All the Fall cakes!

This is my absolute favorite time of year! The colors of nature are truly brilliant and remind us of the magnificence of our earth. Especially here in Pennsylvania!

Buttercream!

Swiss meringue buttercream. Floral cakes. Fall flowers. Roses. Rosettes. Mums. Leaves. Sprinkles. Dragees. Borders. Swags. Ruffles. Drop flowers. Stars. Watercolor.

Darker colors. Fall colors. Shades of orange and yellows. Purples and reds, burgundy. Dark blues and greens

Supplies used: spatula, piping bags, couplers, scissors, turntable, gel colors, Buttercream, cake, Cake board, box, rags, and a smile 🙂

various tips: Rose, leaf, star, mum, dropflower, rounds

Orders and “case cakes”

There’s always a reason to celebrate!

Cheers!

Brandi

Let Them Eat Cake

The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health has an annual cake walk fundraiser.

The theme was “Once Upon a Time”. This is my fifth year participating, my first time at the swanky Kimpton Hotel Monaco. When I went before it was at the Pittsburgh Opera House in the Strip district.

There’s a silent auction, hors d’ouvres, drinking, beautiful cakes on display and tons of cakes to sample!

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the work I put into this cake:

https://cakesburgh.com/the-brothers-grimm-inspired-cake-behind-the-scenes/

Here’s the cake:

Ravens and a bloody Heart topper

Rumpelstiltskin’s spinning wheel, spinning hay into gold

Big Bad Wolf chasing Red Riding Hood

Hansel and Gretel fleeing the Witches gingerbread house after they throw her in the oven

Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair

I wish I couldve gotten a better picture inside the house with the witches legs sticking out of the top of the oven

That little bag on the table is where the guests put their slips in to vote for their favorites. There were a few in there, but I didnt win. But we had a really good time drinking and eating cake!

Here’s are the other competitors amazing cakes!!

Profession 2nd place winner

Professional 1st place winner

Amateur 1st place winner

Amateur 2nd place winner

Taste Cakes:

Here’s our chocolate cake with cherry filling and cherry Swiss meringue buttercream. Yuuuummmm. There were some reallly delicious cakes to sample!

Hard to enjoy it too much after our scrumptious dinner at Sienna Mercato. Shawn and Sara are fabulous dates!

That’s that! Now there’s another cake to display at the bakery! A baker I met there suggested taking my cake to the White Rose cake show competition coming up in a few weeks. We’ll see how my orders look that weekend.

Here’s a look at my previous cakes entered to Let Them Eat Cake :

None of these cakes won either. But it’s always a good idea to stretch your imagination and push your own limits and grow as an artist and try out new techniques.

Thanks for stopping by!

I’m glad to have the opportunity and space to share my art with yinz!

Buttercream kisses 😘

Brandi

The Brothers Grimm inspired cake: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes!

The Making of the Brothers Grimm inspired cake, progress photos.

A sketch:

4 tiers and a tree with an owl 🦉

Heart topper, Rice Krispie treat

Whoooo whoooo

Tree stump. Working at my regular cake station at the Grandview Bakery. Notice my “Radiate Positivity” note. There’s also a reminder that says “You are Awesome” 🙂 Cakes are a hella stressful business. It’s good to look up from your work and REMEMBER to BREATHE.

Background painting with Airbrush colors and gel colors mixed with Everclear. Moved to the Party Room to sit and work.

Little Red riding hood and Rapunzels tower

Heart on top

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?! Wire to keep his arm up while he dries/ hardens.

RKT Ravens/Crows, black fondant, wafer paper wings. On wires

Packed up and ready to go dahntahn n’at!!

She traveled great! Set up for display at the fundraiser!

Cakes on display

My heart went into this cake, and a lot of time…..

Friday’s hours didn’t even make it into the list, that was probably another 6 hours to a 12 hour day. and add another 1-5 hours for picture editing and social media, blog posting, etc

If this cake were an ordered decorated cake it would cost the customer approximately $1000.00 !!!

Thanks for stopping by my page!! Let me know what you think!! Enjoy your day!!

Radiate Positivity!!

Brandi

Lipstick Cake

Lipstick 💄 Cake

The making of the lipstick cake:

Lipstick Cake Lipstick Birthday Cake

1. First: See it in your brain. Draw a sketch to work off of. Figure out the size and proportions- part of this happens during the ordering process, when finding out how many guests they want to serve and determining price. This also includes Figuring out which cakes you need baked and what size board you need.

2. Translate step 1 into reality. It all starts with a couple sheet cakes. 1/4 sheet vanilla. 1/4 sheet chocolate. Whip up some Vanilla buttercream. Double check the order to make sure you have the right cake flavors and fillings. Put it on a 1/2 sheet board, write something on the bottom so you don’t get any cakes mixed up. Measure proportions and make some marks.

3. Start cutting. Refer back to your sketch. See it in your brain again. Like really really see it so much that you can look at the pile of cake and buttercream and see a lipstick instead. Breathe. Carve.

4. Look at it from a bunch of different angles, remember to keep breathing. Don’t cut off too much, but if you do you can fix it with extra cake pieces and buttercream. You can build up on areas too, depending on what you’re making.

