Friday, April 19, 2013

The most wonderful thing about Tiggers...

I had a friend-of-a-friend request a birthday cake. Her only requests were Tigger and flowers, so I made it happen. Don't remember the cake flavor, but filling is (freshly made) pineapple curd and frosting is cream cheese. 

Check out the details on Tigger:
I had a blast making all the flower and leaves! And they cover up a multitude of sins created in the name of fussy cream cheese.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yankee Doodle Dandy

This will be a quick one. My folks came out for the Fourth of July and I made cupcakes! Red velvet (my secret weapon when I take over the world) with blue cream cheese frosting. Isn't my
 tiny cupcake stand adorbs?!

We even had a special guest, Camden!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Well that got my mother off my back for a while...

While we're on the topic of Avery, she got herself a baby brother! And I got to go home for the baby shower. The theme was sports (just like the nursery) with an emphasis on soccer. So I wanted to figure out how to work this into the cake for the shower. 

Unfortunately, there are limitations to what I can do if I have to travel. When I've flown in for the cake, I shipped as much as I could beforehand because I figure fondant looks remarkably similar to C4 and my gigantic rolling pin is considered a weapon. When I've driven, I've just packed everything along with me. This one was driving in, but the last leg of the drive through New Mexico with Avery. So taking much cake stuff wasn't an option. Plus, we were arriving the day before the shower without a lot of prep time for me. I usually get at least two working days before the cake needs to be finished. So cupcakes it was. 

I made fondant sports balls weeks ahead of time:
Seriously, check out the textures on those bad boys! The baseball was the easiest, circle cutter and food color pen. I used a small tip to dimple the basketball (like I've done before) then drew in the lines. The football and soccer ball are tied for which was the biggest pain in my rear. I used one of my clay tools to make all the lines on the soccer ball by tracing over a printed ball, but such a pain! And I cut out fondant for the stripes and the laces on the football. I think the laces were the worse cause they were tiny!

I had this grand scheme to use a grass tip for the frosting, but July shower in Texas plus fussy cream cheese frosting added up to just making a swirl.  And oh green tongues!
Cake is red velvet (my secret weapon) and frosting is the afore-mentioned cream cheese.

And Mr. Cade showed up not too long after this:
 Check out his awesome onsie someone got him:

Friday, April 12, 2013

I feel old... very old

You've met Avery before... that's seriously still one of my very favorite cakes. But Avery keeps getting older. How does that happen?! I remember when she was born and now she's in freakin high school!
Avery came out to visit us again last summer right before her birthday and right before she started high school. Avery is a Sting (just like her momma, Gayle)! That's the high school drill team. She'd just made the team and was about to start their preschool camp when she came to visit. So I used a Stingerette theme for the cake. One of the things I most distinctly remembered about Gayle's time as a Sting was the logo:
So I used the logo and school colors (blue and gold) as my inspiration. I also decided to try out a couple techniques that I'd seen. One was fondant ruffles:

I'm not sure how happy i really was with the ruffles. Maybe I'll try it again some time, because when executed well, it's really pretty. The second thing I wanted to try was a zebra cake. And turns out, it's freakishly easy and looks super cool! 

 I LOVE this shot

But we put it all together:
Cake is my favorite vanilla with almond extract substituted for the vanilla, frosting is this awesome cooked frosting that I'm obsessed with right now again with almond.

We drove back to Texas from here (oh my, three days with Avery as the DJ!) and made a couple of pretty fun stops to see the sights along the way:

 Petrified Forest:

The Standard Diner

 Mama's Minerals

Carlsbad Caverns

White Sands

Carizozo Lava Flow

Rockhounding in Roswell

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Puppy dog Tails

We had to say goodbye to a special doggy recently. It was hard, but she lived quite a life. I picked Mackenzie out from a photo- we were working at Wal-Mart and a coworker just ended up with puppies. We'd just moved out into our house and were looking for a dog. When Mary showed us the pictures of all the puppies, I fell in love with a little one that was pure white except for a big spot over her eye. I declared that she looked like Spuds Mackenzie (don't judge, I was a child of the 80s) and the name stuck.
 (see, totally sorta)

When we went to pick her up, a fat little puppy sat himself under the hubbin and we figured that two dogs would keep each other company when we weren't home, so we brought Buford home too. The hubbin picked out his name and he couldn't have done it better. And these two were inseparable for over 11 years. Buford took such good care of her.

