Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Camping Tent Baby Shower Cake and Tutorial

Hi friends!
I'm so happy I get to share with you my latest cake and a quick little tutorial!!

The secretary at my son's school...aka: the glue that holds our school having a baby in a few weeks and some of the parents/teachers threw her a baby shower.  It was a camping theme'd shower with tents, cut up logs to hold the food and a faux camping fire in the middle of the chairs!!  

It was soo cute!!
 The ladies asked if I'd make a small cake with a tent on it and gave me total design control.  It was a busy weekend so I knew I wanted to do something fun, but keep it simple so I started looking for ideas!!

Lesley with Royal Bakery has the most incredible camping cake EVER and has done these amazing waves on several of her cakes.  So, I thought I'd give it a go!!  Here's her cake...perfection don't you think!!!!???  So, this was the total inspiration for my cake!!  Thanks Lesley!! :)

I made the cute little tent out of rice crispy treats, coated it with ganache and covered it in modeling chocolate.  I even rolled up little windows for the sides! :)  My 3 year old decided she wanted to "help" mom by "re-designing" the front of the tent by touching the top corner of the tent and pushing on it!  OH silly girl!! - that's why mama isn't making many cakes anymore!! :)  So, enter repair mode!
I've got a few tips and tricks in my latest Craftsy Class that shows how to get rice crispy treats super smooth for a great, smooth final finish!!  You can use them in soooo many situations and they can be made to be incredibly stable for sculpting!  I have a whole lesson on it!! :)  Here's a 50% off link (click HERE) if you plan to incorporate rice crispy treats in your cakes.
I just love these little waves of color/design!  Like little hills in the country and a beautiful blue sky on a summer day!!  Sooo sweet!!  I used straight modeling chocolate...but that wasn't the best choice.  If I do it again, I'd suggest mixing in 50/50 fondant so you get some elasticity and so the waves can stretch out a bit.  Without the fondant, the modeling chocolate wanted to tear a bit at the top where I was trying to bend it out from the cake.  So...50/50 would have been perfect!!!  Lesson learned if I do the waves again.

In case you follow me on Facebook, this is the cake where I spelled the name wrong!!!  It was so funny because I wrote it/carved it into the modeling chocolate, then stood back and thought, that doesn't look right, but couldn't find the invitation (hello I have dozens of emails from her I could have looked there) but thought, "oh well!" and cleaned up everything and put it away!! - serious mommy brain!  What was I thinking!??

So, right when I finished cleaning up everything (and you know how long that can take) I found the invitation...and WRONG!!!  Oh boy!  I just need to trust my instincts...always!! :)  The next morning before the shower I brought out the modeling chocolate and cut out a piece that would fit over the other sign, scribed it out and applied it.  Done!!

Now for the tutorial!!!

It's pretty simple.  I wanted to do some pretty trees, but with just texture...and something quick!  The weekend I was working on this cake was beautiful and I wanted to play with my family!  So, I whipped out my Wilton #21 icing tip and formed a ball of green modeling chocolate to look like a tree.  I then started poking the modeling chocolate tons of times to give it this prickly texture.  It took just a few minutes and I loved the simple texture/look it gave the trees!!  I did the trees in two colors then made some bushes to go around the trees in the lighter color.  Again, all the decorations were modeling chocolate.

So cute!!!

This texture can also work for grass, sheep or anything you need a wooly texture.  Simple and easy!!
For the trees on the sides of the cake I formed the modeling chocolate the same way you see in the tutorial pics above, but let it sit for 10 min or so, then took a sharp knife and cut the trees in half.  Then I textured them the same way.  I attached the trees to the sides of the cake with some sugar water.

I hope you all enjoy your week!!  Thanks for stopping by!!!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Modeling Chocolate - Unraveling The Mysteries!!

Hi friends!!

I have a treat for you today!!

If you don't know Summer Stone, she is THE smartest baker I know!!  - and she is my very special cake friend who has been with me in all my ups and downs over the last five years.  I'm am SO thankful to the Lord for her and owe her a LOT!!

She recently started a new blog called "Cake Paper Party" and is dedicated to posting about simple tricks for creating stunning parties!  It's all about the cake, the paper crafts and bringing it together to make an incredible party!!  She is the master and has thrown the BEST parties I've ever seen!!!  Here are two cakes I've made for her parties...The Egyptian, The Fasionista Cake (that started the whole wax paper transfer idea).

Summer is my scientist!!  She LOVES to experiment, test, compare and create!  She has a degree in micro-biology and loves the chemistry of things.  Summer has been writing for Cake Central magazine and has recently started her party blog in order to do some incredible posts on all things modeling chocolate, fantastic recipes you're going to want to try, and simple ways of making Swiss meringue buttercream!!  She is SO committed figuring out why things work certain ways and then educating people about what she's learned.  You're going to want to subscribe to her blog so you don't miss a post!!

For instance...

She's got three new posts on MODELING CHOCOLATE!!! :)

Photo by: Summer Stone "Cake Paper Party"
Her first post is "How to Make Modeling Chocolate" - the ins and outs of making it and helping you with some of the pitfalls that happen when you make it!  She's got lots of great pictures!!

Photo by: Summer Stone "Cake Paper Party"

 Her second post is "White Chocolate vs Candy Melts" - comparing modeling chocolate made with two different kinds of medium and how ratios play into the recipe.  She gives you a chart to show that mixing up the ratio of corn syrup to chocolate can effect the modeling chocolate's softness/firmness. 

