Monday, March 30, 2009

Grace's Ballet Slipper Cake

Ahhh, back to my pink, girlie groove! Stacey, a fellow pilates gal, ordered a cake for her daughter's 6th birthday.  Her daughter takes ballet and tap dance class, so we wanted to incorporate that into her cake.  Being that I have two dancers, the concept was something I am very familiar with.

Grace, the birthday girl, wanted a chocolate cake- for sure. I made a rich, dense chocolate cake and covered it with vanilla buttercream.  I was not liking the fact that you could still see that darn (scrumptious) chocolate cake showing through the frosting.  So, I decided to make some white fondant and cover a portion of the cake with it.  I covered the cake and then cut out the ballet slippers section.  I piped pink buttercream on the cake for the slippers. Then I colored some of the fondant in a darker pink for the inside of the slippers and a ribbon-like trim for the whole cake.
I used a technique that I saw on one of my favorite TV shows, Amazing Wedding Cakes.  I rolled out a long strip of colored fondant and cut it lengthwise into about a 1/2 inch ribbon.  Then you just role it up, like you would a real ribbon and unroll it along the side of the cake.  Cool, huh? Okay, no one cares. I know, I am losing you.

I added green royal icing letters and little flowers around the base.  Then, I used bubble gum tape for the ribbons on the slippers.  It makes the cake smell so good, perfect for a 6 year old. It was so cute, my girls wanted to keep it here. Nothing new there. 

Stacey's husband, Jason,  and their darling little girls came to pick up the cake. You know how people always say it's a small world? As his kids were adoring our dog, we realized we have the same breed of dog, maltipoo. And, they bought their dog from the same breeder that we did. We realized they were cousins! Also, I thought Jason looked so familiar.  Well, he is the owner of ISPIRI, a design and remodeling company  based right here in Woodbury.  I had just been to a friend's house who recently completed a design/remodel project.  Her house looked so amazing! I wanted to stay there forever.  Turns out it was Jason's company that did the work! I now have ISPIRI on my Christmas wish list! I think you may want to talk to SC about it for yours too!

Stacey and Jason could not be a nicer couple and I love the opportunity to turn people on to a great company.  Check out my links for the ISPIRI website.  So, not only did I have the great fortune to meet another wonderful family, my little pup found another family member, right in his own backyard. Life, it always surprises me!

Here is Grace's birthday cake.  I don't think it could match the sweetness and cuteness of the birthday girl, but hopefully it came close on her special day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Congrats to N & J! We hope you have love and cupcakes 4 ever!

My beautiful sister, Auntie Nell and her love, Uncle J, celebrated with a wedding ceremony this past weekend on an island off Cancun, Isla Mujeres.   With much sadness, my family could not be there to share in what appears to have been an unbelievable event.  I must say, I have shed a few tears in my icing over the past few days.  Then, Auntie Nell sent an email with an amazing photo of her and J on a pier with candles.  It brought on chills, followed by more tears.  You can view it by going to her photographers blog.  Just go to .  I also have a link right here on my blog.  Just look at the column on the right under "SWEET LINKS".  You must look at everything they do!  My sister's picture is posted on their blog. The photography they do is so fantastic! I am so thankful that she could share some of their day with us, even though we were miles away.

One of Nell's favorite things in this world is cupcakes.  So, in honor of my sister, Sadie, Sadie married lady and J, the Hoodie King, here is a look at some of my cupcakes.

A little valentine filled with love
Wishing for spring ensemble
Do I need to say a word about this little chunk of chocolate heaven?
This one was for my hubbie, Snevs, who is not much of a sweets fan.  But he does love his bacon cheeseburgers, so...
The one at the beginning of this post is Nell's favorite.  It is much like her in a way. Sophisticated, unique, elegant, gorgeous, sometimes unapproachable, filled with sweetness and a deep red heart center that when opened, gives you more than you expected. She has always been a gift in my life, since the day she was born.

Red velvet and Nell, two things I could never be without.

Sugar cookies, pretty tasty (hopefully pretty and tasty too!)

Sugs (pronounced shougs) as my kids call them...
Oh, I love cookies! Mixing (dough testing), baking (sampling), decorating (making sure the icing is tasty) and best of all~ giving! I love the basics, like chocolate chip, PB and such- more on those later. However, a pretty, tasty sugar cookie ranks pretty close to the top of the cookie chain for me.

