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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

June through September

June through September were really busy crazy months for our family.  We had all our kids coming and going at different times for different things.  Ben went to a two week camp and to Cameroon, Africa. Joseph and David were working every hour Fareway would give them.  Becca was working full time in the produce department at Fareway.  Joy was working at church and packing for her ministry trip with the Netcaster Team from BCM. The other thing that slowed me down was poison ivy... I pretty much kept it all summer with the exception of a few weeks, when I would go to the doctor to get medicine. So, we did not make many cakes and actually only made cakes for those that had asked us before summer came.  There was one exception to that rule though...  My neighbor was diagnosed with cancer and was not given long to live.  His wife planned a big birthday party for their family and close friends and at the last moment decided she needed more cake.  She came by and asked for a simple chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  With this situation, we did make the cake you see here...  (I had lost the picture and just recently found the memory card that had it!)  He did pass away, within a month or two of his birthday.  I am not sure how old he was, but I will never forget him walking his dog, loading up his van with golf bag and clubs, and yelling at cars that would speed down the road!  He was so protective of the safety of all his neighbors and he will be missed!

Russian Sweet Milk Cake

Russian Sweet Milk Cake
When my parents lived in Russia for 7 years, they learned a lot about Russian food.  I have had the privilege to taste many of their foods, but I must admit this is one of my favorites!!  Probably because I love caramel SO much!  This has layers of wafers with caramel between each layer. We have to buy the wafers at an import store in Moline.  The caramel is made by boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours. (If you try this at home, be sure to keep the jars completely covered in water the whole time - or they might blow up!)  We drizzle it with a little bit of chocolate for a little added flavor and beauty!  It is such a rich, sweet dessert!!!  Mm mm...

This is not a fancy cake like we usually make, but if you like caramel, it just might be on your list of favorites too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another Baby Shower and Another Baby Bottom Cake

We were asked to make another 'Baby Bottom Cake' just like the last one.  The cake is a Chocolate cake with a thick layer of butter cream frosting under the fondant.  We did make our own marshmallow fondant that tastes SO much better!!  The legs and feet are rice krispie cookies covered in fondant.

The other day, we were watching a part of a Cake Boss show and they actually made one of these!!  (Maybe they are more popular than I thought!)  The neat thing they did for this shower was - they used the cake color to tell the couple whether they were having a boy or a girl!!  But since the outside of the cake could not give away what it was, they didn't put a skirt or a blanket on the baby bottom... personally the skirt / blanket adds SOO much!

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Angry Birds Cake Contest Update

Today we received an email telling us we won 4th place in the Angry Birds Contest on Cake Central.  They asked for our address and other information and will be mailing us a certificate.  We actually won with the second cake we made (when we were tired and took a few shortcuts)...  We almost did not make the second cake, but since we had already baked the cake and had the fondant made, we went ahead with it.  We stayed up until 11:00 to finish, then took pictures and rolled in bed around midnight.  I guess it was worth it!  Here is a link to Cake Central and the Angry Birds Contest - http://cakecentral.com/contests/angry-birds-cake-contest/

Monday, November 21, 2011

Angry Birds Cakes

Cake Central put up a competition using Angry Birds as the theme.  The only problem about entering a Cake Central competition is...  it is an international community with professional decorators. We decided to try it anyway for fun!!  We also each have an account on Cake Central to save and share photos, so we decided to enter two cakes.

For these cakes we made a new cake recipe we found on Cake Central.  This recipe is really flavorful, moist and tasty! It took a few tries to figure it out, but we now have a GREAT new recipe!!  We also experimented with 4 fondant recipes.  We even had a taste test!!  The four kinds were:  Wilton premade, marshmallow, completely from scratch, and a powder fondant that someone gave us (thanks Dana).  It was interesting that we ALL picked different fondants as far as taste, but they did not all work the same when covering cakes and working with them.  The marshmallow fondant was extra rubbery, the scratch recipe and powder fondants were crumbly, and the Wilton was the easiest to work with. It is hard to experiment on cakes that you make for someone else, so this was a good time to make and compare. 

Cake #1 is a structure from I - 2 on Angry Birds.  The cake is an almond butter cake covered in frosting and fondant.  The brown fondant is a chocolate fondant.  The structure is rice krispie cookies covered in fondant. The sling shot is gum paste with a little fondant and painted in a cream cheese frosting to make it look like wood.  The birds and the pigs are made with fondant.  We also made a background made to look like the background of the game.

