Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fashion-Inspired Cake

Many of you may already know that I had the awesome privilege of being featured in an online magazine that came out last week. I am so very excited about this! And I've been waiting an awfully long time to tell you all about it.

I actually made this cake back in April. Remember when I said I had something exciting coming up? Well, this was it. I just didn't know that "coming up" meant waiting five months! I was ready to accept the rejection when the magazine finally came out and there was my cake, on pages 75 and 76. I jumped up and down when I saw it, then emailed a bunch of people and posted it all on FB. It is really incredible to see one of my creations in print!

Don't you all just love the pictures? Aren't they amazing? I could not have done this without my friend, Heather Foy, who came over and took pictures for me. She overcame some bad lighting and a rough set-up to capture the very best of my cake creation. Thank you Heather! All of you should go over and check out her FB page, Heather Foy Photography. If you are in the Geneva, Illinois area and want some fabulous family photos, give her a call!

The cake was inspired by a photo sent to me by CakeCentral. This is the fashion issue, so the photo they sent was from this spring's fashion week. The dress that inspired my cake was done by Valentino and is just incredible. I really loved the details and the pattern on the dress. This picture came from the Vogue website and is the exact picture sent to me by CakeCentral.

I started this project by making a sketch. I do this with all of my cakes. Here is my sketch for this cake. You can also see it in this article on CakeCentral.com.

To make the cake, I covered styrofoam cake dummies with tan fondant. You may be asking yourself now, why didn't I use real cake? Well, there are two main reasons. First, I don't have to worry about styrofoam staying fresh and tasty. That means I don't have to do all the decorating work the day before or the day of the event. This gave me a little more time to make sure everything was perfect. Second, I used styrofoam because I want to keep this cake on display and I can't do that with real cake. I now have the cake in my living room for all to see. Well, all who come over to my house, that is!

I painted the tan fondant with gold dust mixed with a little vodka and water. This created the gold, somewhat shiny background for the red design, just like in the dress. I then used extruded fondant and a lined template to make the design. I placed waxed paper greased with a little bit of shortening on top of my template and extruded the fondant onto the waxed paper. I then used the waxed paper to place the design onto the side of the cake. It was tricky to get it all on straight! And, after awhile, my fingers were aching from the extruder! It was worth it! I really love how it all came together! Simple and dramatic all at the same time.

I wanted the pattern on the very bottom of the cake to hang down below the cake for a dramatic effect and to highlight that pattern, just like on the bottom of the dress. To do this, I raised the cake with a small "riser" made from styrofoam and covered with black ribbon. I then extruded more fondant and draped it to create the design. All of the extruded fondant is attached to the cake with a little vodka brushed onto the fondant with a very small paint brush. This bottom part is my favorite part of the cake!

The finishing touch was the two flowers made from fondant. They are fantasy flowers, meaning they aren't really reflective of any real flower. I wanted to put a softer touch on the cake as an accent, so that the overall feel of the cake was softened but the pattern could still take center stage.

The most amazing thing about this cake is that the request to do it came at the exact perfect time. I could not have planned it. The night before I got the request to do the cake, I had committed to doing something that was very difficult for me. I wasn't sure how I was going to keep that commitment and then the next morning, the needed distraction was waiting for me in my inbox! I kept my commitment because I had something else to focus on. I absolutely believe, 100 percent, that this opportunity was a gift from God. You see, my commitment was to something He required of me and I know that He helped me by giving me this opportunity. There was really no reason for CakeCentral to notice my work or ask me to be in the magazine. I didn't apply for the opportunity or do anything to get their attention at all. What a blessing and joy it was to be able to do this!

Thank you all for your support and for sharing in my excitement about all of this! YOU are a blessing to me!!


  1. Wow, very cool! and beautiful cake, great job Kristen! Love your design interpretation of the dress. Even tho you call it a fantasy flower, it does remind me of some of seen in pictures of Hawaii. Very pretty and wonderful addition to the cake!

    I interpret what you said as you work well under pressure & need busy-ness or distraction to help focus & complete the project without spending hours/days/weeks batting around ideas and stressing over it. I can relate to that with my card making. It'll take me hours/days to make a card as I'm overwhelmed with ideas or at a total loss for ideas despite all my toys, uh tools/materials, or I get distracted, daydreaming or chores calling. Sometimes I give up on a card and move on to something else, so most of my family has not received Birthday cards in a few years. Give me a deadline, like dh leaving in 2 hours & he'd like a card, bam! Don't overthink, just pull something, think but make a darn quick decision & just do it. I was chasing him out the door with it but I made one! :)

    Congrats on being chosen & for being recognized for your skill in doing something you enjoy!!

  2. Thanks, Pati! I know exactly what you mean! Though I was talking about distraction from something else I was trying to give up during that time. The cake provided me with the necessary distraction - when I focused on that, I forgot about the other thing! But I do work better with a clear and close deadline. Too much time to think is not necessarily a good thing, right? :) Thanks for all of your kind words and your support!