TINY LITTLE TEDDY BEARS

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I don’t often take on cake orders. Mostly because I find that a lot of people have high expectations for cakes. I don’t blame them, as there are many talented bakers out there who set the cake bar way high by making miniature works of baked art. But in order to create those beautiful cakes, most of those bakers use fondant. In my personal experience, I find that fondant looks absolutely amazing but can sometimes sacrifice the quality of how the cake tastes. I strive to create baked goods that look homemade, that look delicious, and that are delicious, so I personally choose not to use fondant.

Moving on. On some occasions, I do take on cake orders. I love making custom toppers that are cute and fun. I love using fresh buttercream to cover the cakes. But most of all, I love thinking up new ways to decorate said cakes without fondant. Enter the tiny little teddy bears.

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This cake and cupcakes were created for a baby shower. As I riffled through my cookie cutter box, I found my collection of small (really small) cookie cutters. To be honest, I had my heart set on a tiny heart cutter (which surprisingly, I did not have), but instead found these miniature teddy bears. And as I tend to be quite obsessed with anything in miniature form, the rest is history.

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Both the cake and the cupcakes are a classic vanilla bean cake covered in vanilla buttercream. The cake was decorated with a simple ruffle technique and topped with a homemade “BABY BOY” topper.

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GENDER REVEAL CAKE

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Ah. Gender reveals.

The new biggest thing for expecting couples and eager families and friends. I don’t blame people for all the hype though. In fact, as I scanned the internet for inspiration for this cake, I kind of got into the idea myself. Having a baby is an incredibly exciting and pretty big deal, so why not celebrate the joyous occasion with a party and a little anxious anticipation?

Oh, and did I mention that it’s a good excuse to eat cake?

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I’ve been obsessed with this cake since the moment I was asked to make it. I don’t usually do cake orders for people. Cookies and cupcakes tend to be my thing because they are cute and they are small. And let’s be honest, if I mess up the design or decoration on one, it’s not a big deal, because I always make back-ups. But cakes, not so much. If something goes wrong with your cake, you are left with nothing but a big mess and a lot of disappointment.

But I wasn’t intimidated by this cake. I decided to take it on because it seemed like a really fun opportunity. I got to challenge myself, learn some new techniques, and have lots of creative freedom. And I can’t deny that I just secretly wanted to make a mini clothes line of baby clothes as a cake topper. Do you blame me though? How cute is that?

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For the cake, I used the Pina Colada Cake recipe that I blogged about last summer. This recipe is one of my personal favourites because it is so moist and flavourful on its own, but tastes even better when paired with coconut cream cheese frosting. Sure, it’s fruity. Sure, it’s tropical. But there’s nothing wrong with that in the dead of winter. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

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For those of you who have never heard of gender reveal cakes before, you’re probably wondering what makes this cake worthy of the task before it. Gender reveal cakes are designed to hide the gender of your baby (represented through either the stereotypical blue or pink colour) until you cut into the cake. Some people dye the batter of the cake itself, some people cut a hole in the middle and fill it with appropriately-coloured candies, and some people, like me, colour only the frosting that joins the cake together. This was the best option for this cake, as the timeframe between the ultrasound appointment and the grand reveal was tight, but I would love to try working with some of the other options in the future. Especially the one that involves candy. You can never go wrong with cake and candy.

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Once I layered the cake with blue icing (surprise–it’s a boy!), I covered the entire thing in a thin crumb coat. As it chilled in the fridge, I watched video, after video, after video of different cake decorating tutorials covering a range of new techniques. I settled on this ruffle technique, as I figured it was delicate and soft and would work well with a baby theme. It ended up being an incredibly simple technique, lending itself well to any minor imperfections that resulted from my lack of experience. I then sprinkled a few blue and pink pearl sprinkles on the top before adding two small swirls of icing to plant the clothesline posts in. Although I am so pleased with the ruffle technique, I can’t wait to try my hand at this other style of ruffles and this blobbing technique.

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It really was such a pleasure making this cake. I can’t wait to see what kind of doors this will open and what types of treats will come next. Man, I love what I do.

Congratulations to the soon-to-be parents as they anticipate the arrival of their little boy!

A WINTERY BABY LAND

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My first baking order for the new year was for 3 dozen winter wonderland baby-themed cookies. I’ve made tons of baby-themed cookies within the past year alone, but this was the first time I was able to stretch the theme a little further than polka-dots and teddy-bears (not that I don’t love polka-dots and teddy bears)! I did a dozen of each of the above designs, hoping to link the baby-theme to the snowflakes by incorporating some little pink snowflakes onto the onsies.

In other baby related news, I was asked to make a gender-reveal cake within the next few weeks. It will be the first time that I have been asked to do this, so I can’t deny my excitement to be involved in the reveal of such exciting news. I’ve been given a lot of creative freedom with the cake, so I can’t help but dream up some ideas and browse the internet for inspiration. I love the idea of having a “surprise” centre filled with appropriately coloured candies [1], a simple and sleek design [2], and I absolutely adore little handmade bunting toppers [3]. We’ll see what I can come up with (maybe a combination of all-of-the-above?)!

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That’s all for now, my friends. Thanks for checking in!