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Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Be Awesome at Decorating a Cake

A while ago, I asked my very talented sister-in-law to teach me how to decorate a cake.  She makes really pretty ones, and I was on a Cake Wrecks binge at the time, so it seemed like a fun thing to try.  I had a Halloween party coming up, so we decided that I would learn by working with her on a cake for our party!

The party was an "Under the Sea" theme, so I found some pictures online of cool cakes with sea creatures on them.  I liked the ones that kind of had a cartoon-type feel, like this one.

I used it as a model, but I also got a few ideas from other pictures I found.

We got together to make the decorations out of fondant.  If you don't know what fondant is, it's what makes all those super-decorated cakes look so amazing.  I also happen to think it is delicious, but I only know one or two other people who agree with me, so apparently that's weird.

We used white fondant that comes in packages.  You can make your own, but we didn't this time.  The first thing we had to do is color it, which you do by putting drops of food coloring in the middle of your blob and kneading it with your hands until it is mixed.

Once the colors were mixed, the fun began!  Turns out, making fondant decorations is pretty much like playing with play dough, except your hands don't get as salty, and if you eat it, you don't gag.  That makes it pretty awesome.

My only problem was that I have the artistic abilities of a four-year-old, so my fondant decorations looked like something actually made out of play dough.

He is kinda cute, though.

With Melissa's help, I was able to make several sea creatures and decorations, including a creepy disembodied octopus head that we would attach to its arms when we got it on the cake.

See that picture?  You see those ones that look way better than the other ones?  She did those.

I had to leave early that day, so she did a bunch more on her own that actually look like something you would pay money for and not something made in a Fun Factory.

Check out that fish!  So cool!

The day before the party, we finally put it all together on an actual cake.  Melissa also taught me some tips for icing the cake to make it look prettier, like using a wet knife to smooth out the frosting, making the frosting look like waves using a big icing knife.  It was neat!

We put brown sugar around the bottom edge to look like sand, which turned out to be as cute as I'd hoped.  Look at that little crab guy.  He looks so happy in his natural habitat!

All in all, it turned out pretty well.



We offset the top layer by pushing it to the back of the bottom layer so we would have room for some of the decorations to sit.  My parts still look a little amateur to me, but mixed in with hers, it looks like it might even have been on purpose.  Awesome by association!  I'll take it!

More recently, I decided to make the smash cake for Cricket's first birthday.  Here is the picture I found on Pinterest to use as my inspiration.

...and here's how it turned out.

Yeah.  I've still got a ways to go.

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