Cake Gallery Slideshow

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baby Steps

Pink Mary Jane cakes atop a larger cake, Summer 2006

My friend Deb from my old neighborhood in Austin gave me this sweet idea, courtesy of Martha Stewart's magazine, for Baby Shoes mini-cakes! You can make them in several different styles--baby boy's first walkers, baby girl's Mary Janes--and personalize them in lots of ways. I adore these Baby Shoes and always welcome the chance to create them!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eat My Sombrero, Ole!

Earlier today I found some pics of Mexican Sombreros that I'd saved, and it took me a few minutes to remember why I had them. They were for a 3-D Mexican Sombrero Cake I created for an adorable little boy's 2nd birthday celebration a few years ago!

The fiesta was very on-theme and included a performance by a Mariachi troupe that was likely enjoyed not only by the guests but also by neighbors up and down the street. Authentic decorations and party favors from a real Mexican party store on the other side of town added to the flavor.

As for the Sombrero Cake, the most challenging part of creating it was keeping the frosted fondant brim from collapsing due to the weight of it all. I love making unusual cakes, and I haven't had another order for a Sombrero again, but as this is San Antonio, it might still happen!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cake Servings

Image from

Have you ever wondered how caterers can cut up a wedding cake into about a million slices? It's all in the technique. The same cake, in the hands of a lay person, might only yield half as many servings. But caterers know exactly how to carve it all up to feed the masses.

First, a "wedding cake slice" is officially small. Smaller than a party cake slice. A slice of wedding cake is about 1 inch x 2 inches x 4 inches. Party cake slices, usually from a sheet cake, are more like chunks of cake, about 2 inches square or larger.

Then there's the technique, which never fails to impress me. Since wedding cakes are almost exclusively round, they are cut from concentric circles within the cake tiers like so:
Image from

When well-meaning relatives and friends of a wedding couple tell me they'll be cutting and serving the cake instead of the caterers, I always provide them with a cutting guide (see above). Then they predictably go into a panic! However, cake servings are determined based on the cake cutting guide, so if someone cuts the slices too big, there won't be as much cake to go around. If a couple has ordered exactly enough cake to feed their guests, then the numbers can be off when the slices are larger than usual.

That's why I love a caterer's serving staff! They know what they're doing and they do it quickly too. Because when you're at a wedding, there's nothing worse than waiting forever for cake (or not having any at all)!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wedded Bliss

Fall wedding cakes are much more enjoyable for me. For starters, there isn't the added stress of worrying how to transport enough cake for 300 people in 105 degree heat! Buttercream frosting melts quickly in the summer heat, causing all manner of upsets and necessary fixes. It may not seem like a big deal, but it absolutely is!

My most recent wedding cake order was for the first weekend of October. There was still a chance that the temperatures would be warm, but definitely not in the 100 degree range. However, it was in fact quite the opposite, with a record coolest temperature of 51 degrees for that date in San Antonio history AND unbelievable rain and winds that tore through town at dawn. We lost power all over the city, which was a mite scary for me as I had last minute additions to do to the cake before delivery and could not see in the dark or turn on my stove or microwave, as well as wondering how I was going to exit my gated neighborhood when the gates wouldn't open! But the power came back on finally, I dipped several dozen strawberries in melted chocolate, and we figured out how to exit the incoming gate to get to the wedding site on time! Whew!

Bride's Cake: Swirls and Dots and Fresh Flowers

Slightly blurry closeup of the cake

A view of my floral handiwork! (Wedding couple asked that I arrange the flowers, but I am not a floral designer, so I'm pretty proud of myself!)

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Groom's Cake with Basketweave Design and Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Closeup of my Strawberries

The wedding was a Jewish second marriage ceremony for two very lovely people, and I was very honored to be asked to create their wedding cakes for their special day. Mazel Tov!