Welcome to our blog!! We are learning to decorate cakes and loving every minute of it!! Join us by following our journey of designing and decorating cakes! Thanks for your interest and let us know what you think of our cakes by leaving a comment! -- Margie and Joy

Friday, January 15, 2016

Christmas Fun - Cookies and Gingerbread Houses

Joy and I have always wanted to do a gingerbread house... but unfortunately, we just do not have the time during the busy holidays to make them.  After Christmas, we were so excited to find Wilton gingerbread kits for 50% off... although it wasn't exactly what we planned or envisioned us making, we decided it might be a good first try. We bought LOTS of candy and planned out a few hours on a Saturday. Well, we thought it would only take us a few hours, but it took over 6!!! It was actually a lot of fun and even relaxing... we also learned that whenever we decide to make a full gingerbread house from scratch, we had better set aside a good chunk of time!    

Wilton Gingerbread Houses

Joy made her roof tiles out of rolled Starbursts... the bricks are made from Extremes.

My roof tiles, bricks and chimney stones were made from rolled spiced gummies. The chimney and porch were made with graham creackers and covered with candies.

Christmas Cookies!!
Someone asked us if we could make some Christmas royal frosting cookies... We have only experimented with this type of cookies twice before. Joy did this experiment but it took a lot of time, and we didn't have that kind of time for that weekend. We unfortunately had to decline, but would really like to experiment more with these. They are fun and look very clean and professional.

Christmas Royal Frosting Cookies

Thank you for stopping by! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sherrard Softball Cake

Cake decorating is a skill my daughter and I have truly enjoyed learning and teaching. We love making cakes for friends and family! Unfortunately, life slowly changes with jobs, a beautiful new grandbaby, etc.. and although we don't decorate as much and have had a hard time filling up our cake decorating classes, we still have a love and desire to work on a cake!!

Lately we had been talking more and more about making a cool cake, BUT, life is busy and other things just seem to keep trumping our time and continues to push our desire to bake and decorate to the side. In the middle of this, a friend (Ana) texted and asked if we could bake a cake for another friend, (Kim). Well... when we saw the cake they wanted... how could we resist?  A fun, smaller, simpler three layer cake with dots and animal stripes, and a baseball.  We had all the stuff for it...  and we actually had the Saturday open...  So, we jumped...

Cooking in a house where 4 people, 1 cat, and 1 dog live.. means we have a lot of prep.  We have turned down many cakes... and maybe this will give you a good glimpse as to why!!

We clean by dusting, vacuuming, and mopping - to get the dust and hair out of the house... and our animals are banned from the kitchen with gates!!!

Yes, they have a hard time with it... and so do we... since our animals are our babies...  our spoiled babies... and we wouldn't want it any other way!!!

We even clean ourselves off with lint rollers - to make sure NO HAIR of any kind can get in our 'masterpiece' - yep... we are kinda obsessed about the no hair thing...

We do research as well to make sure we know the exact colors, we shop, and then begin....

The fondant is colored while the cakes are baked...  Frosting is made while the cakes are cooling... and then it is time to decorate!!!  YAY!

And in the middle of all that - we have to stop to make lunch.  For some reason, beyond my control, my family needs to still eat when I make a cake.  I suggested fasting a few times and I get 'the looks' from them... so...

When we get back to it, we frost and stack the individual layers and begin rolling and cutting fondant for the cakes.

Joy is amazing and has so much patience to make all those balls just so perfectly sized!!  I prefer to frost.  Which brings us to another problem...  We could bake cakes too long and make them stiffer and easier to frost... and we could make frosting with all shortening to make it easier and more beautiful to frost. BUT, I am big on flavor - if it doesn't taste good, it just isn't worth making!!  So, we make this frosting with 1 full pound of butter. Which makes it sooo good... but also causes us a little grief on a warmer day (at least warm in the kitchen!!)  No matter how much merigue powder I put in, it just didn't want to cooperate with me.

We finally get it frosted, add all our goodies to each single layer, stack the ball... and we are ready to roll... we usually finish stacked cakes on site when possible... to prevent damage.

We had our directions, and turned on our GPS...  unfortuantely, as much as I love my GPS, it can really be dangerous!!  It turned us too soon. Joy looked at the directions that we were texted and missed the city we were to drive to... but in theory, the fact that we got on a road with the same name going north should have gotten us there.  But not this time... and not anywhere near the quad-cities...  lol!!  We got on a road that turned into a dirt road with huge ruts and almost mountainous (I am sure that is a word) hills that were scary!! This is one of those times I was SOOO grateful for my SUV! I am quite certain if I still had my car... I would still be there today...

