Tag Archives: fondant

Lego Pirate Cake

Lego Pirate Cake

I have held this cake post hostage for 5 months.  Im not sure why I have taken so long to post it, its one of my favorite cakes ever!  This Lego Pirate cake is a real eyeful.  Its design is four-sided and has so much detail to find on each turn it was hard not to be click heavy with my camera.

This cake was for a cute little boy, Will, that lives down the hall from me and is a playmate of my son’s.  His mom, Nicole is a super chic lady.   When we sat down to together to discuss the cake we instantly clicked and the ideas flowed easily.   I squeezed all of those ideas into this little cake and think its one of the best original cakes I’ve ever executed.  The party theme morphed from just pirate to Lego Pirate after Nicole’s husband designed a Lego Pirate invitation for the party.  I instantly knew that I wanted to do a peel away Lego wall on the cake, its a cake design that I’ve always thought was whimsical and fascinating for little kids to see, as it looks like the cake is made from Legos and the sugar covering is peeling off.  Sometimes its paired with a construction theme and it looks like the Lego Men are constructing the cake.   I also knew that Im not the type of cake artist that needs to recreate what is readily available to feel that my cake is successful.  I had no intentions to make Lego Men or Lego Blocks when my design called for true to scale anyway.

This cake is full of pirate elements like a treasure map, gold coins and pirate ship.  The design was really about mixing all those elements together and balancing the colors and pieces.  Each side is a little scene.  With the back being the most surprising, the fondant is peeled away to suggest that the cake is made from a pirates booty of Lego Bricks.  Heavily guarded by Lego Pirates the bricks take on a sense of treasure themselves.

By using real Lego Men and Lego Bricks I made it a little easy on myself in the details.  But Im never one to take the easy road, I enjoy a challenge and put a lot of work into creating more elements on a cake than I typically would.  The treasure map dashes around the second tier to locations that include a parrot, anchor and finally the infamous red X.

One of the biggest obstacles I face on cakes is coming up with innovate ways to create an element. While its easy to just mold a large hunk of fondant into something, I wanted the treasure chest and pirate ship to be delicious too. Both are made from Little Debbie brownies.  I needed to make those pieces quickly and I wanted them to be sturdy.  The Little Debbies molded like play doh in my hands and the fondant laid on smooth and effortless.  I think it was a better base to work with than rice crispy treats.  At the party I knew they were a big hit when all the children tried to claim them as their cake piece.

My daughter being 10 years old and my son being only 2, I have a lot more experience doing girl themed cakes.  I surprised myself on how much I really enjoyed creating this cake.  Boy themes are growing on me!  This cake could easily be created for a pirate party without the Lego theme.  Just imagine a skull and bones as the flat topper and remove all the Lego toys.

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Hello Kitty Cake

Hello Kitty Cake

Just a short but sweet post to show off a cute little cake I made for a dear friend.  This 6 inch 2 layer cake is the purrrfect size for a small get together with friends to celebrate a birthday.   For this one I used a white cake mix with  1/3 of the batter set aside and mixed with dry strawberry jello.  Then I poured the strawberry flavored batter in the pan already filled with plain white batter.  This gives it a bullseye of strawberry and a surprise when it is cut.  The icing is cream cheese icing  and all the pink piping and dots are also colored from a little bit of dry strawberry jello.  The strawberry jello made it a beautiful pink color that has an orangish tone.

Hello Kitty Cake

Creating a flat fondant topper like this is super easy.  Just find the images online.  Scale the internet window to the correct size and lightly trace the image on to paper.  Then use the paper as a template to cut out the topper in fondant.

Enjoy!

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Tea Party Treat Toppers

I am so ecstatic to share these beautiful tea party treat toppers.  Michelle at Daydream Believers, a fellow mom, blogger and crafter extraordinaire asked me to design treat toppers and cake decorations for her daughter’s 3rd birthday party.  Since we speak the same birthday party language, it was a lot of fun working out the details for the toppers with her.   Michelle used the toppers I sent to add to her own fresh-baked treats and cake, you can see her party on her site HERE.

