Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Life Events

I've gotten into the habit of a once-a-quarter mass picture upload on this cake blog.  Unfortunately, I've just not had the time to upload the pictures and stories in a timely manner!  Fortunately, that's because I've been finishing my PhD, graduating, starting a new job, and trying to grow up...which are perfectly respectable reasons to not blog, right?  Gotta love big life steps.

So, the first pictures are nothing I could ever come up with on my own, but thanks to the wonderful tutorials and sharing of Sharon Zambito and her Turkey Cake Balls, I totally got into the Thanksgiving season.  Trust me, this is the best turkey you'll ever eat!  Seriously, aren't they the cutest things you've ever seen??

  Please don't eat me....

 Army of turkey birds.  These were so much fun to make, and they all had such character!  I have to admit I spent about 30 minutes arranging them in groups because some seemed more friendly towards each other than the rest...mostly, they looked incredibly concerned about the whole affair.

Another big event happened in the life of my family...My wonderful mom turned the bug 5-0!  Though you'd never know it, she hit the landmark birthday.  Instead of throwing her a big party (lets be realistic, we'd never be able to pull the wool over her eyes) we surprised her with a cake at the Farm Bureau Christmas Party.  My grandmother asked me to make this cake for her to surprise her, congratulate her, and wish her happy birthday months prior to the event....and then Dad asked for the same thing 2 weeks before the big night.  Great minds think alike, and thanks to Meme's planning ahead, I had it covered for Dad!

The decorations for the party were silver-snowflakes-poinsettias-blue, so I had kind of a hard time coming up with decoration ideas.   This is what I ended up with.  Mom loved it, which was the important part!  The top of the cake was supposed to say... "Congratulations and Happy Birthday Farm Bureau Vice Chair!"... but as you can see, I completely ran out of space!

Still, I really liked how the poinsettias turned out!  Its tough to make frosting ever 'real' red or 'real' black...these started out a little pink, but dried much darker.

Celebratory cake also made an appearance as a "thank you" to our interim choral director at ESUMC!  Nancy was a wonderful blessing to us during the past few months, and not only led us in song, but led us in worship.  Our church and our choir was blessed by her, and I was happy to do a cake for her!

Chocolate buttercream, chocolate cake, and a chocolate ganache topping...yum.  Don't let this picture deceive you, this cake is 16 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and heavy.  And delicious.

The next big event I got to be a part of was the wedding of Adam and Carrie Carter!  I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie at church, on a rafting trip with young adult ministries.  A wonderful, intelligent, dear-hearted person I've been blessed to know, I was so happy to be a part of the big day!  A deep plum-purple was her main color, so we pulled that in on a ivory cake using the design from the invitations as a guide for the piping work.  White gum-paste calla lilies set the cake off beautifully!  I loved how this cake came together!

Note to self:  piping a pattern in a dark frosting color...just a little bit more pressure not to mess up!  That purple is not easily covered up.

The calla lilies were supposed to be deep purple in the base, fading out to white.  Unfortunately, I just couldn't get the color right...they kept turning black, or splotchy, ugh!  Executive decision...white instead.  Lovely end result, but I've got to go back and figure out how to do that shading color, its been bothering me.

Time for the beautiful bride and groom to eat cake...


 Oh, Adam.  Cake in the face.  Those two little boys watching were precious!  The cake under the decorations was white almond sour cream pound cake with buttercream filling and then chocolate chip cake with peanut butter buttercream.  Gosh was that delicious!

 Now, this was an adventure.  My dear sweet friend Jessica Sutton Leggett said that her hubby-to-be didn't want a grooms cake...he wanted a groom's cookie!  We finagled it a little, and made a groom's cookie cake!  Each layer of this cookie cake was sliced like a pizza, and then we also had a bunch of little cookie-icing-cookie sandwiches for folks to take home.  While this isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever done, I tell you what, it was some kind of good.  There wasn't a speck left...I had enough cookie for 120 servings, and with only 60 people there, all there was left at the end was a clean plate!

Last but not least, another big event...Hope's 13th birthday!  They were having a black-light party (the fact that this had to be explained to me must mean I'm getting old) but wanted cake with some bright neon frosting that would glow in the black light.  This is just about as neon as I could get and still be edible!

So.  Here's to a summer FULL of cake, and here's to trying to stay on top of things.


