Those Russian Piping Tips

I have seven of them but they say there's more
I have seven of them but they say there’s more

There’s something happening in the Buttercream Piping Underworld lately. It’s making every cake decorator who does buttercream flowers gaga looking for a seller who could deliver to them seven piping tips. Just like Indiana Jones searching for the “ark of the covenant”, these decorators have been scouring the internet on where to reliably look for a seller and how to get these jewels at the least expensive price (shipping included).

They’re the Russian Tulip Tips because, apparently, they came from Moscow. What makes them special? Basically, the tips are supposed to make your life easier when piping flowers – no more twisting of piping tips at certain angles, no more using of those piping nails, no more funny strokes. Just one squeeze and pull, and there you have it – tulips and roses made from buttercream. A decorator’s heaven.

I was one of those decorators. But hey, I have my well-guarded “mafia” resources, *ehem*. So in just about a week, with the help of my baking comrades, I was able to receive mine and I wasted no time im trying them out and see what the hoopla is about. (Just kidding about the mafia… I got them thru a cake buddy friend, Sheila Madara Ubales who owns Merry Poppins Cakes by Sheila who in turn gets them from her sister who owns Luckymao Baking Secrets. So there! My secret is out.)

I’ve watched the videos, I’ve seen demos of the tips so many times. But it’s still different when you’re holding the piping bag on one hand and a cupcake on the other. And I conclude, just like any other piping nozzle, there’s still some tricks you have to learn. And I want to make your life a little easier by telling you how I do mine. Just a little caveat, I’m no expert, (altho I’ve taught cake decorating so many times) but I can still teach you some of the tricks I’ve discovered.

First off, they’re not your ordinary-sized tips. They’re big – 1 3/4” tall, 1” in diameter in the nozzle tip and 1 1/2” in diameter at the opening. So plan your piping bags ahead. A 12” piping bag might work but probably not an 8”. You won’t have too much space for the buttercream after you’ve put your nozzle in, but that also depends on how much cream you’ll be using with the nozzle, or if you don’t mind stuffing your bag often with buttercream. I used a 14” heavy-weight vinyl piping bag . The vinyl part has a reason.

The Vinyl Heavy Piping Bag
The Vinyl Heavy Piping Bag

Why does it matter? Because the tips are very intricate – there’s a lot of details on them that soft buttercream won’t be able to follow the intricacies of the nozzle. For me, I have really warm (and very warm) hands. Using my favorite disposable piping bags from the Philippines did not work because they absorbed the heat from my hands so easily. It was getting frustrating because all that came out from the tip were blobs of soft icing. I was cursing the baking gods too often, I woke up a sleeping giant… nay, sleeping husband. I’ve also tried the Wilton disposable piping bags and they still don’t work well. In the end, only those vinyl ones worked for me. (If you don’t have those, you can use a damp and cold paper towel on your hands while you pipe.)

Coupled with a thick piping bag, is the quite often running/walking up to the fridge to put the whole piping bag inside it for a few minutes. Not too long that you’d have a hard time squeezing out the icing, but just enough stiffness that it holds its shape and makes your hand cooler. And that’s also one of the advantages of a heavy-weight bag – it doesn’t overdo the refrigeration of the icing, but lets it cool the icing down just right. After about 2 minutes or so of cleaning up the kitchen while waiting, you can now take your piping bag out of the fridge and pipe again.

For buttercream, I used SMBC (the acronym for the most popular but sometimes intimidating Swiss Meringue Buttercream) because of it’s smoothness and stability. Plus, the taste is just soooo divine. You can also use Italian Meringue Buttercream or American buttercream. As long as the buttercream is stable and can hold its shape.

While piping, you want to make sure that your tip is on a 90-degree angle with your cake/cupcake. Make sure that the buttercream sticks to the cake’s surface by squeezing the piping bag a bit till the cream comes out. Otherwise, some of the petals or the stamens might not stick to the cake as you will notice with some of my cupcakes. Once your icing has come in contact with your cake, put a bit of pressure on your piping bag while you slowly pull the bag away upward. When you start pulling the bag release the pressure on the bag. For those of you who have done piping before, you probably know the timing of when to put the pressure on and when to release the hold. Same banana. For the beginners, you might want to practice first on a saucer to get the feel of it. You will get it. Just don’t give up.

