Geode Wedding Cake

Oh my beautiful Geode! How lovely and serene. June, 2017

I loved this bride. She was gorgeous and so lovely. We bonded over laughter about how some geode cakes, with pinks and red rocks look like vaginas.

She was Laid back but also an artist so she was particular but also really appreciated what went into making cake. This was Both of their second marriages. The geode cake was actually the second wedding cake I made for them. The first one was a beach themed cake for their beach ceremony in Baltimore. She was worried it would come out too much like a kids birthday cake and not a wedding cake. I was worried about the cake making that big drive! Her car was packed and She kept it on the floor of the passenger side. In a box, obviously. Buttercream with fondant accents. I used the wilton seashell fondant mood and satin ice fondant. She had a special custom cake topper. She sent me a good pic with the topper at that dinner and I’ll add it if I come across it.

March, 2017

Here’s a few progress pics i took during the making of the geode cake.

Wedding tiers are four layers of cake and 3 layers of filling. You can see one of the tier supports, jumbo bubble straws.

Carved for shape, cut the cardboard tier separator round. 6″ top tier, 8″ middle, 10″ bottom. The 10″ stayed in the fridge while the top two got worked on.

Covered in buttercream and fondant. Use an edible marker to outline where you’ll cut. Carve it already stacked so you’re sure it lines up.

piping gel is the glue that keeps the sugar rocks glued in. Layer of piping gel on top of the buttercream and then you’ll want a piping bag of piping gel to use as you go.

Rock sugar colored with airbrush color. I used the airbrush color instead of gel color because it’s already so liquid y. If i had needed to use gel color I would have diluted it with everclear. It didn’t take a lot of color, the sugar rocks took the color brilliantly. I needed three shades of purple and this was the darkest. I divided them and stirred more .Here i moved into the other room so i could sit while i worked . You can see the brides’ geode on the table, she lent it to me to look at while I worked. This was a tedious task, inserting each rock individually with a pair of long tweezers. Darkest color in the center gives added depth and shadows.

This took several hours of work to complete. The bride even stopped in with her friends while I was working on it to check out the progress. They were big geode buffs and fell in love with the cake.

The rock cave gets outlined with gold leaf, and the inspiration cake she liked best had that big section of gold leaf. Gold leaf has a slight learning curve, but is easy to use as long as there is no breeze. A dry fan brush helps to smooth it out, but the wrinkles add another dimension too. Make sure you get the single Individual sheets. Gold leaf isn’t exactly edible, but it is non toxic.

Finally, at the reception. The bling band bottom border, topper, and cake stand really bring it all together.

Photo credit goes to Flip. He was the first person to get a new phone with the new portrait mode. 😻

This is the inspiration cake, seen in a store window on a vacation. I think i knocked this one out of the park.eliminated that very top 4th tier,

The inspiration cake from a far away land.

I don’t like to copy other artists cake designs exactly, but I don’t mind at all if someone else makes one of mine. It’s great to make adjustments when and where there’s room for improvement and if i can get the client to go along with the changes. She was pretty set on this style. We eliminated that very top 4th tier and used amethyst rocks instead of blue.

A picture one of the guests took and sent. The cake matches well with the chandeliers of the LeMont. – that’s a super fancy restaurant in Pittsburgh with incredible views of the city.

The bride Emailed me From her reception!

I felt pretty good about this cake, but it’s always magnificent to hear from the client when they enjoy a commissioned art.

My mom didn’t like this cake. Our oldest baker didn’t like it either, on a personal matter of style or taste. It stings a little anyways. It was my first geode cake after all.

A week later she sent this:

Thanks, Brandi!

I have yet to get the photographer’s photos & will pass those along, (including the 3/18 cake images), in a WELL DESERVED thank-you note…

Your incredible talents added SO much to our 3/18 wedding & 7/21 reception.

I ran into her again a few years later and she still raves about the Cakes. It means so much to be so appreciated. An amazing reminder of how truly important your cakes actually are.

Sweetly,

Brandi Janine

The Monster Book πŸ“– Cake

I have to tell you- I freaking loved this cake! I loved everything about this order.

