Sometimes simple is best. Secret to (my somewhat) realistic sugar roses – have a reference (real or photo), use a variety of shapes and sizes of flowers, colour centers darker, shape petals thinly, and be generous in crimping, curling, and pinching. Extra petals never hurt. Inspiration.
There’s a special story behind each cake, and this one is no exception. This cake is about a proposal. Not just any proposal, but Kirt and Meagan’s proposal after a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon! Can you say a swept-off-your-feet type of experience?
Here’s a pic of Meagan and Kirt after their moment:
Now that’s happiness. 🙂
The helicopter itself is the N137PH Eurocopter from Papillion Grand Helicopters:
It’s not everyday I get the chance to recreate such a special scene and to create a helicopter cake…
The making of the helicopter cake was an incredible process. This was by far, one of the most structurally challenging cakes I have done so far. Not only was it making the cake, but it felt like recreating the helicopter itself. The entire cake itself measured 3 feet long, and the planning alone took the most time. Many components such as the base, main rotor, tail and tail rotor couldn’t be made out of cake and needed careful consideration.
It all came together the day before the wedding:
I learned a number of techniques to create the internal structure of this cake from Mike McCarey’s Cake Structure Class as well as his Cakenology DVD. I found myself reviewing many of my notes and photos from his class. A kind thank you to the amazing Mike for putting this information out there. Check out his cakes here.
And thank you to Kim and Janis for the help on this cake – their talents never cease to amaze me.
Thank you to Simply Brooke Photography for this sweet photo of the cake cutting (pun intended):
It astonishes me everyday what cake really represent. This was a tangible, edible, symbol of love and happiness – from their hearts… and into their bellies!
Here’s a slideshow of the process. Enjoy!:
A wedding cake for Roseann & Dave….
When I heard that their wedding was to be held at The Art Gallery of Calgary, I wanted to design a cake that would not only celebrate their love, but also their love of art and culture.
The cake design that resonated the most was the design of a cake hand painted with a re-creation the famous painting, The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. I consider the original painting itself very romantic, with abstract swirls, magical globes of stars, wavy cedar trees, and the quaint French village. I couldn’t think of a better venue for such a cake.
I was absolutely delighted to witness the amazing job of lighting they did of the venue, and overjoyed to have spotlights to showcase the cake itself.
Congratulations Roseann & Dave!
Gumpaste sugar flowers on a buttercream cake, for Derra & Brent…
(This gorgeous black and white themed wedding was held at the Ranche Restaurant. Gumpaste sugar flowers on the cake were inspired by the gorgeous flower arrangements from Creative Edge Flowers. And to see some pictures of the cake cut up, check out the awesome slideshow from We-Connect Wedding Planning.)
A 3D Mountain Cake
For Rhonda & Darren’s wedding….
This was my inspiration, Mount Temple in Banff:
This was a mountain of cake. Literally. This cake weighed about 40 lbs. That’s 40 lbs of cake, buttercream icing and fondant. Here’s what the inside looked like:
There’s a special story behind the van. I had a chance to see the van in person, and I was really impressed with what a unique vehicle it is. To make room for an extra sleeping spot, it’s even got a roof that folds up! They told me that when they first got the van it had been sitting on a beach and it was a true surfer’s van – full of sand, and even a surfing poster tacked onto the roof. Here are her words:
“We bought a 1981 Volkswagen Camper Van with the pop top roof in California about five years ago. We flew down to L.A. and drove it home without incident (amazingly). We were going to take a year to rebuild the van and it took us five. It’s inaugeral camping trip was the September long weekend last year and we almost froze (it snowed of course), because a van from California does not have a gas heater… regardless we had lots of fun.”
Here’s their actual van:
I’m so grateful to have a chance to work with such a wonderful couple. I think they really share a philosophy that I live by as well – and that is that you live only once, so live life to it’s fullest.
Yes, a unicorn wedding cake:
Let’s go into the making of this cake…
I like to print out lots and lots of reference photographs and photos for inspiration. In this case, I looked for horse sculptures – that way I could see how other artists have tackled such a shape in the past.
The first thing I did was worked on any pieces that needed to harden. In this case, the legs:
I’ve learned the hard way that it’s imperative that the proportions are correct in the carving step:
3. Crumb coating / Icing the cake in buttercream
I did a light crumb coat, to hold the crumbs in, just as the name describes. Then I added a thicker coat of icing/buttercream. For this step, I like to use Swiss Meringue Buttercream, a silky-smooth buttery icing that tends to hold up well underneath of fondant.
At this point the muscles and curves were further defined by piping buttercream on strategically, them smoothing it out. In order to have thin fondant, it’s helpful to have a very smooth surface underneath.
4. Covering the cake in fondant
I’ve been trying to roll fondant as thin as possible lately, aiming for somewhere between 3/16ths 1/16th of an inch. This not only helps reduce the cost of fondant(which can be expensive), but more importantly – it reduces the weight of the cake. It’s surprising to me how much the weight of cake, buttercream and fondant can easily add up.
The horse was covered in sections, starting on the head and working downward. The modelling chocolate legs were covered in fondant, attached, then blended in. The fondant tail and horn were added last.
3. Decoration & Painting
Finishing touches included airbrushing and painting the cake. Edible food colouring was used to help bring out the depth and dimension of the cake.
A simple tree & mountain background was added as their wedding was in the mountains. 🙂
Among all the cakes out there, this is what I would describe as an “epic” cake.
It was for probably one of the hippest couples out there.
Congratulations on your wedding Ali and Stephen!
And orchid cake for friends Dana & Stephen’s wedding…
Congrats Dana & Stephen!
(See the making of the gumpaste sugar orchid flowers for this gorgeous wedding cake…)