Thomas the Tank Engine cake

Of course due to the COVID quarantine, Felicity’s 3rd birthday had to be at home with just the 4 of us. That didn’t stop me from planning a themed party and matching cake. She had chosen the theme of Thomas the Tank Engine months ago, and I really wanted her to have her party. Plus, the creative aspects of cake making/decorating are a good way for me to keep my sanity through all of this.

I’m loving buttercream cakes with fondant accents lately. They have so much dimension to them and are much easier than 100% fondant cakes. So I made Thomas’ face and the letters out of fondant that I had bought online in small batches.

I have a set of 10 circle cookie cutters in all different sizes, and was able to make the face, eyes, and smile using them. Then I used a fondant tool for the eyebrows, nose, and smile lines. I added a ball of fondant under the face to make the nose pop out a bit.

The smoke stack and steam were also made with fondant, and gave it a nice 3-dimensional look.

I was really happy with how the cake turned out and Felicity loved it (which is all that really matters)!

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Spider-Man Birthday Cake

My nephew turned 3 and had his birthday party this past weekend. He LOVES all things Spider-Man. So when asked to make his cake, I knew I had to deliver. I decided to go with a butter cake filled with buttercream, graham cracker crumbs, and fresh bananas and strawberries.

I covered the outside with traditional buttercream that had been dyed a bright red. My new favorite gel coloring is Chefmaster. It mixes a lot easier than Wilton, and doesn’t dry out as easily because it is more liquid.

Then I used white fondant to make the eyes. This small package was perfect. Then I piped black buttercream around the eyes and along the bottom with a star tip. The last step was using Wilton black piping gel to make the spider web details.

This was a 10-inch cake and it easily served 20 with plenty of leftovers.

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Sprinkle Donut Cake Pops

My sister-in-law recently had her baby sprinkle, and the theme was donuts. So I thought it would be fun to make some donut-themed cake pops. Since she is waiting until the birth to find out if the baby is a girl or boy, I made both pink and blue donuts.

I started out making these as I would any traditional cake pop, and added a hole in the middle using a fondant tool. I decided to make these red velvet and use traditional buttercream frosting.

For the coating, I found sea salt caramel Merckens Melts, and they were the perfect color and tasted awesome. Just a little bit of saltiness to offset the sweetness of the cake pop. With a small brush, I brushed the inside of the hole and then dipped the pop in the melted caramel. Usually I do two dips but for this one I just did one since the caramel was pretty thick. Usually, I thin out the dipping chocolate with Crisco, but the caramel melted nicely so this wasn’t necessary.

After they dried, I painted on either pink or blue melted chocolate and immediately dipped them in colored sprinkles. The idea was to make them look like a traditional donut from the Simpsons.

These were really fun to make, and pretty easy, too. I was able to do them in one afternoon.

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Taco Twosday cake

My daughter turned 2 this past May and since her birthday was Cinco de Mayo weekend, we threw her a Taco Twosday party. This was a really fun cake to make. I used this tutorial, and there were some really great ideas for the toppings. The cheese is made by mixing shredded coconut with orange food dye, and I found this small package of fondant that was perfect for cutting into squares for the tomatoes. “The ground beef” is a mixture of crushed Oreo cookies and buttercream frosting.

The most challenging part of this cake was smoothing out the frosting for the taco shell.

I thought this cake wouldn’t be enough for our party, but it ended up feeding a lot of people since it is so wide. For serving, I cut the cake across so each slice contained both shells and the middle.

Someone can’t wait to dive into this cake!

This was definitely a fun addition to our taco party and months later, my daughter is still talking about it!

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Bubble Guppies tiered cake

My nephew turned 2 this past February, so this post is a LONG time coming! But I’m currently on maternity leave after having baby #2, so I can finally catch up on things. Since this was only the second cake I had made in a while, buttercream waves were not only perfect for the theme, but also quite forgiving. I crushed graham crackers in the food processor to make the sand (a trick I love because it looks great and tastes awesome). The bubbles were gumballs and chocolate pearls that I swiped from a candy buffet at a party I had attended a few weeks before (very lucky timing!). My favorite are the sugar sea shells that I also used for the Moana smash cake I made a few months prior.

The trickiest part of making this cake was the Bubble Guppies characters. I decided to make them as sugar cookies. I bought these 3D printed Bubble Guppies cookie cutters and they were very nice to use. But because they were so detailed and required so many colors of royal icing, they were very time consuming. I was a bit out of practice in icing the cookies, but overall I think they resembled the characters fairly well.

I had never made a large 2-tiered cake before, but it turned out really well. I filled the cake with banana filling, but I definitely would use more filling next time. The filling tasted great, but it wasn’t all that noticeable.

Like my Christmas trees, I always make sure to decorate the back!

Overall, I was happy with how this cake turned out. I’m looking forward to learning the theme for this year’s party so I can get started planning his cake!

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