My cake friend Marissa, another super talented caker in Pittsburgh, sent this man and his cake order my way. We have this lazy Pgh Caker Club (and I say lazy affectionately). We’re all too busy with our lives to actually meet in person other than twice, but when we did meet we all clicked and it was great fun and we all had so much in common being creative people and working with cake and art. If you’re in Pittsburgh and want to join our club hit me up and I’ll point you in the direction of our Facebook group.

NOW Back to the cake!

Check this baby aht!

(Aht is Pittsburghese for out)

Harry Potter Sheet Cake

What?!! Is that crazy or what?!

I made that!

The client sent me a couple pictures of things he liked for his wife’s 30th birthday cake.

Obviously, she LOVES Harry Potter –And even more importantly, he loves her.

I have to be completely and utterly honest with you right now. I’ve never seen or read the Harry Potter series 😬😬

There’s a monster book- it has eyes and teeth and a tongue and tentacles and FUR. There’s a sorting hat. A wand. A scarf. Hogwarts express and a gold flying dragon- coming out of a book.

The making of the cake:

I took a full white almond sheet cake and cut it into 4ths. The bottom layer was a 1/4 sheet double and the top layer a 1/4 sheet single. The double was filed with raspberry filling, and then they were both iced in Swiss meringue buttercream and covered with ivory fondant.

I added texture to sides to look like an open book and stacked with bubble tea straws.

Here’s a video of the making of the sorting hat! (You’ll be redirected to my YouTube- totally worth it to see my ultra beginner video editing)

Sorting Hat

My phone ran out of storage so I couldn’t take any more pics and videos during the process. Otherwise I’d have a full tutorial for you.

The train was also a cupcake on the inside.

I made all the small details out of Satin Ice fondant. The fur is chocolate buttercream with a large grass tip.

Everything came together at the very end. That’s always exciting stuff!

Thanks for checking out my latest cake and blog post! Hope you like it!

Xoxo

Brandi

in Cakesburgh

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Jumping Fish Cake!

This is the most delicious smelling fish you’ll ever meet!

Fish cake

I was super excited to get this cake order. It’s not every day that a client has the budget for a structured sculptured cake. But when they do, let’s just say, Magic Happens!

The realms connect,

gravity is defied,

the laws of physics are guffawed and

Art

is

born.

In other words,

hardware is purchased.

Internal fish structure

Make the sculpted edible fish a day ahead of the cake itself, on a styrofoam cake dummy. Time management skills at work, and also because we dont want all that pressure and extra movement making a bigger hole in our soft delicious cake.

Fish cake structure

Fire up the glue gun and make it stay put . You could probably skip this step, but your hardware would spin around. Fish are notorious for being wiggly and flopping around and we don’t want that on top of our cake.

Fish cake structure

Side note: notice the giant pink stain on my kitchen counter. Food coloring. It’s finally gone now, but it was there for a while…. 😬

Fish cake structure

Cover the fish bones with aluminum foil. It’s an inexpensive, light weight, food safe way to build up the structure.

Fish cake structure

I know it looks gross here… don’t cry yet…. it gets better…

Cover the aluminum foil with melted marshmallow so the RKT actually sticks to its bones.

Melt more marshmallows than you think you’ll need.

(It’s kind of all a guessing game on amounts anyways. The guessing eventually turns into intuition the more you get to make cooler stuff.)

Reference some pictures of real fish jumping out of the water- a lot. This one was a large mouth bass.

Cover with RKT (Rice Krispie treats- but not the traditional recipe from the box- crush them up and skip the butter).

Fish cake structure

Cover that whole structure with ganache.

I dont have any pics of the next few steps cause I was

IN

THE

ZONE

And That Place is AMAZING.

But this is what I was doing while i was listening to my jams and NOT snapping pics:

Make a batch of white modeling chocolate the day or so before you need it.

Save some of the modeling chocolate for the fins- you need the modeling capabilities of the chocolate to hold their shape.

Mix the rest of modeling choc with fondant at a 1:1 ratio. The idea is to hide that ugly skeleton, covering it all up, and turn it into a fish.

Reference and re-reference the fish pics. We wanted it realistic and not cartoonish.

The details are where it’s at! The eyeball and fins are SUPER duper important!

I didnt have an airbrush yet when i did this guy, so it’s all hand painted. Mostly with Greens, browns, ivory and yellow, wilton gel colors mixed with Everclear (don’t even think about drinking that).

Jumping fish cake Jumping fish cake Jumping fish cake

The cake itself is covered in a couple different shades of buttercream, blues, green and white, spatula’d on to emulate water.

Have you made a cake like this?! I wanna see it! Send me a picture and tag me!

🐠

🐟 Fishy face kisses!

Xoxo

Brandi

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I ❀️ Strawberry πŸ“ Wedding Cake

Extreme Giant Heart ❀️ πŸ“ Wedding Cake

Strawberry Heart Wedding

This cake was incredible!

I would love to make it again and you can too. The First step to recreate this is to come up with a plan. I had just come on board at the Grandview Bakery so the plan and price were already worked out for this cake. I had a parchment paper drawing of a Heart with servings calculated to work with (and whomever did it did a great job- probably the wedding cake decorator that worked there before me- she’s mega talented too)

Ready to cut! Tape that sucker down. Give the board anywhere from a 2- 3 inch clearance around the diagram and draw a Heart on the wood. The cutting part is pretty easy. I balanced it on the table, put on safety goggles and went slowly.

Hot HusbandHot Caker

Funny story! I went to Home Depot to buy the Masonite wood. Sometimes I have them cut it to size. This time I knew I’d have to cut it anyways so I bought a jigsaw and a piece big enough for the widest part and figured I’d save the rest for smaller boards. (I still haven’t cut down the extra Masonite into more boards- slacker) When I hauled it out awkwardly to the car I realized It doesn’t fit in my car!! OMG I wish I had a camera crew filming me while I tried to figure out how to make this thing fit! Sideways, the other way, standing, at an angle, seats down and over, seats up, car seats out, etc etc. Literally took me a half hour- which is a super long time for this pale girl in the summer sun and heat. I eventually got it in vertically and angled between the front and back seats. Once i got it in there it stayed there for another couple days until we needed our SUV back and then moved it to the garage.

A big part of the planning process should be MEASURING! Making sure it’s going to fit!! It did NOT fit through the front door of the Bakery flat, Once it has cake on it you have to keep it relatively flat. It had to go out the back door. I had to call the reception planner to make sure it was going to fit through their door. It barely fit in the SUV. Measuring during the planning process would eliminate that stress.

This was FOUR FULL Vanilla Sheet Cakes.

I cut an identical heart out of heavy weight foam core and hot glued that onto the Masonite. I hot glued a white satin ribbon around the edge, and a small pearl ribbon on the top edge to finish it off.

Sheet cakes glued back together with Swiss meringue buttercream.

Filled with Strawberry preserves filling and buttercream

2nd cake layer

Covered in buttercream

And add a simple tip 12 bead border on top and bottom.

Cut your strawberries before you deliver, but don’t add them to the cake until you’re there. Add a little bit of granulated sugar to the strawberries to help preserve their freshness, but not too much because you don’t want the sugar to pull the juices out of them. I also added a little of the strawberry fillings to coat them too, but not too much, you don’t want them to turn into a filling. Arrange strawberries πŸ“ in a single layer, cut side down , covering entire top. Enlist help of hunky hubs if you got one. He had more patience than me so his strawberries were more meticulously placed than mine.

Don’t stop until you completely cover the entire top- give yourself enough time to do this- probably added an extra half hour to delivery.

Take pics with your cake! It’s hard to appreciate the massiveness without a person to reference perspective. Take pics of you helper with the cake! It’s a proud moment for them too! It took hard work and big muscles to carry this!

Congratulations to the bride and groom!

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to create this for you!

XOXO 😘 πŸ“

Strawberry kisses!

Brandi