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The Little Chef

Posted by on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 | 0 comments

The Little Chef

  This adorable cake was created for my daughter’s birthday. We designed it together, which is always so much fun! I think it turned out great…the girls at the party even fought over eating the veggies!   The little chef was fun to make and we love the wooden spoon…just a fun, little detail on a fairly simple cake. Because my family is gluten free and most of the guests are not, cake is always a challenge.  No one wants to be left out of the fun…and, frankly, handing a kid a gluten free brownie is no substitute at a time like this. I usually try to make separate tiers so everyone can enjoy cake together. In this case I made the lid gluten free. Everyone was happy…and they even ate their vegetables!...

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Pretty Picnic

Posted by on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 | 0 comments

Pretty Picnic

Summer is almost upon us…so I thought I’d share with you a pretty picnic birthday cake! What could be better than a basket of fruit and French bread? Maybe a basket of fruit and French bread…that actually a CAKE! Of course, a little check napkin, edged with lace, is a must-have for the perfect pretty picnic. Doesn’t this just make you want to have a picnic? Or CAKE??  ...

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Steampunk Tractor

Posted by on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 | 1 comment

Steampunk Tractor

This has to be my absolute favorite cake to date! I was actually a bit teary to see it go. I love everything about it. I love the aged copper, the red leather seat and straps, the swirls and rounded edges mixed with the cold, metal pipes. I modeled it after a vintage track-type tractor…loosely, you can see. My goal was to create a plausible yet fantastic version of this very old machine. This cake was actually quite heavy, so we build an arm that held the engine of the tractor. The swirly smoke was the most delicate element and I’m glad that it turned out. It adds just a bit more whimsy to the whole piece. Little details are what make my cakes so fun to create. I love these tiny, silver keys. The aviator’s helmet and scarf were the starting point for this project. I knew I wanted to incorporate a human element of some kind, without actually having a man on the tractor. I love the blue glass of the goggles…kind of sci-fi. Of course, no machine, old or new, is complete without an incredible dash. These dials and levers are so fun. I continued the blue glass to these water cooling canisters on the side…and of course another dial. I love the mix of metals…copper, steel and rusty patches. Thanks for your continued interest in Flour & Fondant! I thoroughly enjoy working with you and love designing and creating cake masterpieces for the Central Illinois...

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Smile, It’s Your Birthday!

Posted by on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 | 0 comments

Smile, It’s Your Birthday!

Custom cakes have the potential to be so personal… My kids work on their birthday cake designs all year long, piling high all of their favorite things into a “cake-shape”, drawing elaborate scenes that depict their current fascinations, or developing a detailed theme cake to match their party plans. I love to take my clients’ ideas and personalities and create a work of art that unmistakably evokes the reaction, “That is so me…” And this cake is just that way. A special man turned 70 this year and this cake was for his surprise party.  All the things that he loves are represented here, his Bible, his coffee, his heritage, his love of God’s creation, and his life long sweetheart, his wife.  The Bible was modeled after his personal edition, with the binding and front details silk-screened with royal icing.  The coffee mug displays the Slovakian flag which is the place of his heritage and it holds a special place in his heart. The Indigo Bunting represents his love for all of God’s beautiful creation, especially birds. This one is native to his neck of the woods.  And the brilliant color added a welcome vibrancy to the cake as a whole. Photography is another interest of my client. I thought it would be appropriate to make a birthday tag that reads, “Smile…It’s your 70th birthday!” Again this is designed and devolved on a silk screen then transferred onto gum paste with royal icing. Last but not least I carved out the initials of my client and his wife into the tree trunk base. I wanted to bring some playfulness into the cake and this was just a natural place to represent their relationship. Happy 70th Birthday! I hope it was sweet!!...

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Vintage Baby Boy Cake

Posted by on Monday, July 14th, 2014 | 0 comments

Vintage Baby Boy Cake

My client is throwing a baby shower for her first grand-baby! What an exciting time for everyone. The theme of the shower is Disney’s “Cars” but they wanted the cake to be more elegant. It needed to capture that vintage automotive feel but still be delicate and serene. We decided on light blue checkered top tier, vintage “Cars’-themed” signs, with a precious baby on the top. Baby “Jah Mier” has his own chromed name plaque on the front. I love the sleepy, simplicity of this cake, mixed with the vibrant chromed signs. I think babies need lots of blankets. They need to snuggle and cozy in. But, I couldn’t cover up this precious guy in his sweet tiny diaper…I ended up just tucking the second blankie into his little hand. I love the texture on both of the blankets, too. Welcome, Baby Jah Mier, to this...

