Fro Yo!

This cake endeavor was a lesson in planning, for sure. This past weekend was Megan’s birthday, and Ghiya and Lauren and I were brainstorming what to make for her. She loves cake… ice cream… the color pink…the Nittany Lion… and so on. Somehow we decided on a giant Yogurtland cup, because Megs gets ridiculously excited when we go for fro-yo after work. It’s the little things, ya?

For those who haven’t experienced the self-serve probiotic delight that is Yogurtland, here are a few reference photos, that my best friend Google found for me.

Look at all the flavor choices! Variety often throws people for a loop and the biggest challenge is deciding…

Yum… Here we have a fruity concoction.

Megs specifically requested strawberry shortcake. My plan started with a basic white cake with vanilla buttercream and slices of strawberries. Look at this beautiful arrangement done by Lauren:

I was intending on using my giant cupcake pan to mold the bottom of the YL (Yogurtland abbreviation) cup, and the cupcake swirl for the “yogurt.” Unfortunately, the proportions would’ve been off; the “cup” part too small relative to the “yogurt.” This is where pre-planning would’ve come into place. That, or having extra ingredients on hand.

I ended up using a 9″ round pan… Three times for three layers to make it tall enough… And Ghiya definitely had to stop by the store more than once that night. Thanks G, you rock.

Here’s the layer- white cake, buttercream, strawberries:

While I was tackling the construction, L and G got to the tough part! They made the white fondant for the cup, and then started on the lettering that would go on the outside. Check out this progression… they pulled up a photo and worked off that, coloring the fondant and everything!

They used my square and circle cookie cutters to get the exact shapes. It was pretty amazing.

Love the leaves 🙂

Here is the “cup,” coveredin fondant and chillin’ in my freezer.

 Here’s the “yogurt”- the swirl part of the giant cupcake mold!

Here is the swirl on the giant cup, starting to pipe pink pink frosting to represent the strawberry flavor that Megs never fails to get when we go to YL.

L’s great observation: the YL cup needs a lip! To achieve this, I rolled out some leftover white fondant into a long rope.

Then smashed it onto the circumference, and flattened it out to look like the cup.

Some finishing touches: added a thin amount of fondant at the bottom to clean up the edge, G used piping gel to stick the letters on the side, and we smoothed out the yogurt for a nice texture and filled the cup with Toy Story 3 gummies as “fruit.” We can’t forget the sprinkles. Megs can’t live without sprinkles.

We took the cake to a tapas place in Old Town called Iruna for her happy hour. They had terrific service and even cut and served the cake. Here’s a cross section photo:

See all the strawberry goodness? 🙂

I just had to put this photo on, to show how big this cake was! Also, that is a real Yogurtland spoon. Biodegradable plastic and green? How could I resist from collecting them?

Happy Birthday Megs!

Smoke and Mirrors

This week was definitely a cake week. This year has been busy, so all birthday celebrations have been pretty belated. This one was for Ghiya’s birthday, which was the beginning of September. We conveniently celebrated right before September ended, to catch the end of the birthday month. Ghiya loves tigers and hookah. Which one would be more fun to make? Hookah, definitely.

Surprisingly, there was a severe lack of Hookah cakes on the internet to go off of. So we improvised! I had my sphere cake mold (which has proven to come in handy. . .) and some ingenuity, and lots of candy!!!!

 Candy… the building blocks of a great cake.

 Here we have my lovely hand model Lauren making a square piece for the pattern on the hookah. It’s made out of a rolled-out red starburst.

 And here is Megan, following suit with the round cutter.

This is the pattern laid out, before being applied to the sphere. Such careful planning on the ladies’ part!

I skipped ahead with photos, but here is the pattern on the bottom of the hookah (the giant sphere of cake covered in blue fondant).

Now, let me backtrack. Here is the naked cake. Chocolate all the way. Anyone who knows Ghiya knows she always has a box of Lindt or Godiva truffles on hand. So you have the two hemispheres, the king-sized cupcake (in the ziplock baggie), and me holding the infamous donettes. We are trying to visualize the finished cake here…

So, that king-sized cupcake? Here he is, covered in some tan fondant with a ribbon of blue at the bottom, which will be the “transition” area between the big globe and the rest of it. See below.

So, the partially completed blue sphere and the cupcake, under attack!!! Actually, making the hole for the dowel that will hold up the entire structure.

The dowel.

Now we just pop on some donnettes. It’s like stringing fruit loops on floss for a Christmas chain! Sorta…

Here’s the complete stack up. The top part is actually a donnette surounded by fondant, molded to look like a cup.

Next feat: figuring out how to attach the ‘pipe,’ or the cherry pull n’ peel twizzlers. They are pretty heavy, so we had to think of a way to support them. We had leftover dowel, so shoved that in at a hookah-esque angle.

And, since I’m a craftsy packrat and tend to pick up random things here and there, found a boba straw among my yogurtland spoon collection. Since it’s fatter than most, it fit well over the 5/16″ dowel, almost perfectly. Leaving this a little longer, I was able to tuck the twizzler into the end, then position it so it so the dowel supported the straw and the weight.

Lighting the birthday Hookah!

I wrote on the little pan thing “Happy Birthday Ghiya” in silver paint pen, but it didn’t turn out so bold.

Oh, so here’s what a hookah should look like. To be honest, I had to refer to photos quite a bit to get the shape down…. close enough? 🙂