Playful Monkeys in a Tree (Cupcake Cake)

Hi there,

Last weekend I gladly designed this playful monkeys’ tree cake for a kid’s second birthday party. It was composed by 38 vanilla tiny cupcakes covered with buttercream and sugarpaste.

Instead of carving a cake to give a specific shape, this kind of composition consists of adding cupcakes to a cake board, creating the desired 2D shape and decorating according to your idea.

I made three shades of green to ice the top of the tree and a yummy chocolate buttercream to pipe the trunk. Some cupcakes were covered in sugarpaste in order to make the monkeys, the balloons and the present.  I used modelling paste to model small details such as the bananas and the bow.

His mother also asked me for some Elmo cupcakes, which I happily made after finishing the playful monkeys. I enjoyed decorating both designs so much!

I’m so looking forward to creating more funny cupcake compositions!!

See you soon.

Sara

Tropical Fish Cookies For Kids

Hi there,

Yesterday I was experimenting some techniques with the leftover royal icing of my last PME decorating lesson. I didn’t want to throw it away because it was still in perfect condition. I baked some delicious fish-shaped cookies and I decorated them with colourful patterns using the marbling technique, the petal effect (to make the scales)… I think they look great for a kids’ party in the summer! Funny and simple!

Since I was in a rush, I couldn’t take as many pictures as usual. Just this one…!

I think I’ll be making more cookies next week. If so, I’ll share the result with you all to give you some inspiration!

Have a good week,

Sara

PME Masters Certificate

Hi there,

It’s been a while since I wrote last time. I’ve been quite busy lately and I haven’t been able to post as often as I’d liked. One of the reasons of my absence it’s been a cake decorating course that I’m attending during this summer at a confectionary school. It’s the one known as PME masters certificate, which is specifically focused in how to decorate a cake professionally, taking into consideration a business approach (business guidelines, copyright and license, price guidelines, transport, delivery costs…). At the end of the course you are awarded, if successful, with a professional diploma. :)

PME consists of three modules:

1) Royal Icing and Piping 

•  Coating, scroll borders, run out collars, extension borders, brush embroidery, lace designs, run out motifs, multi tiered cakes…

2) Sugarpaste

•  Coating, crimping, embossing, fabric effects, drapes, frills, ribbons, bows, sugar embroidery, modelling figures, inlay, applique, designing celebration cakes, stacking cakes…

3) Sugar Flowers

•  Unwired and wired flowers, roses, orchids, lilies, cherry blossom, gerbera, freesia, black berries, arranging sugar flowers…

 These are some of the projects I’ve made at class so far during my first lessons:

This is a cosmetic bag novelty cake. We had to sculpt the shape, coating with fondant, embossing the board, quilting the cake and adding some frills and sugarpaste details, such as the lipstick, hair ties and the eye shadow pack. It was made during a sugarpaste lesson.

This is an 8″ round dummy fully coated with fondant. We had to cover both the board and the cake with sugarpaste, use a crimper on the borders, use the inlay technique (I used the bear cutter to do so), make some fabric effect flowers, use the creative plaque plunger and add some sugar drapes. It was decorated during a sugarpaste lesson.

This is an 8″ round cake card coated with purple sugarpaste and piped with royal icing: scroll borders, lettering and brush embroidery technique. It was decorated during a royal icing and piping lesson.

I’m really looking forward to the next decorating class!

See you soon,

Sara

Princess Cupcake Cake . 100% Gluten-Free

Hi there,

Last week I made a princess cake to celebrate a little girl’s 3rd birthday. Amongst all the ideas I suggested to her mother, she was happy about the one of a princess formed by tiny gluten-free cupcakes, as it would be a pretty original design and it’d be easier to serve than a regular cake (you don’t have to cut it, so no mess at all!).

“Feliz Cumpleaños” means “Happy Birthday” in Spanish

Using a gluten-free recipe, we take care of all those people with wheat allergy. Gluten-free doesn’t mean tasteless at all! Those cakes can be also very yummy, as well as beautiful, since they can be decorated in many ways.

To make this lovely princess (wheter gluten-free or not), you’ll need:

♥  18″x14″ oblong cake board

2 regular cupcakes + sugarpaste >> Head, plait & upper body → Decorate them before attaching to the board.

30 tiny cupcakes + pink buttercream piped with a closed star tip >> Dress → Pipe them after attaching to the board.

◊ The cupcakes can be attached to the cake board with a bit of buttercream applied on their base. Then, press them against the board. It’ll act as a glue.

What a long plait!

