Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy December!

Well... it's here. December. I have a love-hate relationship with the month of December. I love that my anniversary (today) is in December, I love having time off at Christmas to spend with my family. I love the magic of the holiday. I love baking cookies and I love preparing the big Christmas feast. It always leads to better things: turkey sandwiches with loads of mustard!

Which reminds me... have you seen this awesome video?? Jimmy Fallon's "We're up all night to get turkey." Too funny!

I both like and hate decorating the house. I love the festive feeling but hate the clutter, and I love having my house back to normal as soon as possible after Christmas. *sigh* I am an oxymoron of the holidays lol!

At any rate... it's here, and there is no postponing it, I suppose, so I better just make the best of it :)

My oldest son, in sea cadets, has been keeping us very busy! We went to our first Santa Claus parade last month, and it was chilly but fun. And tiring. All I did was sit on my keester and I was out for the count by 8 p.m.! Crazy fresh air, I guess. Every weekend he had some kind of event last month! I am glad this month is less busy for him :)

So let's talk cake! I did this one for a friend of a friend, and I loved the way it turned out. It was a 10-inch white cake and was originally supposed to be a Toopy and Binoo cake. The client couldn't find any kind of toys for the theme and ended up going with Dora. I am so glad that the colour scheme worked well either way :)


I'm also glad the client sent me the picture with the toys on top! I took pictures of it before it was picked up, and even though it looked great, the top seemed so bare. I had some leftover royal icing from another cake and used it to attach all the little pieces to the cake. I think royal icing is my new best friend, I have learned a valuable lesson when things don't stay attached! It would have made the Alice in Wonderland cupcakes a whole lot less stressful....

This next cake is one I just finished for a friend's son. She had soooo many ideas and pictures to show me, it was tough for her decide on just one lol! But she settled on the following design.

This ten inch white cake with almond buttercream was a delight to make. And since I was home on a personal day from work and everyone else in my family was at work/school, it was just me and the radio. It came together beautifully. I love the way his ears turned out (they are slightly indented to give a 3D effect) and I love his eyes! The hat turned out great too... Okay so I love the whole darn thing lol!
This is what the front of the cake looked like:

This is the first time I've used that technique for the border. I hadn't quite decided on what to do with the border, but I used this tool for Mario's mustache:

So I already had it out. I had quite a bit of red leftover from Mario's hat and decided to use it for the border... I'm so glad I did it this way! I did it in two pieces and found that by rolling the fondant up after it was cut, and unrolling it against the cake itself, it was able to keep it from stretching, and able to keep it straight.
Next weekend will have me creating two cakes, so check back then to see what's new!
Thanks for reading and stay sweet!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have your stretchy pants handy this weekend, I know my husband does lol!

So, I wanted to share the recipe for the cherry pie I just made, since the recipe was shared so freely with me!

For the record, I hate my pie plate, but before this recipe, I never considered buying a better one ;)

The Pastry (makes top and bottom)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 baking powder
1/3 cup COLD water

I've made pie pastry before so I didn't ask for specific instructions on getting it ready for the pie plate. I just mixed it all together, divided it in half, and refrigerated one half. I rolled out the first half between two sheets of parchment paper until I was satisfied with the size and thickness. Then I pressed it into the pan.

I filled it (recipe below), and then rolled out the second half. I cut it into one-inch strips with a pizza cutter, and followed the directions here. It looks complicated but I promise you it isn't. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

I trimmed and pinched the edges as best I could with my crappy pie plate... lol! Then I baked it in a preheated oven at 450°F for ten minutes. Then I reduced the temperature to 350°F and continued to bake it for 30 minutes. YUM!

Pie Filling

2 cans cherry pie filling (any brand)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I only sprinkled some in, I didn't measure)
1/2 - 3/4 cup flour

Top and bake as directed above. Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and, as always, stay sweet!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

So it's fall.. if you like that sort of thing...

And me? I'm not a big fan, to be honest. I like certain aspects, like baking in my non-air-conditioned home, it's much more comfortable. I love the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon, and the country fairs, even though I didn't manage to get to one this year. Love apples. Love jeans and hoodies, and, really, that is about it.

