April 17, 2010

Using dowels to support a multi-layered cake

(image via moon-pie.blogspot.com)

I've had a couple of requests for explanations on placing dowels in the Toy Story cake. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures at that step, but I found a nice image on another blog to give you an idea of what I am describing.

After a crumb coat and fondant layer on my bottom 9x13 cake, I placed dowels in my cake, just like the pictures above. (You can buy cake dowels at any cake decorating store in a pack.) The dowels ensure your bottom layer cake doesn't get squished by the weight of the top layer cake and decorations. I think I put 5 or 6 dowels in my bottom 9x13 layer, spacing them out evenly. Make sure your dowels are the same height or just slightly shorter than the cake you are sticking them into, this helps support the top layer 9x13 and any decorations you add on top. I cut my dowels using a nice, sharp pair of kitchen shears.

When it is time to serve your cake, you can disassemble your cake layers and take the dowels out, or just cut into your cake and remove dowels as you see them in the individual pieces. If you only do a few dowels, it won't be a big deal to find them.

Dowels in a multi-layered cake are essential to prevent sagging in your cake. Fondant is heavy and if you are needing to transport your cake, your bottom layer will need all the support it can get. Good luck and e-mail or comment if you need further explanation!

April 13, 2010

Toy Story Cake

Toy Story 3 will be out soon in theaters and I have been receiving some requests for more pictures, since a lot of kids are going to want Toy Story cakes this year. So here they are. Please leave a comment with your e-mail if you would like specific instruction on any part of the cake. If you leave a comment here, it will be sent directly to my e-mail box so I can respond ASAP.

Thanks and happy decorating!

Cake Ideas and Inspiration

My good friend, Jen, recently asked me for some birthday cake ideas/websites/general inspiration that I use when I am in "cake mode". Hope this isn't too late for you to use, Jen, and I want to see some pictures when you have your final product!

The Toy Story cake was a cake of my own creation, but I first went to the wonderful cake site www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com for my inspiration. I looked at all of the Toy Story themed cakes, combined little bits of several different cakes, and added some of my own touches. I think that's the best way to make a cake: see someone's idea and then make it your own. Check out the site for your theme of cake that you want to do and see where it takes you!

If you find a cake that you absolutely love, then just plain ol' copy it! This cake I copied almost completely from the same website listed above.

Another resource I use is Wilton yearbooks. The Wilton company comes out with a new cake decorating book each year. I buy one at Michael's each year and it is full of great cake decorating ideas, updated with the latest techniques and characters that kids love. It has recipes, all the tools you could ever need or want, and more great cakes than I could ever make in a lifetime.

This cute little dino was made after spying a cute green dragon in the 2007 yearbook. His body and head are two heart shaped cakes. His legs, arms, and tail are frosted sugar cookies.

And there is always the good ol' cake pan. Buy them at any craft/cake store, bake, and follow the frosting directions that come with purchase. Simple and easy. This Lightning McQueen cake was nice because it isn't very big and since it was just a family party, we didn't have a ton of leftover cake sitting around to tempt me.

I wish I lived closer to you, Jen, so we could work on it together! Does anyone else have any good cake inspiration stores/books/sites they can share?
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