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Wedding Cake Consultations and Tastings

Wedding Cake Consultations and Tastings

I love wedding cakes.  I could just look at pictures of them all day long (which I basically do…).  When I’m not looking at pictures of wedding cakes, I’m usually daydreaming about wedding cakes, designing them for hypothetical couples in my head. There is something […]

Jack’s 6th Birthday

Jack’s 6th Birthday

As you can imagine, birthday cakes are kind of a big deal in our house.  I always let my boys choose their cake, so we start talking about birthday cake themes several months before the actual birthday celebration.  Typically, Jack is my steadfast, predictable child […]

Birthday’s All Around!

Birthday’s All Around!

I have always loved the game show “Family Feud.”  From the comfort of my living room couch, I am pretty good at it, too!

If they were to survey 100 people about occasions where cake is served, birthday’s would HAVE to be at the top of the list.  I would slap that button so hard!

My life seems to have revolved around birthday’s lately.  In the past two weeks, I have helped celebrate 7 birthdays.  SEVEN.  So, I thought I’d do a birthday cake round-up here on the blog.

First up is the cake that I made for my husband’s birthday.  Technically, this was also my birthday cake, as we are three days apart, so we celebrate our birthdays together.  Ryan has been the biggest supporter of Four Oaks Bakery since before it even existed and he believes so much in what we do.  I say “we” because I couldn’t do this without him.  He takes care of the majority of the business end of things and also steps in to mix up batter, color fondant, and do other things to help me so that I am not up at all hours of the night every night.  That being said, I knew without a doubt that I would make whatever cake that he wanted for his birthday.  He chose his two favorites–almond cake and chocolate cream cheese frosting.  I’d never made this particular combination before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was awesome! Ryan requested the flavors and I took artistic liberties with the decoration (sprinkles everywhere!) and loved everything about this cake.  It made me happy! Isn’t that was birthday cake is  supposed to do?

Later that week, a 13 year old requested her favorite for her birthday, red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.  This young lady is a huge soccer fan, so when her mom sent me a picture of what she wanted on the cake, I safely assumed that it was soccer related, and I was correct.  I was more than happy to honor Jordyn with a cake featuring the logo of her favorite soccer team is S.S.C. Napoli from Italy.  This cake was covered in fondant and topped with a hand cut fondant logo.

In keeping with the sports theme, next we have Josh’s 6th birthday cupcakes! My boys were actually attendees at this birthday party and it was a complete blast! The party was held at a gym with trainers who had all sorts of activities for the kids to participate in–various stations (including a climbing wall and trampoline!), relay races, tug of war, and more.  My oldest son has already requested that we have his 7th birthday party there.  He’s not even 6 yet, ha ha (more on that next week)! Josh’s mom wanted the cupcakes to be sports themed to match the location and activities at the party and I think she was totally on track.  The cupcakes were topped with fondant circles decorated to look like baseballs, footballs, basketballs, and volleyballs.  So fun!

Our next birthday cake was for a handsome 2 year old named Sal.  His mom planned a fabulous “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” themed party for him, compete with a GIANT Brown Bear cutout.  I was so excited to do this cake, as I love all things Eric Carle.  I knew from the get go that I wanted to hand paint white fondant in all of the colors that are mentioned in the book and then cut out circles to use all over the side of the cake to mimic the illustrative style of Eric Carle.  Ryan really helped me out on this cake by doing all of the painting and then hand cutting and assembling Brown Bear while I layered the chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream filling (yum!) and frosted it in vanilla buttercream.  If there was ever a cake that I wish that I could have just cut into and eat right there, this was it!

Here’s a top view of Ryan’s handiwork on Brown Bear.  He did an amazing job!

My final birthday cake was for a friend of my mother-in-law.  She ordered a vanilla cake with the always popular salted caramel buttercream but gave me carte blanche as far as the decoration went.  I decided to go with a buttercream piping technique that I first did several years ago on a birthday cake for my mother-in-law, but not since then.  It’s very popular on Pinterest and is referred to as rosettes because the swirls look like roses.  The cake turns out looking elegant and sophisticated enough for adults, yet still pretty and fun enough for children.  I hope that I get the opportunity to do more cakes like this! I was happy to help Ann celebrate her birthday with good food and even better friends!

I have one more special birthday cake that I am working on this week–my oldest son turns 6 in a few days! I will be sharing his cake next week, so be sure to stop back and check it out!

A Little Man’s Birthday

A Little Man’s Birthday

I have three children.  Three male children, to be exact, and I love it.  Life is crazy at our house and it seems that the minute after I pick something up off of the floor, there is already something new to take its place.  Can […]

Under the Sea Cake

Under the Sea Cake

Do you remember being 13 years old? I sure do. For me, my thoughts centered around my friends and the boy that I had a crush on on that particular day. And as my teenage diaries would tell you, that was a revolving door, though I didn’t dare tell any of my friends out of fear that the “boy of the moment” would find out!

Turning 13 is a big deal.

I recently saw pictures from my 13th birthday party, circa 1998, where I invited around 10 of my friends over to my house for a sleepover (God bless my parents!). We have smiles (some with braces!) on our faces and ponytails pulled back with scrunchies, basking in the naivete of teenage awkwardness.

I also have a random memory from a friend’s 13th birthday of watching Jennifer Lopez dance on a webcam in her music video for “If You Had My Love.” This was back in the days of TRL and when they actually played music videos on MTV.

Many things have changed since 1998, but one thing remains the same–turning 13 is a big deal.

 

I made this beautifully colorful cake at the request of a mother who was throwing her daughter a “Under the Sea” birthday party.  She was turning 13 and this was a special party, which called for a special cake.  The birthday girl had a specific vision in her head for what she wanted her birthday cake to look like, right down to the colors of the coral and starfish.  I loved the colors on this one!

 

The cake of choice was red velvet with vanilla buttercream.  The outside was frosted in vanilla buttercream colored a bright bluish-turquoise.  The waves, clam, starfish, and white coral were all hand cut and formed out of fondant and I made the purple coral with royal icing that I sprinkled with purple sanding sugar to add some texture to the cake.

I molded the sea creatures out of a fondant and gumpaste mixture and absolutely love how they turned out!

I always enjoy hearing the response when people see their custom cake and this time was no different.  Mom was thrilled and birthday girl loved the cake.  That’s all I needed to hear.  Anything else is just a bonus! I was so happy to help make a 13 year old’s birthday party the special event that it deserved to be!

Sweet and Simple

Sweet and Simple

  I just love the look of all of the sweet and simple, single tier cakes that I have been seeing lately.  There’s something that is so innocent and fresh about them.  Don’t even get me started on extended tier and double barrel cakes! I […]

Birthday Memories

Birthday Memories

Another magical unicorn was seen in our kitchen this week! As parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, we often see something and think to ourselves, “Gasp! (Insert name of a loved child) would absolutely love that!” That’s exactly what happened with a doting father and my […]

Wedding Cakes of the Past and (Imaginary) Future

Wedding Cakes of the Past and (Imaginary) Future

Wedding cakes.

I could be wrong here, but I feel like these days, the wedding cake holds a position of much greater significance than it had in the past.  The cake is often viewed as the centerpiece of the reception and most couples want the cake to reflect the style or theme of their wedding, in more ways than just the color of buttercream roses that adorn the cake, a la 1976.

Wedding cakes these days run the gamut from naked…

…to fully dressed to mimic the bride’s own gown.  Yes, this is a cake:

As a baker, I LOVE that bridal couples are using their wedding cake to express their style and personality!

I have been working on designing a wedding cake this week, and looking at all of these wedding cakes really had me reminiscing about my wedding cake.  Ryan and I were just babies when we were married in 2006 (barely 21 years old!).  These were the days before Pinterest came on the scene.  I swear that there were only 10 styles and 15 colors to choose from when we shopped for bridesmaid dresses! There are so many options now!

But, back to the cake.  Here is our wedding cake (excuse the photos–they are pictures of the pictures):

Ryan says that he doesn’t even remember this cake.  Clearly, he was there and saw it.  He must have just been swept up in my beauty and his love for me.  Yup, that’s totally it.

I chose a very simple and clean design.  It was buttercream frosted with a triple swiss dot pattern on all four tiers and ribbon around the bottom of each tier.  Our florist added the fresh flowers that matched the centerpieces and bouquets.  Thinking back, I loved this cake.  It was just what I wanted at the time. But now, I don’t think that I would choose this type of design if we were getting married today.

Which brings us to the (imaginary) future.

Just for fun, I asked Ryan to choose a cake that he would like to have at our wedding if we were getting married this year, as opposed to 11 years ago.  This is what he chose:

He said that he liked how clean this cake is and how it tells a story.  I am probably totally reading into things here, as I am known to do, but when I look at these three silhouettes, they remind me of specific moments at the various stages of our relationship.  How sweet!

Now it’s my turn.  I have to say, I found this task VERY overwhelming.  There are so many styles of wedding cakes that I love, from edible lace and metallic accents, to sprays of sugar flowers and fondant ruffles.  I just couldn’t choose! That’s why I think I was drawn to this cake:

Like Ryan’s choice, this cake is VERY clean and simple.  The only thing that I might add is a strip of edible lace with scalloped edges across the middle of the very top tier.  I love the simple elegance of this cake. It’s understated, but it is breathtaking.  Do I see a single tier anniversary cake in our future…?

So, what about you? What did your wedding cake look like? Would you choose the same design now, or something totally different?

 

It Starts With One

It Starts With One

About two years ago, I saw one of those motivational pictures on Pinterest that said, “If you can’t stop thinking about it, it’s worth going after.”  It didn’t attribute the quote to anyone in particular, so I can just assume that it’s a general piece […]