Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Custom Cake Toppers - Fondant Figure Video Tutorial

It's here!  It's here!!!

Brenda Walton of Sugar High Inc has just launched quite possibly the cutest Craftsy class ever!!!  

"Custom Cake Toppers"

And I have a $10 off discount link for you!!!  Yes, that's 25% off this Craftsy class!!  Click HERE!!

In this class you'll learn how to make her signature bride and groom, the sweet little old couple and a little girl laying on her tummy!!  She includes all the templates to help you scale the body and heads too!!
I'm already through half the class already and am so impressed with how detailed she is!!  She gives you all the weights for each piece you are creating.  Her tips and tricks are incredible!!!!  YOU can do this!!

Brenda makes it look so easy!! - I actually feel like I could DO this!!!
 Look at the details!!  I've always thought Brenda had little fairies working for her because the details are so tiny!! - but she shows how you can do it...without the fairies!!! LOL!!!

Thanks Brenda for an incredible class!!  You make it so easy for us to make beautiful figurines!!

To snag 25% off this class, click HERE!!

Tag: Gumpaste, Fondant, Cake Toppers, Figures, Figurines, Bride and Groom

Friday, May 30, 2014

How to get WHITE buttercream when using REAL butter!!?!?

Hi friends!!

This is a question I get often..."How do you get your buttercream to be white when using real butter?!" or "How do you get your marshmallow fondant to be a bright white?"

Picture by Cakes by Raewyn
For buttercream, lately I've been telling people to add a cup of powdered sugar to their meringue based buttercreams (whether Italian or Swiss) then add some white gel color from Americolor.  The powder sugar creates sugar crystals (that the meringue based buttercream lacks) and so the gel color bonds to the sugar crystals making a more even coloring.  BUT, it takes a good amount of gel color to do that.

For marshmallow fondant, I tell people to add some Americolor White gel to the melted marshmallow stage in order to brighten the fondant.

BUT...are you ready for a mind blowing trick!! - that takes the TINIEST drop of color!!?!!?!?

Check out this video below by Cakes by Raewyn!!   

And prepare for your world to be ROCKED!!! :)  Here is a great way to brighten up those creamy whites to white white.  I've also heard using the tiniest bit of blue can work too...but violet is preferred.

She recommends using Sugar Flair like this one HERE.  I've also read you can use Americolor violet but it can tend towards a tiny bit gray and not to use Wilton as it will give you a more dull gray color.  

Let's give Raewyn a huge thank you for this simple and "bright" techinque!!!  :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

How To Make Designer High-Heel Shoes - Video Tutorial!!

Hi friends!!

I have been waiting for this class for a while now!!  One thing I felt Craftsy needed was a designer shoe class!!! - and now it's here and by none other than the amazing Elisa Strauss!!!!

If you've wanted to learn some fun tips and tricks to making your own gumpaste shoes this is the class for you.  PLUS...I have a DISCOUNT for you!!!  Click HERE for $10 off this Craftsy Class!!

You don't need a heel kit because she shows you how to do everything by hand which makes it SO cost effective!!
Check out these shoes!!!!!!!!!!  SO many options!!!

Look at the chain detail!!  Amazing.  And I love the stamp effect for the label.  SO fun!

So, if you've been wanting to make an edible fashionista shoe for your loved one, this is the class for you!!  Click HERE for the discount and to watch the preview of what you'll learn in this class!!

Have fun shoe shopping!!! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Make your own molds!

I love simple, easy projects that are inexpensive and yet achieve beautiful results!!!

That's been a huge goal for this blog...to find/share/create easy, timing saving ways to achieve beautiful, clean cakes!

So, I'm excited to share with you this fantastic tutorial from the incredibly beautiful and amazingly talented Verusca Walker
Verusca has created a great photo tutorial and video tutorial on how to use left over fondant in order to create your own molds with whatever you can find around the house!!  Look at these tires!!  Making tires is now easier than ever!!  From buttons, to shells, to doll faces, purses, plastic doll toys, etc...the possibilities are endless!!!

Check out her video tutorial HERE

Check out her picture tutorial HERE

You can also use modeling chocolate to make it even faster.  Impress your item, chill it for a second to firm up the modeling chocolate, pull it out and let it sit at room temp for a bit.  After 30min or so, start making your molded items with fresh fondant/gumpaste/modeling chocolate!!!  I've used that techniques to make zippers!!!  SOO easy and VERY cheap because you can use left over fondant!! - who cares about the colors of the molds!!

Have fun being creative!!

Thank you Verusca!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Moroccan Cake + A Wafer Paper Flower Tutorial

Hi sweet friends!!

I have a treat for you today!! 

TWO tutorials!!!  Yippie!!
It's been so fun to get back to creating cakes for fun and sharing the how-tos behind them!  Ahhhh...so fun!

I've hooked up with Australian Cake Decorating Network for part of this cake.  They asked if I'd contribute a flower tutorial for the latest edition that just hit the web yesterday!  

It's a FREE e-magazine...so, after you check out this post, you NEED to click HERE to check out this beautiful issue with TONS of flowers and tutorials and interviews by the famous Faye Cahill!!  

There is SO much to check out in this magazine...
 ...including this wafer paper flower tutorial by me!!  Teehee! ;)

I'm not sharing it here since they've got it beautifully laid out over there...enjoy looking at all the beautiful cakes and flowers while you're searching for mine!! :)  Again, click HERE to see it!!

