Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Things I've Learned

There are so many things that I have learned about decorating cakes and cakes in general since I started decorating them almost 2 years ago now. Most, if not all, of the things that I have learned have been learned through trial and error.
No, luckily I haven't dropped a cake yet. Every time someone asks me if I have, I wince a little when I tell them no, knowing that my turn is going to have to come. It is bound to happen eventually. I don't think any cake decorator can avoid such a disaster.
But anyway, here is a list of some of the things I have learned since I got into decorating cakes:

1. Always make more buttercream than you think you will need.  I have run out of buttercream so many times because I thought I had made enough. And once you get the buttercream a certain color, it is hard to match that color with the next batch you have to make. So, even if you think you are making enough buttercream, make more. Make more until you KNOW that it is going to be enough to cover and decorate that cake. Seriously, did leftover buttercream hurt anyone? I didn't think so.

2. Dry your hands on a paper towel, not a towel, when you are going to be working with fondant. Why? Because the seemingly invisible fuzzies from the towel will stick to your wet hands and they won't be visible until they are stuck to the fondant. Everything sticks to fondant, and once fuzzies are stuck, they don't want to come out.

3. Bring more decorating tools to an event than you think you will need. If space allows, bring it. If you think you probably won't need that decorating tip or a certain spatula, but there is the slightest possibility that you will? Bring it. If you end up not bringing something, you're going to end up needing it once you get there. That's just how it works.

4. Get used to people watching you. Chances are, when you are setting up a cake at an event, you aren't going to have a space all to yourself. People are going to be walking in and out and doing their own thing. But at some point or another, people will watch you. Whether out of fascination or boredom, people will watch you. You have to get used to this fact and not do something stupid out of nervousness.

5. You learn a lot of birthdays you didn't know before. When you bring a pretty cake somewhere, for some odd reason people start telling you their birthdays? Hmmm..I wonder why that is. ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Name!

Icing on the Cake is now Once Upon a Tier!

It was time for this blog to have a new, more original name from the one I created a couple of years ago...so it got one!

What do you think? Do you like the name Once Upon a Tier?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Brush Embroidery

I have seen brush embroidery several places lately so I figured it was time to give it a whirl. I love the way brush embroidery looks; its so elegant and dainty.

It was a lot easier than I was expecting. I was imagining everything possible going wrong in my head, but it worked out pretty nicely! What didn't work out so nicely was the sides of the "cake". It was my first time using a cake dummy which was a little difficult. I was using royal icing to cover the dummy and it was crusting over before I could get it smooth, so there were little annoying wrinkles everywhere...ugh. But at least the top turned out okay!

I was originally going for a deep green icing color, which I thought would look really pretty with the white flower, but this was the green I stopped at after getting tired of mixing in so much color.

Overall, I'm happy with my first attempt at brush embroidery! I will definitely be doing it again.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Cakes

I woke up this morning to 6 inches of snow and it has been steadily falling for the past 5 hours. My sister, Rachel, and I went out and built a snowman (I don't think I'd ever made a REAL snowman...with a carrot nose and everything?) and then decided to make snow cakes and see whose we liked better when they were finished. She went to one side of the yard, I went to the other, and we got to work!

This was my finished "cake":

Holly berries, holly leaves, and cedar branches! I only put the holly berries on the front of the cake because I had to take my bulky gloves off to place the berries on...and they kept popping back off. I also wanted to find something I could use for a cake stand, to get it off of the snow and give it some more color, but I couldn't find anything in my part of the yard.

Then I went to see Rachel's "cake"...

She used the bird bath for her cake stand! I was rather jealous of it. Not to mention her little heart topper is adorable.

The verdict? I liked hers better and she liked mine better.

What do you think? Which snow cake do you like better?