Anyway.... we laughed a bit, but got nervous when this so called 'road' had water going all the way across it... I did NOT want to get stuck in the mud. Fortunately, we were not out of range for a few texts... a U turn was not possible, except when we got to an open gate to a pasture - YAY! I could not explain to you how glad we were to get off that road!!   It was such a relief to pull into the driveway of Kim's house!!  WOW....  No major damage to the cake - praise the Lord, although a few things slid around, we were able to fix most of it.

Joy putting on the final touches.
It was not our most perfect cake (yes, I know that is bad English)... and personally we were both maybe a little disappointed in our final product.  But it should have tasted good - golden vanilla cake and chocolate cake, both with a true butter buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

Thanks Kim and your sweet family for letting us be a part of your celebration!!  Thanks to those who stopped by to read and look!  I hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather!

Purple and Gold Sherrard Cake

Friday, April 17, 2015

Baby Reveal Cake

Baby Reveal Cake - Buttercream with Fondant Bow
I was asked by a friend, Christy, to make a cake for her baby reveal party. We have not made many cakes for others recently, because we have had so much going on.... but we squeezed it into our crazy schedule this time because I LOVE baby reveal parties... I think it is SUCH a cool fun idea to do as a family!!  This is the second time we were able to make a 'baby reveal cake,' I wasn't able to get pictures of the other cake unfortunately, so we made SURE to get pictures this time!!  

8 x 8 x 4 square Baby Reveal Cake

The cake is a simple white cake, that was colored BLUE since she is having a BOY!!  
Pink and Blue Fondant Bow
It was frosted in a white buttercream with fondant that is colored in classic baby colors  as requested - pink and blue with a bow, stripes and buttons.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hat Box Cake with Gumpaste Bow

Joy taught course 3 this past month and completed a cake on the final week.  
In Wilton's Course 3 you learn to cover a cake with fondant, learn to paint on a cake, 
make many realistic flowers, leaves, and a beautiful bow.
For her cake, she created a three color bow using two colors of fondant/gumpaste
and painted the edges for a stunning look!

The cake is a triple chocolate cake that is torted in four layers and frosted with a light chocolate frosting
and then covered with Wilton's chocolate fondant.

 Here are the bow loops that are waiting to be put together!!

She painted on the sides of the cake, which is also taught in course 3. 

The small flower buds you see here are taught in course 4 which will be in the month of February - 
hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Simple Christmas or Valentine Wedding Cake / Hobby Lobby Classes

Joy and I made a simple Christmas/Valentine cake for a display at Hobby Lobby
 in Bettendorf, IA.  It is just styrofoam covered in frosting with sanding sugar 
added to give it sparkle. 

Red Ribbon Wedding Cake with Gumpaste Flowers

The red ribbon around each layer adds a bright contrast for a Christmas or Valentine wedding.  The gumpaste flowers and leaves are made with Wilton gumpaste and Wilton products. 


Wilton Cake Classes - January Schedule

There will be no Wilton classes for the month of December.  
But we have a full schedule lined up for January!  

Course 1 - Buttercream Skills
Tuesdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27 @ 6-8 pm

Course 2 - Flowers and Cake Design
Mondays, January 5, 12, 19, 26 @ 6 - 8 pm

Course 3 - Fondant and Gum Paste
Saturdays, January 10, 17, 24, 31 @ 10 am - 12 pm

This is a GREAT gift idea for Christmas!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The winner of our Food Writer Contest is Katja P.  
Thanks to everyone who joined and shared!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wilton Food Writers Freebie

We are going to give away one set of these awesome 
Wilton Food Writers 
to one of our followers for this blog!  

These are really nice to have for decorating cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and/or anything edible!!!  
In this set comes 5 colors: blue, green, red, brown, and black.
 The fine tip helps for awesome detail work!

How to enter:
1) Sign up to follow us (in a link to the left that says "Follow by Email") with a correct email so I can get information to and from the winner.  
2) Also leave a comment below stating your favorite cake from our sight, if this is your first visit, please look around!

Drawing will be held on 
Saturday, November 15th. 
Winner will be notified by email provided!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!!
Margie and Joy Cain

Wilton Classes at Hobby Lobby

Wilton Classes for the 
Hobby Lobby in Bettendorf 
start soon!! 

Hobby Lobby has a great price of $22.50, 
which is 50% off Wilton's regular price of $45.00
for the month of November 2014.  
You get 8 hours of instruction and a course book
 (a $5 value, given on the first night of class).
Each course meets 4 different nights 
for 2 hours each night. 

Do you know someone who loves to bake? watch cake shows? and/or cupcake wars on TV? 
Wilton Classes make great Christmas presents!!  

Course 1 - Building Buttercream Skills

Come and learn about cupcakes, cakes, cookies 
and how to decorate these great items with buttercream!  
We learn how to bake, frost and decorate a cake to look professional, 
many buttercream flowers (including the Wilton ribbon rose), 
and fun techniques to make cake decorating fun and easy! 

