Let me preface this with a reminder that I am NOT doing wedding cakes – or any other cakes – for order anymore. I burnt out, there is no amount of money that could convince me to take an order.
Carrie and Otha get a very, VERY rare exemption to that rule, however. They’re good friends, and this weekend I made their wedding cake. Carrie and Otha aren’t traditionalists (unless we’re talking certain aspects of geekery!), and their cake would need to reflect that. At a quick, casual design session, it was decided that I would be making a Transformers themed cake for them.
As an accomplished comic book artist, Otha was VERY detailed in drawing up reference sketches for the fondant Optimus Prime that would be down on one knee atop the cake. Rather than holding out a ring box, he would be holding up a Matrix of Leadership. Awesome, right?
I was SO nervous! The sketches were so detailed, I was worried that I would never be able to live up to expectations.
As we hadn’t even discussed what the main cake would look like, I wanted to surprise them with something more detailed than whatever they were picturing – probably a sheet cake. (Seriously, the focus was ALL on Optimus Prime). What, though? I don’t know anything about Transformers! I saw the recent-ish movies, but all I really remember from either was Leonard Nemoy having a Spock quote as a line in… the second one?
Luckily, I have friends of every conceivable flavor of geekdom. I polled some friends who are fans of the old-school Transformers cartoon series. So glad I did – I was thinking “Well, the AllSpark thing was a cube, I could just do that…”. I was given the very sage advice of:
“DO NOT MAKE ANYTHING MICHAEL BAY RELATED.”
Good enough! We settled on a base dome shaped cake representing Cybertron. Well, half of Cybertron, anyway. Source material photos online showed that this could be extremely complicated… but hey, any excuse to whip out the edible metallic airbrush spray, right?
Whew. The whole time I made it, I was worried that my Cybertron would not be recognizable as such, or that I was making a wrong version, or… I don’t know. It’s stressful to make cake for people that I actually know! Beyond Cybertron, I also made “metallic” gold fondant roses to surround Cybertron, both to cheekily “wedding-it-up” a bit… and, again, metallic airbrush. What can I say, I must have been a magpie in a former life!
I guess I didn’t need to worry – the cake went over incredibly well, both inside and out. I had to let out a huge sigh of relief when Otha IMMEDIATELY commented on the cake being Cybertron.
The cake was cut, and both bride and groom went straight for the peppermint flavored fondant as their first bites. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only caker I know, who has people get like that over their fondant. People were diving into the fondant all around me, and going back to claim fondant roses as well! (Want my fondant recipe? It’s included in my cookbook, “Evil Cake Overlord“)
Inside all of that were layers of moist vanilla bean cake with chocolate-peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Yum! Looked great, tasted great, AND I got to say that I was giving them a wedding gift that money couldn’t buy!
Congrats again, Carrie and Otha!
I met Lisa and Amy back when I was sponsoring – and later volunteering for – the Twin Cities Pride Festival. Sweet people and an adorable couple, I promised that I would make their wedding cake some day.
As this was LONG before I announced my retirement from cakes, I made an exception to my “No more cakes!” vow, and created the cake for their wedding this past weekend. I also had the honor of shooting the wedding with my husband… an exception to our “No more wedding photography!” vow! (more…)
Ok, I’m probably going to catch a lot of flack for this, but it needs to be said.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a ton of tweets about Buddy Valastro’s 2000 lb “Transformers” cake, complete with hydraulic system. (click here, if you have no idea what I’m talking about!). At first, I just sort of rolled my eyes. The way cakes have been trending the past few years, there’s definitely been competition to do the biggest, craziest, etc.
After a few dozen mentions on Twitter though, I started to wonder. At what point does “cake art” cease to be CAKE art? (more…)
|As you may have guessed by now… I LOVES me a geeky bride!
Michelle, the bride who ordered the cake I’m posting about today, is pretty much a perfect representation of what kind of bride I love to work with: Identified geeky in the first email (which was also well written, polite, and had great grammar and spelling – FTW!), didn’t take anything too seriously – no bridezilla moments at all! -, gave me ultimate reign over the final design, and wanted her wedding cake themed around an old school NES / Taito game!