What I don't like about it is now wearing socks is a requirement, that all my flowers and leaves on the tree are kaput (the colours can be pretty vibrant though), I don't like the shorter days, getting up in the dark, or the overcast skies and crappy weather, not to mention it's getting colder, and we all prepare to hibernate for six months. Sorry but I am an outdoorsy person who does NOT like the cold lol. I also dislike that Thanksgiving is really the last long weekend we will see until Family Day in February. When there is snow on the ground. Ugh.

Yes, I am the person who hears someone sigh with happiness that it's fall and I look at them like they have three heads. But, you can't keep it from coming and I'm not able to move to warmer climates.

But, the major plus side is the BAKING! I get excited when my store sets up the holiday baking display. How lame am I? Flour, chocolate chips, pie filling... my goodness, I could go to town! :D Baking while sipping my pumpkin spice latte, it's not a terrible way to head into the crappy weather, I guess!

So in case you've missed it, I've been a bit busy the past couple of weeks! My husband and I celebrated our birthdays, and I got my DQ extreme chocolate ice cream cake, YAY! Here are the highlights:

You have probably seen these beauties on Pinterest (ah, the other love of my life...), but these are Alice in Wonderland cupcakes. With about 5000 details! LOL Putting the elements together was time-consuming but well-worth it, I think. I took my time, did it over a couple of evenings, and I think in the end, they turned out amazing. The most difficult ones to do were the stacked teacups with the teapot on top. I cannot tell you how many times these things fell apart on me.... but I have learned a lesson... I need to have some royal icing on hand next time, so I can cement these kinds of pieces together. For those difficult ones, I needed to insert a toothpick through the stack of cups/teapot, and then a secondary one through the bottom with enough of the toothpick sticking out to insert into the cupcake itself. Once that was done, I was able to worry less about them falling apart. They survived and made it to their destination and were a hit!
Every year, since I took up cake decorating, I have tried to wow my husband with his birthday cake. Last year, it was the Muppets' Animal. The year before that, it was a guitar cake. One day while he was at work, I figured out what would do it... since he loves his cowboy hat, I thought, why not a cowboy hat cake? It wasn't easy to check out ideas, much less work on it because he didn't have to work that weekend. I also wanted to be sure the cake itself was absolutely delicious... so I improvised with a new idea... chocolate cherry cheesecake. He was definitely in heaven, after his happy reaction to the cake!

Last but not least, I was asked to do this guy, the green Ninjago. I did a red one awhile ago, in a different way for the same customer. This one was chocolate raspberry truffle, one of my most requested flavours. It was so easy to do this one, because the fondant went on it pieces and didn't have to be perfect, it just needed to be layered. I was really happy with how he turned out, but alas, he wasn't a popular like on Denise's Custom Cakes. That's okay though, to each their own. I was impressed!

And that about sums up fall for me, so far. I have orders coming in for December already, so if you've been considering ordering a cake from me, please be sure to plan ahead!

Stay sweet!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

C is for Cookie!

The nights have already become cooler, which is great for sleeping but not much else. I'm in total denial. My last stretch of vacation begins tomorrow afternoon and I am off from work for 17 days... meaning, for the rest of the (kids') summer! So no cool nights are allowed until Labour Day weekend! And maybe not even then!

My family and I count down to this time of year immediately after Labour Day... so for 349 days lol! This is our big, official vacation as a family. We take a week off in July, and usually just do day trips, head to the beach, the drive-in, things like that, staying close to home. But this year, we were graciously invited to spend a week at our friend's trailer near Port Dover. We had so much fun! We swam, fished, hiked, took in some history and ate like kings. We had the BEST food ever: chili, BBQ chicken, steaks, burgers, corn on the cob, meatloaf.. and to make up for that, I've been eating salad every. single. day. since then. I'm done with salad, for the record!

So our August vacation is spent camping in the lovely Algonquin Provincial Park. I may have mentioned it before, but this is a family tradition that we've been carrying on. My grandparents stayed there, my parents stayed there and now we stay there, with the high hopes that our boys will take their families there one day. So we camp there for almost the whole week, come back the Thursday evening and then spend the next day at the Canadian National Exhibition, which the kids also love! It's a bit of a whirlwind week for us, but we wouldn't have it any other way!

So let's talk cake..

I am really my own worst critic, and I KNOW this, but this bloody Caesar cake would be better with fondant. I also know not every cake I do is going to turn out in reality how I have it pictured in my mind, but I learned something with this one, and that is what is important here. :) And it makes me feel better to assure you that the picture does not do this cake justice, it truly looked better in person.