So my verdict? The nozzles are divine! And the flowers looked so pretty and dainty. I served the decorated cupcakes on two separate occasions using the nozzles and people had complemented me on how they looked. And I turned out to be a cake diva for icing cupcakes with great detail. I must’ve slaved myself in my kitchen. Let them think that way…

I had a little problem with one of the rose tips, tho, but that’s just me. I couldn’t make it work. But I will do it again I plan to conquer that tip! For those rose-like tips you can cut short the time you put pressure on your bag and come up with roses, or you can go ahead and sustain the pulling away and come up with closed tulip buds (will have to do that next time).
As a reference, if you haven’t seen them elsewhere or you have them but have not seen all of the tips’ results, I have them here below. And, if you want to order your own Russian piping tips, visit Luckymao Baking Secrets FB Page. They’re superb and really fast. They’re very reliable and I’ve never had any problems with them for all the other cake decorating supplies I’ve gotten from them. Try them out…

Russian1Russian2Russian3 Russian4 Russian5 Russian6

The Dud I have to go back to
The Dud I have to go back to

Color Combinations and a Local Taste Test

Above Icing Smears Courtesy of The Food Network

Oh my goodness, it’s been a year!  But there were so many things that have happened.  So many cakes have been made!  If you have facebook, you can like my page and I have all my cakes out there.  (Click here to go to my facebook page)

I just want to let you all know that I got so excited to see this color chart from the Food Network.  In as much as almost all my cake tools and supplies are still in Canada waiting for me to get them, I am faced with the dilemma of getting the colors I need without doubling the colors I already have.  So doing your research does help – a lot!  And this chart from the Food Network only needs 4 basic colors – Red, Green, Blue and Yellow.  So hooray!!! Such a life-saver this Food Network website 🙂
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The Makings of Winnie The Pooh (A Photoguide)

Winnie The Pooh!!!

This is a photo guide that I placed on Manilena’s Facebook Page about how I did Winnie the Pooh.  I couldn’t say that this is an actual tutorial because it’s not complete.  But I hope this might be a good guide to help those who wanted to do a Winnie the Pooh in gumpaste:

I started with a ball of yellow-orange gumpaste and then form a blunt cone on one side of the ball and do an indentation on the top for the eyes and eyebrows. The mouth is made by first using a opening of an icing tip. I had to redo his mouth as you will see in the last pictures.

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Yo Gabba Gabba Cake

My Design of Morgan’s Cake

I must be getting old.  Since I never had a chance to have a kid knowing kiddie stuff only gets channelled thru my nephews and niece.  And since my youngest nephew is now more than 6 years old, I don’t really know too many children shows anymore.

So when my friend, Mavic, told me that her daughter, Morgan, loves Yo Gabba Gabba, I had to ask “What is that???”.  So, thanks to the internet, I found out that its a kids show with all these weird-looking characters.   It’s a good thing there are soooo many  pictures of them on the word wide web that it wasn’t that hard for me to know how to make them.  Once I had an idea of what the characters look like,  I knew what kind of cake I was going to make.  First, it’s going to be a topsy-turvy cake with pastel colored fondant for each tier.  Second, it was going to be a multi-colored white chocolate cake.  I was going to use my Cricut for the banners for Morgan’s name plus some more cutouts for stars.  Andafter a few revisions, this is what I came up with:
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Cricut For Cakes

The Mini Cricut Cake

Ah!, I am so bad.  I haven’t done an entry in a while.  Tsk, tsk, tsk… But I’m here now and giving you an update about what has happened so far in my baking life.

I’ve revamped the website.  This blog is now a part of the bigger Manilena website that contains all my cake creations and other confectionaries I am busy with.  I invite you to look around 🙂

Next, I’ve been using a very vital tool in my cake decorating – the Cricut Mini Cake!  There have been mixed reaction to this machine.  Some decorators love them, some don’t.  Those who disapprove of it consider it cheating.  If you ask me, who am I cheating, really?  In the end of it all, my aim is to please is the person who ordered the cake.  I like it because it saves you time, and makes your cake look more polish. Of course you just can’t rely on that to make a great cake.  I still have to use whatever skill I have (the little I have) to make the main decorations of the cake.  I like it because I’m so bad at piping writing so this compensates for that.