All of the toppers were made from fondant dried hard enough to ship and still yummy to eat.  I presented Michelle with 8 sketched topper ideas, to which she chose these 3 styles.  Each one was a piece of art!  The most traditional and elaborate topper was compiled with 3 layers of fondant and tiny hand rolled roses.  So exquisite!  To add an element of formality and sparkle I painted details of golden luster dust on each topper.

The larger teapot was for the cake, Michelle added it to a Bundt cake.   I found this a very fitting cake style for a traditional tea party.  I also made oversize pearls painted with pearl luster dust.

Inspired by the beautiful colors that I mixed for the toppers I couldn’t help experimenting with some flower techniques, the results were these beautiful brooch like blooms with pearl nonpareils centers.

 

Just because you don’t have cake artist in your town, doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful sweet treats at your next party.  Ordering fondant toppers from an Etsy seller is very easy to do!  Please contact me at nberryid at gmail.com if you would like to order toppers or cake decorations of any kind.

 

 

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Where The Wild Things Are Party

LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!

For Hudson’s 2nd party we choose a Where The Wild Things Are theme.  Always a classic and beloved story, we have given the book by Maurice Sendak as gifts many times.  I was not only proud to do this party for my son but to share it with thousands of readers on a very popular party site called Amy Atlas Events.  Amy Altas choose my party for a featured guest dessert submission, you can see the feature HERE!  It was a big honor to be featured among the best parties on the web!  If you don’t follow her blog you must check it out, and by the way her first book is coming out this week!

I have to give some credit to my talented sister Jes again for helping me come up with ideas for parties, we often work together on my niece Emma’s parties and I always bounce ideas from Jessica for my own as well.  She mentioned adding fur to the back of the invite and it was a brilliant idea that I can’t believe I haven’t come up with before!  So here is our awesome Wild Thing invite:

I can only imagine the Monster Party possibilities for this treatment on cards! To make the back of the card I cut the fur patches out the size of the card before I affixed the fur to the back of the card with spray mount.  Sticky fingers and fur can be a little messy, so if you try this, use utmost care in handling, have everything laid out on kraft paper (paper bags cut open-work too) and don’t rush!  To make the front of the card I scanned in images from the book to use on paper goods and for the first time ever I purchased a font to use in Photoshop.  This was a big deal for me, as I am self-taught in photoshop and pretty clueless to much of what Graphic Designers learn in school.  I just make it up as I go along and do what I need to do to get the job done!  These cards were hand delivered but an oversized envelope would allow for extra room the fur needs, I don’t think it would need extra postage, it wasn’t heavy but again, I didn’t try to mail any.

The fur started an inspirational goal for this theme, I continued searching for ways to express the wild forest feeling of the story through texture.

Real wood is a perfect natural texture, so I hiked it over to the New York Flower District to shop for some wood cuts.  My scores were a (very heavy) tree cut to use as a cake stand, a few birch branch cuts I used to stretch a paper bunting across and shorter ones to use as small display stands.  The flower district is an amazing couple of blocks just south of Madison Square gardens, it used to be a very large district but like most of Old New York times are changing, and there is only a couple of blocks left.  You must go early, like before 8am early, by 11am the vendors are putting their leftovers back into the coolers and shutting down for the day.

I repeated the faux fur from the invite as a runner on the desert table, which read more as grass than monster fur because it was green but it worked with the theme regardless.

What about that exotic background?   I don’t think it would have mattered what anything else on the table looked like, the background made it super impressive. All different greens, shapes and sizes and it was all paper, This made it inexpensive but it was all handmade, which made it time-consuming.   I used tissue paper for the top canopy foliage and the leaves, origami flowers, vines and fan flowers were made from construction paper.  You can find cheap packs and multiple shades in teacher/parent supplies stores.   Its better quality than a pack of typical construction paper but not as expensive as archival scrap-book paper, so I didn’t feel bad about tossing it.

Hudson’s party was a small soiree of his playmates,  I have a hard time doing parties small….I can’t help but to make a big production regardless of the guest size but I did restrain myself in the amount of sweets for this party: just cake, cake pops and a take home cookie, this was plenty for 25 guests.  Another table held an assortment of snacks….. and plenty of wine….gotta have the mommy juice around when the kids out number you.

