Last night, I had an epiphany! I was on a lot of cold medication at the time so I wanted to wait 24 hours to make sure it made sense and it still does! It started when I was little. I always wanted to have awesome birthday parties with themes perfectly executed; from the invitations, to the cake, right down to the matching clothes that I allowed my family members to wear. I have always had a little bit of a Type A personality. But lets face it, who wouldn't want to be friends with these party animals?
Obviously, party planning is in my blood. Freshman year of college, I decided I didn't want to be a psychology major and eventually I moved onto business because I wanted to become an event planner. Once I found the art of cake decorating, my passion went from the large scope of event planning to the small scope of the cakes for these events. After I discovered this, I realized that I will still be able to help with small aspects of the events but I don't have the pressure of the entire event weighing on my shoulders.
I'm sure you're wondering where my epiphany comes into play. Here it is: cake is what makes all these events special! I was reading up on the history of cakes and after reading numerous articles, it has been confirmed that cake has been around for a long time.
The Huffington Post has an interesting article regarding the history of birthdays, just not necessarily the history of the birthday cake. Basically cake has been around for thousands of years, but back then, it was more of a bread than a cake. Around the 1400's, the Germans started making birthday cakes similar to the ones we know today. Before that time, cakes were almost solely made for the celebration of weddings. The birthday candle tradition was also started by the Germans in the 1700s. They placed a candle on the cake for each year of their life, as well as extra candles, to represent years to come. According to The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings, the wedding cake tradition dates back to ancient Greece, where newlywed couples would share crushed sesame cakes to ensure fertility. In the Middle Ages, guests crumbled wheat cakes over the ocuple's heads, to wish them good fortune and children. The wheat-cake concept slowly evolved into a sweet dessert cake in sixteenth-century England. The French then one-upped the English, introducing the tiered, sugar-covered cake that we know and love today." I also found 12 weird wedding cake facts that you can whip out at the next wedding you attend!
Now that I have provided you with a bunch of useless, but interesting knowledge, let's get back to my epiphany. Since cakes have been such a large part of history, there is a pretty good chance that they will be around for awhile. The best part of a birthday party is the cake and everyone looks forward to the cake cutting at a wedding! All in all, I am starting a business that provides one of the highlights of everyone's celebration and I think that's pretty cool.
Happy December everyone!! I started writing about what I was thankful for while driving to the Cities on Thanksgiving when suddenly my post disappeared. So if this post seems late, it is, but I am still thankful!
I am thankful for my family and friends who have supported me through this process of starting a business and helping me achieve my dream of being my very own boss. I am so lucky that they are still supporting me today and will continue this support in the future! Being able to share my creations with my extended family over Thanksgiving was so much fun too! It reminds me that I have support all over the place.
I am thankful for my full time job. With the chaos that has been going on with the nickname vote, I had to take a step back and remind myself that I am lucky that I have a job. I have the best coworkers that I could ask for. They are always willing to test my products, support me with ideas and allow me to have time off to continue my dream on the side.
Being able to use the kitchen space in the alumni center is something I am very thankful for. Having this option allows for shorter trips to a food safe kitchen, shorter baking time and more opportunity to bake for the public. My coworkers also encouraged me to become a vendor for the Go Show, a wedding and event planning show in January. I never thought I would be doing a vendor show so soon; it was always an idea in the back of my head that I was too scared to do!
Last but not least, I am thankful my turkeys made the 5 hour trip in mostly one piece. Below is my tutorial on how to make them!
Next, frost your Fudge Striped cookie and place the candy corn to make the turkey feathers. Add a drop of frosting on the Oreo's to get the brown M&Ms to stick to act as the eye balls. Insert a toothpick into the orange tip of a candy corn for the beak. Cut the tail of the Swedish fish in half to make the gobbler. Fun fact: they're actually called snoods! Who knew?
