I would much prefer to work on wedding cakes dripping in sugar flowers but if I'm not making a wedding cake I love making a scene! A sweet sugar scene that is! I love making little things to make up this scene....flowers, rocks, doors, windows, trees, clouds the list goes on! I have always wanted to make a toadstool fairy cake so was pretty excited when a regular client of mine ordered one for her gorgeous daughter's 3rd birthday. The budget didn't allow for a handcrafted fairy figurine but the one she purchased fit in beautifully.
I'm not a carver so even though a toadstool is a simple shape, it's a challenge for me! I find it very hard to visualise the shape and look of the finished product when it's just layers of cake and ganache. That's why 3D cakes both amaze and daunt me! So once ganached I could see the cake was the correct shape. The top tier was probably a little tall but I wanted to make sure the client was getting enough cake for the price she paid...it's not ALL about the look! Putting it together after that was a joy!
First came the door and windows. I used a woodgrain embosser to get the pattern and a little bit of brown petal dust to bring out the groove then finished off with a door handle and some hinges.
Of course you need a path to get to the front door...... Grey coloured fondant with black petal dust around the joins to give it more depth. The birthday girl's name had to make an appearance too!
The fairy needed somewhere to sit so matching rocks to the front path were created.....
Some mini toadstools in the front garden so when the fairy goes inside and looks out the window she has a view...and the butterfly needed somewhere to rest!
Finished off with some green foliage, pink ribbon roses, white blossoms and I was transported into fairyland and ready to move into my two storey toadstool!
Happy 3rd birthday Sybella!
Till next time........Carlie x
It's been a while since my last blog entry. Life sometimes gets in the way of things. But that's okay, that's life. Some of you may have noticed that I stopped taking orders for a while which confused a lot of people. Without going into all the gory details, I needed a break because I was a little bit broken. I'm sure we can all agree that family comes first, and that's what that was all about....putting myself and my family first. Now, however things are looking up and my diary is once again open to taking orders. I won't be taking on as much as I have in the past so as not to burn myself out again and I will be taking regular breaks throughout the year.
Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about wedding cakes! Wedding cakes are my passion, we all know that! I still get a kick out of seeing piping hot cakes fresh out of the oven turned into stunning pieces of art adorned with handmade sugar flowers, ruffles, delicate stencilling, lace....I could go on and on! So today we are going to talk about getting the perfect wedding cake for you from my perspective. These are the things I think you should take into account when designing your wedding cake....
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS...for dessert or coffee?
If the size of your cake is solely determined by the number of guests you need to serve then make sure your cake maker knows this. The size will also change depending on whether it's being served as dessert or with coffee later on in the evening. If the size is determined by the look you are going for, then it's an entirely different story. If you like the look of a grand cake but don't need that many serves, you can opt for fake foam tiers. If you want a small cake but it doesn't provide enough serves for your guests, a 'kitchen cake' can be supplied to make up the extra serves.
CAKE FLAVOURS....I want them all!
That's a difficult decision isn't it!? Your tiered wedding cake can be all one flavour or many cake makers will have the option to choose a different flavour for each tier. Cake samples are good way to help you make your selection. In the past I have had sample boxes available for pickup, a cake tasting event held at my studio as well as samples at wedding expos. As we all lead such busy lives sometimes this isn't convenient that's why I am looking into mailing sample boxes a few times throughout the year so stay tuned!
DESIGN....be honest, how many hours have you really spent on Pinterest?!
Ok, so you want a cake that tastes amazing but you also want that wow factor when you and your guests walk into the room. And that wow factor doesn't have to be 5 tiers tall, small cakes can be jaw droppingly gorgeous too! So some factors to keep in mind when choosing the design of your wedding cake are most obviously the style of your wedding. Is the theme of your wedding rustic, vintage, modern? What colours are part of your theme and do you want them incorporated into your wedding cake? The possibilities for design are endless and this is proven by the amount of time we all spend on Pinterest searching for ideas! Feel free to provide images of cakes you have fallen in love with. These can be used to custom design the perfect cake for your wedding.
BUDGET....good cake aint cheap and cheap cake aint good!
It all really comes down to budget doesn't it? You could fall in love with a design only to find out that the price is much higher than you expected. Be upfront with your cake maker. If the cake you want is out of your reach, there are ways and means to get as close as possible and still keep within your budget (you may just need to make some sacrifices!). Just remember....'good cake aint cheap, and cheap cake aint good'!
REPUTATION....check it out!
Have you checked out the work of your prospective cake maker? Most cake makers these days have Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, websites etc. It couldn't be easier for you to check out their quality! Have a look at their latest designs and check out their reviews. It's also a good idea to check if they are registered with their local council and have the necessary insurance. Realistically, you could end up spending anywhere from $500 upwards so it's best to make an informed decision.
So in summary, make sure you are armed will all the right details and information before you make a start on choosing your perfect wedding cake and perfect wedding cake maker.
Till next time....Carlie x
Thinking back to when I was planning my own wedding 18 years ago I remember how special it was. I remember catching the train into the city with my Mum to pick out my wedding dress and buying the first one I tried on because we both fell in love with it! I want to provide memories like this for today's brides and grooms and I had that in mind when I designed my consulting room. I want brides to think back to when they were planning their wedding and have fond memories of the little kitchen in the country that they visited to design their wedding cake. With that in mind I decided to hold a Cake Tasting Event for couples to sample and select flavours for their wedding cakes.
