Thursday, December 4, 2008

Three Thanksgivings !!!

This year we had the privilege of celebrating Thanksgiving three times!!! We sure have lots to be thankful for, especially when our enormous family of many ethnicities and religions come together and eat good food!!
So, the first thanksgivings' feast was at Grandma Mary's house, my husband's granny on his mom's side. We had a delicious ham feast with all the fixin's. I made this cute little cake for the small 8 person gathering.
It's two baby turkeys on a birch log. I stacked up some six inch rounds and fondanted them. It looks much bigger than it actually turned out. It was pretty small, about the size of a coffee can.

Then, on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we had another feast at my mom and dad's house. This time my sister and brother in law brined this turkey and cooked it, it was soooooo juicy and delicious. And my mom made her sausage stuffing, and I made some cheesy buttery Paula Deen green beans, they were so good!!
Oh, and I also made this cake, another weeping Cherry tree.

I found this famous painting on Google. My mom really liked it, she told me that my dad bought it at an art museum the first time our family took a trip to Japan. And, that's bamboo behind the picture. I painted it all around the cake. Also, my assistant helped me greatly by cutting out each of the gazillion little teeny pink blossoms out of fondant with a teeny little cutter. Aren't they pretty?? I also added some Japanese characters to the other sides, one for "family", one for "health" and one for "happiness" which is what I felt especially thankful for on this second day of Thanksgiving feasting.
More to come......

Friday, November 7, 2008

~ Happy 32nd Birthday Chris !! ~

My soon to be brother in law, John, works at ebay (YAY ebay!!) Just as a side note I think I still have about six bins in the garage that are full to the max with yarn I bought on Ebay. I love buying stuff on there!! I buy all my shoes there too. Hey, where else can you find size 4 platform boots??
So, one of John's coworkers, Kathy, emailed me and asked for a sushi cake for her husband's birthday. She's so nice! And she has a very cute and friendly dog Patrick.
I can't ever duplicate any of my cakes, for one I'd be spending too much time worrying about it not looking identical, and also, I really like to "one up" my creations, especially when I'm doing something similar to what I've done before.
So, this said, I decided to forget about the boring old dish that the other sushi cake had, and go for the gusto, and make a sushi boat! It seems more "manly" anyway, a big honkin boat, ya know what I mean?
The cake is a banana cake, and the filling is a banana swiss meringue buttercream. kids are now licking the bowl of leftover frosting. I guess it's one of the perks they have.
The base is a large brownie for any non-banana lovers. Oh, and the sushi are rice krispies covered in fondant, and the sushi rolls are cake too. You can barely see that one of the chopsticks says Happy 32nd Birthday Chris on it.

Anyway Happy Birthday Chris!! Hope you have a great party, and I hope you enjoy your cake!

Friday, October 31, 2008

88th Birthday !!

Today I made a cake for my dear friend Gayla's grandpa. He turned 88!! Amazing, and he looks not a day older than 65.
In the Japanese culture, 88 is a very special age. The two kanji characters, "bei" which means rice, and "ju" which means longevity and good fortune, are combined ~ "bei-ju" to celebrate someone who's turning 88's long fortunate life. I got these kanjis from my mom, by the way, I am not one of those smart culture savvy people who just knows these things.
I researched trees in Japan, and found that one of the three most famous trees is a weeping cherry tree, which I thought was so beautiful. My mom has one in her front yard and it just so happens that it blooms on my wedding anniversary. It's really cool. Back to the tree thing- I read that the samurai believed that sitting under a cherry tree while eating was good luck, and also it was extremely lucky to have a cherry blossom fall off of the tree into the food you were eating. So, I thought it would be symbolic to have blossoms that "fell" off the tree scattered on top of the cake. I hope they enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it. I'm definitely making another tree cake for my mom.

~~ Happy Birthday !!! ~~

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy 50th Makoto ! Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!