Cake #2 is a stacked cake with three tiers.  Each side represents a different level of Angry Birds.  Everything is hand made using fondant and gum paste mixtures.  The topper is gum paste painted with food coloring and/or food writers.

We joked that these were "The Cakes that NEVER End..." because they took so long and we thought we would NEVER finish them!  Enjoy the pictures below, you can see more at:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cakes-by-the-Sugar-Cains/112478982183338
Angry Bird Cake #1
Angry Bird Cake #2
Angry Bird Cake #2

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baby Shower - Baby Bottom Cake

Baby Bottom - Baby Shower Cake
Chantelle V. sent me an email with a picture of a 'Baby Rump Cake' earlier this week.  I have always joked about this kind of cake looking like a headless baby cake.  But, I must say, after we finished the cake, it was not as weird as I thought looking at it in person!

We didn't have much time, but we started looking online at a lot of different ones, tutorials, etc...  and decided on things we did and did not like.  There are several changes we will make if we ever do one again, but we were mostly happy with the results.

The cake is a vanilla cake with butter cream frosting.  There was suppose to be filling, but I forgot, so I sent some filling with her. LOL (This getting old and my bad memory is for the birds!!)  The baby bottom is chocolate cake with butter cream and fondant covering it.  The legs are rice krispy cookies covered in thick fondant.  The dots, skirt, ribbon and bow are fondant and the writing is butter cream.

It was nice for Joy and I to be able to work together on this cake.  Many of the last few cakes were either just me working on them, or we worked on separate things at separate times.  We love making cakes together and the challenge of figuring them out with the best way to do something!  We make a great team together and always have a lot of fun!! Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Pie? or a Cake?

Raspberry 'Pie' Cake
Today, we had our "Old Fashioned Day" at church. It is a special day of services with dressing up, potluck, games, etc. One of the special events is a pie competition that I am in charge of organizing. And it is also the reason I don't usually make a pie.

A few years ago, Joy made some cupcakes that looked like pies.  So, I decided this year. to make a cake that looked like a pie (for those that would rather have cake and not a pie.)

This is a white vanilla cake with layers of raspberry filling.  The top also has raspberry filling.  The lattice work and fluted edges are fondant and 'painted' with food coloring and flavoring.  I would have to say it was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Simple Blue Fondant Cake with Gum Paste Roses

Simple Blue Birthday Cake
White Roses
Since my husband went south for the ordination of a good friend, we were able to have the Netcaster Team come to our church for the week.  Evangelist Jonathan Barber is preaching for our services and has been a tremendous blessing.  The team has jumped into a lot of places (Children's Church, music, outreach, office work, etc) and we are so grateful for their help! 

Jonathan's wife Rebecca's birthday was this Saturday, October 15.  Joy wanted to make her a birthday cake, so she asked Jon what her favorite flowers were, her favorite color, and her favorite cake and frosting.  We were happy she likes roses, because Joy is great at making roses!  The roses you see here are gum paste roses with leaves also made of a light green gum paste.  

The cakes are triple chocolate fudge (fudge cake, chocolate pudding, and mini chocolate chips) and the frosting is a fudge frosting recipe I found on CakeCentral.com.  It is a cooked frosting, similar to a fudge recipe, that worked GREAT!  Blue fondant covers the chocolate cake and white lace was added to give it more of an elegant look.  Although the whites did not match exactly (like I wanted them to) we were happy with the finished product of the cake! 

We look forward to the Netcasters Team coming back in May!!

Basket of Apples Cake

Basket of Apples Cake

Ever since seeing a cake online, that looked like a basket of apples, I have wanted to try it.  I read up on it, purchased my ingredients, then started to work.  I planned to take it as a dessert to a bonfire.  BUT, it had some MAJOR problems and I could not bring it.  After the bonfire, I finished it enough just so I could get pictures. Someday I will have to try it again, taking a few steps to make this cake a success! 

The first picture on the top left was taken just before we planned to leave for the bonfire.  I still had to 'paint' the apples, but I was simply going to do that as Becca drove us out to the bonfire.  The bumps on the road were TOO stressful on the basket and one side of the basket broke open.  Next time we will make the cake denser and then put dowel rods from the apples down into the cake.  This will help hold them up and keep them from putting as much pressure on the basket walls as possible.  

The cake I made for this was a marble cake with chocolate frosting.  This way you also see brown between the cracks of the basket! 

The basket is fondant  that has been rolled, indented, and painted to look like wood.  The apples are rice crispy treats shaped into ball shapes, frosted, then fondant covered.  They are finally painted with food flavoring and food coloring. 

