Cake Be Happening

I am way into watching Craftsy classes right now, and my learnings are starting to make their way into reality. I picked a cake decorating class to watch, thinking “This will be nice entertainment that won’t tempt me to get into a new hobby.” Yeah, wrong.

Truth is, I love learning how things are made, and I love making things. When it comes to crafting, I’ve reached a sort of critical mass that means I have enough tools and know-how to jump to new crafts easily, and I adore learning new skills. So I’m a complete sucker.

Three little girls ready for cake decorating – meaning eating the scraps Mama cuts off the cake!

We watched the “Startup Library: Cake Decorating” class, and it was excellent. The teacher did a great job explaining why she made all the choices she made, which I find so helpful. The buttercream stuff she was doing was particularly interesting to me (fondant not being worth the trouble of getting it up here). So with the excuse of four half birthdays in our household in October, I splurged on two pounds of butter, and got baking.

Swiss merengue buttercream helper!

I understand now the conflict between frosting that tastes good and that is easy to pipe. I’ve always decorated our cakes with the basic icing sugar + milk, and this recipe that involved a double boiler and egg whites was quite beyond my experience. But it was SOOOO nice to work with.

Stringbean and I spent a quiet afternoon piping roses today. It was so much fun. I was particularly proud of her for being as creative with her mistakes as her successes, and not being too hard on herself.

Stringbean with her corner of the cake, embellished with trailing vines and several of the roses and “sculptures” she made.
My favorite rose that I made was from when the colours were changing in the piping bag. I was particularly proud of the “flower nail” I made out of a milk cap, some aging play-doh, and a camelbak straw.

I started with a plain buttercream coat, then did rustic horizontal stripes around the sides and around the top. (I have a little lazy Susan that works as a good enough turntable.) then I divided it in four, and put vertical stripes in two of the quarters so they looked different. Voila, four quarters for four half-birthdays!

I loaded each quarter with as many roses as I thought could be tolerated in the bounds of taste, and then we piped leaves all over.

Half-birthday girl approves.

Now I’m being asked to make a jack-o-lantern cake for Halloween.


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