Thursday, April 1, 2010

inspiration + challenge = yum!

So I thought St. Patty's week was my busiest?  This one just topped it!  I knew I had dozens of cookies to do, but I was so excited to try another cake!  My friend, Robin asked me to do a cake for Erin, who is visiting with her family from NJ.  Her birthday was last week and we surprised her with an Amy Butler inspired cake.  There are so many beautiful designs from which to choose, I just decided to "eenie meenie minie mo" it!  And here is what I landed on.
Robin also said Erin loves Etsy and Martha Stewart style.  Away I went!  This is the first time I really had no idea where to begin.  Well, I knew she wanted a carrot cake and I had an idea of my color scheme.
Very "etsy, Martha, and Amy B" all wrapped up in one!

Um, and guess what???  This talented mama is a visual design director for a cool company. Intimidation factor just sky rocketed!!

This carrot cake was more dense than
a typical cake so it didn't feel tall enough.
I added a third layer and it felt right.
I prepared a fourth, but I decided to crumble it to make
Easter cake pops with my kids (hope I get to it).
All crumbled and ready for frosting (that's another post!)...

So this is one of those times when I will go from a started project right to the finish with no photos of the process!  I hate when this happens, but I was on a deadline...naptime was all I had to get this done.  It took me 45 minutes to color the frosting alone!  The cake was for dinner at 5 and it was 1:30.  I tired my kids out that morning.  Luckily, it was a gorgeous day!  They slept for 3 hours . This never happens.  It was a miracle.  
This is the first coat.

I struggle so much with smoothing the buttercream.  I have not yet dealt with fondant (remember cookies are my specialty) and frankly, I don't care for the taste/texture of it.  So learning about it never appeals to me.  Homemade buttercream has such a wonderful flavor that I hate to deviate.  So that leads me to continue the smooth struggle. I realize that one day I will have to get past the fondant intimidation, but for now, I will struggle with smoothing buttercream and just enjoy that unsmoothed taste.

So I tried a new technique to smooth it.  It's called the "paper towel" method.  Yep, Viva towels, in particular.  Here's the finished product.
Yes, the lighting is different, but look at that smoothness!
Not perfect BUT so much smoother than I've ever done!
When I had that coat done, I felt so much better.
Remember - there are no in between pictures.  So sad.
It was an interesting little thing...but I think
it had and "etsy" feel.
The top...just winging it!
The other side.  I'm usually so symetrical.
I really stepped out of my box on this.

I carried it over to Robin's on the cake plate.  There was a slight breeze and it was quite heavy.  We made it safe and sound.  We hid it in the office until after dinner.  Erin had no clue.  It was fun!

Thanks, Robin for having us over for dinner.
Your friends are delightful!
Happy Birthday, Erin!


  1. The Paper Towel trick is amazing! Any chance you'd share the buttercream recipe?

    The finished product is fantastic. I love the patterns on the fabric; no wonder you were inspired.