I'm a terrible blog mother

Hey cake virgins!

I apologize profusely. I have been a terrible blog mother. I have not posted in ages, and frankly, I have missed it. Thankfully though, cake virgins, I officially finish college (done in three years, props to me) on Thursday and will be moving home. So, I will be officially back blogging in September. I have fantastic news for all of you, having to do with something in one of my previous posts. I have so much to tell you, but alas, homework is calling me. The last bit of homework that I will ever do in my life.

Oh, and just to satisfy your urge for looking at beautiful cakes and the fantastic things they can be, I'll be making this cake soon for my niece's 2nd birthday at the end of November. Sneak peak for you!

Until next time cake virgins!


Cupcake Recipe

Hey cake virgins!

Even though this Sunday is Father's Day, I won't be able to make it all the way home to Cleveland due to several engagements Sunday night and Monday morning. However, I do get to go home for a dentist appointment. (hurray for cleaning....) My dad has requested some cupcakes. I want to stray away from the ordinary and make something a bit more exceptional. Any ideas fellow cake virgins? Please leave a comment with your best recipes...or a website you recommend!

Until next time cake virgins!


Cake Central Magazine

Hey cake virgins!

Okay, well the quarter is officially at a close and all that awaits is walking at graduation this Saturday! I can finally get back to blogging a bit more! Sorry for my absence, but this week has been a bit chaotic.

So, upon my procrastination in studying for finals, I stumbled upon a little gem of a magazine, Cake Central. This magazine runs a bit expensive ($60/10 issues) and currently isn't sold as single issues in Ohio. If I want to get the magazine, I have to order it from their website or amazon.com.

According to the website, Cake Central Magazine is "ideal for anyone who bakes, makes cakes, aspires to make cakes, watches cake decorating shows, or has an interest in beautiful food." Basically, us cake virgins. The website goes on to say that the magazine will feature the following:
  • high quality cake pictures
  • up-and-coming and celebrity cake decorators
  • recipes
  • tutorials
  • product reviews
  • and more for the novice
  • and the professional cake decorator

Needless to say, I want this magazine terribly. I mean, look at the July issue cover, courtesy of Cake Central!

First off, the cake itself is stunning. I've seen cake decorators try and imitate the tattoo world, especially traditional tattoos such as the koi featured on the cake, and fail miserably. This cake decorator has somehow taken the traditional koi fish and actually made it into a beautiful cake. Not only is the artwork very similar to the ink you would have permanently on your body, but the cake itself feels like it belongs with the tattoo world! But I digress...

If it wasn't for the exuberant high cost of this magazine and my lack of funds (College really milks you for every penny...) I'd already have a subscription.

My one concern with this magazine is the content. The website isn't necessarily the most beautiful and easy to navigate site I have ever seen. With a cover that looks like this, you would think the website would be extraordinary. However, maybe what Cake Central lacks in website design abilities they make up for in beautiful magazine layouts.

Either way, if you can get your cake and icing covered hands on an issue, I would highly recommend checking it out. Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the magazine! You can find a list of locations that sell single issues here.

Hey, I'm graduating soon! hint hint wink wink Cake Central Magazine.

Until next time cake virgins!


Cake Creations, courtesy of yours truly

Hey cake virgins!

Sorry I haven't written in a while. School is finally coming to a close, and that means a ton of papers and projects that, frankly, I've been procrastinating on. I decided to put a slideshow in here that shows some of my work. Though it isn't every cake I've ever made, these cakes are some of my favorites, and I decided to share them with you!

Until next time cake virgins!


Cake Decorating in small town America

Hey cake virgins!

Living in a smaller town can sometimes mean having a limited selection of goods. Though not always the case, it is for the small town I currently call home, Athens, OH. There are certainly no shortages of alcoholic establishments or strange people (check out my classmates blog about the weird and unusual in Athens), but when it comes to bakeries and cake decorators, the selection is limited.

According to yellowpages.com, there are only 32 bakeries near Athens and only 18 places to buy wedding cakes. In Columbus, which is only an hour and a half away (less if you drive like me) there are 320 bakeries and 130 places to purchase a wedding cake. That doesn't give you a lot of choices if you live here in Athens.

Yes, you could order your cake from another baker who delivers, but with delivery comes the unknown of whether your cake makes it in one beautiful piece or a pile of what used to be a good cake.
   Photo courtesy of Nalnee Khureya
CakeTime is a local Athens bakery, opened in February of this year by Nalnee Khureya. According to the website, CakeTime is a new bakery that specializes in finely decorated organic cakes for all special occasions.

