Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Royal Sweetness

As I have emersed myself in the world of fabric, I forgot about my old fun place to play: the world of buttercream frosting and cake. A good friend, I used to work with, called me and asked if I would make a princess cake. I haven't made a cake in a long time. Considering I work on the weekends at night, and most parties are on the weekend, making cakes is not conducive to my schedule. I put a lot of effort into each cake and they can easily take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours or more to complete. I do not like to freeze cakes. No matter how many times I read that it locks in the moisture. There's just something about cutting into a fresh cake. I love that feeling and that's what I want people to see and taste when they eat my cakes. Luckily for my friend, this party was going to take place on a Tuesday. I didn't know how good my skills were anymore. I was nervous about this one. I think the last one I made was this princess cake. Boy, was I really rusty THEN... what about now??!! I searched for hours online for ideas on a cute princess cake. I have two boys. I know about transformers, cars, legos, bionicles, bugs, and dirt. Princesses are NOT my thing. I needed some serious inspiration. My go to places to look at cake images are Google images, Yahoo images, and Cake Central. OH MY!! There were thousands and thousands of princess cakes. I didn't like any of them. Thousands and thousands of cakes and I couldn't find a single one that caught my attention. I pulled ideas from different images and started planning... and praying.

12 hours...
12 cups of homemade buttercream frosting...
1.5 cups of royal icing...
8 ice cream cones...
4 sugar cones...
1/2 a bottle of hot pink sprinkles.
1.5 full recipes of WASC (White Almond Sour Cream) cake later...I had turned

100 royal icing flowers
4 turrets
2 double-layered tiers (12" and 8" squares)
into a beautiful Castle Cake!

This is what my kitchen looks like each time I make a cake. It looks like "bakery bomb" went off... TWICE!!! And yes.. I had icing in my hair.. on my clothes.. on the floor... you name it. I believe I even had cake batter splattered on the floor. Don't ask.. I don't know.

This time I ran out of room and had to extend the mess to the dining room table!

See those ice cream cones there... I'm cussing them out as I take this picture. We were NOT friends.

I actually tried to be efficient and I made the royal icing flowers early. That way, if they didn't come out I could go to Plan B... whatever that was. Fortunately, I was able to make 100 royal icing flowers. Every single one of them made it to the cake. Well... except a couple.. my little one thought he could steal a few without me knowing. He hasn't learned that mommy has eyes everywhere.

I even prepared the buttercream frosting for the decorations on the cake ahead of time.

This is a crumb coat. The purpose it to lock in all the crumbs so you don't see any crumbs through your white frosting. Also, if you are in a pinch and can't decorate your cake in one day, apply the crumb coat to lock in the moisture of the cake until you can get to it the next day. A crumb coat is just a really thin layer of frosting. You don't need to apply very much.

And we finally have tears tiers. I cut out a portion of the bottom ice cream cones so that they would sit flush against the cake.

In the end, I showed those cones who was boss! The top of the turret is a sugar cone I covered in frosting and rolled in sugar sprinkles. The window is made of black fondant.

Princess Ariel had her own pond outside of the castle.

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty got to be at the top of the castle.

And finally...
here is a shot of the entire cake..

I am pleased with the way it came out. I am happy to know that while they are rusty.. I still have my skills. The recipient loved it and that is what always makes me the most happy. That wow factor. It's what every designer lives for. Wheather it be through art, sewing, quilting, or cake decorating. It's knowing that you just had a special part in making someone's day special. Happy 4th Birthday Nyelle!!