Mondays, November 10, 17, 24, and December 1 from 6 - 8 pm

Course 3 - Fondant and Gumpaste

Come and learn how to cover a cake in fondant and
 make beautiful gumpaste flowers to decorate cakes!
Wilton has designed easy techniques that anyone can learn to make 
unbelievable showstopping gumpaste flowers. 
Come join the fun and see!

Tuesdays, November 11, 18, 25, and December 2 from 6 - 8 pm

Sign up at a your Bettendorf Hobby Lobby today!

Hope to see you soon!!!
(For those waiting for Course 4 - it will be available in January!) 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Panther Birthday Cake

My favorite son-in-law, Garrett, (I can say that right now since he is the only one! lol) always asks for 'easy' cakes for his birthday - usually german chocolate, etc...  and never really a cake I can decorate.  So, this year, I didn't ask him...  my daughter, Becca (his wife), and I planned to make his TWO favorite cakes - a german chocolate and a red velvet with an all butter mock whipped cream frosting and I decorated one of them with a favorite of his - a panther!  When he was in college, his society had the panther as their mascot. Although I couldn't find the same simple design he had picked for a project Becca is doing, I did find a harder one of course - although it was easier than most I had seen online.

This mock whipped cream is a harder frosting to frost and decorate with, because it is made with all butter and melts easily and also does not dry to touch (noncrusting), so it never dries to be able to get it smoother with wax paper and a fondant smoother. I had a little more problems frosting that usual, but the good thing is, his family's joke is a messy frosting means a good cake - which actually can many times be true!!  A cake that is moist and easily falls apart when frosting it, is usually the best cake!  (So don't look at the frost job!!  I was just keeping with family tradition - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!)

The recipe is in an early post - Red Velvet Cake with Mock Whipped Cream Frosting - Just substitute butter for shortening for a buttery flavor.

Panther Cake

The panther was put on using piping gel on wax paper to transfer the basic shape to the cake.
 Then a simple outline in orange and star-tipped in black made for a mostly easy cake. 
The whiskers gave me a bit of a hard time too, basically because I forgot to keep some white frosting and had to use canned frosting for those.  Even though there were a few 'mess-ups'... the cakes tasted great and that is what is important anyway!!  
Happy Birthday Garrett!! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

WEDDING CAKE - Gumpaste Flowers & Chocolate Fondant

Saturday, September 13, 2014 
David & Rachel Cain

What a beautiful wedding for my son David and his beautiful bride Rachel!  

This was our first 'long-distance' wedding cake we have ever decorated.  We did a lot of planning and prepping, and were mostly successful with a few speed bumps along the way.

David & Rachel - Cutting the Cake
Part of the planning was that the bottom three layers of cake would not be real cake, but frosting and fondant covered styrofoam.  With the long distance, available kitchen space and time, there was no way to make a denser wedding cake to be stacked, filled, frosted, and covered with fondant.  The top layer was chocolate cake from a nearby bakery that we covered with the same fondant. A simple shell border and some quick scroll work (since we had to scoot to get to the rehearsal dinner).

We made the gumpaste flowers and leaves before we even left. 
This gave them time to totally dry and be packed for the trip to Pennsylvania. 
 Let me show you some pictures of the process... 

Here we roll the green colored gumpaste very thin over a slot
 that will be used to hold the stem of the leaf.  

After the wire is folded into the gumpaste on the back side, 
we put it on a veining mat to get the vein markings on a leaf. 

The ball tool is gently used to thin the edges and get some natural shaping to the leaf. 

The are set out on gumpaste formers to get the leaves into different shapes, folds, and curls -  to give them a very realistic look. 

Joy is amazing when it comes to making roses - here she is rolling and using the Wilton cutters to cut the petals of the purple roses. 

They are also thinned with the ball tool, then formed on wire to make amazing roses....

I had the job of making the Tiger Lilies - Here I am set up at the museum.

After making the leaves and petals, I hand painted the leaves. 

Joy then airbrushed them to give them a shine and sparkle that really made them stand out.

Gumpaste Tiger Lilies

Gumpaste Roses
We were a little worried about getting them there in one piece...  We babied them carrying them in each motel and giving them special spots to keep them safe and moister free!! 

An up-close picture of the top of the wedding cake flower bouquet.

Top angle of Fondant Cake with Gumpaste Tiger Lilies
Chocolate Fondant Cake with Gumpaste Flowers
Forgetting the fondant smoother and a very small kitchen table to roll fondant out were a few of the bumps throughout the weekend, but we were able to put it together successfully. 
 Luckily the flowers were so beautiful no one looked at the fondant... LOL!  

Now for a few pictures to end this post: