LOL Surprise!

This is the third birthday cake I’ve made for little Juliet, and every year I give thanks for the fact that her mother always puts a stylish and tasteful spin on whatever her daughter’s current craze is. This year, it’s the LOL Surprise Dolls, and true to form she wanted an elegant pink and turquoise cake with touches of gold leaf. The doll toppers were supplied by her mother and were two hard-to-find mermaid dolls.

LOL Surprise dolls come in a plastic capsule and you don’t know which doll you’re going to get until you open it, which is what the kids love so much about them. So in keeping with this theme, I buried an LOL Surprise Doll ball inside the bottom tier of the cake, as a special surprise when she cut into it!

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The center of the middle tier was filled with sprinkles which tumbled out when it was cut!

The center of the middle tier was filled with sprinkles which tumbled out when it was cut!

Surprise!

Surprise!

Sure, I can do a basketball-piano mash-up cake!

Ekrem, the cutest little guy you’ll ever meet, was turning eight and his mother wanted a special cake for him, celebrating his love of basketball and piano. This three tier cake was mounted on a cakeboard covered with woodgrain effect fondant floor boards with inlaid basketball court markings, which was then glazed multiple times to give it that shiny gloss. The basketball was made from rice krispie treat, covered in ganache and then textured fondant. The figure of Ekrem was handmade out of fondant and featured him in his favorite Golden State Warriers uniform.

 
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Seneca Falls Baby Shower Cake

This three tiered cake was for a baby shower to celebrate the impending arrival of a little future feminist called Seneca, after the location of the first Women’s Rights Convention. It was decorated to resemble a bucolic scene with a waterfall tumbling down the three tiers, and was topped with a fondant replica of the Susan B Anthony quarter .

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The quarter was painstakingly put together out of layers of handcut fondant, brushed with silver luster dust and then antiqued with black petal dust.

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The waterfall was made with pale blue fondant topped with white royal icing “foam”

Oscars 2019

This massive cake was made for a pre-Oscars benefit gala in aid of the Veterans. Feeding 125 people, it had five tiers - although it looked like four because the big white tier was in fact two 10” tiers stacked on top of each other and decorated as if they were one tier - this is called a Double Barrelled Cake). The bottom tier was a night scene of the Hollywood hills, featuring silhouettes of the Los Angeles skyline and lit-up with mini LED “search lights”. The middle tier was a representation of the Dolby Theater, complete with a carved alcove with red carpeted steps disappearing inside. The outside was adorned with edible image movie posters of the nominees in the Best Picture category. The black tier was decorated with a move theater marquee, announcing the event and the top tier was decorated in the Stars and Stripes and was topped with a fondant model of a saluting soldier made to look like as Oscar statuette. It was so heavy I had to transport it in two pieces and finish the assembly on site at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City!

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More mini LED lights were concealed behind the curtains to light up the inside of the theater

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By the light of the moon, a little egg lay on on a leaf...

At last! I have always wanted to make a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, so I was beyond excited when I got the call for this one. As always, I ended up getting carried away and going above and beyond the brief, and created all the food items from the book to go around the cake as well!

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I had the best time trying to create the hand-drawn illustration style for the caterpillar’s snacks!

One piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese…

One piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese…

Under the Sea...

One year old Everly celebrated her first birthday with a splash! Her Little Mermaid cake was accompanied by a smash cake, brownie pops, cupcakes and decorated cookies, all with an Under The Sea theme.

Mermaid Smash Cake

Everly and her Smash Cake

Crab Brownie Pop

Crab Brownie Pop

Mini Cupcakes with Sugar Pearls

Mini Cupcakes with Sugar Pearls

Octopus Brownie Pops

Octopus Brownie Pops

Pout-Pout Fish Brownie Pop

Pout-Pout Fish Brownie Pop

 
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Starfish Cookies

Starfish Cookies

Go Terriers!

 
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Hand-cut BU Terrier logo

Hand-cut BU Terrier logo

This Graduation Cake was designed for a lacrosse player graduating from Newport Harbor High School, going to Boston University in the Fall.  It featured a handmade gumpaste D-Pole lacrosse stick, a handcut BU Terrier logo, a silhouette of the Boston city skyline and a top tier graduation cap and tassel.  The baseball flying over the skyline was a nod to Fenway Park!

 
D-Pole lacrosse stick

D-Pole lacrosse stick

 

Off To College!

 
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For my own daughter's high school graduation, I wanted to design a cake that would reflect her multi-faceted personality.  She's very arty and musical, plays lacrosse, loves to bake and make things, so I imagined her trying to pack to go to college! I took inspiration from her favorite flea market vintage suitcase and stuffed it full of everything I thought she'd be trying to take with her.