I always joked that Mackenzie was more cat than dog because she obviously came with nine lives. I can't tell you how many times she just nearly died (hit by car, drowning, hanging, and flying roofs), but even those nine lives have to run out sometime. 

We have an amazing vet that saw Mackenzie through the last two years. When Kenzie was sick, it was nice to have someone who knew her crazy history and understood where we stood in terms of treatments. And she was there with us through the very end. 

I had to bring Buford in just two days later, so I wanted a way to thank the vet and her staff who have treated Mackenzie so well and so kindly this whole time. So of course, I had to make cupcakes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

M...I...C.... See ya real soon

While Disney still holds the heart of many kids, I've one one friend who's little guy has gone totally old school and loves Mickey! I think that's pretty cool. So when he had a birthday, a Disney theme was in order.

I mentioned in the last post how I've had kiddos that I've made all sorts of cakes for and Grayson is no exception: baby shower and first birthday. So making his second birthday cake was a blast for me! With special dietary needs, I had to get creative with the cake. And Mom likes BRIGHT, colorful cakes! Which was cool with me. I've done a Mickey cake before, but I needed a little different angle on this one. And when I think Mikey Mouse, I think ears.

I'll be honest, it's been so long I don't remember what frosting recipe I used. But I was apparently pretty proud of how nice and smooth I got it. I'll be honest, that's quite a feat because I'm not great with buttercream, which is why I love fondant. Fondant covers up a multitude of cake sins.

And the finished product! I especially love the Disney font for his name.
 Birthday boy and his awesome momma dancing while we sang Happy Birthday. (I realize these shots are blurry, who knows?) After the candles were blown out, he asked to do it again!
 Th birthday boy digging in:
 Aren't those baby blues and dimples just too much?

The filling is cookies and cream (totes yummy!)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kinda Like "Tuh-mater"... but without the "tuh" Mater

I've got friends with all sorts of kids. And those kids have birthdays and those birthdays need CAKE! A few of these little guys I've known forever (or at least for them). And I've got to make cakes for all the important milestones. 

For instance, there's Camden. I did a baby shower cake, a first birthday cake and now a second birthday cake! [cough..cough...there's a third coming up soon Mom!] I love that I can be a part of the lives of these kiddos in such a special way.

As any kid does, this little guy has all sorts of favorites depending on the week, but this particular week, his favorite was Cars. And I LOVE Cars, especially all those Arizona scenes in the movies. So when Melinda mentioned wanting a Cars theme, I BEGGED (no joke) to do Mater. 
"Ain't no need to watch where I'm goin'; just need to know where I've been."

 You see, I have this wish list of cakes that I want to do:
  • sparkly pink princess castle (still haven't talked Melinda into this one!)
  • dinosaur volcano
  • guitar  (DONE!)
  • Mater
So you see, it HAD to be done!  No matter what she was actually wanting. Good thing I'm pretty aggressive in getting my way. And actually, this turned out to be a surprisingly easy cake. 

First step: carving the cake!
I printed out a picture of Mater at the size I wanted and just sort of went to town on it.

Step 2: decorate (we'll get to the finished photos here in a bit)
Step 3: transport the cake! 
I took this picture from the back seat where I got stuck because the cake was in the front seat where the A/C could hit it. It was August y'all! It's hot here!

And the final product:
I was super happy with how this cake turned out! AND I covered that whole thing with a single sheet of fondant. That's skillz, I tell ya. Then the details were hand-painted on. Including a little personalization for the birthday boy.

Step 4: Eat it! I'm getting better at this processes, plus I always make Melinda do all the cutting anyway. I can't do it myself.
The aftermath: You know I love this part, but tell me the last show doesn't look awesome! That's FIVE layers of beautiful, flat layers!

Cake is my awesome chocolate, peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache frosting.