Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby, Baby,'s been BUSY!

Wowza! Where did the last 14 days go? Oh, wait, I know...they went to Valentine's day, Justin Bieber, and Buzz and Woody. Sounds strange, I know, but in my world it's all in a day's work!

I had a super duper successful Valentine's day. I wasn't quite prepared for how many people would be excited about giving baked goods rather than the traditional chocolates and flowers. I had an absolute ball creating these adorable cookie bouquets for several of the recipients.

I think one of the most enjoyable parts of the day was traveling all around town (and even a few towns outside of Maryville) to deliver the goodies. I've said a million times that I love this business because of the fact that I get to see the faces of the recipients. There was nothing better than playing Cupid on Valentine's Day. I can't wait for next year, although I think I'd better start baking heart-shaped items tonight!!

My mom has told me a million times that I'm 'brave' to do this business. I have countered that arguement a million times and said that it's not 'bravery' it's one part creativity and two parts stupid! In my personal life I have no ability to take a risk. I could be the head of risk management for the millitary and the poster child for safe living. Heck, I won't even drink milk after its expiration date. However, in my business life I seem to be very comfortable with risk. Someone says, "Hey, can you make the White House out of cake?" My response, "Sure! I think we can do that!" WHAT??? Seriously???? I have no freaking clue how to make a White House, or an airplane, or a hippopotamus, or a motorcycle out of cake but yet I find myself saying, "SURE". So, is it stupidity or is it some kind of sadistic need to research and create? I think it's the latter. Now, I've never been asked to make the White House, or an airplane, or a hippopotamus, or a motorcycle, but I think that if I were I'd give it a shot. Yes, of course it's terrifying to think that I could completely screw something up, and yet the thought of learning a new technique or purchasing a new tool is simply exhillarating. And so, the next few cakes are explained with that simple word...exhillarating. I had no idea how to do any of them, and yet they came. The first was, by far, the easiest and no less exhillarating. The last, well, it was just plain fun. I wonder if real artists have that same feeling when they are asked to create? I was once told by my good friend, (and artist), Dana that artists can actually go into a creative depression if they have not had a chance to create for a long period of time. I think I understand that. I think I spent many, many months doing the wrong kind of creating. Who knew that the 'right' kind lived just below the frosted surface of a cake. Hmm. Interesting.

Here are the crazy creations of this week! Enjoy!

Sweet, sweet Brynlee turned three this week. If you want to see a cute kid, you should see Brynlee! I was very excited when her mom called and said that she was very into Toy Story. I had a ball making this sweet, yet simple Toy Story cake and including some of Bryn's favorite friends from the movie! The top tier of the cake is made to look like Woody's shirt and the bottom tier was made to match the wallpaper in Andy's bedroom. There's just nothing about Toy Story that doesn't make me smile. So combining cute-as-a-bug Brynlee with Toy Story was just about too much cuteness to handle!

You've seen sweet Eliana in previous posts. She's my friends Tim and Jenni's adorable daughter. She truly is one of the most precious and loveable babies I've ever known. I've adopted her as my local 'niece' and was so incredibly thrilled to get to be a part of her birthday brunch.

Eliana has a very sweet jungle-themed bedroom. Somehow giraffes have played a very big part in her bedroom and she has collected several 'giraffey' things. Jenni asked for a giraffe-themed cake for the birthday party. I had said to Jenni, "I'll probably just make a giraffe sheet cake rather than trying to get a giraffe to stand up." She was totally cool with that. Well...of course I couldn't just do that, I had to make a three-dimensional giraffe. It's ELIANA! She's such a special part of our lives that it was just not enough to give her a sheet cake!

Sooo...the giraffe was created. I sculpted the giraffe's body out of cake and the head out of rice crispie treats. The whole thing was covered in fondant. I wanted to be sure Tim and Jenni had enough cake to feed the guests, so I also created a very basic little extra cake to match the giraffe. I had so much fun creating both cakes, as well as the little smash cakes.

And finally, here's what happens when you mix these tools...

with a crazy idea and one very funny 13 year-old with a serious case of Bieber Fever!!

You get a cake with Justin Bieber on top!

The cake had a very simple vanilla cake bottom layer and a chocolate second layer. The backdrop was fondant with piping gel and coarse sugar accents. Justin and his 'wife' were both sculpted out of fondant. I let them sit for about five days prior to the party so that they were really good and hard. I also attached skewers to the backs of everything that had to stand up so that there was enough support to keep it all vertical! The little spotlights and the stage were also crafted out of fondant and allowed to dry hard. The crowd was cut from fondant and attached to the buttercream with water. I was really thrilled with how all of the colors and elements came together. This was certainly one of those crazy cakes that just had to be completely conceptualized. Oddly enough if you google 'Justin Bieber cake' you only come up with cakes with edible images on them. I was really, really excited to be able to create a great finished product that was an enormous suprise to the birthday girl! Again, that's truly the very best part of this job!

I'm off to a well-earned rest!

Good eats,


  1. Great job Jiller!!

  2. I don't know which I enjoy most...looking at the pictures of the cakes or reading your commentary! I've said it before...this business is the "marriage" of many of your loves..baking, creating and writing. And...I have also told you millions of times..I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!! These cakes are amazing. I don't know how you do it!! And yes...I still think you are brave!