These cute cupcakes celebrated a friend's daughter's birthday. Last year I made the Mermaid Barbie cake... this year, she wanted red velvet cupcakes and marble cupcakes with all kinds of different toppers. So I decided on a summery theme, with the exception of a few animals and flowers. My favourites include the hot dog and hamburger, the bikini, flip flops and popsicles (made from Mike n Ike candies). They were a hit!
The client for this cake showed me a picture and decided to go with part fondant, part buttercream. So the trick to this cake was to make the buttercream as smooth as possible. I iced it, froze it, and smoothed it with a hot spatula. I was pretty satisfied! My awesome husband cut the horse out of fondant, and then cut and attached the checkerboard design to the side of the cake, using Wilton Sugar Sheets. Not sure if I'll use them again, but they helped!
This Michaelangelo cake was for another repeat customer... last year I did a Wallace & Gromit cake for her grandson :) This was done by a frozen buttercream transfer... and I'm still not officially sold on the technique, it turned out way better than the first time I tried it!
And the last cake before my vacation starts is Cookie Monster! It was done in a similar way to the Elmo cake a couple of months ago, but the "fur" was purposely piped askew :) I really, really like how it turned out.
I have another order for Cookie Monster later this month, but if the client reads this, rest assured, it will not be identical to this cake! :)
Enjoy the next couple of weeks, ladies and gents, and as always, stay sweet!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day! - Officially!

Two posts in as many days... it must be some kind of record! Nah, I've just been busy, that's all! LOL

Yesterday, I promised to post the surprise cake, so without further delay:

The client asked me a couple of months ago to make a cake to celebrate two birthdays, her son and her daughter. I have seen cakes online that incorporate two or more birthdays, so I started to form a plan in my head. I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do, and turned to Pinterest for visual inspiration. I wanted to make a creative and original cake, so I got out a piece of paper and a pencil and started sketching away. I have never done this before... at first it felt a little silly, but at the same time, it felt good to have a visual plan to refer to. When I finished the picture, and I'm definitely not an artist, at least when it comes to drawing, I snapped a picture of it with my phone and sent it to the client. I made sure that she knew we could change anything she wanted, and to let me know what her opinions were. She seemed to have fallen in love with it! Awesome!

Two days before the due date, I got to work with making the crown. I mixed some gum paste with neon fondant and created this with some advice and assistance of my husband. It needed time to dry, preferably around something rounded. I used an empty, clean coffee container and let it dry for 24 hours.

Once it was dry, I could put the rest of the cake together. I had a mishap with the first round of black fondant on the bottom tier... it was too thin, it was tearing in spots and just too thin in others. I had to remove all of it, and the buttercream underneath had bits and pieces of black fondant in it. It was very frustrating to work with it that day. I rolled out more black fondant, much thicker this time, and re-canvassed the cake. The fondant went on MUCH better, and then it was just piecing the white squares over top to make the checkered look. My awesome husband made the Cars logo shape! :)

The bottom tier went back into the fridge, and I took the rest of the evening off, because it was our youngest son's birthday and we had a Staypuft cake to delve into!

The next day, after work, I went right to work on the top tier. I used a cutter tool and a ruler to make the lines criss-cross on the fondant, and placed silver dragees in the crossed lines to add a touch of elegance. I put purple fondant flowers along the border. Then I finished the crown by adding the name of the little princess to it, and dusting silver petal dust over all of the lettering. A purple "1" cutout and some purple hearts (not seen in photo) completed the look.

Then it was just a matter of stacking the cakes, adding the crown and writing the name on the Cars logo shape. I also piped white buttercream along the bottom of the top tier to hide the cardboard round that it was sitting on.