The dirt on the bottom of the serving tray is chocolate frosting, Green grass is piped around the basket also.  I would like to try this cake again some time, since I love the look of the finished product!!

David's Softball Birthday Cake

baseball cake
David again wanted a chocolate cake with royal frosting covering his whole cake.  He LOVES royal frosting!!  So this is a simple chocolate cake made in the ball pan.  White royal frosting is star tipped to cover the ball, green royal frosting is made to look like grass, and the laces are red royal frosting using the writing tip.  The hardest part of this cake is piping the lowest part of the ball, because you are putting on stars at a weird angle since the table gets in the way a bit!  Over all, it was a great cake to make!!  Happy Birthday David!

Monday, September 26, 2011

White Wedding Cake and Boot Groom's Cake

Wedding Cake with Calla lilies

     Christina and Brandon ordered a solid white cake with fondant and pearls, and with gum paste callalilies on top.  It was not a hard order... the only problem was, we knew Joy would not be home to help with it.  I did not know if I could do it or not, and my friend Chantelle (and Christina's sister) was so confident in me - more confident than I was! They also wanted a boot cake that was 3 dimensional. After studying the pictures she found online and talking to Joy about the different techniques and whether I could do it by myself, I decided to do it.

     I always begin shopping 3 weeks before the wedding to find the best sales on each item each week.  Then the house is cleaned top to bottom and the pets 'quarantined' to two rooms away from the kitchen or they can go down to the basement.  Thursday I started baking and decorating the groom's cake and actually had it covered in fondant and the wooden floor completed.  On Friday morning the major baking started. As each cake cools, it is filled, frosted, and stacked and ready for fondant, as other layers are baking.

Traditional White Wedding Cake
     It took an all nighter Friday night to completely cover each layer with fondant and to also complete finishing touches on the flowers.  Christina chose a different flavor for each layer of cake:  chocolate with raspberry filling, red velvet with cream cheese frosting, lemon with lemon curd, vanilla cake with strawberry filling for the top and bottom layer.  The groom's cake is chocolate with chocolate cream cheese frosting.   It went pretty smoothly with only a few problems, and I actually got a little nap in the middle of all that!  All cakes were covered by 10:00 am on Saturday morning and then I started working on the fondant accents.  At 2:00 pm my husband and I loaded the vehicle and I headed over to stack and finish the frosting and pearls.  This could not be completed before moving or they would fall off, since they are held on by just a half drop of frosting.  I loved the heart topper Christina bought with the idea of adding the calla lilies on top around it.  Each cake tier had a different design, but all seemed to tie in together. Time ran out on the bottom layer, and I had to revise it a little.  We planned to have a frosting lattice, but between the time and my shaky hands from lack of sleep and time running out, I put the pearls where they would have been, and reluctantly left out the frosting lattice work.  It was actually very similar to the top layer then.  Their monogram initials are on the second layer from the top.

The boot was a fun cake to make.  Unfortunately, I forgot a camera in moving everything from the house to the reception, so the pictures you see are taken with a cell phone.  You can't really see the sewing and design work that I put on it,  but you can get the main idea.  The wooden floor is fondant rolled thin and 'painted' to look like wood.  It is actually a different brown than the boot - a reddish brown... so it wouldn't blend into the boot (which it looks like here.)  The reception was very beautiful... one of the most elegant I have ever seen!

It took well over 50 hours of shopping, baking, NS decorating to complete these cakes - not counting the hours spent studying techniques, searching similar designs, etc.  This was the biggest cake I have ever made to date. I had to work through a few problems (no cake is without some problems coming up)... but the biggest lesson I learned through this wedding cake experience... never do a wedding cake without Joy!!  We truly are a team and work well together.  I missed her ideas, thoughts, talents, etc through the whole experience!!    Thanks for looking!!!
Boot Cake on Fondant Wooden Floor

Friday, September 16, 2011

Scrapbook Cake

Scrapbook Cake

 Monte ordered a non-birthday cake for Sandy.  Since it was NOT for her birthday, he said we could make it when it was convenient for us.  Life has been so busy this summer, we just didn't have time!  In fact, we turned down 6 cakes this summer, because we were SO busy and had a really big battle with poison ivy! Joy leaves in two days and will be gone for 2 months... we decided to get this cake made before she left!

This cake was mostly designed by Monte.  He looked online and found the potato paper, that you can print on with edible ink.  He ordered it and printed the pictures for us.  He also asked for a scrapbook with things like: the
Green Bay Packer Logo, a smiley face, a lilly, and  
Scrapbook Cake with Edible Pictures!
suggested a camera setting on top too, if we had time.  We did not get to the camera... as you can see!

