Tag Archives: cake

Halloween-inspired Fancy Cake


Cake drawing
My daughter wanted a wedding-style, multi layered cake for her 12th birthday. Here’s the original sketch I drew to flesh out some ideas, including using gum paste to mimic a skirt for the bottom tier. In addition, I thought I might make gum paste or fondant ruffles, to adorn the top tier in ombre colored layers, but ultimately, I just cold-carved the Italian meringue buttercream and left it plain for its smooth and crisp-edged look. Because my daughter’s party was just two days before Halloween, we started thinking about how to make it Halloween themed, but also keep the fancy cake as planned. We toyed with a half and half cake where one side was “dead” (black/grey) and the other half looked normal, but ultimately decided to go with a plain-old bloody fondant knife and fake rubber spiders. Each tier is an easy, moist, make-ahead chocolate cake from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. There are three layers separated by chocolate ganache (a different ganache recipe –yielding more spreadable results–than the one in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook). The top tier is 3 layers of the same chocolate cake, but layered with an Italian Vanilla Buttercream.
Creepy Cake
The full cake. I wanted to make it look like a fancy wedding cake, with the obvious differences…
Fondant Knife
Here’s a close-up of the fondant knife–complete with some bloody fingerprints.
The top of the cake. I experimented with making different kinds of flowers with gum paste– a peony, roses, and the small white “filler” flowers that would mimic fresh flowers on a real cake. I formed the curve of each peony layer using various sized cupcake wrappers and cupcake tins with a tinfoil “hammock” inside. I dusted the edges of the flower with luster dust to make it look more realistic.

Disco Fever

October 2014: My daughter wanted a dance party themed birthday party.  I immediately thought of a dance floor cake and sketched out the drawing above.   My daughter made one of my characters into a goblin– hence the big, pointy ears.
I knew my cake would need a disco ball, but the only way I could envision hanging it, would be to build a wooden structure around the cake so the disco ball could hang down. Here is a photo of my cardboard prototype.
I took my prototype to a nearby Home Depot to ask for help on how to  build it, as I knew I would need some sort of brackets for the angled roof. Something magical happened there, and after 15 minutes of them trying to find the right person to help me, Eddie arrived.  It was soon understood that Eddie was not going to help me make the structure, but he was actually going to make it FOR me.  He built it in two days complete with a paint job and silver glitter pinstriping.   When I got to the store to pick up the structure, Eddie and I talked about lights, and he glued in two battery powered LED lights right then and there. Eddie’s supervisor came by to check out the structure and take a few pictures.   Amazingly, they wouldn’t let me pay for anything.
Here are the beginnings of my fondant dancers.
This guy was modeled after John Travolta’s famous pose in Saturday Night Fever.
edible sequins disco ball
The disco ball is made out of molded Rice Krispies Treats  covered in fondant. I looked into buying silver sequins– or something I could use to mimic the reflective surface.  A small jar of sequins was expensive and not exactly what I had in mind, so I decided to make my own. I found an online tutorial from Kara’s Couture Cakes and made one big gelatin sheet.  Once it was dry, I hand cut the sheet into small squares.
fondant covered cake
Here’s a picture of the whole cake. I also made lime green and black sequins to decorate the edges of the dance floor.  I covered the cake in black fondant and then laid out the black and white fondant tiles.

fondant covered Disco cake

fondant cake
A close-up of my Solid Gold dancer.
fondant cake
John Travolta’s protoge
fondant cake
Shooting the moon!



Puppies & Kittens


Fondant puppy and kitten cake
December 2013: This was my first attempt at animals so I did watch a couple of fondant tutorials to figure out how to make basic animal forms.
Fondant puppy and kitten cake
Having a kitten playing with a giant yarn ball was an obvious thing I knew I wanted to do.
Fondant puppy and kitten cake
This is supposed to be a small puppy sitting by his ball, but the ball ended up a bit squat.  Once I added the stars, I couldn’t get the ball round again without altering the shape of the stars.
Fondant puppy and kitten cake
The cake is a triple layer chocolate cake that I covered in fondant and made into the cushion.
Fondant puppy and kitten cake
My daughter decided on the color scheme for each of the animals. This is the curious kitten.
Fondant puppy and kitten cake
My daughter rolled the little bits of brown fondant to be dog food. The rug is made of royal icing using the “hair” tip. And the water in the dog bowl is actually Karo light corn syrup.
Fondant puppy and kitten cake
lazy fondant dog + bone


American Girl Cake

Fondant covered American Girl cake
October 2011:  My daughter was obsessed with American Girl dolls this year (her 8th birthday) so instead of trying to create teeny tiny dolls out of fondant (which is what she originally wanted), I decided to try making my first fondant covered cake.
Fondant covered American Girl cake
Here’s the cake surrounded by actual American Girl gift boxes. I also decided to make a few fun cupcakes, as I had just taken a wonderful class called Flowers & Frills at Baking Arts 


Fondant Tinkerbell and castle cake
October 2010:  This one was difficult. My daughter wanted a Tinkerbell cake, so I decided that I would make Tinkerbell out of fondant and have her fly over the cake. Of course.  The cake itself is the “grass” underneath the castle. The castle is made from styrofoam pieces that I cut and stuck together and then covered with fondant  then decorated. Getting Tinkerbell to fly was the hardest part. My idea was to suspend her over the cake on fishing wire, attached to a strong wire which would be bent just so. But Tinkerbell was too heavy for the styrofoam and fondant base I made, so I had to reinforce everything  with more wire at the last second which I thought ruined the whole aesthetic.   In the end, Tinkerbell did indeed fly/spin over the cake, and my 6yr old thought it was magically perfect.