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


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: 








Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Western Bridal Shower & Wilton Boot Cake

Several years ago I bought an old Wilton cake pan shaped like a boot for a groom's cake I was doing for a wedding.  I always wondered if I would ever use it again...  Well, my new daughter-in-law, Rachel, absolutely LOVES cowboy boots!! So, for her bridal shower, Joy and I did a western theme shower and used this pan to make a cake.

Dessert Table


Wilton Boot Pan, Cake, and Frosting
I think it took us longer to bake the cake and mix the colors than it did to actually decorate it.  It is a simple chocolate cake with a chocolate caramel frosting (Yes, I am on a caramel kick right now!!)  To the right you can see the cake, the pan, and all the colored frosting and tips.  (This makes it easier if we don't have to jump up every few minutes to get something.)

 I found a pattern decorated online that I liked and tried to make it similar.  It was nice to have something to look at and less time to think of what I want or don't want to do.  It was outlined and then mostly star tipped. Although we did use the flat side of the basket weaving tip for the heel and sole. We used brown sugar for the desert sand to add some dimension.  



Set-up and Started!!

Wilton Shape Boot Cake Completed

Rachel - telling 'their story'
It was a fun night: hearing their story, playing games, eating really good food made by our church ladies, opening gifts and a fun crazy skit that Joy (Wendy the Wedding Specialist) put together!!


LOTS of FOOD!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Salted Caramel Chocolate Turtle Cake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Turtle Cake
This is a very rich and flavorful, melt in your mouth cake...  and I have dreamed of it ever since I ate TWO pieces on Sunday!

Those that know me, know I have been dieting for some time now, yet on Sunday, my lunch is my crossover meal and I eat a moderate dessert with it most of the time. BUT, this week, I just HAD to eat another piece before jumping back into the diet on Monday.

It is not so much the cake recipe... since it was just a box cake - double fudge I think.  It was more of what we did after we bake it that made it sooo good!!

Read, Bake, and ENJOY!!!






Start by baking a box of chocolate cake mix. We did a fudge chocolate, but any chocolate cake mix should work.  You can substitute milk for the water to have a moister cake, but is not necessarily important with this cake!

Next we have to make the caramel - I made a double batch (I like extra for ice cream topping). You can do this while the cake is baking, since it has to cool (measurement below are for a single batch.)



1 stick of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 T. water
1/2 t. salt

Boil these four until the brown sugar dissolves (may take as long as 5 - 6 minutes).  Mine had a hard time dissolving, but was mostly dissolved.

Salted Caramel
Turn off heat and add:

1/8 cup of whole milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. caramel extract

Stir, cover and allow to cool to room temperature.

** Remember to always use extract, not flavoring.  Extract will give a stronger flavor than flavorings!! If you only have flavoring, use twice as much.
As both the cake and caramel are cooling, you can make the simple syrup. This is the key to a moist cake!!

In a small pot add:

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Stir and simmer on low until sugar dissolves.  Turn off heat and add:

1/2 t. caramel extract

Set aside.

We will make the frosting next (sorry, no pictures).

In a mixing bowl add:

2 sticks of butter
1 cup shortening
1 t. caramel extract
1 t. vanilla extract
5 T. water or milk

Do not whip, just beat until mixed well.  Then add one at a time:

1/2 cup of cooled caramel (made earlier)
2 pounds of powdered sugar
2 blocks of melted unsweetened chocolate

This should be a medium consistency, if it is not, slowly add water 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time, until you have a medium consistency.  (A good test of consistency is to put 1 cup of frosting in a measuring cup, put your Wilton 9" spatula in the center of icing. The spatula should stand up straight when inserted in, but when gently moved, it should slowly fall over to the side of the cup slowly.

Cover and set aside...  Now you are ready to put this cake together!!

By now your cake should be cool - cut the rounded part off the top of one layer, turn upside down and set on your platter.  Take a toothpick and poke holes all over the cake (about 1 inch apart).


Brush half the simple syrup over the first layer of cake.  This will make the cake MELT IN YOUR MOUTH with unbelievable flavor!!

Put a ring of frosting around the first layer of cake using tip 12.

Mix together:

3/4 cup chopped roasted pecans
3/4 cup caramel (made earlier)

Fill the center of the cake, being careful not to be higher than the ring of frosting.


