Stripe It Up!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last post of 2016! A striped birthday cake I made sometime back for a dear friend's daughter.

I LOVE stripes. On anything. And I have been wanting to try a striped cake but couldn't trust myself to pipe so many straight lines. Well, lets be honest, I couldn't pipe even one straight line. Until I discovered buttercream texture combs.

The combs are quite simple to use. Slather on your base color like you would when you frost a buttercream cake, run the comb of your choice around the cake just like you would a bench scraper. Chill the cake between passes and once the grooves are just like you like it, chill it for at least an hour. Now take your contrasting color and slather it on. Make sure all the grooves are well filled with your contrast color. Then scrape off the excess with a bench scraper. That's it! And the result is so extraordinary!

Go give it a try and let me know how it turned out.
And wish you all a Happy New Year!

Wafer Paper Flowers

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I have always been a big fan of the paper flower trend and when I saw the trend follow into cakes, I was thrilled. I have been waiting to try my hand at making wafer flowers and what better reason does one need than a dear friend's 50th birthday.

It was a learning experience. I learnt that when it comes to wafer paper, water is your friend. And your Enemy. In the right amounts it is the perfect and very permanent glue, but a little too much and the wafer will dissolve in seconds. So make a few spares. Piping gel is a very good alternative to water, especially if you want some wiggle room to re-seat your petals.

And I learnt a lot about what type of colors work and what don't and most importantly that I need to buy an airbrush! I'm thinking of making a tutorial on how I made these flowers and if you are interested, leave a comment below. If there's a lot of interest I'll try and get it done over my Christmas break. Have a nice day!

PS: Oh and for those of you who haven't found your roots when it comes to fondant, try Liz Marek Fondant (LMF). It makes covering cakes so much easier. With this cake I was running late and decided to use the Wilton fondant and I regretted it. I had to actually peel the whole thing off. I had to make LMF on the spot and the best part, I could use immediately! Give it a try and I promise you won't regret it.


Friday, September 23, 2016

A very Happy Birthday to our art loving girl! The cake design is a  nod to our shared love for Monet series on Water lilies. I spotted my first one on a page of a Reader’s digest magazine when I was about her age, she found her first stuck to an art board at school. The love was instant, and it will last, we all know that :)

A Buttercream Watercolor Cake!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

 Another buttercream floral cake that I made for a dear friend's baby shower.

I loved the water color effect on the sides of the cake. It was so fun to do. And there was a little sleeping princess in the buttercream garden.

And some matching cupcakes to go with the cake.

Mountain Bliss!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

So, after working for 42 years, my father-in-law is retiring and my family and I decided to throw him a little party to celebrate his long successful career. Mom and Dad enjoy hiking and a couple years ago they did their first major hike to the Annapoorna base camp, in the snow capped Himalayas. I wanted to commemorate that hike with this cake because I know, it was the start of a new passion for Dad, one that will dot his retirement with many a snowy peak. Happy Retirement Dad!

A little bit about the cake. It is not a double barrel, but a triple barrel! There are three 8" cakes stacked one top of the other to form this 11" tall barrel cake. It is covered in a blue ombre buttercream. I have to give my husband props for doing all the buttercream color mixing because my hands were tired after a lil while. After I started the project I realized I had run out of blue food gel! Yikes! I had to mix black, purple and cyan to get the blues you see on the cake, so it took a lot mixing to getthe correct tones. But it resulted in a variegated blue with black streaks that I LOVE !

The painting on the cake is made using palette knives, one of my favorite painting techniques. I used 3 different shades of white buttercream. The trees are off white, the mountains are a medium white and they have a touch of bright white to give the look of fresh snow. Hope you like the cake. Let us know what you think!

Angel Wings Cake

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day everyone. Here's a cake I made for my nephew on his First Communion. My vision was to show a pair of Angel wings hugging Isaac to let him know he'll always be in God's loving care. But as I was writing this post on Mother's day, I realized that God gave each of us an angel to care for us from the day we were born. And today is as good a day as any to smother your angelic mother with lots of love, hugs and kisses.

Buttercream Floral Wreath

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

So it was Archana's milestone birthday a little while ago and what better way to celebrate her than with a floral wreath to represent the beautiful, kind and talented person that she is. Unfortunately, in all the excitement we didn't get a chance to take proper pictures. But luckily Deepa was there and was able to get a few decent ones. Thank you Deepa!

This cake was a first of many for me. This is the first time I made traditional Swiss meringue buttercream also known as SMBC. It is the most delicious butter cream I have had, very smooth, the right amount of sweetness and more protein because it is made of egg whites. Here's the link to the recipe I used. 

This is also the first time I made a double barrel cake. A double barrel cake means there are actually 2 tiers of the same size stacked one on top of the other and frosted as a single cake. This double barrel is 8" in diameter with each tier having 3 layers of vanilla cake. The top tier had apple cinnamon filling and the second tier had lemon marmalade. 

Typically, my cakes are 4 layers, but I went with 3 layers to keep the height manageable. I would highly recommend going this route with your first double barrel. Another thing to keep in mind while doing a double barrel, is that you'll need an extra tall bench scraper to smooth your frosting. Your standard 6" scraper will definitely fall short. (Tee hee ;)

Go on and dare to make a double barrel, and let us know how it turned out.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter to Easter, it has been a year since we started Grace Cakery. Yay!
So, here's this year's Easter cake - A 3 tier barrel cake with chocolate bark and butter cream flowers. I'm generally a fan of pastel shades, but I just had to try my new electric gel color set by Americolor. I am loving it! It is a very refreshing color palette. Every time I look at the colors I feel like I just had a swig of minty lemonade on a hot summer's day. I could go on forever about the colors, so lets move on. :)

The cake had 2 tiers of carrot cake and a tier of brownie cake, because my nephews and nieces are huge chocolate fans. Last time I made a cake without a chocolate element, there were a lot of big tears. :( The chocolate bark was interesting. I found this amazing tutorial on pinterest. The melted chocolate on my brushes would harden in minutes. I finally switched to piping it on and using a palette knife to smooth or rough it up as needed.
For the buttercream I tried the easy Swiss Meringue Butter Cream (SMBC) made with pasteurized egg whites. This eliminates the need for cooking your egg whites over a double boiler. This recipe is really heavy on butter and quite thick, but it seemed quite stable and well suited for covering a cake. For piping, I mixed it with a little bit of piping gel to get it to pipe smoothly. This also gives it a slightly translucent appearance, which I like. Another technique I adopted for getting the right color variations, was using the bag in bag method. This is where you place your butter cream in the color combination you want, then wrap it up and put it in your piping bag with the tip. This method is described in detail in the book 100 Buttercream Flowers by Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong and used by many others.

Hope you liked the cake and stay tuned for more! Happy Easter!

A Red Airplane!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I love to make beautiful cakes, but being able to make one for my little guy takes the cake! :)
He loves all modes of transportation, especially planes. And a red one at that. So here it is, my little guy in a red plane.

Sunshine and Rainbows!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

It has been a while, since our last post. So here's a one to break the ice. A birthday I made for a friend's little girl who turned One in June last year. A rainbow and sunshine cake because she brightens her Mother's day with her beautiful smile.