Friday, July 30, 2010

We're on Cake Mom one last time!

Cake Mom is wrapping up her Birthday Month with one of our cakes!  Check out the post and her blog here.  Oh, and Happy FRIDAY!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lady Bug 1st Birthday Cake & Cookies

Last week, we had some pretty fun cakes!  This was one of my favorites because the design was just so darn cute!

This birthday girl's Mommy found a Pink Cake Box cake she liked and we adapted it from there.

Since it was her first birthday, we gave her a "smash" cake to match the party cake.

And, they also ordered ladybug cookies that matched both the party invitations and the cake.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cake Spotlight - The Cake Engineer

I just have to share this cake with you all.

It was created by a friend blogger, Roxanne, who calls herself the Cake Engineer.  Funny thing is...she discovered her talent and passion for cakes while pursuing her Ph.D. in engineering.  Sound familiar?

Anyway, she created this cake for her entry into the Threadcakes online cake competition.  You can't tell from this picture, but there was a LOT of work behind this gargantuan cake!  Check out her full process and be sure to vote for her entry!

Great job, Roxanne!

Cupcake Cookies - Birthday Party Favors

Besides wedding favors, cookies are often ordered as birthday party favors.  We usually decorate the cookies in the same colors/styles as the birthday cake so everyone at the party feels like they are really part of the fun and festivities!

We made this cake for Kylie's 13th Birthday party:

The party colors were blue, hot pink, and lime green!  This cake is a perfect example of a typical 13-year-old's cake because zebra print, polka dots, and ribbon roses are SO popular!

The birthday girl got a large cookie that resembled a whimiscal, topsy turvy cake.

And all the party guests got cupcake-shaped cookies decorated with the party's colors!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lemon & Orange Cookies - Wedding Favors

Last week, a bride ordered individually packaged cookies to give to her wedding guests as favors.  They were getting married at the Sweetwater Branch Inn, and her wedding colors were yellow and orange.  Sweetwater really looks fabulous with bright, bold wedding colors.  Remember the fruit cake?  So we knew this wedding would be beautiful too. 

The bride requested that half of the cookies look like oranges...

And the other half look like lemons...

 Debbie decorated the wedding cake, and I think they really complimented each other!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bustier & Monogram Cookies

These are cookies we made for a bridal shower.

 The guests received 1 each of the bustier cookies and the monogram cookies.

Both cookies were made with royal icing in teal, white, and black.  Love them!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cookie Week Kick-off!

Over the last few weeks, cookie orders have really picked up at Ms. Debbie's.  Of course, I want to share them all with you so I've decided to designate this week as "Cookie Week!"

First up, here are some cookies I made this week to be donated to a Ronald McDonald House Open House (ooo, those 5 words together look funny...House Open House...) in Pensacola, FL.  If you know Florida geography at all, you know Pensacola is no where near Gainesville.  But, that's the beauty of cookies - they can be shipped!

The Panhandle Cake C.R.U.M.B.S. coordinate on a lot of events with their local Ronald McDonald House.  Since I competed in their competition in February, I am now included on their club emails!  So when I saw that the Ronald McDonald House needed sugary goodies for their open house, I was excited to be able to contribute!

I originally made some cookies to resemble the Ronald McDonald House Charities logo...but they just weren't as fun as I had planned...

So, I baked up some more sugar cookies and decorated them to send along with the originals!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We're on Cake Mom AGAIN!

The pink roller skate cake has been featured on the Cake Mom's Birthday Cake Month!  Be sure to check out her post.


And, as a side note, I'm trying to talk Adam into going to the roller derby with me.  He thinks it sounds boring, but it's only $5 each so if it's boring, we can just leave, right?!  Other things on my to-see list: the Monster Truck Rally and an official rodeo! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vegetarian Fail

Ok, if my last post didn't make you smile today, this one should do the trick.  This sign was seen hanging outside of an Asian food market in Gainesville:

I'm not kidding!  Adam spotted it and snapped the photo with his iPhone on Monday.  This place is definitely a vegetarian and vegan paradise!

Cute Duckies and a Weird Bug

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a lake in Gainesville on some official business.  There were a lot of ducks there, and they assumed that every visitor was there merely to feed them!  Since we were not aware of these ducks before the visit, we didn't have any food, but that didn't stop them from following our every move. 

There were ducks of all sizes, and they were just adorable!  I thought I'd share a few photos with you today:

And I can't resist sharing this photo with you too!  