We have friends who we met through preschool a few years ago, Michiru and Makoto. Their two little girls are so beautiful and very sweet. Michiru had a surprise birthday party for Makoto's 50th today! What a wonderful wife :)
They are avid wine enthusiasts, and had some wonderful wine for us to taste. Thanks you guys!!
So, I decided that a wine cake would be a perfect way to celebrate Makoto's birthday, and I found his Japanese character for his name, and made him his own bottle of wine. I put the wine cake in a box made out of cake and painted to look like wood. Then my daughter and I shaved white chocolate and placed it around the bottle to simulate the packing straw. Last, I added his year of birth on the side of the box. 1958, a very good year!

~ Leemo (Nemo) Cake ~

I made this cake for our friend Chase, for his fifth birthday. He is the sweetest little guy! He calls it the "Leemo cake" ~ so cute! I even got two hugs from him for this cake! Amazing to me, since my own son won't hug me unless I bribe him with m&ms.
I used two new techniques on this cake. One, I carved the shell of the sea turtle before I iced and fondanted it. I saw it done on the food network cake challenge.
The other technique I also saw on another food network challenge, using fondant over rice krispies and sculpting it. This one I saw on the Dr. Seuss challenge. It was much easier than I anticipated, and the fishies turned out better than I expected. I was very proud of this cake! And, my daughter even made the starfish and covered it with fondant and painted it herself! I am so proud of my new apprentice!
Even though it took me 12 hours to make, it was so worth it for the hugs and appreciation from Chase!

~ Happy Birthday Chase !! ~

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back to School !!

My baby brother has gone back to school in Irvine. We miss him so much! Hope school is going good for him, I think he only has a year and a half left?
To encourage him to study hard and triumph over the many hours he will spend reading and cramming through those heavy college textbooks, I thought it would be a good beginning to a new school year if he devoured this cake the way he will devour all that knowledge.
I downloaded the official "seal" of the University of Irvine, and painted it onto a round piece of fondant, which I then affixed to the front of this gold-paged book.
The book itself is painted in a bluish purple metallic luster dust, which made it shine and look pretty :)
Study hard, Eric !!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Sweet 16 Emily !!

So, my daughter's friend's sister's friend (whew!) is turning 16, and her mom called me and asked me to make a cake for Emily's party. What a cool mom!!!! I hope I am a "cool" mom when my daughter turns 16 too!
She wanted a New York themed cake, and so I added cutouts of New York buildings and "spotlights" coming from the top of the buildings, to celebrate Emily's special day. The tiers were cut so they were crooked, which is easier said than done, and I think it adds a cool touch! And what sweet 16 cake is complete without little silver dangly balls??
Happy Birthday Emily!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Na zdrowie (to your health! - in Polish)

My hubby's family had a great big family reunion yesterday. It was so much fun, to hang out with cousins and uncles and grandmas and "great" relatives (great grandma, great uncle, great great uncle, etc.) Yes, our kids have all four great grandmas, lucky ducks!
Our Grandma Hedy, the Matriarch of the family, is Polish, and therefore I decided to make a cake to honor her heritage. Grandpa Jess, rest his soul, was Portuguese so I decorated the "platter" in a design I found online for a Portuguese pottery piece.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy 50th to John and Mary !!!

So, I met Yvonne at the party that was thrown for Dave (Jazz cake). She's so nice! She emailed me and asked me to make some cakes for her inlaws' wedding anniversary. One of the cakes was the 'wedding cake', which was stacked presents with flowers in between, and the other cake was the 'grooms cake', which had a golf theme. They came out really cute, and it was the first time I ever made a carrot cake (bottom tier of the golf cake). I made the golf balls out of gumpaste and painted their names on them. So cute!
~Congrats John and Mary! ~

Sunday, July 27, 2008


So, when I look at other people's cake blogs, I always see a "sushi cake". I decided that it was something I should make, like a rite of passage to the world of cake blogging.
I made this cake for no special reason, and so my family was all surprised when I showed up for dinner with this cake.
The round cake is actually a brownie, and the square is cake. The sushi is all little pieces of cake, covered in fondant, and the "rice" nigiri is rice krispie treats covered in fondant.
My daughter claimed the shrimp one as soon as it was finished, it's her favorite.
It was so funny too, my dad had one of the "tuna" nigiri's, and he held in between his two fingers and ate it like a real piece of sushi.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go Irvine Anteaters!!!

