08 February 2010

Dos and Don'ts of Cake Decorating

Here's what I learned while trying to make Little Man a Lightning McQueen birthday cake:

~When you live in a country that doesn't sell food coloring of any kind, you must plan waaaaaaay ahead or have friends who will take pity on you and donate the remains of their food coloring so that the cake will be the right color. (Thank you DM!)

~Check out online what other people have done. What would we do without the internet?!

~Get advice from more experienced people! (Thank you CP!)

~Don't wait until the day of, or even the day before to get started. Thankfully I was wise enough to avoid any crises related to this error! I learned from my very intelligent sister-in-law.

~If you have to use different colors, have a plan for when you're going to frost the different parts of the cake. Oops!

And now, here's how I made Isaiah's cake, for anyone who wants to know. I couldn't get the pictures in the order I wanted on the collage, but you'll get the idea.

1) I baked a devil's food cake from scratch according to Better Crocker's Bridal Addition cookbook in an 11x17 casserole dish, or the equivalent thereof for what we had on hand. Isaiah's party was Saturday, so I made the cake and vanilla butter cream frosting on Thursday. I froze the cake overnight. The icing was pink. :( Thankfully my friend Danielle came to my rescue with the exactly perfect amount of red food coloring to save the day!

2) I cut around a picture that I had printed from the internet. Here's the "scum" from the cake. (wish you were here, Deanna, to share this with us! I later made it into a smaller cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting left over from my birthday.)

3) This was the picture I chose from online. I would recommend making sure your printer has a good amount of ink in the color cartridge before printing. This one was a little faded, but thankfully I have plenty of examples of what McQueen should look like!

4) I got a little carried away with the red frosting before I realized that I didn't have black frosting for the tires. Umm, yeah, didn't quite plan far enough ahead for that contingency! Had to do some scraping and then more internet research on how to make frosting black.

5) Almost done!

6) And here we have the smiling, blue-eyed, grey-tired Lightning McQueen. I didn't quite have the skill to get the big bolt on his side, but you get the general idea.

And on his birthday Isaiah gave me the best gift of all by recognizing his cake as his beloved McQueen!

Over all the experience was all right. I'm willing to try something again next year.

I love you, Isaiah! I love that you can tell me what you enjoy so that I can do special things for you that bring you joy!


Cherith said...

Cristy, that cake is amazing!! Seriously, it looks perfect! i think you did a fantastic job, and i would never, even in america where i could probably get a kit that would do it all for me, have attempted a cake like that :)
oh, and Happy 4th Birthday, Isaiah!

Dana said...

That is an awesome cake Christy! Car's is my favorite Pixar movie. Happy Birthday to your Little Man.Ka-chow!

Danielle said...

Well done! It looked great and was yummy too!

guitta chaiban hogue said...

I am seriously, super-duper impressed. I am thinking about making a chocolate lab cake for david's 1st birthday. I'm pretty sure it won't look like your lighting mcqueen. good job, you resourceful girl you!