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Hotel Pere Marquette

Posted by on Monday, July 14th, 2014 | 0 comments

Hotel Pere Marquette

I used to want to be an architect or at least contribute to architectural designs…um, well, I got a taste of it on this cake. And I’ll just say it is more of a challenge than it looks! The difficulty comes in the fact that the simplicity of the lines, windows and edges must be perfect. There is nothing organic or moving, giving me little room for interpretation…or error. Precision is the key. Square. Straight. Exact. Oh my, talk about intense… So my client ordered two cakes for the one year anniversary of the renovation of the Hotel Pere Marquette in downtown Peoria, IL. The first cake was this quite large replica of the actual hotel. I started by laying out the project digitally, making sure that windows and floors were all accounted for and accurately sized. Then I printed my rendering and laminated it. I used that as my guide for positioning the elements on the building. I custom made a cutter the exact size of the windows so I could mark and cut them quicker and much more precisely. Window ledges, balconies, sidewalks and the awnings were added to complete the look of this updated historic hotel. I placed little stone planters by each of the doors. On the back side of the building I posted an little paragraph on an aged paper about the history of the hotel. The second cake my client ordered was a personal-sized cake that matched the feel of the actual replica. This was a representation of one of the hotel windows with two swags on the sides congratulating the owner and the firm for their achievement. Since I love history, and I really do love historical architecture, I felt privileged to work on this project. Not sure I’ll make architectural design the single focus of my cake shop…but it was a fantastic challenge. Congratulations on the renovations done at the Hotel Pere...

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Peter Rabbit Reveal Cake

Posted by on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 | 2 comments

Peter Rabbit Reveal Cake

Beatrix Potter’s memorable stories and the classic illustrations that surround them have always inspired me. They are probably my favorite children’s story collection of all times! They are astoundingly real, with troubled children and careless messes. And yet the tales are delightfully fantastic; a world where animals talk and wear adorable little jackets with handkerchiefs. The lovely watercolors always suggest a simpler time, the time in which I dream of living! Bountiful gardens producing all kinds of colorful vegetables, picturesque ponds teaming with fish, and rustic terracotta pots just waiting for summer flowers to be planted. Not to mention all of the lovable characters, with Peter Rabbit always being the favorite! When my clients asked for a baby gender reveal cake with a children’s book theme I knew immediately what I wanted to do… “Once upon a time there was one little rabbit…he or she, who will it be?” The designs begins with the bottom tier formed loosely after a cabbage or lettuce. The ruffly, organic feel brings playful movement and a real depth of color.  On the remainder of the cake I wanted to place little elements to stay true to the books. Vegetables, geraniums and mice surrounded a rabbit {Peter Rabbit…or maybe his sister…you’ll have to wait and see!} in a watering can. Two bunny jackets hang on posts in the garden surrounded by various produce. The red jacket, with a little daisy on the lapel, symbolizes a girl, and the blue jacket represents a boy. My clients and I collaborated on the little poem written on the sign to add to the suspense of the reveal. So sweet!  Who will it be??? I love all the terracotta pots and dirt spilling everywhere. It gives it that authentic garden feel. I wanted to add a few extra animals characters to the cake without diminishing the position of the rabbit. Mice hiding in the pot added a more life. “Once upon a time there was one little rabbit…he or she, who will it be?”….Congratulations, it’s a...

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Vintage Art Deco Wedding

Posted by on Friday, April 25th, 2014 | 1 comment

Vintage Art Deco Wedding

I love color. I love vintage. I love history. So naturally I was thrilled beyond belief to design a vibrant, art deco cake for a wedding at the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend Indiana. The parameters were unique, peacock-colorful, vintage-deco. Here it is… Emerald was the color I chose because I love green, they wanted something different…and not many people have an Emerald wedding cake! I used blue and purple peacock feather motifs in various places, but the main elements were chunky metallic pieces. Almost like gears and car parts. Not that I know anything about that!! I added pearls and feathers to make the industrial-metallic feel a bit more delicate. I wanted to mix metals just for some interest and I love how that turned out. I am adding a few photos from the actual museum because they are so fun!! The cake {and coordinating cheese cakes} made it through the traveling. It’s always fun to see my cakes in their display setting. It really fit well against this backdrop. The colors complimented the cake so well! Here are a few Studebakers that my husband photographed…so you can see his awesome work…and visualize the setting a bit more. So fun!   One of my favorites, with all the signs. The car is nice too!   Last one…it was also the groom’s 30th birthday! His dear bride asked that I put something on the cake to commemorate the day for him. Daniel and Allison, what an honor and pleasure to make this one-of-a-kind cake for you. Congratulations on your marriage and your exciting journey ahead…and Happy Birthday,...