The cake was a two tier yellow butter cake, buttercream icing and fondant decorations.  Each tier represented a part of the book, the bottom was the forest in buttercream & fondant, the top was fondant scales in the style Maurice Sendak illustrated on the main Wild Thing, Carol’s legs and the topper was Max’s crown simply made from fondant and dried till it was able to stand on its own.   Inside the cake was multi layered in yellow and orange representing the shirt also from Carol.

Cake pops are fun but not as simple to make as people pretend them to be.  This is my second time making pops and I’m still learning the techniques to make them as good as Bakerella.  I did learn that candy melt needs to be thinned out with shortening to make it dip smoother.  I also realized that the cake crumb has to be more finely crumbled in order for the ball to roll smooth….after I finished these.  So all that being said, here are my little cake pops!  I cut triangles from fondant and placed them around the top of the pop to represent  Max and his “king of all wild things” crown.  The pops are in a tin wrapped in natural birch bark that I picked up at the NY flower district, but you can purchase it here on www.Save-on-Crafts.com.  Which is an awesome resource for building party decorations and dessert tables, by the way.  I see many of these same items at the NY Flower District but I can get them for subway fare instead of shipping and handling and its also fun to haggle the vendors on pricing :)

The next treat was one that I probably worked harder on then the cake,  my Carol cookies were super detailed.  A mix of fondant and royal icing, I layered on each facial element to give just the right 2D/3D look.  My favorite part was being able to use the Wilton grass tip #233 to zip through the last element, his fur mane.  After the cookie set up, I packaged them in standard 4 inch wide treat bags and topped them with a card stock topper that I designed and printed using an image from the book and the famous words “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!”  I found it very fitting to give as a departing favor.  On the back it said “Thank you for joining us at Hudson’s 2nd Birthday”

Another favor the children took home was a set of twig colored pencils.  I love these pencils and have also used them as favors at Macy’s Woodland Fairie party.  My husband and I laugh about the twig pencils being a “chic and new idea”,  because you can pick up all sorts of wood pencils and rural decor at a Tennessee or Kentucky truck stop.  So we call them,“Country Chic”, LOL, we are from Tennessee so we can make fun of it all we want :P

A main element for the party was an 8′ long 30″ high vinyl banner with illustrations from the book. I scanned & uploaded my pdf image and ordered the banner on sale at Vista Print.  I arranged these monsters specifically for their relationship to the guests.  The Wild Things were literally the size of the two year olds.  I double sided taped the banner to two cardboard science project boards and used it for a background where the kids played in the living room.  The kids loved it and now the banner lives wrapped around the 24″ cement column in our Brooklyn loft style apartment.  Hudson wouldn’t let me put it away when he saw me rolling it up after the party.

AND here’s the birthday boy, Hudson Oliver Berry, age two!  He had a ball at his party with all his little friends.  Luckily I caught his picture before the party because he had too much fun to hold still during the party ;)

As a very special birthday gift, Hudson received for his second birthday an Eames Elephant!  If you’d like to learn more about this elephant you can read my post about it HERE.

Lastly is a picture of what our guests saw first, a forest covered door that was my husband’s creation.  I solely let him have creative control over this decoration.  I had pictured the leaves arranged different when he explained that he wanted to put leaves on the door.  I was so happy with how it turned out and glad that I let him just do it.  We left it up for about a month!

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Happy Birthday Hubby Cake

We celebrated my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago.  He’s never too picky about a cake, he always tells me to just use the chance for experimenting a new idea.  Sometimes I let my daughter design the cake and she could have easily done this one.  I was inspired by a beautiful paper party napkin with colorful beaded shapes that I interpreted to be twisted streamers.  It was so simple to cut the irregular oval shapes in fondant and line them up marching up and down a plain white cake.  I would definitely recommend this as a DYI :)  Enjoy!

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Snowflake Cake

One Christmas years ago, my husbands grandmother asked me if I would like to make the holiday cake for their family’s christmas dinner.  For as long as GranNana has had her own family she has made them a special coconut cake for christmas dinner.  So, YES I was very honored and nervous she was passing the torch on to me.  This was very early in my cake making life but my red velvet Snowflake cake knocked the socks off everyone!