My original plan was to have the bottom cake board large enough to add a race track and a plastic Lightning McQueen, but it was too narrow. I sent the McQueen toy with the cake anyway :)

Then the following day, I had cakes and brownies to bake for a cake we were bringing to a BBQ. This is an annual BBQ we attend to celebrate Canada Day, and every year, I try to bring something original and fun for dessert. One year it was my final Wilton cake class project:

Another year it was 'hamburger' and 'hotdog' topped cupcakes:
And this year, it was one ginormous hamburger cake. :)
I made two layers of yellow cake, and split a large batch of brownie mix between two 8 inch pans.
I iced the bottom yellow round with chocolate icing and put one of the large brownies on top. A little more chocolate buttercream to make them stick, and used orange fondant to make the cheese slice. Then I covered the top brownie with more chocolate icing, leaving about an inch and a half from the edge free of icing. I used a rose tip to pipe green lettuce, and then piped on the mustard and ketchup before placing the top yellow round on. I had been contemplating what to use for sesame seeds for a couple of days, but finally just decided to use real sesame seeds, since they don't really have much taste to them anyway.
A Canadian flag makes the entire cake a bit more festive for the occasion! The cake was totally a hit, and was completely gone within about 10-15 minutes. It was delicious... even as full as I was after the scrumptious food, I made sure to have a small piece!
I should probably try to figure out how I'm going to top that next year! Open to suggestions! :)

And that's the kind of holiday weekend it has been for us. Have fun and stay sweet, and as always, thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy Canada Day Long Weekend!

Hello, hello! Hope you've all enjoyed the warmer temperatures so far! I know I have! And I've even enjoyed the rain we've been having. My husband made a rain barrel, and is quite proud of himself, as he should be! We're doing our part to conserve water and use it wisely... but with all the rain we've had, I think we should have two!

It's been quiet on the cake front so I've had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family the past couple of weeks. It's been really nice! We went to St. Jacob's last weekend. My goal was to buy a Dutch oven, and I had heard that they had some great prices out there, but also a family ride and some shopping. It was hot and muggy, but I try not to complain too much because I can't stand winter.

And then near the end of June, everything started picking up, which is also nice. I spoiled my oldest son one evening by making his favourite dessert, Chocolate Trifle. I made this religiously for years, since he was two or three, and then I couldn't find the chocolate bars I use in it anymore, so anything else just didn't seem right. And then my husband found them while we were shopping, so I had to make it!


To make it, you will need:

1 box of brownie mix, prepared, cooled, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 container of frozen whipped cream, thawed
1 package chocolate instant pudding, prepared
1 4-pk of Crunchie chocolate bars (or your favourite)

In a glass bowl, or trifle bowl, layer half of the brownies, half of the pudding, one crushed chocolate bar, half of the whipped cream, spreading it to the edge of the bowl. Then layer the rest of the brownies, pudding and whipped cream, and two crushed chocolate bars on top (last bar can be enjoyed later on). Serve immediately or chill, covered, until serving time. Perfect for dessert at a BBQ! If you have any leftovers, cover and refrigerate.

After that treat, I got my bake on. One of the things I enjoy most about doing cakes is that I get to make fun and original cakes for my family. I know, and respect that not all moms have the desire, interest or time to do this, but for me, personally, taking classes for cake decorating is probably one of the smartest and best things I have done for myself. If you're a fellow decorator, you know what I'm talking about! And if you aren't, I can make your cake for you! ;) (See what I did there? A shameless little plug for Denise's Custom Cakes... oops, there I go again! lol)

In my family, we watch a lot of movies. We love all the older movies like Short Circuit, Indiana Jones, The Neverending Story, Ghostbusters, Encino Man, Wayne's World, Home Alone, the list goes on. At first my kids aren't always receptive to watching something that's not JUST OUT, but within a few minutes, they're enthralled in the plot and clap like mad at the end of it lol... I feel it's important for them to see some of the movies my husband and I watched as we were growing up. So our youngest adores the Ghostbusters movies, I've lost count how many times he's watched them on DVD. So I decided to make him a cake with the Staypuft Marshmallow Man, since one of his other loves has always been marshmallows. This was the result:

My original plan wasn't to use fondant on it, but the cake thawed so fast in my non-air-conditioned house, and crumbs were all throughout the icing. Not pretty. Fondant hides things very well, so ta-da! Staypuft was easy and fun to make... just blobs of white fondant, held together with toothpicks... he was heavy though, and already starting to wilt as I was finishing him up... so, he took a snooze on a paper towel and stayed in the fridge for a rest. I propped him up on the cake quickly before snapping a couple of pictures, and presenting it to my son, whose jaw hit the floor when he saw it. He was picking out what parts of Staypuft he wanted to eat, only to be pleasantly surprised when I told him the whole thing was his to eat :) Of course, that made his day even better! (and he hasn't delved into it yet...)