Oh yeah. She also held her real wedding in Vegas, getting married by an impersonator. Not any tired old Elvis impersonator (which, in my mind, would still be kind of awesome to do!).. no. She got married by a “Bishop” impersonator from the Princess Bride. Yes, her “mawwige” was “wut bwings us togedder”! Awesome!
Check out the cake: (more…)
Now that it’s mid October, Twitter and the wedding blogs are lighting up with mentions of Halloween weddings. I’d like to take this opportunity to share my favorite Halloween wedding with you.
Now, it’s no secret that I’m being extremely selective about the projects I take on, and the people I’ll work with. Life’s just too short, you know? Aside from that, Halloween is the hardest weekend to get a booking with us, as we’re always booked to do an event in Chicago that weekend – they book us a year in advance. Ansley’s initial email to me was such a stand out, I couldn’t help but be intrigued – and bend over backward to make it work for her! Let me share:
My name is Ansley — I am getting married on October 30th of this year. After scouring the internet in the daunting task of researching wedding cakes, I fell in love with what you do. Everything else I’ve seen looks mundane and unimpressive in comparison to what I’ve viewed on your site. We are an “alternative” couple (I’ll swallow my pride a minute and admit that’s a somewhat politically correct way of calling us “goths”) and have concerns about how that effects our relations with vendors. Everyone we work with seems to assume that our Halloween wedding means skulls, plastic bats and ghosts.
Not so– we are classy and elegant, not campy. What I’ve seen on your website surely demonstrates not only your talent but that you understand that even “odd” is still art. I’d love to set up some sort of consultation with you, though I’m not sure how it is done as I’m new to this whole wedding thing and all of the chaos it entails!
Thank you for your time,
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done. Polite, coherent, complimentary, eloquent, AND expressing a desire for something different? I was in love with this wedding – and clients! – before I met them!
The wedding was to be “Simple, elegant and most importantly, black”, taking the bulk of its visual inspiration from the Nine Inch Nails music video for “The Perfect Drug”. The wedding and reception were held at the The James J. Hill Reference Library in Downtown Saint Paul… an absolutely gorgeous, unique venue.
If this is starting to sound familiar at all, you may have seen our blog entry about the cake she ordered, “Glam Goth Wedding Cake“. If you haven’t – or want a refresher – be sure to click that link to view her cake photos!
James J. Hill reference Library, during setup.
Anyway, long story short, we juggled to make the logistics work out, and Ansley was a dream to work with. Absolutely one of my favorite brides ever! The cake was delivered, and I anxiously awaited photos of the event. I swear, nothing could have prepared me for the finished product! Ansley looked absolutely amazing in gorgeous black and blue gown, the black candelabra were a perfect compliment to the super high ceilings in the library… sigh. Must have been the perfect wedding to attend! Let me share the photos, courtesy of the bride, groom, their guests, and photographer – M. Doucet:
As always.. I LOVE when brides go their own way with their weddings. This was just amazing, and I’m sure her guests will be talking about the experience for years to come! Also, I’m sure her vendors will be, as well! Love it!
This blog entry is going to be a unique one for me – a positive blog entry about something I normally hate!
Yes, I am vehemently, rabidly anti-cake toppers. 99% of the time, I find toppers to look cheesy, cheap, and TOTALLY out of place on a cake. Most of the readily-available toppers in stores all look the same as they did 20 years ago, and they all sort of look the same. Yawn. They go completely against my belief that a wedding should be personalized, and truly reflect the couple.
Aside from the stand-alone cheese factor, the other thing that gets me is that they’re very rarely used in a way that complements the design of the cake. I’ve got almost 20 years of old school design experience, so things like jarring breaks in form, line, color.. it just gets to me.
I prefer toppers to be an extension of the cake design itself, usually made from the same materials. Sugar flowers that are also used throughout the cake design, not just plunked on top, for instance. An unbroken, balanced continuation of the design, seamlessly executed. If such a continuation isn’t possible – for whatever reason – I much prefer to have NO topper, whatsoever.
