The Violet Cake Shop™

Sharing inspirations for my designs, and tips I've discovered along the way in my caking journey! <3


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Tsum Tsum Mickey with Rainbow V-Petal Ruffles

Carlington's 4th - Tsum Tsum Mickey Rainbow - IMG_6223 - ii

My baby turned 4 yesterday boohoohoo…

It’s SO bittersweet as she is now no longer a baby and she is my last so I’m gonna miss that aspect, but by the same token she is now onto a bigger, better and more adventurous phase of her life!  She has always had such a big personality though with SO many interests so it’s hard sometimes to come up with one theme for her cakes.

The last three cakes were completely up to me, so I have been lucky that I got to do what I wanted to with the designs haha.  Of course I always tried to include things I know she loves like characters from her comforter for her 1st birthday, Mickey Mouse and the gang on her 2nd birthday cake and purple and yellow, two of her favourite colours, on her last cake.

Carlington's 1st Birthday CocaLo Jacana Themed - twmpm

Carlington's 2nd Birthday - Minnie, Mickey, Daisy and Donald - Closeup - twmpm

Carlington's 3rd B-Day - watermarked

This year though, I was really stumped…  She loves alphabets and numbers but I felt that might be a tad boring for a cake.  She loves Legos and Minecraft but I really didn’t want to do either of those because of all the potential dots or piddly squares which in either case, would entail a case of total “tedium-boredom” with the addition of crossed-eyes for weeks haha.  She loves all kinds of shows but there isn’t one clear cut favourite.  She does love Mickey still and always has, but again for selfish reasons I wasn’t inclined to do another Mickey cake either.

So I decided to just let her design her own cake this year by telling me what she wanted it to have.  Well she had very clear and specific ideas and was very thorough too!!  Score!  All I had to do was come up with something that would tie in a blue coloured cake, a rainbow or rainbow colours, a number 4, green flowers and (dun dun dun…) Mickey on top…sigh, lol.  Ok, well I had to concede on that last request as it WAS her cake and I WAS letting her design it this year, after all.  It was not going to be easy but I was determined to come up with a design that would tie it all in while still being cohesive and girly!

And Fate intervened on her cake too, kind of sort of…  We were out shopping a few weeks before her birthday and her brother (Mr. 11) saw a Tsum Tsum Mickey plush toy at the Disney Store and knowing how she loved the Tsum Tsum short videos on TV, suggested that he get it for her as her early birthday present (awww so sweet, I KNOW!)  Well, she has not really put down her Tsum Tsum Mickey since and EUREKA! I had a replacement for the 3D Mickey I was going to have top her cake (YAY!!)

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There was a tiny mishap with the topper though, not because of the last minute change but more because of my bad habit of procrastination…

The topper did not have ample time to dry completely, so it was still a tad soft when I assembled it and stood him up.  It would have been fine had I just left him to air dry the rest of the time before the party, but I thought I’d be smart and do one extra step to avoid having the purples on the cake fade, by covering it with a black bag even though it wasn’t necessary given my trick for adding extra deep pink (see this previous blog post on preventing your purples from fading).  Well, I did NOT account for the build up of humidity inside the bag which in turn, softened the topper further so that the ears drooped forward and eventually cracked and fell off.  Luckily it was a personal cake so a lousy patch job was all that was needed and voila! the topper stood again.  Lesson learned for next time though.

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To incorporate the rainbow aspect of her request, I decided to use my V-Petal ruffles (see previous post for the mini-tutorial).  After I came up with those, I immediately wanted to try it with rainbow colours so it was a win-win to use them on my daughter’s cake…well, she didn’t say it HAD to be an actual rainbow lol!  The colours are tedious to mix but it was much easier than mixing from white with gel colours because I used the Satin Ice pre-coloured fondant.  I wanted slightly less intense colours so most of them I had to remix with either white to tone down the intensity, or with other colours to get the tone I wanted.

Carlington's 4th - Tsum Tsum Mickey Rainbow - IMG_6223 - ii - close crop - watermark

Here is another angle of her cake.  It just shows the topper a bit better because the number 4 plaque on the first pic kind of makes the Tsum Tsum Mickey topper look like his mouth is wide open in surprise haha!

Carlington's 4th - Tsum Tsum Mickey Rainbow Ruffles - IMG_6247 - ii - watermark.jpg

And here is my baby with her Tsum Tsum and her cake…

IMG_6260 - ii - watermarked

Thanks for reading and Happy Caking Y’ALL!!

 

 

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How to Make a Two-Toned Bow – Quick Tutorial

 

IMG_3727 - wm - cropped for blog.JPG

It’s been about two years now since I first introduced this tutorial on my Facebook page after getting awesome feedback on a wedding cake I’d made for some good friends of ours the previous November.  There were lots of positive comments on the bow asking me how I made it.

I have always maintained and must say again here that although I’ve used this two-toned bow idea many times in designs of mine, it is not my original idea.  I can’t say for sure whose original idea it was but I first saw a similar bow used on a cake by Sweet Picasso Cake Creations on Facebook.  It was a STUNNING mustard yellow tiered cake that was simple, yet so dramatic because of that black and white two-toned bow.

The first time I used it, was on a geometric cake design back in July of 2013 after a long hiatus away from caking after having my daughter.  The method I used here was the initial one I attempted which was not as easy nor as neat as the one I eventually developed and use in the tutorial.  For this bow, I used two full layers of fondant for the bow pieces, laying one on top of the other, to create the two-toned effect.  Needless to say, this first method is harder to get clean and neat and takes longer so that you have to fight the clock or risk it drying up too quick on you and ending with a huge mess and lots of time wasted.  I had to re-make the bow for this cake three times before I was happy.

