Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Cake Tutorial! Hairy Green Witch Cat!

I know. I'm a weirdo. Hairy witch CAT cake?

Well, I wanted to make a Halloween tutorial for my wonderful readers out there. But I really don't like the typical Halloweeny type business - orange and black and gory yucky bloody stuff. Why not keep Halloween kind of cute? Kind of hairy? I thought of making a warty-faced witch cake. But then I thought, who wants to bite into a witch's big old wart, even if it's in cake form? Instead, why not bite into a cute little fuzzy cat face... Okay... that doesn't make a whole lot of sense either.

Another reason I wanted to make this cake was for my little baby Teddy's first Halloween party! I invited over some other new moms and their little babes for a super mini Halloween party. Teddy's costume this year is pretty sweet. You'll see it below.

So now... I present to you, a Coco Cake how-to! Halloween it up, everyone!

You will need: 

1. Two layers of baked round cake. Bake your cake in two round cake pans according to a recipe's instructions, let cool, level the cake with a serrated knife and you're ready to go! I made an 8 inch dark chocolate cake.
2. 4 cups of buttercream. You will need to frost the middle and sides of the cake plus have enough to pipe hair all over it, so 4 cups should cover it. I made vanilla buttercream and tinted it green with a dab of gel colour.
3. A multi-opening piping tip
4. A piping bag
5. A cake board, cake stand or plate
6. Some fondant, for making the face, ears and hat. You can buy pre-colored fondant, or buy plain white and buy some gel food coloring to color the fondant. Fondant can be purchased at your local cake supply shop or craft megastore in the cake supply section.
7. An offset spatula for frosting your cake - not crucial, you can also use a butter knife!

Okay! Here we go! I made a custom cake board by cutting out a piece of polka dot craft paper to the size of a 10 inch round cake board and glued it on top! I also made a custom Happy Halloween circular "flag" which I will tape to a toothpick and plunk into the side of the cake once it's finished.

Special piping tip: I call this the "hairy" tip or the "grass" tip. I think it's official name is the multi-opening tip (BORING) ... you can get this at a craft supply megastore in the cake section, or at a cake supply shop! Or, online at a place like Scoop N Save in Canada, or Bake It Pretty in the US of A! 

I bought those horrid green disposable piping bags in bulk, but you can also buy them through the above sources. I need to get some normal piping bags. Those green ones are so ugly for photos.

A drawing! I always do a little sketcheroo of my cakes. Heehee! A drawing is great as you can refer to it as you're working. Or you can freestyle it. Up to you.

Place one layer of your cake on your cake board. I always blob some buttercream underneath to stick it to the cake board and hold it in place when I frost. You can also tuck little pieces of parchment paper or wax paper just under the cake so the cake board doesn't get all buttercreamed out. Frost the top of the cake layer evenly, as this will be the cake's filling.

Place the second cake layer on top, serrated side down, lightly press down into the buttercream. Now, starting at the top of the second layer, frost away!

Frost the entire cake. This is called the "crumb coat", where you trap in all those pesky crumbs with buttercream. Usually I chill the cake in the fridge at this point to set the crumb coat and then apply another layer of buttercream so it looks all smooth and non-crumby. However, since we're making this into a hairy cat, you won't see the crumbs in the final product so I didn't bother with frosting it further.

Snip the tip off of your piping bag and place the multi-opening tip in. Fill 'er up, sir! I place the bag in a yogurt container for easy-filling. Twist the top of the bag and start squeezing out the hairy buttercream times!

Remove the parchment paper strips. Now, with the piping bag, squeeze out some hair and start from the bottom and pipe a line of hairiness up to the top. You can practice piping first on a plate until you get the hang of it if you wish. Go all the way around the cake in this same way... then pipe the top of the cake, too!

Now you can make all the parts for your cat face. Black whiskers, eyes, two round circles for cheeks, a little pink nose, a tongue, a witch's hat and two ears. To adhere the ears and hat to the cake, I place wooden skewers into the ears and hat, then plunk into the cake wherever I want the ears and hat to be...

Place all your fondant elements on the cake... pipe some additional hair onto the ears after you've put the wooden skewered fondant ears in place... and now you have...


Side view! Pretty hairy, eh.

Displayed and ready for party-time! That paper pumpkin: I free-hand cut the pumpkin out of orange craft paper and used a black sharpie for the details. Really, it's because I forgot to get a real pumpkin when I ran out to the store. So paper pumpkin had to do.

Sliced cake! Gad I love a picture of a cake that's sliced into. And my baby: TEDDY THE LOBSTER!

 I love these things when Fall rolls around. Orange dingle balls? No, I think they're called lanterns?

Yeah!! My new mom pals and their adorable babes (between 6 and 16 weeks in ages) and me holding Teddy in his lobster costume!!! The lobster outfit was an awesome hand-me-down from his 1 year old cousin Piper. That thing was so warm though that Teddy zonked out and fell asleep within minutes of wearing it, and I started sweating just carrying him, it was so hot. Great for a cold October night of trick or treating, though!

Why is a baby in a lobster costume so hilarious to me!

Hope you all enjoyed the cake tutorial - I plan on doing more of these tutorial-type posts, so please do come back soon!

Happy Halloween... !

xo Lyndsay

Friday, October 12, 2012

Piper's Little Birdie 1st Birthday!

These photographs are much too lovely to blabber over - Piper's 1st birthday back in July - I made the pink ruffly cake and cupcakes, with a little birdie flag. My amazing sister did all of the party design including signage, loot bags, colouring pages! And she has three little ones still 4 years old and under. Happy 1st birthday adorable little Piper! Love you!

Beautiful photography by Lori K.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Petunia the Pup cake

Petunia the pup cake is a cake I did a while back but hadn't had a chance to post! Karen wanted a very special birthday cake for her little Lucia's 1st birthday - and Lucia adores their puppy Petunia... ! Animal face cakes are clearly one of my favourite types of cakes to make for people. I love how much people love their pets... I feel that hard, as I have had many wonderful pets I have known and loved. Bailey the boxer, Woody the boxer, Coco my beloved kitty that took me through the ages of 19 to 30 (I miss her still!), Taco the fatcat... I hope to get a dog or a cat for my little son Teddy one day! Um, yeah, years from now. Let's just get through the sleepless nights first... :)

Petunia the pup was a dark chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream!
And yes I did Petunia's pencil sketch on the back of an envelope.

Thanks Karen for the fun order - happy birthday Lucia!