Playing with Fondant – A Monster High Cake

So, true confession – I have been avoiding fondant.  I mean, its not that I don’t appreciate all the creativity that fondant lends itself to, but I just have a thing for buttercream.  Its my first love, and I just wasn’t willing to cross that line over into the world of fondant… until this cake.  The person specifically requested a ‘fondant covered cake.’  Even though I mentioned ways to do a hybrid cake covered in buttercream with fondant accents, they wanted fondant, so I had to face the fondant – no more running!  I certainly didn’t think that my first foray into the world of fondant would be with a Monster High cake. I had vision of a pretty cake design with flowers maybe, but I ended up with skulls, stitches, and black hearts for my initial fondant endeavor.  Funny how things happen that way.  Perhaps its because of my indifference to fondant that I ended up doing such a ‘dark’ cake for my first fondant design. I figured that if I was going to play with fondant, that I would go all in!   So I said a quick prayer and decided to fully commit to making my first fondant cake as good as it could possibly be!

monster high cake 1

This cake was for a 7 year old’s birthday party.  The cake was a pink tinted vanilla cake, with a strawberry cream filling. The accompanying cupcakes were chocolate with a milk chocolate filling and vanilla with a strawberry cream filling.  I used the Liz Marek Marshmallow Fondant recipe because I’d read really good reviews on how easy it was to work with and I figured the marshmallows would help the taste.  Most fondant doesn’t taste very good, so this one actually tastes okay.  I did include a nice layer of good Italian Meringue Buttercream under the fondant, so for people that scrape off the fondant as most people do, they had a nice layer of buttercream for their cake!  I also ordered some Monster High accessories to help with bringing the theme to life. I definitely wasn’t at the level of creating fondant figurines for the cake, so thanks to Joann.com, I was able to get some help!

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I’m very happy to say that the cake was well received by all, so mission accomplished!

Would I do another fondant cake?  Well, if someone specifically requests fondant, then yes… but will I volunteer fondant as an option, probably not.  I’m still very much a buttercream girl, however I’m now at least open to playing with fondant from time to time.   Monster High Cake

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Big Fluffy Fall Buttercream Flowers

I love the fall and I love these big fluffy buttercream flowers… after lots of practicing to try to perfect this technique for making these flowers, I think that I’ve (almost) got it!

I recently made this cake for a wedding shower, the theme was fall so they gave me free reign to do what I wanted design wise on this amaretto raspberry cake, which is a really good flavor combination by the way!

Not a lot to say today, other than that I can’t wait to make another cake covered with lots of pretty fluffy buttercream Flowers.  Enjoy!

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Fluffy Fall Flowers

 

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Fluffy Fall Flowers 2

Sunshine and Raspberries

It was such a beautiful sun shining day today!  I haven’t posted on my little blog is what feels like forever, so I thought I’d do a quick post and share this lovely cake with you!  This cake makes me think of sunshine with its ombré yellow frosting, zingy lemon throughout and a pop of red with the raspberry topping!  I made this cake earlier in the summer, but never had an opportunity to share it here.  It’s a rich butter cake infused with lemon zest and rich vanilla, filled with a raspberry buttercream and frosted with a lemon buttercream.  Maybe you will head in the kitchen and whip up a cake that makes you think of sunshine too!

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(I love the inside cake shots!)

This cake was soooo good!  If you would like to recreate this cake, I used a couple of my old faithful recipes. The cake recipe can be found here, my Meme’s rich pound cake.  The buttercream filling is an italian meringue buttercream with fresh raspberry purée, this recipe can be found here and the frosting is a whipped buttercream with lemon juice, cream and a litte vanilla, this recipe cane be found here.

Enjoy!

Cake Decorating Love

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.    Julia Cameron
…or a blank cake!
Yellow Flower Cake 2a

I love love love decorating… cakes, cupcakes, cookies… whatever!  I bake way more than what I actually share on my blog.  As an aside, I am going to try to do better and post more regularly.  The blogs I love the most are the ones that I can count on for regular content, so I am going to try to follow in their good example.

Now on to this cake…. I have been on a ‘yellow’ kick lately!  This is my second yellow cake and I’ve also used yellow in a couple of my cupcakes.  Maybe I am drawn to this color because I am hoping for spring to really come, or perhaps it reminds me of my mom who loves yellow roses.  Whatever the case, its a beautiful color and I think it made for a very beautiful cake.

