Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Big 30

Last week was busy, which helped it go by so quickly. That was great because my sister and brother-in-law were staying with us Friday night and then off to the beach with lots and lots of family members! I was extremely excited so I am glad the week went by fast. But there was so much to do!!

My oldest sister turned 30 at the beginning of the month. We live in different states, but we have this trip every year and for the past 2 I've brought her a birthday cake. I wanted to make something amazing this year since she turned 30! I have been thinking about this cake for months! Seriously. I thought about making a cake that was very personal to her, but thought I might not be able to pull it off very well. Example: she loves, loves, loves her two dogs. If I had tried to make her dogs out of gumpaste or fondant and look ridiculous! And she's a big runner... how do you represent running other than shoes? I could easily mess that up too. After lots and lots of indecision, I decide to just go with a simple, colorful designs on a grand cake!

So on to the size of this cake. I'm doing a wedding cake next weekend. I really wanted to practice it so I decided this was the perfect time. I told you there was a lot of family there! I did 3 tiers instead of the 4 tiers that the wedding cake will be, but there was a lot of cake. 12" round, 8" square, 6" round.

The middle layer was fake because we do not need that much cake. I wanted to buy a cake dummy, which you can find so cheap but costs so much to ship! So I went to Hobby Lobby and found a cube and cut it in half. Unfortunately it's real styrofoam instead of the soft styrofoam that cake dummies are. It worked though:

Then to work on the real cakes! The 12" was so big! And the layers I baked weren't high enough so I made a 3rd layer. I mixed crumbled up Oreos in the buttercream. Yum. My sisters loved Oreos.

I meant to just have the Oreos in the middle, but as you can see by the picture above, the filling overflowed. That's how I usually do it anyway, so shame on me. It's ok though. I let it harden up in the fridge, then put another layer of buttercream around it so there weren't Oreos poking through my fondant.
Then I covered it with fondant. It's yellow but you can't tell in this picture. Coloring a big blob of fondant is work. Whew!
Decorated!! Take note of how good it looks now... We'll return to that issue later.

Now on to the 6" layer. It had butterfinger bits in it.

When I "processed" the Butterfingers, they seemed so fine and tiny so I didn't think they'd stick out like the Oreos. Ha, well I ended up doing the same thing I did with the 12". No big deal. I didn't take any pictures of just the top, so let me tell you what I have to do now that I have complete all the layers...

So the whole family is going to the beach (3 hours from our house). I knew this from the beginning but it did not deter me. I got extremely frustrated in the transporting process though. First, I couldn't decide if I wanted to stack any of it or not. I finally (seriously after a good long thinking) decided to put the fake layer on the 12". I had a large box for it to go in. Then I finally found a way I thought would be ok to transport the 6". Alright, I've got them in boxes.... then to get them to the car. 

It's pouring. Has been all night. Not going to stop. Did I mention we don't have a garage. And we will be traveling in my husband's gas efficient 2-door civic. The box that the 12" cake is in is HUGE! But just because the cake is HUGE! Ugh... so I'm sick of piddling around and am bound to load this cake. I tape a garbage bag over the top of the box and go for the car. On the way, one side of the bag comes un-taped. Awesome. Just slide it in the car! Except I'm trying to squish it into the back seat. Doesn't quite fit, but it's going!! I finally get it in but some has gotten wet. Boo. Blah, blah, blah... we get the rest loaded and drive the 3 hours, during which, I can see the cake.... sagging? bubbling? Doing things I don't want it to do!

I just want to cut it. Let's eat it. Let's not give it more time to sag. Oh... my sister doesn't get there till 6 pm. It's 11 am. And we're picking her up from the airport then going to eat then eating the cake. UGH! Whatever. The family seems to like it :) By the way, here it is:

Now would you like to the everything bad about the cake??? Ha. Seriously. I need to know how to avoid this in the future!
 Rain Damage
 HUMONGOUS bubble. So frustrating!!
 The Grand Canyon.
And do you see how the yellow has buckled? It's not nice and smooth and even like before.

So, I think the cracking might be from the rain, but I'm not sure. 
The bubbling and the buckling.... I don't understand! I dirty ice the day before I cover with fondant, which I was told to do by a professional. So the cakes should be all settled and not create bubbles. I do keep them in the fridge. Does that matter?? Or my fondant was kind of thick. I need to roll it out thinner. Could the weight of the fondant cause that? Should I fondant the day of the wedding? Not the day before? I have so many questions!! Feel free to answer any of them :)

Also, I have the worst trouble placing pictures in my blog where I want them. If anyone has advice on that too, please share! 


  1. Fondant scares me. I never get it right. I'm thinking about heading up to Nashville one weekend soon and taking a class at Sweet Wise!

  2. @Pattie

    I've been practicing more with it so I don't mind. The worst part is once it's covered till when it's eaten, ha! I'm so jealous! I wish I could go to more of the classes. Maybe I can work it out sometime...

  3. I thought it was a beautiful birthday cake! And such a surprise...you'd think that after the last 2 years I would have expected it! Nope! And I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the butterfingers on my return flight! Thank you sweet sister!

  4. @Jennifer

    Great! I'm glad it was a surprise! I was really excited about it :)

  5. I love the look of that buttercream frosting!!