Umm. I hate to tell you this but…

“…your cake is off-center.”

That would have been a dagger to my cake-centered heart of hearts, had it not been for the fact that it was an intentionally topsy turvy cake.  You know what I’m talking about.

But for those unfamiliar with the variety within the cake-world, yeah, it could be a little weird. Like, seeing the leaning tower of Pisa for the first time and wondering why everyone’s all gung-ho about some structure that’s obviously got some architectural flaws in it.

Anyways, this was a birthday cake for Miss Megan, who has always wanted a topsy turvy, “mad hatter” cake. The team brainstormed and decided to play on her girliest traits- pink, glitter, pretty shiny things, etc. The more over the top, the better 🙂 Megan isn’t a girly girl on the outside, but it’s surprising how much little ballerina tutus, my little pony, and the current issue of the American Girl catalog can brighten her day.

Grab your tiara, jump on the fairy train and buckle up, we’re off to pretty pretty princess land!

First things first… the color of the cake! This is the melted marshmallow base that I’ll knead into fondant. I tinted it PINK!

Next, determining the flavors. Strawberry shortcake for the biggest layer- fresh and sweet! White cake, swiss buttercream, and fresh berries.

Add layer 2, and fill in with buttercream. To be honest, the topsy turvy wasn’t as hard to achieve as I thought, thanks to my uneven oven!

The next two tiers were made from a round 6″ and 4″ pan. Not strawberry, but chocolate fudge cake with a nice chocolate ganache.

This is how I contoured the 2nd tier to have a very uneven top.

Apply the buttercream and toss it in the freezer- a trick that helps me ensure the layers are smooth and firm prior to fondant.

I skipped a few steps (i.e. covering each tier with fondant) but that’s tedious. Here’s the exciting part: building! I cheated, that’s not a dowel, just a really long lollipop stick.

All Stacked up! Topsy turvy indeed!

Time to decorate. Little white fondant spheres lined the transition point between the layers, along with some silver dragee’s for a little bling. Here we started on some daisy cutouts.

Skip ahead an hour- yep, only an hour, as we had 5 pairs of hands working diligently on cutting out shapes, “gluing” with piping gel, applying glitter, and assembling the details.

The bottom layer has polka dots of various sizes, some adorned with tiny hearts, other with blue or purple glittery princess gel frosting. The middle of course is all daisies of various sizes and colors, each with a silver dragee center. The top, however, was personalized to appeal to Meg’s love for sports. Yes, she’s a girly girl through and through, but don’t you dare get in between her and her sports teams, events, or games. As unique as the cake, Meg can pull off both :). This is the girl who’s favorite color is pink, but will keep cable just for ESPN.

Another view- the giant glittery “M” with silver rockstar dragees along the edges. (That’s edible glitter too!) At the top, there’s a hand-drawn Penn State logo (edible markers on white fondant) and a Penn State jersey. Guess who she roots for?

After dinner, we disassembled the cake for some eating. We joked that she should keep this top layer for next year- freeze it like they do the top layer of wedding cakes. Here’s my shameless plot to get you to check back on this blog next year to see if she’s really done it. 🙂 Oh, the suspense!

Nomnom, here’s to another year, some rich chocolate cake, and a terrific birthday Megs!


I know, I’m on a roll! This couch time has gotten me motivated. While we’re on a cupcake kick, I decided to decorate some in honor of Miss Bri’s birthday. Her latest favorite movie is “Despicable Me.” And her favorite little friends? The Oh-so-lovable, yellow twinkie-esque, overall-clad minions- Kevin, Larry, and Rick, to name a few. I kept it simple with these 2D renditions of our pals:

It was a bit challenging to keep them all the same, so I went a little buck-wild. I mean, in the movie, they are different in their own quirky ways. Some have one eye, some have two, some have hair, some don’t. And they are all working together to steal the moon (hence the moon in the middle).

