Friday, April 17, 2009

Play on, Player

Happy Tax-Due-Date! Er-- I mean... Happy Birthday, Bryan! :-)
My younger brother's birthday was April 15th. While many people were scrambling to get their tax returns into the mail, I was busy planning out his cake. Now last year, I made Bryan his WOW laptop cake. I didn't stray too far from this, since I still kept in the theme of video games. ...Bryan's a gamer. :-) Nothin' wrong with that!

Bryan's girlfriend, Amanda, helped me decide on the SNES that I ended up making. I was struggling between a few different ideas and she helped me settle on this one. Thanks, Amanda!

I sketched out (forgot to take a pic of my sketch this time) about 15-20 little Mario Bros characters and a rough sketch of the SNES (it's a pretty simplistic boxy form) and got to work!

I tried to use only the icing, but the shape just wasn't coming out right so I covered it with fondant. It made a huge difference.

Bryan's SNES birthday cake and Mario Bros cupcakes:

Half of the Mario Bros cupcakes in closer detail:

Other half of Mario Bros cupcakes:

Side view of the cake and cupcakes, and the color-cordinated HAPPY BIRTHDAY candles:

Love these candles!:

Right before I revealed the cake to Bryan, after the candles were lit:

Everyone checkin' out the cake (left to right, mom Sue, Bryan's girlfriend Amanda, brother Paul, sister-in-law Jesi, birthday boy Bryan, and dad Phil) :

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


My brother's girlfriend, Amanda, had a birthday March 24th. Last year I did a fairy cake for her because she loves fairies so much... This year, I decided to go with her other great love-- penguins!!

I wanted to do something different for the cupcakes, though, and decided to go with a "musical" theme for those. One of the things Amanda and I share is a love for musicals (I have a broader love, 'cause Amanda only goes for those sad, angst-y ones, and I have quite a list of ones that I really enjoy... But it's still something we have together :-)) I used gumpaste (first time playing with the stuff!) and made little cupcake toppers from the musicals Rocky Horror Picture Show, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Little Shop of Horrors.

So! She asked me to make the cake with a chocolate shortbread cake recipe that was her grandmother's. I decided to just use our simple cream cheese icing recipe on both the cake and the cupcakes (which were carrot cake), since no one likes picking off fondant from my cakes!! :-)

I had a little bit of a mishap with the penguin (which was a representation of Amanda in penguin form), which really upset me... I bought a new 3D egg-shaped cake pan, and was totally excited to use it. I thought with the icing between the two layers, and the skewers I'd put through for the iPOD and the beak, it would hold together. Well, everything was nice and perfect all the way through the decorating process... The trouble started after I put it in its box and then took it back out to take pictures, and then put it back in the box. Since the two layers were vertical, they started to slump and crack at the seams. Luckily, since it was in the box over night, it was propped up. I was able to patch it up before showing Amanda, and it looked like it was laying back, relaxing and listening to music. About 3o minutes after blowing out the candles, it finally broke down and it looked like its skull broke open... :-) Ahh well, everything worked out ok. I'll know better next time!!

So everything on the cakes and cupcakes is edible, although neither gumpaste nor fondant tastes all that great... :-) I used gumpaste on the cupcake toppers, as I said earlier... I also used it to make the little purple (Amanda's favorite color) flowers, the penguin's feet and beak, and the iPOD. I used fondant on the iPOD's earbuds.

Initial sketch of Amanda-Penguin:

The final product (pre-slouching! :-)), Amanda-Penguin, purple flowers, listening to The Dresden Dolls' "Coin Operated Boy" on her iPOD:

My dad and my younger brother, Bryan (Amanda's boyfriend) watch as Amanda checks out her cake and cupcakes:

Amanda models her favorite musically themed cupcake (the lips from Rocky Horror):

MY favorite cupcakes (of course!!) out of the batch-- Nessarose's ruby slippers and Elphaba's hat from Wicked:


Annie's Edibles's Fan Box