Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cakes and more cakes

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Honestly,  I am losing the desire to blog because I seem to be just so uninteresting all the time.  I don't know what to talk about anymore apart from my baking and sewing. I am not much of a creative writer either so I don't blame you if you are finding that this is really getting quite boring. 

Like now...all I have to share are photos of more cakes.  Lately, I have been spending more and more time making them.  I don't really know how I got to this point and how I will be able to keep up.  As I've said many times before,  I have not attended any course in both baking and cake decorating. It's hard.  People seem to be expecting bigger and better things from me.  It's like I have to outdo my last cake every time.

I try my best though.  I think I am my worst critic.  I don't get satisfied easily.  And the only time I start feeling good is when I actually hear it from people that I did a good job and that the cake tasted delicious.

Bear with me then as I share with you my cake photos and a little story about each of them.  Or you can skip reading altogether.  It's perfectly ok.

Fireman Cake

Lemon chiffon cake filled and frosted with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
I absolutely had no idea on how to do the decorations at first and had to look at images of fireman themed cakes over the net.

I started off with just the helmet and then as I was having a bit of fun, added the other components one by one...the hose, then the axe,  then the fire hydrant candle holder, then the water droplets.  I had to stop only because it was already getting way too crowded.  What touched the celebrant was that I even put the logo of his workplace on the helmet. Customizing cakes means putting such attention to details after all, isn't it?  By the way,  I used a leaf tip to pipe out the flames.  I had red, yellow, and orange coloured buttercream in one piping bag to achieve that effect.

Princess Barbie cake

This cake was for a three-year old birthday girl for whom I had earlier sewn this jacket.  I had to buy a new Barbie doll as I had already given away all of my daughter's old Barbies.  Underneath the skirt were three layers of chocolate cake, 2 8" rounds and 1 dome-shaped which I baked on my KitchenAid mixing bowl.

The doll actually had a glittery bodice already painted on it but I covered it up with purple gumpaste anyway to add some colour.  I used a ruffle tip #88 for the skirt.

I couldn't resist sewing up something else for this special girl so as an additional birthday present,  I made her this wool coat based on this pattern.  I think I may be spoiling her way too much...

Debutante's cake

A big red velvet cake filled with cream cheese and frosted with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. 

I was shown a picture of the debutante with the dress she was going to wear on the night of her party so my girl figurine was based on that. (Well, it's a cartoony version of her anyway.)  She wanted pink and purple flowers around her too and of course, the 18 candles.  Plus I had to make 48 red velvet cupcakes to match the cake as well.

Matching red velvet cupcakes.

Buzz Lightyear cake

Ube chiffon cake filled and frosted with creamy vanilla frosting.
To make a Buzz Lightyear gumpaste figure is surely way out of my league so it was a choice between using an actual toy figure or an edible icing image.  I settled for the icing image because I was pressed for time but really, I don't like edible icing images as they are a pain to remove from the backing paper.  This Buzz Lightyear one I ordered online was no exception.  I had followed all the suggested methods on how to remove the image but it wouldn't come off.  As the edges were starting to crack, I gave up and just cut the circle and placed the image (with its backing sheet) onto the cake.  Had to warn the celebrant's mom about it of course.  Other than that, I was pretty happy with the finished look of the cake.  I especially liked the candle holders with the Buzz Lightyear colours.

18th birthday cake

This cake was for a boy.  There were no specific requests for the decorations so what else could I have done but put a few flowers?

Chocolate chiffon with chocolate ganache filling. Frosted with Swiss Meringue buttercream.
I thought chocolate roses were the safest so that's what I did.  They're also better cause they're good enough to eat.  Tastes just like Tootsie Roll!  Gumpaste roses...I never encourage anyone to eat them.

Moulded from modelling chocolate.  I know my roses aren't very realistic but that's how I actually like them.
So...that's about it.  Hope I didn't put you to sleep (or make you hungry?) with all that boring cake talk.  Well actually, I kinda enjoyed typing up this post.  Hopefully, I'll be back sooner than later.  Till next post!


  1. Hey Corinne,

    don't give up on blogging... I love your cakes... and they are so awesome...

    I never could bake one of those...

    and maybe you just should take some time out... ;-)))

    warmest regards from Germany


  2. Hi Corinne,
    Don't give up blogging...I am in the same boat. I haven't blogged regularly now for well over 6 months...I get bored with blogging about the same things all the time and worry that people won't find my life interesting. I agree with Andrea...just take a break :)
    I LOVE your cakes...and yes they do leave me craving something sweet! xx

  3. Hi Corrine,

    I understand how you feel but hey look at what you can do. Youre not just good in what you do but your every work is with excellence! I have told you this before and im telling you again! You are inspiring many of us your readers so cheer up! I am always looking forward your blog. You can pause for a while but never stop!