I have had some people say, "Oh they look too cute to eat." Huh? Seriously? I am flattered they think they are so darn cute, but they are cookies.  Meant to be enjoyed and shared.  My kids think I may be a bit too generous on the latter part.  Every time I make cookies and sell them or give them away, they act like they may never see another one.  Of course until they come home from school the next day and smell fresh ones baking just for them.
Like these ~
Or these for their dance competition ~

A skating party anyone?
Taekwondo Tournament (ayyahh!)
We have celebrated many occasions and just plain ole Sunday afternoons, with sugs and a glass of milk.  I invite you to do so too! I know a  pretty girl, who has a hilarious sister, who has a handsome little brother, who loves his daddy, who is married to a woman with a gigantic sweet tooth (keeping Dr. P in business), who would love to make them for you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Max's Fossil Cake

I am very used to making cute cakes.  I tend to think pink and purple should be on everyone's favorite's list.  So, when I was asked to do a cake for a boy turing 12, who loved animals, the outdoors and such,    pink and purple seemed a bit off.  I have the great fortune to know (and love) this family, so I decided to think outside my pretty little pink and purple box.

Max's family had just returned from a trip out west.  They had seen a fossil display from a company by the name of Stone Aquarium.  Apparently, Max was very taken with the fossils... ding, ding, ding- my idea came to me.  So, I went to Stone Aquarium's website and saw the ginormous Palm  fossil.  Again, I like pretty, fun, cute, but this was going to be a one of a kind cake specifically for Max (priceless, right?heehee).

So, I made my lovely moist yellow cake (always homemade- great ingredients, no other way to go!).  I decided to use a 13 x 9 pan.  When the cake was done and cooled, I inverted it onto my covered cake board. Covered meaning, foil wrapped and wax paper around the edges to keep the surface clean.  Then I carved out the palm shape and wiped away the crumbs.  I next applied a crumb coat of vanilla buttercream (made with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, mmm).  I like to apply an extra layer after the first one has set a bit.  Especially when I am covering the cake with fondant.  I make my own fondant, so it tastes good, but it is very sweet and some people still like to eat the frosting under it and discard the fondant.

I colored the fondant with a little brown and a little orange, to create a sand like look.  I also tried to include a few imperfections to help create the look of a fossil. Then I rolled out the fondant, making sure to add about 2 inches in length and width to cover the cake. (Does anyone remember learning the metric system in grade school? Hmm, glad I never quite figured it all out, not so handy today.) I digress.  Next, I covered the cake with the fondant and pressed it down lightly in the areas I had carved out.  Then I used a fondant tool to create the dimension in the leaves of the palm.  I also painted in the palm with food coloring paint (almond extract and food color paste).  Luckily my little Bam bam (aka Cam), had a few small plastic fish that I used to make imprint in the fondant.  I painted them in to make them really appear.

I just needed to personalize it a bit.  I then colored some more fondant and cut out "HAPPY 12TH BIRTHDAY MAX".  

Here is the picture of the real palm fossil and then the cake. What'd ya think? It is not cute, but I thought it was pretty cool!
Another adventure and learning experience.  Who knew cake decorating could teach me so much about so many different things! Well, only one more thing to say about this... 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sammy's Volcano Cake

A friend called to order a cake. It was for her 10 yr old son, Sam. Their only requests were to have a vanilla cake with "really good" chocolate frosting. Sam is a tough kid to impress, so I knew I had to think out of the box. I spent a while brainstorming, then hit the internet. Their family is heading to Costa Rica for spring break. I did some research and found that there is volcano that erupts daily called the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. So there was my idea, now how to pull it off?! Well, I made colored sugar candy lava, green coconut grass, 2- 8" cakes and another one in a batter bowl (dome shaped).

Lots of good chocolate buttercream frosting too! I then used an ice cream scoop to make a cavity in the top of the volcano. I inserted a glass votive holder and covered the edges with frosting.
When we delivered the cake, I added the lava (orange and red colored sugar candy) shooting out of the top and filled the votive half way with water and dropped in 3 dry ice pellets (thank goodness I have an awesome hubbie who drove into St Paul for me to find some dry ice) and.............the volcano came alive!!! From the bubbling sound to the lofts of smoke and shards of lava- it worked!

