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 😉 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 🙂

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 🙂

Final product! <3

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

Cake Construction & Architectural Construction

After a long hiatus from baking, I’m back! I’ve moved and have a much more workable kitchen with more space, so I am looking forward to keeping up better in the new year!

The purpose and inspiration for this project was 1) To break my baking dry spell and launch back into a layer cake, why not?! 2) My take on looking at how my day job and hobby are similar 🙂

1 – “FOUNDATION & UNDERLAYMENT”

2 – “SITE PLAN”

3 – “FLOOR PLAN”

4 – “ELEVATION”

5 – “SECTION”

6 – “DETAIL”

7 – “PERSPECTIVE”

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 personalized and 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!

Happy Memorial Day

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A simple red velvet cake to say thank you. This was my first attempt at covering a cake in fondant, and well, I got it covered! 🙂 I used a beautiful patterned embossing rolling pin, but realized fondant takes so much smoothing once on the cake, most of the pattern disappeared…. you can still see some subtle hints of the damask pattern. I’ll try it again with a pie crust.

This red velvet layer cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog is delicious and moist!  If there’s one thing I hate, it’s dry cake!

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my fondant is stretched too thin…. but you can see some of the damask pattern on the sides 🙂

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And with leftover batter… a patriotic cupcake with a little man saluting (kind of) and thanking those who gave their lives while serving. Thank you.

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Bundt Cake Winter Wonderland

I’m a bit out of season, but I couldn’t resist experimenting with these ‘littles’ a friend gave me. 🙂 I have been inspired by work like “Minimian” (originally seen here) and Audrey Heller, and creative juices started flowing after the snowstorm earlier this year…

DARING SKIIER….

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ONE ICE SKATER…

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TWO ICE SKATERS…
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THREE ICE SKATERS…

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ANOTHER DARING SKI STUNT

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Spring Strawberry Cake

My weekend baking project was this strawberry layer cake (previously made back in June 2012), and is one of my favorite cakes to this day. This time, I had a chance to snap a few photos before taking it to the cake tasting event in my neighborhood.

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Here’s the cake at the “cakeluck” in process of being devoured…

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Success! It all got eaten 🙂

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Orangesicle Cake

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Party time!

Thank you, Sweetapolita, for this lovely Orange Party Cake Recipe! I was intrigued by the summery theme for a good, light dessert for a joint birthday party. And I am a big fan of your Pastel Swirl Technique Video Tutorial! I still have a lot of practice ahead of me; Mine don’t turn out nearly as beautiful and perfect as yours, but celebrations make the perfect excuse to practice.

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First layer down with filling on top

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All layers and fillings ready for crumb coat

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Voila! frosted, complete with flower on top. I picked up these adorable flowers at Miette in San Francisco.