And I am really liking the use of ribbon on my cakes... sometimes I don't want to use buttercream or fondant for trim, so this is a nice, clean way to add a little extra detail. The cake itself was a two layer yellow cake, with Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake mix combined with whipped cream, and cherry pie filling in the center. Thinly iced with vanilla buttercream, and covered in black fondant. Letters and number are courtesy of Tappits, which can be purchased at Golda's Kitchen in Mississauga.

I have two more cakes to post this weekend, but not until Sunday... Stay tuned and stay sweet! ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Happy May!

Isn't it great that the weather has finally broken? I know it's nearly Mother's Day and the temps are supposed to dip to ten degrees this weekend, but hey, a lot of us have started our gardening and our summer tans (mine always start out with a burn like the one I currently have, but at least I do mine in stages, and the kids are white as ghosts, so we are good parents, if not good examples). I've started doing the stairs again, after a two year hiatus... with the husband working nights for six years, it's tough to get around without a license (that's right, I don't drive, but I am an excellent driver... avoided a full-on collision when I had my beginners'). Once I get some colour to my skin and some workouts on the stairs under my belt, I'm gonna feel pretty damn sexy! :)

As long as I avoid the buttercream, of course. LOL! I have a sweet tooth.. I take after my dad, for sure. But, as much as I love cupcakes and cake, I try not to consume too much! (wine, on the other hand, is more of a weakness to me than chocolate!)

Moving onto cakes! I have been pretty busy the past few weeks, I am proud to say I've had steady business the past month and a half.. and Mother's Day is my first weekend off... in awhile.

This was a purse cake for my husband's boss' daughter, whom, on Twitter, posted that it was the "best cake evaaaa"... That's right... I'm not ashamed to brag. I am extremely proud to say that my husband helped me tremendously with this cake, and it's construction. If not for him, I'm truly not sure if it would have been as successful. For starters, he made the bow. All. By. Himself. Yes. And now I have to ask him how he did it, the next time I need to make a bow! How embarrassing is THAT? He helped with measuring, the trim, the handle, and most importantly, the transportation of the cake, since he brought it to work with him and he did NOT destroy it in the process! I married a gem! :D

Vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream made from a combination of shortening and butter, dowelled and covered in fondant... this was a true victory and I am so proud of my husband and myself!

This was an ice cream cake to celebrate my son's 13th birthday on April 30th. We went out to Mother's Pizza for dinner, and had a blast. He got a special dessert there, and in true teenager style, also helped demolish the treat I made for him. If you frequent Pinterest at all, search for ice cream cake, and it's the one using ice cream bars. Not complicated at all, but, my 6 year old loved every aspect of helping out, including rolling fondant balls (you can see a yellow one on the right and a bit of an orange one on the left, but there were more), and unwrapping the ice cream sandwich bars. Seeing him enjoy helping me was almost as much of a treat as seeing Tyler's expression when he was his cake. :)
And there you have it.. I'm officially an old bag, I have a teenager! LOL
About a year ago now, my youngest was in a JK/SK split class (first I had ever heard of a split kindergarten class), and made friends with a boy named Jacob. His class had a special picnic one day, and I left work early to attend. It was a windy but fairly warm day, and God bless 5 year olds and how excited they are to have their parents at their school. In ten years he won't be nearly as excited. Anyway, I had brought a blanket with me to work, and my husband had also packed one with Caleb, without my knowledge. When I got to the school, I was a little dismayed at having to bring extra stuff home, as I've said before, I don't drive, so I have to carry it all on the walk home. But he was excited to have me there and what else matters in life, really?
So, we are heading outside, and we were walking close to his friend, Jacob, and his mom and sister, when he very loudly announced we would all be sitting together. LOL Jacob's mom didn't have a blanket to sit on and we had two, so you can guess what happened. We shared blankets and stories and laughter and it was a friendship in the making.
I never thought I would be very close to my boys' friends' parents but there it was... and it's been awesome! We've gotten together several times and we have shared stories and life experiences and so much laughter. I adore this woman, and not only because she became a client, but because she is someone I call a friend. She is truly beautiful on the outside AND the inside.
She ordered a cake for her mom's birthday and this was her idea, through and through...
Her mom loved it, thank goodness! Vanilla cake with strawberry jam and whipped cream filling, the two dice were stacked brownies covered in fondant. Yum!
And last but not least... in a rush for this last picture because the husband is heading to bed and I hate being the last one up... A spaghetti cake! Chocolate cake baked in  an ovenproof glass mixing bowl with cherry buttercream filling, vanilla buttercream "pasta", Lindor chocolate truffle "meatballs", strawberry sauce and coloured icing sugar "parmesan". Yum! Brought this into work and it didn't survive the end of the day! Husband is still peeved he didn't get a piece LOL!