This was the only process shot I got, mostly because my hands were covered in powdered sugar and my camera was being dumb. But it is the creation of the minion eyeball. This is pivotal to the piece!

Here we have a closeup of Rick.

 “Whaddup, Larry?”- Gru

Kevin says “Happy Birthday, Bri!”

“Blabhablhablahblaaa” in minion= “We brought you the moon!”

Tasty Minion- the aftermath

The remnants! Happy Birthday Bri!


It literally takes 3 days of being sick and sitting on the couch in front of the TV to get me to blog. How sad! All the pieces are there- the pictures and the story, I just lack inspiration to write.  and motivation. Well, lucky for you my faithful readers -the few of you left, I don’t blame you for giving up on me ;)- Food network, HGTV, and ESPN (yes, ESPN, who AM I?) have failed to entertain me and I’ve resorted to my task list. Let’s kick it, shall we?

G’s birthday came and went… and we wanted to celebrate with one of her favorite past times- none other than Nintendo! There are plenty of Nintendo themed cupcakes out there, so we had to make ours extra special- you’ll see. They’re more interpretive than literal :).

First step: Freshly baked fudgy chocolate cupcakes!

Next: Small batches of colorful Nintendo colors:

The background plan was the bright blue sky of one of the scenes of Super Mario 2. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. World 1. We rolled out some blue fondant and used tea cups to make the rounds:

A thin layer of buttercream frosting and a little stretching and we have blue covered cupcakes!

We set up a parchment covered decorating station on my breakfast bar. Here’s a preview of the tiny details: little mushrooms, a green tunnel, a spitfire plant, a coin, oh yeah, the works.

Here is the final product: all of the above elements, plus some creative/interpretive symbols for Mario and Luigi, i.e. the red and green hats, along with a parachuting Koopa Trooper (also done as a ‘loose representation’). There is a yellow sign that reads, “Hope this super year 1ups the last,” a combo of Becky’s impeccable block writing and Megan’s clever phrase idea. Lastly, all placed in a shoebox lined with aluminum foil to represent the TV.

Oh yeah, there’s my manicured finger at the bottom (my contribution)… I just went to a wedding, ok?

Happy belated birthday, G!

It’s a Pirate’s Life for me!

I’ve been MIA for a while, so here’s my attempt at coming back!

Becky’s birthday was in June. Yeah, I know, it’s October. But whatever, a cake is a cake. To be fair, we made this in July. I just have been slacking at blogging. Yeah, just call me the bottleneck.

Well, Becky is an absolute pirate nerd. She can name all of the real pirate ships in history, the types, what cannons they had on them, and is fluent in pirate-speak. She could walk up to your modern day swashbuckler, exchange a few “arrr, matey’s,” and walk away without being questioned for why she doesn’t have an eye patch on.

Needless to say, we went with the obvious pirate theme for her birthday.  Let’s just say… this cake tastes like ship!

Two 9×13 yellow cakes make the base of the ship.

Stacked cakes.

Trim the edges to get a ship-like shape.

Covered in chocolate frosting for that brown deck look! Lined the sides with chocolate wafer Pirouette cookies to be the “railing.”

Here come the details! A Tim Tam cookie makes the plank, some sprees for decor, tiny fudge striped cookies for the lifesavers (do Pirates know how to swim?), braided pretzels for the mast, chopped Pirouette’s and candles for the cannons (sticking out the sides), and of course, goldfish (self explanatory). 🙂

Check out this sweet rendition of a pirates steering wheel. It’s a yellow Starburst shaped into a wheel and cleverly placed toothpicks :). Resourceful? There’s a pile of braided pretzels for fun, and whoppers as the cannonballs.

The “R.O” on the back of the ship is for Becky’s initials…. R for Rebecca. We started doing “B.O.” but… yea. You get the point. 😉

Added some inedible Pirate ship sails and we’re in business!

Lighting the ship! Happy Birthday Becky!!!