Monday, August 25, 2014

GIVEAWAY for my Upcoming New (mystery) Craftsy Class




I Love this Class because its about one of my very favorite things! 
...and I'm so excited to share it!  We'll be unveiling lots of little sneak peeks over the next week or so...sooooo, while you don't know what the class is yet, what the heck, enter anyway, its free!
There's something for decorators at every level of experience, and cakes to cover every occasion.  Its filled with tons of tips and ideas. 
Please stay posted to our Facebook page for details and more really fun giveaways in the coming weeks--- (and "like" it if you haven't already, and check in and say hello in the comments section, we'd love to hear from you!)
XO, Kate

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Inspired by Students

I've been so very inspired and impressed by the cakes that my students have shared in our Craftsy
class. These are just some of the stunning Student Projects, (*click here to see all of them) from The 
Art of the painted Cake.  What a crazy amount of talent there is out there! I love to see all of the
different directions these techniques have been applied to.
clockwise from left: Hello Sunshine Cake Studio, Vagabond Baker and Anne Heap
Above are some wonderful examples of "Tie-Dyed" fondant covered cakes and painted flowers using
 a "Royal Icing Stamp" transfer method

Cakes by Krista.

To make this cake Krista used the pencil transfer technique from our class and the chalkboard design
 was inspired by and online class by Liz Marek 

clockwise from left: Albina's Custom Cakes, Bite Me Bakery and arkattica1165531
I love the 3D flower jumping right off of the painted flower! and the Dr. Seuss inspired black, white
 and red designs, and van Gogh styled sunflowers in these vibrant cakes that combine 2D and 3D
elements.
Crafty Mummy's Cakes
 The sweet simplicity of this family line drawing is so fun and delightful.

from top left: Lovely cakes by Eva, Simply Superb Cakes and debanderson@shaw.ca
Above: Its so cool to see such wonderful storybook approaches to cake decorating. 


Cake Power cakes
  (I was so inspired by Anne Heap's painted peony that now I want to paint peonies on everything!)

It was such a blast making this class because I have such a passion for painting on cakes and I'd love
to share it with as many people as possible!  If you'd like to take the class too click here for a 50% 
discount link ...and then I'd love to see what YOU do with it!






Saturday, June 14, 2014

How Barbie Got Baked for VOGUE

Charles James Ball Gown as seen in Vogue 1951
I was definitely one of those kids who loved Barbies and all things dress-up growing up.  So, I really loved seeing this in the subject line of in my inbox: VOGUE story/Charles James. Vogue.com wanted to do a story in anticipation of the Met Gala in honor of Charles James assigning a handful of bakers to create "barbie cakes" modeled after iconic Charles James dresses. Yes!  I didn't even check my schedule, because it was just too fun to say no to! I have to admit, I have never made a Barbie cake before, but I have always been tickled the pure kitsch of it.  Then there was also something brazen and ironic, in the best possible way, about draping her in a gown by the legendary master of complex sculptural fashion design, Charles James.  
Here's a STEP BY STEP:
(this Barbie cake is dedicated to Brenda Maher :)

1. Paper dolls: cut out dress templates to a barbie-size scale
2. Barbie gets baked!
3. Cutting circles of moist and delicious chocolate cake for the gown
4. Clockwise from top left: Barbie wrapped in floral tape, and secured to base with dowel and modeling chocolate; the cake was built by cutting the circles in half and filling with buttercream; a quick crumb coat and carved for basic skirt shape
5. Cover cake skirt with modeling chocolate, and little run trial run with parchment paper
6. Drape modeling chocolate with fondant
7. Build up skirt poofs with modeling chocolate
8. Mold bodice onto figure and cover skirt with a super thin layer of fondant
(Queen's wave)
9. Details, details, details, then time to gild the Barbie
10. Barbie (looking pretty and oh so realistically hot at 55)

(Runway moves)






































Charles James Ball Gown Barbie Cake as seen on Vogue.com 2014


To see the full Article: 6 Barbie Cakes Modeled After Dresses by Charles James by Mieke ten Have.
Thank you, Mieke ten Have!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kylie & Icing Smiles

All strapped down and loaded into the ambulance I stared at the ceiling and started tearing up. "Don't cry lady, you're going to be fine.  You're very lucky," the EMT guy assured with a wink.  But that wasn't what I was crying about.  I felt pretty sure I could tell that it wasn't anything too serious, and aside from sheer the shock of being hit by a car,  I was upset because I had a cake due in a few days. All I could think was "how am I going to get that cake done?"
I'm fine, I have a fractured leg, but nothing that won't be completely healed in a few months.  
I'd received an Icing Smiles email two weeks earlier, which meant that there's a little kid far away from home in a hospital receiving treatment on their birthday for something pretty serious and their parents have reached out to Icing Smiles to arrange for a really special birthday cake.

This is me on a cake delivery being wheeled around by my friends Tracy Quisenberry from Icing Smiles and Cynthia Hsu, who along with two wonderful and dedicated interns Mariel and Mandakini did most of the heavy lifting on this cake

This is the spectacular Kylie.  Five months ago Kylie was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma.
I'd been following Kylie's story on Facebook, and it's utterly impossible not to fall in love with her and her amazing family. I was so struck by how much faith, love and courage they have and the enormous positivity and joy in their perspective. You really can't predict the timing and how the kids will be responding to their treatment on the day of their birthday, and Kylie was having a very rough day. It was also Mother's Day.  Bree's fondest wish for the day was for her sweet daughter to open her eyes, which she did, repeatedly.
Kylie's family along with Barbara Zobian from Candlelighters, NYC had done a beautiful job decorating her hospital room somehow making it festive and filled with love. Kylie's grandfather, Larry greeted everyone with big heart, open arms and stories for everyone.