For today's post, I get to bring you the tutorial on how to create this beautiful, elegant, timeless Moroccan design.  All you need is a little cutter and some simple household supplies!! - no expensive onlay mats here!!

It's super simple and only requires a few things!!

Modeling chocolate or fondant + a 4" tall cake covered in 1/8" fondant covering
Moroccan Cutter by Not Just Cakes by Annie  (If it's out of stock, stay tuned to her Facebook page for the next sale...then be ready because they go quick!)
Wax paper or cellophane
Shortening (Crisco, Sweetex or even butter if you don't have those around)
50/50 Corn Syrup and water mix
Small Paint Brush
Lined college ruled paper from your kid's notebook! :)

 Here we go!! - step by step!!

Step 1: Cut out a whole bunch of moroccan pieces from modeling chocolate (or fondant) that's rolled 1/16" or so.  You want your designs to be as thin as possible because it just looks so much better and keeps the design from looking too "heavy"...and being too heavy! :)  Lay them out and make sure you have enough.  Also, decide how you want the tiles to lay out and if you want a full one at the top, or a half one...etc.

Now we are going to create a big sticker using the wax paper transfer method I came up with a few years ago.  This technique is so fabulous because you can pretty much create any graphic on a cake simply and easily and apply it on your cake precisely and perfectly!!!  If you want more information on how I get my cakes so precise, check out my foundational online Craftsy class "Clean & Simple Cake Design".   It's over 4 hours of precise instruction on how you can create flawless cakes in less time...from making your own fondant and modeling chocolate, to crumb coating round and square cakes to covering round and square cakes with fondant and achieve those sharp edges.  It's 50% off HERE.  Sorry for the shameless plug but it's an amazing class that I'm super proud!!  - and it's truly changing people's cake journeys!! :)

OK...back to the tutorial! :)

Step 2: Grab a sheet of 8.5"x11" college ruled paper (or draw 1/4" wide lines on plain paper) and cut it as wide as your cake is tall.  My cake after fondant was 4-1/8", so my paper was 11.5" wide x 4-1/8" tall...keep the stripes vertical...FYI! :)  Tape the paper to your counter and lay a sheet of wax paper over that, lining up the side edge of the wax paper (which is the straight edge) with the bottom edge of the lined paper...which will now be the bottom edge of your cake...and tape that down too.  Grease the wax paper lightly with shortening (like Crisco or Sweetex) or even butter if you can't find lard/shortening.

Step 3: Begin laying out your pattern on the wax paper lining up the tips of the moroccan pattern with the lines in order to keep things nice and vertical.  The college paper rocked for this cutter because as you can see in the picture below, to get the spacing I really liked (which is pretty tight), one vertical row lined up with a blue line and the vertical row next to it had the top/bottom tips right in the middle of a blue lined row.  I hope that makes sense.  Just keep your spacing the same...no matter what! :) - so everything is super even.

*NOTE: Make sure you are laying your pieces right side DOWN.  The backs will be facing up...towards you.  So, put the pretty cut side down on the greased paper.

Step 4: Continue laying out your pattern.  I chose to place the bottom row first and have the tips touching the bottom of my template and worked up from there.  If I would have laid out the pattern first, I would have added a cake board or two to the bottom of my cake to make it a 1/4" taller so the top row of Moroccan patterns would not need to be cut.  Lesson learned!! :) - For this design, plan for a 4-1/2" overall height cake...FYI.
Step 5: Once you have the panel filled in (it won't go all the way around your cake...work in panels even smaller than this one if you're more comfortable), take a straight edge and cut the Moroccan pieces flush with the top/bottom of your paper.

Step 6: Grab a bowl and mix 50/50 corn syrup and water (or you can use simple syrup, piping gel, Tylose glue, etc) and brush the back of your designs to make them sticky.  Don't use too much or they'll squeeze out when you place them on your cake.

Step 7: This is my favorite part...always!!!  Un-tape  the wax paper and check out your big sticker!!! :)

Step 8: Turn the sticker around so the bottom of the sticker is lined up with the bottom of the cake and tilt it up and wrap it around your cake keeping the bottom of the sticker on your table/counter right at the bottom of the cake.  This makes sure your pattern will go on straight!!  

It's really hard to do this wrap job AND take pics...so, use both hands!! :) - don't take pictures! :)

Step 9:  Once you get it all the way around, use your hands or a straight edge and press the design onto your cake to make sure each piece adheres to the cake.  You can leave it sit a minute or two if you want.  

Step 10: Begin slowly peeling your sticker away and Voila!!! - a beautiful Moroccan pattern!!!  At this point use a brush or a tissue or your fingers to rub out the shortening and adjust any small pieces that may have moved.

Sooooo fun!!! :)

In case you're wondering, I got the subtle shade variations on the cake shown here because I used my marshmallow fondant for covering the cake (which has a slight warm tint to it), then white modeling chocolate for the designs (made with Wilton's super white candy melts).  So...it's a beautiful, subtle effect!!

Again for the wafer paper flower tutorial, head over to the free E-magazine with the Australian Cake Decorating Network!! :)  

Thanks for looking!!!  I hope you give it a whirl and use it on your next cake project!!!


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 together...is 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 voila...name 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!!!