Monday, December 1, 2008
Then came Thanksgiving – turkey cakes, cornucopias, fall leaves, you name it – you made (and ate!) it.
Now it’s December, so you’ve got a whole new month to make awesome cakes. (Hey, the diet can resume in January!)
Here are a few cake decorating ideas you might like:
• Christmas trees
• Presents – with bows, glitter, the works
• ‘Glass’ balls
• Santa and his reindeer
• Winter scenes
• A sleigh
• A partridge in a pear tree
• Traditional white icing with candied fruits and decorations
• Yule logs
• Christmas stockings
Got other great ideas for Christmas cake designs? ‘Tis the season to share!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Also, if you’ve got a birthday, anniversary, homecoming, or wedding you need to do a cake for in October, Halloween is a ready-made theme, which makes it really easy to come up with a creative cake design.
Pretty much anything dark and mysterious will work. Even obvious ideas are a huge hit. You could try:
• Frankenstein monsters
• black cats
• grave stones
• haunted house or castle
• the Grim Reaper
• a scary-looking hand
What other Halloween cakes have you made? We’d love to see! Leave a comment with a link so we can share some inspiration.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Home-Steeped Hope » Snickerdoodle Birthday Cake
Monday, August 4, 2008
Here is a wonderful list of activities that would be great for boys or girls - and they come with the bonus of getting the kids moving, running, jumping, and healthier... all in time for a slice of your amazing cake!
HealthNews Blogs - Kristen DeLeo - Do-It-Yourself Active Birthday Parties for Kids
Saturday, July 12, 2008
And while, sure, you could absolutely create a bird-shaped cake from this recipe, it's just a name!
Anyone know where this cake recipe got its name?
Pleasure Cooker: The best birthday cake ever!
Friday, July 11, 2008
You found a gift at WalMart, wrapped it yourself, and showed up. You left with a belly full of pizza and cupcakes - maybe soda (the naughty indulgence!), a tiny bag of candy, and a big smile. It didn't take much to please us. Pin the tail on the donkey, telephone, maybe a water balloon toss if it was a summer birthday.
And now? Well, a party like that would have "LAME" stamped all over it. Right?
What do you remember about parties? How about now? Here's a case from Sweden that shows how out of control it's gotten.
Adults at war on kids&squo; parties | The Courier-Mail
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Check out these awesome cakes - perfect endings for a summer BBQ.
New York City Cake Decorators Meetup: Member Summer All-Occasion Cakes
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Just imagine being a little kid and knowing that your birthday might come and go without a cake made especially for the occasion. That just shouldn't happen!
Here's a great way you can bake cakes for a cause.
Chattanooga Times Free Press | Inspired by Toni Poulos' example, bakers in four states are starting programs to make free birthday cakes for children
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Perfect for a Star Wars theme - and really not hard to do. What do you think?
Millennium Falcon 4th Birthday Cake - Geeky Curiosity of the Week » Great White Snark
Monday, July 7, 2008
The last thing you might want to do is invite a dozen kids over for a party. Can you imagine the stink in the bouncy house with a bunch of sweaty kids, no shoes, and 90+ degree weather? P.U.!!
So, are you stuck with a Chuck E Cheese birthday party? No way!! (Unless you like it there - to me it's less painful to bash my own head into a wall, but I know moms who can tune out the bells and whistles.)
Here's an article with a LOT of great birthday party ideas that won't have you steaming:
Cool birthday parties (for one hot summer) - Roanoke.com
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Here's a mom and daughter team who's learning cake decorating together. Check it out!
Equal Opportunity Kitchen: She Said - She Said - Cake Decorating Class 4
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Here's a great little article about her. I love her comments on the hazards of tasting! (and her solution)
Jefferson County Journal | News | YOU DO WHAT?: Delicious is part of her company name
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
It usually means a lot of sweeping and wiping after she's "cleaned up" - oh, and one time she made me a special drink in a pink glass and had me take a big sip. Salt water.
But hey, she's trying, and she's interested. And when we work together in the kitchen, she does a lot better. If we can just get her to believe that a recipe is a good thing...
Well, here's another mom who went the extra step to enroll her daughter in a cake decorating class. Check out the homework!
Little Pink Studio: Anybody want some cake?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
You know the show - it features Charm City cakes and celebrity chef Duff Goldman. They can make any cake to look like ANYTHING - even a human ear! (ew.) Talk about extreme decorating - they use blow torches, hack saws, pretty much anything. And half the time, the delivery is just as exciting as the creation!