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A Tribute to LV

Audrey and her speedy LV

I love Louis Vuitton – and, to think, I only have one of his purses (…for now).  But the craftmanship, the style, the hardiness of the bags are traits that give the company the right to sell them at the enormous prices they go by.  They’re classic and they stand the test of time.  Oh, the amount of time I’ve browsed their website rivals time I spent on facebook – that much.  It took me a while to buy my first LV bag but it was a big accomplishment for me – it meant that now I am a real grown-up, and I can afford to have one thru the sweat of my brows (doesn’t matter if it took me a year to save up for it).  🙂
One of my fave pictures is of Audrey Hepburn carrying her Louis Vuitton Speedy bag.  If you can detect how old the black and white picture is, then you can tell how classic that purse is that it stands the test of time and whatever fashion trend comes up.  One of these days, I will have one of those, too… hopefully… hopefully.

So enough of my dreaming *dream  bubble poofed*.  As a tribute to the house of LV, I decided to imitate one of their purses for a friend’s birthday cake.

LV’s Monogram Multicolore cake sheet

While I was browsing the site (for the umpteenth time!)  I was already beginning to wonder if I can pull  off the famous LV logos.  Me, whose hands cannot be trusted to do things freehand.  And then I discovered that you can actually order cake sheets with images and so I started to look for a company online that does that – no luck.  So I phoned my mom and I was about to tell her my predicament.  See, my mom also does cakes in Calgary and so if there was a trend about cakes she would definitely know.  After the usual mother-daughter pleasantries she started “bragging” (ha ha ha) about her latest cake gadget – a cake photoprinter.  She talked about how she can download a picture from the net or use any picture file anyone gives her and my dad and her can print it out on cake sheets and put them on cakes.  She said she planned to sell them online also (so anyone who wants one of these, let me know or email me at atesienna at gmail dot com.) I laughed so much in excitement – my mom knows what I need, even before I can even tell her.  This was the answer to my problems and it’s just by my fingertips!  So immediately while still talking to my mom, I emailed her two jpeg files of pictures of the monogram LVs as how they are on the purses.  She and my dad looked at them and told me they’d have it done and sent to me in about two weeks – sweet!

LV Monogram Logo Cake Sheet

And indeed, two weeks after, in a thin, delievery package, I received the sheets, with a loving and funny letter from my dad enclosed.  I was soooo thrilled to see the sheets and now I can do a cake and a small purse on top with the two logos combined.  My friend would surely be thrilled.

The Speedy bag had always been sculpted on cakes for awhile now.  I didn’t want to do that, firstly, because I don’t think I have enough time to order a zipper mold and it would not be easy to do that freehand, secondly, I wanted my friend to have something else.  So I decided I was going to do my rendition of the Sologne.  It was easier to do, and the Sologne isn’t as popular as the Speedy bag so if I screwed up, it won’t be too obvious. 🙂

This being my first time doing cake sculpting, I was really nervous and I was having cold feet that maybe I promised more than I can deliver.   But I couldn’t turn back now.  My materials are here and I didn’t want to disappoint my friend, nor my Mom who was really excited to see what I can do with her cake sheets.  So I baked the vanilla cake in 8″ square cake pans and cut them in half and stacked them with my icing. I then started to trim the front to make it looked tapering at the top and heavier at the bottom. (Hah! So much for the dreaded “cake sculpting”, that was all the scultping I did.)  I crumb-coated it and put it back in the fridge to let the icing set.

My LV Bag Sculpture

Ok, it wasn’t bad, and I got more confident that I can pull this off.   After about 30 minutes, I took the cake out again and I then traced the shape of the sides onto the cake sheet and cut it.  My mom told me to just dampen the back of the sheets with a little bit of water to make them tacky.  After that I covered the bag with the LV Monogram cut pieces one side at a time.  This was beginning to look so good.  I then cut some beige fondant for the trims and the handle and added it to the cake.  I cut a buckle and let it dry a bit.