The Green Bay Packer Logo is made by hand with fondant.  The smiley face is also made by hand with fondant. The Lily is made with gum paste and food coloring. The Albanese gummy bears are made with Stampin' Up stamps on potato paper with food writers and/or food coloring.  The coffee cup is also made the same way.  The flowers at the bottom of the scrapbook page is also Stampin' Up stamps on fondant.   The cover of the book is fondant and potato paper.  This was a fun cake, but took a LOT of time to complete... more than we expected!!

Happy UNbirthday Sandy!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flowered Wedding Cake and Hawkeyes Groom Cake

Wedding Cake with Gum Paste Flowers
 9 -10 -11 was the wedding date for Eric and Debby L.  She asked Joy and I to make her wedding cake and she designed it herself.  She gave me a simple drawing and wanted the flowers to match the bridesmaids bouquets.  There were roses, mums,  hydrangeas, leaves, and gold balls in the bouquets.  We wanted to get a sooner start on the flowers, but since we were both dealing with poison ivy, we waited to get that healed up first. It was great to find a few 50% off sales at Michael's to help with purchasing some of our ingredients, colors, paints, etc.  We got started about a week before making gum paste flowers.  We enjoy making gum paste  
 flowers, but found it difficult to get the right color.  Gum paste dries SO much lighter than when it is fresh!!   We actually found that we had to make the color almost black for it to dry the colors you see.  We also had a hard time getting it the right shade.  Although the top of the color container shows the right color, the color that you get from the bottle is VERY different!  We had to add a LOT of red to try to get the color we wanted, and still think we could have added more red possibly!  We were not 100% please with the burgandy/red color, but it was close enough.  The flowers and leaves were made with gum paste, the gold balls are made with fondant and colors with edible airbrush paint.  She requested marble and white cake for the four layers of the main cake. 
 Another thing we learned from this cake is that gum paste flowers take much time and patience!!  We spent about 4 days on the flowers.  Friday was baking day, and the Saturday of the wedding, we covered them with fondant, stacked them, and decorated them.  They also asked for a monogram, so we picked colors to compliment the cake.  The oval base under the letters was done by Joy's Cake CriCut.  It took a few tries to get the right size!! 
You can see a few close up pictures of the flowers and more pictures on our facebook page.

Eric designed the groom's cake.  His college team is the Iowa Hawkeyes and he wanted their football field for the cake.  We started looking online to see how other people made football field cakes.  We learned quickly that most women made these cakes and they were misshaped and not to scale.

We felt pretty much on our own and discussed several options to making a football field. 

Iowa Hawkeye Cake
We took the measurements for a football field and reduced them down to the size of our cake.  We baked a chocolate cake and covered the whole cake in green fondant, then put strips of fondant in two tones for the field.  The end zones are black fondant with yellow letters made with gum paste on Joy's CriCut machine.  We had to hand make the hawkeye emblem.  The lines and numbers are piped with white butter cream, and the one thing we would like to revise if we do another football field.  Green butter cream is piped with a grass tip around the edges of the cake.

Thanks for looking and please leave us a comment!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Purse Cake

Purse Cake
This is a purse birthday cake for Michelle M.  Sandy planned a fun day and surprise for her good friend Michelle...  This was the birthday surprise (all she knew was that it was going to be edible.)  Sandy told us she would cry, and she sure did!!  I think one of the neatest things about making cakes is being able to give them to people.

The cake is funfetti cake with pink and black food coloring to make the cake match the fondant and frosting colors.   The purse was then cut, stacked, shaped, frosted, and covered in pink fondant. 

The tiger stripes and flap are made from black fondant. The purse handle was made in advance to allow it plenty of time to dry, so it would stand up nicely. If you can click on the photos you may be able to see a large picture and also see the 'seam' work on the handle and flap.

The flower is a briar rose and made with gum paste. The center of the flower is not edible.

The cell phone is an almost exact replica of Michelle's phone. The picture is not edible but done using a computer program (thanks to Becca)! The name 'Sophie' is the name Michelle has given her phone!!

The lipstick is made from fondant and painted with edible gold, silver, and pink food coloring.  The lipstick is Mary Kay and you can even see the MK on the top.

The gum package, mirror, compact case, and finger nail polish are all made from fondant and also painted on.  The Orbit gum is written on with food writers (edible markers). In the picture at the bottom, you can see the objects we used to make our 'fondant' items. 