Now we are ready to prepare the second layer of cake.  be sure to cut off the round top of the cake, turn upside down on top of the filling.  Again, poke holes all over the top layer of cake with a toothpick and brush over it the rest of the simple syrup.  By this time the smell of caramel and chocolate made me stop and eat one of the top pieces of cake cut off... adding a little caramel and frosting... ah... okay, now we can finish!!

Frost cake as taught in Wilton Course 1 - if you haven't taken a class yet, sign up!! 
You will learn how to frost a cake smoothly and professionally!!  
Next I had to decorate using some of the new techniques in the new course 1 book. I LOVED how easy this pulled dot technique is with tip 12!  Hopefully one day I will be adding videos on some of these techniques for those who don't have classes near them, or for my students who want to see the techniques demonstrated again.

Wilton Pulled Dot Border
I made four different colors using Wilton brown food coloring gel. 

Wilton Pulled Dot with different shades of brown... nice!!

On top, I made some 1M rosettes using the triple bag swirl technique in the new book. With all the caramel and chocolate on top, it is hard to see the three colors...  I filled the center with remaining caramel, sprinkled a few tablespoons of pecans and drizzled a little melted chocolate chips (about a 1/4 cup) over the top of everything. Maybe a litte too busy and messy... but the flavor of it all definitely beat out over the looks!!


Enjoy!  My family LOVED it and requested me to make it again soon!!  
This recipe could be made as cupcakes too!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wilton Classes at Hobby Lobby

Wilton Method cake classes start up again in September at Bettendorf, IA with NEW books and some newer and popular techniques! The price is 50% off the regular price of $45 per course which equals $22.50.  This price includes four 2 hour sessions and a course book (provided the first night of class). Sign up at Hobby Lobby today!


Course 1 will be taught in both September and October, choose what works best with your schedule!

Mondays, September  8, 15, 22, 29 at 6:00 - 8:00 pm (taught by Margie Cain)
or
Tuesdays, October 7, 14, 21, 28 at 6:00 - 8:00 pm (taught by Joy Cain)



Course 2 will also be taught in October and check back for future dates and times in November!

Mondays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 at 6:00 - 8:00 pm (taught by Margie Cain)

We hope to see you SOON!! 

Have questions?  Give us a call at 309-781-1148.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Kid's Map Cake, Animal Cupcakes and Fondant Flower Cupcakes


Joy is absolutely amazing when working with kids and cake decorating!!  
She has amazing patience and has just a love for kids and teaching! 
Here you can see one of her cakes she made in a project class. 
It is frosted with buttercream and uses fun fondant techniques and a simple piping skill to complete.

Fun Simple Fondant Treasure Chest for Kids

Treasure Map Cake
Treasure Map Fun!!

One of Joy's Classes was teaching several piping skills and making animal cupcakes...
The kids loved them!!
Here are the cupcakes she made during those classes!  


Cupcake Class with Joy

Cupcake Animals

In the next two pictures, Joy taught a few private lessons on fondant flowers!  
Katie's grandma gave her a very special birthday present of cake decorating supplies and lesson time with Joy to learn how to make beautiful flowers and put them on cupcakes!! 

Katie did a GREAT job! 
Katie made these cupcakes for her Grandma and Grandpa's wedding anniversary!  


Anniversary Cupcakes make by Katie





Sunday, May 25, 2014

Engagement Stump Cake for Rachel and David

I guess 'the' engagement celebration of each of my children will be with a "stump" cake!  We were able to celebrate together with Rachel's parents and sister a week and a half after the official proposal.  These first three pictures were taken by Rachel's sister Caitlyn Warner - an amazing photographer!!  

David and Rachel


Full Picture of the stump cake - picture taken by Caitlyn Warner

 David asked for a triple chocolate cake with triple chocolate frosting and the filling is rich chocolate gnache.


 The flowers are gumpaste

Yummm...
We even made the roots of the tree come out.
 I love making wooden planks and trees and any kind of wooden objects.  This was simply put on with tip 789 then dragging a knife over it to make the bark look more natural and gnarled. 
Gumpaste flowers w/ buttercream leaves, stems and grass!
Gumpaste Flowers climbing up the stump!
Close up of the frosting bark.
 So rich and FATTENING!!  but so worth it!!