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60th Birthday Zebra Cake

I need to do single tier cakes more often–so easy compared to stacking!!   This sassy zebra striped cake is 3 layers of red velvet cake with butter rum frosting.  You can read more about the recipient of the cake and her celebration here.  I liked that the cake was bright, simple, and fun!

Graduation Cake

I made this fun cake (named whimsical or topsy-turvy in the cake world) for my sis-in-law.  Her 18th birthday was just after her high school graduation and I let her pick which celebration she wanted a cake for–she chose graduation.  I’ve learned my lesson on doing too many cakes too close together–it causes burnout!!   The top and bottom tiers are vanilla cake with raspberry fruit filling, and the middle tier is dark chocolate cake with espresso buttercream filling.  I made a fondant cap and tassel topper.  We had fun celebrating with friends and family! Here’s pics of the cake and of Ethan with his auntie after the ceremony.

Firetruck Cake

This firetruck cake was made for the sweet son of my beautiful friend for his 3rd birthday.  It was all fun and no pressure.  As soon as I knew the theme for his birthday party, I started sketching.  Nick gets half-credit for this cake–his ideas and decoration sculpting skills were amazing and we had the best time designing and hand making all the details!  This is definitely the most fun that Ethan has had watching me make a cake.  He was soo sad to watch the birthday boy chomp into the firetruck that he had been looking at and talking about all day!  The cake is two-tiered and each tier is 3 layers of alternating white and chocolate cake with lemon buttercream filling.  It was such a great time watching all the excitement from the kiddos when it was cake time!

I loved seeing the sketch and the finished cake side by side.

I was glad to be a guest at the party.  Not only because it was fun, but I also got to see how well the cake held together and make mental notes (need more filling between the layers!) for the next cake.  Here’s shots of the cake-cutting and the birthday boy smiling big with his cake. (Can you guess his name?!)

Happy Birthday Sam!!

Bridal Shower Cake

I give all credit for getting my first ‘real’ (aka cash paying!) customer to social networking.  I made a cake for someone, who showed someone else a pic of that cake on Facebook, who knew someone hosting a bridal shower, and bam! there I am in the middle of the night freaking out because not only does my grey colored fondant look PURPLE under my fluorescent lights but also my fondant keeps CRACKING over the edges of the cake!!  GOOGLE SEARCH:  HOW TO STOP FONDANT FROM CRACKING!!  Deep breath……shortening, knead some shortening into it.  Ok, Ok, this just might be ok…it HAS to be ok because I’m being PAID for this cake, as in someone else’s MONEY!!!………..So, in case there was any doubt, I was stressed!

Just when someone wants to pay me to do what I’m not so sure I should be charging to do because I’m not too experienced (I’m telling you, cracks in your confidence can start a downward spiral if you’re not careful) is when cake-making started to go wrong.  BUT thanks to google, middle of the night help from Nick, and no option to quit, the cake turned out great (thank you LORD, seriously!) and was delivered to Sunnyside Country Club.  The party guests who were already there when I delivered the cake complimented that it was beautiful and I later heard that it tasted good too!  There was even a rumor that the bride-to-be’s mother talked of me making the wedding cake!  I was actually relieved that the offer never got to me because I about cracked under the pressure of a shower cake… so imagine a wedding cake!!  The cake was two tiers.  Each tier was 3 layers of white cake with lemon-buttercream filling.  The hostess gave me these cards for design inspiration and told me I could do whatever I wanted…

And here’s what I came up with

And here’s a shot of the cake set up at the shower.  Best wishes for the newlyweds!

Cake Upgrade

I waited a year to make another cake after my first attempt.  The same lucky sis-in-law got this cake also.  I guess her birthday falls in line with when I feel like making cakes every year!  Her birthday was on the same day that she was a bridesmaid in our awesome friend’s wedding.  I didn’t want the special-ness of her birthday to get lost amongst the wedding hoopla but I didn’t want to take away any of the bride’s attention either, so I pre-planned with the bride to surprise the b-day girl with her own mini birthday cake after the bride-and-groom cut their cake.  Nick and I drove this cake all the way to San Francisco and gave it to her while the bridal party sang “Happy Birthday.”  Super fun and sweet moment.  This cake was made from scratch!  Also, I had seen buckets of fondant lining the shop on one of the cake-reality shows (don’t remember which one) that said Satin Ice.  I researched a little bit and decided that Satin Ice would be my fondant of choice starting from this cake!  You can’t really tell from the photo but this is a small cake, maybe 6-7 inches high.  It is a 3 tiered, red velvet cake made from scratch with lemon cream cheese frosting.  I wanted the cake to blend with the outdoorsy wedding-ness of the day so I included cascading handmade fondant cherry blossoms and used neutral colors.  I didn’t get a good pic of Heather with her cake, so here’s a pic of the bridesmaid-birthday girl with her brother–aka my husband–.  It was rather windy and chilly, hence the sweatshirt over the nice clothes and windblown hair!