According to Nalnee, decorating in a small town isn't any harder than decorating in a larger city. "Cake decorating is art, [and] you can do art anywhere, big city or small towns or neighborhoods," Nalnee said.  

Though CakeTime has only been open for a few months, Nalnee has been decorating cakes for several years.

"I decorated cakes for the Village Bakery [in] 2003," Nalnee said. "That went on till 2008. Then I took a long break. When I came back things were changed and the space for cake decorating was needed for other bakery operations. I still work at the Village Bakery but my duties changed. I missed cake decorating and with so many people asking for decorated cakes, I saw that the market was there. So with friends' moral support, I decided to give it a go opening up my own business and keep doing what I love."                                                                              

In July of 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division counted only 63,255 people in Athens County. Just the city of Columbus had 733,203 in 2006!

Despite living in a relatively small town, business is good for Nalnee. "At this point [I decorate] 5 to 10 larger decorated cakes, [and] 50-100 cupcakes [a week]," Nalnee said in an interview conducted by email. "Wedding cakes are another story since decorating larger cakes allows [for] even more creativity. With wedding cakes, I can only take one at a time because of the concentration that is needed for that special experience."

Though opening your own business can be difficult, Nalnee has proven that if there is a market for what you want to do, your business can be successful, even in economic times such as these or in small towns such as Athens.

"Athens is where I live, and have for 13 years, so this is where I am now in life. A move to Paris at this time seemed a bit too expensive, so here I am in Athens," Nalnee said. 

So explore your local towns and find those special people that take the time to decorate in small town America. Give them the opportunity to prove to you that great cake decorators are not only in major cities, but in the small towns too.

Until next time cake virgins!


Wedding Cakes

Hey cake virgins!

I have a confession. I am obsessed with wedding cakes. I watch Wedding Sundays on WeTV, I watch cake challenges on Food Network...the list goes on and on. I feel bad for my boyfriend, Chris, because I make the poor man watch more cake shows than he probably ever wanted to see. Thankfully, he's very understanding about this and watches them with me with no complaints. I've decided that lately, my obsession with cakes is growing, and I could not pass up the opportunity to discuss wedding cakes.

These towering beauties come in all shapes and sizes, and usually reflect the couple best at the wedding. From simple three tier cakes to towering 13 tiers (yes, they've actually made cakes that tall....I'd say just get two cakes and save the baker the trouble.) wedding cakes are a tradition that won't fade. Though they may no longer have to obtain to the traditional wedding cake, white with flowers and a monogram if you will, they have grown into something fantastic. I've selected a few of my favorite cakes off of Pink Cake Box, my new obsession. Since the cake is an important part of your wedding, let's discuss some of the fundamentals of picking your wedding cake.

Pink Cake Box CakeWhat I love about this cake is not only the topsy turvy look of it, but I also love the purple. Purple is my favorite color, and these calla lillies are stunning in that shade. Topsy turvy cakes are for more fun and fancy free weddings and not for all brides. If you are going to have a more relaxed wedding and you and your husband like to have a good time, maybe look into a cake like this.

Wedding cakes are meant to be an expression of yourself, so don't limit yourself to even tiers with gum paste roses. Feel free to use this as a canvas for you and the lucky man that gets to marry you. Show who you are and don't be afraid to be bold! The most memorable cakes are the ones that remind guests of the bride and groom.

When choosing a wedding cake, don't forget that quality will be worth the money. You want to impress your guests with how beautiful the cake is and how well it resembles you, not because it was poorly made.

Ivory Wedding CakeIf you like classic cakes, it's perfectly fine! The Knot, a wedding site for new brides (and an excellent place to get a feeling for everything wedding) talked recently about how there are some great new trends in classic wedding cakes. Tiers can be wider or taller, even square. If you like a classic looking cake, you can always spice it up with these ideas.

Sometimes the most simple cakes can be the most beautiful. If you like simplicity, go with the simple cake. There was a beautiful cake recently on "Amazing Wedding Cakes" on WeTV, which was a simple cake, terra cotta colored, with a single white magnolia on the side of the cake, similar to this picture. It was simple, classic and beautiful, but still had the flavor of the bride and groom with the red-orange color of the fondant. The magnolia flower was white and made of gum paste, but looked as though it was a real flower. Explore the different possibilities with simple, classic cakes.

Pink Cake Box Cake With weddings may come grooms cakes. More of tradition in the South, grooms cakes are usually a contrasting flavor of the brides cake and much smaller than the brides cake.