Mrs. Grossman's snares 'Ace of Cakes' for sticker series - 6/16/2008 12:53:00 PM - Playthings
Hey, if you DO get some of these stickers, let me know - we'll schedule a swap!! But I'm keeping any bubble gum that comes with mine : )
Friday, June 27, 2008
Anyway, if you're anywhere near Plumas County, CA, and you want a chance to win an award for your cake decorating skills, check out this contest. The celebration lasts for four days... I'm thinking your cake might make it... one.
PCN On-line News - Plumas County California -
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Here’s a tip a friend recommended:
Before putting your cake in the oven, wrap a thick, wet towel around the filled cake pan. Pin the edges of the towel closed over the top. This moist heat will help your cake rise more evenly.
You’ll want to keep an eye on your oven when you do this, just in case! If your towel is wet, it shouldn’t pose a fire hazard. But it would certainly put a damper on the whole cake-eating experience if you had to invite the fire department to have a slice, too!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Hey, if you like independent study, you're covered. With all the awesome cake decorating books, videos, and websites out there, you can learn tons of tricks and tips.
However, there are advantages to taking a class that just don't happen on your own. And you might be surprised how easy it can be to find a great cake decorating class near you. Some places to look:
- large craft stores
- cooking schools
- private classes with a professional cake decorator
You could even form your own class or club by getting together with other local cake decorators to learn a new skill. Just post an ad on Craigslist or Meet-Up to find them, and plan an initial meeting somewhere public so you can talk about what you’d all like to learn. (Be safe!)
What can you get from taking a cake decorating class?
- Feedback. Sure, your family loves every cake you make - and they believe you when you say that thing is actually a firetruck - not an apple. But wouldn't you like to hear the truth from other decorators? Feedback is a great way to improve.
- Instant answers. Who doesn't want that in life?! Unlike in a forum or discussion board, where you're never sure the other person actually gets what you're asking, and you always wish you could bring them right into your kitchen for more detailed answers, you can ask questions and get immediate answers in a class.
- Front row view. Watch how other cake decorators fix their goofs rather than just seeing the finished product.
- Cake decorating classes are fun! No algebra involved - ever.
- Eat the evidence. Hey, someone's got to, right?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Have you tried it? Probably not, but just in case you were wondering...
MyHighPlains.com - Cake Decorating
What do you think? Is it a good starter kit for beginners? A waste of money? Or something every cake decorator should own?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I need your help, regarding feedback on online cake decorating classes. « Designer Cakes By Donna
My votes were for sculptured cakes, airbrushed cakes, and the puppy cake. How about you?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
And imagine how special he or she would feel to be welcomed home with such a personal touch.
Guard, Army Corps Provide Flood Relief
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
No, you can't eat them, but they ARE cool. Here's how someone took dessert in a completely different direction.
Fashionable food: This is not dessert - Salt Lake Tribune
Sunday, June 15, 2008
- Flat is best. Decorating a cake that’s uneven on top – bulging, sagging, sloping, or bumpy cake tops are a challenge for any cake decorator. Making sure your cake comes out flat starts as you bake. After you fill the pan, rap the pan on your counter a few times. This helps get the air bubbles out so your cake can bake evenly.
- Let them experiment with different cake decorating tips and icing colors. They’ll be amazed to see how a different tip makes the icing come out in a different shape. They might enjoy even just piping icing onto a plate, and it’s good practice, too.
- Use plain white icing and add some colorful candies to make the cake look beautiful. Gummy candy, M&Ms, licorice, jelly beans, and Star Bursts are perfect for decorating, and couldn’t be easier.
- Try edible flowers. Your kids might say, “Ew!” at first, but they’ll also be amazed to learn there are flowers that can be eaten. Don’t try this with little kids, though – they’ll have a hard time differentiating edible from poisonous flowers!
- Remember it’s just for fun. You’re probably not going to let your kids work on a cake you’re doing for a customer, if you’ve got a business. But if it’s for a family member or friend, there’s really no pressure for perfection. Don’t worry about it coming out as your finest masterpiece – the time you spend together is far more important than the end result.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Good thing for the internet, because a great idea is literally at your fingertips. You can click and find tons of ideas you can either use as is, or else they’ll probably nudge your brain into action and you’ll suddenly find a great way to make that cake.
Here are a few excellent sources for creative cake decorating ideas:
1. Google Images is your best friend online. If anyone’s baked the cake you need to make, and put it online, you’ll find it here. Use quotation marks to get the most relevant search results. For example, if you want to make an iguana cake, type “iguana cake” in the search box and see what comes up.
