SOOOOO …. when I did Kinsley’s birthday cake with ruffles … I really just wanted to practice them so I’d be confident to do them on Kristin’s cake. Kristin wanted butter cream icing, so I did the same ruffle style that I did on Kinsley’s cake. Butter cream icing is sooo yummy, but there aren’t near as many decorative options as you have with fondant. Krisitin’s cake was sweet and simple.
Kinsley’s cakes are much easier to get motivation for because she is old enough to have specific likes. Last year she loved the Bubble Guppies, and this year her favorite was Sofia the First. It’s a super cute little show, and she had a Sofia dress up dress that she loved.
I knew that I wanted to make a gum paste Sofia, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do other than that. Last minute I just decided to do the bottom layer in ruffles and call it good. I had never done ruffles before, but I followed this tutorial, and it was super easy! http://saraelizabethcakesandsweets.blogspot.com/2013/09/ombre-buttercream-ruffle-cake-tutorial.html
The little Sofia had a lot of detail, and I had some issues with her head falling off, but even she went together pretty easy thankfully. I traced cut outs for each part of her, I couldn’t figure out how to do Sofia’s crown, so I decided to just do it out of mini pearls also. It took a lot of patience to get them all in line and “glued” on with water. Below is step by step how I made her, and also just an extra of her one of the many times her head fell off. After I finished her completely I just glued her head back on with water, let it dry, and it stayed put.
The bottom tier ruffles …. There were several fondant cakes that I liked the ruffle style on better, but my husband loves buttercream, and I need him to eat the left overs from the cakes. Haha! I think just this cake with some sort of cute little banner topper would be super cute.
The whole thing complete:
I was so stumped on what to do for Easton’s first birthday. I just assumed I would follow his nursery theme like I did with Kinsley’s 1st birthday, but it was really really hard to get any motivation to get things started. Once the second one comes along, it’s super hard to keep up with all you did for the first kiddo. FINALLY, I made myself sit down and start searching for ideas and got to party planning.
With Easton’s cake I wanted to do something I had never done before. Sometimes making cakes gets boring when you do the same thing over and over again. So I decided to try something new. In fact, I ended up trying two new things. I played with molding rice crispy treats, and I did my first topsy turvy cake!
As I always do when trying something new, I went searching for tutorials. After finding and reading through a couple good ones I pinned them to my pinterest page so I could refer back to them once I got started.
One of the first things I did was find a general outline of a Dr. Seuss hat that I liked. I kept this outline to refer back to while molding the rice crispies, so I could get it the general shape I wanted. This was the general shape I found that I liked most: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/116671446570628803/ The hat definitely tried my patience, but folks, I am STUBBORN, and I refused to let it beat me. The first hat I did I covered it in all white and tried to paint on the stripes with food coloring. Let’s just say it looked preeeety bad. So, then I tried to cover my painted stripes with red fondant. It looked even worse having the red stand up higher than the white. SO I pulled it all off of the rice crispy mold and for some reason I thought I’d, once again, try to cover it in white and paint it on again with a little different type of mixture. It looked just as bad as attempt number one. By this point I was determined that it was going to look good because I hadn’t wasted this much time failing only for it to end up looking terrible. So I tried ONE more attempt. This time I cut individual red and white stripes out of already colored fondant, and individually wrapped each one around. In the seam between the red and white stripes I painted it black with food coloring and distressed it. IT FINALLY LOOKED GOOD!!! The only thing that I didn’t end up liking about the hat was that I meant for it to be about half the size that it was. It ended up looking huge on top of the cake. (There will always be SOMETHING I don’t like about my cakes. Always. That’s the life of a perfectionist.)
The next new thing I did was the topsy turvy look, and following this tutorial, came out perfect and was SUPER easy. I had NO idea that was how you did a topsy turvy cake before doing my research, and man I am glad I didn’t try to just stack them on there crazy and hope they stayed!
After getting the cakes baked, crumb coated, frosted, and stacked, I still had the bulk of the work left to do. Thankfully my momma (AKA Nina) was down for the party and stayed up super late and helped me. After cutting out and applying all the pieces I went around the cake with a paint brush and hand painted on all of the stitch lines.
Even though I had a difficult time getting the motivation to figure out the design for this cake, it actually ended up being a lot of fun to do. (Other than being up half the night, Ha.)
Here’s the cake:
A pic of my presh family:
…. and one of my sweet ONE year old with his smash cake. : ) Yep, he’s probably eating red dye #40. Haha.
First off, my grandma rocks. I can’t think of a better reason to make a birthday cake than for her! Plus, it made her day, which also made mine. I have been needing to practice a specific buttercream smoothing technique that I found on pinterest, so this was the perfect time. I am very comfortable when working with fondant, but I haven’t at all been confident with buttercream. SO this seemed like a perfect time to practice.
I used the following smoothing technique: http://cakecentral.com/b/tutorial/perfectly-smooth-buttercream-icing
This cake recipe: http://heidibakes.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-now-favorite-white-cake-recipe.html *The only alteration I made to the cake recipe was that I doubled the vanilla and almond extracts and added a little additional flour to even it out. I LOVED the cake. So did Ryan.
This frosting recipe: http://media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com/originals/82/8f/e6/828fe671304c92b89827f0f190936f40.jpg *I was worried about if this frosting would work with the buttercream smoothing technique I wanted to use and I was so thankful it did! It crusted just enough that it smoothed perfectly. With this recipe I added one tsp of almond extract and used french vanilla creamer instead of milk. I also loved the taste of the frosting as well.
After snacking on the frosting and cake all day, when I finally ate a piece it tasted SUPER sweet. I thought that maybe i’d need to make some modifications to the recipes to tone down the sweetness, but when I ate a piece the next day it tasted pretty great. I’m definitely going to have to save these recipes for future use!
Here’s my rockin grandma….
I love the effect that curtains can have on a room. I also love the large variety of options there are available to choose from. The only problem? They’re expensive. Purchasing curtains for an entire house could cost you a small fortune. After spending so much on the renovations on our house we didn’t have much left over to decorate or accessorize, so we have slowly began to take on that task. I found some curtains at target that I liked for our breakfast area, but they weren’t exactly cheap. Since the windows aren’t very wide I decided to buy 3 panels instead of 6 and cut them in half. My trusty little side kick helped me hem up the cut side. : ) Love