It IS, however, possible to incorporate a topper into the cake without it being cheesy OR jarring! It takes a little creativity, planning, and a talented cake designer.. but it can definitely work. Here are the two key points to remember:
Recently, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to create a wedding cake that flew in the face of conventional wedding “Seasonality”. Thought I would share the details and some photos!
Many wedding magazines will tell you that fruits, berries, sunny colors, etc are strictly the domain of spring and summer weddings. I’ve never been a fan of the “supposed to” kinda rules that the great wedding industry machine puts out.
This early January wedding cake was themed around lemons and raspberries, inside and out! The cake was lemon with raspberry buttercream, and the cake was a sunny lemon yellow, with lemons and raspberries sculpted from fondant as the accent.
When I was a young girl, one of my FAVORITE movies of all time was “Day of the Triffids”. Well, it was a BBC Mini Series… close enough! Anyway, I loved it. Loved it! I’d make triffid themed jewelry for myself (both paper and “friendly plastic” versions).. a paper mache.. erm, not sure what I’d call it. “Desktop Sculpture”, for lack of a better term? Paper cutout door decorations.. yeah, again.. I was a weird kid.
As an adult, through the wonder of Netflix, I was able to rent a different version of the movie… only to be sorely disappointed. (1962 version). My husband had never seen Triffids, and I’m sure he thought I was totally off my rocker when he watched it. Some day, I thought, we’ll get our hands on the version I liked as a kid.
Anyway, I *just* found out that the BBC has remade Day of the Triffids. (I read about it Here.)
First thought: *shrieking like an excited little girl*
Second thought: “Wait. Look what happened when “V” (another childhood favorite) got remade. Don’t get excited, this could be utter crap”.
So, hopefully I’m not getting prematurely excited about this, but I put WAY more confidence in the BBC (who did the version I liked in the first place), than the yahoos that remade V…
… and the clip looks AWESOME! Oh my lord! Could it actually turn out BETTER than the one I adored as a child? MAYBE! So exciting! I’m really happy that they redid the catalyst of the widespread blindness, also. Anyway, let me digress, before this just degrades into random, incoherent fangirling.
I would looove to do a Triffids themed wedding cake. Do I think anyone will ever hire me for one? Probably not. However, Triffids are plants (Flowers, even?)… and that opens up the possibilities for doing one as a contest showpiece. THAT would be awesome!
So I was on Twitter today, minding my own business.
Well, that’s a bit inaccurate, isn’t it? The nature of Twitter and all… more like “I was on Twitter, reading about EVERYONE’S business”… anyway, I digress. I certainly wasn’t thinking I was gonna be gobsmacked by something so insanely craptacular, it would result in a blog post!
… and even less so, that it would result in a new “You know what would be awesome…?” post! Anyway. Digress…. again.
I recently had the opportunity to make my very first black wedding cake, for one of my absolute *favorite* brides of the year. Maybe ever.
I’d love to do a full blog entry on their wedding eventually – the visuals were so striking! The bride had a wonderful design vision, the venue was gorgeous… and you know I have a soft spot for brides who throw convention and “expectations” to the wind and really march to their own beat.
In the meantime, however… I’ll present you with photos of their cake! This cake was themed around their Halloween / Goth / NIN wedding through and through – it was Blood Orange Truffle flavored! (“Our deeply rich, dark chocolate cake is filled with alternating layers of blood orange chocolate truffle ganache, and blood orange buttercream.”). Not only specifically “Blood” orange – tee hee! – but that particular flavor cuts to a beautiful orange / deep dark chocolate brown. Seasonal colors!
The cake featured sugar roses in varying shades of gray, dusted with black accents. It also featured dark gray “lace” made from Sugar Veil icing – a unique product that allows a cake designer to pick up piped designs and drape it like fabric! Exciting… and meant that the entire cake was edible!
More detail photos of this cake can be seen on our Facebook site, Here