While that was drying, I pulled the other cake I crumb-coated from the fridge and used the Multicolore sheet this time.  I wanted the looked of the Multicolore bags with the gold trimmings and so I cut some beige fondant and covered the corners of the cake with it.  I pulled out my trusty Wilton Baroque Fondant Mold and used the chain cavity to create gold chains to go around the bottom of the cake.   I also put in some gold flower buttons that I created from the Wilton Fabric Fondant Mold to put on the corners of the cake.

The base of the purse cake

Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on the purse cake.  I like this part of cake decorating – the little details.  Altho I wish I have more time to do them.  Sometimes, when I bring the cake over to the event, I feel like it still needed a little bit more bling or a little bit more detail to the final result.  Maybe when I really get my timing right, I’d be able to do that.  I just can’t get it down to pat.  I can be hard on myself, I know.  But I’d bounce back right away, and think, “hey, I’ve been doing this only less than a year.  I should give myself some slack on what I’ve accomplished so far, and soon enough, I know I’d be able to pull off this wonderful cake hobby perfectly.  I just have to keep on going… and learning… and buying more cake stuff. (hah!)  Soon enough.  Patience is a virtue that’s starting to be my bestfriend these days.  I’m really getting to know her really well.  (And it pays to know her, actually.)

So there, I’ve finished the purse and laid it on top of the base. I tried to do the House of Vuitton justice with my cake for so many reasons.   First because, like I said, I love Vuitton and I love my LV purse, second because my mom and dad are so excited to see me do something with it (I love you, Mami and Doods!), third, because one of my rediscovered friend, Chanel, works in Vuitton (Love-love-love, darling!!!), and fourth, because of my friend, Myra, to whom this cake is for.  What’s there not to like about the cake, right? And here it is…

The Vuitton Cake, before I added the flower buttons on the corner.
The LV Cake with the candles and the purse buttons on the corner.
And Last But Not the Least, the Cute Letter from My Dad.


Angry Birds

You’ve played that game, right?  That game where you toss these birds onto a group of pigs sitting on structures aiming to make them go *pop*.  Where at the end of a level you have to have at least no pigs left when you run out of birds?

Fun game!  I first got introduced to this by my brother at the same time he introduced me to Plants Vs. Zombies.  I have to admit, I’m not so good at it.  I had better luck with getting rid of zombies thru zombie-killing plants.  They’re both addicting.

But my friend, Veck, isn’t really into games and still her husband told me to make an “angry birds” cake for her.  I’m not sure if we understood each other when he said “angry birds”, but I prefer to be “decent” in assuming these are the birds he was referring to. 😉

They’re sooo fun to do.  But they challenged my not-so-good-vision and stubby hands because of the tiny details I had to put in.  Considering how tiny they are, can you imagine how small the eyes and the eyebrows would be? Exactly.

This time, I used a cakesheet to do the cake.  I don’t actually know why I did.  I think in hindsight, I was preparing for the next cake I was going to do.  Plus, I just realized I don’t have a cake sheet pan.  They were on sale at Michael’s so I grabbed two.

Those Testy Birds and Teasing Pigs

I didn’t realize tho that I had more cake than characters on the cake.  I thought about just icing in the usual “happy birthday, Veck!” on the front, but I have to admit, this is my waterloo – I suck at cake writing.  I still have to order those Tappits to make decent lettering.  I know Veck would understand.  Maybe next time I’d be able to put in some texts on my cakes.  Baby steps.

So now that I’m staring at the cake, the only thing I didn’t do was the lettering and this would’ve been perfect.  But when I did this I didn’t have the right tools to do it… just yet.  So stick around.  I’m now armed with something good.  I’m so excited to tell you about it, in another entry… or two.

Girlie Designer Cookies

Busy as ever.  Hubby and I prepared for a HS reunion trip to Las Vegas.  I haven’t been there for one month short of 6 years that I was so excited to go.  Coupled with the fact that this was our chance to see high school friends who we haven’t seen for a long, long, long while and have only reconnected thru Facebook.  This was also the same weekend of the Pacquiao-Marquez fight  in Vegas and I had a proud heart seeing all the huge billboards with Pacquiao’s face on it.  I don’t care what they say about the actual fight, he’s still Filipino and he would always make me feel proud of what he has achieved for the Philippines.

