Tag Archives: fondant

Creative Cupcake Tower

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I’d forgotten how much I enjoy being creative with cake decorating.  It’s probably because I haven’t had to make one for so long that it actually felt fun to me!

Now…. As I mentioned the other day in my post….. it wasn’t like the cakes I used to decorate years ago.  This one was extremely easy in comparison.  The actual cake itself was only a 6 inch topper for the cupcake tower…. So it was a breeze.

Part of the fun this time was doing something new.  Instead of just doing a tiny cake just for the bride and groom….. adding the drama of a cupcake tower gives the feel of a larger cake without all the work that goes into the cake part!

Besides trying new recipes, as I mentioned the other day….. I wanted the presentation to look good too without going to a lot of expense of a fancy cake tower and yet a little nicer than the cardboard kits you can buy.

So here’s my attempt at the cupcake tower.  I think the final product turned out pretty cute.

Here's the final product

For those of you that are interested… this is how I made the tower.

I found ½ inch foam core at Hobby Lobby.  They were 20 x 30 inch sheets.  With 2 sheets, I was able to cut a 20”, 16”, 12” and 8” square with a little extra foam core.  I thought a black and white theme would be fun so I found some cute wrapping paper, again at Hobby Lobby.

The one thing I did that I wouldn’t recommend is that I decoupaged the wrapping paper to the foam squares.  Not a good idea.  When the paper ‘shrunk’ as it dried…. It warped the foam core boards a little.  Though it wasn’t bad enough that it was really obvious…. I still wasn’t happy with it.  I would suggest wrapping the boards with the paper instead.  Then you can wrap them in any color you like for the next event.  My original thought was that with the decoupage, I could easily wipe them clean and still wrap them in another color for the next event if needed.

Then I found some coordinating ribbon that I liked.  It’s a 3/8” ribbon that I found at Hobby Lobby.  Yes…. I lucked into most of the stuff from there.  I used large sewing pins with white heads on them to poke the ribbon into the foam core.  Since the ribbon I picked had polka dots on it…. The pins were perfect and I was able to space them evenly apart.

The stones weren't as visible with the cracked glass jar.... but I felt the weight was important

The hardest part of the whole tower for me was to find something to separate the boards that was just the right height and not too big.  I wanted to go with a glass or crystal look.  I tried a couple of different pieces of glass containers that I already had, but I wasn’t happy with either the width or the height.  Then I found some smaller circumference jars that I felt were too tall…… so back to the store I went to look again!

I lucked into finding medium size fish shape bowls at Ross that were just the right size, but they were actually made from a crackled glass and were much thicker than the same shaped bowls at Michael’s.  I brought them home and weighted them down with some clear glass stones I had used for my daughter’s wedding.  I like the idea of the tower being weighted.  I felt it would make it more secure.  You can get those stones at almost any craft store.  All A Dollar even carries them.  They don’t always have clear though.

To get the bottom level of the tower directly off the display table, I used double stick tape and used an old cake separator plate and stuck it to the bottom of the 20” square.  Since the separator plates have ‘feet’ on them, it raised to bottom board up about an inch.

Look close.... you can see the swirl pattern in the fondant

We also used double stick tape to tape the actual cake to the top layer of the cake tower.  I didn’t want to take the chance of it slipping off.  Though I didn’t do it, you may want to consider using the tape on the edges of the glass bowls to help them ‘stick’ to the level of foam core above it.  The biggest problem with the tape is pulling it off afterward.  If you have just wrapped each layer in paper as I suggested, and are not concerned about saving the paper…. It’s not a big deal.  It may just be a problem getting it off of the glass jars.

The top cake layer was covered in the ever popular fondant.  (Which, by the way, I purchased a small package of.  I didn’t want to make a whole recipe for one small cake.)  After rolling the fondant out, I used an imprint matt to depress the Whimsical Swirls in the fondant.  I got the matt at a local cake decorating supply store.  I used the same ribbon and pins to put around the bottom of the cake.  I asked the gal who was doing the flowers to leave me a few to put on the cake.  I actually just poke the flowers right into the fondant.  You can use fresh flower spikes instead if you’d like.