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“Following the Iron Compass” Cake

Posted by on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 | 3 comments

“Following the Iron Compass” Cake

Another birthday in our family, woohoo!  Caleb turned 4 years old and I am happy-sad. For months beforehand he planned out a Thomas the Tank Engine cake, trains coming out of the roundhouse while Thomas scurried along an outside track. Then three weeks before his birthday he decided he desperately wanted a minion cake…but not the scary purple minions. I consented. {Because, he’s somehow still my baby.} I threw out my plans and we went all out designing Dave, the silly minion. Until we went to see the movie “Planes”…the week before his birthday. He said to me, in his slow, sweet voice, quivering with emotion, “I really want Dusty flying in the tunnel and almost getting hit by the scary green train.” Hmmm. I scrapped everything again. {Because a boy is only four once!} We worked on every piece together. He stole and ate the fondant, mostly. But, I love working with my kiddos on cake projects. I love seeing their little eyes glisten with excitement to see something they love become something delicious! Not that I encourage them to eat fondant or gum paste, I am actually not a fan of it at all. But, the most asked question while we work is…”Can I eat this at my party??”   My compromise for Caleb on his elaborate design was to make a determined Dusty Crophopper on the snowy Himalayas and the “scary green train” looking bewildered coming out of the tunnel. You know, I’m sure I could have let him make a train and a plane and stick them on the cake and he’d be a happy camper! But, I can’t help myself.   Dusty’s eyes really are the key here. Eyes express the personality and emotion. I played around with different eye expressions, asking Caleb which he like best. He likes this one because “he looks likes he is trying really hard not to get hit by the train.” And, I know, Dusty has three propeller blades but it just got way to crowded…   Caleb, of course, wanted his name on the wings sign. It is from the title of the movie, although I’m not sure if it is seen anywhere else during the film. I love the depth of the metalwork on the outside and the rivets.   Finally, the green train. He looks worried…I didn’t really want such fear and alarm in this cake. But, I guess that’s what makes it dramatic. And it is WAY toned down from what Caleb wanted. I think he envisioned sparks flying as Dusty’s wings scrapped the tunnel walls and the sound of train breaks screeching as the near collision approached.   Well, hopefully we did justice to the characters and the movie…I know a little boy who couldn’t have been more thrilled. {Even if it had sparks and sound effects!} Caleb, my son and a great joy to my life, Happy...

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Kate’s Monet Masterpiece

Posted by on Friday, January 31st, 2014 | 0 comments

Kate’s Monet Masterpiece

One of my darling daughters turned 9 this month!! I cannot believe how fast time has gone…in some senses. I remember the wonderful day she was born like it just happened. At the same time I can’t hardly remember life without her! Her creative, generous, compassionate and peacemaking soul greatly blesses this family. We love you, dear Kate! Of course, birthdays bring cake. Actually my kids plan their birthday cakes year round…drawing ideas and sketching out elaborate {and nearly impossible} elements of spy labs and underwater coral reefs. I don’t stop them since I know it’s part of the process…and ALL of the fun. But, eventually, we have to cement the final design. I’m not sure if I get much more enjoyment…in cake making…than seeing my children’s plans go from pencil scribbles on paper to an edible work of art. Kate finally settled on an “artist” cake…because she is, in every way, arty! She threw around various ideas on how to execute this broad subject. At first I was going to copy a painting that she had made a while back, but when it came right down to it she really wanted Monet. No contesting here… We made the painting first and then worked the rest of the cake around that. Kate knew that she wanted a teal cake and the gold on the frame just popped. We decided that we needed to add coordinating gold throughout the rest of the elements. Paint brushes were a natural place for gold…but the idea {which, I must admit, was my husband’s contribution} to paint gold strokes down from the top edge of the cake was genius! It ties the cake together and gives it an overall elegant, aristocratic feel. Starting at the top, we made a wooden palate covered with the colors we used for the actual painting. I made the paintbrushes all one piece, with white gum paste, and then once it was dry I painted those with powder colors. The paintbrushes look a little too real, though…my four-year-old kept picking them up to use on his own creation he was making next to me. I cringed every time…trying to delicately unwrap his fingers from around the brush. I can’t believe it never broke. And, yes, I did move them, but little boys move faster! The Monet piece itself was painted on a canvas of dried gum paste. I used powdered colores mixed with a tiny drop of lemon extract until the “paint” was thick and opaque. I am not taking any credit for this work of art…I am not trying to make a forgery here. {Smile} We were inspired by Monet, and wanted to express that spirit here. The frame is made from bits and pieces of extruded gum paste, molds, and flat strips. It looked like nothing before we covered the whole thing in an antique gold finish. Kate let out a sign of relief, “Okay, now it looks like a frame!” We were going for elaborate-antique…good enough! The last little detail came last minute. I had thought to hang the picture on the cake but it just didn’t seem right. I wanted to bring a whimsical element to the cake that still showcased the painting but brought it to life a little bit. There are a few...

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