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.
Last year, brother and sister Andrew and Caroline shared a three tier Alice in Wonderland cake, because, at 2 years old, little Andrew didn't yet have very strong opinions about cake! But this year, a firm affiliation with Thomas the Train had appeared, and so I decided it was time they each had their own cakes.
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.
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.
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.
I had so much fun, and learned so much, when I made the Google Town cake last spring, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into designing and making this Lego version. The cake was 2' square, which is pretty big, and featured streets, a train track, buildings, cars, a train, helicopter and Lego people. The 3D nature of the cake made it hard to get one shot featuring everything, but it ended up looking so realistic that my client had to put a sign next to it saying "Cake!" to stop the party guests playing with it!
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.
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.
Concealed green LED lights lit up the tree
This three tiered birthday cake was create for seven year old Savanah who loves cats and had a petting zoo at her birthday party!
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.
This little one tier birthday cake featured a hand-modeled fondant Marshall dog. The flavor was gluten-free Funfetti with vanilla buttercream.
It looks like these happy kids are planning to save their canine topper!
This tropical Tiki Head cake was ordered from a favorite client in Newport Beach and made its way down there strapped into the front seat of an Uber during rush hour traffic on a Friday night! Thanks to a careful driver and lots of air conditioning, it arrived in one piece!
The head was covered in modeling chocolate that was tooled, shaded and buffed till it looked like wood.
The bamboo was made from white modeling chocolate.
Without a doubt the most fun cake project I've ever worked on, CakeTown took a whole week to make. Each building was a different cake flavor and their names reflected that: Battenberg House, the Funfetti Bakery, Cafe Ganache, The Black Forest Pub, Carat Cake Jewelers and the Tres Leches Town Hall. Everything you can see was 100% edible.
The inspiration for the town came from memories of Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, England, with its beautiful Georgian buildings.
This birthday cake was made for a grandmother who was a ballerina in her younger days. According to her daughter she is "loud, and loves big jewelry!", so I designed the cake to feature lots of handmade sugar jewels and a pair of ballet pointe shoes on top.
Close-up detail of the front plaque
These beautiful sugar ballet shoes were handmade by my assistant, who is also my daughter, Charlie - she is an AP art student and a fully certified food handler - not bad for 16!
This Scandanavian style cake was made for an elegant Finnish lady celebrating her 95th birthday! The invitation featuredgorgeous blue Marimekko poppies, which were the inspiration for this blue and white design. The bottom tier was carrot cake and the top tier was coconut cake.
These two cakes are what happens when the folks at Google need cakes made to match their team names for a new project! One of the names they'd picked was Battenberg, a rather old-fashioned English checkerboard cake covered with marzipan. After many phone calls to Los Angeles bakeries that were greeted with a baffled "Batten-what?", they luckily Google-d yours truly who, being English of course, not only had heard of it but also knew how to make it!
Opposing Team Battenberg was Team Funfetti, whose cake had sprinkles not only all over the outside but baked into the cake itself.
Next week the cakes are Ganache and Tres Leches - watch this space!
This red and white version of my popular black and white Parisian striped cake was made for a 21st birthday party. The cake was banana, filled with dulce de leche buttercream frosting, and was topped with a handmade rose.
This was definitely one of the most enjoyable cakes I've made so far this year, and the smile on Little Mermaid Brianna's face made all the hard work worthwhile!
All the details were hand modeled, except for the Ariel figure which was supplied by the client.
Every year but one I've had the pleasure of making Sweet Caroline's birthday cake (last year I had no kitchen as we were renovating the house we'd just moved into!), and this year, for the first time, she got to share it with her adorable brother Andrew. The theme of the party was Alice in Wonderland, so this cake incorporated some of their favorite motifs: the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and of course Alice!
It seems the cake world has been taken over by a herd of unicorns lately! A trend first created by Jenna Rae Cakes in Canada, unicorn cakes have been popping up everywhere, from christenings to thirtieth birthday parties - it seems no-one can get enough of these fantasy creatures. My version was for little Juliet's 3rd birthday, and featured a mane made out of tiny meringues. The cake was accompanied by three dozen cupcakes topped with matching gold unicorn horns.