Monday, October 31, 2022

Cakes as Gifts

Happy Halloween! This lovely cake has three layers of apple cake filled with vanilla buttercream. The outside is frosted with salted caramel buttercream tinted orange and decorated with seasonal sprinkles and white chocolate ghosts. Isn't it delightful? My daughter made it to take to work today for Halloween...out of bits and pieces saved from other cakes she made on Saturday. It's a hobby that gives pleasure to others...quite a gift.

Our daughter has always been artistic. When she was in middle school she and a friend created a line of t-shirts decorated with puffy paints and sold them at a Christmas Boutique at the fairgrounds. Later, as a hobby, she painted mandala rocks with tiny dots of paint in mandala detailed and with amazing color combinations. Her latest artistic creations are even edible...gorgeous small-scale cakes.

These creations are about 6-inches in diameter, so they are about 1/4 smaller than regular layer cakes. Other than the size, they are just as complicated as the larger versions. She has perfected a buttercream recipe, figured out a combination of chocolate-espresso cake with chocolate icing that is the fan favorite combo, and learned all sorts of techniques and tricks.

She almost always makes them as friends or for the birthday celebrant (who might be a friend or a friend of a friend). A few times she made them at a request from a friend. Since it's a hobby, she won't accept any payment for the requested ones except to cover the cost of supplies. The rest are gifts.

As you may guess, I am very proud of her skills and talents in this area. You might think that I taught her, but in reality all I gave her was (probably) good genetics...the rest is all her!

Here are some examples of her cakes. 

This is one that she did in the early spring as a birthday gift. Almost all of the succulents were piped onto small pieces of parchment paper, then put on a sheet pan and frozen. As you can see, she really knows how to mix color. Once the cake was iced, she used a palette knife to place the frozen shapes on the cake, then tied it all together with the green icing 'vines'.

This beautiful cake is decorated with icing dahlias and glittery sprinkles The same technique that she used for the succulents was used for the flowers.

She made this lovely strawberry cake for her fiance' for Father's Day. The drips are white chocolate and I think she used some freeze-dried strawberry powder for the outer icing.

This one is a bit easier to do than some of them. The 'ice cream' is actually a cake pop made by mixing cake removed to flatten the cake top, mixed with some of the icing. It certainly looks like a birthday!

This one was made for a friend to take to a baby shower with a jungle theme. The cute animals were purchased and so were the round balls. Pretty cute!

Another strawberry cake, this time with three layers and a more opaque white chocolate drip.

This is a more classic design but the ombre' color effect is a challenge and roses are not easy to pipe.

This is probably my favorite cake...I just love the impressionist sky and the tiny stars on the sides, plus the black chocolate trees. It's like a painting.

This one is 'earthquake' cake with multi-color and multi-shape sprinkles and gold edging. Inside is the favorite cake...chocolate espresso with chocolate icing. 

Another birthday cake and a pretty elegant one at that. This cake is apple with salted caramel buttercream...sounds delicious. Some of the batter that was left over from this small cake was baked in larger pans to create the beauty at the top of the post.

By the way, this is not a business. This is her hobby and a way to be creative and to de-stress from a fulfilling but high-energy job. Can't wait to see what she creates next!


  1. Oh, this is amazing. It also makes me a little bummed; I remember doing fun stuff like this for a hobby! How annoying when life gets in the way. Do keep the pictures coming - she's quite the artist, just like Mama. I love how she just has such a gamut of styles - from chic to cute. She's so good!

  2. Yes, there was a time when I had time and energy to make things like the strawberry mirror cake! Good times. These days it takes most of my energy to just do the day to day things that need doing, plus the occasional bake or garden project or helping Sweetie with one of his woodworking projects.
    Can't really take much credit...she wasn't drawn to the kitchen when she lived here or close. I think she gets ideas from Pinterest and some techniques by watching YouTube, but mostly she just tries things out. Should have heard her casually saying that she made salted caramel from scratch for the biggie, right? I was petrified the first time I made caramel! Anyway it is sooo cool that she enjoys this and is sooooo good at it!

    1. Yikes, me and boiling sugar lava are a no-go. I leave candy-making to brave folk! ☺