Aside from that wonderful reunion trip, hubby and I were just busy with everyday things… not to mention, yours truly being preoccupied with cakes, cakes, cakes… and cookies and cake pops.

The “Naked” Cookies

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve so wanted to create designer cookies.  I’ve seen them on the web, I’ve seen my teacher Joanne’s sooooooooo beautiful designs and I just had to make some.  So since I volunteered to bring some desserts for an auction at work, I thought this might be the best opportunity to make those cookies. I’ve been buying cookie cutters online and at the nearby cake store and I haven’t used them yet and I also have this wonderful but easy sugar cookie recipe from my Cookies and Treats book that I always wanted to try.  I have no more reasons so postpone this project any longer.

So I baked the cookies as instructed.  I think the reason why I always delayed making these was because I had to go thru stages to get them just right – mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, flatenning them out, putting them in the fridge, wait for them to stiffen, cut out the dough, knead the remaining dough, flatten them again, and if they were getting soft, put them back in the fridge, cut them, repeating the steps until you have no dough left.

My Favorite Things

But the taste was worth it!  Really creamy cookies.  Making the design was the fun part.  Of all the methods of decorating cookies, I am aware of the two most popular methods  –  the color frosting or flooding method and the fondant method.  Color flooding is where you use watered down royal icing and filing in the whole space with it.  I opted to make them with fondant this time.  Only because it took me less time to prepare the icing. In a nutshell, this is what I did:  first, roll some fondant on your mat, cut them with your cookie cutter, paste them onto your cookie with corn syrup thinned with a tiny bit of water, and start decorating!  As usual, I will have to point you to YouTube for the complete instructions on how to do them and ways to decorate them.  The handiest tool for me while doing this was my ball and veining tool and some of my baking tips.  Plus all the texture mats that I got from that same cake expo I went to a few months ago.  (Note to self: Must attend ICES convention next year for more discounted goodies!)


The lustre dust was also a big help in making the cookies have that classy sheen.  I just recently discovered how cool lustre dusts are.  Add a bit to a small amount of vodka, mix them and brush away.  I was enjoying this sooo much, most specially when I get to see the finished products.  P-R-E-T-T-Y. (As usual, thank you, Teacher  Joanne, for the tip.)

I might as well quote here what the different dusts are from a site called Sweet Dreams by Stacy (for my own useful purpose as well):

Petal Dusts are used to achieve deeper hues with a matte finish. When brushed on petals of white or pastel gumpaste flowers, a realistic effect is created. Add a blush of color to gumpaste flowers or emphasize a feature with a tiny brush mark.

Pearl Dusts produce a shimmery luster. Use Super Pearl on flowers made from colored gum paste. When dusted on white petals, the other pearls in the range exhibit a subtle colored sheen by reflection, although displaying no apparent color. Add an iridescent hint of highlight color.

Luster Dusts give subtle color with a sheen finish. In the dry form, use them for dusting. They may be used on their own, or mixed with similar colored dusts to create a lustrous sheen without lightening the color. Brushed on white, they exhibit color and sheen. Mix with alcohol or lemon oil for painting or highlighting.

… and Shoes!

Sparkle Dusts have a larger grain size with a sparkling finish. Gives gumpaste flowers a wet or dewy look with just a touch of color.

Disco Dust (or Pixie Dust) add sparkle & flashing highlights of color to your pieces. Use this when you REALLY want to sparkle.

Highlighters are non-edible and have a high sheen finish. For decorative use only.

If you’re thinking about using them, do so.  I definitely recommend it. They add depth and interest to your designs.  I’ve gotten quite a few of them lately – mostly from Crystal Colors and Wilton.  Some people don’t care for the Wilton brand of dusts but as far as I’m concerned, they also give really satisfying results.  I guess, it’s just a matter of preferences.

