Thursday, November 5, 2009

Going to a Luau

When a teenage girl has a birthday, there is no better way to celebrate than by having a Luau party. My friend went all out when planning this party, and I tried my best to give her the cake of her dreams. She found one that she liked online, so I modeled this one after it.

There was really something for everyone on this cake. The bottom tier was chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling, the middle tier was lemon cake with raspberry whipped cream filling, and the top was vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream filling. Scott had fun licking the bowls.

Everything was edible, too, except for the flowers. My husband, Scott, helped me out a bunch too by painting the sunset onto the middle tier. He did a good job, didn't he?

Emma's Ladybugs

My friend's daughter was turning 1, and she wanted a ladybug themed birthday. She went searching online and found a picture of a cake that she wanted on's gallery. This cake was vanilla with vanilla buttercream filling. It was all gone before I even got to the party!

After the cake was done, though, I still thought that Emma needed more lady bugs, so I turned to Martha Stewart's Cupcake Cookbook for an idea:

Of course I had to had some little roses to the mix for color. By the end, I don't think there was any lack of ladybugs, do you?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Timmy's Birthday Cake

This is a birthday cake Jessica made for a coworker's son. He's 15 years old who loves Rubik's cubes, Jimi Hendrix, Guitar Hero, and skateboarding. This was also Jessica's first cake for a paying customer. Yay, business! The cake is vanilla cake with strawberry whipped cream filling. I got to sample some and it tastes like strawberry shortcake. Delicious.

That's a mock-up of Hendrix's guitar.

Notice the edge of the cake are the notes to Guitar Hero. You can get really creative with these notes. I'm a fan of the game. But some kids just spend way too much time playing. This 9 year-old is amazing.

Leadership Training

Jessica had a leadership training at work the last few weeks. She wanted to make an "edible summary" of the different things that they learned about. Some of the symbols are a little strange...

For the cake, the bottom layer is a chocolate cake with strawberry cream filling. The middle layer is vanilla cake, also with strawberry cream filling. And the top triangle is a large rice crispy treat. It's all covered in fondant and painted.

The glasses were a theme to "look through different lenses." I think they were for nerd support. Anyways, the lenses on the glasses were made from sugar.

Curious George even made an appearance on the cake. Although as a happy monkey, not an evil one.

To finish it off, Jessica made little sugar cookies cut into stars with the initials of everyone who participated in the training.

Gator Cake

In honor of the 2008 National Champion Florida Gators -- Jessica decided to make a cake of the UF logo. We brought it over to a movie night at a friend's house. The cake is red it "bleeds" when you cut into it. The coloring is painted fondant. Oh boy. Only 9 days until college football season (and the road to a repeat)!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Triple Word Score

For Jessica's second entry into the Threadcakes competition, she picked a t-shirt which captures a unique emotion. It's a combination of frustration, hopelessness, and doom. Oddly enough, it happens when you're playing a game of Scrabble with your grandmother. If you've played the game, it's happened to you. You reach your hand into the bag and are left with no vowels, and the consonants which are hardly ever used in the English language. And this after is your grandmother just dropped "QUIZ" on the triple word score. See here for Jessica's complete entry into the contest.

Did you know that the highest possible scoring word you can make in scrabble is "oxyphenbutazone", which is worths something like 1780 points? In case you're curious, oxyphebutazone is a metabolite of anti-inflammatory drugs given to people with arthritis. Chemistry, for the win!

Alcohol at a Party

Time for a little competition. Jessica decided to enter the cake competition put on by the t-shirt website Threadless. The competition is called Threadcakes. I had never heard of the company until our friend Chelsea mentioned they were having a cake competiton. The basic idea of the competition is to design a cake based off one of their t-shirts. Being a graduate student, I have a tender spot in my nerdy heart for chemistry. So I recommended she make a cake of the "Introduction to Molecular Bonding" shirt. She was even nice enough to get me the shirt! You can also check out her full entry on the Threadcakes website.

Bears a close resemblance to the shirt, no?

Awww, snap!

How cute, sharing a beer bong.

I thought this depiction of two atoms sharing an electron was necessary. Although, wouldn't it be an ionic bond as shown above? Eh, no matter........(actually, it is matter)...NEVERMIND!

One of the best parts of this cake was getting to crack open a beer at 10 in the morning so she could get that "beer color" just right.

Not only was this Jessica's first cake entered into a competition, it was also her first organic cake (that's the last chemistry joke).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bringing Down the House

This cake is a true original. Jessica's friend Melissa had recently bought her first house. To celebrate, Jessica designed a cake of the house itself. The challenge was that she only had three, low-resolution photos to go off of. I can't tell you how many debates we had about "the roof hangs over here" or "that wall is angled slightly." But it turned out great.

The outside work of the cake is colored fondant. Inside, the cake is chocolate with white frosting. The grass was piped right onto the board. Small details like the doors and windows were painted on.

Easter 2009 Cakes

We had some people over for a big Easter brunch this year. So Jessica decided to make not one, but TWO awesome cakes. I helped with the piping on the "Happy Easter" cake. I'm good for something (other than cleaning) after all! This was Jessica's first attempt piping a basketweave. I think it turned out pretty good! The "grass" is green dyed coconut and the easter eggs are chocolate-covered malt balls.