I’d also like to share some tips about gluten-free cakes which I learnt whilst making these ones:

♣  Gluten is a protein that gives structure to the cake.  Our gluten-free cake can be very crumbly, dry and unstable because of the lack ot this specific protein if we don’t take some measures like the following ones:

♠ Use a gluten-free mix (flours and starchs) instead of just one type of flour, specially if that’s low in proteins (like rice flour). In this case, I used 65% rice flour and 35% cornflour. You can also  use commercial gluten-free mixes, easy to find in most of the supermarkets and ready to use.

♠ Use a bit of xanthan gum powder to give more structure to your cake (I use 1/2 tsp per 150 grs of flour).

♠ Use a recipe that produces a pretty liquid mixture  -to prevent the sponge from drying (gluten-free cakes tend to dry quite a lot) and to keep it moister-.

I hope you give this princess a try!

Thanks for reading.

Sara

 

Mice & Cheese Cookies

Hi there!

Recently I’ve been specially interested in cookie decorating. I love piping, so when I have a cookie in front of me, I just want to pipe and pipe royal icing throughout. And once finished, I happily start piping the next one, and so on until I decorate the whole batch of cookies.

Cookie decorating it’s a quite time-consuming process (mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, preparing royal icing, decorating, drying time, packing…) although very very fun and gratifying. I usually add one more step, which is taking pictures of the result and sometimes, making photo collages.

As I mentioned in my previous post (frog cookies), I think that changing the purpose of the cookie cutters is very interesting and highly creative. Making a frog from a flower-shaped cutter, sexy underwear from a heart-shaped one… In this occasion, I used a heart-shaped cutter again to make playful mice.

If you keep the whole heart-shaped cookie, you can make mice faces  (both boys and girls!). If you cut it in half before baking, you can make some little mice. In addition, if you cut a round cookie dough in half, you’ll make the simplest and easiest mice ever :- )

I didn’t forget to make some cheese sugar cookies to make my mice happy!! Some slices ended up with a few bites…

I got my inspiration from Sugar Dot Cookies, who made some cute mice faces and squares of cheese. I added my personal touch, as well as new stuff, of course!

I hope you like them and as I did, you get inspired!

See you soon.

xoxo

Sara

Frog Cookies

Hi there!

I love the idea of changing the purpose of a cookie cutter. For instance, a  flower cutter is usually used to create beautiful flower-shaped cookies, isn’t it? But and if we think beyond that and we find another uses? We could save a lot of money in cookie cutters!

That’s also a wonderful way to develop your creativity.

What I recently did was to use a plain flower cutter to create frog cookies. I was staring at the cutter for a while and the idea appeared suddenly: cute frogs wearing a bow!! Don’t you believe me?

I chose two complementary colours to match the composition.

Quick Decorating Steps:

1) Using a flower-shaped cutter like this, make some flower cookies. Bake them and leave them to cool before decorating.

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2) Mark the cookie with the details you want to pipe, using an edible marker or a scriber (as a guide when piping).

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3) Pipe the eyes with white flood royal icing (use a scriber to spread the icing evenly and to remove any air bubbles)  → Let it set for 30 minutes before starting the next step.

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4) Pipe the face with green flood royal icing (use a scriber to spread the icing evenly and to remove any air bubbles)  → Let it set for 30 minutes.

As you can see, I don’t pipe outlines, I flood straight away.

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5) Pipe the center of the bow with dark violet flood royal icing. Optional: add some coloured sugar before the icing dries and it’ll be attached straight away  → Let it set for 30 minutes.

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6) Pipe both sides of the bow with dark violet flood royal icing. Straight away, use the wet on wet technique: pipe some dots with light violet flood royal icing or pipe two horizontal lines instead and marble the pattern with a scriber (upwards and downwards motion, from left to right) → Let it dry.

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7) When the cookies are dry enough (after 6-12 hours) pipe the mouth with red medium consistency royal icing (soft peaks) → Let it set for 15 minutes .

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8) Pipe the tongue with pink medium consistency royal icing (soft peaks) →Let it dry.

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9) Paint the pupils by using a toothpick and black food coloring → Let it dry completely for some hours before wrapping.

As another example to use a cutter with different purposes than the usual one, in a previous occasion I used a simple  heart-shaped cutter to make underwear cookies. Anyway these frogs are more genuine! They were designed using my imagination!

 Ribbit, ribbit!

See you soon,

Sara

Sant Jordi’s Cupcakes (St George’s Day)

Hi there,

Today, April 23rd, is St George’s Day, the National day for England. This date is also important in Catalonia (where I’m from). We celebrate la diada de Sant Jordi (which is the catalan name) with very nice traditions: women are given a rose and men, a book, usually as a symbol of love and friendship. Due to this, this day is also called el dia de la rosa (the rose’s day) o el dia del llibre (the book’s day).

