Kate’s Fondant Harry Potter Cake (feat. Hedwig)

As always, click on any photo to see a super enlargement!

This Harry Potter cake featuring Hedwig the Owl gave me one of the biggest, greatest thrills of my life. I kid you not. Cake itself was triple chocolate chip cake torted and filled/iced with whipped chocolate buttercream. The only things our birthday girl, Kate (age 9), asked for was that the cake be chocolate, not “too” girly, and that it featured Harry’s pet owl, Hedwig.  

I downloaded a font called “Parry Hotter” (for real!) and copied the note in black food color (thinned with vodka) onto fondant made to look like antiqued parchment (fondant rolled at the edge and brushed lightly with brown food coloring). Ha! I asked my online friends for ideas as to the wording for Harry’s letter to Kate and got great feedback. In the end, the “spellbinding” thing won over the more over-used “have a  magical birthday.” Thanks to everyone who helped with that!

Here’s the part that gave me such a thrill: the big birthday bash was held at one of our more “upscale” local theaters (in Madison, MS) and coincidentally, that very day they were hosting a big fund-raising benefit and premier showing of the movie “The Help” starring Emma Stone and Viola Davis. (Parts of the film were shot in and around this area, so it made sense for this premier and fund raiser to take place here.) 

The theater was closed except for the fund-raiser and except for Kate’s Harry Potter party. According to the news, they had as many as 4,000 people outside the theater and tickets for the premier ranged from $300 to $500 per seat. Since the birthday girl’s mother had booked her theater party (for an early showing of the final Harry Potter movie) months in advance, the theater kindly allowed the party to remain on the books while the premier was happening.  
When family and friends began singing happy birthday to Kate, the cast and crew made a surprise visit into the party room and joined in the singing and celebration! And yes, they ate cake. Kate’s mom told me several of them even came back for seconds. I will update this post with photos if I ever get my hands on them, but for now, this is all just hearsay.  But still true. 😉
I know it’s ridiculous, but I was high for a month knowing Emma Stone ate my cake haha.
Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Cake Tutorial: Perfect Fondant Bow

So, my newest cake features a fondant bow and I’ve been asked over and over how I make it. The answer is simple: for all my bows, I follow the tutorial of my clever, talented, cakey bakey friend, Lesley.  
Visit her Facebook fan page here. Be sure to tell her you came from the “Peggy Does Cake Blog.” 
You can watch her video tutorial here on Youtube or you can see this tutorial (and others) on her Facebook “Notes” page here.  
Check out all of her tutorials; there are several already posted and more are being added all the time. You will love her generous spirit, but more than that, you will love her gorgeous work.
Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon!
~ Peggy

Rett’s Circus Clown Birthday Cake! (Click any photo to enlarge it!)

Clown Cake

This was one of the most challenging cakes I’ve ever made. Based on a story book called “Monster Birthday Party,” I was asked to recreate the monster’s cake (which wasn’t anything to do with monsters at all, but rather had a circus theme). The cake featured animals parading around the base of it, clowns marching around the tiny top tier (each holding a candle), and had sparkler-type “fireworks” spewing out of the top (which I was asked to somehow include). At the same time that I was given a theme to go by, I was also given creative freedom and so was allowed to bring this cake to life in any way I wanted – and that made making it a total blast.

I hand-painted the 2D animals on the side (lion, elephant, giraffe, camel, and tiger) and spent way too much time nitpicking over the clowns, which I also spent way too much time designing!

The “fireworks” are royal icing flowers piped onto pre-shaped floral wire. I filled a drinking straw with royal icing, poked the “bouquet” of wires into the straw, and after it dried, I insert the straw into the cake – tada! No wires touching cake!
Look at this angel face! This melts my heart and reminds me why I love making cakes for my sweet friends and their sweet friends! Happy birthday to little Rett! I’m so happy and grateful his mom had the creativity to dream up such a clever, fun idea for his cake – and that I was the one who got to make it!
Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon.

~ Peggy

Meg’s Wizard of Oz Cake!

Now that I’m in my 2nd year of cake decorating, I’m experiencing something new – repeat business.
I made little Meg’s “princess” themed cake last year (see it here) and recently I was asked to do this year’s cake – with a “Wizard of Oz” theme. Right away I began to think of all the cool stuff I could put on this cake – the ruby slippers, the emerald city, spooky “bad witch” legs poking out from under a shattered house, glittery “good witch” pinkness, munchkins, lollipops, a little dog in a basket… 

My cakey bakey brain was immediately slammed into overdrive. Actually, I had been fantasizing about making a Wizard of Oz cake (yes, sadly, that’s what I fantasize about), so this request was kind of like winning the lottery for me. I think you’d be pretty hard pressed to come up with a more clever theme, although last night someone asked me if I had ever made a “Gone With the Wind” cake, so yeah, that’s a pretty close tie.

Cake was WASC with vanilla butter cream filling and icing. All décor is fondant and everything is 100% edible.  Yes, I need practice with my fondant characters. I can make an excellent monkey; but it’s a crying shame that all my fondant people end up looking like monkeys!  I suppose as long as you can tell who they’re supposed to be, it’s ok.  I’d just rather knock it out of the park every time, and I know that if my “Dorothy” were sitting on a shelf, far away from a cake, it would take some great stretch of the imagination to be able to guess correctly who she was. Ha!

Luckily, her ruby red slippers give it away.  I wanted to give her slippers a bigger high heel (although you can’t see it, they DO have a heel), but really, these things were about a 1/2″ long and it becomes difficult and a bit silly at that size to get too particular.

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon.

~ Peggy

Fondant Review

Cake makers are always asking me questions about which fondant I use for what purpose.  I put together this little overview table that shows exactly how I personally use which fondant brands.  I included categories like taste, value, where I personally shop, and how well the color lifts (for example, FondX white will never lift to more than just a soft pastel).
This is not intended to sway anyone; I’m just sharing my personal preferences for those who have asked.  I value your opinion and feedback, so please leave a comment or ask a question!
(Click to enlarge chart)
Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon!
~ Peggy

Drake’s ChooChoo Train Cake! (Click any photo to enlarge)

This train cake was the first time I’d embossed fondant and then covered a cake with it (just the top tier, made to look like brick). I found the process rather difficult, but maybe it’s just because I’m the ultimate klutz in the kitchen. Cake is white almond sour cream with vanilla bean butter cream filling and icing. Bottom tier was finished in sky blue butter cream.  All details, including the train, are fondant and are 100% edible.

Blaire’s Pink and Green Graduation Cake

Today’s cake post will be another short and sweet one, as any extra time lately (between my “real” job [not cakes] and my “pretend” job [cakes] is nearly impossible to find.
I learned a lot while making this cake, including the fact that you can never, ever, ever, no matter what, never ever turn Fondx “white fondant” into anything even remotely resembling hot pink fondant.  And as proof to that claim, I offer this soft, warm, “baby pink” cake which was born of my failed attempts to make said hot pink fondant.  Cake is WASC wedding batter, filled with whipped vanilla bean butter cream and covered in fondant.