These cakes represent the groom, since most weddings are overtaken with feminine details and flowers galore. Let's face it ladies, what the man wants usually isn't a big deal. After all, we've been planning our weddings since we found out about them. So let's give something to the men that sacrifice their dignity for one day to give us the day of our dreams. Give him a grooms cake to show him, "Hey, I know I've been a bit of a bridezilla and this wedding reception is all about love and not sports, so I decided to get you this Nintendo cake to show you how much I love you!" 

So when it comes to the wedding cake virgins, remember the following:
  • Don't forget: The cake is an expression of you! You don't need to be traditional unless you want to.
  • Classic cakes are still beautiful, but don't forget to infuse them with a little bit of your personality, even if you just change the color of the gum paste flowers or the fondant, or you make the tiers a different shape or size.
  • Remember the man you are marrying.....after all, without him, you wouldn't be picking out a wedding cake to begin with.
Keep these things in mind and you are sure to have a stunning and beautiful cake that represents you and that man of yours.

Until next time cake virgins!


Covering Cakes With Fondant

Hey cake virgins!

Let's talk fondant. It can come in two forms. The one you may be most familiar with is rolled fondant, which is used to cover wedding cakes and give them that smooth, clean look. This cake, courtesy of Pink Cake Box, one of the blogs I follow, is covered with fondant. The gorgeous cherry blossom flowers are made of gum paste.
Pink Cake Box Cake
Poured fondant is a cream concoction used as a filling or coating for cakes, pastries and candies or sweets.

For the purpose of this blog, we are just going to discuss rolled fondant. Rolled fondant reminds me a lot of play-dough. The flexibility of fondant is what makes fondant so great as a cake covering. If it tears because you rolled it to thin, no biggie! You can mush it back together and roll it out again.

Before putting fondant on your cake, you need to cover it in buttercream icing. This works best with fondant. Not only does it help the fondant stick to the cake, but if you make a mistake and need to take the fondant off of your cake, you won't rip your cake to shreds.

For information on how to ice your cake properly, check out my previous post. In that post, I discussed crumb coating your cake. CRUMB COATING IS NOT THE COAT THAT YOU WOULD PUT FONDANT ON! If you do that, your fondant will look lumpy.

After the crumb coat, you put the cake in the fridge to cool. Once cooled, you take another bowl with a clean spatula and clean, crumb free frosting and coat the cake a second time. This layer will be crumb free and smooth. You can check out this video from Epicurious to show you how to make the top coat of icing.

Once you have a clean top coat of icing, we can start with the fondant. I found these steps off of Wilton, and have included a few of my own tips as well.  Step one would be to knead the fondant. You want it to be a workable consistency. If the fondant becomes to sticky, and is all over your hands and work station, knead in a little confectioner's sugar. You can also dust your work surface and your rolling pin with confectioners' sugar to prevent it from sticking everywhere else. It should be rolled out to the size of your cake. You want it to be able to cover both the top and sides of your cake.

The next step would be to gently lift the fondant over the rolling pin. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on the top of the fondant to make sure it doesn't stick to itself. Then, all you do is position the fondant over your cake, just like you would if you were laying a table cloth on your kitchen table.

Nest, shape the fondant to the sides of your cake. It would be best to use a smoother here, as the pressure from your hands can leave impressions on the fondant. If you are light with your hands though, then the smoother isn't necessary. Starting in the middle of the cake top, you smooth outward and down the sides, removing air bubbles and smoothing as you go. If you do get an air bubble, insert a thin pin on an angle into the bubble, release the air and smooth the area again. Once the sides are covered, use a spatula or a sharp knife to trim the excess fondant.

And poof! You've just covered your first cake with fondant! You can move on to decorating the cake! We will start talking about some tips in later posts, but if you are eager to begin, you can check out videos on Epicurious and step-by-step instructions on Wilton.

Until next time cake virgins!


Hello Cupcake!

Hey cake virgins!

I'm straying away from a typical post to do a book review. The book, which has quickly become one of my favorites, is called Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Yes, this book is all about decorating cupcakes in creative and unique ways, but this can be great practice before you begin work on a larger cake.
Hello, Cupcake! offers not only some of the cutest cupcakes around, but also recipes for cupcakes and frosting. Not all cakes have to be full size. I find cupcakes a great and easy way to feed a boatload of hungry kids or adults.

The book starts off with simple tips, like which candies to use for facial expressions, the basic tools you will need to make their cute and playful creations, design materials, and even a list of baking supply stores, party supply and craft stores, gourmet candy stores, and  home decorating stores, even packaging and boxing stores.

