Friday, July 29, 2011

DIY Gumpaste Extruder!

So, since I made the graduation cake from my last post (specifically the tassel), a gumpaste/clay extruder has been on my "must buy" list.  I've been doing a bit of research and was trying to decide between the very popular Makins Model or the Walnut Hollow one that I came across on Amazon.  I went to YouTube so see if anyone had compared the models and found this tutorial to make your own! 

Because the models I was looking at are $20-$26 I think I will give this a shot before investing the money in a "fancy" one.  She mentions in the video that the she spent about $0.99 for most of the pieces, and the others I'm sure are not too much more.  The extruder "discs" are Wilton Tips, held on with a coupler... Hey, I've got some of those!  I love "Do It Yourself" projects... There is something incredibly satisfying about building, making or fixing something all on your own, and having it work!

So enough of my gushing!  I just want to be clear that this is not my tutorial, I wish I was the genius who figured it out, but I am not.  The credit must go to GardenOfImagination over at YouTube!  Here is the video if you want to check it out for yourself:

I'm hoping to make it to the hardware store this weekend to put one together, if I do (and have time to play with it) I will let you know how it turns out!  Oh, and for the "food safety" concerns...  The pipe and fittings are for plumbing, a faucet part in fact.  If my drinking water can flow through it, I'm guessing it must be food safe - along the lines of PVC used in cake decorating.

Happy Caking :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Soccer Graduation Cake

So, I promise I have some tutorials and other things coming soon.  I finally have a few weeks off before my next big cake... but for now, here is the cake I made over the weekend!  It was a graduation cake for a soccer player!  The graduate plays goalie, so there are goalie gloves on there and the two logos are for his graduating high school and the school he will be attending in the fall.
The graduation cap is black gumpaste and the tassel I hand rolled the rope/tassel from yellow fondant (with tylose mixed in) and then painted with gold edible dust.
The Soccer Ball is cake too!  I used the Wilton Sports Ball pan.  I covered the cake with white fondant and then cut out the shapes from white and black fondant so the seams would look realistic.
I piped a goal with royal icing and then in honor of the graduate, the silhouettes are a kicker and a goalie catching a ball (cut out of black gumpaste)
 The gloves are rice crispy treats!  Covered in fondant with black fondant decorations.
 The school logos were painstakingly cut from different colors of fondant... including the letters.  Which is why a set of tappits are going on my next cake supply order!

 Well, I hope you enjoyed looking at yet another cake of mine! 

Happy Caking :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hibiscus Baby Shower Cake!

Hello!  So, I have some tutorials that I desperately want to get to, but just  haven't had the time!  These past few weeks have been crazy, and the next few weeks look to be shaping up to be the same!

So, today, I will leave you with the other cake I made for the past weekend.  I actually, kind of really love it!  It's a baby shower cake.  They wanted something elegant (similar to my Magnolia Baby Shower cake that I entered in the CT Cake Competition).  Hibiscus flowers have special meaning to the expectant couple, so we chose those for the decor.  I used gender neutral colors and I think it came out just perfect!  I think this would also make a very elegant tropical/summer themed wedding cake.
 I really love how the gumpaste Hibiscus turned out!!
 I think that yellow one is my favorite :)

The baby was made with the First Impressions baby mold.  You can check out my tutorial for it here!

If you would like to learn how to make these beautiful Hibiscus flowers for yourself, you can find my video tutorial here!

I'm sorry I don't have more to share, but I hope you enjoyed the photo's!  I know I always enjoy looking at cake pictures :)

Happy Caking :)

Monday, July 18, 2011


Wow, I've been a busy girl!  Last week I had two cakes to do.  While I had a moment I wanted to share at least one with you all.

This was for a joint birthday party and the design was totally up to me (love when that happens!).  I was watching the Food Network sow Aarti Party and when I saw the title design I thought it would look awesome on a cake!!
Since I've been "caking" I see patterns and designs that I can just envision in cake form.  I don't often get free reign on the design, so I really love these occasions when I can pull from my "idea box."  OK, o it is not a literal box (yet), but it should/will be.  I have quite a collection of "stuff" at this point, scrapbook papers, fabric, napkins, T-shirts, bits of jewelry....  As soon as I have some free time I'm going to organize all of these things!

I just wanted to show that you can/should look for inspiration everywhere!!

Happy Caking :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Back! Cupcakes & What I've been up to :)

Hi Everyone!  I'm so sorry about the loooong break between posts!  I have been insanely busy the past few weeks.  Here's a little of what I've been up to!

After my last post I got very busy.... making cupcakes... 210 Cupcakes for a wedding!  And we were guests at the wedding, 2 states away...  So I was also busy packing my family and packing the cupcakes, and my "emergency kit" and making Buttercream (buckets of buttercream!)...

The cupcakes were a hit, the bride and groom were incredibly grateful and the guests couldn't get enough!
This adventurous couple picked Chili Chocolate, Chai and Vanilla for their flavors.  They were all delicious, but I have to say I think the chocolate was the favorite, it certainly went the fastest!  I am not much of a "spice fan" myself, but even I thought this was a superb cupcake.  A rich chocolatey flavor with a hint of chili and at the end a kick of heat.. very exotic, very YUM!

I made the orchids using the New Wilton Gumpaste Flower Kit .  I plan on making a tutorial soon, I really love how they came out.  In fact, everyone thought they were real! 

Here is a full view of one of the stands I created (I was very proud).  It was my intention to make a photo tutorial, but it was a learning process and I didn't get pictures of all of the steps I ultimately took... Next time though, I will certainly do it!  Anyway, the stands held approximately 30 cupcakes and the catering staff kept them refreshed, but the method I used could certainly be used to make a bigger stand.

So, after a wonderful time at our friend's wedding, I was away for 2 weeks at my mother's house to babysit my nephew.  BUT, I got a lot accomplished while caring for two toddlers!  I am happy to announce I am officially the proud owner/operator of Happy Cakes by Renee, LLC!!  That's right, I finally got my business registered with my state as an LLC!  I've also gotten myself an insurance policy and one last step until I will be up and running, operating from a licensed commercial kitchen!  I can't wait, this kitchen is HUGE compared to my tiny apartment kitchen.  I am very excited to have made this progress towards growing my business.  I can't wait to make more people happy with cake!

Happy Caking :)