Photo by: Summer Stone "Cake Paper Party"
Her last post is "22 Ways to Color Modeling Chocolate"!! - Twenty two!!!  I told you she was thorough!! :)

Check it out friends!!  This medium will change your life!  I use straight modeling chocolate for most all my decorations and will mix it from time to time with my fondant depending upon what I'm doing with it.  It cuts clean, straight, it doesn't stretch like fondant and tastes FANTASTIC!!  

I show how to make it and how to use it in my first, foundational, online class called "Clean & Simple Cake Design".  If you haven't checked this class out, it's over 4 hours of everything from modeling chocolate to marshmallow fondant to crumb coating a round cake in buttercream and square cake in ganache then how to achieve those razor sharp finishes on them!!  It's got tons of info in it that will change your cake journey and make your cakes cleaner in less time.  Here's a 50% off link if you'd like to check it out: Click HERE.

I hope you enjoy the new blog "Cake Paper Party"!  Give Summer and Hi for me and stick close to'll learn a TON like I have!! :)


Sports Themed Cakes - Soccer Ball Cake, Football Cake and Shoe Cake

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret...

I have a cake crush!

I'm sure if you've been in the cake industry very long you know who Mike McCarey is!!  He is literally my hero in cake decorating and I want to be like him when I grow up!! :) 

Everything he does is flawless, effortless and beautiful!  He has SUCH an eye for design, for scale and for composition!!  It's incredible.  I remember watching him on the Cake Challenges when they were on TV and he was always heads above his competition!! - and always done early!  How does that happen!!?!?

Well, I have treat for you!! 

Mike just launched his third class with Craftsy called "All Star Cakes"!!!  Check out these cakes!!  If you've been struggling with fun cakes for your husband, boyfriend, son or co-worker, this is the class for you!!  Sometimes it's so hard to make great "guy" you can and Mike will show you how.  Here's 25% off his class!!  Click HERE.  You'll learn how to sculpt a stand up football cake and an incredible running shoe cake complete with laces and textured fondant.  Amazing!!!

All his classes are incredible and FILLED with tons of valuable tips and tricks!  And, Mike is hilarious!!!  He's just plain fun to watch so grab a bag of popcorn and settle in! :)

If you want to learn about structure and cake sculpting, check out his "Advanced Cake Sculpting: Bobblehead Class".  

If you're into cars, then check out his "Classic Car: Timeless Technique".  This cake is amazing!!!  

Both those links are for 25% off so enjoy!!  I'm sorta becoming addicted to Craftsy!!  There is SO much to learn...I love it!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

I see cake...beautiful inspiration all around you!

I see cake in everything...everything!!

I can't walk in a mall, through Target, look at magazines and watch TV without seeing patterns, colors, and inspiration that screams, "Turn me into a cake!""

SO, I had to share some with you!!  I might have to do a "I See Cake" posts more often!!! 

Here are some recent finds that would make a beautiful cake!!!!
 Glorious shoe with sparkly bow!!  This double bow would be gorgeous anywhere.  Use some gold gumpaste and cover it with gold disco dust!!  Beautiful!!  You can find my bow template/how to HERE.
 Beautiful purses!!  SO many colors, textures, patterns, bows and chain details can be found by looking at purses!!!  Check these beauties out!!!
 Love this mint color and that sweet bow with the studs in it!!  Sweet and simple!

 LOVE this saggy bow and the deep coral and turquoise together!!  SUCH a great combo!!

 LOVE that top border/scallop detail!!!  Beautiful!!

 Color, pattern, & white & pink & gold!!!  Stunning combo!!
 Spring is here!!!  Look at these beautiful colors!!

I hope you enjoyed all the inspiration!!  

Now go design a cake!! :)

Custom Lettering & Monograms for Cake Decorators - Tutorial

The infamous Nicolas Lodge just kicked off another incredible class with Craftsy!!  It's ALL about lettering and monograms!! 

I have heard from all of you and know that many of you struggle with how to get text/font/lettering onto a cake!! - so in my newest class "Clean & Simple Birthday Cakes" I have a lesson on how I do it too...I show about 5 different techniques and ways to do, that's another place you can check out for ideas.  

But when this class launched, I was excited because Nicholas covers even more...much more!! - a whole class full of tips & techniques for lettering!!

PLUS, I have a discount code for you all that never expires!!  Click HERE for the discount!!!

Take this's a must have!! - and because I know you'll enjoy it!

Cutter Sale & Discount Code!!

Big sale over at Not Just Cakes by Annie's shop later today (Friday, March 28th)!!!!  It starts today at 4pm Pacific Time!!!  Be there on time or you'll miss out!!

***I have a special discount for you!!***
If you've purchased my latest Craftsy class, "Clean & Simple Birthday Cakes", you might have noticed I use her adorable cloud cutters on two of the cakes!!!  She has given me a SPECIAL promo code for my sweet fans for $3 off those cloud cutters!!!  Head over to her shop (Click HERE) at 4pm today Pacific Time and use code: JessiCakesCLOUD

Thank you SO much Annie!! 

Make sure you look around!! - Annie has some INCREDIBLE cutters and stencils you will not see anywhere else! - super graphic, clean, fun, modern, trendy patterns and cutters!  I LOVE her shop!!!!

**OH, and remember, if you haven't taken this birthday cakes class of mine through Craftsy, here's a link to get $20 off!!!  Click HERE!

Have fun shopping!!!