Today was the first day I looked at my calendar and actually comprehended that October is almost over. Between having two weddings and 6 orders so far, my full time job has been helping with the process of conducting a vote for a new nickname! If you want to test how much stress you can handle, try being on the phone attempting to help people for 40+ hours in a week and decorating cakes all night. However, all the stress melts away when you get compliments and happy faces when you deliver your cake. It is so worth it; I just need to keep reminding myself when I am still working at 2am! I am so thankful for my supportive family and friends that are there for me when I am going crazy trying to get everything accomplished-I wouldn't be able to do it without you!
Happy Tuesday! Last week, I was able to make a super special gender reveal cake. This was my first cake where, only a few of us knew what the inside was going to look like which made it extra exciting for me! Here is my quick tutorial on how to make baby shoes!
I found a template online and then cut it into a stencil so I could cut my fondant into the proper shapes. The tool on the left was a miracle worker! It made making the dots really quick and easy! Placing a little ball of fondant in the toe helps the bootie keep its shape.
I used gum glue to hold the toe of the bootie and the sole together. I added a little paper towel to hold the tongue of the bootie upright while it dried. The heel just fit perfectly around the sole with gum glue holding everything together.
The laces are actually ribbon. Having a textured ribbon made it easier to pull through the holes. When I tried silky ribbon, it was so slippy that it was sliding all over. Adding this ribbon also holds the shoe together to dry properly. If you would like just baby booties, you can stop here and this would be the finished product.
To turn the bootie into a tennis shoe, you just add a few strips of white. I cut the white to cover the toe and gum glued it down. I also wrapped a small layer of white around the bottom to add some extra flair. I textured it a little but it is completely up to you and how detailed you want to get. Below you will see the little loops on the back of the shoe. For that, I just wrapped the white fondant around the back of the shoe and glued it inside.
Here is the finished product! I colored the frosting pink and blue and placed the booties on top. The inside was BLUE! I was really excited to see what the inside looked like! This gender reveal cake was tons of fun!!
This week I made an experimental baseball hat cake for my cousin's birthday. I photographed the progress mostly to show you but also so I could remember how to do it again. It took a lot more work than I anticipated and reminded me just how much I dislike fondant. However, I am really glad I tried it and hope that it will be easier in the future.
1. Bake a cake in an oven safe bowl. I baked a cake in a smaller bowl but I thought it was too small so I made another one in a slightly bigger bowl. Note: make it in the smaller ball. With the addition of frosting and fondant, everything you had planned will need to increase in size. This adds on time to your baking adventure. Frost the cake like normal. Bonus, it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth because it will be covered in fondant!
2. Color your fondant the right color. This should be done before you frost the cake. Getting this blue took so much food coloring I couldn't believe it. Next time, I am going to use spoonfuls of coloring instead of toothpicks. Having this much food coloring apparently dries out your fondant and it may separate. I made an 8pm Micheal's run just in case I had to redo it. Thankfully it stuck together for this cake! If you need to moisten your fondant, add shortening. It sounds nasty but it's the only way I can get it to work. If anyone has other ideas, I am all ears! Another tip is to cover what you used to bake the cake to make sure you have enough fondant. You don't want to put it on the cake because it will get frosting on it and you'll have to scrape it all off or start over.
3. Cover your cake with fondant and cross your fingers that it is smooth. The problem I always have is that I don't make the fondant thin enough. Although it was thin enough this time, it was so dry that I cracked a little. When that happens you can smooth it out with shortening. Are you sensing a theme here?
For the little rounds on top, I used a #10 round tip and a #1 tip to make a doughnut shape and stuck them on with frosting. I also taped string in the position I wanted it to appear on the hat so I had a guide to trace a straight line.
4. Before you even start on the cake, I would recommend creating a template for the brim. This is made out of cardboard with dowels stuck into the slots inside. I bent it in the middle to get the shape of the brim correct. The men in my life would not settle for a flat brimmed hat!
I outlined the brim in frosting so the fondant would have something to stick to.
