Sunday, December 20

More Cakes: Princess and Trial-Run #1…

Two little cuties, sisters born one year and five days apart, are having a birthday party today.


A while back, their mom asked if I would be interested in making them a “princess cake.” Said I’d love to on the condition that she bake it and I just decorate it, since that’s the fun part!


I used fondant for the bodice and big dots on the skirt, and buttercream frosting for the skirt and white trim. Not much room on the cake for a “Happy Birthday” message or spot for candles, but I did pipe their names and ages down at the bottom, below the swoopy white hem. I also arranged the dots in alternating columns of 4 and 5 (to correspond with to their new ages); I’m sure they’ll pick up on that symbolism…


Tip: when you’re piping something that goes all around the cake, e.g. an edge border, start at the back. It’s hard to make the start-end junctione as nice as the rest, so why not just hide it out back? Plus, you have a bit of space to “practice” before you get around to the front, i.e. focal point. Case in point: my white swoops… a little wonky in the back, but nice, loopy, and even by the time I got to the front.


* * *

Two other cuties came to visit over Thanksgiving, my younger brother Al and his lovely fiancée, Mary (shown below with my older two, the ones who kindly put a barette in Uncle Al’s hair… to keep it out of his eyes while they read stories perhaps?)


Al and Mary’s wedding is next August and I’m making their wedding cake! Since they were in town, I wanted them to taste-test a recipe for the chocolate layer: Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. (Same recipe as my friend used for the AHG Sheet cakes.) Also wanted them to taste the marshmallow fondant, not on the whole cake, just as accent shapes…

So here’s Trial-Run #1.


Verdict: Yum! Since a certain barette-wearing uncle was looking over my shoulder, reminding me how hungry he was, I hurried and didn’t get the buttercream as smooth as I would’ve liked – I’ve been trying out the “Paper Towel Method” lately. And the top was so crooked. But lucky for us, wrinkles and slantiness don’t affect taste!


I think I’ll do a few more Trial Runs between now and August. I’m pretty sure my family won’t mind that idea…


  1. Ok, so the names on that cake are just impossibly perfect and way cool. What's the secret?

    Love love love the all white cake with the fondant shapes. White on white with different textures looks so elegant. You're trial run cake looks both beautiful AND delicious.

  2. This is why I ask about the lettering. I saw these filigree brownie pops and thought "How beautiful! There must be a way to make them!" I think they'd make great stocking stuffers, but they certainly make an impression as wedding favors.

  3. Karin,

    The cake made their party perfect. Thanks for all your time and effort. I am VERY thankful! You will be rewarded...after Christmas is over! ;-) I need a little time.

    You're wonderful.

  4. Ooh, Chris, those brownies look so nice! So, the secret... 1) don't look TOO close, 2) I love lettering -- be it with pen, marker, frosting, whatever -- so I've developed some skill over the years, 3) frosting that's soft enough so it flows smoothly, 4) non-jittery hands, 5) resting your elbows or wrists on something to help with non-jittery hands... Oh, and I almost forgot: 6) practicing on the counter (or wherever) a few times before going to the cake.

    Thanks, Maryanne. It was certainly fun!

    Thanks, Jenny. So glad it worked out (and that you persevered through the baking!). Seeing the family photo sessions, and your new camera -- drool! -- on your blog gave me an idea for "payment" ... when the weather's nice again... which means Christmas will be LONG over! : )

  5. Great tip about starting your piping on the back! I also loved the white on white frosting effect of the test cake.

  6. Thanks, Alice.

    I like the white on white too, but for the wedding, we'll most likely be using the wedding colors, green and brown. And no bubble letters : )



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