Sunday, March 1, 2009

Evolution of Cake

I make cakes. I have for a long time. Seven kids = a lot of birthday cakes.

When I was a kid in Minnesota, my mom and her girlfriend took Wilton Cake Decorating classes together. Mom soon acquired shaped cake pans and decorating tips and other cake-making paraphernalia. She could make piped-icing roses and leaves. She made an Easter cake shaped like a three dimensional lamb. But years later she stopped making cakes and passed all her tools and whatnot to me.

So I started making my kid's birthday cakes and baptism cakes and learned to use the piping bag and tips. But I never took any classes. I didn't know any one else who made decorated cakes.

I don't know where things took a turn really, I just started experimenting and tried to make things more interesting. Then in 2000 I got to make my first wedding cake. It was for something like 300 guests. A lot of cake. Stressful (because I was a greenhorn). But the bride and groom were pleased and so was I.

The next wedding cake was a training cake too so it was a freebee. For 350-400 guests!!! That was a whopper. Panic led to way too much cake. A four tiered stacked cake with a tsunami of flowers down the side. Four side cakes and two sheet cakes.
Three different flavors. Those poor people had cake in their freezer for several years after that. But I learned a lot.

Now, several years later, I've made quite a few wedding cakes~

(Isn't this a great photo? It's by wedding photographer Blaine Franger. He takes terrific photos and I love his website. And his blog- Wow!- the photos! I love it when he photographs my cakes. He makes them look good!)

And a few groom's cakes~

(This was yummy German chocolate cake with classic coconut pecan topping. And it was the groom's design wish.)

More birthday cakes~

And it's a business. And my daughter even made me a website
So isn't it about time that I take a class?

We have present in our little farm town, a nationally known cake designer. Her cakes have been in all the bridal and food magazines. She's been on television. She's flown her cakes to events in New York City, Las Vegas and various tropical islands. She's taught classes at places like Sur La Table and In Good Taste. She truly revolutionized the wedding cake industry with her cake designs. Her Whimsy Cakes are the original creations that started the trend of "mad hatter" or crazy-off-kilter cakes that are now so a part of cake culture, if you will. And she lives here. In our valley. She retired and closed her shop last year but she will take special orders. Minimum order $2000.

Yesterday she taught a Community Ed class. I'm no dummy.

She called me last week and said she saw my name on the class list and was concerned about whether I'd get my money's worth. "You probably already know everything I will teach" she said. Yeah right. Believe me - I have a lot to learn!

It was great. She taught the basics of icing a cake. Of course, I've been doing it wrong all these years. And she brought real buttercream. She taught fondant techniques, painting techniques and piping techniques. She showed how to make pearls and dust them with gold powder. It was awesome. I wanted to concentrate on doing something with my cake that I had never before done, which was getting a painterly affect with the icing. I didn't get finished before the end so she sent me home with what I needed. It's not perfect but I'm pleased with the result and what I learned.

And I've certainly come a long way since this hideousness:


  1. Love the blog mom. Great to have more interesting reading.

    You should change the "My BLog List" to something like "Places I like to go/visit." Then you can self-promote your business website, and Franger and anyone else as well. I mean, don't just limit it to blogs.

    Just a thought.

  2. Haha! Alyssa's baptism cake! Hilarious! I mean... uh... it was... great. At the time.

    Sounds like the cake class was awesome!

  3. Yes Kristin. The gadget headers are just what blogger puts in. I can change them? How many hours a day am I supposed to be at this???

    Did you look at Blaine's blog? He's in Cambodia and the photos are amazing.

  4. WOW! Don't I feel cool I've made it on your blog twice already!! :) And what a bad picture of my cake, But i know you only chose it cause you wanted me on the page right? (don't answer that it might spoil it)

  5. How many hours a day am I supposed to be at this???

    20 is acceptable, though 24 would be preferred, if you ever want to make it into the blogging big leagues.


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