Eva's 21st Tiffany Blue with Bows - twm

 

The next time I used this bow was on the wedding cake for friends that I mentioned above.  Between the first bow and this bow, I attempted and tested two other methods before settling on this one as being the best way to go.

Sam &amp; Satoko's at Venue

 

I have since used it on a few other cakes which you can see at the end of this article.  Here are the steps for making my version of this two-toned bow with detailed instructions.  This tutorial can also be used to make basic bows, just omit the steps where you add the coloured strips (of course…duh…but just have to say it! LOL):

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 1

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 2

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 3

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 4

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 5

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 6

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 7

** Please note I had forgotten to take photos for adding the coloured strips to the front middle piece of the bow (the 2″ strip) so those steps are missing but you get the idea 😉  Those steps should be done before the following slide…

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 8

 

My Two-Toned Bow Tutorial - 9

 

My other cakes featuring a two-toned bow…

Carlington's 2nd Birthday - Minnie, Mickey, Daisy and Donald - Closeup - twmpm

2014 Christmas Cardinal and Mistletoes - twmpm

 

The Violet Cake Shop - Starry Night Christmas Cake for Cake Craft Guide Party Cakes Issue 25 - IMG_3666 - watermark

Happy Caking Y’all!

 


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Oh Minecraft! Steps to Make Your Own Minecraft Sword Topper

I feel like Minecraft SHOULD be part of a caker’s swearword vocabulary.  No, I’m serious. Because every time we cakers hear (or read) this word in context with an order request, we inevitably want to swear.

It is not an easy theme to execute however easy it MAY look.  Sure it’s just squares…but it’s LOTs of squares…LOTS AND LOTS!  I always refer to them as piddly little things because they are SO annoying to work with.  They must be straight, they must be cleanly cut, otherwise they will warp and not fit together perfectly to create a clean, precise final product.  You have to use the right consistency of paste (to prevent distortion after cutting) or you have to let it dry just the right amount so that it is not too dry that you can’t fudge the fit or too soft still that the shape warps on you.

Tyler's 9th B-Day Minecraft - wm TVCS - twmpm

Well, I’ve only made one such themed cake, thankfully (so far).  So I don’t have much in the way of advice on how to best achieve the clean, straight lines and edges and get a perfect fit etc., other than the usual “make sure you have a perfectly straight and evenly ganached tier to start with, before you start adding on squares”.  You might notice mine is NOT perfectly clean but it is a good go.  This design actually has become quite popular on my Pinterest and has been repinned over 4000 times and and liked/saved over 400 times (!!! yeah, I know!!!) and has been remade countless number of times (you can see the pin here). I get asked over and over by other decorators if they can recreate the design and I always say “of course!”

And I also get asked A LOT about how I was able to create the sword topper that sits atop my cake and for that, I can give some advice because it follows the same principles that I use for other 2D embellished toppers that I make.

Tyler's Minecraft Cake Sword Closeup

Back in May 2015, I was getting asked this question more than once a week and I had been answering each person’s individual questions each time.  Well, it got to be repetitive AND time-consuming since it was a lot to type each time.  So rather than continue to type this all out over and over, I put together this list of what I do and shared it on Facebook. It is pieced together from a few of my previous detailed PMs and may not be complete but will give you all an idea of my steps. Unfortunately, I never took photos of the progress but dang now I wish I had haha!  Hope this at least helps a bit so that others can create their own!

Steps to Make Your own 2D Minecraft Sword Topper:

– the sword was made with gumpaste and fondant and allowed to dry for several days

– the topper is only as big as the part that is visible; none of it sticks INTO the cake except the skewers used for support

– the squares (for the topper) were cut with 1/2″ square cutter from appropriately coloured marshmallow fondant (MMF); you can also use straight gumpaste, straight fondant or a 50/50 mix of fondant/gumpaste depending on how soft your fondant is; ideally, you want to use a paste consistency that is firm enough to keep the perfect square shape when you cut it, so it should not be too soft; these were allowed to set for about an hour before applying to the backing

– I used straight white gumpaste as the backing for the squares, rolled to about 3 mm thickness (the purple bands if using the small Wilton roller)

– after rolling out the white gumpaste (make sure it’s wide and long enough to fit all the squares), I added the appropriately coloured squares following a pic I found online WITHOUT any water or glue at first, to make sure they are all lined up and straight

– after making sure everything is aligned and I was happy with the look, I then glued down each square with water; or use whatever method you prefer to adhere the pieces

– I then cut away the excess white gumpaste backing; I like leaving a small border (approx. 3mm) but this is not necessary for the stability of the piece, it’s an aesthetics thing with me

– I waited at least two days for it to dry after applying the squares before flipping over and attaching two skewers vertically along the length of the sword, about a fingers width apart; the drying time is important to ensure the piece dries perfectly flat and will be strong enough to hold up vertically once attached to the cake

– the skewers are attached with a piece of fresh fondant running the length of the skewers like a bandaid, only along the part that will not be inserted into the cake

– make sure to gently press down on the fondant so the skewers are snugly covered by the fondant (stronger this way)

– allow this to dry another half day or at least a few hours before inserting into your cake

– the skewers should stick out long enough on the piece to go through your cake and touch the bottom cake board it is sitting on; so if its a 4″ tall tier, there should be 4″ of each skewer sticking out the bottom of the sword

– I make sure the bottom of the sword rests on and touches the cake and then add a piece of fresh fondant as well around it just to be safe (notice the small band of green half squares)

ENJOY!