Friday, September 19, 2014

New Venture

For those of you who follow my blog, you may have noticed pictures of cakes that I baked for my great niece's wedding.  I enjoy baking/decorating cakes as much as I do interior design.  My sister-in-law has been wanting me to get serious about my cake baking.  So, on Friday I completed the necessary paperwork to go forward with that endeavor.  It's a little scary, but I'm also excited!  

I have always enjoyed looking at nicely decorated cakes.  I admire the skill involved in making cakes look beautiful.  About a year and a half ago, I took a cake decorating class at Michaels.  My goal was to learn to bake wedding cakes. I attend at least one wedding a year.  The wedding cakes are always beautiful, but most never taste very good.  Since I had the baking part down, I just needed to learn the decorating part.  When I was growing up, my Mother always baked from scratch.  If she used a cake mix, it was always a Duncan Hines cake mix.  She says those were better.

I always take pictures of my cakes just for my own records.  I shared my photos of the various cakes I baked with my sister-in-law.  She has been showing those photos to people she works with and friends.  I received an e-mail from her on Friday telling me that she wants me to be a vendor for the Little Rock School District.  I asked her, "doing what?"  She said that she wants me to make the cakes for the school district when they need cakes for an occasion.  Wow!  I think that's a pretty big deal.

So, I've ordered business cards and created a website for my business:

"Cakes by Michelle"

My website is:

I also created a blog:

Check out my website to see a sample of some of my work.  I am still not where I want to be in terms of how my cakes look, but with more practice and experience, I'll get there.

White cake with butter cream frosting done in Rosettes.

I still plan to put out new posts about interior design--that's still a passion of mine.  So continue to check out my blog for new posts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wedding Cakes

This article is about decorating, but not homes.  It's all about cakes.  My great niece (Nikita) got married September 6th.  Nikita told me some time ago that if she ever got married, she wanted me to bake her wedding cake.  I took a cake decorating class at Michael's about a year ago.  The instructor also taught a 3 hour session on tiered-cakes.  This was my first time to do a wedding cake.  I go to a few weddings a year and my favorite part of the ceremony is the wedding cake.  Wedding cakes always look so beautiful to me.  Sadly, when you bite into most of them, the cake part is horrible.  I've always been pretty good at baking cakes from scratch.  So, I decided to take the cake decorating class so that I could make my cakes look good.  For Nikita's cake, I did the 10 inch base in Italian Cream Cake, the 8 inch tier in Red Velvet, and the 6 inch tier in Chocolate.  All tiers are frosted in cream cheese frosting.  I did the frosting in a rustic style--that seems to be the popular look with wedding cakes.

 I also baked the groom's cake.  It was Chocolate with chocolate frosting.  The groom (Eugene) loves to fish and so did his father.  Unfortunately, Eugene's father unexpectedly passed away in July.  I did the cake with a fishing theme to honor Eugene's father.  I thought I would have trouble finding a fishing boat and fisherman, but Little Rock has a local cake supply store and the store had several in stock.  Here's the finished product:

It's a lot of work and engineering that goes into putting wedding cakes together.  I found this out the hard way when I work up Saturday morning and the wedding cake looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  I originally did a stacked cake.  Friday evening, I stored the cake in the refrigerator.  When I work up Saturday morning, the entire cake was leaning.  I knew that I could not take the cake to my niece's wedding in that condition.  So, I dismantled the cake and got the bottom two tiers level.  I had trouble getting the top tier straight, so I just threw it away, even thought I baked it from scratch.  Don't worry, I had plenty of eggs and flour.  I baked the layers again and added dowels to prevent this tier from leaning.  I decided to put the top tier on pillars.  Everything was nice and level at my house. 

The wedding was an outdoor event.  I knew there would be trouble with a cake outdoors; especially in the summer months.  The icing got very soft and right before the cake was ready to be cut, the top tier slid completely off the cake.  Luckily, the bride and groom had their photos taken with the cake prior to this happening.  I took the top tier and placed it in a box for my the couple's 1 year anniversary.

I can take "wedding cakes" off my bucket list. It's something I've always wanted to do and I am so glad I got the chance to bake one for my niece's wedding. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to bake another wedding cake.