The book provides a wide variety of cupcake designs, from holiday cupcakes that look like a turkey or a snowglobe, to April Fool's cupcakes, that look like corn on the cob or mashed potatoes and gravy.
What I think the book does best for you cake virgins is give you ideas and gets the wheels turning. Cakes don't have to be ordinary, they don't have to be typical. I think cupcakes provide an outlet to not only practice your techniques on, such as piping and gumpaste flowers, etc. but cupcakes are a medium with endless possibilities. You can still make a full cake out of cupcakes, as I demonstrated in a previous post with my starry night cupcakes.

Tack and Richardson do a good job of making these cupcakes easy to make. The cupcakes may look complicated, but you can make your own cupcakes look just like theirs. The techniques are simple, the candies are readily available at any retailer, and you can still impress your friends with you ability to make cute cupcakes that are not only delicious, but look great too.

Hello, Cupcake! is a great way to get your feet wet in decorating without having to jump in head first. The tips you learn from this book will help you in the future when you move forward with larger cakes, especially with figurine making. It helps you find the inner artist in you, and lets that inner artist get creative and think of unique ways to do different things.

Richardson and Tack have come out with a second book, What's New, Cupcake? that follows the same path as the first book. I have only gotten to glance through this book briefly (as a poor college student, I sat in the book store reading it and dying a little inside from not owning it myself) but it looks to be just as good, if not a little better, than the first book.

Both books are very affordable, only roughly $11 if you order it off of Amazon. It is also available for free shipping if you place an order over $25, so you could always buy both! If Amazon isn't your thing, both Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake? are available at local bookstores for about $16 each.

I have included at the end of this post a video, courtesy of hmhbooks, of Alan Richardson and Karen Tack demonstrating how to make one of their many creations.

Until next time cake virgins!


The Best Tool in Cake Decorating

Hey cake virgins!

Okay, so I know we haven't done any talking about the techniques involved in cake decorating. However, I could not help but tell you all about the greatest invention in cake decorating history.

I don't know how many of you have heard of Cricut personal cutting machines, usually used for scrapbooking. If you haven't, the personal cutting machines are a magic genie for those who love to scrapbook. The machine can cut anything you want it to, with the appropriate attachments. You can make vinyl letters for your walls, cut paper to make your own cards, cut through plastic to make your own stamps, etc.

For my niece's first birthday, my sister made this using the Cricut personal cutting machine:

Fantastic, clean and looks professional.

Well Cricut has outdone themselves this time. They have created a Cricut Cake, which is now available in stores across the United States. It follows the same idea of the scrapbooking machines, except this time, you can cut cake products, such as gum paste and fondant, which we will cover in a later blog. You can cut out monograms, figures, letters, whatever you want!     
This machine, which is available at Joann Fabrics, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore, will make cake decorating a breeze for beginners and experts alike. You won't have to purchase numerous tools to cut out different shapes, you can simply have this machine and its accessories.

It has all food safe materials, so you don't have to worry about things becoming unsanitary. Don't worry cake virgins, this machine won't give you (or those friends you are trying to impress) any e-coli or other harmful germs.

The price is not yet listed online, but the national debut is today, so it is available in your local craft stores! If you don't have a Joann Fabrics or a Michaels near you, you can order the machine off of HSN for $429.99. The HSN package includes the following:  Cricut Cake machine, cake basics full content cartridge, elegant cakes full content cartridge, 12" x 12" cutting mat, blade assembly, keypad protector, cartridge plug, cartridge skirt, blade cleaning basket, cleaning brush, yellow frosting sheet, red frosting sheet, blue frosting sheet, 3 white frosting sheets, 3 brown frosting sheets, quick start guide, user manual, tips/tricks insert, instructional DVD, cleaning guide, manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty on electronic parts and manufacturer's 90-day limited warranty on labor and non-electronic components.                                                                www.hsn.com

Here is a video that gives a demo of what the Cricut Cake can do, courtesy of Custom Crops:

For additional videos, check out the Cricut Cake website and click on the "See the Cricut Cake in action!" tab on the side!

Until next time cake virgins!


Local cake decorating supply shops

Hey cake virgins!

