I can’t believe another year of cake decorating has gone by! It was a great year with a lot of fun cakes. I think taking a moment to reflect on the year that has past is the perfect way to think about everything we have accomplished and all the challenges that we have overcome. The year is long and I often put things out of my mind as soon as they are DONE. It’s always onto the next thing, next event, next project. So I finally took the time to do a retrospective. It was another great year for cake decorating — I am so blessed to have so many people who put their trust into me!
I started the year with two cakes that couldn’t have been any more different. A cake for my niece with a luau theme and a last-minute Dr. Seuss cake. Both turned out so well! I loved using pirouettes on the luau cake to make a bamboo fence. And I loved drawing right on my Dr. Seuss cake to make it look like a Seuss drawing.
One of the next things I did was start on my Beauty and the Beast cake. I have an entire post on this HERE. I gave it away 100% for free. It was my first and only contest so far. The family who received it loved it and said it was delicious.
I ticked two things off of my cake bucket list this year, which was be in a real cake competition and participate in a cake collaboration. With a little help from my friends, I made it to the New York Cake Show in June. I am still very shocked that I got GOLD. AND I got to take an in-person cake class with Mimi Cafe Union/Sachiko Windbiel. That was awesome!
The cake collaborations I did was one to benefit Anya, a wheel chair racer working her way to Toyko Olympics. And the other one I did was for a Halloween collab, Cakes that Go Bump in the Night.
One of my MOST FAVORITE cakes of the year was my neighbor Ava’s cake. I made her a very detailed scene from Cinderella. I even watched the movie again to get everything just right. The result was better than I could have ever wanted!
And my baby girl turned 2! At the time she was very much obsessed with Elmo (she still loves Elmo). I decided to make a bucket list item of mine, which is a 3D Elmo cake. He turned out kind of goofy-looking, BUT Alex LOVED him and he was a lot of fun to make My daughter, Rachel, even helped me pipe on some of the red fur. It really was a great centerpiece to her little party.
Sometimes we get cakes that are really challenging to us because we have no idea where to start on the theme. That was how I felt when I was tasked with making a board game cake. I had no idea, but board games have totally made a comeback in the biggest way in the last decade! I decided to combine handmade characters with game boards for a cake that incorporated everything great about the games.
I got to FINALLY make a big Star Wars cake, complete with the Death Star on top. I obsessed about this for weeks, trying to think of the best way to make the Death Star. You can read all about how I made it HERE. I know now that if your gray looks a little purple, just add some yellow. But I loved cutting out the letters, making the galaxy and seeing how it all came together so well.
For some reason I decided it would be fun to do a FACEBOOK LIVE while finishing my Easter bunny cake… And it was fun, my friends interacted with me, but then my phone died because it wasn’t plugged in! I wasn’t completely happy with the result, but my mom LOVED IT, and the new lemon cake recipe I used was absolutely delicious.
I got to make not one, but TWO graduation cakes this year. One for a regular customer and one for my nephew. They were so rewarding to make! I loved carefully cutting out the silouettes of the grads and the end result was very effective.
Cutting the Penn State logo out of fondant was quite a challenge, but somehow I got it done!
Another CHALLENGE of this year was an X-Box cake! I did a lot of research for this one and got a lot of use out of my clay extruder. But it came out SOOO well; I couldn’t believe it!
I challenged myself to make a cake for BOTH of my kids at their joint birthday party. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated and they both enjoyed their cakes. Rachel’s unicorn was chocolate with mint filling, a new cake for us — and it was awesome!
Ben’s cake was hand cut super heroes. I was going for a comic book look. I even found an Avengers font for his name. I used my edible marker to add all the line details.
Making a unicorn cake for Rachel was very fun! I was happy to FINALLY get in on the trend. They are rewarding to make and come together so quickly. The main thing is remembering to give everything enough time to dry out.
Not too long after their party, I got to make ANOTHER unicorn cake. They referenced some different pictures, so it was slightly different than Rachel’s. I thought that the eyes were too big at first, but everybody raved about this cakes in the comments. And my customer thought it was super cute, too!
I also made a super hero cake that was made with 100% buttercream decorations. I used frozen transfers and went for a comic book effect in the background. Ellie was so excited when she saw her cake!
Another couple of cakes I was excited to make were my Dunkin’ Donuts cakes — inspired by some cakes on Pinterest, particularly the one by Rach Makes Cakes. I made one for my sister as a surprise for her birthday and she absolutely loved it. And one of my customers loved it so much that she ordered one for her daughter! Inside the iced coffee cup is homemade whipped cream dyed with Wilton Ivory color.
Another cake that I was so excited about and went all out for was my niece’s birthday cake. She turned 16! It was three tiers in three different flavors. I designed it based off of her invitation, which was an ombre blue with blurry lights. The topper is a wedding topper from Michael’s. She was so happy with her cake! It fit in perfectly at her pretty party.
Another cake I really put a lot of effort into was my friends’ daughter’s birthday cake. She is a huge Frozen fan, so I surprised them with a toddler Anna and little girl Elsa cake. They’re at the beach and Elsa has made Olaf in the sand. I used my skills that I used in New York to make these figures and it was so rewarding! I even made a stand so that they could enjoy the figures for a little longer.
Yet another family/friend cake was this very special cake for my husband’s aunt Nancy. She turned 70 and I was asked to incorporate three very different things. Yoga, bridge, and tennis. I decided on a lotus flower, which is a symbol of yoga, a golden tennis racket, and playing cards made with edible images. She loved it and thanked me in her speech. Also, the top tier (chocolate) was one of my best chocolate cakes ever.
This Halloween season, I got to make two cakes. I used my Hocus Pocus figures again to make a cake for Halloween night. I made three additional characters and put them on the front. I was so happy with the result — even happier than the first time I used these figures!
The other cake was a Halloween themed birthday cake. I went for a vintage Halloween card theme. I used bass relief for the kitty and pumpkin. I dusted it to give it a vintage look.
I made a very blue bridal shower cake this year. I made this design before, based off of a shower card. This time, the writing came out even better than before! Writing by hand always makes me super nervous.
A really challenging cake for my was this “5” shaped cake with lots of super heros and custom cutting. I very carefully figured out how I could make a two layer 5 using only two recipes of cake. It was really hard to cover with fondant, and didn’t come out perfect, but my customer was very pleased with the cake.
One of my last cakes of the year was this first birthday cake for my nephew, Nicholas. His party was at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, PA. We had a lot of fun taking pictures of the cake among the helicopters — luckily it wasn’t a very busy day!
I was also very, very pleased and honored for this fireman helmet for one of our own junior firemen of the Quakertown Fire Station! Nate’s very excited mom put her trust in me to make the perfect replica of his helmet. She really looked around until she found someone she felt could really handle it. No pressure!
I very carefully picked out the perfect edible images for the back “18”. Everything else was hand cut. It was the best way to end the year! He loved it and it was a huge hit at his firehouse party. We love our local heroes!
One last thing I should mention is I was honored to have been voted the Best Custom Caker for 2017. I had so much fun getting dressed up and going to the party. It was an experience I will never forget! I am so lucky to have such great fans!
Well, 2017 was a long and fruitful year. I had so many wonderful cake orders, both from strangers and family/friends. I truly appreciate your business. I save diligently to give my kids things that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I saved for their birthday parties, their Christmas, and so much more. And I couldn’t have done it without your business! Here is to a wonderful and delicious 2018!