I think this dripping glue gun might be my favorite bit of the whole cake!

I think this dripping glue gun might be my favorite bit of the whole cake!

Lacrosse stick (old and dirty!)

Lacrosse stick (old and dirty!)

 
Electric keyboard, spatula and oven mitts, paintbrushes and palette

Electric keyboard, spatula and oven mitts, paintbrushes and palette

Hermione's Vine Wand, the strap of her Canon camera and the butt end of her lacrosse stick

Hermione's Vine Wand, the strap of her Canon camera and the butt end of her lacrosse stick

Off With Her Head!

This cake was made for the wrap-party following an elementary school production of Alice In Wonderland. The teacher requested the trial scene, complete with the King & Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and Alice in the witness stand.

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The gavel was in 3D and designed to make the King look even smaller!

The gavel was in 3D and designed to make the King look even smaller!

This nod to the Mad Hatter was on the back side of the middle tier

This nod to the Mad Hatter was on the back side of the middle tier

Tinkerbell's Tree House Cake

Last year, Brianna was into the Little Mermaid, but this year it was all about Tinkerbell! This two tier cake featured a hand-modeled figure of Tinkerbell sitting outside her tree house, surrounded by forest plants and insects.  My favorite element of this cake was the concealed LED porchlight above the door, for that extra sprinkling of pixie dust magic! The cake was accompanied by matching cupcakes featuring Brianna's favorite fairies - the Winter Fairy, the Light Fairy, the Flower Fairy and the Water Fairy.

 
See the porch light?!   

See the porch light?!

 

Light Fairy cupcakes

Light Fairy cupcakes

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Water Fairy Cupcakes

Water Fairy Cupcakes

100th Birthday Cake

I was so honored to be asked to make a cake for a 100th birthday - what an achievement.  It occurred to me, when I was sketching designs, that this lady was born before the end of World War One, and had grown up during the very glamorous 1920s, so I was inspired to give the cake a vintage feel.  Big blousy cabbage roses, draped pearls and a gold plaque all invoked a time gone by.

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Mermaid Cake

Last year, 3 year old Juliet wanted the uber-trendy unicorn cake, but this year she has moved on to Mermaids! But not your typical snarfblat and dinglehopper kind, this was to be an ethereal,  dreamy mermaid cake. With a palette of palest blue and pink waves surrounding both tiers, topped with a shimmery mermaid tail and adorned with fondant pearls and gold kelp.

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COCO Cake

My two kids are long past the Disney movie stage, so I had to do a bit of Googling when I was asked to make a cake featuring Miguel and his guitar from the movie Coco.  Luckily, I took a figure modeling class with the wonderful Satchiko from Mimicafe Union last Fall, so I was able to put all my new skills to good use with this cake.

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Steampunk Hat Cake

I have to admit, a year ago I wasn't even sure what "Steampunk" really was! My daughter kindly educated me about the quirky mix of turn of the century adventure, machinery and invention. Whenever I hear the word now, my mind goes straight to Caractacus Potts, the father in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and his amazing madcap workshop.

So I was very excited when I was asked to make a steampunk hat cake for a very on-trend 11 year old boy.  Goggles were a must-have feature, together with leather, laces and metal accents.  I added a pair of leather driving gloves to the top, perhaps subconsciously influenced by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang again. The cakeboard was trimmed with brown leather and studded with decorative metal rivets.

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Beetlejuice - It's Showtime!

I created this three-tiered Beetlejuice cake for a Halloween party. My original design had the head rotating on a concealed turntable (like the graveyard scene in the movie) but as the client's budget did not allow for that, we scaled the design down to a more manageable size.  The head is carved styrofoam, covered in fondant and modeling chocolate - this was to keep the overall weight down and to save having a lot of leftover cake as only 30 servings were needed. The middle tier was carrot cake and the bottom tier was chocolate with nutella buttercream.

 
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Concealed green LED lights lit up the tree

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Havana Nights

 
 

The hero of this three tier chocolate cake was a singer in Havana nightclubs in the 50s, when the city rivaled Hollywood for glamor.  His daughter wanted to remind him of his halcyon days, so I designed this cake with a nod to the famous Tropicana Club, featuring the iconic concrete arch. I changed the Tropicana sign to his name,  Flavio, and air-brushed the cake to give it a night-time feel. 

 

Paw Patrol Cake

 
 

This little one tier birthday cake featured a hand-modeled fondant Marshall dog.  The flavor was gluten-free Funfetti with vanilla buttercream.

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It looks like these happy kids are planning to save their canine topper!