Baby Shower | Congrats Vickee & Ian!

| Baby Showers

Back in November, we celebrated the expected arrival of a baby girl for my dear friends Vickee and Ian. I was unfortunately recovering from appendicitis and unable to stay for the baby shower, but was happy to deliver a lavender + bunny themed cake and cookies for the party. The cake itself was a white cake with lemon curd and blackberry Bavarian cream:

For the cookies, we had bunny-shaped iced shortbread cookies and salted chocolate chip cookies:

I love the opportunity to make gumpaste flowers for cakes. While they are a bigger time commitment, they are probably most reflective of my own cake decor aesthetic and I find the process meditative. For this cake, I made lavender buds, a white rose and some white filler flowers. Thank you to Subodh Kolla for sharing these beautiful photos!

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Birthday | Five Little Monkeys

| Birthdays


It seems like just yesterday we were baking for Roxana and Al’s baby shower. Now the baby is celebrating its first birthday! Oh, how time flies.

The birthday party theme was based on the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed nursery rhyme. While I didn’t grow up with that song, there are plenty of cute videos on Youtube and lots of photos online of cakes based on that theme. It was a fun to imagine and create my own version. I don’t typically make fondant decorated cakes, but I enjoyed the challenge!

For this cake, I made a buttermilk vanilla cake, with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream filling. All of the decor was made with fondant, with tiny amounts of royal icing where needed to glue items together. I switched to the higher quality Carma Massa Ticino Tropic fondant for most of my work on this cake, using Les Chocolats Roxy & Rich Fondust (amazing stuff if you haven’t tried it before) to color the dark brown and orange. Carma fondant is much more malleable and moist than, say, Satin Ice fondant, making it more forgiving and less prone to elephant skin, and thus providing a longer time window to work with. In retrospect, I probably would use Satin Ice or something stiffer for the monkeys so that they hold shape better (without any sag), but I made the monkeys a few days in advance and was able to have them dry enough for assembly.


The flooring is a fondant covered cake board, scored to give detail to individual wood planks and wood grain. I then painted them with black, brown and gray petal dust (mixed with Everclear). The natural pooling and wetness of the paint helped create the wood grain colors, and made the flooring a lot easier to accomplish than I originally imagined. The headboard for the bed was the same idea.


With stiffer fondant, I might have attempted a monkey doing a headstand, but with the Carma fondant, I settled for 4 sitting monkeys and 1 standing (which required overnight drying before assembly of parts).



One of my favorite details on this cake is the underside of the quilted comforter, which was a windowpane design painted onto white fondant.


Et voilà!


For the baby’s smash cake, I made a banana cake, using honey instead of sugar, and frosted with honey-sweetened Greek yogurt. With a monkey face of course 🙂


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Baby Shower | Congrats Roxana & Al!

| Baby Showers, Featured


You can’t help but smile when you see this two-tiered baby shower cake. Although the design is based on photos of cakes from a New York bakery (provided by the sister of the expectant mom), I was still offered creative license, and there is something fun and challenging about figuring out “how they did it.” Sometimes customers give me basic directions and entrust me to make something interesting, and other times, they have a very specific image or idea in mind. I’m happy to make it happen, either way!

The bottom tier is a 12″ citrus poppyseed pound cake, with lemon curd and pastry cream custard filling. I say “citrus” because I used primarily grapefruit juice, with some lemon juice, to flavor the cake itself. The pound cake made for a hefty cake. We sure got our workout moving this piece around.




The top tier is an 8″ chocolate layer cake with alternating layers of dark chocolate mousse and milk chocolate mousse with chopped milk chocolate bits. The expectant parents told me this reminded them of their favorite “Bibi’s cake” from their hometown of Iran, that they’ve searched for but haven’t found in the past 12 years in the US. Lucky coincidence perhaps, but what a compliment!

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The cake is covered in fondant, with fondant-gumpaste decorations. This was my first time using tappits for lettering, and it was easier to use than expected.



As for the cake topper, the baby bath was made first by molding gumpaste in a bowl, letting it dry, and then covering with a thin green fondant-gumpaste layer. I placed a concave disc of gumpaste inside the bath to take up volume (without adding weight) and prop up the baby’s head, feet and arms (yup, there was no body or legs . . .). Then, I individually glued white and blue “bubbles” with royal icing to fill in the bath. Finally, I dusted a few bubbles with pearl luster dust to add dimension.


As you can see, the baby’s head was a bit heavy. Once placed on the cake, the bath depressed into the cake on one end. I was a little stressed about whether it would keep sinking, but I hear it held up just fine. Also, depending on who you asked, it might have ended up looking better that way!


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