According to the legend, St George saved the princess from the dragon, which he slew by means of a sword. From the dragon’s blood, a rose bush grew. St George took a rose and gave it to the princess. So all catalan women are treated like princesses today, as we’re also given a rose :- )

I made this rose bush cupcakes to show one of the beautiful traditions in Catalonia during St George’s Day. They were vanilla flavoured, filled with strawberry jam (like if it was the dragon’s blood!). I pipped quick buttercream decorations (swirl, leaves…) and I topped them with handmade red fondant ribbon roses.

Happy St George’s Day! Feliç Diada de Sant Jordi!

PS: My dream garden plenty of rose bushes in a sunny day!! Deep red roses everywhere!

Cake International 2014, London

Hi there,

Last weekend I went to Cake International 2014 in London. I happily spent the whole day there, enjoying like a kid all the demonstrations, competitions and exhibitions that took place in there.

My favourite demonstrations were the ones carried out by the popular Paul Bradford (who showed us how to decorate a fashion cake handbag in less than 45 minutes)  and by Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes (who taught us how to pipe beautiful buttercream flowers and how to arrange a lovely bouquet). They were extremely professional, nice and welcoming.

I loooooved many of the creations that were shown in there. I’d like to share with you some of those amazing competition cakes. You can choose the category you’re interested in or continue admiring all the pictures.

Novelty / Sculpted Cakes

Wedding / Tiered Cakes

Celebration Cakes

Sugar Flowers

Cupcakes

Decorated Cookies

Novelty / Sculpted Cakes 

OH MY GOSH!! So realistic and sooooo cute!!! It was my favourite cake.


















Wedding / Tiered Cakes

















Celebration Cakes









Sugar Flowers




Cupcakes





Decorated Cookies



Aren’t they gorgeous?? There were more wonderful cakes made by great artists, but I can’t share all the pictures because some of them were out of focus, etc.

Congratulations to all the participants! Stunning job!

As always, looking forward to the next edition of Cake International 2015.

See you soon,

Sara

Paint Palette Doughnuts

Hey there,

Last time I made mini doughnuts was to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The way I decorated them (drippy red glaze) gave me some inspiration for a new creation. I kept that in mind until last week, when I finally decided to give shape  to my idea.

They’re baked mini doughnuts coated in colorful and drippy glaze, looking like paint on a wooden palette. But they’re edible, really!

I wanted to make a messy impression, like if a kid had been painting with it.

About the Recipe:

To make the doughnuts, I followed this recipe.

About the Decoration:

To make the colorful glaze, combine some icing sugar with some tbsp of water (one at a time) until getting a thick consistency which has to flow. We don’t want either a very stiff glaze or a runny one. Then, you can split the glaze in different bowls and colour it with some food colouring (blue, orange, pink, green, yellow, purple…). Dip the doughnuts in it and let the glaze to drip. Leave them to dry before handling them again.

Regarding the palette, I drew a real size palette on a cardboard. Then I carefully cut it and covered it with wooden effect sugarpaste, trimming the excess with a sharp cutter.

I handcrafted the brush using sugarpaste. It’s like modelling play-dooh, but using sugarpaste you can eat the whole work!

I was taking pictures with a variety of wallpapers to create different light effects, contrasts,  etc. Just experimenting, like usual ;)

I hope you like these delicious and colorful mini doughnuts and they paint a smile in your face!

See you soon.

Sara

Underwear Cookies (Bras & Knickers!)

Hey there,

I love piping. It’s my favourite activity in cake decorating, even more than modelling. That’s why I was willing to pipe in my day off last week. Yes, I just wanted to pipe. Piping fine details… So, after planning and designing what I wanted to do exactly, I baked some cookies first hour in the morning and few hours later I was ready to decorate them!

As you can see, these “femenine shapes” were got by means of a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I created polka-dot underwear by piping royal icing.

Heart-shaped Cookie Cutter

To make these underwear cookies, I used the following material:

 Heart-shaped cutter to give that specific shape to the cookies (boobs and bums, oh myyy!). 

◊ Plastic piping bags

 Royal icing in 2 different consistencies: 

♦ Piping consistency (outline and fine details, them all made in white colour)

♦ Flood consistency  (pink and purple underwear, as well as white dots )

 Plain Nozzles

♦ #2  (outline, dots and fine details)

♦ #4 (flooding)

To make the dots, I applied a technique known as “wet on wet“, which requires at least two different colours of flood consistency royal icing to make a contrast. It consists on flooding the cookie with royal icing (pink and purple in this case) and add some drops of other colour straight away, as a kind of polka dots.

I hope you like my sweet underwear designs and you get some inspiration to create yours!

See you soon,

Sara