My friends told me that  I got a lot of bids on these babies during the auction, and also for my cupcakes with sugar flowers on top.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of the cupcakes.  I got busy at work and didn’t have time to visit the auction.  Good thing, I get to make those again for another occasion (I have an order for them next year, as a result of the auction – woohoo!!)

It was so much fun doing the decorations.  I got to use a lot of my tools, plus, it was a way to spend some time in front of the TV with my Filipino soaps.  I had a lot of catching up to do and this was my chance to do so.  There was no stress, no deadline.

Light as a butterfly!

Some more of the cookies:

Ruffles and Frills
A Sunday Walk
Dresses Galore!




A Fairy Garden

I’ve always wanted to make a fairy cake for a little kid.  There’s something about fairies that I have this enchantment for.  So since my good friend, Lani, has a daughter and she’s having her 2nd birthday coming, I readily agreed to make her cake.  And as soon as I did, I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do but a fairy-themed cake.

So I scoured some sites to give me ideas on how to make the fairies.  Altho I do have the PME People Mold, that I got from the cake convention (again!), the 5 year-old child face mold unfortunately isn’t perfect, so I have to find a simple way to do the face.  I did find one in the Dreamers Into Doers website by Martha Stewart and got inspired with the way one of the contributors did her fairy cupcake toppers and that’s where I drew the inspiration from.

Trying to get all the fairies in the cake - at 1:00pm!
Trying to get all the fairies in the cake – at 1:00pm!

I actually recommend that Dreamers Into Doers site because there’s just soooo many things that you can get from them as far as ideas are concerned.  Just right now my head is spinning because I’m already thinking about the bake sale that I am joining this week and I wanted to make some toppers from the ones I’ve seen at this site.  The women contributing to Dreamers Into Doers are all so talented.  I don’t have the nerve yet to contribute any.  Maybe when I get better…  (uh-huh!)

So back to my cake.  I got a little tensed because all the while I thought the party was going to be at 3pm.  So even if I already started doing the fondant fairies as early as Wednesday, I still got stressed because my fairies still didn’t have hair and I still have to make a lot of flowers to make them cake look like a garden.  Not until my husband woke up at 9am and reminded me that Kamille’s party was going to start at 12 noon!  And of course, my only reply was, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!”  So that’s when my whole world started getting stressful.  I still had to put the cake into the oven, and then make the icing.  Considering that the cake was half vanilla and half chocolate, I had to make two rounds in the oven for that.

The fairy at the top of the cake

Not to mention that I still had to put the cake in the fridge after to cool it down, take it out of the fridge to put in the icing, then put it back into the fridge to get the icing a little bit stiffer so that it won’t melt and blend in with the cake and then put it out again to cover it with fondant.  Naturally, in-between the trips to the fridge, I had to add in more flowers, put the hair on the fairies, make the mushroom figures, etc… etc… etc…  I really love my husband at times like this. How he puts up with a woman who transforms into a witch who acts like a bat from hell, I don’t know.  I have to remember to give him something extra nice for Christmas for all the things he goes thru with me.

By the time the whole cake was done, it was already 1:30pm.  Talk about lunch!

As soon as it was done, I rushed myself into the bathroom for a quick shower, then off we went.  It’s a good thing that Lani’s house was only 10 minutes from where we live.  We got there while there were still guests and I had to apologize to her so many times for being late.

Despite my being late, I think my cake all made up for my shortcomings.  I was a two-layered cake with 3 fairies siting on each level.  I made the whole cake look like a small cliff.  I actually ran out of the green fondant that I had to improvise and use my chocolate fondant on the lower tier.  So the whole cake had greeneries and some “soil” under.  I put in a lot of flowers and vines and leaves with mushrooms sprouting all over.  It was a garden!

I really enjoy it when people would take pictures of my cake.  That, for me, is a huge compliment.  And when they don’t have the heart to cut the cake because it’s all “so pretty to be cut”, I laugh and cut the cake myself.  I know.  It’s only a few hours between me finishing the cake and them eating it, but I don’t care.  I’ve given them a gift that pleases their senses, that makes them feel special that I’ve put in a lot of effort to make it for them.  That, you can’t equal.  That makes me happy.