So, our baby brother is in college now. He goes to UC Irvine. Seeing him graduate from high school made me feel so old. Even older than when I had my second child. I swear, my brother will always be 15 years old in my mind. So when people ask me how old he is, I really have to think hard.
I made this cake for my brother, he loves video games. But I think this must be a few years old, because he doesn't play his playstation anymore, mostly he's on his laptop doing his gaming.
This playstation cake has an anteater on top of it, because it's UC Irvine's mascot.
I kept calling it an aardvark, and he kept patiently reminding me that it is an anteater.
We love you Eric !!!

Congratulations Kari and Tom !!!

I have this great friend, Kari, who I have known since seventh grade. She is one of the most sweet, patient, kind, people I have ever met. We have been through a ton of stuff together, and now she's marrying a wonderful guy named Tom. They are getting married in Hawaii, and last weekend she had a bridal shower. I made her this tropical themed cake and mini cakes to go with it.
It was much easier to make the mini cakes that I had expected. But it also took twice, if not more, time than I had expected.
I also transported the cakes for a three hour drive to the shower location! Now I know how the guys on Ace of Cakes feel when they deliver cakes hours away. It's crazy, and thank goodness for air conditioning, that's all I can say about that.
This was also the first time I had used fresh flowers. I didn't have floral tape, and don't really know how to put them in, so I wrapped the stems with tiny pieces of saran wrap before I poked them into the cakes. I think they turned out pretty cute!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cupcake Hat

So, I mentioned in my profile that I have oodles of yarn stashed away. I love to knit in my free time, it's so relaxing and you really get that sense of accomplishment when you look down and see the beautiful product you've made.
On a sillier note, I knit this cupcake hat for the kitty. She was not very happy to try it on, though she did stay still long enough to take a picture.

tee hee hee !!!

And, since I'm talking about the kitty now, here's her halloween picture.
The kids kept laughing because the chicken hat looks like a pair of underwear!

Oh, and here's another one, with my mom in law's puppy. They look so adorable in their pink crocheted sweaters! hee hee
And, no, they're not friends hanging out together. They were taking a rest from their many chases and fights around the house. My hubby called it "the battle of the pink sweaters". so funny!

See the yarn stash in the corner ? :)

Pizza Cake

If there was one thing my son could bring on a deserted island, it would probably be pizza.
The kid lives for pizza. In fact, whenever the doorbell randomly rings, he thinks it's the pizza guy and he starts to do a little dance.
So it only made sense when I asked him what kind of party he wanted to have, that he said he wanted a pizza party. I really enjoyed planning the party, as well as making the cake. It was really easy, I just went and bought a bunch of pizza boxes and filled them with play dough and plastic playdough cutters that resemble pizza cutters, and little wooden rolling pins and aprons.
The little pizza boxes are little cakes, and the pizza on the very top is made of fondant.

Zoom zoom cake

So, we had a small birthday party for our son at my parents house, I think it was actually on his real birthday. We were planning to have a party at the park with friends a few days later. But he had recently started having these huge melt downs when people sang happy birthday to him, so this was a cake I made for the trial run. Of course he melted down and ran out of the room when we sang, but the cake was really good! A few days later at his actual party (pizza cake), we quickly cut the cake before anyone noticed, and skipped singing the forbidden song. It's been two years now and we still haven't sung to him, although he has stopped freaking out at other people's parties, and actually sang the song once for someone else. Baby steps, I keep telling myself.
The road is painted with powdered food color and lemon extract, and all of the little cars are hand made and many are modeled after a car belonging to someone we know, like the little flat white one on the very top of the picture is my sister's convertible and the blue one above the "h" in birthday is my friend's Prius.

