Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blue Jeans Cake

I showed this cake in my very first blog post but I thought I would dedicate a post to each of the cakes that I have made. The most recent cake that I made was this one that did not turn out so well but let's start at the very beginning, shall we?

I stayed up all night watching youtube videos on cake decorating one night and couldn't get it out of my head. I had always watched cake decorating shows and thought I would love to do that but never really looked into it. Watching youtube videos with real people decorating cakes in their own kitchens really made me think about it though and I started considering the fact that maybe I really could do it.

My friend Jamie was about to graduate college and said that I should practice by making her a cake. I was nervous but went back to youtube to find something that seemed manageable for a first attempt. I then came across this video.

Jamie is a total hippy at heart so I decided that I would make her a bell bottom jeans cake.
This was the first time that I had even heard about things like "crumb coating" or "piping".

I also made her these cookies:
I did a few graduation hats but the others were "Peace, Love, and Happiness" themed. I had never even heard of royal icing at this point. These cookies are decorated with a glaze made from powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring.

If you have never decorated a cake before, even something that is considered to be so simple can intimidate you. I know it intimidated me! My number one tip for a beginner (or really all cake decorators) is give yourself enough time. Start early, stay up late, do whatever you have to do to not be rushing right before you need to deliver or serve the cake.

Practice your piping on a napkin or paper plate to make sure that you have cut the right size hole in your pastry bag. If you are using a tip, it is still a good idea to practice first, just to make sure you have the hang of it. I would like to say my piping has improved dramatically since this cake but I really have a long way to go and a lot practicing to do.

Crumb Coats are really important because they catch all of the crumbs so that your final coat of frosting is smooth. Do not skip the crumb coat!

The hardest thing for me was getting the final coat of frosting smooth. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong, I had done the crumb coat and chilled the cake for the right about of time. I now know that I was not using enough buttercream. Don't be shy with your buttercream! It is easier to get it smooth if you have plenty to spread around.

Don't be ashamed to use the template provided here.

Don't expect perfection your first (or sixtieth) time.


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