Bowling Ball Birthday Cake

Last night, the husband and I joined friends for a birthday bash at Lucky Strike in Manhattan. I personally love bowling, so I was super excited at the idea of making such a challenging cake.

I started off with two very round metal bowls from my favorite place in the world, Ikea. I baked two batches of my favorite red velvet cake recipe in each bowl. It took triple the time to bake, but came out perfectly.

I covered the cake with buttercream and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

With the help of my trusted assistant and future business partner, Jamie, we got to decorating.

We used a new technique to marble the fondant for the ball, mixing together blue and red (the birthday boy’s favorite) with some grey and white.

Covering the ball was not easy! The fondant tore and ripped near the bottom, but lucky for us the marbling allowed us to make some patches without anyone noticing.

We decided the cake needed a little extra oomph, so we used the same marbling technique to make the “wooden” bowling alley lanes.

Disney Princess Cake

This cake was inspired by the amazing cascading dresses the Disney Princess are always wearing. The cake was “pink” velvet with cream cheese icing, covered in pink fondant with purple swags and a candy sprinkle border.

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Retro Polka Dot Birthday Cake

This cake was inspired by the many 40’s inspired polka dot dresses Jamie is always posting on her pinterest.

“Pink” velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Who doesn’t love buttons?

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Happy Birthday Mommy!

My mom recently celebrated her 60th birthday! My big brother and I threw her a luncheon at a French restaurant. I wanted to try a new technique and make something special for the special day.

Pinterest is amazing, and gave me great inspiration. The cake was chocolate with chocolate frosting. The fondant was dyed a light pink and the designs were dyed grey.

To make the designs, I cut shapes using my leaf cutters. Then, I dyed royal icing and created a cross hatching on the reverse side. My piping skills aren’t great, but the overall look came out great. This is definitely a technique I will use again in the future.

Oh, and sorry for the poor quality, the pictures were taken on my phone.


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A Few of My Favorite Things…

After being inspired by a combination of the cookies made for the favors at our wedding and hours spent pinning items over at Pinterest (follow me!), I decided to try my hand at decorating cookies.

On our honeymoon, I bought an Eiffel Tower cookie cutter. The husband gave me a look when I bought it as if he e expected I would never use it. Being that I love proving him wrong, I used the cookie cutter in just over a month of returning!

I made three versions of the landmark. The two special versions are my favorite. I love the heart that I added in the middle, reminding me of our time there! The second version is meant to represent how the tower sparkles at nighttime.

Then I moved on to my second favorite thing, cupcakes! I used a bunch of different colors and a variety of techniques I wanted to try out to get the cupcakes looking as cute as they do.

My favorite are the ones with the sprinkles!

Finally, my third favorite thing, mustaches. Well okay, they aren’t my most favorite thing, but how can you resist.

I should have made them with sticks so they could be used appropriately…next time.

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My Bridal Shower

With only 4ish weeks to go until my wedding, my mother threw me the most amazing bridal shower ever! The fiance and I are traveling to Paris for our honeymoon (amazing!) so I wanted a Parisian themed party. Mom found a french restaurant, planned every detail, down to the Parisian mug centerpieces, and brought together all of my favorite people for a really special day.

Despite throwing a full blown bridezilla sized hissy fit about making a cake for the day, I turned out a totally awesome, totally me cake. The cake is inspired by a cake inside of Simply Spectacular Cakes by Peggy Porchsen.

A couple of thing I learned along the way while making this cake. 1) Bows are not easy. I made three (yes three) bows ahead of time that took about 8 tries each. When it came time to put them on the cake, they had all dried in a way that did not work. I made one on the spot and luckily it worked. 2) I am kinda good at piping with royal icing. I am going to have to give myself a couple of new projects. 3) I still love my fiance despite him sticking his finger into my original Eiffel Tower and causing me to have to make 3 more the night before just to be safe. 4) Cake decorating is 90% covering up the mistakes you made (see my monogram).

Being that it was my own cake, I went with chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting. Why not, right?

Jenn’s Bridal Shower

Everyone has a different experience during student teaching. I had two. My first experience was pretty awful. 6 weeks in a K-1 self-contained classroom with a teacher who had no interest in helping me or even letting me lead a lesson. Luckily it was only 6 weeks. After the annoyingly long 6 weeks, I moved to a new school for a 10 week stint in 5th grade. There I met a Jenn, my cooperating teacher. Jenn and I got along immediately, and I spent the next 10 weeks co-teaching for the first, planning ELA and SS lessons, and learning what it’s like to be part of a team.

I also remember this time as the period when I really started baking. I used Jenn and the fellow teachers as taste testers on a large variety of new cakes, cookies, and brownies. I’m sure when my ten weeks were up, they were both sad and happy (for their waistlines) that I was going.

So, when Jenn told me she was getting married last summer, I immediately offered to make her shower cake.

Jenn’s shower theme was “cocktails.” Our favors were martini glasses with cocktail flavored jelly beans.

I used the theme as my first opportunity to create my own cake design. (In the past, I’ve googled images and used someone else’s cake as inspiration)

I decided on melding together three “cocktail” related ideas.

The bottom tier is a punch bowl shaped cake with fondant embellishments. I was able to find some “ice” at the local candy store (cotton candy flavored rock candy).

The middle tier is embellished with lemons and limes. I like the overall look, but wish I was able to make the lemons and limes more realistic, and with more depth from color.

The top tier is a cocktail, with its very own straw and umbrella. The umbrella and straw are 100% due to my amazing fiancee, who created the inner structures out of wire. Thanks babe!

A final touch of some rock candy “salt” along the rim of the cocktail finished off the cake perfectly.

The top and bottom tiers were Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting. The middle tier was Yellow Cake with Strawberry Buttercream,

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A Sweet 16 Masquerade

My very first attempt at a topsy turvy cake was successful! I followed a technique I found online, and will definitely try it again, this time making my tiers a little taller.

Red Velvet cake with Vanilla Frosting.

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Thomas The Tank Engine

Two years have flown by and the most amazing little boy celebrated his 2nd birthday! In what is now a tradition of making challenging cakes (2009, 2010) for my nephew (and future niece) I was challenged to try my hands at Thomas. Initially, the request included dry ice smoke, but that was quickly rules out and we settled on a smaller version of Thomas to celebrate the day.

Devil’s Food cake with Vanilla Buttercream was used on the inside. I added height and created the engine with rice krispie treats.

I can’t take all the credit for this cake however. My amazing, soon to be husband =-D, is the one responsible for Thomas’ face. His patience and careful hand is what was needed for this project.

This has got to be my favorite cake up until this point. Having my nephew point at Thomas the whole night and say train, was enough to melt me to goo.

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A “Fancy Nancy” Cake

For a recent birthday party I was asked to make a Fancy Nancy cake. Not knowing a thing about Nancy, I immediately went to google. To say I was overwhelmed at the idea of creating a cake inspired by the detailed illustrations would be an understatement.

I finally found inspiration in Fancy Nancy’s purple ruffle skirt. I was excited to finally have the opportunity to try this ruffle technique I had seen floating over the internet for awhile.

The cake and cupcakes were decorated with some party confetti to let them fit in with the theme of the party.

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