Pajama Madness

So, this year my daughter wanted to have a sleepover. But, some of the invitees on her list were boys, so I didn't think it was a very good idea. After brainstorming for a bit, we agreed to have a pajama party, where the guests would come in their pajamas, we would have movies and junk food and games and such. It was such a fun party, both for her and for us. Several parents stayed and hung out, ate, and drank a few margaritas with us, so all around everyone was happy.
The cake I made was of two pillows with a popcorn container on top. I made the popcorn out of fondant, and the cupcake on top is a candle I got from Target. The cake was decorated with all of her favorite candies, and incorporated her favorite colors.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rattatouille Cake

We absolutely loved that movie, even if you don't have kids it's so funny and enjoyable. I guess that once you have kids, you feel obligated to see all the kids' movies. I don't remember the last time my husband and I went to see a movie by ourselves.
Last year my daughter decided to have a Rattatouille birthday party, so I made her this cake. I ordered the figurines from ebay, but all of the other decorations, the little veggies, and the spoon too, are made from gumpaste.

Bon Apetit ~

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Crazy Quilt Cake

Here's another cake I made for my mom on her birthday. I actually made it the same day as the one I made for my cousin, the blue one with the necklace. Their birthdays are 8 days apart, so we had a party for the both of them on the same day. It was good time management on our parts.
Anyway my mom was working on a crazy quilt at the time, which is a quilt with no defined pattern. It's a random fabric piecing creation, like a hodgepodge of textures and colors. Some of the pieces are embroidered, some are embellished with beads or buttons.
My daughter, K, made all of the little buttons and added all of the details on them, the little holes, and designs. She did such a great job! My little helper. :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Quilt Cake

My mom is the reason for my creative urges, growing up, crafts and art were incorporated into many of our afternoons. So it only makes sense that making things is part of my life.
My mom's passion is quilt making. She takes classes, collects books, watches the shows on tv, and disappears into her quilting room for hours and hours to finish her masterpieces.
One year, on her birthday, I decided to make this quilt cake for her.
Instead of using fondant, I used white modeling chocolate. She doesn't prefer fondant, so I felt that I should use something else, especially since it was her birthday. So I tried the chocolate. It was kind of weird, but because of the oil in the chocolate it didn't stick to the counter when I rolled it out, and it went on pretty well. It doesn't stretch like fondant, so you really have to get your ruler out and make sure you have rolled it big enough.
And then, using a template I printed out off the internet, I traced the quilt pattern, and painted it with luster dust.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spiderman is for Girls too!

Yes, my daughter has never been one of those frilly types, one of those girls who freaks out when they get their white tights dirty. In fact, I can't remember the last time she wore tights. I think I probably had to pay her to do so.
For her 6th birthday, she wanted to have a spiderman party. I was more than happy to make a cake, though I had to make it on the same night as the bug cake, so it was kinda rushed.
But, not too bad for my second fondant cake, I must say.
And, yes, I still can't pipe to save my life. That's something I must work on this summer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy New Year 2008 !!

Ok, so it's not January. But I have all these cake pics, now that my wonderful family members have dug through their archives and found them for me. I must admit, after I work on a cake I often forget to take a picture. I know, it's lame of me! But usually I finish just in the nick of time, and am running out the door with the cake as I am shaking the cornstarch out of my hair, ha ha (no seriously I am)
So, this is one that I made for a New Years celebration that my family has at my grandma's house every year. I think this may be the first one I made for that occasion. Anyway I was inspired by my lovely sister and her man.
In case you are wondering what the heck it is, it's supposed to be rice cakes, called mochi, stacked up and a tangerine on top. The name for this is Kagami Mochi. This is something that is a traditional Japanese decoration for celebrating the new year. The two cakes symbolize the past and the future, or yin and yang, etc. See what you can learn from wikipedia??? (and this blog)