Monday, August 15, 2011


So apparently I've not updated this blog since April.  APRIL.  And its August....what in the world happened? 

Well for one thing, I've had a bunch of cakes.  I promise.  I'll attempt to prove that too you below...  Another thing, I ran a half marathon in Alaska with Team in Training.  So that took up a little bit of time.  Finally...I'm coming to the end of my graduate degree, and that can be consuming!  Dissertation writing, manuscript writing, editing, revisioning, experiments, etc.  Oh and job interviews.  So.  Maybe I get a free pass for not updating in a really long time? 

In a massive attempt to upload all of the cakes that have happened in the past couple of months...here we go. 

This was a retirement cake for Mr. Howard Scott, who was my 4-H leader for years!  He's an amazing spirit who has influenced so many lives...congratulations to you!

Tractor.  Challenge. 

I'm incapable of rotating this image...

My dear friend and sorority sister Allison Lambert (previously Billings!) got married!  Her cake turned out gorgeous....and was so delicious!

Me and the bride :)  Isn't she pretty??

The monogram turned out really well on this one....

The happy couple!

The aftermath...and my favorite part :)

Now even though I attend NC State currently, being in the greater Raleigh area has its share of OTHER school options.  Including this graduation cake for Graham Sharpe!  Congrats to Graham! 

I know you won't believe it, but this blue devil took for.ever.  Absolutely worth it for the end result. 

Celebrating June with strawberry season-themed birthday cake!

It was just so fluffy and fun!

More birthdays!  April brithdays and cherry blossom themes, in honor of a favorite city of mine and its Cherry Blossom Festival!

And more birthdays!  Funny story...this cake is my first 'cake wreck!'  We had a little mix up on the spelling of Arwyn's name...Arwyn is named after Arwen from Lord of the Rings, but Arwyn's Mom didn't consult Tolkien in spelling....whoops!  I felt horrible, but apparently Arwyn is really forgiving when it comes to cake :) 

I had especially crazy cake weekend.  Multiple wedding cakes, a groom's cake, and 150 cookie favors!  Here is what 17 layers of cake looks like....

NCSU groom's cake!  I absolutely loved how this cake turned out, it looked so sharp.  Go Pack!

Funny story here...my mom and I delivered this cake to the wrong church.  Twice.  An hour later, realized we had the wrong place, went back and retrieved the cake only to deliver it over an hour and a half late to the actual location of the rehersal dinner...just in time!  Amazingly, GPS, Iphone, Atlas, and Blackberry all disagreed on where the church was.  Technology.  Gracious. 

Then delivered this wedding cake to the country club in Seven Lakes for Katie and Wesley Webster's wedding!

Along with, 150 of these cookies with the adorable tagline : "The sweetest way to end the sweetest day!"  Thanks to Katie's creativity, these turned out great!

Then drove the 3 hours back to Goldsboro to finish the cake for my dear friends Katie and James!  Katie is a pink kind of girl...a pink polka dot kind of girl :)  It was an adorable cake for an adorable friend!

Don't worry, they played nice :) 

Then the following weekend, more cake for family friends the Casey's!  What these pictures don't show is another cake, made especially for the bride's dad, that was sugar free.  A ton of folks said they liked the sugar free cake even better than the wedding cake...I'm going to have to make that one more often!

The bride and groom next too their cake!  Beautiful couple!  We were going to teir this one with 5 inches between each teir, but when it was finished it was too tall for anyone to cut it!  This was our compromise, and I think it turned out pretty well.

Along with Mary and Jonathan's cake, we did 275 cake truffles in tiny tins!  They were so cute, and delicious.  Red velvet cake truffles, no less!

Then, back to Raleigh for a celebration for my church's Minister of Music in his retirement!  The theme for this party was "When you've said Bill Weisser, you've said it all!"   I just so happened to pick purple to match our choir robes, and lo and behold, the whole party had purple decorations.  Thank goodness!

More birthday cakes... summer time!

And last but not least, some baby shower cakes!  Double Trouble themed for 2 lovely women having little boys....

So cute!

And then an 'Under the Sea' themed cake for a new little girl.  Momma and baby whale! Precious!

Whew!  Now do you believe me that this was a cake-filled summer?  It was a joy filled summer, when you think about it!  Now.  What kind of cake are we going to have to celebrate grad school graduation?  Hmmmm :)