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 🙂

Do you want to build a snowman?

… Come on, let’s go and play!

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Olaf, roses, and lilies … for two different cakes

Next, I am working on a “simple” giant cupcake for my friend at work. We are obsessed with Disney’s Frozen, as are some others around the office. It has become a bit of an on-going joke around here. I watched an amazing video on YouTube about how to make Olaf out of fondant, which made me feel better about trying it myself. I made him even more like the original by adding very light blue around his eyes and in his crevices. I can’t let my daughter see him, or she would would want to keep him!

Here is the video:

So, one night after the kids were in bed, I got to work! And he wasn’t that hard, relatively speaking. I added toothpicks in the bottom of his feet so he will stay in the cupcake better.

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Finished Olaf!

I also had to bake a cake! The birthday girl had a unique idea. Why not mix chocolate cake and funfetti cake? I thought about this and decided that it would be worth a try. If I did it the way you make marble cake, then it wouldn’t be to hard. How do you make a marble cake? Many recipes call for making a basic yellow cake, then adding chocolate (cocoa powder or melted chocolate chips) to half the batter, then swirling them together.  That’s what I decided I would kind of do. But funfetti cake is usually just white cake with sprinkles thrown it, so I did some research and figured I would try yet another white cake recipe.

I found this one from a blog called Add a Pinch: http://addapinch.com/cooking/2013/08/09/the-best-white-cake-recipe/#axzz2ziYZjeJo. Best White Cake EVER? That’s a tall order!

I whipped up a batch of the stuff, divided it in half. I added Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder to half the batter and a handful of sprinkles to the other half:

 

Then, I added the batter alternatively into my Giant Cupcake pan (which I sprayed with Pam with Butter baking spray) and let it bake for well over an hour. I definitely think I added too much batter! It took way too long to bake.

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Since I had to level the cake anyway, I stole some off the top. And, you know what? I think this may actually BE the best white cake recipe EVER! I can’t wait to make it again! After it cooled a bit, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and tin foil and stuck it in my freezer.

When I was ready to make my cake, I took butter out as SOON as I got home so it could get room temperature. I will be making a post about how to make buttercream at some point.  I made a nice double batch of buttercream, Crisco-free this time.

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Prepped buttercream

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Covering my 12″ cake board

I filled the inside of the cake with chocolate buttercream. I took some buttercream from the big batch, added cocoa and some more cream and mixed it together. Then I proceeded with a quick crumb coat. over both the top and the bottom of the cake.

I usually cover the bottom parts of my giant cupcakes with fondant, but I didn’t feel like getting everything out for fondant on a Wednesday night. And I was tired. So I dyed some of the frosting a nice blue to go with the Frozen theme. I crossed my fingers that I would have enough buttercream for the top of the cupcake … I tried a technique I saw on a google search of making verticle lines with my buttercream with my offset spatula. I went around a few times until I thought it was right. Then I decorated the top of my cupcake using a basic #18 swirl. I BARELY had enough buttercream, which is nerve wracking! I know now to make a full triple batch (5 lbs) of buttercream when making a cupcake this way. I added my border to the bottom of the cake and declared it DONE.

On Thursday morning, I stuck Olaf in a plastic container and his hair fell off! Note to self: stick in the hair LAST! When I GET to a party or whatever as opposed to ahead of time. Then I stuck him into the cupcake as soon as I got to work and waited for my friend to show up and see him! It was a great birthday surprise!

Here is the finished cake:

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And here is what it looked like all cut:

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Om nom nom nom. Swirls of chocolate and funfetti goodness! Since I had to bake it so darned long, it got just a bit dried out around the edges, but it was still good, homemade cake!  It was rich and sweet and the buttercream was as addicting and sugary as usual! 🙂

Questions? Comment me!

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