And these are my spring adventures so far. Stay sweet! ;)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Busy bee I am!

April has flown by, hasn't it? I mean, Wednesday is the beginning of MAY! And the stupid weather here still hasn't made a decision between winter and spring... so aggravating! I walk home from work, and I kid you not, I have a touque, gloves and an umbrella, and alternate between three different coats/jackets on a weekly basis because you just never know what the weather will bring! And that doesn't even include my kids' coats... It will be so nice to clear out the coat tree!

The beginning of April started my busiest month to date, and this is the cake it started with! A Smart car cake. The piping and fondant details together made this a really fun cake to make. Details on each cake in this blog can be found on my cake Facebook page, Denise's Custom Cakes.

Then the baby shower cake. I'm sorry but I really must brag about this one, because it's so stinkin' AWESOME! I mean, LOOK at the detail. And the inside had leopard print too :)

And then there was Elmo! This one was pretty easy to do. There are Elmo cake pans and whatnot, but I decided against that and used a picture of Elmo as a guide and recreated him with icing and fondant. I cheated and went with store-bought red icing, and I can justify this. I was told once that you will never get a red icing by using red to colour your buttercream. The same goes with black but I actually don't have any problems with black. So the choice was a pink Elmo or cheat and get a red Elmo :) I cheated and I have no regrets.

These are just some chocolate cupcakes I made for my family. Nothing special really, but with some of the yummies my family sees walking out the door, I have to make them treats too :)

The red velvet camping cake. I made this cake for my oldest son last year for his 12th birthday, because that was his request. Here's the strange thing.. while I love to be challenged and asked to do new things with cake that I've never done before, I also enjoy being asked to do repeats. It's a learning experience the first go around. A good example on this cake was the logs. On my son's cake, it was just rolled fondant, but on this one, I went as far as to use a knife all over the outside to give it a wood texture. I also used strictly fondant/gum paste to make the tent, whereas last year, I iced two graham cookies and put them together.

The crowning glory of the month of April was this one. A vanilla cake shaped like a purse. One of the best things about this cake, aside from it's stunning presentation lol... is that my husband helped me BIG time. First of all, he made the bow. All by himself. I had no idea how to even attempt the bow to be quite honest. So I need to ask my husband for advice the next time I need one! The other awesome thing is that he was around to bounce ideas off of. Even though this idea came from a book which described how to do it, we had to alter a couple of small things to make sure it was sturdy enough. I am so proud of this cake!

I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Cupcakes for one family birthday, an ice cream cake for my son, who will become a teenager on Tuesday (eek!), research for an upcoming Las Vegas cake, a bridal shower to attend on Sunday and I am hoping to reconnect with my family at some point, since I haven't had much opportunity to spend quality time with them this week :(  I think a movie night is in store this weekend!

To my clients, thank you so much! Your ideas have led me to challenge myself and it's been awesome! I can't believe I can do some of this stuff LOL!

Stay sweet!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Olivia has arrived!

Happy Easter to you all! I hope that everyone is able to spend some quality time with their loved ones and remember what Easter is truly all about (even I know it's not all about chocolate! lol)

So I received a request nearly two months ago to do an Olivia the Pig cake for a first birthday. This is a repeat customer, I've done her baby shower cake and I'm willing to bet there will be more cakes in the future.. especialy after this one!

Now, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am so incredibly proud of this one and how it turned out. It's a small cake that weighed a ton lol! Not gonna lie, though... I was stressing, but only because I wanted it to be great!

