Ph.D.-serts | Blue & Green Mustach 1st Birthday Party | Tampa Wedding Bakery

Mustache parties are so popular right now!  Here’s a cute one for a first birthday using black, gray, lime green, and blue.

Evan's birthday spread!

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Ph.D.-serts | Eiffel Tower Cake Tutorial | Tampa Wedding Bakery

I’ve been waiting to post this cake because the tutorial for it was being published in the July 2014 ICES Newsletter.  The newsletter has just been released so I’m happy to share the cake with you now!

An engagement cake for a couple getting married in Paris. Continue reading

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Ph.D.-serts | My Sunshine Birthday Cake | Tampa Wedding Bakery

A few weeks ago, I were asked to create a cake with the theme “You Are My Sunshine.”  I love the design Cora’s Mommy came up with!

You Are My Sunshine Birthday Cake

The 2-tier cake was iced in buttercream and decorated with fondant dots and diagonal stripes.  I topped the cake with a smiling sun with gum paste rays.  And the flavors?  Vanilla cake with fudge filling and red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.  Sure to be crowd pleasers!

Ph.D.-serts specializes in cookies, cakes, treats, grooms cakes, wedding cakes and treats for Tampa, FL and surrounding areas including but not limited to Wesley Chapel, Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Brandon, Lakeland, Pasco County and Hillsborough County.

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Children’s Motorcycle Birthday Cake

A few weeks ago, we were asked to make a cake for a young boy’s motorcycle-themed birthday party.  We were given full artistic license to do whatever we wanted so we began doing some Google image searches to gather ideas.  There are SOOOO many adult motorcycle cakes but very, very few cakes for children.  And sometimes, flames & tires are just not what you need for a two-year-old boy’s party.

So we decided to go with a checkered flag theme:

Motorcycle-themed birthday cake for a child's party

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Rubber Ducky Bubble Bath Cake

Here’s a fun cake we made for a little girl turning 1!  Most kids carry around their favorite blanket or teddy bear, but not Lulu!  She carries around her favorite rubber ducky!  So we designed her birthday cake around it and even topped it with a new rubber ducky for bathtime.

Lulu's rubber ducky birthday cake!

The bottom tier was iced in blue buttercream and accented with darker blue and yellow polka dots.  The top tier was decorated with fondant “wooden” planks to make a wooden bathtub.  And the whole cake was covered with buttercream “bubbles.”  The rubber ducky topper is an actual rubber ducky that Lulu was able to play with when the party was over and the cake was eaten.

 

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Hungry Caterpillar Cake for Icing Smiles

We are proud supporters of Icing Smiles, a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child.  Basically, a family applies to receive a special celebration cake, and bakers volunteer to do the cake for FREE!  It’s really an amazing program – especially considering how many bakers willingly devote their time and resources to make others smile.

We have had the opportunity to bake 2 cakes for Icing Smiles and the most recent one was for an Hungry Caterpillar party. Fun!  The family asked for vanilla cake with strawberry cream filling, but left the design completely up to us.  Here’s what we created for baby Eleanor who was turning 1:

The front of Eleanor's Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday cake! Continue reading

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2013 ICES Certification Exam

In early August, Melanie shut down the bakery, loaded up the car, and headed to Kentucky to take a rigorous 8-hour skills exam called the Certification Exam.  The exam is hosted by the International Cake Exploration Society (ICES) in an effort to encourage its members to “develop their talents in the sugar arts, acquire new sugar art skills, and strive for excellence in cake decorating.”  The candidates are vying for the prestigious titles of Certified Master Sugar Artist (CMSA) or Certified Sugar Artist, but the process doesn’t start when the clock starts…no, no…it starts at least 1 year prior to the exam!

Over a year ago, Melanie registered to take the exam in Kentucky, and over the last 8 months, she has been perfecting her “Plan” for the exam.  Each candidate has to carefully plan which skills they will perform during the exam, where the skills will be placed on the display pieces, etc.  It doesn’t sound very difficult, but don’t underestimate the trickery involved with choosing your 8 best skills and incorporating them into an aesthetic cake design.  There is a fine balance between showing your talent and going way overboard (and wasting time) too.

The candidates must write up their plan and submit it to the adjudicators for approval.  While the adjudicators are there to help the candidates, they can only do so much.  During the approval process, they help ensure the candidates are following all the rules so they are not disqualified and offer some advice where they can.  But they can not tell from a drawing and description if the work displayed will be up to CMSA standards or not have quite enough detail for certification to be awarded.  That, my friends, is up to the candidate.

