Tim Burton Birthday Cake

I finally got to make a Tim Burton style cake! I’m so glad to have had this opportunity. It features the main characters from Nightmare Before Christmas (Jack Skellington and Sally and Zero), Corpse Bride (Emily and Victor) and Frankenweenie from Frankenweenie.

I don’t have a long tutorial or post to make about this, but wanted to share close-ups of all my characters. All the characters were made by hand by me, hand painted, and shaded. The eyelashes on the ladies were made using the finest setting on my clay extruder. The 12″ x 18″ half-chocolate and half-vanilla sheet cake was covered with black chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream. My border was a number 18 Wilton tip.

Hope you enjoy!

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Vintage lace shoe cake part 1- The Preparations

Danielle's Cake 5.4.14

Getting to this finished cake, above, took a lot of planning and preparation! This is just part 1: my prep work.

My friend/cousin-in-law/one of my best customers is always coming up with new, challenging cakes for me to make for her events. This time, her sister is getting married! It is shower time! She decided to go with a vintage lace theme, and sent me a photo of a shoebox cake. As soon as she wanted a gumpaste shoe, I started doing my handy-dandy internet research and came across this handy post: How to Make a Gumpaste Shoe by Sugar Teachers.

My daughter and I headed to Michaels to see if we could find a styrofoam block, which isn’t what Sugar Teachers did, but I saw other posts about using styrofoam. My husband helped me to make it using a serrated knife. Then I played around with the template until it was just-right.

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First I made the white part of the shoe, and decided to bring in the teal color from the invitation into the lining of the shoe. I couldn’t get the heel just-right, but figured it wouldn’t be seen too much anyway. I poked a hole in the bottom of the shoe so that I could put a toothpick in it later (so that it could sit securely on the cake when the time came).

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Next, I made my gumpaste flowers. This I wasn’t worried about because I have made plenty of them before. Once, I had to make almost 40 gumpaste roses for a wedding cake. That was so time consuming! But making just two was not. I made my buds for all four flowers ahead of time on toothpicks and let them set up for a few days. I use the Wilton method of putting together flowers.

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I sent Lea this sketch with my own ideas of how the cake should look like:

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I told her about lace cake stenciling and found just the right one on Global Sugar Art.com: Victorian Crochet Stencil. I watched a bunch of videos and read a tutorial by Royal Bakery about how to stencil on the side of a cake. I wasn’t about to do this without practice the first time – especially not for such an important cake! After I got the stencil and cleaned it, I covered a cake pan with extra fondant and tested it out. I was able to learn for myself how thick or thin my royal icing should be.

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After testing it out, I had my reservations on doing a rectangle cake and decided it should be a 10″ round cake. She wanted half-chocolate and half-vanilla, so I could easily do that with a 10″ cake. I prefer a recipe from King Arhur called “Golden Vanilla Cake” and my favorite chocolate cacke is Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake. But now I use a slightly modified version that uses a cup of coffee instead of a cup of water – it is delicious! See my post about how to make a half and half cake here.

I also made my Tappit letters and leaves out of gumpaste. After all my prep work was done, the cakes baked and in the freezer, all I could do was wait until it was time to put it together. I’ll tell you more about the very-last-minute stuff in a Part-2 post.

Nichole 🙂

April-May Works In Progress

I will be making three cakes this month: an Easter cake for my family, a small birthday cake for a friend and a fancy wedding shower cake.

Last year for Mother’s Day, my husband made me my own fondant drying rack. I guess he got really tired of cookie sheets full of fondant everywhere. Where, you ask? I would have them in the craft closet, on top of the toaster oven (which we would have to scoot somewhere else to use said oven), on top of the microwave, on top of the refrigerator …

So, he built me this:

Fondant drying rack

Drying rack for decorations

And it has improved our sanity greatly! I am grateful to have such a crafty husband.

My first work-in-progress is for Easter. I saw a project on Wilton.com and decided I just had to try it our because it is just so beautiful. And I knew my mother would love it.

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Fondant branches

Easter decorations

Blossoms, birds and leaves

I learned a lot about the Wilton mold, too. That for the more intricate cavities in the mold, you just need to let your fondant rest a couple minutes and flip the entire thing over and your shape falls right out. Also, use corn starch. It is your FRIEND!

I had an entire section about one other cake I’m working on, but it’s a surprise and she might see this … So I took it out for another post for another day!

My last cake is for May. My husband’s cousin has ordered so many cakes from me. I guess you could say that she is my best “client”. This time it is a shower cake for her sister. Her original idea involved a shoe box, but I’m not sure I can execute that perfectly, so I’m doing something a little different.

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Gumpaste shoe and two heels

A must-have was the shoe. After a lot of Google-searching, I found a tutorial that got me started. Find it HERE. I bought a styrofoam block from Michael’s and made a shoe dryer with a serrated knife. Then, using my template, I cut out the shoe and the liner out of gumpaste. I brought in teal to tie in with her invites by making the show liner teal.

There are two heels above because I’m not happy with the first one that I made. I made it in a rush, so I re-did it. This is one of the many reasons why I work so far in advance. It gives me wiggle-room for screw ups!

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Gumpaste roses

She also wanted flowers. A week or so ago, I prepped my buds and the yellow-part of the lilies (technical terms here, haha)! Having really set, I then made two roses and two lilies. I’ve gotten her feedback so far and she LOVES everything that I have made for her cake so far.

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I also cut out their names with Tappits and have prepared some leaves.

Well, that’s all I have for now! I look forward to showing you how these cakes all come together over the next month.

Nichole

 

UPDATE: I wrote a majority of this on Saturday … Well, on Sunday I made one more thing. A “40” cake topper. I think I am officially out of room for decorations. This is for a cake due May 17.

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40 gumpaste cake toppers

Welcome to my blog!

Hi there, internet! Welcome to my blog.

For a while now, my friends and family have told me that I should make a cake blog. What they don’t know is that there are so many cake blogs out there. The market is pretty saturated, as I like to say.

But here I am anyway.

I’ve been decorating cakes in some form or another since 2009. But it was in 2011 when I made this cake:

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That everything changed.

I had faced my fear of fondant. Yes, fear. But I figured that I had watched so many episodes of Cake Boss that maybe I would have at least some idea of what to do. Then there was lots of YouTube searching, practicing, restless nights, and finally … I did it!

You see, fear holds us back from so many things, but through cake decorating I have learned that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. If you feel called to do something, you can at least give it an honest try. This lesson is told to us over and over again, but it’s not until we go through it on our own that it really means anything.

So, I suppose on this blog I will share my cake journey. Care to join me?

Nichole