The cupcakes were made with the recipes I found on my friends Frosted! blog (see earlier post for the recipe link).  I found the cute colorful cupcake liners at Michael’s.  Then I sprinkled small multi-colored non pareils on top and put one large pink non pareil on the tippy top.  That’s it!  I made 4 dozen cupcakes and this tower easily held them.  It could probably hold closer to 75.

So there’s my ‘how to’ post on the cupcake tree!

I’m grateful I had the chance to do it.  It was fun and made me remember how much I use to enjoy making cakes.  Don’t worry….. I’m not planning on picking up the hobby again anytime soon!  I’ll leave that up to my daughter!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

Just me.... hanging by the cake tower

Linda Jean and Her Frosted! Blog

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It’s been a while since I’ve had to worry about making a wedding cake.  I used to decorate cakes professionally.  You know…. back when my kids were little and you wonder how the heck you did anything then!

I also used to teach classes for Wilton.  I took a Wilton class at ZCMI back in the early 80’s and several more classes from that same teacher privately at her home.  She taught me all about how to make and decorate cakes with fondant frosting….LONG before it was the ‘thing’ to do!

I spent hours making wedding cakes!  Large wedding cakes!  All the fondant was hand made, not in a box or a bucket like you can get now.  (Yes….it’s true!  You can make your own fondant!!)  My teacher taught me how to ‘tuck’ ribbon in the fondant so it looked like it had been woven in and out of it.

Then she taught me how to do intricate lace work with the royal icing.  It took hours.  Literally.  I would have to plan weeks ahead of the wedding day and start baking at least a week ahead of time.  I didn’t make a ton of wedding cakes…. I made my fair share….. but the problem was, not many people wanted to pay the price I was charging back then.  They loved the look…. they just didn’t want ot pay for my time.  But if I didn’t charge enough…. it made my time worthless.  So, consequently I wasn’t super busy doing wedding cakes, which is probably good since my kids were pretty little.

Linda Jean..... Go check out her blog! See the link in this post.

Anyway….. what I’m grateful for today is Linda Jean and her Frosted! blog.  She is a friend of mine who has a passion for making gourmet cupcakes.  Since cupcakes are a pretty big rage for weddings now…. I decided to make cupcakes for my sister’s wedding.  Her daughter called me last week and asked if I would make a small wedding cake for them.  They are just trying to keep the wedding small, but Jenny felt like it would be nice to have a cake.

So… I’m in the process of making a ‘small’ cake that will sit atop a cupcake tower.  I’m also making the cupcakes.  I figured… if I used to spend hours and hours making very large fondant covered cakes…. that I could easily make cupcakes and swirl some icing on them!  And in a whole lot less time!

The key is, using my brilliant friend Linda Jean’s blog to get some recipes and tips off of.  You really should check it out!  If you are considering trying your hand at making gourmet cupcakes…. give her blog a look!  http://www.thefrostedcupcakes.blogspot.com/

There is a lot of valuable information and recipes on there for wonderful delicious cupcakes and icing.  Many different kinds.  Lots of wonderful pictures and some great baking and frosting tips.

I’m so grateful to her for putting this together so that instead of just making plain cupcakes from a box mix with regular buttercream icing (which isn’t a bad thing…. I just didn’t want to do that!), I will have gourmet Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream icing.  I’m excited to see it all come together.  I’m sure that I will be making another post about how it all turned out…. so stay tuned!

Thanks, Linda Jean for sharing your knowledge…. for your passion for baking and making cupcakes!  One day I’ll get to taste those yummy confections from your oven!!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

I searched the internet for a picture of a fondant cake with ribbon tucked in like I used to do.  Couldn’t find a thing!   I’d have to dig through my photos and scan one in to show you.  Hopefully I can do that sometime.

But here is a picture of the kind of lace work that I’m talking about.  This is what really took hours to do.  The ribbon tucking took time too…. but not like the lace work!  This is NOT a cake I did…. but a sample of the kind of thing I used to do!  Crazy!

Can you see the layers and layers of icing built up on the scallops? Yeah..... THAT'S time consuming!