Snowflake Cake by Nikki Berry

 
 I didnt want to try to recreate the coconut cake that my husband’s GranNana had made for over 50 years.  I needed to make something new and different and spectacular.  I knew that it would be white and red velvet, but it was a wedding cake covered in glistening snowflakes that inspired me to attempt a new decorating medium.   All of my cakes are a learning experience, I am self-taught in each technique I pick up.  This was my frist time using royal icing and although Im still nowhere near a pastry artist is piping skills, these simple snowflakes turned out just right.   The cake sat so proudly in my husband’s aunt’s antebellum formal dinning room and most of the 50 family member thought that years cake was ordered from a bakery.
 

Red Velvet Snowflake Christmas Cake

 
To make the royal icing snowflakes I traced images of illustrated snowflakes under wax paper.  I chose the best looking and unbroken snowflakes for the sides and piled full and partial snowflakes on the top.  It was a happy accident that it turned into a  lovely topper.
 
 

Royal Icing Snowflakes

This has always been one of my favorite cakes, I repeated it ( I dont usually repeat cakes) for Macy’s NewYears  Tea Party and plan to make it anytime I get the chance to show it off again. 

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December 1, 2011 · 10:59 pm

Halloween Madhatter Cake

Halloween Madhatter Birthday Cake

It’s offically Halloween season!   We are currently soaking up the rays in Seaside Florida but our thoughts are all about our decorations, costumes and treats.  Here I am sharing a Halloween Madhatter birthday cake I made a few years ago.  Madhatters or Topsy Turvy cakes are tough.  There are a few different techniques to make them.  Well, I’ve done them all and cant suggest one over the other.  All I’m going to say is this: google some cakes tutorials, try a practice cake first and just know that cakes are evil, gravity is against you and it might be a short-lived glory…..do the assembly just before the party!    I’ve also included the sketch I made to design the cake.  I usually do a sketch for client approval, nothing fancy but just like any other design I have to work it out on paper. 

Halloween Madhatter Cake Sketch

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Manhattan Cowgirl Birthday Party

Macy's 6th Birthday Cake

Fall is on its way and it has me thinking about cooler weather and fall parties.  Hot cider & cinnamon doughnuts, hay rides & barn parties.  A Cowgirl theme seems like a perfect fall birthday party theme to me.  Macy’s 6th birthday was Cowgirl themed…..but in NYC….in August…. and those city kids loved it! This is the first birthday party she had in NYC.  We had flown back home to Tennessee the previous 2 years.  If we had went to Tennessee for this party, it surely would have been in a barn, as we have plenty of family and friends with barns!  But Macy’s party was a “Manhattan Cowgirl” party, on a beautiful roof top garden of our apartment building in Lower Manhattan. This was the last party that she invited both boys and girls from her class.  Besides the heavy dose of pink the party it was gender friendly in games and activities and of course I didnt send the boys home with the pink boot favor bag…I got red ones for them and I used red and blue in some of the decorations too.

Macy's Cowgirl Birthday Cake

Cowgirl Cake

The centerpiece of the party was her Cowgirl cake made with layers of cow print, handkerchief paisley and rope detail.  The topper was a fondant Cowgirl hat.  For this cake I did a buttercream and fondant combination on the icing and decorations

Cowgirl Hat Invitation

For the invitation I choose a water colored hat by Julia D. Azar Designs.  I promise I really do make her invitations myself almost every year, but this was the year after the very labored Under the Sea shaker invitations and I needed a year off!

Lower Manhattan Roof Top Party

Macy's 6th Birthday On Our Lower Manhattan Roof Top

Who needs a barn with hay bales when you have this view for a party?  We were proud to host many parties on the roof top and club room of our building at 71 Broadway.  The view is amazing!  In the top picture the water beyond is the Hudson River and the New York Harbor.  In the bottom picture is the space that Trinity Church sits in and just to the right of the large black building you can see the Empire State building. Not visible from this picture, but we have many others, is a view right into Ground Zero.

Cowgirl (and Boy) Games

To keep the kids busy we played a few games.  “Lassoing the Horse” was tossing a hula hoop over a stuffed horse.  There was a “Stick Horse Race” in which they had to gallop (skip) to win. And a pull string pinata, I only do the pull string kind for safety (I was the kid that got hit in the face with the pinata stick growing up).  We’ve had some funny pinata stores over the years, this year the kid that grab hold of the magic string pulled so hard the pinata horses body came detached from its head.  Jake and I thought it was halirous….a few other parents watching…not so funny.