So when August finally arrives, the candidates have practiced and thought the exam through until they can do their skills with their eyes closed (or at least, that’s the ideal situation).  They load their vehicles and head to the exam location, which moves each year.

Melanie, her husband Adam, and their 4-month-old baby Hailee drove the 12 hours to Lexington, KY and arrived one day prior to the exam.  These are the cakes Melanie created during the exam:

Mel's 3-tier Certification display Continue reading

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Sparkly Beach Wedding Cake

Are you having a beach wedding and want a simplistic, elegant cake?  But maybe you also want a little sparkle and pizazz??? Here’s the cake for you!

Just the right amount of sparkle in this beach-themed wedding cake

The cake was iced in buttercream and covered with coarse sugar.  The sugar naturally catches the light and looks great at any reception!  Then, the cake was adorned with fondant seashells and a fondant starfish topper.

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Ahoy, It’s a Boy! Baby Shower Cake

We love creative party ideas, and we recently had the honor of creating a cake for an adorable nautical-themed baby shower!  The theme was Ahoy, It’s a Boy!  How cute is that?! We were given 100% free artistic license in decorating the cake as long as we used red, navy blue, and brown.  Here’s what we created:

Ahoy, It's a Boy! cake for a nautical-themed baby shower.

The boat topper was a sugar replica of decorations used at the shower.  The cake was iced in buttercream and decorated with fondant retro dots and stripes.  Everything you see is edible!

And the flavors were white almond cake with Bavarian cream filling in the top tier and chocolate cake with raspberry cream filling in the bottom tier.  Yum!

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Preparing for Your Wedding Cake Design Consultation

Preparation is the key to a successful wedding cake design session.  Here are our tips to ensure you get the cake you’ve always dreamed of:

1.  Do your cake research.

Look at pictures of cakes until your eyes hurt!  Pick out a few of your favorites and bring them with you to your appointment.  Don’t bring 50 photos though…that’s not helping your cake decorator see your vision.  Try 10 or fewer.

An elegant wedding cake covered with fondant and adorned with scrollwork, fondant drapes, and real seashells.

2.  Do your bakery research.

Once you have an idea of what you want your cake to look like, start researching local bakeries to find ones you’d like to work with.  Even if they don’t have a cake similar in their photo gallery, does it look like they are capable of decorating your dream cake?  Will their prices fit within your cake budget? Check out their reviews!  Are their previous brides disappointed, content, happy, or THRILLED?

A classy, elegant wedding cake covered with white fondant and decorated with black and red fondant.

3.  Plan your time wisely.

We recommend sitting down for a tasting & design consultation with a minimum of 2 cake decorators.  Don’t go with the first one you sit down with (even if they’re awesome like us).  I mean, this is the FUN part of wedding planning – who doesn’t love cake?!  And make these appointments at least 6 months prior to your big day. Many cake decorators book up months in advance so don’t set yourself up for disappointment if you wait too late and all the “good ones” are booked.

Andrea's elegant bridal shower cake with Damask, hand-piping, and fondant work.

4. Bring your inspiration & information

Bring everything you can to the cake tasting that will help your cake decorator see your vision for you dream cake.  Cake decorators are awesome and fun people, we know, but we are not mind readers.  Bring color swatches, your wedding invitation, pictures of the cakes you like, pictures of reception decor, etc.  Know approximately how many cake servings you’ll need and how much you’d like to spend on the cake.

Elegant wedding cake with pink & orange flowers and an oversized bow.

5.  Does the shoe fit?

Ok, you’ve sat down with the cake decorator, designed your dream cake, and tasted his/her cakes.  First of all, does the cake taste good?! Secondly, do you feel comfortable with this decorator?  If your personalities clash, you might be better off finding another decorator that is more suited to you. This might be the last time you meet face-to-face with the decorator so do you trust that she a) understands your vision and b) is competent enough to bring that vision to reality? And third, does the dream cake fit in the budget?

And last, but not least, if you’re having trouble narrowing down your own cake vision, use your resources.  There are tons of wedding magazines and websites at your fingertips.  Try TheKnot.com or WeddingWire.com for starters.  And we all know that Pinterest is a bride’s best friend.

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