Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adventures in cake, duck style

Cake originally made for the Princess in May 2006.


I'm going to tell you now, I don't have pictures of the process since I made this cake almost six years ago.


When my oldest daughter turned one, I knew I wanted to do something really special.  I wanted her to have the perfect little cake, but I didn't have the money to spend on a specialty cake from a bakery.  I scoured the internet for a theme for her party.  I settled on a rubber duck theme from Celebrate Express.  They no longer carry it, but they have a lot of cute themes and I have used them more than once.




With absolutely no experience in making and decorating a birthday cake, I decided I wanted to do a cake actually shaped like a duck.  Not only shaped like a duck, but sitting in a little tub with water and bubbles, just like the picture.  I tell you, I dream big.  Luckily, Wilton has a duck shaped pan so I snapped one up.  Score!  I was also able to find a white bowl at Target that looked a lot like the tub in the inspiration piece.  Score again!  Sort of.  The bowl was pretty deep so I had to figure out how to make the duck sit high enough for it to be seen.  I settled on a cake round that just fit a couple of inches into the bowl.  I supported it with so styrofoam I had cut into chunks from some packaging we had.  I planned on using blue jello for water so I put a piece of plastic wrap over the board and up the sides of the bowl a little.  Enough to keep anything from being able to slip down the crack between the cake round and the side of the bowl, and to keep the cake round from getting soggy.  After all, it had to support a duck still.  This sounds like I was moving right along with the cake, right?  Nope, all of this took me a few days to figure out.


The cake itself was an adventure.  It baked easily enough in Wilton's pan and I got it settled into the bowl.  I had bought a few cans of frosting, tinted some yellow and some orange, and went to town icing it with a butter knife.  Yep, you heard me, a butter knife.  Looking back, I am surprised it turned out as well as it did.  I used blue M&Ms for the eyes.






I didn't stop there.  All first birthdays need a smash cake, right?  I thought I would try to make one of those, too.  I used a six inch round pan to make a cake for the tub.  I iced it white and piped little bubbles all over it.  I wasn't daring enough to wait until her birthday to try it so I made a practice cake a few weeks before.




And the final cake, with lighter bubbles.




I got a bit wild and made little candy ducks to match the cake.




If you have a question on how I made something, just ask!




Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rainbow Tutu instructions


On my family blog I posted this cake tutu tutorial.  I decided to share it here, also.


I had looked at all the instructions from various websites for how to make one, but I didn't want to have to use hot glue.  I had already bought my tulle off a bolt from Hobby Lobby when it was on sale, so I needed to find something to attach it to and a good way to attach it.  Then I saw the perfect thing.  A styrofoam disc.  I picked a 12 inch disc as it was the same size as the cake board I was using.


I got this one at Hobby Lobby.  I cut my tulle into strips slightly longer in length than I needed.  I cut across the width of the bolt, giving me a strip 45 inches long and about 9 inches wide.  I then cut the length in half so  they were only about 22 inches long (sorry I don't have pictures of this).  I counted the number of tulle strips I had (I cut four of each color) and then divided the circle evenly.  I marked it with a permanent marker so each strip of tulle would be even.


See those little dots?  That was the width I had to fit the strip of tulle into (the 22 inch length).  To hold the tulle on to the foam, I used simple U pins.  I got these at Walmart and they were called upholstery pins.  I used roughly three pins per section of tulle.


I was left with a row of pins showing.


Yes, that is frosting on the tulle.  I took these pictures as I was deconstructing the skirt.  I knew I needed to hide this row of pins, so I wrapped a white ribbon around it, using the pins to secure it down.  I tied a bow and used a pin through the not to hide the ends of the ribbons.


I trimmed the top edge of the tulle to be just long enough to hide my cake board, and cut the lower edge to be even all the way around.  Because the cake ended up being so heavy, I just let the skirt stick straight out.


Although I ended up tossing the tulle and ribbon because it was covered in icing, I saved my foam disc and pins.  I might be able to use this again.

To see the post this cake was featured in, visit over at One to Crazy.




Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties. 
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