Monday, October 18, 2010

Electric Lollipops

Shortly after I booked Corinne and Dave’s wedding cake, Corinne contacted me because she wanted to surprise Dave with a special groom’s cake at their wedding. She sent me a photo and asked if I could possibly create a cake to look like a Tesla Coil. tesla_coil-t30As soon as I read her email I was excited about the possibility of making the cake. I responded to her immediately and told her that, through an amazing coincidence, she found probably the only baker in the area who actually has a Tesla Coil in her basement, and that I could definitely make one out of cake.

My son, the science-guy, built a Tesla Coil for fun when he was in middle school. You can click on the link above if you want to know how it works but, basically, it’s a big contraption built to produce electricity. When you turn on a Tesla Coil giant bolts of lightening shoot out of the flying-saucer-looking-thing on the top (you can tell my son didn’t get his scientific aptitude from me). All I can tell you is that it scared the heck out of me every time he turned the thing on.

Not only did I want to produce a 3-d version of the Tesla Coil, but I knew that the cake had to have the bolts shooting out of the top.

The plan for the cake was pretty obvious from the start, the black box at the base would be all cake (chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream), the column would be PVC pipe covered in fondant, and the flying-saucer-thingy would be made from Rice Krispie treats, so it would be lighter and firmer than cake. How to make lightening bolts? Hmmmm. Of course, LOLLIPOPS!!!

I made silicone molds in a squiggly line shape, poured in blue melted sugar and then set a wooden skewer into the base of each piece…lollipops. The skewers were shoved into the flying-saucer-thingy and there you have it:teslacloseup2

Here’s the finished cake on site at the gorgeous Brandywine Manor House

teslacoil I hope Dave enjoyed his groom’s cake, I sure enjoyed making it!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Buttercream Beauties

If you watch all those cake shows on TV (and if you’re reading this there’s a chance that you do) you would think that no one does buttercream cakes anymore, or that buttercream cakes are so boring and old-fashioned that they’re not worth a second look. I’m even guilty of this myself. I mostly post photos of fondant cakes on my Facebook page, figuring they’re more fun to look at.

So…I think it’s time to showcase some beautiful buttercream cakes.

When I met with Kim regarding her wedding cake she showed me a bunch of photos of cakes she liked. The cakes didn’t have a lot in common other than the fact that they all had clean lines, were not overly ornamented and were covered in rolled fondant. But Kim absolutely wanted buttercream icing.

Now, there are definitely certain design techniques that can not be successfully replicated in buttercream (see one of my favorite blogs,, for many hilarious examples of buttercream cakes gone wrong), but having a buttercream finish still allows for a wide variety of design details and styling.

I love the way Kim’s cake turned out and I think it’s a great example of a modern and sophisticated buttercream wedding cake--with nary a column, swag or rosette in sight:


Here are a few other buttercream beauties: