Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cake Mania!

Sound the trumpets! Drum roll, please!
Today I am finally going to be sharing something creative with you!!
I have been waiting to write this post since the day I started conceiving all of my grand ideas!

When the subject of cakes came up for my grandparent's 50th Anniversary Celebration,
I eagerly volunteered for the job.
There were already a few Pinterest pins calling my name,
and this would be a funtastic opportunity to finally try some out.

These were my Pin-speration sources.

1. Gumdrop Roses  2. Wedding Picture Topper  3. Chocolate design toppers
4. Chocolate Heart  5. Sugar and Berries  6. Cake Banner 
7. Pineapple Flowers  8. Picture Pick Toppers  9. Strawberry Roses
Chocolate Butterflies 
Not to forget this awesome chocolate butterfly.

After one whole day of 'research' (I love Pinterest!), and one day of shopping for all
the necessities and ingredients, I was able to get to work!

I gave mom the task of making all the paper and picture decorations, like the anniversary banner,
wedding picture topper, and cake labels...which left me to man the kitchen.

Let me show you what I cooked up!

 #1 Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This was a two layer sheet cake with frosting in the middle, that I quickly
decorated with a '50 Years' flag, some pineapple flowers and a lacy chocolate heart.

The heart was made from melted almond bark that I piped onto parchment paper,
 then re-hardened in the fridge.
 I didn't trace a design for this one, I just did it by freehand.

#2 Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Also a two layered, cream cheese frosted cake,
I decorated this one with my version of the wedding picture cake topper (made by mom!)
surrounded by pineapple flowers.
I was told later that those dried flowers tasted great!

#3 Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
Don't let the gluten free part scare you, this is the best chocolate cake I have ever had!
I'm dead serious. And I don't like chocolate cake.
Want to know a secret? We didn't tell people this was gluten free, and it was our most popular cake!
I used my go to chocolate butter cream recipe to frost this single layer cake,
then topped it with almond bark chocolate words and gumdrop roses!

These roses were awesome!

If you click the link in my collage above it will take you to this video tutorial!
They are so simple to make, yet add so much!
They don't show you how to make the leaves, but it didn't take much to figure those out.
Just roll out your green gumdrop as shown in the video, then cut out a leaf shape.

#4 Gluten Free Three-Tiered Cake
Not as many tiers as my inspiration source,
but I liked the simple beauty of the exposed cake, fresh fruit and powdered sugar.

The strawberry rose bouquet was a nice touch, though it didn't turn out as good I would have hoped.
 I couldn't get the 'petals' to lay open like in the picture. But still, a nice topper.

#5 White Raspberry Cake
Three layered almond white cake, with almond butter cream frosting and raspberry preserve filling.
I only frosted the middle layers and the top cake for two reasons.
One, 'naked cakes' are in style, didn't you know?
And two, the frosting was a little stiff and I was running out of time. was reason two.

To make this cake look fabulous,
we stuck a very long "Happy Anniversary" banner in the top!
I love the way it turned out! My mom did a great job!

#6 Coconut Cake
You guys.
This was my favorite cake!!
Just look at that! It is beautiful! And it tastes wonderful too!
I am dying to make another one of these, with a few little recipe changes.

This double layer coconut sheet cake was frosted with sour cream coconut frosting,
between the layers and all over the outside, sprinkled with toasted coconut
then adorned with almond bark butterflies!
I was so, so thrilled that I was actually able to make these!
I mean...look at them!

 And finally....

I made just over 70 Lemon Cupcakes!
This is one of our family recipes for rich lemon cake, topped with another family creation,
lemon frosting made by folding lemon pudding and Cool Whip together!


These little darlings were decorated with various almond bark chocolate designs,
and family picture sticks, combining two inspiration sources.

All of my cakes had to survive an hours trip before
reaching the location of our family reunion.
That means I only frosted the middle layers of my sheet cakes to hold them together, 
and the rest of the frosting, assembling and decorating had to take place on site.

We had a certain time frame between scheduled events that we were able 
to use the (more like rollings tables, a sink and some counter space),
so that made things a little crunched.

But thankfully there was lots of family (thank you everyone!) to give a helping hand.
I'll admit it was a little hard at first to delegate some of the tasks 
to someone else, but I had no reason to worry, it all turned out great
and I was able to do the really important details myself.

If I look a little tired and frazzled, you know why.

In the end it all paid off.
Presentation was awesome, taste was wonderful, and Nana cried.
Everything was a hit.
I was asked by several people if I did this for a living,
and those that didn't ask, outright told me that I should make this a business!
It was so great to have such supportive feedback.

Now, I went back and forth about breaking this post down
into individual cakes and details, but I decided on covering it in one fell swoop.
There will be a post on making almond bark chocolate designs, with tips I discovered along the way,
but if you want more individualized details on anything else,
just let me know and I'll see what I can do!

To sum it up:
One week.
Six cakes.
13 layers.
70 cupcakes
Five different frostings.
One hurried hour of assembly.
An anniversary to remember.


  1. Wow! These are all so gorgeous! I must say that the butterflies are my favorites, though. They're so pretty! All of your hard work really paid off!

    1. The butterflies were my favorite too! I have wanted to make those for a long time, and I'm so glad I finally did it! :) Thanks, Reyna!

  2. Wow Dessy girl! You sure worked hard and you did a marvelous job!!!

    Blessings -

    ~ Aspen

    1. Aw, thank you!! It was a lot of fun! I wouldn't mind making some cakes/cupcakes for other events if people needed them. :) Definitely going to be making some fun cupcakes for ladies/girls events in the future!

  3. Fantastic job! All those lovely swirly lacy designs are good patterns for henna when you are in an Indian mood ;) I'd need a big plate because i'd certainly want a taste of each!

    1. Actually, that is where I got some of my inspiration, was from some henna designs I have seen/tried! :D Yes- I'll admit, I tried almost every one of those cakes the first go around too! Everyone there had the same problem- you can be sure seconds...were had!

  4. Desarae, Greetings from Minnesota! I am so happy to see you back on your blog, and I am also offering my apologies for not emailing you recently. :) Summers are busy and fun and full! Anyway, the story of these cakes is amazing. You did a wonderful job on each and every one of them, and I can tell you had oodles of fun doing so. It is definitely and obviously a labor of love for your grandparents, and I am sure everyone at the party enjoyed the goodies. I like the previous comments about wanting to try each one, because that's for sure what I'd be doing! :) This summer I've tried my hand at making a few cakes for events at ordination and an anniversary. Both were fun and as I brought them in a purchased bakery box with the cellophane window, everyone thought they looked professional! It was really quite funny. (There's a tip for you...if you make cakes for someone else, put them in a box and they'll think it is extra special! ;) ) So I experimented with new frostings and fillings and decorating with fruit, as I am NO cake decorator, and I decided I really enjoyed it! It's always fun to discover a new hobby. And so I very much enjoyed reading about your cake adventures. Keep up the good work, friend!

    1. Great to hear from you, Sarah! No worries, I understand how busy summers get!

      Isn't cake decorating just so much fun?! I'm glad you have had some fun experiences with it to. You know, I thought of the cake box idea AFTER I had to awkwardly pack and transport these cakes 50 miles from home in my tiny car! I will definitely do that next time! :)

  5. Loved seeing these! How much fun! Only now I am absolutely starving! Lol

    1. Haha, oh dear, so sorry! :) It was a lot of fun- now I just need an excuse to make that coconut cake was wonderful! I have to say it was my favorite. Hmmm...I think maybe you need to come for a visit...;)


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