"Kylie's favorite stuffed animals Turtle, Whoo Whoo (blue owl), meow meow, and chirp chirp... Kylie picked the names :) . She is in love w her animals and they all have special jobs to help her," mom Bree told me.

A seemingly tireless Tracy Quisenberry, loving force and founder of Icing Smiles, talks to mom, Bree, and the rest of the family after making the four-and-a-half hour drive down from DC to NYC for the landmark event.

This is Kylie's 2nd birthday cake.  It was also Icing Smiles 5,000th cake!
For me it was like coming full circle because I had the honor of making one of their first cakes four years ago.
Icing Smiles, a national, non-profit organization brightens the birthdays of children fighting cancer and other critical illnesses by supplying specialty birthday cakes for them and their siblings. Their goal of impacting not just the sick child, but their entire family, Icing Smiles makes it their mission to help create lasting memories and a day of normalcy despite hospitalization and illness.  Icing Smiles has over 5500 active volunteers across all 50 states delivering not just birthday cake, but real smiles for families undergoing an incredibly strenuous fight.

Clockwise from left: one of the amazingly upbeat nurses at the hospital, Tracy, Larry (grandfather/ambassador of good will), Chirp Chirp (valued member of Kylie's stuffed animal support team) and me.

We have a lot of stuffed animals around our house too, and pulled some in to model for us

Cynthia paints an ear with a powder pink food color mixed with lemon extract

Finishing up the details, a sea turtle from the San Diego Zoo gets his spots

Sweet fondant covered birds, ready for action

Inside: chocolate cake with layers of chocolate and vanilla buttercream

There's always a little bit of holding our breaths when its time for stacking...

Mom and Dad welcome us in as Kylie sleeps surrounded by love and her favorite stuffed animals.


The incredibly uplifting Barbara from Candlelighers, NYC compares the real Meow Meow to the cake version while Kylie holds on super tight to mom's hand

Usually we would make something on the scale of these beanie boos out of rice krispie treats covered in a sculpting chocolate and fondant and the turtles would be made out of cake.  For Kylie's cake we carved them out of Styrofoam, and covered them in chocolate and fondant in case she wasn't able to enjoy them on the day of her birthday, they would be there for her when she is more awake.
Someone commented on Kylie's facebook page recently that they "prayed that the tubes all over are soon replaced with fingerprint and cookie crumbs and instead of ventilators and moniter beeps all you hear are giggles and laughter."  I second that emotion.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FREE GIVEAWAY in honor of ICING SMILES


Classes from Marina Sousa (Just Cake), Anne Heap (Pink Cake Box), Charity George (Chef Charity), Kate Sullivan (Cake Power) and Elisa Strauss (Confetti Cakes)!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/KateSullivan_Giveaway

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY in honor of and to help raise awareness about *ICING SMILES, an outstanding nonprofit organization that has provided thousands of custom celebration cakes to families impacted by the critical illness of a child.
 

TO ENTER--easy!:
STEP ONE: Click here and Like ICING SMILES on Facebook 
STEP TWO: Click here to ENTER to WIN all 5 CRAFTSY Cake Decorating Classes 
ONE WINNER/5 CLASSES! The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Tuesday, April 29th.


Learn more about the difference they bake and how you can help at http://www.icingsmiles.org/ !  Lets help create more smiles!

Classes: The winner can choose one class from each instructor, of any of the Craftsy Cake Decorating Classes offered by Marina, Anne, Charity, Kate and Elisa.  
*A big thank you to Craftsy for facilitating our giveaway!!


I first learned about Icing Smiles in 2010, when they called and asked me to do a cake for an amazing little boy named Ben. Since then, in just four short years Icing Smiles has provided cakes and smiles to over 4,000 kids all over the country.
Parents Magazine covered the story of Ben's cake (click here to read the whole piece), and it starts like this: 
 "In case you ever doubted that cake has made the world a better place, here’s indisputable proof. Maryland-based Icing Smiles creates and delivers fabulously over-the-top cakes to kids battling major health problems."

Here is Ben laying eyes on his Mario Brothers Yoshi cake for the first time

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Picture of LOVE: Rolleiflex sl66 CAMERA CAKE

... because a bite is worth a thousand words.
My husband is an amazing photographer. He creates a whole and wondrous, completely believable worlds often using tiny model railroad figurines.  For his birthday I wanted to combine two of his greatest passions: photography and being an especially wonderful dad.
That's a father-son portrait in the 7 inch wide "camera lens" below:

The cake really cried out to be painted in a James-Bondian Gold, for that extra Midas touch.

The sketch




The body of the camera is made of two stacked square tiers of Malted Milk cake (recipe from Jenny McCoy----soooo delicious!) filled with Caramel Buttercream (made with the most irresistible caramel sauce from Tahana Caramels).
The "camera back" is where you would typically find the film, but in this case it is a box made out of gingerbread with two gingerbread shelves to hold many little figures with little stories played out David's iconic photography.  Although the model railroad bride & groom figures that we had as one of our wedding cake toppers didn't make the final cut, (because the toy bride broke her leg).

Bride & Groom model railroad figures used as cake topper

Here I am with our sweet genius friend, Ron who came to help celebrate the birthday, and of course helped with the heavy lifting of the cake to the table.
camera photographs by Gail Albert Halaban

Here intern Mariel with the cake...still being developed--- (he he he).