 I walked outside one day to find this perched next to our front door.  I took a lot of pictures of him there, but the lighting was really poor so I carefully carried him into the sunlight.  Now, if you know me, you know I do NOT do bugs.  I carried him on a piece of scrapbooking paper (it was the fastest piece of paper I could find).   Every time he moved, I practically dropped him because I jumped so high!  But, he finally made it safely to a small area of bricks and I got a couple of pictures of him.  Then...he flew off and REALLY freaked me out!  You know how you see a bug...and then you lose him...and you constantly feel it crawling in your hair or on your arm for the rest of your day, but it's just your imagination?  Yea, that was me...

But look at that thing!  The body was so huge, and it seemed like his fragile little wings wouldn't be able to lift him.  And those little black cute!  Um...well, maybe not cute...but you know what I mean...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Suitcases Wedding Cake

I am in love with this wedding cake.

This bride gave us a full sketch of the cake she wanted. All the details were there - the styles, colors, swirls, buckles, luggage tags...everything. What creativity!

So it was up to us to bring it to life and give it the little details like textures and seams that make the suitcases seem so realistic.

The top suitcase was covered with white fondant and decorated with a quilted pattern. At each of the intersection points, we piped a blue dot.

The second suitcase was covered with chocolate fondant and decorated with hand-piped buttercream scrolls & swirls. I got a little creative on the handle and made it ergonomic - see the grooves for the fingers? I'm pretty proud of the handle because it's practically the only detail that wasn't in the bride's sketch!

And the bottom suitcase was covered with white fondant and decorated with a textured blue band mid-way up.

The wedding colors were blue and pink, and I think the pink luggage tags add just the right amount of "pop" to the suitcases!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Butterfly Rainforest Cake

Like I said earlier this week, realistic sugar butterflies are "in" right now! It seems like at least one cake per week has butterflies on it lately.

Here's one we did for a girl who worked at the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History on UF's campus. She was celebrating her last day at work before she left town and began another chapter in her life with a new, exciting job!

The cake was covered with green fondant. Then we laid hand-rolled vines around the base and up one side of the cake. And then we covered the whole thing with sugar flowers and butterflies!

Of course, the museum is all about science, facts, and learning so the butterflies had to be as realistic as possible.

I love the butterflies! And I love this cake - so earthy! It almost makes me feel like it would be healthy to eat it! ...almost...

Cake Walk Featured on Cake Mom!

This month, Cake Mom is featuring various readers' cakes as part of her Birthday Month! I submitted a few cakes for consideration and the first one has been featured today! Be sure to check out the post and her blog! Lot's of great ideas and giveaways there!


Also, I want to take a second to comment about my last post regarding flowers on a wedding cake. By no means did I intend to implicate either the florist or the bride for providing too few flowers on the first cake. Sometimes it is difficult to estimate the number of flowers needed to complete the cake design. If it were my choice, I would always order way more than I think I need...just in case. But, alas, it's not my dollar that's being spent! So therein lies the problem. Everyone involved (florist, cake decorator, bride, etc) wants enough flowers for the cake but also wants to spend the least amount of money on the flowers so extra money can be spent on other little details for the wedding.

Of course, we at Ms. Debbie's do not make ugly wedding cakes. *wink* We will adjust the cake design if we need to in order to accommodate the flowers that are left for us. In fact, the second cake in yesterday's post was also supposed to have flowers under the bottom tier. We did not have enough for that so we put some extra fabric to good use. You didn't miss that extra layer of flowers, did you? And had I not pointed out the lack of TONS of flowers on the first cake, you would have loved just as it was, right?

The whole point of yesterday's post was merely to educate you on a common issue. As a bride, this is something you may want to take into consideration and discuss with your cake decorator. As a cake decorator, you'll need to be prepared to improvise. Everybody on the same page now? *smile*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wedding Cakes With Fresh Flowers

Flowers on a wedding cake look very fresh & elegant. Flowers often represent new beginnings so they're perfect for weddings!

When brides choose to add flowers to their wedding cakes, the florist just leaves them at the reception so we can add them when we deliver the cake. Usually, that works out just fine...unless, of course, there aren't enough flowers.

For example, here's a simple white and ivory wedding cake covered with fondant. According to the cake design, we were supposed to add flowers under the cake, under the top tier, and on the top of the cake.