Of course I’d get stressed sometimes (or most of the times???)  and there are  instances where I don’t even think I’d make it, but once I get it done, my heart is filled.  I’ve created something for a friend that nothing I could buy in a store can compare.  It’s something that makes me proud, it’s something that puts a smile on their lips and the joy in their eyes.  That’s enough for me.  And I’ll do it again and again…

I just have to learn not to stress my husband out too much… 😉



She’s not scared of the cake, just the candles 😛 (Kamille with Mommy and Kuya Jan)

Seventy and Thirteen (Oopss… Twelve, I Mean)

Birthdays should be celebrated – whether you’re in your 70s or in your tween’s.   And that’s what I’m blogging about now – I had the opportunity to make two birthday cakes – one for my sister-friend, Veck’s, aunt and another one for Beth’s eldest daughter.

I wanted a classy cake for Veck’s aunt, who we fondly call Mommy Nene.  I wanted to try out the textured mats that I bought at the convention here in MD as well as the Fabric Fondant and Gum Paste Mold from Wilton.   I planned on using just two colors on the cake and I liked the yellow fondant from Satin Ice.  I figured white would bring out the yellow a lot more and that’s what I used to create the roses and the trims on the cake.   This time, I made two layers of the cake – 6″ and 8″ – enough for us to feast on for dessert.

As for the cake itself, I had been having this huge craving for that mango cake from Red Ribbon and I had this grand idea in my mind that it won’t be too hard to copy that – what with my latest discovery of the LorAnn’s flavorings.  It even excited me since mangoes are yellow and my cake’s yellow.  What better combination!  I even bought mango yogurts to add more flavor to the cake since there were no mangos at Mar’s that time that I went shopping.  I should’ve known that I was having delusions of grandeur.  The cake was so lacking in mango essence and aroma that I can hardly taste the fruit even in the meringue icing.  In hindsight, I should have made a reality check that if that cake was that easy to recreate, everyone would have a Red Ribbon outlet even in their own garages.

But nevertheless, the cake, despite the unmango taste, was still a success!  (I just said it didn’t taste like mango, but I didn’t say it didn’t taste good, right?) I have to admit, this is my most elegant cake so far and I was so touched that Mommy Nene loved it!  The kids enjoyed it, too and I promised my friends I will still get that mango cake perfected.  Even if it would mean that I would buy a whole plantation of mango trees to practice on.  I am not giving up!  I am scouring the internet and will continue to search until a find a better way to make that mango cake that would, at least, approximate the Red  Ribbon one that I miss so much.   As they say in Pilipino, “habang may buhay, may pag-asa”, literally translated, while there is life, there is hope 😛

The Dress Cake

Two Sundays after Mommy Nene’s birthday came Beth’s daughter’s, Le-Anne’s, birthday.  I promised her that I was going to make her cake after she saw the Dora cake that I did for her baby sister.   Her mom said that she was inviting some of her classmates just for pizza and some snacks and so we decided an 8″ cake would be nice plus about 2 dozen cupcakes.  I made the cake in two layers – vanilla and chocolate with one dozen vanilla cupcakes and one dozen chocolate ones.

Now this time, I wanted the cake to be pastel-colorful.  At first I was going to make a fondant figure but something went wrong with the figure and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted.  But I was running out of time, so I took out my cookie cutters and the textured mats again and cut out dresses from fondant.  I decorated the dresses and made bags and buttons and I was actually happier with this last-minute decision.  It was more apt for a 12-year-old girl.  Yeah… the cake says “13” because I really thought she was, seeing that she’s really tall for her age.  Only to find out that when they picked up the cake that she was just 12!  I had to quickly find a way to change the 3 to a 2 without making too much mess on the side of the cake.  Good thing that the “3” was in 2 pieces so I just inverted the lower half of the number and ta-da!!! 2!!!

I actually had enough time to do this cake, by the time I was done putting on the last flower on the side of the cake, her Dad was on the phone letting me know they were already in front of the house!  Such timing!  And I love the way the cake turned out… And even the cupcakes looked good.  I decided to make the  icing look like roses, do they look like it?

Bye for now!

Vanilla Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes!