Monday, March 31, 2008

Birthday season!

I fear that this blog may turn into a showcase for my cake decorating hobby! However, it is birthday season for me -- all five of my nieces and nephews have birthdays in March and April. (Of course my kids are 2 weeks apart, sandwiching Halloween!) So, in the past 2 weeks, I've not been getting a lot of things done around the house that I'm supposed to because I've been preparing and decorating cakes.

The first is a Shamu cake. I admit, I went a bit overboard. But I'm always looking to try something new and a friend sent me to a link of her kids' whale birthday cake, so I had to try something similar:

It turned out great (except that the tail had to be held together with a toothpick because I broke it and it had to be held up by straws because it was too heavy.) The body of the whale is made of cheerio-marshmallow treat covered in frosting and marshmallow fondant. The tail is entirely fondant. (This was the new part for me -- I need to practice this more.) Molding the cereal treat turned out to be a great way to add lightweight structural elements, so I'm anxious to try this with different designs in the future. My niece loved it, as can be seen in this photo:

The second cake was for my other niece (who turned 14!!) She had no specific request, so I made something pretty that I wanted to try.

The new part for me was the basket weave, which turned out to be relatively easy. The flowers and band are mediocre, but I was kind of in a rush to finish (as usual) The dome of the hat is done with half a ball pan, which I hope to use in the future for lots of cool cakes (including ball cakes.) My sister-in-law didn't get to decorate for Easter because the family was so busy that week, so she put out the Easter decorations for my niece's party. So the hat looked sweetly like an Easter bonnet in the middle of the grass and egg decorations on the table.

I also made some dark chocolate zuchini mini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for my mom to serve at a tea she hosted today. Those turned out awesome! I'll post the recipe for that shortly and let you know if the guests liked them. (I know I did!)


Ann in NJ said...

Wow! Jill, you blow me away! You can use your blog as a showcase for your cakes, they're awesome!

I really like the Shamu cake - I'm going to have to try fondant some time.

Jill in MA said...

I made my own fondant because i heard that the stuff you buy pre-made doesn't taste very good. It's easy to make. (Basically just melted marshmallows and conf. sugar.) My biggest problem is that because I never worked with fondant before, I wasn't really sure what the right consistency should be and I think I had more cracking than I should have.