Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Art Deco 40th Birthday

I just love when my client's give me carte blanche to create a cake design for their special event. It really gives me such confidence that my client trusts my artistry and design conceptualization.  My client wanted a Gatsby inspired Art Deco cake with black/gold/white to celebration her husband's 40th birthday.  I wanted to give the cake a masculine feel but also capture the strong angular and geometric lines most associated with the art deco movement but I wanted a unique twist to it.  So I googled "art deco pattern" and came across this artist's pattern which I fell in love with.

It inspired me immediately to create a similar pattern on the cake and make it the focal point of the design.  To do that, I know I needed a double tier so that I can blow up the design to give a dramatic effect.  A double tier is two cake tiers of the same diameter placed directly on top of eachother and covered in fondant as if it were one large tier.  There is a piece of cardboard between the two cakes so it cuts like two cakes but looks like one - great illusion!  We cake artists are magicians too - ha ha! From there, the rest of the design fell into place - I knew I wanted some texture so I put gold sequins on the bottom tier. And I knew I wanted some curves to balance out the rigid strong lines of the center pattern so scallops were perfect for that.

Top tier:  This is a popular scallop pattern which I achieved by using Marvelous Molds.  They are fantastic and fool proof - I just love using them.  I used white fondant and painted it gold with gold highlighter dust and everclear.  The monogram and the 40 topper are Art Deco fonts printed on frosting paper and adhered to fondant which I let dry for several days.  My sketch showed a cut out 40 but I ended up changing that because I really wanted to keep the lines very crisp and I wanted it to match the font of the monogram which as you can see is kind of hard to cut out freehanded.

Middle Tier: The semi circle and lines were applied to the cake using the wax paper transfer method by Jessica Harris.  I precut the front diamonds and let them dry several days to make sure they were rigid and then applied them using royal icing.

Bottom tier:  the cake is covered in white fondant. I used piping gel to adhere pastel confetti sprinkles to the surface of the cake. After letting it dry, I painted it with gold dust and everclear which evaporates in seconds.

I am still swooning over this design and my client, her husband, and guests all enjoyed it very much.  That means so much to me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elmo 2nd Birthday Cake

Sometimes it's difficult to get my creative juices flowing and always come up with a new design for the plethora of themes I'm always asked to make, especially ones I've done a few times.  I always want to challenge myself to come up with a new design.  One of my most useful methods of getting inspiration is to ask my clients to send me images of all their party decor, including their invitation, wall/table decor, favors, toys, gifts, and baby's outfit.  I love to pull patterns, graphics, colors, and other details from the party details and use it on the cake to create a cohesive and complimentary design.

This past weekend's cake was a perfect example of this technique.  I was asked to create a girly Elmo cake with pinks and reds.  My client didn't want a typical Sesame Street themed cake and I was very glad to accommodate her request.  My client sent me these fabulous images of her theme related items and inspiration for the dessert table: 

I used the frilly table cloth,  hearts/polka dots, and red/pinks/turquoise to create this sketch: 

My client was very happy with it but we changed a few things. I added the turquoise accents and a banner on top and added a 2 to the center of the top tier. Elmo is hand made out of fondant.  The name banner was created on edible image frosting paper and applied to a fondant backing and left to dry a few days so it can stiffen up.  The ruffles are made by rolling fondant through a pasta machine to a level 6, circles are cut out, frilled, and folded randomly and applied to the cake one by one.  I'm a little obsessed with these frills and put them everywhere I can lately!  The end result was absolutely adorable and my wonderful client was very pleased!