Perfect Autumn Mum Cake

August 24, 2010

I know that it's still the end of August, but I can't help and think ahead when orange hues surround us and a certain scent of spice fills the air.  Here's a birthday cake that sings autumn inside and out.  I started with a basic chocolate cake recipe and added a touch of heat... cayenne pepper that is.  It gave the moist sweet cake enough heat to just tickle the back of the throat in the finishing.  Three 2 in. high layers nestled between fluffy clouds of cinnamon buttercream...can't you just smell that spice in the air!  More of the yummy buttercream thinly covered the assembled cake before I laid down a smooth blanket of dark chocolate fondant...this stuff taste like tootsie rolls.

The covered cake was then gently placed on top of a covered cake board, and bordered by alternating leaf cut outs, overlapping for a wonderful affect.  An array of gum paste mums that I had made a day in advance were then positioned on the cake for a lovely autumn touch.  Enjoy!

Sonorama Chicago cake gets moving!

August 23, 2010

Earlier this month, a special man by the name of Edgar Baca turned a wonderful big 3-0 and my inner cake addict just wanted to make something that spoke to him.  My main inspiration was a podcast called Sonorama Chicago that he ran with a good friend.  The main image on this cake is a reproduction of an illustration that they use on their promotional media.  I sketched up several designs and decided on one that complimented the colors and the personality of the birthday boy.

I decided on a 4 layered 9" round cake covered in a tritone design of simple and whimsical lines.  A dark chocolate cake nestled between clouds of nutella and chopped hazelnuts.  The layers of cake then received a thin blanket of buttercream before a smooth finish of fondant.  A template was used to cut out a 2.5 in. hole out of the cake centeer to fit the motor...yes, one that rotated the printed plastic disc that I designed.  The cake looked like a whimsical, cartoonish record player...just like the fun birthday man himself!  Oh, did I mention the flashing LED lights?!


Here's a VIDEO of the cake in action.  Enjoy!

"M" Dunny Cake for my Mateo

13 months ago, I was blessed with the birth of my first son, Mateo.  He has been my pride and joy, and nothing was more exciting than planning his first birthday... okay, it was mostly about his cake!  How could I just make a normal birthday cake?  Being who I am, I had to go a bit 3D.  I have to admit that I was inspired by Duff and his cake creation for a couple that collected designer toys.  What would be more perfect than a "M" Dunny for my lil Mateo.  He was going to be a lucha libre, sporting a cool mask with a "M" on his forehead.  It was going to be awesome.  Also an artist, my husband worked on sketches of the "M" Dunny, and I sketched up the size, shape, and the structure of the cake.

The Dunny was built from the bottom up, each layer supported by cake board and dowel rods.  The bottom part of the legs was carved out of cereal treats, and seamlessly attached to the torso carved out of pound cake. The Dunny's head was baked in a sport ball pan and then carved into it's distinct shape using a template I made out of board.  Each section was lightly iced with buttercream, and received a smooth layer of white fondant.  Arms and ears were shaped out of cereal treats were also covered with white fondant.  My husband then painted each part, closely reproducing his sketch onto the 3D shape.  Colors were created by mixing gel colors and a touch of water.  A shimmering metallic silver was achieved by using a silver Cake Graffiti by Duff...yes, I do love that man!

A wrestling ring becomes the base for this cake and was made from my signature red velvet cake filled with coconut cream cheese...Yum!  I wrapped candy sticks in black fondant and wound Twizzler pull and peel candy strings around the ring as rope.  The whole cake is literally edible!

This was definitely one of my most challenging cakes, but it was all worth it to see him take his first bite of his birthday cake. :)

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