Sunday, February 6, 2011

julie's baby shower cake

Today was a special day: my book club friends and I hosted a baby shower for our friend, Julie. Julie has graciously celebrated the births of our twelve babies over the past seven years, and we were so happy to celebrate with her today! The five of us divided the responsibilities, and I got to make the cake and provide the house. After putting away the stray tennis shoes and legos, the house part was easy. The cake... now that was fun! I wanted it to be sweet, girly, and delicate, but I needed some new ideas for the decorations.

I recently discovered a new cake decorating site called My Cake School, and after poking around and being really impressed with what I saw, I even paid $30 to subscribe to the tutorials and photo galleries. Melissa gives very clear video instructions and has really cute ideas and helpful techniques. In fact, all the cake toppers I made for Julie's cake were ideas I tried from My Cake School, and they are great additions to the decorating arsenal. 

First up, check out this old-fashioned baby carriage. The base of the carriage is a 3" circle, so it's not too big, but it's enough space to add a small pattern... dots work well and I think stripes would be really cute. Of course, you can customize it to any color scheme. The springy green and pink were perfect for our decor. The carriage is held up by two lollipop sticks glued to the back with a strip of fondant. You don't have to add the baby and blanket, but I like the extra three-dimensionality it adds. A smaller version of these (without the lollipop sticks) would be great as cupcake toppers... but even though each step is easy, it took a pretty long time to make just one. (I was impatient, and you really have to wait for the pieces to dry before you assemble them.)

Next, a sweet bunny girl. She is molded around a lollipop stick that gives her body a little more support while it dries. I'm not sure why I never thought of lollipop sticks: they're sturdier than toothpicks, and at $2.50 for 100, they're pretty darn affordable. I liked the floppy ears, but the site gives a demo for stand-up ears supported by floral wire that are also really sweet. My favorite pars is the pink inner ears. Or maybe the bow (which is the best bow I've made!).

Lastly, the sweetest, most delicate baby shoes. I wanted to decorate them with tiny flowers, but bows, hearts, polka dots, or a single, large flower would work just as well. I used the little flowers as an echo around the sides of the cake. The shoes are really easy to make from a paper template: trace around it on the rolled-out fondant and twist it to so the points match up like on the template. I stuffed the freshly-made shoes with 1-2" bits of paper towel to hold the shape while they dried overnight. You almost have to use tweezers to pull them out without breaking the straps!

Want to see the whole thing? I was so happy with how this cake came out! The cake toppers, a simple fondant border, and some daisies and tiny flowers were perfect over barely-pink frosting and dark chocolate cake. Best of all, the guest of honor loved it.

 Congratulations, Julie! Wishing you guys the very best!!


Nanette said...

So freakin' cute!

meredith said...

a masterpiece!!

Nico said...

very nice job!!!
where do you get the lollipop sticks?

jami said...

Thanks, all!

@Nico, I got these at a local baking supply store, but I think they also have them at places like Party City (in the baking aisle) and Michaels (art supply - they also have a baking aisle).

Nam @ The Culinary Chronicles said...


Anonymous said...

The bunny is adorable AND flawless! Wonderful job!

jami said...

Thanks, @Nam and @Anon!