Bug Cake ~ where it all began

So, I always wanted to be the type of mom who made her kids' birthday cakes and halloween costumes. Well, I accomplished the first one, at least.
The first time I tried covering a cake with marshmallow fondant was so frustrating. I remember that the darn fondant kept sticking like crazy to the countertop! I would dust the counter, roll it all smooth and perfect, then go and try to pick it up and it would be totally stuck like glue to the counter. In fact, I had to roll it back up and walk away several times. But I never gave up, because I was so determined to get that cake done. That, and there was no plan B. So, finally I decided to use a TON of powdered sugar on the countertop, and dust and dust after every time I rolled, and voila, it worked like a charm!
My son, *T*, loved to lay on the ground and watch ants for hours. Sometimes he would find a tiny spider and follow it around, eventually catching it and bringing it to me (eek). So, for his third birthday, I made him a bug cake. He had a bug themed party, I bought a pack of ladybugs from the hardware store, and a bunch of plastic take out containers from a wholesale store, and the kids made their own "bug houses". It was so cute.
Anyway back to the cake. I bought this stuff called 'candy clay' that looked like playdough and had these wonderful flavors, like the green one was green apple, and the red one was cherry, etc. And I made a hundred or more bugs, ladybugs, caterpillars, bees, beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. I did this over the week before the party. I even fished out little black sprinkles from my multicolored sprinkle bottle and used them for eyes.
After I finally got the fondant on, I used the leftover fondant, colored a darker green, to make grass. I rolled it out, cut a strip, fringed it with some kitchen scissors, and glued it on with water.
Then I piped a swirly vine all over the cake and added leaves, and put all of the little bugs on with a little icing for the glue. I was so proud of this cake, it turned out so cute!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kitty =^..^=

This isn't really about cake, much, but I took this picture while I was in the midst of decorating a cake. This sums up what sort of activities are happening in my house as I'm running back and forth like a mad scientist at two in the morning. Oh, well, I'm a stay at home mom who loves to spend time with my kids, so all cake related stuff is done when they're sleeping.

Dave and Renee's cakes

Ah, Dave and Renee. These people are definitely some of the nicest ones I've ever met. They are so easygoing, and friendly. True friends for life.
I made a 50th birthday cake for Dave, who is a jazz band teacher. When I delivered the cake I was totally blown away at how many people were there to celebrate his greatness!
The bottom cake is a trombone case, and the other cakes are decorated with fondant and painted to look like wrapped presents. I purchased a miniature trombone from ebay and put it on the top by the "50". I also bought edible rice paper and printed out sheet music onto it and used it to decorate. Also, I had some edible ink pens so I cut small pieces of rice paper and asked his students to write little messages for him and we scattered them around the cake.

And, some friends had a surprise birthday party for Renee, and the theme was a 'tea party', so I decided it was fitting to make a teapot cake.
Looking back, I really should have looked at more teapots before I made this spout. Renee joked that it was phallic. (I guess it really is) hee hee!!!

Happy birthday guys!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monkey Cake

So, we were visiting my in-laws, and my favorite niece was having a birthday. I asked her what kind of cake she wanted and she requested monkeys. Not exactly what you would expect a six year old to say, right? But I love a challenge. Which is what I had. A huge challenge. What do you do when you're hundreds of miles away from home without any of your cake stuff?? It was totally like a food network cake challenge. I had only three hours to complete it, before they came back from the pool. So I used what I had, amongst my mom in law's huge collection of kitchen tools, and after a quick trip to Joann's, and I think it turned out really cute! My niece loved it too, which is the most important part anyway.

~~ Love you T* ! ~~

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

~~ *Cheers !!* ~~

These are cakes that I made for my friend. She ordered one for her father in law's birthday, and one for her father's birthday. I thought that I would put them together since they seem like they would compliment each other in a bar. hee hee!