5. Shove the brim into the cake. The dowels should go about halfway through and should keep the shape of the brim.
To begin, I covered it in fondant but when I shoved it in, it got wrinkly. Next time, I will stick just the cardboard into the cake.
6. For the brim, I added a bit of gum paste to the fondant. This allows it to stiffen a bit to hold the shape. In order to cut the proper shape, I recommend creating a stencil. At this point, I used a fancy rolling tool to follow the string and create the straight lines. You can also use a knife to create the indent of the line.
7. The logo was cut out of a stencil too. Just use gum glue to stick it on and it is complete!
This last week was full of wedding cake baking, practicing and decorating! I had to practice a bit before actually decorating this cake since this decorating technique was new to me. You know what they say, practice makes perfect!
After baking, the next step is to frost the cake. To see my time lapse video of the frosting process, click here! This is the quick and easy way to show you what goes into frosting the cake. I've decided that I need to invest in a cake lifter so I don't have to drop the top layers down onto the lower layers. The more layers I have to stack, the more dangerous it gets. Disclaimer: the mallet at the end of the video is used to push the dowel all the way through the layers of cake and the boards the cakes are on. It's the secret trick of bakers who aren't strong enough to push the dowel all the way through a layer of cardboard.
After getting the cake stacked and smoothed to my liking, it was time to add the ribbon. I have used ribbon on a cake before but for some reason, this ribbon wasn't being very friendly. After about 2 hours of struggling with the ribbon to stay on the cake and cooperate with me, it was time to move onto the scrolling! Here is another time lapse video of the scrolling process. It didn't take me as long as I thought it would and it was actually pretty fun!
Here is the final product! Once I finished this, I moved onto the small red velvet cake that was used for the cake cutting. While frosting the red velvet, I decided to add the scrolling to finish the look. Having the cake with only ribbon, didn't seem to match with the theme that I was trying to create. Sometimes you have to make a spur of the moment decision during the process. People who know me, know that I am not good at spur of the moment decisions, but I am learning! A few minutes later, the cakes were complete.
After all the work I put into each of my cake orders, I know I am in the right business because I still love it, even on little sleep and covered in frosting.
Today is my cousin, Emma's, birthday! She asked for a volleyball cake with the Saint Mary's Saints logo. I've never done a volleyball cake before but it was worth a shot! I have a ball cake pan so it wasn't very difficult. It comes in two parts so you bake it in two halves and frost it together to look like a ball. It offers a lot of options for sports enthusiasts as you can make anything from a golf ball to a bowling ball. It also comes with templates which are very helpful!
One tip that I have, is crumb coat! Below is a sad version of a crumb coat. It should be thinner for most cakes but I wanted to trace the pattern of the volleyball into it. As you can see, the tracing was a little rough too.
The next step is to trace your pattern with the frosting. If you do it this way, you can cover up any imperfections when you add the next layer of frosting. Who doesn't love being able to cover up imperfections?
My favorite part about decorating these cakes is frosting it using the star tip. I use a 21 tip now. When I first started, I used a 16 and got a hand cramp and clogged tip halfway through. The 21 tip is a lot easier to handle, goes a lot faster and covers a lot more area.
This is the finished product! You can't even see the imperfections! If I were to do this again, I would make the lines stand out a bit more and not have the ball be so fluffy. I may have gotten carried away with the stars...oops!
Now onto the next cake, a wedding for Saturday! I'm off to make 10 batches of frosting! Tune in Saturday for an update on the wedding cake!
Welcome to my blog! Here, I will be posting about my adventures as a young entrepreneur in the bakery business. You will be able to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to keep this business going and everything that is put into cake decorating. Feel free to visit my previous blog at https://lindsaybarta.wordpress.com/ to see what I have done in the past.
Thank you for visiting my website and blog! I hope you enjoyed your glimpse into my dream that is turning into a reality!
I am Lindsay, the owner of Lb Cakes, LLC. I will be updating my blog regarding my adventures of being a young entrepreneur in the bakery business.