5. Cover with buttercream. We call this “base iced”. Move it to the fridge to get it out of the way while you clean up your mess. Sometimes I’ll put cake scraps in cupcake wrappers for bakery samples. Everyone loves free samples.

6. Get a coffee. Work on a couple other orders. Pull it out of the fridge and Cover with another layer of buttercream. Get it really nice and smooth. Keep breathing. Tell your internal critic to be quiet. Put it back in the fridge, clean up and get out the fondant supplies.

7. They wanted it to be black, white and red. I use Satin Ice fondant to cover the cake. This is the part that I always get super involved in and forget to take pictures, which is a shame because there’s a lot of artsy things going on. I used a wilton mold to make the pearls. Other Tools used: fondant mat, Crisco, rolling pins, fondant smoother, scalpel, gloves. As soon as I figure out how to set up a camera I’ll start doing videos.

8. Take a bunch of pics. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to remember that it’s just a cake that’s going to be eaten and even though we’d all like them to be perfect and flawless, it’s still just a cake that’s going to be eaten. It’s a very special labor of love.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my first lipstick cake.

Cheers!

Brandi

SUGAR SHAMROCKS

OH MY GOODNESS

am I excited about these!!!

Here’s a free life hack I learned from my mom. When Christmas stuff goes on clearance, buy it. Either put it away for next year OR separate the red for Valentines Day and green for St Patrick’s Day. You’re welcome. 😉

🎅🏻🎄 = ❤️+🍀

Speaking of Christmas clearance: one day I came home from the bakery and found a box of mini colored candy canes on the kitchen counter. Um…. thanks?

I figured I’d leave them there for a couple weeks and then sneakily throw them out.

UNTIL I came across this Macaroni Kid article:

https://robinson.macaronikid.com/articles/5a6dfad1c0fa8266762308e9/diy-valentine-suckers

Brilliant!

I thought: this is exactly what I’ll do with them!

BUT then I was so busy with everything else that week that I didn’t get to it .

So i figured again I’d throw them away – except I didn’t.

And every time I cleaned the counters I had to move them.

I still thought maybe I’d try it out before I pitch them and then if it worked I’d make the time to make them next year.

Cause when you’re short on time there’s no room for experimenting and playing around with hot sugar – like that’s when accidents happen.

And then the genius lightening bolt hit!

(I may accredit it to meditating)

We dumped out the bucket and Spencer helped me unwrap some candy canes.

Shamrock candy cane

If you don’t know me (yet) :

I LOVE everything

St. Patrick’s Day

My house is decorated with 🍀clovers & shamrocks ☘️ & Irish sayings – year round.

Both of my parents had Irish, my husbands moms side has Irish, my nephew is an Irish dancer, I have a shamrock tattoo, we have tons of Irish friends, we had a great big Irish wedding.

😂 You get the idea 💡 –

We’re obsessed.

and Soon they were Ready for the oven!

They get sticky so make sure you use parchment paper (parchment paper is NOT the same as wax paper)

300 degrees for 3 minutes.

Set the timer for 3 minutes.

Sugar shamrocks

You have to pinch the ends together and reshape it a bit. It’s hot when it comes out, but not too hot. Gloves would probably help, but if you’re in the kitchen a lot you can handle the heat.

Or not. Please don’t burn yourself. It IS hot sugar.

Then let it cool and VOILA!

Sugar shamrock

I’m thrilled!

It was FUN and I love it!

Spencer’s (my five year old baby) was more of a #nailedit kind of project:

#nailedit

This was mostly my fault for leaving them in too long. Pretty neat to see what happens when you don’t set that timer.

He didn’t mind.

He’s going to eat them anyways.

So I did a cool thing,

took some pics,

blogged about it,

And NOW I can throw the rest away guilt free!

What’s that you ask? What am I going to do with them now? I’d love to say I’m going to put them on a cake, that’s the master plan. BUT in reality Im busy this week and probably going to just let the kids eat them.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever made something like this or using this technique?!!

Thanks for stopping by!

You

Are

Awesome!

Xoxo xoxo

☘️ Shamrock Kisses,

Brandi

Make sure you sign up for the newsletter to get an update the next time I make something cool!

Construction Party 🚧

Fletcher’s Fifth Birthday Party 🎈

Happy 5th Birthday Fletcher !

Construction Party

My family LOVES to party.

And the parties are always planned around FOOD.

This is basically the whole reason I started making cakes.

Digger cake

 

Fletcher (my oldest baby) was super into everything construction and fireman related.

 

(We had the fire truck party for his 3rd birthday)

 

Very much a boy boy boy, no matter how full of stuffed animals his bed is.

 

He would play with his trucks for hours.

 

He turned five in August and started kindergarten a few weeks later.

 

I wasn’t sad though. He was super ready and I was happy and excited for him.

 

But maybe throwing him this big party took my mind off of it a little bit.

 

We had a great big party at the YMCA where Fletcher went to Preschool, with a bunch of his little friends.

 

And it’s so cute seeing them all grow up and become their own little people through Facebook.