~~Tapas Cake~~

This one is all edible, from the manchego cheese in the center, to the little bowls of tapas. The bowls themselves are little cakes covered in fondant, and the tapas are made of white chocolate clay. The very bottom is a large brownie I covered in fondant and then painted to look like a big wooden board.

~~ Pacifico Beer Cake ~~

The next cake is a Pacifico beer bottle. This was one of the most difficult cakes I have ever made, because it required much planning and structural support. I had to screw a dowel to a square board for the center, and build the cake around it. The bottom part of the bottle is cake, and the top is a foam 'cone' that I shaped with a saw. I mixed a ton of cocoa powder into the fondant to make it that dark brown color, and then after covering the bottle, I rubbed shortening all over it to make it all shiny. Oh, and I cut the label out of yellow fondant and hand painted the details onto it, and stuck it on the bottle with some royal icing. Whew!

Christine's Birthday Cake

Aren't cousins wonderful? I am one of the few lucky people who had a great cousin to grow up with. We're the same age, and I think that because our moms are sisters we hung out together alot during our childhood.

My cousin is a custom jewelry designer. Hm. Maybe custom stuff is in our genes somewhere, some ancient japanese thing in our bloodline......

Anyway this is one of her amazing creations, it's called 'Haiku Necklace - Plum Blossoms and Branches' - isn't it so beautiful ??

And this is the birthday cake I made for her, with its own version of the necklace made of fondant and painted with luster dust.....

OK, now go check out her website!

We love you Christine!!!! You're the best!!!


First Blog !

Hello, I am a self taught cake decorator. I don't know very much about baking, but I love sculpture and since fondant is like clay, I was pretty comfortable using it. I started out making cakes for my children's birthday parties and other family functions. It has become one of my passions now, and I make cakes all the time, for friends and friends of friends, etc.

Here's one of my latest cakes.

~~Teddy Bear Cake~~

My sister had a baby shower for her friend, who's having a baby girl!

The bears and lollipops are all made out of fondant, which disappointed my kids so much! They took a bite out of the lollipops and made a very interesting expression, immediately followed by a glare in my direction. heh heh.

~~ Indiana Jones Cake ~~

This next cake is one I made for my son's buddy. He had a cool Indiana Jones party, and what party is complete without a cool Indiana Jones cake ??

The skull is made of hard crack sugar, I bought this really cool 3 dimensional mold from this place ~ ~
Anyway the molds are made for chocolate, but if you cool the sugar by pouring it out onto a silicone mat, and wait until the sugar no longer sticks to the mat, it should be cool enough to handle and actually pick up and stuff into the mold. Since the mold is 3 dimensional, there are two sides to "stuff". When they cooled completely, I used a lighter to melt the edges and stuck them together. It was very cool. The kids at the party kept asking if they could have it. I was like, "ummm, ask your mom"
The bottom part is supposed to look like the building where Indy goes to find the holy grail. I used a cake made in a sand castle pan and sliced off the very front of the cake, which is basically the door and two pillars, and cut a big square hole in the front of my 6 layer square cake, stuck the sliced parts in there, cemented it in with frosting, and covered the whole thing with fondant. You can't see my handy work because the skull is in the way.
Oh, and under the hat, I cut a large hole and put a little plastic cup with some water and dry ice in it, and it created some fog, which you can barely see coming out from under the hat.
Not too shabby for a six year old birthday party, eh ??

~~ Emmalene Cake ~~

And, this cake was made for my dear friend's baby shower. She had already picked the name! lucky me! the flowers are all made from gumpaste, and I made the crown and lettering out of royal icing. The crown idea was obtained from my Collette Peters cake book, my bible!!! In retrospect, I needed like three more days for the icing to completely dry. The crown and lettering were painted with luster dust.

** Pam **