After receiving some great help and advice here in another post, I finally made the cake for my friend’s birthday. I didn’t do as much piping as I had initially planned because I felt like if I had done more it might have overwhelmed the cake. I ended up making the All-American chocolate butter cake filled with the Strawberry Cream Cloud and frosted with the white chocolate mousseline buttercream. Initially the green braided rope around the top and the green part of the weave pattern was dark teal, but over night it darkened even more and turned to just dark green. Has anyone else had problems with their frosting changing color over time? This happened to me once before with another color and I’d like to know how to prevent that if possible.
My piping skills are getting better, but as you’ll see I still have lots of room for improvement. I really botched the work on my basket weave, but I think if I just slow down a little next time that will help a lot. Anyway, here it is.
I also made some cupcakes with the leftover batter. Here they are:
Sorry the pictures are so large. If photobucket ever applies the edits I made to shrink them I’ll edit this post so it’s not taking up so much room. My friend is going to send me some pics of the inside and when she does I’ll add them to the post so you can see the layers inside.
MP, both cake and cupcakes are gorgeous. Your basketweave looks really good (I don’t see anything botched) and the roses on top are perfect. It must have taken a while to decorate. I actually like the large photo, it’s nice to have everything in the post right there.
awesome! I LOVE LOVE LOVE That orange cupcake flower. Can i ask, how did you do that?? (What tip?) those would be PERFECT for my daughters kids bday party!
Also, i hate the fact the colors change overnight. Last time i did a perfect red and the next day it was dark dark dark red. So the next time, i didnt go as dark and the next day, it stayed light! you got me!
Thanks for the kind words, Jenn and Sherrie. I really appreciate that. I tend to be my own worst critic, so I see things I don’t like in my work all the time. What bothered me with the basket weave was that in several spots you could see the crumb coat underneath the pattern. I think next time I do the basket weave on a cake I am going to apply whatever color frosting I use for the weave as my crumb coat. I also didn’t like that some of my green stems (or whatever they’re called) in the weave were not as vertical as I would have like them. I also need to work on maintaining a more consistent pressure while piping. And as I mentioned before, I think slowing down will help a lot. I think trying to go too fast is part of what lead to my pressure being so inconsistent and this lead to the weave and stems being different thickness in different spots.
Jenn, this took me somewhere between 2-3 hours to decorate. It was the basket weave that took the most time. The braided rope around the top and base took about 20 minutes. Everything else was done in a matter of 2-3 minutes for each decoration. I think I spent more time doing the prep work (coloring the frosting and preparing the piping bags and tips) than I did piping for the rest of the decorations.
Sherrie, thanks for the tips on coloring frosting. This seems to happen mostly with dark colors for some reason. I’ve not really had this problem when working with the lighter pastel colors.
Thank you for your kind words, SweetNess14445. For the cupcake you’re referring to (it’s pink, but my pic looks orange lol) I used a large rose tip (#125) to create the ruffle pattern. I think you could use a #104, but in the video I saw on the youtube it said a large rose tip and it looks like it’s too large to be the 104 tip, so I thought that meant the largest one available. It ends up being A LOT of frosting on the cupcake. I think it would still be a lot if you used the 104 tip instead of the 125. Then I just put an m&m on the top.
Thanks for sharing that bit about the frosting, too. That’s great advice on how to deal with this in the future.
Thanks again for your kind words. Good luck with your daughter’s bday cake and/or cupcakes!
I think the little imperfects of your basketweave (the green lines not being straight) is what makes it looks like a homemade basket. I meant this comment as a compliment btw. I also love the frosting on the purple flower. I like how the color is kinda gradient, the inside being lighter purple than the outside. I’m not sure if that is intended but I really like that it is that way.
MP - I think you piping looks fantastic!! The rope around the top looks perfect. I would not had noticed the green not being straight except you said so. The basket look authentic—like a real basket. But I do know what you mean by being hard on yourself.
We are all our own worst critics, it seems, but your cake looks wonderful! There’s something about getting it all done and put together that adds up to more than the sum of its parts- the flaws fade away and the decorated whole takes precedence. Your roses are just great, and the basketweave is, too- I didn’t notice any flaws at all until you pointed them out. Love the cupcakes, too, I can tell you’ve done this before
Jenn, Thanks for the additional comments. The gradient in color was definitely intended. In fact, I wanted it to be more pronounced than what it was, but that was probably my fourth or fifth attempt at piping that pattern, so the colors in the bag had started to blend a little more by then and the two-tone effect I was going for was less pronounced than I wanted. In the end it still looked okay to me, so that’s why I selected that cupcake for the photo.
Thanks to everyone else here who has posted some very flattering comments on the cake and cupcakes. I really appreciate the words of encouragement from everyone here. It seems I am not the only one who is his/her own worst critic, but since I’m trying to make a career change and become a professional I think I need to hold myself to a very high standard in order for a bakery to take a chance on me since I have no formal training in a culinary program or actual experience in a bakery. Still, it’s nice to receive such positive feedback from you folks. Thank you so much, everyone.
Julie, I was especially flattered by your comment because while I’ve done the basket weave and braided rope before, the piped roses and cupcake decorations were my first attempt, so it’s nice to know my efforts could pass as something I’ve done before. Thank you very much.