Hats Off Graduate 2018

I don’t take commissioned baking orders very often as they can be challenging to schedule with busy-as-usual-life and a full time day job, but every now and then I jump at the chance to make something special for someone ๐Ÿ˜‰ This was a fun high school graduation cake for one of my co-worker’s daughters, and I am happy with how it turned out.

EVENING 1: Research recipes, select final recipe and shop for ingredients

The request was for a chocolate vanilla marble cake, and I’d never made one before, but felt happy with this recipe I found online. Granted, I wasn’t able to make the party, so was not able to taste it and critique the texture, moistness etc. but I hope the guests were pleased.

EVENING 2: Bake the cake layers and cover completely to chill overnight in the refrigerator to be firm enough to frost

Instructions: Vanilla > Chocolate > Vanilla > Marble with knife ๐Ÿ™‚

EVENING 3: Trim and level the cake layers and prepare to stack, crumb coat, frost and decorate!

I didn’t realize the marble effect would be so visible after trimming the cakes in preparation for stacking them – so beautiful!

After mulling over the direction the decoration would take, and having gone through several iterations in my head, I landed on a simple ombre-like effect from red (as red as I could get this frosting! Also–one of the high school colors) to white, a medley of sprinkles (of course!), and some fun starburst-flower-like piping! I’ve seen many cakes use a similar piping technique, and it always seems a bit whimsical and loose and still each one unique.

First round of decoration finished and chilling in the refrigerator… I considered stopping at this point, but decided that a high school graduation cake should have more pizzaz! I also knew what the custom cake topper looked like and decided that it should have a more hefty supporting role below ๐Ÿ™‚

Final product! <3

And the custom cake topper that would be united with its cake at the party!

Carrot Rose Topper Cupcakes

The only rose in/on these cupcakes is the shape of the carrot peel topper – no actual rose flavoring ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently saw this technique on a blog and decided they were far too cute not to try myself. Got myself some rainbow carrots with tops and went to work!

There’s only so much you can do photographing your baked goods with your camera phone when you have a little more time in the evening inside, under artificial lighting…

But I did snap this tupperware shot in the morning (better lighting!) of some of the cupcakes that went to work with me ๐Ÿ™‚ Loving the variety of cupcake and carrot rose topper sizes. ๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿต

RIce Cream Krispie Treat

I spotted this idea online somewhere recently, but when I went back to find it again, I couldn’t! But the idea is pretty simple – sculpt rice krispie treats into the fun shape of an ice cream cone!

I chose to keep it simple this time and used regular rice krispies and cocoa krispies cereal, but you could add some color and/or flavoring to the marshmallows for other options. For example, pink for strawberry or pale green and chocolate chips for a mint chip ice cream look ๐Ÿ™‚ The possibilities are endless! I considered making a red fondant cherry for the top, but ended up only using some sprinkles to add color and festivity to this cheery birthday surprise ๐Ÿ˜€

First I sketched out my approximate size and shape on white parchment paper over a half sheet pan…

Then covered the sketched parchment paper with a clean parchment sheet and taped it down/used non-slip squares to help when spreading/sculpting the krispies. It was a bit tricky to sculpt as it hardens fairly fast and is also hot off the stove. But butter up your fingers and stay calm and it will work out ๐Ÿ™‚ They did remain slightly malleable even at the end for some minor adjustments.

I wanted two cone drips, but ended up settling for one once I got sculpting! Keep an extra pan nearby for the rice krispie mix that you don’t use and ask a helper to take care of that while you put the finishing touches on the design.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this RIce Cream Krispie Treat turned out, and I am eager to try some other “flavors” and maybe even shapes! Donuts? Flowers? Letters? oh my.

Birthday desk surprise

Friends at work have gotten into the fun tradition of decorating each others’ desks for birthdays! My favorite part is dreaming up personalizedย andย specialized themes that are fun and fit the person we are celebrating, and seeing what we all bring and how it comes together. The latest was a collection of vignettes that included Easter, candy, chocolate, cute, minis, marathon runners, gluten-free, snow sports…

Birthday desk surprise

I baked this gluten-free chocolate cake from Bob’s Red Mill, and decorated it with fluffy vanilla “snow” frosting, coconut, mini skaters, daring skiiers, a marshmallow snowman and a cute gingerbread house!


