Monday, 9 July 2012

Wedding cake and cute consolation cupcakes

Getting started making cakes is a tricky thing.  Getting my name out there has proven to be more difficult than I thought.  With me in school full time and trying to keep a semblance of order in the house, I've really fallen behind on the "getting my name out there" thing.  One of the walls I'm running up against is that vegan cakes are kind of a niche market (along with allergy friendly cakes of course) and I'm having trouble marketing my "dairy-free, egg-free" cakes to the regular population because somehow people think that cakes without eggs and milk/cream taste like cardboard - which is untrue if they are done properly.

Another issue of course is that when I say I bake cakes, people like to see examples of cakes I have made, and it's hard for me to say - well, I've only made about 20 cakes, but I assure you I can do what you want from me.

In comes the wedding cake.  People REALLY want to see some examples of wedding cakes.  It is a very special day for people and I understand that they want it to be perfect, so they don't want to risk getting an ugly cake that tastes bad (my husband says he's been to his fair share of weddings where the cake looked amazing,but tasted horrible).  This brought me to a conclusion..  I had to make a wedding cake to show a bit of what I can do.  I'd done a tiered cake (2 tier) before (not this big though), so that wasn't new, but I'm using a new fondant and I was going to try the quilting technique along with my first gumpaste flower arrangement on the cake.  This meant of course that the cake would NOT be safe (gumpaste has egg-whites) and I wasn't going to risk just cutting a piece from the side without the flowers, so something had to be made to make the girls happy (I wasn't going to give cake to one and not the other, so they both got cupcakes).  Also I tried marble cake for the first time and was happy with the results.

So new things that I tried:
-New fondant
-Marble cake
-Larger 2 tier (5" round on an 8" round, both 4" high - 30 regular servings)
-Beading (where the quilting meets)
-Gumpaste flowers

Now the gumpaste flowers were FUN.  Some people hate doing it, but I had a blast, I just put in a movie and went at it, doing roses, cherry blossoms and some random flower I made up (looked a touch like a poppy I guess, but white).  The other fun thing about these was that they can be made WEEKS or even MONTHS in advance, as long as they are stored in a cool dry place in sealed containers.  I obviously didn't do them that far in advance, because I needed a specific colour scheme..

So that was the flowers, done..  Now for the cake.  The first Marble cake I ruined, mostly because I forgot it in the oven and it was overcooked..  Go me..  Second one was perfect (good thing, because I hate wasting food).  My huge issue was the day it was ready to be iced and decorated in fondant, it was almost 40 degrees with the humidity (which was very high) and fondant doesn't like heat OR humidity.  In retrospect I should have set up all my gear in our bedroom, the only room with AC, but alas, I thought I could get away with it.  It was not the case..  I learned lots of things doing this cake though,  I rolled out my fondant a bit too thin (probably a lot too thin depending on some peoples standards), I NEED A/C when working a larger cake with fondant.  This is of course because I iced it and it was gorgeous.  I rolled out my fondant and that was okay too but when it went on the cake, after working with it for a few minutes (and you never want to rush fondant) I noticed the icing underneath start to loosen up (get warmer) and it started melting a bit underneath the fondant, making my cake look droopy (BOO!)..  I was really disappointed..  Being somewhat of a perfectionist I have a hard time looking at these things and saying "It's okay - I learned a LOT doing this cake", I usually end up upset that it wasn't 100% what I wanted it to be.  The end result was okay, even after the icing melted under the fondant, it was just not as uniform as it should have been.  At least after going back in the fridge for the night, it looked better, it wasn't as shiny (what they call "sweaty").  I'd love to put it out there and say "look at this gorgeous wedding cake I made - I can do one for you too" but I cringe at the thought, because it wasn't perfect..  It was nice, but not perfect and I NEED it to be perfect.  Maybe in a few weeks I'll make another one, but I'll have to have people over to help me eat it because I brought it to my Dad's for dinner on Saturday (we were 4 eating it there), I left him 1/4 of the cake, gave a big slice to his neighbours, came home, gave a 1/4 of the bottom to my downstairs neighbours and a 1/4 to my next door neighbours (they'd better not blame me for getting fat), and we still had a ton to eat (we finished it last night, averaging 2 slices EACH per day).  That's a lot of cake.  This is one of those times I wish I had the capital to start a business, because I could do this all day - not practical though..

Okay, onto the conciliatory cupcakes.  I wanted something cute, and my oldest had being going on about duckies for a while (who knows why).  Since one of the batches I did for the big cake had leftover batter, I used it for 3 cupcakes, iced them with light blue icing and made little fondant duckies to go on them.  I loved it because they were pretty easy to make, appealed to kids and of course were 100% edible.  The duckies got eaten first, then the icing licked off, then the cupcake partially eaten, then of course we had 2 kids that were tired but on a sugar rush..  Great fun, but I still love watching them enjoy!  My oldest proclaimed today that the baby was hungry and wanted birthday cake..  Perhaps she is overhearing me wonder out loud frequently about what she will have for her birthday cake this year..  I haven't decided yet..  Here are the cupcakes:


  1. Your wedding cake looks beautiful... and your cupcakes are adorable. Wish I was one of your neighbours!

  2. Outstanding! Every new creation is better than the previous one, and I was blown away by the first cake you ever did. This HAS to take off - you are filling a valuable niche in today's market.