Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Cupcakes

Can you believe it is the eve of 2013?  Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!  I hope you can take some time to reflect on sweet memories in 2012 and look forward to making more wonderful memories in 2013! 
I am so grateful for all the wonderful things in 2012, although it was a busy one.  For 2013, I am going to focus on two simple, but tremendously significant words that my wise mom said.  "Be Happy"   I'm not sure what it means yet, but I may spend a little less time on some things, a little more on other things or maybe do some new things.  I wish for everyone to "Be Happy" in 2013!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Little Snowman Cake

A wintery cake nspired by a cute YouTube video that my 18 month old daughter loves... Little Snowflake.
Thank you to all my blog readers, clients, friends and family for following my little blog and making 2012 a wonderful year for SweetThings.  Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2nd Birthday Cake: Sesame Street Cake

A very popular theme for 2nd birthday cakes: Sesame Street!  I can see why, as my daughter is almost 18 months old and just discovered Elmo!
At first, I wasn't sure how to blend a pink cake with the bold colors of Sesame, but I think it worked!  I love how it turned out and my daughter really took notice to my handmade sugarpaste decorations this time.  
Hope everyone has a wonderful and happy week as we approach the holidays!  I will post again before that with some holiday sweetness!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tinkerbell Cake

Many people ask me how long it takes to make a cake.  I never have a good answer as it really depends on the design, the size and the details.  I usually say that it takes a minimum of 5 hours, not including baking.  Sometimes it takes much much longer because of the size, sometimes there are so many time consuming details and sometimes there is just a stubborn element that I just can't get right.

For this cake, there was definitely a very stubborn element: Tinkerbell.  It took forever, I must've made Tinkerbell 3 times until I got her just right.  I just couldn't figure it out in the right proportions.  Then finally, in the wee hours of the morning - I was happy with her.  Do I know how long this cake actually took?  Nope, I'd rather not count :-)   I loved how it turned out, so it was worth every minute!
And a view from the top!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

50th Birthday Airplane Cake

I was lucky enough to be asked to make another airplane cake.  This time, the model was a Piper Lance and it was for a 50th birthday celebration.
Here's the top view of the cake.  Isn't that a cute quote to add to the cake!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3rd Birthday Cake: Pink Castle Cake

The last princess castle cake I made was gold and blue. This time around, the color theme was pink! 
It was 2-tiers of chocolate sour cream cake with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream.  The turrets were made out of rice krispie squares.
I love how it turned out!  And yes, the cake board did take me a long time - but it was worth it!  :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

4-tier Wedding Cake and a Set-up Tip!

I had the pleasure of making this elegant 4-tier wedding cake with handmade sugarpaste orchids (my favourite!!) and gold accents.  The cake was chocolate sour cream cake and strawberry vanilla cake with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.
Here's another photo of the cake with flash.  Make sure you check out my facebook page to see the gorgeous photo that the bride posted.
Cake Decorators Tip:  Always bring a level tool!  Actually in this case, I didn't need a level because the cake table was ridiculously wobbly.  You spend so much time levelling each tier and stacking the cake perfectly, so it really sucks when the table is not level.

I will not mention the venue because they were very nice, as helpful as they could be and vowed to get a new table for cakes.  I'm not sure if you can see, but the table is a little "battered", on an elevated platform that also wasn't too steady and the resolution was actually a pad of paper tucked in all corners of the stand to keep it level.  However, in the end, I was satisfied with what they could do and they also allowed me to take photos of the paper-tucked table.

So, my tip is to have the venue help resolve the issue to your satisfaction and document it somehow.  If you are still uncomfortable, make sure you have the table moved to a different lower traffic area or set up the table somewhere else. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Cake

I had the pleasure of creating this fun hot-air balloon themed 1st birthday cake. 
Here's the lovely inspiration that I was given - isn't that fabulous?
Another view of the cake.  I should also mention that this design was originally done by Jessicakes.  Make sure you check out her awesome blog full of gorgeous cakes and very helpful tutorials.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall Inspired Cake

I had the pleasure of participating in a fun Fall Cake Challenge project of bloggers brought together by Kathia at Pink Little Cake and Melissa at The Baked Equation.  We were tasked of creating at fall inspired dessert:  creative cake, sugar topper, cupcake or recipe.

I came up with this cake that reminds me of fall in Toronto:  Raking leaves!  All the leaves and the rakes are handmade out of sugarpaste.
It was just a small 4" chocolate sour cream cake - so fun to make!
Make sure you pop over to the other blogs via the links below to see their fall inspired desserts!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ruffled Wedding Cake

On a gorgeous fall Sunday, I delivered this wedding cake to the beautiful McLean House at the Estates of Sunnybrook.  I would say it was the most perfect day!