Christmas of 2008, I received these plastic Jell-O Jiggler letter cut-outs. I use them primarily for cookie cutters, and have way too much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚



I remember making cookie names for all of my neighbors and friends, and I am sure many more than I have thought to capture digitally, but here are some examples…

Team SOU







But I also love it when I send or give these customized cookie letter messages to people, and they send me back photos of their new word combinations….. ๐Ÿ™‚




Christines thank you



IMGjeff luvs forks


Race Car Cake… inspired by true events

My boyfriend and I made a race car birthday cake, reminiscent of our friend’s actual race car. Our friend has been working on maintaining what started out as a 1986 Chevrolet Chevette suitable for racing at events, such as the ChumpCar race that takes place at Portland International Raceway. In his first race, he won the trophy for the “Spirit of ChumpCar”! You can follow hisย facebook pageย here!

The car itself has gone through quite a series of transformations as far as paint jobs, decor, tires, other parts and engines are concerned; besides tires, he is even known for switching out engines mid-race!



We sculpted the double-layer chocolate cake, and decorated accordingly….


Beginning to take shape…





Crumb coat complete…


Final frosting layer complete


Side 1 View


Front View


Side 2 View


Back View






At the party, he made yet another engine switch….



…this time with the hatch!


Baby Shower Cupcakes

A friend and I planned our friend Suzie’s baby shower together… we had fun planning the custom ‘Welcome’ board, and some themed refreshments and games. I originally saw these baby face cupcakes at another baby shower the month before and am still searching for those original images since I stole the inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚ We also decorated with more balloons and had a framed message board for guests to write notes to welcome Baby Han.


Table display


Custom ‘Welcome’ Board


Baby face cupcakes with bonnets!




Mystery baby food guessing game…


Baby food taste test


Some game prizes (baby food guessing game, pregnant tummy yarn diameter guess, animal baby name match with adult animal name)


Popcorn snacks

1981 NBA All-star Games Throw Back Cake

My friend, Lia, asked me to help her design and bake a cake that would fit with a themed ‘1981 NBA All-Star Games Throw Back’ surprise birthday party for her husband and brother-in-law.

View from the top

Finished product – View from the top!

Our final design sketch to scale

Our final design sketch to scale

The boys are big fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, so the font reflects that team’s identifying logo, and the entire cake represents a basketball backboard with their names and stars for all-stars ๐Ÿ™‚


This was my first cake using fondant for decoration, and I also used licorice strung on a wire for the rim, and wove the net out of yarn.

Close-up of Reese's basketball and red licorice hoop

Close-up of Reese’s basketball and red licorice hoop

We ran into some complications along the way, for example, we ordered a full sheet from Costco for the main part of the backboard, but they only gave us a half sheet! So Lia and I had to run around to Fred Meyer and pick up another half sheet to make it whole. The two cakes aren’t quite the same height, but oh well; we had to work with what we could get. I baked the three-layer ‘basketball’ portion of the cake, and added a little orange food coloring to the, really yellow, cake to look a bit more basketball-ish ๐Ÿ™‚


‘Section cut’ through basketball at the party

We couldn’t find any ready-made boxes big enough, so Lia spent a long time designing and making the beautiful and gigantic box with the blue base and transparent star on top. The whole thing–box with cake inside–was so bulky, awkward and heavy by the time the finished cake was inside of it, I had to ask my neighbor to help me carry it out to my car!

Custom designed and assembled cake box by Lia

Custom designed and assembled cake box by Lia

Let’s take a look at how we got there………………………………..


Costco didn’t give us a full sheet like we were expecting…. so we had to run to Fred Meyer and pick up another half sheet so that we had a full sheet size. Variety in flavors isn’t bad, right??

8-transfer 1

Transferring these half sheets onto the cake box board was challenging

9-transfer success

One down… one to go

10-transfer 2

Second one up…

11-transfer success (barely)

Success with minor damage!


Wax paper edging to protect the final board surface underneath

15-basketball cakes cooling

3 cake layers, waiting in the wings

17-basketball cut-out

Carving room for the basketball

18-basketball cut-out

Two flavors


Round cake homemade filling/frosting, and large sheet cake homemade frosting

20-basketball layer 1

First basketball layer down

21-basketball layer 2

Second basketball layer in place

22-basketball layer 2 frosting

Second layer frosted

23-basketball layer 3

Third layer down

24-basketball layer 3 frosting

Basketball form complete

28-reeses 1

Applying basketball (Reeses) detail

29-reeses 2

31-reeses 4


34-reeses close-up

35-red borders!

First fondant borders on

36-beginning lettering

The big ’30’

37-measuring reeses border spacing

The rest of the custom Blazer-type fondant lettering and finishing touches



40-net creation

Creating the basketball hoop

42-net weaving

Weaving the net

43-net untrimmed

pre-trimmed net

44-net trimmed


39-in the box

In the box, ready to go!