Sunday, July 11, 2010

Love Bird Cupcakes

These are my good friends Gabe and Rachael and they are getting married on August 8th.
They recently had a joint wedding shower/engagement party to celebrate their upcoming wedding. When Rachael's mom called me and asked if I could bake some treats for the party of course I was excited to help!

Rachael, though she considers me very creative, is very creative herself and I've been quite impressed with how she's planned and designed her wedding. I have a feeling it will be a very beautiful wedding! Even her engagement photos with Lisa Hessel were adorably cute and well thought out. (Check them out here.) Her wedding has a vintage picnic theme and I thought I would incorporate that into the treats I made for the shower. She had the fantastic idea of having the guests sit on picnic blankets at the wedding with little birds hand stitched on the corners of each blanket. See?
You can see more of her wonderful ideas over on her blog, Bride on a Budget.

I'm a huge huge cupcake fan. As much as I love designing cakes, I really love the versatility you can have with cupcakes and how you can use each cupcake as an individual canvas or you can spread it out and use a whole tray of cupcakes as one large canvas. 

In sticking with the bird theme I was getting from Rachael's design aesthetic I decided to use a whole bunch of cupcakes as one large canvas for a beautiful design of two birds on branches facing each other with a heart in between, much like the design on the picnic blankets. Here are some of my photos from the project that day.

I think the cupcakes were a hit because before I could get one after eating lunch, they were all gone! This was definitely a fun project and I'd love to have more like these because who doesn't love cupcakes! 

I think my next project might be a treat for the bachelorette party! 

Zumba Baby Shower Cake

This is Kathryn.

She's my totally awesome Zumba Instructor. I've been taking Zumba since about April of 2009 with my mom at the Lodge in Des Peres. Kathryn and her husband are expecting their first baby in late August/early September and they will be welcoming a baby girl into the world.

Kathryn has been a fantastic instructor and really just reminds a lot of us to have fun in life. Zumba has been a major factor in the boost in my self confidence over the past few years and I'm really glad I got involved. I thought that it would be great to return the favor to Kathryn for all of her hard work and dedication to us if we (her zumba students) threw her a surprise baby shower.

It was quite tricky organizing it all around her without her finding out. I wanted to invite people from all of her classes so I had some help in getting the word out and they did a fantastic job keeping it a secret. I had the help of my friend Jennifer, another fellow Zumbie and a Zumba instructor herself. She was key in getting Kathryn to the Lodge for the shower without her finding out. The surprise was successful and I really think Kathryn had a great time.

Now what about the cake? Well of course, I made it!

It was actually pretty funny because a couple of weeks ago at dinner with the Zumba gals, Kathryn had said that she wished there were a way she could have one of my cakes and suggested that maybe someone should throw her a surprise shower. Little did she know at the time.

I took the day off from work because I knew I wanted to take my time on the cake and really make it look beautiful and I wasn't really wanting to be up until 4 am like my last project. Sleep is key to my sanity. I packed up in a hurry to head out to my parents to bake the cake and forgot to bring my SLR camera. So the only pictures I have were from my iPhone.

This was my favorite cake I've made so far because it turned out looking so professional and adorable. I had a lot of compliments on it and was really proud of my work. The top layer was a yellow cake made with butter instead of oil so it gave the cake a sweet and salty flavor and it was very moist, almost too moist for the structure of the cake, but it worked. The bottom layer was a dark chocolate cake and all over was cream cheese frosting and my homemade marshmallow fondant.

Here's the finished product!

I really enjoy doing cakes for events where I don't know most of the people. This shower was a great way to sort of market what I can do and I already seem to have some people interested in future projects for me. Now I just need to get some business cards printed!

In the meantime I'm searching out potential job opportunities at local bakeries. What I want more than anything right now is to get my foot in the door professionally at a bakery to gather some more experience so I can refine my skills.

Can't wait for the next project!