Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Creative Cake Tips- My very own Royal Wedding Cake!

My birthday was May 1st, and about two weeks ago my husband started asking me what kind of birthday dessert I wanted. His side of the family challenge themselves every year to come up with something more and more elaborate. Usually I ask for cream puffs or creme brulee but this year he kept bugging me. The Royal Wedding was just 2 days before my birthday so right off the top of the hat I stared at him and told him I wanted a piece of the Royal Wedding Cake!! And then exclaimed, "TOP THAT!!" Haha! Well, if anyone knows my husband you know that he doesn't do anything half way and he will make it happen, but I really thought I had him on this one. Imagine my surprise when my friends walked through my door with this 3 tier WEDDING CAKE! My husband enlisted my super amazing friends to make a Royal Wedding Cake for my birthday, and boy did they deliver! I WAS FLOORED!

I am surrounded by such talented creative bakers and cake decorators in my circle of my family and friends. Cake decorating is something I have not really tried yet, but have a growing interest after seeing their amazing creations! I have picked their brains and rummaged through their recipe boxes and have a wealth of information to share! Read on for more stunning cake projects, recipes, and tips...

A little about my Royal cake... My friends Jessica and Evan spent a couple painstaking days whipping up this cake. They completely outdid themselves. It was 3 layers. The top layer was vanilla cake with lemon filling, the middle layer was chocolate with chocolate filling, the bottom was vanilla cake with raspberry filling, and it was all topped off with buttercream icing. IT WAS ALL FROM SCRATCH!!!! Unbelievable, and so delicious!

Pardon the low resolution pics, they were taken with my iphone.
 The cake arrived just in time for the birthday soiree my husband planned. I was so impressed with my husband that I just have to brag on him a bit! He invited a great group of our friends over for an intimate party where he made chicken, steak, and shrimp kabobs. Mmm! He noticed I kept saying that it didn't feel like Spring because it hadn't greened up here in Alaska yet, so he asked our friends to shower me with flowers! My house still smells like a garden! I love it! What a great idea, not only was it a great gift from everyone, it served as party decor and made it very festive and special. My husband also dug up a handful of my childhood photos to display in dollar store frames on the tables. It was neat for birthday decor but he also turned it into a game and had everyone guess my ages for cracker box prizes. He came up with this all on his own, and completely surprised me! Are you impressed yet? Here are a couple snapshots of the party set-up.

Ok, so back to cake decorating...

I am beyond impressed with my friend Jessica's cake decorating abilities. Check out this Choo-Choo Train Cake she made...

How cute is that? She used black licorice as the tracks, and I LOVE how she put animal crackers in the animal boxcar. Aren't pretzels logs cute? My son is gonna need a cake like this for his birthday. He is OBSESSED with trains.

And she didn't actually make this, a friend of hers did, but it was at the baby shower she was hosting. It was just too impressive not to be included here...

This last cake brings me to fondant. I will be the first to admit that fondant scares me. I am so intimidated, but my sister-in-law Christy, has been making beautiful cakes with it for years now. Check out a few of her masterpieces...

She made these Tangled theme cakes for my niece's 6th birthday...

And this Cinderella theme cake for another birthday...
And these farm themed cakes...

Christy knew I wanted to start playing with fondant so she gave me some great beginner tips. 

Marshmallow Fondant
  • Marshmallow fondant is easy, edible and tastes good.
  • This is the recipe for Marshmallow Fondant that she recommends.
  • Be sure to use the name brands in the recipe. It makes a big difference and make sure the marshmallows are fresh.
  • It works to cover cakes and will kick them up to a new level
  • It also works to make flat decorations by using cookie cutters and playdough tools (now that sounds fun!)
Fondant Figures/Figurines

  • My sister-in-law suggests using store bought fondant to make figures with. Marshmallow fondant can be too soft.
  • Michaels carries a good tasting buttercream fondant but it can be pricey. JoAnn's carries a cheaper fondant, but apparently it is awful tasting. Satin-Ice can be found online and pros swear by it.
  • Buy Tylose powder! It can be found at cake supply stores and online. It really helps when making figurines.
Tutorials and Inspiration

Christy gave me a couple of her go-to sites. Extra Icing on the Cake is a blog with lots of great tips and video tutorials. She also recommends Cake Central for tips and inspiration. And finally, What's Cooking America- where we get the marshmallow fondant recipe- also has great advice.

Well, that's all I have for now. I hope my attempts turn out decent enough to share. Any bakers out there? Leave me a link to any cake projects you are proud of. We would love to see!


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