Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Some Inspiration for the Future Cake Decorator!!

My very first star tip cake.
Recently I received some emails inquiring how I began cake decorating.  I am already giggling because when I say I am a novice and completely self taught, I mean it.  If I can do it, anyone can!!! I am sooooo serious.  Years ago, a pharmacist I worked with made the most awesome birthday cakes for everyone in our department.  They were absolute works of art and I was in awe every time she bought in a new masterpiece.    
One year, after hounding her for some lessons she expressed  how easy it was with a simple star tip and character pan.  After about an hour in Michael's I returned with several star tips, some disposable piping bags and my first character pan......mmmmm those were the days.  I was approached by a Michael's sales associated and notified about their cake decorating class but politely declined...... $$$$$$$$.  

First things first, if you're concerned with learning how to decorate stick with a simple box cake mix.  I have always made my own buttercream icing, it holds up to decorating much better than store brands. There are tons of websites with information (Cake Central was one of my faves) , You Tube tutorials, and forums on everything you need to know to take a spin at cake decorating.  

After a few successful trial runs with my children's birthday cakes I began to get requests from co-workers and family members, although I was not the least bit confident I accepted the orders.  I also warned them as to the results.....you never know.  Around the time of this order I was cyber-stalking, the best, I mean best cupcake sugar ARTIST I ever heard of on Flickr.  Her cupcakes were miniature works of art and I especially loved her take on the flip flop.  Zalita at cupcakedlights.blogspot.co is my personal favorite and she gives me so much inspiration all the way from South Africa!!! LLLLLLOve her cupcakes and cakes!!!
Inspired by Zalita's miniature works of art.....hey I tried:)

Cupcakes to match the 3-d Panda Cake

 Purchase a 3-D bear pan HERE!!
These cupcakes were a freebie thrown in with my first successful 3-d panda bear cake.  Years ago I wrote another blog on 3-d cakes, you can check it out here.  I just loved creating the fondant panda faces.  It's basically like playing with Play Dough......sounds fun huh?!

Man I remember the day I discovered the world of fondant flowers, I went LOCO!  I had flowers dried and stored for months.  This too is like playing with Play Dough.  Initially I purchased the Wilton brand fondant to experiment with, it was great to decorate just tasted like chalk.  So I found a recipe for Marsh Mallow Fondant on Cake Central and have been using that recipe every since!!!  I included a mini tutorial for Fondant Flowers here.
Boy do I remember this cake, it weighed almost a ton and took forever to pipe.  I thought it looked ridiculous but everyone seemed to love it and I learned a ton along the way.  I even tried to do the 3-d Stars OMGoooooodness, I made that so much harder than it really is......Live and Learn right!  So basically that is the gist of what I am trying to express today.  I realized If I want to learn how to do something just do it! I Google everything and am truly confident that I can pull of anything. Now it has taken me years and I have thrown many a cake off of my balcony,...literally. (Sheesh, I'm not proud of it)...but the moral of the story is give it a try, you may discover a gift you had all along.  So I am still growing, making all of my cakes from scratch now,  learning new techniques, buying more equipment to ease my life, I was really making a lot of thing more difficult than they have to be.  Well be encouraged future baker and thanks again for encouraging me on my journey!!!!

Cupcakes I made for a princess party,  love the frogs and castles!!!

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