.
For years I shied away from preparing anything that involved whipped cream. For some reason I could never get that wonderful fresh creamy frosting that you see in bakery displays. Sure the cream would whip up, no problem, but after … Continue reading
I made a mini 20 cm diameter cake (right) and for the design I wanted to keep it quite simple with a classic flower motif and a big rose center as an extra punch.
For the cake itself, I used Martha Stewart’s devil´s food cupcake recipe. Since I had a foot injury at the time, I was looking for an easy recipe that didn’t require a lot of fuss. I added 1 tea spoon of intant expresso powder to the wet ingredients for a deeper flavour. The cake was moist and had a deep chocolatey taste. However, it didn’t have a nice crumbly texture and was a little dense. Next time I’ll swap the all-purpose flour for cake flour to make it lighter. You can find the recipe here.
All of the cake decorations are edible. The cake was covered in white fondant and handpainted using edible lustre dust. The roses and leaves are made of gumpaste.
Details of the finished mini vintage rose cake.
Mini cake the new cupcake?
Cupcakes got their big boom a few years ago and seem unstoppable. you see them at kids parties, picnics and even making a big splash at weddings. Everyone gets it: a tiny, beautifully decorated cupcake just screams “special occasion”. As a cake decorator and all around baking enthusiast I must confess that although gorgeous, I don’t understand the appeal of these tiny cakes in the yummy department. I’d swap a cupcake for a good ol’ fashion choccy cake any day.
More often than not, people just want a nice slice of cake. The mini cake has the cutesy aspect but is more sophisticated and works well as the center piece at a party table. I’ve also started making mini tiered cakes (right). They’re adorable and grand, but since they’re small, you won’t be stuck with tons of leftover cake in the fridge.
Mini cakes are in high demand. Like most cake designers, I base most of the price on weight. A lot of people have been requesting these “mini cakes” to get the awe reaction but still keep the price quite reasonable.
The mini cake is on the rise. Not just a “destroy cake” for 1 year old, but for beautiful, classy and adult birthday parties.