    Your fan ^_~


  4. I am in the same boat - please don't give up on your blog! I LOVE to see your work and the stories about who you make them for.

    My daughter-in-law went and took the classes and learned how to make the beautiful cakes like you - then she just gave it up completely and never even makes one for the family . It really breaks my heart because she was so gifted. Her excuse was : she just wanted the experience.

    So when I saw your beautiful creations - I thought maybe I would get to enjoy another "artist's" creations. We the public cannot just run to the store and pick up a cake like you do because you put love and attention to details into your work and that is something NO store can pull off.

  5. Hi Corinne

    Just don't stop blogging!
    Your posts are the reason we do come back and have a look. I just dream about being able to do great cakes like yours! And even if I won't bake soon, it gives me Mojo, motivation, inspiration for my own crafts!
    The Blogger-World lives from the different talented people.

    BTW: I heard a well-known scrapbook-Lady say, that "bows are the new flowers", so maybe you could try that next time...

    Greetings from Zurich, Switzerland

  6. Please, continue on posting and sharing pics of your latest projects especially those wonderful cakes. You are very talented! No formal training on baking and cake decorating yet you are so good at it like a pro! Im just wondering how long does it take you to decorate a cake? Keep up the good work!
    Christine, NYC

  7. Hi Christine,

    I really don't know exactly how long it takes me but I have gotten a lot faster with practice. I usually make the gumpaste decorations about a week in advance. This way, the actual frosting and decorating becomes a lot easier.

    Thanks for reading!

  8. I just love looking at your creations :) May I pls ask, how far in advance do u frost and decorate these? I'm making ur ube chiffon cake for my daughter's bday and was hoping to put gumpaste flowers, can I put it the night before? will they soften by the morning? And what is the best frosting to use that holds its shape? I will have to ice/frost the cake the night before coz I wont have time on party day. Thanks

    1. Again, I am not an expert so what I have to say are all based on my experiences alone.

      I usually make my decorations a week in advance if I can. Before I put them on the cake, they are already very dry and hard. I think that for as long as your cake is not exposed to moisture, for instance, if you put it in a box, the decorations will not soften even when it sits in the fridge overnight.

      For the ube cake, I do not use the whipped cream frosting when decorations are required. I find that whipped cream does make the gumpaste become sticky. I often replace the frosting with buttercream.

  9. Thank you for your reply. Totally appreciate it. What buttercream would u use for ube cakes? Would u have a recipe you could share? I'm thinking about your ube cake and I'm practically drooling :)

    1. I use swiss meringue buttercream. The recipe is with the post on the Mocha Chiffon cake. If you'd like to make it ube flavoured, you can replace the vanilla with the ube flavouring.

      Buttercream is ok with the ube cake BUT for me, the whipped cream frosting still matches it best.

  10. Thanks so much for the prompt reply. I had baked an ube cake yesterday, wrapped it and rested it in the fridge overnight and I couldn't resist not eating it today :-) so I whipped some thickened cream with caster sugar and a few drops of ube flavouring and oh my God, it was sensational!!!! It seemed a little dry but maybe because it was still cold when we ate it or I may have overcooked it tho I cooked it spot in 45mins as per recipe.
    I have one question tho,.hubby wanted to taste more ube in the cake, do u think it is possible to add more ube in it or just add more flavouring?

    1. I have never ever tried adding more ube nor more flavouring so please do experiment. Adding more ube might make the cake denser but that's just my assumption.

      Properly cooked chiffon cakes remain moist even when refrigerated so if your cake was a little dry, yes, it could have been overcooked or maybe, the eggwhites were overbeaten.

      Good luck!

  11. I told hubby I'm happy with the recipe so I'm sticking to your awesome recipe :) thanks again for sharing. I was really paranoid abt the egg whites coz I have read in your comments that overbeating could cause dryness. How would u know when to stop beating it? Do u think it also had something to do with my pan being only 2' deep(not enough room to rise?)

    1. When it comes to beating the eggwhites, I just eyeball it. I do not even time it. Your eggwhites should be silky and shiny and when you turn the bowl upside down, it should stay in the bowl. If your eggwhites look grainy, then it has been overbeaten.

      I do not think the dryness had anything to do with the size of the pan.

  12. Do u think I could have underbeaten the eggs too? Does that cause dryness or just deflated cake?

    1. Underbeaten eggs would probably result in a denser cake since stiffly beaten eggs give the cake the air it needs to rise.