Friday, June 3, 2011

Birthday Cake!!! And Cupcakes!!!

I was asked to make a birthday cake for a coworker last week before going out of town for a few days. It was a bit crazy to get that and 3 dozen red velvet cupcakes for my husband's coworker done in the few nights before a trip to the Caribbean to see my brother get married, but I made it all work. I'm still not sure how it all came together, time must have taken pity on me and slowed down a little.

The cupcakes were velvet cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream frosting. No cream cheese frosting and no decorations. Luckily that was not difficult, it just took some time the night before leaving the country. My husband delivered the cupcakes since he was staying here. He told me that his coworker loved them and they were just what she needed. It was her daughter's birthday and she wanted something to bring in to her class, but knew she wouldn't have time to make it. It worked out well for everyone and it sounds like they all enjoyed the cupcakes!

Back to the birthday cake...My coworker wanted a birthday cake that wasn't too huge, but was two tiered, black/white/hot pink, shaped like a gift box and used the flavors from the Drunken raspberry cake truffle. Baking the layers and the initial layer of hot pink frosting was easy, I even split the layers and put a little raspberry jam in between. But I made sure to give myself lots of time for decorating.

I chose to use buttercream as the foundation because most people I talk to do not like the taste of fondant. Fondant may have a smoother appearance, but I haven't met anyone that actually likes the taste. Why have a pretty cake that no one wants to touch? I did use fondant for the decorations. She gave me a picture of a cake with tiger stripe-like decorations and I knew it would look best in fondant. I also made the ribbon on the box in fondant.

I haven't used fondant before, I was just winging it the best I could. The ribbon and side decorations looked good, but there was still the bow on the gift box to be done. I followed the directions on the fondant box (I bought it because I knew I was short on time) to make the bow. The pieces were not dry enough to put together that night, so I had to wait until the morning I was taking the cake in to work to assemble the bow...risky, I know.

I put together the bow right after waking up so it could set up before being moved to the cake. By the time I was leaving for work, I could tell it had sagged a bunch. I put the bow on and took pictures, which turned out nice. But then the bow was sagging even further than eventually broke. Rather than crying about it and being upset, I had to come up with plan B...and quick! I had a white gift bow that I put on top, hoping it would be good enough. I took some pictures and carefully drove in to work.

I gave her the cake and she loved it!!! I was so excited. I was hoping I had incorporated all the elements she wanted in the way she imagined. Its always nerve racking, but its good in a way because that forces me to be a perfectionist and produce the best product that I possibly can. Pictures will be posted this weekend for all to see. Enjoy!!!

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