Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cake Decorating with Kids - Part 1

My girls are involved in a group called Keepers at Home. It's like a Christian version of girl scouts where they can earn badges or charms for learning different life skills, or learning about different animals, sports, or academic subject areas. Today, I taught the younger half of the group about cake decorating! We split the group in half (younger girls & older girls) for this activity so it would be a little less chaotic. And I hosted it at my house. So, today we had about 7 girls and their moms here.

I taught them smooth icing, piping dots and lines and letters with the small round tip, as well as making shapes with the large round tips. I also taught them stars, flowers, zigzags, etc. with the star tip. They each practiced on a sheet of wax paper. Then they each got to decorate their own cupcake (and eat it if they wanted to). I was really impressed by how even these younger girls really paid attention and caught on to what I was telling them.
I had lots of fun, and I think the girls did too. It's always interesting to see the artisic kids being creative, and the serious kids concentrating; then there are the ones like my daughter, Hayden, who just PILE on the icing so they can EAT IT!!! (I must admit -she comes by it honestly!)

HSM2 Cake-tastrophe (almost)

Here's a picture of my latest creation. (Actually, if you'd asked me last night, I would've said it was my LAST creation!) Obviously, it's a HSM2 cake for my friend's daughter (& my daughters' friend), Lexi. When she requested a High School Musical 2 cake, I had to turn to my favorite cake decorating website for ideas on this one. So, that's where I got the idea for laminating the printed image. (Believe it or not, there ARE some brave souls who have drawn all those characters with icing. I'm way too lazy for that, though.)

So, the icing is white buttercream, sprayed blue on top. The border is supposed to look like waves (but I was kind of in a hurry). I just painted a few blue stripes inside the bag before loading it with the white frosting. The lettering is fondant painted with gold & silver sparkle dust. And the image of the characters (Chad, Sharpay, Troy, Gabriella, Ryan & Taylor - scary that I knew 5 of the 6!) was printed from a website, cut out and laminated.

Hopefully it holds together. I have a feeling it may fall apart when we cut it tonight, though. The top layer broke into about six pieces as I was transferring it from the cooling rack to the cake board. (Then I shattered into about a million pieces!) But I finally pulled myself together, put the pieces in order and glued them in place with buttercream. One of the biggest challenges in cake decorating (besides not licking my fingers) is fixing my mistakes, or making things appear to work out. Thankfully, most of my mistakes are only seen by me! Keeping my fingers crossed.....

****UPDATED to add : The party was fun, Lexi LOVED her cake, and best of didn't even fall apart. Anyway, what if it had? People have to break it up to eat it anyway, right?! I got lots of compliments on the flavor/moistness of the cake too. It was a Duncan Hines French Vanilla mix with some extra stuff added in (including White Chocolate pudding mix and buttermilk instead of water). Yum-O!****