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I have been trying to practice my free hand decorating.  I usually make the cake and create the flowers separately and then place them on the cake.  However, I needed to make finish this cake quickly, so I didn’t really have time for the extra step in pre-making the flowers, so I decided to give this a try and freestyle on the flowers… I was pretty proud of how they turned out!  Plus, I got this fancy cake decorating stand from my mom for my birthday, so I believe that it helped.

Yellow Flower Collage

Left to my own devices, I would bake something new… everyday.  Whether I had reason to or not.  I have so many saved recipes, cake decorating ideas and pictures of goodness that I would like to try.  So, I guess that’s the reason why when I get the opportunity to make something for someone, I go all in!  I go through my mental Pinterest, Instagram, cookbook catalog and decide which technique, recipe, look I will use for this precious baking opportunity I have before me. Sometimes its a little overwhelming… but I love it all the same.

Yellow Flower Cake 3a

I decided to add leaves to the flowers this time.  Although I know flowers have leaves for some reason I tend not to include them when I make flower on my cakes.  I’m not sure why, but this time I did and I think that they make all the difference in the look of the cake.  Makes it look more alive and vibrant!

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This is a hummingbird cake, so as with all of my cakes of this type, I like to add the pecans on the top of the cake.  I decided to glaze these nuts in some of the pineapple syrup that was added to the frosting.  So, I guess these are pineapple wet nuts… I need to think about what else I can use this for, they were so good!

Yellow Flower Cake 7a

No recipe to share, this cake is a classic, so I follow the original version from 1978 which can be found here.  No need to mess with perfection!

I’m always looking for great baking sites for more inspiration… I’d appreciate everyone’s feedback on your favorite baking sites!

Spring Flowers Birthday Cake

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.  ~ Henry Van Dyke

While we still wait for spring…  let’s enjoy a lovely spring inspired cake!

Spring Flower Cake 3

A good friend of mine asked me to make a birthday birthday cake for her lovely daughters 26th birthday.  The birthday girls favorite colors are the tiffany blue, black, white and lots of bling and her mother gave me the direction to make something in that color pallet with lots of flowers, something spring like, so this is what I created.

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Although spring seems to be taking its time arriving, it doesn’t mean that we can’t embrace spring in other ways, like with cake… like a cake with lots and lots of flowers!

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I love baking and I especially love making layer cakes with good fillings and frosting, lots of pretty flowers and lovely color combinations.  I love the creative process of designing cakes, being given an idea or a direction and coming up with a way to bring the idea to life.

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I can imagine this cake in multiple tiers… like maybe two or three?  I mean this one is pretty, but just imagine flowers cascading down the cake from one tier to the next.  That would be beautiful.  Does anyone out there need a cake with two or three tiers with cascading flowers, anyone?!?

Spring Flower Cake 3

This cake was a lemon vanilla butter cake, with a thin layer of lemon curd filling and an Italian Meringue Buttercream frosting.  Pretty classic flavor combination, but it seemed perfect for a spring inspired cake.  I love lemon curd, especially homemade, its so easy to make.  Plus, when you make Italian Meringue Buttercream you are left with just enough egg yolks for a batch of lemon curd!  Perfect!

Spring Flower Cake 1

I mentioned that the birthday girl likes bling and although this cake isn’t full of bling, I did add a couple iridescent and black sugar crystals for some… sparkle! The birthday girls loved the cake, but noted that I needed to up my bling for her future wedding cake… so I’ll get to work practicing so I’ll be ready!

Spring Flower Cake 7a

Spring Flower Cake 8So a word about the CUT cake…

I have a thing about seeing the inside of the cut cake. Maybe its because I don’t often get to see the cake cut and have the pleasure of seeing the layers and the filling inside.  I work really hard to make sure that the layers are even and that I have equal amounts of filling and that hopefully the inside will look just as pretty as the outside.  Every so often I’ll get someone to actually send me a picture of the cake after its is cut.  So that I can check my work out on the inside!  My friend was kind enough to send me this picture…  and I am SO pleased with my layers!  Just look at all that evenness.  The inside is just as important as what’s on the outside.

I am so pleased with how this cake turned out, it makes me think of spring and gives me hope for warmer days to come.

Here’s hoping we will start seeing some real spring flowers soon… but until then, hope you enjoy the cake!