Wilton's Advanced Sugar Flowers Class!

It's finally here! Last weekend I was privileged to join several other Wilton Method Instructors for a crash course on the new Wilton Course 4: Advanced Gum Paste Flowers.  We had a blast, and time just flew by as we learned how to work with wires, florist tape, dusting powders and more =o)

Here is a sample of the flowers all my new Course 4 students will be learning:

The Gerbera Daisy! Such a bright, fun flower and soooo easy!
This is one of the sprays we were able to create on the last day. It includes ivy leaves, Sweet Peas, Stephanotis flower and bud, a little pink flower, and a Briar Rose.

This beautiful flower is definitely the crowning glory of the class: the Stargazer Lily.  So pretty and surprisingly easy to make!
I hope you have enjoyed this class sneak peak, and I hope to see some of you in my classes soon!  Check out the calendar on my website, Amber's Cake Creations, for dates and times.

Angry Birds Cake!

This is my first cake for the new year and I couldn't be more pleased. My friend's daughter is celebrating her birthday this weekend and I volunteered to bring the cake. I asked what she wanted and was told, "Chocolate cake and an Angry Bird girl with eyelashes... also a few pigs."  So, I had lots of room to play with the design. My kids are huge Angry Bird fans too, so they watched with eager anticipation as the cake started to unfold.

First came the Piggies:


 And then a couple of smaller Birds:

And then I had to track down the Angry Bird font for her name:

 Finally. the slingshot with the Angry Bird girl:

When it all started to come together I knew it was going to be cool.

Very often, I am my own worst critic; others look at my cake and say it is amazing or stunning or something similar. I tend to look at my cakes as see mostly flaws. I still see the flaws in this cake, but I can also sit back and think, "Yep, this time I got it right!"  It is nice when I can make the vision I have in my head come out in cake and sugar.

The Wedding Cake Saga!

I am writing this post primarily for my students. In cake, as in life, sometimes perseverance is key!  If you give in to that voice inside telling you that you can't do something or that you have failed, then you have; however, if you persevere, then you can overcome and accomplish your goal!

Proof that it all turned out well in the end!
This cake represents my dedication to persevere and never give up. (Marie and Mike, if you are reading this, I suggest you just skip to the end with the pretty pictures! =o)

It started out as an ordinary cake.  The one thing that went really smoothly was the baking. For this cake I baked 16 cake layers... lots of cake!  I do all my baking ahead of time because lets face it, I have a small, home oven and there is no way I can bake cake for 250 people the day or two before the event and have it remotely fresh. So I bake a week or so ahead and freeze everything as most bakeries do, and it makes the cakes come out super moist.

This cake was to be all buttercream, not something I do a lot, but not something I saw as particularly challenging.  But I wanted to get the finish as smooth as possible, so I studied and tried a new buttercream recipe.  That was my first mistake.  Never try something new when making an important cake. It came out way too soft and within a couple of hours, it looked like this:

In all the time I have been making cakes I have never had this happen to me! I have seen photos and heard tales of woe from others, but never actually experienced this sad sight myself! I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted to give up.... Okay, maybe not, but having never experienced this problem before I was a bit in shock and it took me a bit to "snap out of it."  So I ran out of the house and took refuge at Cake Castle... If you  live in Sacramento or thereabouts, and have never experienced the cake decorating heaven that is Cake Castle, you really should go.  Anyway, I needed some supplies, so I wasn't really running away, right?

By the time I returned, I was feeling better and ready to tackle the problems. Did I mention that all but one of the tiers had the icing slide off? Yeah, it wasn't pretty, but I whipped up a new batch of buttercream (using my old recipe), scrapped the icing and started over.  By the time I was all done, it had taken me all day to stack, fill, and cover 4 cakes in buttercream, twice.  Normally that would just take a couple of hours tops.  So that left me with half a day to pipe all the decorations before the wedding. No problem, right?

The next morning I piped and piped, and it was beautiful... and it was on the wrong tier (the tiers alternated designs), and it was black piping on a white cake. The only way to fix that error was to scrape all the icing off and start again, again. So another batch of buttercream later, I re-iced and re-decorated and finished with 30 minutes to spare before we needed to leave! Yipee!

We loaded the cakes and I realized I lost my wallet the day before, after some frantic searching to no avail, my husband and the kids piled in the car to take me and the cake to the wedding. So we drove... to the wrong church! Really? What more could go wrong?  After a quick phone call, we realized the church was on the other side of town, and we ended up driving for an hour with the cake in the car. Not an ideal situation, especially as we traveled over really bad streets with lots of potholes. Yeah, you can see where this is going right?

We arrived at the church, and the buttercream on two of the tiers was sliding on one side. I whisked the cakes off to the large commercial freezer and thankfully that hardened up the icing and was able to fix it (and hide that part in the back). When we arrived at the church the ceremony was just getting started, when I stacked the last tier the pastor was pronouncing them man and wife, and as I stuck the topper on top, the lovely couple came through the church doors into the lobby where I was setting up the cake. Whew! I made it! I was covered in frosting but happy that I had persevered and the cake was standing!

I quickly snapped a photo of the finished cake with my phone (gotta put it on FB right?)... which was also apparently covered in icing, thus the "soft focus"
In the end, it turned out pretty well and I received lots of compliments from those who found out I made the cake.  I still feel that I have a long way to go before I am really good at this (even though many will disagree), but I find joy in the journey and I love sharing that joy with others, because hey, who doesn't like cake?  

Congratulations Mike and Marie! I pray that the two of you have a long, blessed, and love and grace filled marriage.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen"  Eph 3:20-21

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Sacramento, California, United States
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