It was hard work, but the day was a success! With 10 cake flavours to choose from there were lots of oohs and ahhhs from the couples and their families and friends. Also on offer were cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolates, tea and bottled water branded with the CJST logo of course!
With vintage being my 'thing' I wanted lots of white and pink as well fresh flowers to decorate my consulting room. I even managed to find pink and white disposable coffee cups!!
The only negative from the day is that there were a couple of no shows. That was a little disappointing as other couples could have filled those places. And being my first time holding a cake tasting day, I made way too much cake! I gave a lot away to family and friends and still had to throw a lot out! Live and learn! I will know to half the quantities for the next time!
If you were one of the lovely brides or grooms that took part in our Cake Tasting Event I hope it forms part of your memories when you think back on your wedding plans and would love to year your feedback!
PS I love photographing fresh flowers so my apologies for sooooo many flower photos!
Yes, you read right! I made a cake for a fellow cake decorator! I had read posts on Facebook about well known decorators making cakes for other well known cake decorators but never thought it would actually happen to me! Tric from Tricky Cakes has become a very good friend since our first encounter almost a year ago (she bought one of my Christmas Cookie Cottages last year!) and when she asked me to make her 40th birthday cake I was flattered and honoured. Then I was scared. If you saw the cakes Tric pulls off, you would be too! Her mind works completely different to me and she is a self confessed non girly girl. Me, I'm a girly girl and you can see that in my cakes...pink, bling, flowers etc etc. So I asked her what she wanted and she replied with a 'surprise me'. Oh crap. Give me some guidance woman!! After some conversing Tric was happy to have something girly to celebrate a special birthday....phew! We left it at that as this was quite a few months ago but as it started to creep closer and closer I started to doubt my original design.
After looking back at recent conversations and photo swapping on Facebook I found a picture Tric had sent me with lots of Babushka dolls in the background. Bingo! She obviously has a passion for them or they wouldn't be proudly on display. So I set about ordering some edible images and even made the doll to sit on top of the cake. But something wasn't sitting right with me. The colours were all wrong and something kept pushing me towards to the vintage style that I have come to love so much. So after so much notice, it was only two days before pickup that I actually made my mind up!! Needless to say...I got to work making some vintage roses (which I say over and over that I could sit and make these all day) and even tried my hand at making some fondant lace doilies! I'm obsessed with stencils and the change it can bring to a cake, trouble was I had to pick one out of my ever growing collection! Finished off with a custom cake board made using gift wrap, paper doilies and contact. Voila, one vintage style 40th birthday cake for a very special friend. Oh, and the flavours were right down her alley too....top tier was choc hazelnut filled with chocolate ganache and crushed hazelnuts and the bottom tier was mocha filled with coffee infused chocolate ganache.
So glad I went with my gut on this one because I'm pretty sure Tric loved it! Happy Birthday Tric! I value our friendship (and your sense of humour!!) more than you will ever know! x
I attended two wedding expos at the beginning of this year for the very first time. I didn't have much of clue what I was doing which was quite obvious when I ran out of business cards within the first two hours and had three hours to go! In saying that I was quite pleased with what I managed to put together as a beginner.
When I was approached to exhibit at the Eynesbury Wedding Expo a couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to do something a little different. I'm loving the pretty vintage wedding style at the moment and wanted to reflect that in my display. As a cake decorator, your mind never switches off. You get ideas from the simplest of things and these ideas grow and grow. And from having the idea of a vintage cake display came a complete dessert table. I wanted couples to see that CJ Sweet Treats can not only supply you with a stunning cake for your wedding day, but also a dessert table full of your favourite sweet treats that all compliment each other. I found that many brides and their friends and family were drawn to our display....whether it was the prettiness of the setup or free cake samples I'll never know! I'll let you decide.....
(click on pictures for a description/note)
I haven't been decorating cakes for all that long but it didn't take long for me to discover the amazing work by Tracy James of Cotton & Crumbs. I fell in love with her vintage style immediately! I have poured over her images a million times 'ooohing' and 'aahhing' at the beauty of every one of her creations. I dreamed of one day being able to create something as stunning....
I just happened to be on Facebook one evening and up popped the most exciting status in my newsfeed (from Whimsical Cakehouse)....'Tracy James is coming to Melbourne'! I nearly fell of my chair! I think I was booked and paid within 5 minutes of reading that post. Needless to say, I was counting down the days until I would get to spend the weekend learning from my cake idol!
When I walked into the room and saw Tracy preparing for the class I was like a star struck teenager! I was so nervous I could barely speak and I was sitting there pinching myself to make sure this was all real. I had to quickly got over myself and focus on what we were about to learn because otherwise I would forget it as soon as I walked out the door! Let me tell you it was worth every cent and every minute. We all learned so much and Tracy was so forthcoming with assistance and advice. At the end of the two day course I was even more convinced that this was the direction I wanted to go in. I love the romance of Tracy's vintage style wedding cakes. I've made a few of her signature roses since that class and I love it! I find it so therapeautic I could make them all day.
So thank you to Whimsical for bringing Tracy out to Australia( and especially to Melbourne) and thank you Tracy for just being so awesome!
My name is Carlie and after searching for a part time job (to no avail!) that suited my kids school hours, I decided to start a cupcake business! Things have changed a little since then but it has has lead to my love of creating dreamy wedding cakes and I couldn't be happier!