 

 

I was just starting out with my home licensed cake business,

Event Cakes Pgh.

 

So I kind of had a lot to prove,

 

and also wanted to show off a little.

 

I used a tutorial that I found on Yeners Way

(It’s also possible that I found the tutorial and planned the party around the cake because i wanted to make it. )

I had a monthly subscription to Yeners Way and I learned as much as I could as fast as I could. << that’s an affiliate link if you want to check out the tutorials on the site. 

So when I’m asked if I’m self taught – the answer isn’t easy.

I submerged myself in tutorials and videos and tried out techniques constantly, and still am.

I’m also super creative and crafty though (you should see my collection of scrapbooking supplies) and a lot of things I just figure it out and wing it.

(I’m not sure I’ve made cake pops since this set. Cake pops are kind of a pain to make. Totally worth it when they’re this cute- but I gotta be honest, they should cost $10.00 each for all of the time that goes into them. )

 

 

I’m just saying –

We know how to throw a great party!

>>>Shout out to my mom and sister! <<<

….

An AMAZING cake

takes an AWESOME party

TO THE NEXT LEVEL!

…..

 

Thanks for stopping by!

You’re awesome!

 

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Cause I’ll drop a line in your inbox when I put out another blog post.

 

Xoxoxo

Brandi

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Prep

Heart cake

Valentines Prep was in full swing at the Grandview Bakery. I went in to the bakery Feb 13 to pick up my Mardi Gras King Cake, but also to help Rachel a little with cupcakes and heart shaped cakes. We make a good team 😘

But the real work this holiday was at home. I used to hate Valentines Day. I TRY not to buy into the commercialism of holidays. No heart shaped cheap chocolates and expensive roses for me. Except when they’re too gorgeous to pass up. I mean, i still love pretty things….The struggle is real. 😉

And sometimes the real work is AFTER the boys are in bed. We read a couple short Valentine’s books for bedtime story time. We read every night. (Patting self on back) 😁

They slept snuggly in their beds.

I fell asleep cuddling my little boy 😍 (good thing too, cause i needed a power nap)

Then i had to have hubs come wake me up to finish everything, including fix up last years Valentine Pikachu box. Our 2nd grader saved it all year and wanted to use it again and I’m all for reusing and recycling. (And less work for me) 😄

Thanks to Grandma (and possibly the boys), the trail mix is bagged, and cards are signed, counted and packed. The sink is full of dirty dishes. There’s popcorn on the floor. Just keeping it real.

Boo ghost doesn’t care what holiday it is. He lives to party.

Im a party mom and snack mom for the preschool VDay party.

I made heart shaped cake pops for our family’s first year in preschool . They were gorgeous but also a TON of work. Seriously why are cake pops even a thing?

I’ll post a pic of them if i find one.

This year is our fourth year in between the 2 boys so we’re way more relaxed.

I was planning on making funfetti cupcakes (white cake with red and pink jimmies inside) but when i told my preschooler that he said he’d prefer chocolate. I was back and forth on which cake batter i should make, almost considered making a dozen of each. But aside from the extra work it would make for me, it would also take forever at the party to give 20 preschoolers a choice to make.

😁 This is why I volunteers to do the kids classroom baking

I get to use pretty cupcake liners and little paper heart picks.

I get to icing the cupcakes at a leisurely pace and enjoy the art of buttercream.

Isn’t that teal and red gorgeous? It’s such a different color combination and i love it. (Those are my kitchen oven burner covers. ) I’m going to write a blog post about colors soon.

Rosette cupcakes

Shout out to all the other moms up late to get things done and help make Valentine’s Day happen. Now let’s try to get some sleep .

Happy Valentines Day !

I love you

And

YOU

ARE

AWESOME 👏

Xoxo

Brandi

Welcome! Welcome!!

Welcome to my BLOG!!

I’m so excited to have you visit my online space!!

Here I’m going to show you some cakes that I’ve made,

give you a behind the scenes look at the making of some of my cakes,

a glimpse into the life of a caker,

some really really useful tips for my fellow cakers,

And

Maybe even spread a little happiness and entertainment.

I started making cakes right after my son was born in 2010. I’ve always loved crafting and making edible art so for my birthday that year, my sister signed us up for the Wilton cake decorating classes at JoAnn Fabrics. I took all 4 classes and loved it so much that I started teaching them. I wanted to be able to make my kids the coolest cakes, just like my mom had made for us. I got pretty good pretty fast, making more cakes than i could possibly count, and way too many cakes to eat. I started giving Cakes away and getting cake orders from friends and family, then from friends of friends.

In Pennsylvania it’s illegal to accept payment for Baked goods unless you have a legal business. I went through the entire process and opened a legit cake business, Event Cakes Pgh, LLC.

I rented kitchen space at the Pittsburgh Public Market, and then went through the process to have my home kitchen licensed.

I’ve since closed that business and went to the Grandview bakery on Mount Washington to decorate cakes, and now mostly specialty cakes and wedding cakes.

It’s been a great journey and I’m excited to bring you along with me on it!

Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss a post!!

Sweet Kisses!

XOXO

Brandi