Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Gatsby/Art Deco themed Wedding Cake!

Today, I have another favorite cake to share (every new cake I make seems to become my favorite!)...  This cake was designed and created for a beautiful Great Gatsby themed wedding!  The wedding was held at a gorgeous mansion on the Connecticut shore, I was so excited to have my cake on display in such a beautiful location!

I drew inspiration for the design from the couple's custom designed invitation and some inspirational art deco pictures they sent.
I made a custom template for the shapes from my sketch and hand cut each one!  I was very grateful that this was a square cake... the flat sides allowed me to work on the decor well in advance and not have to worry about drying anything on a curve...
...so many tiny triangles! All of the triangles were painted with silver highlighter, to add a little "bling"... it really brought the design to life!
My friend was the wedding coordinator for this event... it was her idea to use this giant mirror under the cake.  I really loved the effect and the way it bounced the natural sunlight up onto the cake.  It made all of the silver super shiny and just looked so elegant!

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my latest creation :)

Happy Caking :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Clematis Cupcake Trellis!

I am very excited to be sharing my latest project today!

This is a cupcake display I made for a friend's baby shower over the weekend!  Her mom called me and asked me to create something for the garden themed shower.  She mentioned that she liked clematis and I ran with it!  I had actually been wanting to try making this flower for quite some time! 

Now, the challenge was figuring out how to display the cupcakes.  So naturally, I had to pick something I didn't really know if I could pull off!  But, sometimes the coolest things we do, are the ones that seem like the most difficult.  I say seem difficult, because it was actually fairly easy to put together.  I spent more time obsessing about it, than building it.... I even let my husband help me with the custom trellis construction!

The most time consuming part, to say the least was the flowers!  The trellis held a total of 42 cupcakes (21 on each side), that means 42 gumpaste clematis flowers... with 6, individually wired petals on each.  So, that's 252 individual petals... and I couldn't just leave them the flat purple color of the gumpaste I used.  Noooooo.... I had to dust each petal with a gradient of purple on the edges and give them a pinkish stripe down the center, for "dimension" and "realism." 

Lol, it was a lot of work, many late nights working on them after the kiddo was asleep.  But, in the end totally and completely worth it!  Guests at the shower didn't even realize that this was a cupcake display until the hostess made an announcement!  Then there was a lot of, "Oh!  I thought they were real!" and "Wait, you MADE these?!"  So, my mission was accomplished!  This project was definitely a few steps out of my comfort zone.  But, it ended up being much simpler than I thought.  And, if we don't challenge ourselves, how will we ever know what we are capable of?

There really are cupcakes under those flowers!  Each cupcake was sitting in a little wire hoop.  The vines and foliage were purchased artificial vines... There was NO way, i was going to have time to make a bazillion leaves n addition to all of the flowers!!

And, am patting myself on the back a little for this... I took video footage and documented the construction of my display!  So, i can put together a tutorial, materials list and measurements to share with all of you!  It is going to take me a little time, I have to find a couple of "slow" days to sit down and edit all of the clips I took... but hopefully I'll have something to post soon :)

Happy Caking :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Cake Decorating Product Line!!

So, I have this problem... I go to the store "just for one thing" and then I spend an hour looking around, usually purchasing way more than I intended!

Today, when I ran to Michael's, just for one thing... I moseyed on over to the cake decorating aisle.  Usually, I just poke around and check out any new products from Wilton or Duff and keep an eye out for clearance items.  Well today... I was happily surprised to see a brand new line of cake decorating supplies!

The new line is from LittleVenice Cake Company by docrafts!  I was drawn to the dramatic and elegant packaging... but the items look to be high quality.

The line features a lot of products you would expect: icing tips, spatulas, etc...  but there were also some products I hadn't seen before!
I'm not sure how the quality of Little Venice Cake Company icing tips compare to Wilton's, but I like the pink case!
Again, I'm not sure that disposable piping bags can be better or worse than the one's Wilton offers, but I did pick up a box to try out... I needed the anyway ;)
This "Modeling Mat" is one of the products I was really happy to see... It would be incredibly useful for making gumpaste flowers.  I use a larger white pad, and I love having the extra space so I can work on multiple petals at a time.  Up until now, all I've seen at the craft stores is the tiny Wilton square set.  And I was never all impressed by that.  I think this will be a good buy for anyone getting into sugar flowers!
The line includes two different fondant smoothers... One is rounded on the ends and is called a "Flat Smoother" and the other is squared off a the ends and also has a little "lip" at a 90° angle on one side.  I think this is a neat feature for anyone who has trouble keeping their sides perpendicular!  I'm guessing the rounded one is for working on the top of the cake...

There were a couple of other interesting items they had that I didn't photograph:

  • The Non-Stick Icing Sheet- I think this would work pretty much like re-usable parchment paper.  I didn't read the package closely enough to see if it is heat/oven proof.  But there are plenty of times when I need to cut out gumpaste and/or fondant to dry on a non-stick surface.  Parchment paper can wrinkle, but I think this product would work beautifully.  I imagine there are so many different uses for it!
  • Clear Work Boards- There are several different sizes of these work boards, and these might be what I'm most excited about!  Yes, they are just clear acrylic boards.  But, I can see myself using these ALL the time.  First, instead of the disposable cardboard rounds I use when working with a tier, I could use these.  Then just wash and reuse... less waste, and in the long term probably cheaper.  And second, I've been playing with a new method for smoothing my buttercream to get straight sides.  The cardboard rounds I use can give me ridges in the buttercream if I press too hard.  Because the acrylic rounds have smooth sides, I could eliminate that!
  • 12" Serrated Cake Knife- I've been using a smaller bread knife to level and torte my cakes.  I was excited to see this, or a good price, so I picked it up!  I haven't used it yet, so I can't comment on the quality yet.  But, it is nice to see a good sized serrated cake knife at an accessible location and for relatively cheap.
There are so many new products that I couldn't possibly list and discuss them all here.  I'm not sure how many retailers are carrying the Little Venice Cake Company line, yet.  If you don't see them at Michael's, or want to see the full line, I know you can check everything out online at Joann Fabric and Crafts!

I am hoping that the products in the Little Venice Cake Company line are in deed good quality and gain popularity.  I love that Michael's is carrying them.  For so long Wilton has had the monopoly on cake decorating supplies.  Duff brand has some stuff, but most of his line seems gimmicky, geared towards people wanting to try making a cool cake once.  Not so much for people wanting to build a supply of quality, professional tools for cake decorating.  For me, Wilton's supplies are hit or miss... there are some useful things, and the brand is everywhere, so it is convenient to buy... but I almost never do.

I'll be sure to let you know how I like the items I bought!!

Happy Caking :)