Tuesday, April 19, 2011

50th Birthday Cake

My son's aunt (his dad's sister; my ex-sister-in-law.  I hate calling her an "ex" because my ex's family is wonderful. I love them and they love us right back) turned 50 this week.  Unbeknowst to her, her father (Jake's grandpa) was planning a surprise 50th birthday party.  He and my two other ex-s-i-l's called me 3 weeks ago and asked if I would make the cake.  Of course!

I Googled pictures and found a cute design by the famous Pink Cake Box bakery that I decided to copy.  

Three weeks early, I worked in the gum paste items that needed to dry and harden ahead of time. 

(My sister & son both asked "Why does it say 'So?'" LOL)

The Friday before the party, I took a vacation day and got to work.  I had baked the cakes Wednesday and Thursday nights.  Now it was time to put everything together.

I rolled over 100 fondant balls.

The top cake above, was a carrot cake covered
 in homemade marshmallow fondant.

The bottom cake was almond butter cake with buttercream, and fondant accents.  What you see above are spaghetti sticks propping up the bow while it dried on to the ribbon on the cake.  I pulled the spaghetti sticks out at the party.

I really liked how the topper came out.
 Then, the problems.

I did not dowel the bottom cake enough.  Carrot cake is definitely a denser cake than the butter cake.  I only put about 5 dowels in the bottom cake, and more towards the center, not nearer to the edges.  As time went on, we got droopage.

I was so bummed, but what could I do now?  Nothing.  Just learn for next time.  The bottom should have been the carrot cake, or I should have used more dowels.

You can see the drooping already.

The party was great.  The birthday gal was totally surprised, and everyone raved about the cake, droop and all.

The Aftermath!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gumpaste Cut-Out; The Baby Shower Cake

After I made the frozen butter cream transfer of my sister's invitation, she and I talked about it.  In order for that exact-sized design to fit on the top of a cake, the cake would have to be baked in a 10" pan.  Since that would be the top level, and she wants a two-tier cake, the bottom tier would have to be 12".  We both agreed that would be too much cake for the small party.  I could try to make the woman smaller, but it was a lot of work and I had another idea; make the girl out of gumpaste. She would be 2D, not 3D.

I copied the invitation on to wax paper to use as my template.

Working with the X-Acto knife.  It was like putting a puzzle together.

Ta da!  
The only things missing are one earring (it fell off and I need to reattach it) and the gold chain of her purse, which will be done at a later date, closer to the shower, in yellow royal icing.

I will someone stand her up on the cake.  I am thinking of attaching a skewer to the back of her with gumpaste so it can dry securely, then I can insert the skewer into the cake. 

The party is April 30, so I will post the completed pictures right after the party weekend.