Crafty Creations

Home-made gifts are a fun way to get creative and make something special for someone, tailoring to their interests or being festive for the holidays.  I like to use sugar cookies and cupcakes.

A few of my creations from this year:

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Buttercream and Royal Icing

I love buttercream frosting.  The smell, the taste, and the look.  From shell borders to roses to drop flowers, you can do so many types of decorations on your cake or cupcakes.  Royal icing is great for flowers.  It will dry to a stiff consistency.  It is perfect for making decorations to put on a buttercream frosted cake because the buttercream will actually soften the flowers so you can eat them (although some people find still find them too hard, I enjoyed them).

You can find recipes at http://www.wilton.com/recipes/browse.cfm?cat=Icing.  You can make your own tweaks once you find a recipe you like.  Continue reading “Buttercream and Royal Icing”

Frustrations with fondant

If you are going to work with fondant, keep it mind that in addition to being expensive, it can be hard to work with.  When you are covering a cake, it can easily rip (as did mine during class).  A border on the cake or a drape, in addition to decorations can hide this easily.

What about the taste?  I thought it tasted it like gum.  Everyone I served the cake to peeled off the fondant to enjoy the chocolate underneath. My instructor said that at a wedding or other special event, many caterers will take the cake after it has been presented, peel off all the frosting and re-frost and smooth using buttercream.  You can actually get buttercream to look as smooth as fondant.  So is it worth it?  For a special event and a unique cake shape or design, yes.  Fondant accents can definitely make a cake stand out. Consider starting with a few decorations to give your buttercream cake that something extra, and go from there.

Fun with fondant

I wasn’t sure what to expect from course three of the cake decorating series I took at Michael’s: fondant and gum paste.  Browsing through pictures, there were so many cool designs and ways to transform a cake using fondant.  For ideas check out http://www.wilton.com/ideas/browse.cfm?start=1&cat=Fondant-Gum-Paste.

Here are some pictures of my work from the course using fondant and gum paste.

My first attempt at cake decorating

When I moved back to California last summer, my dad told me he wanted to take decorating classes.  I assumed he meant classes on decorating the house, since he had been talking about painting.  I was surprised when he asked if I would be interested.  He explained he wanted to take cake decorating classes at Michaels.  “Ohhhhh….” I said as I had flashbacks of me in art class at school barely being able to draw a stick figure.  Thank goodness they gave an “A” for effort!

I wasn’t too sure about cake decorating classes.  For one thing, my dad had been baking for years.  He already could make beautiful roses and had made my younger cousins cakes shaped like rocket ships and trains for their birthdays.  And even though I loved baking cookies and biscuits, I had never baked a cake.  It seemed like so much work, and I didn’t know how I would cope if my decorations weren’t just right. Continue reading “My first attempt at cake decorating”