I loved where the cake table was set up by the staircase.  It was perfect for this 3-tiered large ruffled wedding cake with a matching ruffled pedestal that the bride provided.
I love how this cake design came together - I felt like I was putting delicate large petals on this cake.  I was also able to surprise the bride by creating a sugar flower that matched the flower design on her wedding dress.
Isn't this a lovely view from the top of the staircase?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Coolest Homemade Cake

I love making cakes shaped like other food items, like this giant hot dog cake.  I had this great opportunity to be featured on the Ontario Premier's Blog and make a video.  I came up with this cool homemade cake idea to share with everyone.
Everyone cake make this fun and fabulous cake that looks like a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.  It doesn't require any fondant covering skills and its fast, easy and look fabulous!  It's great for birthdays, an anniversary or any type of event.  And for those who are allergic, it doesn't contain any peanuts!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Two 8-inch square vanilla cakes
  • Vanilla buttercream, Chocolate Buttercream, Chocolate buttercream (with some yellow food coloring) to look like peanut butter.
  • Strawberry jam
  • Make your own template of the "bread" out of parchment paper and cake board of the same shape
  • Large and small palette knife
  • Bread knife and smaller knife for carving
  • Larger cake board or plate
  • turntable (optional)
 Hope you enjoyed the video!  I had so much fun making it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Retro Halloween

What an eerie night of howling winds and sideways rain in Toronto.  I hope everyone is safe and warm out there.  This weather definitely sets the mood for Halloween tomorrow.

This past weekend, we went to a Retro Halloween party and I just love retro!!  So, I made some fun chocolate and strawberry cupcakes with that theme in mind. 
And always fun to match costumes with the sweets!  Here's our Instagram pic with our costumes.  My husband was the yellow spindle insert that you put in 45's (the funny glasses just seemed to work with it) and I was a mixed tape.  A couple people said that it would have been funny if my husband dressed up as a pencil - remember when the tape went loose and you hand to manually wind it up!  Ahhh memories!
Have a Happy Halloween!  I have a fun post coming this Friday.... see you then!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cookie Monster Cake

Cookie anyone?  Well, there are actually no cookies - only cake for this 2nd birthday celebration!
Cookie monster, including his head is vanilla butter cake and the cookie jar is chocolate sour cream cake.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fabergé Egg Cake

I am not a collector, but if I was... the two things that I would collect would be those cute Russian Matryoshka dolls and these lovely Fabergé Eggs.  I was very excited when I received an order for a Faberge Egg for a 70th birthday.
I also added in 2 handmade sugarpaste dogs for the birthday girl.  The cake was chocolate pound cake with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream.
Here is a cool view from the top.  Now, I sure hope someone orders a Matryoshka doll cake soon!  :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Painter's Cake

A quick post to kick off the weekend!  This cake was made for someone who loves her kids and loves to paint.  The cake was Neopolitan with layers of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry cake.

Enjoy your weekend, make sure you spend time with someone you love and take some time out for yourself and do something you love!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Can I put wires in a cake?

I have learned so many new techniques over the years, so I thought I'd pass along this tip that I learned early in my cake decorating career and I still stick by it.  I was told by one of my instructors that you should never put a wire directly in a cake.

Why?  Well, in rare cases, it may break and someone could ingest it.  No, I have never heard of it happening, but better to be safe even if you provide good instructions on how to disassemble a cake before serving.

What are the options?

#1 - Use a coffee stir stick to house all the wires.  This bowling cake has a starburst of many wires.  This monkey cake also shows the stir stick which makes it easy to disassemble before serving.
#2 - Wrap your wires with floral tape.  However, most floral tape have latex in it and you have to watch for latex allergies.  Have I ever heard of any allergic reactions?  No, but its better to be careful and inform the client.
#3 - Use Floral SpikesThese are usually used for fresh flowers, but I use this for sugarpaste flowers.  They are expensive, but worth it.   For this cake, they were easier to remove and preserve as the sugarpaste petals didn't touch the cake.
#4 - Dip in white chocolate or white candy melts.   If none of the above options works for your design, you can also dip the wire ends with white chocolate or white candy melts.

I hope you find these options helpful.  Again, it is rare that there are any issues, but I do this to be on the safe side.  Anybody do anything different?

Friday, October 5, 2012

5th Birthday: Cars 2 Cupcakes

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I'll leave you with these fun Cars 2 themed cupcakes for a 5th birthday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 Years Ago: My First Wedding Cake

I was just reminded that it has been 5 years since I made my first wedding cake!  I had made practice wedding cakes with styrofoam and special occasion cakes, but this was my first "real" wedding cake!

I felt so honored that my friend, Denise, would trust me to make her wedding cake.  It was her famous flourless chocolate cake recipe and the design required a freehand embossing technique.   I also remember offereing to give her the cake as her wedding gift.  She thought it was too generous so she had to give me something for the down payment.  She ended up giving me her triathlon wetsuit as I doing a lot of races that year.
Here are some photos of me setting up that wedding cake 5 years ago.  I was so nervous throughout the process but excited.  I dreamed that it would one day be my career, not just a hobby.
Fast forward 5 years.... hundreds of cakes later... Thank you so much for stopping by, reading my blog, leaving comments along the way and your continued business.
Happy 5 year Wedding Anniversary to Denise and Roland!  You'll never know how much it meant that your trusted me with your wedding cake and how it really kicked off my career!