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

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: 

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!!


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!!