The board is covered in fondant to look like a tile counter top.  It was painted with food coloring and butter flavoring and blotted with a paper towel for a tile look. 

This has been one of our favorite cakes to make and give away too!!  Michelle was so excited and very appreciative to Sandy and us!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Joseph's Birthday Cake 2011

Clavinova/Keyboard  Cake
 Joseph's birthday is July 4th...  He usually picks some kind of flag cake, or red, white, and blue cake, but this year he picked a clavinova instead.  Joy and I had a great time making this one!  It was a really fun cake and we really like how it turned out! 

Joseph wanted chocolate cake, so Joy made a recipe ("Darn Good Chocolate Cake") from one of her newer cookbooks   It was baked in a 9x13 pan, then cut and shaped to size.  We frosted it with simple butter 
cream frosting.  We put a layer of black fondant over the cake.  The white keys and letters were made with gum paste.  Joy used her CriCut machine to make the letters.  Then we cut the black keys, buttons, etc. from the leftover black fondant.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Gum Paste Flowers

      Joy and I each bought some flower sets to make gum paste flowers.  Since we had a wedding reception at church last week, we decided this was a great opportunity to practice.  We made three types of flowers - lilies, dogwood blossoms, and daisies.  The lilies are probably the hardest to make of the three and take the most time too - but well worth it!  They are not completely edible since you have to put wire in them to hold them together. They look so realistic though, many people did not realize they were actually edible!!  The dogwoods were fun and pretty easy to make and one of our favorites.  We want to experiment a little more with the centers to get them a little more realistic looking!  We have made daisies before, the only difference is the center is made with gum paste instead of royal frosting (what we have used in the past.) 

Gum Paste Flowers
We also experimented with a torte style cake.  We had a little raspberry filling left from the wedding cake and didn't want it to be wasted.  When I saw a torte at Sam's the day before, I decided we would make some to put our lilies on.  The cake is a butter yellow cake and the frosting is our homemade Mock Whipped Cream.  Sam's leaves the sides open so you can see the layers, but I am not so sure I like seeing the sides!  I might cover the sides next time with the frosting and see how it works!  I actually ran out of frosting and couldn't even pipe all the way around! 

Gum Paste Lilies
The cupcakes were just a simple store bought lemon cake mix with a cream cheese citrus frosting.  After it took us so long to make just 19 flower cupcakes, we joked it would be impossible for us to ever compete on a show like cupcake wars!  It is fun to watch those shows, but we know we could NEVER do them! Because we are inexperienced, slow and don't work as well under a time pressure.  We really have so much to learn and prefer to just do it occasionally for friends, family, neighbors and maybe the county fair each year!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wedding Cake and Groom's Cake

Non-traditional Topsy Turvy Wedding Cake
We made our first ever wedding cake and groom's cake for our friend, Annie!!  It was a very busy week of planning and baking!!  We did not plan for any problems, and have learned a few good lessons!!  First of all, plan for problem!!  We had a cake fall during baking (maybe because we doubled the recipe?) and it pushed our cake baking schedule an hour longer.  Humidity was also a problem which we heard could affect gum paste, fondant, and sugar works, but never experienced it ourselves until this weekend!

Annie chose a Lollipop Topsy Turvy cake to go along with a lollipop theme for the reception.  She had four tiers, so she chose lemon cake (with lemon curd filling & lemon cream cheese frosting), white chocolate cake (with raspberry filling & white chocolate frosting), red velvet cake (with cream cheese frosting), and orange cake (with orange cream cheese frosting).  She also wanted a sheet cake of a chocolate cake and butter cream frosting.

The wedding cake is covered in fondant with fondant shapes.  The 'Lollipops' on top are made from gum paste and one has a monogram P for their last name.  She wanted a non-traditional cake that would match her reception theme.  I wish I would have gotten a few pics of the tables, because she did a great job of planning and putting it all together! 

Cake Table

Tackle Box Cake

The groom's cake is a tackle box made with chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, and fondant covering it. This cake was a real challenge.  We wanted to make see-through plastic looking panels like Phil's tackle box, but the humidity made the rock candy sticky and unpredictable.  We threw that plan out the window early Saturday morning and did a little redesigning!  The drawer, bobber, fish string, hooks, fish lures, etc. are made with gum paste.  The styrofoam cup and worms in the cup are made of fondant, with a cup cake inside and ground cookies on top. The wooden 'dock' is fondant painted with food coloring and butter extract. .The red worms were made with a recipe for gum drops poured into a mold.  The fish string has writing on it using markers that have food coloring in them! 

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