Cowgirl and Cowboy Dress up pictures

During the party I photographed many of the guests in Cowgirl or Cowboy costumes that we provided.  Some of the girls even showed up in their own cowboy boots, that made it even better.  My sister changed the color of the picture to sepia and added their names in a cowboyish style font in Picnik. Macy sent the prints as keepsakes in their thank you notes.

Macy's 6th Birthday Cowgirl Party Wear

 Planing for Macy’s party outfit is always apart of the party process.  This year she was ecstatic that we ordered her a real hat and boots from Texas!  Pairing them with a tutu and embellished tank made them more her style and her Cowgirl Party outfit was so cute that we had her picture made in it.
YA’LL COME BACK, YA HEAR!

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Woodland Fairy Birthday Party

Macy’s Woodland Fairie Party

I am so pleased to share this birthday party with everyone!    Macy’s 9th birthday was a Woodland Fairie theme.  I think that you will find it an inspiration for a Woodland Party theme for a boy or girl.   In the previous 8 years of Macy’s birthday parties I had not done a fairy theme and I wanted to get one last little girl party in before they all became Hollywood Glamour and Spa Day parties. My vision was inspired by our favorite cafe and I felt that this type of fairy theme was more appropriate for a 9 year old girl than the tutu and wings type. As always my children’s parties are a big production in our home, we begin planing sometimes months in advance and I design and make nearly everything myself.   I hope you find an inspiring idea for your next party in this post.

Woodland Fairy Invitation

After the party theme was  approved by the birthday girl, I started with searching for the invitation that would set the style.  I usually make them myself but when I discovered the perfect invitation by B. Nute productions, I was very glad to let someone else take care of it for me.  I was interested in a invitation that was a more graphically lavish than what I can create and her whimsical and vintage style was exactly what I had in mind to set the tone for the party design, you can see her site and with many other beautiful designs here.

Macy’s Woodland Cake

This Woodland Cake is an original that I designed and created.  The bottom layer is a dummy cake covered in fondant, carved and hand painted to look faux bois.  It turned out fantastic!  Painting fondant is super easy, just the color gels and lemon extract is needed.  I enjoyed rendering in watercolor in design school and found painting the fondant to be a lot like that.  In fact I enjoyed painting this dummy cake so much that I think I’m going to do a little bit of real watercolor soon!  The top cake is chocolate (macy said to represent earth!) and has a white chocolate ganache layer before I added fondant.  I started doing ganache under my fondant cakes last year and I love everyone of them!  It gives the cake a more solid surface to except the fondant and Ive found it easy to build up any uneven sides or corners in the ganche.  I achieve an almost flawless fondant covering every time!  The number 9, toadstools and grass are fondant, the flowers are purchased from my favorite cake supplies store NY Cake on 22nd street in the flat iron district and the butterflies are hand piped chocolate from this tutorial from http://www.chefmommy-brandao.blogspot.com.

Woodland Fairie Dessert Table Details

The details really do make up this dessert table, I put a lot of thought into the display and vessel type to make sure the theme was strongly represented.  Fairy Dust in glass tubes hung from the branches and were part of the favors going home with the guests, printable straw flags cut to length made a perfect label.  I found this birch covered bowl at a shop in the NYC flower district and placed florist foam in it to display the Sparkly Fairy Wand cake pops.  The soda of choice for Woodland Fairies must be “root” beer!  Mine were served with a paper straw that I know you have never seen displayed like this before! The idea came to me to place the straws in tags by B.Nute productions simply out of need, as I had not found the perfect vessel to hold them all in a group!   Wood slices are a must have on any rustic or woodland table display.  Adding decorative stones and moss, it becomes a very complete Fairy Cake display

There were a few other support areas around our home that received some party decorating as well. Favor bags of simple paper sacks and printed labels sat at the door to pass out as guests left.  I choose to not clutter the dessert table with the extra Fairy Cakes and paper goods, but still thoughtfully displayed them on our kitchen island.  Guest were greeted with a small display of nature from a cake dome full of pine cones and other dried naturals, a birds nest and flowers.