2. If you could get your hands on an ostrich template… Sometimes you just need a little help in designing the cake. Look for coloring pages online. They’re usually fairly simply designed. Print the coloring page, then get it blown up to the size of your cake. Do a crumb coat on the top of the cake, then trace around the image, shape the cake, then do another crumb coat to seal the cut edges.
3. Forums know all – and they’ll tell you. There are quite a few cake decorating forums out there, and in them you’ll find some of the nicest people in the world. They’re usually happy to share their experience, photos, and advice. Chances are, whatever you’re trying to make, someone in a forum has done it. Just remember that forums are a give and take situation – be sure to be a giver, and you’ll become a valued member.
So, the next time you find yourself stumped in your search for creative cake decorating ideas, get yourself online and find something awesome to bake!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
You stand back to take a look at your masterpiece, and even amaze yourself that you made a cake that rivals the eighth wonder of the world. But… the more cakes you make, the more alluring those cute and easy novelty cake pans might seem.
Are you cheating by trying them? Do you become a disgrace to cake decorators everywhere? No! Give them a try!
There are at least a few great reasons to use novelty cake pans:
1. Easy as… cake! Just mix a cake, pour it into a greased and floured pan, bake, and decorate. No engineering or architectural talent required.
2. Using a novelty cake pan gives you a good opportunity to practice decorating using an icing bag. Because the cake comes out with slight markings to show the details, you’ve got a built-in guide to follow as you decorate.
3. You can find a novelty cake pan for almost any theme out there, including licensed characters, animals, teen themes, sports, holidays, and everything in between. My favorite source is…….
4. Novelty cake pans aren’t that expensive – especially if you plan to use it more than once. And with some of the pans, you can use the same pan to make more than one animal – for example, there’s a cute teddy bear pan you can use to make a frog cake.
The downside to buying a boatload of these pans is storage. They don’t exactly stack neatly! But there’s good news here, too. There’s a hot market for these pans, even used. So if you buy one and use it for a while, you may not have to store it forever – put it up on eBay, and it becomes more like you rented it!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Peg taught me some of the most helpful tips ever:
- Icing can fix anything!
- If you think about it long enough, you can figure out how to make any cake you want to. It’s just a matter of looking at the parts and how they fit together.
- Don’t get black icing on your hands – it doesn’t come off!
- You don’t have to use fondant to make a smooth-looking cake. You can do it by dipping your spatula in hot water before each stroke.
Edible Art’s secret recipes for cake and icing should be patented. They are delicious beyond words, and so good that even with their eyes shut, lucky
Friday, May 30, 2008
Here’s a handy little guide:
8” round, 2 layers 10 – 14 guests
9” round, 2 layers 12 – 16 guests
8” or 9” square, one layer 9 guests
13” x 9” sheet cake, one layer 12 – 16 guests
10” tube pan 12 – 16 guests
12 cup Bundt pan 12 – 16 guests
9” loaf pan 8 – 10 guest
Need twice as many? Just make another layer! Need half as much? Too bad! Stick to cupcakes or blow your diet (smile).
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I haven’t tried one yet, but have been looking into how they work. Basically, an airbrush is used to spray ink (or in the case of a cake decorator, food coloring!). You load it up, pull the trigger, and then a stream of air goes through the airbrush, carrying the color with it and spreading it out on the surface of the cake. You can load the airbrush with more than one color at a time to get that rainbow look. You can use an airbrush to do the background of a cake or to give it kind of a tie-dye looks.
Apparently it takes some practice to get your airbrush to do what you want it to. Lots of professional decorators use them, and swear by them. So it’s worth a try!
Have you used an airbrush for your cakes? How did they come out? Any tips or tricks you’d like to share?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Welcome to the Beast and Bug Cake blog! My name's Sue "The Cake Mom" Anderson, and I'm also the author of the Beast and Bug Cakes Guide, which is on birthday cakes for boys (and nearly finished with the Critter and Cricket Cakes Guide, which is on birthday cakes for girls).
You can hop on over to my web site at www.beastandbugcakes.com to sign up for the free newsletter, Life's a Party! which sends you tons of great tips, tricks, and easy ways to add fun to your family's daily life (and special occasions, too!).
Meanwhile, why not take a look around my blog, hang out, have a cold glass of milk and a slice of cake, click around a bit, bookmark it, and be sure to check back regularly for all the latest yummy morsels.
And don't forget to leave a comment and give your two cents about turning your family life into a party!