Posts Tagged ‘icing’


Aquaman Cake

March 18, 2013


I know you read the title and thought, “Oh, Amanda must have an eight year old son who just had a birthday!” but you’re wrong.  I have a brother-in-law who just turned 30 and needed an awesome cake!  That’s right!  When my sister turned 29 she got a Hello Kitty cake and when her husband turned 30 he got Aquaman.  I love those two!

Aquaman Cake Topper

Happy Birthday!

When Melissa first approached me about the cake I did a quick search.  The cakes that exist with an Aquaman theme are quite ornate and over the top.  It was entirely too much to take on so I decided to go with a different approach.  I knew I needed to use his colors and symbol and incorporate water.  Instead of using fondant, I decided to go with a buttercream frosting using a star-tip for decor.

-White Cake (I used a box mix)
-Your favorite buttercream recipe (Find my favorite here)
-Gel Dye in desired color
-Star Tip (any number works)
-Any other cake decor

1. Bake 2 nine inch cakes.  This time around I used silicon pans to help with level cakes.  (I was too lazy to take out my leveling strips.)

2. Once the cakes are baked and cooled, I glaze each cake with an apricot glaze.  (I use apricot preserves melted down in a saucepan.)

3. This is where you make your favorite buttercream icing.  I make a full recipe of my favorite from the link above.  This is ample to crumb coat the cake and do a decorative design (see below).

Aquaman Cake

Aquaman Cake

4. I used yellow, green, and orange to dye my icing.  I estimated how much of each color icing I would need for my specific Aquaman design and it worked out perfectly!

Aquaman Cake

Aquaman Cake

5. In regards to my design specifically.  I was commissioned to make an Aquaman cake with no other specific direction.  I had to do some research to learn more about this animated figure I knew nothing about.  After much research I decided on the logo of Aquaman.

Aquaman Cake

Aquaman Cake

6. Of course, you’ll notice the super awesome guy in a speedo adorning the cake.  I wanted to find an Aquaman action figure, but those aren’t easy to come by or get quickly so when I saw speedo man, I knew I had a winner!  (I also applied some gold edible dust over the logo to help it seem  super!)

Aquaman Cake Topper

Aquaman Cake Topper

Aquaman Cake Topper

Aquaman Cake Topper

Happy Birthday, Happy Cakes, and Happy Cake Topper!


Smell the Roses

February 7, 2013


I am so excited about this blog post.  If you know me well, I love cakes and decorating them!  I have been building a Pinterest board with ideas for cake decorating and jumped at the opportunity to bake a cake for my Aunt and new Uncle’s marriage celebration.  I am not actually going to blog about the cake making process because I use a cake mix (shh..)!

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake

For this cake, I decided to attempt a few details I’ve been wanting to try forever.  I’ve drooled over them on Pinterest and now was my chance!  I decided to do a rough side and beautiful roses on top of the cake.  I also went for a small bunting to swag on top of the cake as a makeshift topper.  It was all so much to make.  I’ll blog about the bunting in an upcoming post, so here you’ll get my cake decorating!

I found this awesome instruction (and this awesome inspiration) and followed it roughly.  For example, I don’t have the 1M tip so I used a smaller star tip, but it worked just as well.  Also, I make a buttercream icing using high ratio shortening found at my local bake shop.  This recipe allows for more powdered sugar per shortening  so it’s less oily and more creamy!  It’s seriously delicious.  The other thing I did differently was to use vanilla bean paste.  I knew I wasn’t going to dye the icing so I wanted the speckles of vanilla bean to show up.  It looked rustic and I was so pleased.

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake, Speckled

After giving the cake a good crumb coat, I piped the roses around the outer edge of the top first followed by the center roses.  Start the tip in the middle of the rose and circle around twice.  I found the rose looks different with different twists and turns of the bag, but beautiful no matter what.  Play with the icing and see what design you like best.  As for the rest, I did as the instructions say and added some sweeps between the roses where any holes were left.  As for the sides of the cake, I piped a thick layer of icing around the edge and then using my spatula spread it out and gave it a rough look, which isn’t too hard, but looks fun!

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake, sides

Other tips: I didn’t use my leveling strips around the cake pans and boy do I regret that.  One cake turned out domed and the other slanted.  I have no idea how that happened, but never again will I be too lazy to use the strips.

rose icing wedding cake

Buttercream Rose Cake with Bunting!

I strategically placed the bunting on top and voila, a finished cake!  I hope you like it!  I know there wasn’t much left after the couple cut the cake, must’ve been delicious!

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake

Happy decorating!


Fondant cake class

August 13, 2012

I recently took a fondant cake decorating class at our local bakeshop. It was a really neat experience because I’ve tried to decorate cakes and fondant before and been very unsuccessful. I took the class with my Aunt and two cousins and we had a blast. It was during Olympic season sore cake had the Olympic rings and a gold metal on it.