I have compiled a map of some of Ohio's best cake decorating supply shops in Ohio. Now, I have only been to three or four of these myself, but the others come from reviews and other people I know that shop there. You can also find candy making supplies at these shops, which could come in handy with the more involved and difficult cakes you want to make. Feel free to explore the map and explore the links included in some of the descriptions. Some of these places do allow you to order online and have the supplies shipped to you, so if you live in Cleveland but want some beautiful edible cherry blossoms from Wendy Kromer's shop in Sandusky, you can order them and have them delivered right to your door, ready for placing on your cake!

Until next time cake virgins!

View Cake Decorating Supply Places in Ohio in a larger map


Cake start to finish

Hey cake virgins!

I made a cake this weekend and decided to take some photos to show you the process from start to finish! Now, I do use fondant and I do make some rosettes, but don't worry! We will go into those topics much more deeply in the coming weeks!

Until next time cake virgins! 


Crumb coat that cake

Hey cake virgins!

Now that you've baked that delicious cake of yours, let's refrain from picking at it and start turning it into a cake to make your friends envious.

Icing your cake is the next step, and I want to introduce you to the beauty of a crumb coat. A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing that you lay on the cake. It's purpose is to catch all those crumbs to allow your top layer of icing to be smooth and crumb free, kind of like putting a sock on before you wear your tennis shoes.

I have attached a video from Epicurious that shows you exactly how to crumb coat your cake and how to stack them, but I want to give a few of my own pointers.

To level the cakes in the video, they use a long, serrated knife. While this is fine and dandy, you can't guarantee that the cake will be level. I still highly recommend the use of a leveler. It is just an easier and safer way to make sure those layers are nice and level, especially if you want to make a two or more tier cake.

I give mad props to Epicurious for the use of the wax paper under the cake. GREAT idea and something I have never done. The wax paper also has an added benefit of making your cake easier to move at the end of the day. This could eliminate the need for the lifter if you are doing a one tier cake, but i still recommend the lifter if you are making a two or more tier cake. It is much easier to slide the cake off of the lifter than to slide it off wax paper.

Now, if you are in a rush, you can just use store bought frosting. If you want to get creative, you can find icing recipes all over the web. I recommend making buttercream icing or cream cheese icing, as they are both basic flavors that everyone can enjoy. Check out Wilton for icing recipes!

Check out the video and good luck on those cakes!

Until next time cake virgins!


Baking the Cake

Hey cake virgins!!

Let's talk cake. Delicious, mouth-watering, succulent cake. As the basis for all our decorating, what kind of cake you bake can spell masterpiece or disaster for your cake. For example, don't use a soft, crumbly cake when you want to stack two or more cakes as the weight will just crush the cake down. This recipe is from Wilton (I know, surprise, right?) and is for a basic yellow cake. What I love about this cake is that, once cooled, it is a strong and sturdy cake, perfect for sculpting or stacking. I've used it on numerous occasions,  since basic yellow cake is usually a crowd pleaser.

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans and line with waxed paper or parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating one minute. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Fill and frost as desired.

Quick Note:
Now, the recipe gives you the baking time for two 8-inch rounds, but don't worry! You are in no way stuck to just making this batter into two 8-inch round cakes! You can easily make this into whatever shape you want, using the right pan. The baking time will change of course, but there is a quick and easy solution to this.
The easiest way to make sure your cake is cooked right is with the use of a toothpick or any other long, stick thing you have lying around the house. Check your cake often, using a oven light if you have one since that will keep all the heat inside the oven. Once the cake starts looking golden and cake-like, open the oven, and stick the toothpick into the center of the cake. If, when you pull it out, the toothpick is clean (meaning no pieces of cake crumb on the stick) then your cake is done! If you do see crumbs on the toothpick, close the oven and give it a few more minutes, and check on it again.
This ensures that your cake won't be overcooked, but also not underdone.

There are HUNDREDS of other cake recipes out there, so you certainly aren't limited to just using yellow or white cake. Just make sure that whatever recipe you use, that it suits your needs. Don't choose a soft, crumbly cake when you want to build a three tier cake or sculpt anything. Try recipe sites like Recipezaar and Epicurious to find great cake recipes!

So grab that mixing bowl and get baking!

Until next time cake virgins!


Top 5 cake baking tools

Hey cake virgins! 

Before we can go on about baking cakes and decorating them, let's talk about the basic tools that you'll need.

This is my list of the top five cake baking tools that will make your life easier. These tools don't include the things you'll need to do intense cake decorating, but these are tools I use every single time I bake a cake and prepare it for decorating. 

1. Cake pans: 
Yes it seems like an obvious choice, but there are a wide variety of pans that you can choose from. Round pans, square pans, heart shaped pans, etc.