Overall, it's not a bad cake by any means. But just image how much more lush and elegant it would have looked it there were more flowers! There were gaping holes between the yellow roses under the cake, and the topper is simply meager.

Now, look at a buttercream cake we did last week where we were provided plenty of flowers to complete the cake design:

The blossoms were all relatively small so it took a greater number of them to create the full effect. But, I think you'll agree that the flower layer under the top tier looks full, vibrant, and fresh!

And the bride requested two realistic sugar butterflies on the bottom tier. These butterflies are really "in" right now - very earthy and "free." I've got a few more butterfly cakes to show you'll like them!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

White Buttercream Wedding Cake with Dots and Cornelli Lace

This was the very first wedding cake I decorated for Debbie. The cake was iced in buttercream and decorated with buttercream Swiss dots and cornelli lace. What's cornelli lace? Check out this tutorial by Wilton.

I have to admit, I excel at these Swiss dots. If the dots need to be evenly spaced in straight lines, I'm all over it! But...random? Not so much...that one's a real struggle for me.

I could say it's due to my type-A personality or my perfectionist spirit...but it could also be due to my scientific background! We all learned about the Scientific Method in school - Ask a Question, Form an Hypothesis, Perform an Experiment, Collect & Analyze the Data, Draw Conclusions. A well-designed scientific experiment has precise, preplanned steps. For the last 8 years of my life (undergraduate degree in biochemistry and graduate degree in biomedical research), I've lived by the Scientific maybe that's why these perfectly aligned dots come so easy for

This wedding was at the Sweetwater Branch Inn in Gainesville. The room is so pretty in the morning or afternoon light!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Cake with a Story

This is a fun cake we created for a retiring teacher a few weeks ago, but the story behind this cake starts way, way, way before that...

Shortly after I started working for Debbie, I discovered that she was from Stuart, FL. It's where she discovered her knack for cake decorating and first got into the business. She even opened a cake shop there. Well, cakes must not have been on my family's radar because we lived in the area for 11 years and never knew of her shop...

Fast forward about 11 more Debbie has established her cake business in Newberry, FL and I am in the midst of getting my Ph.D. at the University of Florida. Still, we are completely unaware of each other until I finally email her asking for a job.

Now, here we are in July 2010, and I've worked for her for 4 whole months! Then, we get a cake order from someone who lives in Stuart. They'd had some of Debbie's cakes when she lived there, and one more of "Ms Debbie's" cakes was all she requested when she retired. So, her daughter drove up from Stuart to pick the cake up - that's dedication and love!

Well, as soon as the daughter saw me, she said, "You look familiar." Turns out we went to high school together but we never really knew each other! I took choir my freshman year and she was in Opus. For those of you who don't know, choir is for all those people who either think they can sing or just hope to learn. Opus is for those serious folks with real singing talent. Needless to say, I never made it to Opus...

But isn't it crazy how life's paths can run unknowingly parallel and then intersect when you least expect it??? Just makes you think...

This cake was iced in buttercream and decorated with wavy fondant stripes on the top tier and fondant polka dots on the bottom tier. Then we added bunches of red ribbon roses on the top and sides of the cake.

Pink, orange, and red is one of those color combinations that I used to cringe at. But, now I think it definitely works!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

World Cup Soccer Cleat Cake

Last week, for fun and for part of my audition tape to the new Cake Boss show on TLC, I made a soccer cleat cake! Nothing fancy...just a shoe with some Adidas stripes down the side.

But instead of writing "Adidas" on the back, I wanted to write a country's name. At this point, we were down to 4 teams in the finals...and I picked Spain! Why? Because "Netherlands," "Germany," and "Uruguay" were too long to write...

So I'm rooting for Spain today in the finals match! I guess I made a pretty good choice because Paul the Oracle Octopus agrees:

But back to the cake...Our friend Mike was visiting last weekend. He's a big guy. He's 6'8" to my 5'1" give you an idea of the size difference, I once wore my sneakers INSIDE his and walked around the house. Mmhm. So the boy needs food, and he was eying the cake all night. I finally realized that he was not eating it only because he didn't want to make the first cut. But as soon as I said, "Mike, please eat some cake." He stopped what he was doing and said, "Really? How do I cut it?"

It's always fun to watch people cut a cake for the first time so here are the pictures of Mike cutting it:

Notice how he put the let into it...for added emphasis.

Oooo, scary face! Is that the face you make when you play video games???

So who will win the world cup today? Oranje or Roja? Viva la Roja!