Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pink birthday cake

I made this cake for my sister in law's birthday party yesterday. it was a 4 layer lemon cake with butter cream frosting. i'm still struggling with making the icing smooth but it was a fun cake to make. the beaded bottom border was pretty easy and the swirls on the side i made free hand. but next time i make swirls, i'll use a smaller round tip.

13 comments:

Mama of 2 Hapas said...

You have to have those big angled blades to get completely smooth frosting, and sometimes you can use a blade dipped in hot water...you have to be able to make one clean swipe all the way across the cake and all the way around the cake. They also sell plastic guides that have different patterns in them that can make interesting textures in the frosting. I find them easier , because it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, which is the hardest, I think.

kimbalaya said...

Great job on the swirlies on the side, they look great! I was going to make the same comment as above, about the angled blade, dipped in water. I'll just add that if you don't have one already, get a lazy susan so you can spin the cake around and actually keep the blade in one place instead of moving the blade around the cake.

Mama of 2 Hapas said...

Ditto on the lazy suzy...they really help!

figgiepudding said...

Hi there! I just saw your comment you left on my Flickr account (of the fudge eggs), and thought I'd check out your blog! :D Your photos caught my eye because my family owns a chocolate business where we do favors as well, and my sister recently started a cake decorating business. I know she has some special icing smoothing tools... I was always baffled by that too! I think she picked them up at Michael's.

Anyhow, I'm going to bookmark your blog so I can show it to her. :) I love your chocolate rose cupcakes, btw! They look dee-lish! :D

Deborah

maybe strawberry said...

thanks mama of 2 hapas and kim. i do have a lazy susan packed away somewhere in the house that i will use. i'll go to Michael's and look for that blade and dip it in water and hopefully next time my next cake will be smooth.

hi figgiepudding, thanks for your comment! how awesome that your family is in the chocolate business!

andshewas said...

I just found your blog because you commented on my flickr photo too!

yup, for a smooth cake you need something like this: http://www.amazon.com/STAINLESS-STEEL-PASTRY-SCRAPER-CUTTER/dp/B000HOGPZS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1216093163&sr=1-3

put your cake on a turntable/lazy susan, gently heat up your scraper and spin that cake while you hold the scraper on the edge!

then you need a long bladed offset spatula.. like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Medium-Sized-7-75-Offset-Spatula/dp/B000BRQXVW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1216093286&sr=1-1

to smooth out the top, going around the edge from the outside in. i drag towards myself. some drag right to left. make sure the offset is clean between swipes.

it takes a TON of practice!

but your writing is great!

maybe strawberry said...

andshewas, thank you for the tips!! i do have an offset spatula, but i don't have pastry dough scraper. at least now i know what tool i need now. thanks!

JaneReyGar said...

It looks beautfiul even if it's not PERFECTLY smooth! One thing you can also try which, to me, is a back up technique is to get a piece of tulle, lay it against the buttercream and gently smooth it out. You just have to make sure the tulle doesn't wrinkle or bunch up or get pushed in too far. The down side is that you do get a small "fabric" pattern. I know a lot of wedding cake places use that technique with buttercream coz you can see the texture up close, but the cakes still look great!

JaneReyGar said...

I forgot to specify that you smooth over the tulle with an offset spatula, but you probably figured that out!

maybe strawberry said...

hmmm you'll have to tell me more about the tulle technique next time i see you Jane....not sure i know how to do what you just explained. is it tulle, the stuff people use at weddings to decorate and stuff?

JaneReyGar said...

Yes, that is tulle, but you have to get one that is not to thin and flimsy, but not too stiff either. It's a science! ;)

Sheryl (aka mamalemma) said...

Thanks for your comment on my Flickr account. It's always good to meet another decorator (though I am definitely of the for-my-kids-birthday-party variety). My mom had her own business, though, so I have a leg up on some of her techniques. I can definitely vouch for the heated metal spatula. My mom's frosting (home-made but not too sweet and VERY easy!) is 1/4 cup evaporated milk, 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 cup Crisco, works especially well for getting a smooth surface. Ice the cake, and remove any excess frosting, taking care to square up your corners on a square or rectangular cake. Then, boil some water (it's important to get it really, really hot) and let your spatula sit in the water for a minute or so to heat it up. Then, lightly run the spatula over your surface. The heat from the spatula will melt the Crisco and leave you with a smooth-as-glass surface. Keep heating the spatula and smoothing until you are satisfied. Then -- if you are hand-drawing an image on the cake with a toothpick before piping -- keep the hot water handy, as you can "erase" any toothpick mistakes. Have fun -- and hope this helps!

maybe strawberry said...

sheryl, thank you for the recipe and the tips! i appreciate it!

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