The best part? Sam watching it and jumping up and down over and over saying, "I love it, wow, cool, look Mom!" I even got a hug out of it! You may think that the fact that I am a chocoholic and sweets fanatic is the reason I love to do this. Not so much.

Seeing that reaction and joy in the birthday boy, that's what it is all about. Making other people happy, even if only until the smoke clears.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Debra and Energy Pilates and Fitness Rocks!

My dear friend and torturess, Debra Tourek,  put the word out today about our little venture. Lucky C's Sweets is officially on the map (knees shaking!).  I am so thrilled that I have the opportunity to bake for others and make lots of sweet goodness to share! I promise to get more info out about ordering and to post more examples of what I do.
Next Friday after the 9:30 pilates class at Energy Pilates and Fitness, I will have a table set up with sweet stuff for everyone to taste and hopefully, purchase! 

Thanks for all the positive comments and well wishes :)

Have a sweet day!

here's a teaser (not the kind we do in Debra's class)

Cookies for Baby E

Red Velvet Cupcakes for N & J's Ceremony

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let's start with Cam's 7th Birthday

Cam is a Star Wars guy.  He can tell an AT-ST from an X-wing fighter better than any 7 year old I know! He, as with all of my kids, get to pick what type of birthday cake they want each year.  Sometimes they just give me colors or characters.  Sometimes they give me drawings or ideas.  But I always try to get as close to what they want as I can or if they have no ideas (can't quite think of when that has happened), I come up with something on my own.  So, Cam knew he wanted a Star Wars cake.  He looked through all his books and at his characters and was having a hard time coming up with one idea. So with a little help, we decided that a cake with the Star Wars logo and some of his "guys" on top would be good.  Well, Uncle J, Auntie Nell and cousin T-dog were in town that weekend.  Everyone was giving out ideas. Great!~ yes. Night before the bday with elaborate suggestions ~ not so much. 
Just before he headed up to bed, he gave me a kiss goodnight and said, "I can't wait to wake up and see my Milleniumb Falcum (aka Millennium Falcon) cake, love you!" So I enlisted the help from the suggestion group and off we went.

I started with a 8" round cake and rectangular cake. I split the rectangle cake in half lengthwise. Then I trimmed a chunk off each end. First I put the round cake on the foil covered cake board. Then I made the front with two long pieces and filled in the side and center with the "chunks". Too technical for ya?

Next came the crumb coat.  If you are not aware of the crumb coat, it is just a light layer of frosting to cover the cake before you either recover with more frosting or cover with fondant. In other words, it's a good thing. 
Then I made the fondant (marshmallows, powdered sugar and a little water), colored the fondant and rolled it out. Doesn't it look like Darth Vader? The force was with us that night. It was past midnight at that point, if that had anything to do with it.
Since I wanted it to look a bit rustic spaceship-ish, I kept the extra powdered sugar on the fondant when I covered the cake.  I smoothed out the fondant and created the design and markings.  My staff, (the suggestion group) and I started adding the details. 

Before we knew it (it was 2 am!) and we had finished.  We were all super giddy! Whether it was from all the taste tests, satisfaction in a job well done or the fact that Cam would be so happy when we woke up- that I don't know.  What I do know is that when Cam came down the next morning on his birthday and saw all the homemade signs and decorations, he was thrilled! He took one look at the cake and then looked at me with one of those looks that melts your heart and gave me the biggest, warmest hug a 7 year old could give.   

"Thanks so much, Mommy! It really is the Milleniumb Falcum!" he said. I was so touched and feeling such love is awesome.  

All I could think was, anything for you, my sweet boy, anything.

Here's the final product, enjoy.

So much to say

I have a bunch of pictures and stories to share. So, I may have to backtrack for a while and then mix in a few current and then ... okay, obviously I don't need to share every thought with all of you! As one of my wise sister's always tells me, "less is more, Michelle".  I shall try.

Here we go...

First of all, thanks to many of you who have pushed me to do this! I am very excited to share all of my sweets and the fun stuff that goes along with them. My kids now think I am some sort of celebrity for having a blog. I'll take it, because from what I've heard (from those of you with teens), it won't be long before they think I have no clue about pretty much everything! The kids are at great ages (12, 9, 7) and really help to foster my creativity.  We should all try to look at things through kids eyes now and then. It is amazing what you might see.

So please visit as much as you like and know that we hope you enjoy what we are doing as much as we enjoy doing it! 

Alrighty, off the soap box and onto the cake board!