In the class we learned the basics of how to layer I cake and then covered it with buttercream icing. We first used buttercream icing to stick the first layer of the cake to the cardboard and then we put it filler layer of buttercream on the top layer of that first layer. You don’t want to put too much buttercream icing in the middle or it’ll all ooze out when you put the next layer on top. That leads us to the next up which is putting the next layer of cake on top of that and pressing it down to its firmly stuck all around to the layer of icing in the middle of the two cakes. The next step is to ice the cake Starting with the top of the cake and then the sides of the cake. We learned some tricks on how to not get crumbs in your icing and also how to make sure you have an even flat edge on the sides and on the top of the cake.

Then we got to the main event: icing the cake with fondant! This is really interesting! She taught us how to roll out our fondant and then how to lay across our cake so it was smooth all around which has been a problem for me in the past in my cake decorating.

I feel very confident in my ability to cover a cake in fondant now as well as decorate with additional fondant pieces. Check out my pictures below to see the process and final product!

Happy baking!


Two layers of cake



Buttercream layer




Fondant layer





Final product



Gold Medal



Olympic Rings


300 Cake Balls

May 23, 2011

My wonderful friends’ wedding has now come and gone along with 300 wonderful cake balls.  It was a relatively in depth process so I’ll try to share it here with you and not write a billion words!

As you saw in an earlier post, I was practicing “cake balling” to prepare for this wedding.  I kept having trouble with lumpy chocolate so I finally decided to sign up for a cake ball class at our local bake shop.  Low and behold, life got in the way and Melissa and I had to leave town and miss the class.  I quickly emailed people I know who are master “cake ballers” and went to the bake shop to find out if they could at least advise me.  They were amazing.  Here’s a little bit of the info they shared:

1. Guittard Chocolate is the best chocolate to dip in.  No tempering required.  They even said microwaving it is just as good as using a double boiler.
2. Flavors recommended: Red Velvet with Cream Cheese and dipped in White Chocolate & Strawberry with Chocolate dipped in Dark Chocolate.
3. Cake mix and icing from a jar is just as good.  The only person who knows the difference would be my grandma.

So helpful!  I went with their flavor recommendations and I used box mix and jars of icing.  My sister, Melissa, helped me with the dipping process, but I’m jumping ahead.  Here is the cake ball game plan as it played out.

Tuesday: I baked 6 cakes on Tuesday before the wedding.  3 Strawberry and 3 Red Velvet.  I crumbled the cakes with each flavor in their own container.  I then mixed them with 2 jars of icing.  I bought 3 just in case, but 2 ended up being the perfect moistness!  I stored this in the fridge overnight.

Wednesday: I came home from work and rolled the cake into balls.  I use a scoop to insure consistency and preciseness.  I ended up with 149 Red Velvet balls and 153 strawberry.  I have no idea how that happened.  But I needed 250 for the wedding so we were good!

Thursday: This was the intense and dreaded day.  I came home from work and covered the island in my kitchen with parchment paper.  I luckily have an awesome island that is one solid surface.  I then got everything ready so I’d be really prepared and not have to dig in cabinets or drawers while I worked.  I dipped each ball in chocolate or white chocolate while Melissa followed with a popsicle stick to smooth out my fork marks (I am not a pro at that part) and she added pretty sprinkles to the top.  It took us 4 hours to dip and decorate 300 cake balls.  I left them on the counter overnight.  I had lots of dishes to do.

Friday: I woke up early Friday morning to layer the cake balls in my containers.  I layered rows of 5 x 8 between parchment paper to end with 125 red velvet balls and 125 strawberry.  I had what I referred to as “ugly” balls and brought those to work with me.  They were a hit so I knew the wedding guests would enjoy the pretty ones!

Saturday: This was the big day.  I had other errands to run in the morning and then headed toward the venue in the early afternoon.  Melissa met me and helped set the balls up.  The bride and groom had purchased beautiful dishes to display them in.  They looked great!  I hope the photographer took pictures because I want to steal a few!  I got so many compliments and there wasn’t a cake ball left at the end of the night!  Success!

In this time of reflection, it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I thought it would be.  I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of Melissa. Would I do it again?  For a friend or family member yes, a random person, probably not.  🙂  I may have to up my price to after figuring out the hours of labor from day one through Saturday.  With Melissa and my combined hours of labor, we worked 16 hours.  Wowsa!  This great couple got a deal!  🙂   I think I might now understand why places charge at least 2 dollars a ball!  So much work.

If you have any questions about the process, let me know!  I thought it might be most interesting to reflect on the process and share some fun pictures!

Enjoy and Happy Sweet Eating!