Le Petit Cake Brooklyn, NY

For brunch we walked two blocks away to the cafe that inspired the Woodland theme.  This cafe design is so amazing, I cant believe that it is only two blocks from our home, it looks like it was imported from Disney World.  I padded the party time an extra hour to work in the walk and wait for our table.

Woodland Party Decorations

To make ordering easier on us and our server I gave the girls the choose of 5 basic brunch items and wrote them on little menu cards before we headed to the cafe.  The girls just showed the card to the server to place their order, genius right?   The menu card and welcome sign I designed were compliments to B. Nute productions Woodland Fairie tags.  I found the stick boarder on a web site offering public domain images from old books called http://www.fromoldbooks.org.  The Twig pencils were part of the favors the girls took home.

Macy and I brainstormed the idea of a Treasure Hunt for lost things.  Inspired by stories of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, we came up with the idea of trinkets and magical fairy items to search for.  My favorite item was the Rattle which represents “a baby’s first laugh”.  From the story of Peter Pan, this is when a fairy is born!  Gathering the items for the treasure hunt was a treasure hunt for me!  It was a lot of fun to do and most of the items were found in craft stores.  I used a border image from http://www.fromoldbooks.org again to design the sign and treasure hunt card that complimented our other party decorations.  The images on the treasure hunt card came from http://www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com, I love her images!

Fairy Houses Craft

The girls did a craft decorating fairie houses.  Macy has made real fairie houses in the woods at camp with Girl Scouts.  Those houses were made out of all natural materials like twigs and leaves.  We pre-painted small birdhouses dark brown to give a natural material feel but I felt that the girls would have more fun if the decorations were sparkly.

Woodland Fairy Dessert Table

Now that Macy is 9, she helps out a lot with the preparation of her parties (she made all the toadstools on the cake!).  She is a crafter like me and during one of our working days she sat beside me while I made the fabric bunting, turning my sewing scraps into fairy clothes,  They were quite impressive!  She also loves to share her opinion and ideas, for this party table she came up with the idea to place small sparkly pompoms hiding in the branches to represent our Woodland Fairies.  Our fairies were shy but you can see one of them above tucked in the berries.

What gave this dessert table its woodland presence was the sticks and wreath on the wall.  The Queen Fairy looks over the party with such grace!  I also found her from Graphics Fairy and spray mounted her to the same kraft paper as the table runner.  Tying it to a grapevine wreath made it look like a Woodland Portrait. Wondering how I got those sticks (that my wonderful husband gathered in Prospect Park for me) to hang on the wall?  I have some great pictures of how I made that and the wreath hang  that I will share in a Behind the Scenes of the Party post. I also made the felt toadstools for the dessert table and now sell them by the set on my Etsy Shop.

I hope you have enjoyed my daughters party pictures!  I have designed her parties for 9 years and my son’s for 1 year, as well as a few years of my nieces parties.  I am slowly getting all of my previous parties into blog posts, so be sure to check back often to see whats new!

 

UPDATE:  Due to much demand  I have decided to give away my treasure hunt printable for free!   You may download the file HERE

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Rose Petal Barbie Cake

Rose Petal Barbie Cake

I created this Rose Petal Barbie Cake for Macy’s 7th birthday.  She was my first Barbie cake using the Wilton Doll Cake mold.  This design is simple but creating all the petals are tedious. To make them I made three colors and three sizes.  They are formed by starting with a circle and then curling it and thinning out the edges to give it a natural shape.  My sister actually helped me crank them out and she added the leaf around the waist idea to conceal the area where doll waist meets cake.  Her dress is completed with a flower necklace.  I dont like to write on most of my cakes and it has become my signature to make a plaque to write a simple name.  For this Barbie I used the Wilton doll pick but changed the head with one of Macy’s real Barbie’s.  We snuck her to dinner that night and she was brought out by the wait staff singing Happy Birthday, Macy was so proud for everyone in the restaurant to see her fabulous Barbie cake!

Rose Petal Barbie Cake's Flower Necklace

Macy's Rose Petal Barbie Cake

I have a few other Barbie cakes that you’d love to see too!