Now, I've been fond of simple round pans, but if you bought square or sheet pans, you could easily make several circle cakes out of those pans. It would be much harder and much more limiting to make a square out of a circle. 

The best pans I found come from the cake gurus, Wilton.Wilton offers both round and square pans, as well as a variety of sheet pans at a variety of price points. I recommend going for the decorator preferred pans, as the extra-thick aluminum will dispense heat efficiently on the larger pans. They do run a little more expensive, depending on where you buy them from, but for those who have older ovens that disperse heat unevenly. I know my oven certainly does, and these pans make baking the cakes evenly much easier.

2. Spatula: 
Again, another basic choice, but I wouldn't go for just any old spatula. Wilton has an angled spatula that is great for icing cakes. Straight spatulas can be used as well, but the angled spatula keeps your fingers away from the cake, preventing any smudging that might happen if your fingers grazed the sides of the cake.

3. Cake leveler: 
This is a nifty little tool that can be used time and time again. Wilton has two varieties of cake leveler, one for large cakes and one for smaller cakes. Depending on what kind of cakes you are baking, you can decide which size would suit your needs. All you do is place the adjustable wire in the notches that equal the desired height and move it through the cake in a slow, sawing motion. 

Warning though! DO NOT DO THIS WHEN THE CAKE IS HOT!! If you do, your cake will crumble and fall apart right before your eyes, and your icing job will be much harder. 

4. Food coloring: 
Food coloring comes in three main types: liquid, liquid-gel, gel-paste, and powder. 

Liquid food coloring is the most common, but the worst for cake decorating. It gives the weakest color and will thin out whatever it is being mixed with.

Liquid-gel gives a deep, rich color without thinning anything out.

Gel-paste gives deeper, more vivid colors than gel or liquid. It is very concentrated, so you don't have to use a lot of it to get the color you desire.

Powder food coloring very concentrated. It can be used in a variety of cake decorating techniques, but I wouldn't worry about buying it now. Powder food coloring is a much more advanced technique.

I recommend using gel-paste, available at craft stores and at Wal-Mart. It will last you a lot longer, since you have to use less of it to get your desired color. 

This is a cupcake cake I made for my sister's birthday. Right as I was about to start decorating it, I had discovered that  my parents had thrown out the food coloring that I had bought. I was left with liquid food coloring. The coloring ended up being completely off, the icing was extremely thin, and I ended up having to use flour to thicken everything. Lesson of the story: stay away from liquid food coloring....oh....and keep food coloring away from your parents. 

5. Cake lifter:
While probably one of the least necessary things, a cake lifter will come in handy for when you don't have an extra set of hands to help you stack cakes. Because it is such a strong, flat piece of metal, it can easily squeeze under your cake without damaging it. Wilton offers one with a no-slip grip too, which will come in handy when you've been elbow deep in icing, flour, and cake batter.

As you may have noticed, I've recommended Wilton products for the cake baking basic tools. I actually recommend Wilton products for everything related to cake. From experience, I know their products to be quality and to provide the best results for an affordable price. Other products and companies can be used though, so if you find the same thing at a better price, go for it! 

However, all the Wilton products should be available at your local craft store or at Wal-Mart. 

Until next time cake virgins!


Stealing your cake v-card one post at a time

Hello everyone and welcome to the Cake Virgin!

You're probably sitting there wondering why I plan on taking your cake v-card.

Well let's face it, most of us watch those fancy cake shows on Food Network and wish we could be as awesome as they are. They can make a seven foot Sock Monkey holding sparklers with smoke coming out of his head. They can make the best Disney villain cake I have ever seen.

I don't pretend to be as good as them, and I don't plan on being as good as them. Most of the professionals I know have gone to culinary school and have perfected the art. I, have not. I am attending a journalism school studying writing, probably one of the farthest things away from cake decorating (except maybe math). I just want to be able to make some nice birthday and special occasion cakes for friends and family.

Through this blog, I will show the basics of cake decorating. Everything from delicious cake recipes to simple and easy techniques to make those cakes special and unique. I won't bog you down with technical terms or give you anything that the materials will cost you hundreds of dollars.

All I ask is that you stick with me, through fondant and buttercream, and try out some of the techniques and ideas. Soon enough, you'll be good cake decorators, impressing all your family and friends. They will see your cake and say "Oh my Jane, you're cake is blowing up my mind. How did you do that?" So if you want to blow the minds of your friends with your mad cake decorating skills, subscribe to my RSS feed and get cookin'!

Trust me....your cake will be better looking than this hot mess.