Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby Shower Cake

My latest creation is probably my favorite one to-date. Check out those swirls! I did this cake for a friend who was bringing the cake to her sister-in-law's baby shower. The colors and baby buggy topper were done to match the invitations. I really love this one - the simplicity of the design, the colors, the topper, and the overall effect of all of those swirls.

Here is another view of the cake, without the topper on yet. This would be good for a wedding cake, I think.

Want to see that topper up close? I thought you might....

It's a little hard to see the details, but I hope you can make them out. I free-handed a little drawing based on the invitation onto the back of some photo paper, then cut it out. I rolled out brown fondant and used the photo paper, which I lightly brushed with some shortening for some extra insurance against sticking, as a template to cut the back piece for the baby buggy. I then used the same technique to cut out the pieces of the buggy in green and brown. For the bottom part, the basket/bassinet part (does that make sense?), I used one of my rubber stamps (never ever ever used with ink, so clean and perfect for caking) to imprint a pattern, then I painted the raised portion with a mixture of brown gel food coloring and vodka (to thin it out to paint consistency). I used a lighter version of my "paint" to brush the whole thing to give it a bit of a washed look and to dull the remaining green portions as a contrast to the top part of the stroller. There are sucker sticks between the back and front fondant pieces to hold the baby buggy in place on top of the cake.

On a side note, I really need a better system and lighting for taking pictures of my cakes. If any of you are photogs and have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!! Right now, I take the pictures in front of a big window, on a table usually with wrapping paper as the backdrop/underneath the cake. I use a big piece of white foamcore board as a reflector, but, like in these pictures, sometimes it doesn't seem to work very well. I'm trying to avoid buying a huge "booth" for my cake pictures, but if that is the best way to photograph my cakes, I'd try it (if it's not too much moolah). I've discovered that a good picture can make a huge difference!

Anyway....back to this baby shower cake.

I also decorated the cake board by marbling the green and brown fondant used for the baby buggy and rolling it onto a piece of 1/2-inch foamcore board cut a few inches larger than the cake. I stamped "congratulations katie and steve" into the front and then painted the letters with edible gold dust mixed with a tiny bit of vodka to make it into a paint-like consistency. I used the tiniest brush I have to get into the grooves of the letters without getting gold all over the place. I like the effect! Subtle and pretty.

The entire cake is covered with mini-swirls similar to a cake I did awhile ago for my new neighbor. You can see that cake here. This one is exactly the same, but on a much larger scale! I used vanilla bean buttercream made with vanilla bean paste. The paste and the butter give the icing an off-white color that was perfect for this cake. I love how the creamy icing with little flecks of vanilla bean looks against the green and brown ribbons and the baby buggy on the top.

The ribbons are real and the only inedible decorations on this cake. The little bows are made with the brown ribbon. All are fastened onto the cake with a dab of buttercream. I do think that in the future I will use royal icing or something like that to attach the ribbons, though. I think that may hold a little better. I was really nervous that the ribbons would fall once the buttercream softened. These held on, but I think a stronger "glue" would help my peace of mind!

Do you all want details about the cake itself? I thought so!

The bottom tier of the cake is 4 layers of marble cake with vanilla bean buttercream filling. The marble cake is my vanilla bean cake swirled with my newest chocolate cake. I think this is my favorite cake yet. It was sooooo good! I could barely keep myself from cutting out a big slice of it while I was putting it all together! And when I torted the cake (that's cutting it into layers), it revealed the most beautiful swirls of chocolate inside. The cake itself was so pretty. I took a picture so you could all enjoy it too!

Doesn't that look amazing? Don't you just want to reach into your computer and grab a slice or two? I've never been happier to have a little dome on the top of my cake. I cut it off to level the cake and I got to taste the cake that way. Delicious!!

The middle tier is an extra-tall (I think it ended up at around 7 inches tall) 6-inch round vanilla bean cake with milk chocolate ganache filling. Also delicious! The top is a 4-inch chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream.

Now I know you are wishing right now that I would give you some recipes. And I will. I promise. But in another post. :)

And there you have it. My baby shower cake. I hope you enjoyed it!

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