Hawaiian Barbie and The Luau Pool Party

Mermaid Barbie and Mermaid Kelly in the Under the Sea Parties

Perfectly Pink Barbie and the Perfectly Pink Pool Party (coming soon)

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Under the Sea Birthday Party Invites + Mermaid Barbie Cakes

For my daughters 5th birthday the theme was Under the Sea.  I am only sharing the invitation and cakes from the party, but this was a fantastic pool party and a success with my daughter who is my biggest fan and littlest critic!

Under the Sea Invite Shaker

This party’s invtation is a very unique “shaker” card that we really sent through the mail.  As you can see from the profile shot above it is a thick card that required extra postage but arrived to our guests fine.  I believe I did write “hand cancel” on the envelopes to help them receive some TLC at the post office but who knows if that really helped!  These cards where on the complex side to create but they were worth it and were an impressive surprise for our guests to receive.  Heres how they came together:

Supplies:

  • 1/4 thin foam core board
  • colored scrapbook paper
  • transparency film
  • confetti
  • glue stick
  • xacto and cutting mat

To assemble:

The informational side of the card was designed and printed as a 5×5 square.  5″ squares were also cut out of the foam core, transparency film and unprinted scrapbook paper.  A center circle (a square would work too) was cut from the foam core and scrabookpaper.  And then it was like a sandwich, stacked up with the info face down glued to the foamcore, confetti sprinkled inside, transparency film to seal it and the scrapbook paper to cover and complete it.  Being our theme was Under the Sea, this was meant to look like a fish bowl but it could be reinterpreted for any theme.

Under the Sea Mermaid Kelly Doll cake

Under the Sea Cupcakes

I have mentioned before that my spoiled little mice get more than one cake for their birthdays because there are usually separate days of celebrating.  Macy had two parties her 5th year with this theme, one at school and one with family and friends. On her actual birthday she enjoyed Under the Sea character cupcakes at school and a Mermaid Kelly Doll cake at home with us.  This was my first Barbie type cake.  Little Kelly was easy to turn into a mermaid by simply covering her legs with individual scales made out of fondant, all her Sea friends were fondant also.  These characters were on the simple side of creation, by todays standards it takes much more complex cupcake toppers to impress.  (You can see some of my current cupcake work in my Yo Gabba Gabba cupcake masterpieces here)

Under the Sea Mermaid Barbie cake

There is an interesting story behind the real Under the Sea party that year.  It was one of a few times that we decided to return back home to Tennessee to celebrate with family and friends.  Flight delays and ultimately a flight cancellation nearly kept us from getting to TN.  When we did get there it was just a few hours before the party and without our luggage full of party supplies.  To save this party I picked up two pre-made cakes from a big box store, I think they were the Carebear cloud designs but they worked as ocean too.  I grabbed a new Barbie and some fondant and within an hour the cake was complete!   I hope that my emergency cake experience for this party can one day help someone else out if they are in a pinch to produce a custom cake.  Dont panic, just add to a ready made and no one will be able to  tell that it is a impromptu design!

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Hawaiian Birthday Party

Aloha Macy!

Its HOT!  Its summer here in the city and as we begin planning Macy’s 9th birthday party I thought it would be a great time to post her 8th birthday party, Aloha! A Luau Pool Party.  I bet there is alot of people planing a luau party this time of year, its the perfect summer theme and I hope you find ours inspiring!  We had her party at our community pool and it was a such beautiful venue that it didnt take much to decorate.

Macy's 8th Birthday Celebration

Hawaiian Party Table

There are a few consistent elements in Macy’s birthday parties, I always make the cake and the invitations are handmade.  This year was no exception,  hand cut hibiscus flowers were the front of the invites and the party info was on a medallion on the back. In her earlier years, our parties included a lot of  friends and family & I had to make about 5o invites.  But now that she’s older and we dont live near friends and family anymore her party guests are school friends and total less than 20 guests.  This years cake was a Hula Girl Barbie and she was so easy to make!  (I’ll talk more on her in a future SugarCoated post)