The bottom was an 8 inch chocolate raspberry truffle with raspberry mouse filling, and the top was a 6 inch red velvet with cream cheese filling. Covered in white fondant with stripes of pink and red, polka dots in red and black... a nice big red bow with a banner (first time doing a banner, and it wasn't as diffcult as I expected it to be). Crowning the top of this adorable cake was Olivia, in all her fondant finest, wearing a celebratory silver dragee necklace for the occasion.

In addition to the cake, there were 30 vanilla cupcakes, iced with light and dark pink buttercream, with fondant flowers as an added touch.

Hope you all enjoy looking at this cake as much as I do! :)

Another creation is underway, but it's for my family (since the kids tell me I never make anything for just us... lies! Lies, I tell you!), and I will post pics later :)

Stay Sweet!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I can admit when I am wrong.

It was actually a great surprise.. a happy one, and I don't see a lot of those, so when I do, it's worthy of a mention!

It was announced at work yesterday morning that we have indeed received a profit-sharing bonus. It's not much. A third of what we received last year, but nevertheless, any free money is better than none, which is what the majority of us have expected. The downfall is that it will be taxed to the hilt so we will be lucky to see half of the proposed amount, but hey! Still! It's better than zero and still a terrific accomplishment. And it's FREE MONEY!

Two stores opened up in the near vacinity of my store, which threw budgets off almost the entire year. We were below budget ALL year, it was depressing!) So, someone went to bat for us, and argued this fact with the powers that be, and they agreed that the proposed budgets we had all year long were screwed up. So, they refigured it and we ended up getting this small but more than expected bonus... YAY!

What does that mean for my cakes? Nothing. I'm still plugging away, still socking it away. When I heard the news, I texted my husband, and told him. He was happy and thrown off a bit, because neither of us expected it, as we were told for the ast six months, it was a no-go, but I told him it was still going into savings for summer. I said I want this to be the best summer EVER... so, why break the streak, right? Into savings it goes!

I have had a terrificly (it's a word NOW!) busy day.. baking and testing and playing. As you know, I love fondant... just hate cleaning up! So this is what I made!



I've been wanting to try the zebra cake effect for a bit now, so while I was baking that, I played with fondant and made some cute cupcake\cake toppers. I plan on making some more tomorrow :) Lovin' the pig!

Anyway... it's been a long day so it's time to end the post :) Enjoy your weekend, and stay sweet!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Summertime Dreams

It is a well-known fact for anyone who knows my husband and I... we cannot save a dime. Seriously. I am somewhat ashamed but I know we are not alone. There are many families and couples who are in the same boat.

I am fortunate to work at a place that offers an annual bonus called profit-sharing. I was also fortunate enough to realize early on that my workplace was not going to be receiving one this year. This bonus is important to me for one major reason: it funds my family's annual camping trip.

Up until Christmas, I had been wondering what we were going to do. Knowing full well we are bad at saving, I wrestled with the thought of telling our boys we wouldn't be able to go this year. No matter how I looked at it, it wasn't a good outcome... and I knew my husband and I wouldn't have as good a summer as we have been lucky enough to have over the past several years by going on our annual trip.

So when my mother-in-law generously gave us cash for Christmas, a light bulb went on, and I suggested to my husband saving it for summer camping. He was on board. Great, one third of the way there, now what?

Then over December and January, and partway into this month, the odd request for a cake would trickle through and as soon as the client happily picked up their cake and payment was made, I was running to hide the earnings and count up the new total.

I was thrilled last weekend to tell my husband we were just a little bit away from our goal. I am still marvelling at how we have been steadfast at saving this cash. And make no mistake, he's been dropping the odd $20 into the jar too. However, I have my cakes to thank for it... without them, we would be having a campout no further than our backyard, which is fine and well but just not the same! Now that I am done tooting our horns over here, (YAY US! lol), let's talk cake!

Chances are, if you are reading this, it's because you are a Facebook friend of mine and have likely already seen the cakes, but I have to show the highlights!

I LOVE playing with fondant. Love it! Loathe cleaning up after playing with it though! :)  It is like reverting into a little kid and playing with play-doh... awesome!
I wasn't as thrilled with Dora (yes, it is supposed to be Dora!) as I was with Kwazi (from Octonauts), but I learned a valuable lesson here. I pieced Dora together on the cake, and Kwazi on the table. Clearly, I need to do the latter from now on.
I have some ideas in mind for St. Patty's Day and Easter, so stay tuned and stay sweet!