Bridal Shower Cakes and Mike McCarey

What in the world do bridal shower cakes and Mike McCarey have in common?  Well nothing, really.  Except that I had the chance to use his buttercream recipe on a couple of bridal shower cakes that I made recently.

In case you saying who???  Let me start off by saying that Mike McCarey is probably my favorite cake decorator/instructor.  He owns Mike's Amazing Cakes in Redmond, WA and has been on several cake challenge competitions.  He is especially known for his 3-D sculpted cake masterpieces.  He also teaches several cake classes on Craftsy.  I highly recommend his Craftsy classes.

Bridal shower cake
Anyway, I had a chance to use his unique buttercream recipe on this bridal shower cake recently and I loved how creamy it was, the taste, texture and workability.  The recipe calls for pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and butter....lots and lots of butter.

Mike uses this buttercream as a base for all his amazing sculpted cakes so I thought I would give it a try under a simple fondant covered round cake.  I didn't take into account the humidity factor where I live.  In Mississippi, it is pretty humid all year round.  Even though I didn't have any problems rolling out my fondant, when I started to put it on my chilled cake, the condensation-humidity factor kicked in.  I could barely get the fondant attached to the cake before the condensation on the cold buttercream started to make the fondant extra sticky.  I couldn't even smooth it.  I had to wait for all the condensation to dry before I could touch the cake again.  Unfortunately by that time, the buttercream had become soft which renders this technique useless as it relies on a hard buttercream to help make the fondant smooth.

bridal shower cake
I still like the way it turned out, but I wish the buttercream would have stayed firm enough for me to get it smoother.  The bottom layer is my standard bakery icing in hot pink and the top is black fondant.

So...my conclusion is that this would be a great buttercream for a filling and perhaps as frosting (when the weather is not too warm) but I don't think I can use it as a base for fondant due to the condensation factor.  I am pretty sure that chocolate ganache is what I am going to have to use to get around the refrigeration-condensation issue.

Here are a few more bridal shower cake ideas:

bridal shower cake

bridal shower cupcakes

Senatobia MS cakes

bridal shower cakes


Naked and Semi Dressed Cakes

The "naked" wedding cake trend has been around now for a few years and it is increasing in popularity, at least in my area.  So some of you may be asking what is a naked cake?  It is called naked because it is un-iced.  There is usually some type of buttercream or filling between the cake layers but the top and sides remain un-iced.  Most of the time, the cake is decorated with fresh flowers, fruit, or both.

I actually like these cakes because I think they are lighter and less sweet.  One thing to keep in mind is that icing also serves to help keep the cake from drying out.  One thing I like to do when making these cakes is brush the layers and tops with a gelatin-sugar mixture that helps seal the cake and keep it from drying out so fast.

There are many variations of the naked cake.  It can be simply a naked cake with
naked wedding cake
a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  This one only has buttercream frosting between the cake layers and it does not extend onto the sides of the cake layers.

naked wedding cake

Another way to make a naked cake is to apply a kind of spackle effect.  On this one, I piped extra icing in between the layers and then used my bench scraper to swipe the excess onto the sides of the cake.

You may notice on the cake above, I piped a scalloped pattern of buttercream on the very top.

Finally, there is a semi-dressed or semi-naked cake.  On this cake, the sides are
naked wedding cake
left unfrosted, but a design is piped on.

These naked cake designs work especially well for a rustic-themed wedding.  If you are getting married in the northwest MS area and like the look of these naked and semi-naked cakes, I would be happy to discuss the options with you.


Cinderella Dress Cupcake Cake Repin Love

I use Pinterest as my picture gallery on this blog.  Pinterest is easy, free and has it has many, many users.  One of the neat things about it is that other users can "repin" one of my pictures to their Pinterest boards.  When I view my own boards, I can see stats like how many times a picture has been repinned.

Buttercream Rose sheet cake
Up until recently, this picture of a sheet cake I did with lattice work and buttercream roses pretty much held the record for the most repins of all my cakes.

I was very happy with this cake when I made it years ago but it's funny that a simple sheet cake was the most repinned out of all my cakes.

You may notice that I said until recently this sheet cake was the most repinned.
Cinderella dress cupcake cake
 Just in the past few weeks, another one of my cakes has been getting repinned like crazy.  This Cinderella dress cupcake cake has been repinned so much lately that it has now surpassed the rose sheet cake to take the #1 slot.

Every time one of my pictures is repinned, I get an email from Pinterest.  Over the past few weeks, I have been getting several emails per day letting me know that this cake has been repinned.

I am happy that I made something that other people look to for inspiration.  I enjoyed making this Cinderella dress cupcake cake for Emma's birthday party as well as a cake for her handmade crown.

Cinderella cake with crown


Non-Traditional Wedding Cakes

So, you are getting married but you don't want the standard 3-tier white wedding cake.  Good news - you don't have to.  Today, there are many options for couples wanting a little something different for their wedding cake.

purple wedding cake

Maybe you want the tiered cake, but your style is a little more bold than "vanilla".  Here is a 3-tiered setup in purple and black

The "naked cake" is a trend that is still going strong.  If you aren't a big fan of cake icing, perhaps this option is for you.  Here is a small two-tiered one that I
naked wedding cake Senatobia MS
did recently.

Or, maybe you want a cake that reflects the interests of you and your significant other.  This cake is three single layers of cake decorated to look like books.

stack of books cake Senatobia MS

This chess board cake with chocolate chess pieces would also make a tasty and unusual wedding cake.

Chessboard cake Senatobia MS

If you have dreamed of having a fairy-tale wedding, maybe you would like a castle wedding cake.

castle cake

If you are planning a simple and small wedding reception, perhaps a classic white-on-white sheet cake fits the bill.

wedding sheet cake

Of course, we can't leave out the extreme chocolate lover.  This decadent dessert with layers of chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, cream cheese buttercream and covered in dark chocolate ganache will satisfy even the die-hard chocolate lover.
chocolate dessert wedding cake

Wedding cakes no longer have to look like the traditional 3-tier white wedding cake.  I hope I have given you some ideas if you want something a little different.


My Cake Room

My husband and I have been involved in a major home renovation for a while now (we are kinda slow).  One of the things we changed was to make the largest of our extra bedrooms into a craft/cake room.  I love having this room!

We enlarged the opening of the former bedroom closet and built shelves for the interior.  We opted to not install any closet doors for ease of access.

I am able to store my airbrush machine and colors, pasta roller, rolling mats,
cutting mats, odd cake pans, and many other items on these shelves.

We (and I use that term loosely-mostly my husband) built these shelves and cabinets which turned out much better that I envisioned.  We re-purposed some cabinet doors from another room and added the beadboard in the middle.

Finally, we had this gigantic table for several years.  We found it at a Salvation Army store.  It makes a great work table.  It is so large, I am able to set up an "assembly line" process for making gumpaste-fondant decorations like flowers.  It is so much easier than trying to find a free spot in my kitchen like I used to.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a tour of my cake/craft room and perhaps got some ideas if you are planning a craft room of your own.