Luau Party Invataion

Hula Girl Barbie Cake

When it comes to buying party supplies, there are a lot of Luau and Hawaiian themes to choose from.  I tried to keep ours simple and I was very careful to not go overboard or cheesy. Lots of color is a given when you are do a luau, but since this was a girl’s party it was easy to add in more pink and orange to give it a focus. A few plain white tablecloths were a great investment I made a few years back and this was another party that I was glad we were able to use them.  The grass table skirt was safety pined to it and because it was cloth I didnt have to worry about the weight of it tearing a plastic tablecloth.  The party and favors included a lei and hibiscus hair clip and a flower printed tote to stuff with candy & treats from the pull string (the only kind I do) pink flamingo pinata. Cool treats like fresh fruit served in a half pineapple and Hawaiian Punch in a coconut shell cup was all that was needed to entertain these girls.  I could hardly keep them at the table long enough to even sing happy birthday, because they were very anxious to get in the pool and just have fun.

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Hudson’s Elmo Cake

Elmo First Birthday Cake

I have such spoiled little mice!  They often get two fabulous birthday cakes each year.  Its because their birthday parties and their actually birthday don’t always fall on the same day.  If this happens, we still celebrate on their birthday even if it’s just for us.

Elmo First Birthday Cake

 

The day Hudson turned one we celebrated his birthday at home, just us, his big birthday party  with friends and family happened a few weeks later ( and 900 miles away ) and it was an entirely different theme, “Arctic ONEderland”.    Hudson loves Elmo and I wanted to make him happy for his first cake.  Elmo’s fur was easy to create by piping out a thinned squiggly line of icing in a furry pattern.  But before I got going with that I had to make a few pieces of his face in fondant.  It was super important to me to get the shape of his eyes and nose perfect or he would look like a knock-off.  I often shy away from doing well known characters if I don’t think I can make them exact.  What made this Elmo more special was the 3D feeling of his eyes and nose coming forward and his mouth beneath the fur piping.  As I’ve said before when I do cakes that are just for us at home I usually do some experimenting. Sometimes I like to color my cakes as a surprise when they are cut & served. (you can see my white snow flake cake in red velvet in a future post)  I used a white cake mix and mixed a few of my blue gels to see if I could get an exact shade of blue that I use in his room.  It worked perfectly, but Hudson wasnt worried about it either way.  He was very excited to dig his hands in that yummy Elmo, no matter the color inside.

Inside the Elmo Cake

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A cake for ME!

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

My 29th birthday cake

 

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

Butterfly Cake

 

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

Swirling rainbow of butterflies

I love the month of May!  And it’s not just for the fantastic weather it usually brings, it’s a month of celebrations for me. Besides Mother’s Day I also have my wedding anniversary and birthday.  A couple of years ago I was itching to create a cake with butterflies, I found my birthday a perfect excuse to indulge in this.   My three-tiered cake of  buttercream cream frosting was the backdrop for a rainbow of swirling fondant butterflies and fondant letters that were inspired by paper quilling.  I had to allow time for the butterflies and letters to harden overnight, but other than that it was a piece of cake to create.  I even did a shortcut (that I would never do for someone else) and iced the layers all stacked together instead of individually before assembly.  I am often less of a perfectionist when I make cakes for myself or my husband.  I use these opportunities to experiment on flavors or techniques.  

So I have no problem making my own birthday cake, but Macy does have a problem with it.  She says that “you shouldnt make your own birthday cake” and has given me a hard time about it ever since I made that butterfly cake.  Last year I got lucky and attended a wedding on my birthday,  I had my fill of cake that day and didn’t need another.  This year I wanted to try a cake combo that I’d never made before, I found it a perfect time to create a cake anyway. Devils food cake with cream cheese icing, yummy! Cream cheese is my favorite icing, I love it with many different cake flavors besides carrot and red velvet.  Its delicious with a strawberry or a chocolate cake and it sets up firm in the fridge, so when it’s served it makes the perfect cut piece of cake. I made a point not to overdo the decoration on, I didnt want to make Macy angry with me. It work, she didn’t have a problem with the plain little pink cake, (that took me no time to make) that sparkled so prettily with just a coarse sugar topping.    

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

My 31st birthday cake

Cake by Nikki Berry

Devils food cake with cream cheese icing and coarse sugar topping

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