Decorating a cake can seem like a very daunting task. But I say, not so! You can have a wonderful cake without putting tons of time into it. Or you can spend your time and make intricate cakes. I’ve done both. There can be pleasure in viewing the cake that took you 4 hours to decorate. However, I no longer long for that pleasure, lol. I want something that looks nice, uses perhaps a little creativity, and doesn’t take forever.
I would like to show some pictures of the cakes I have made in the past. The majority of them are gf cakes. I’m not a spectacular artist, and these definitely aren’t the work of a professional cake decorator. That’s my point. You can do this, too.
This cake was for Andy’s graduation from the fire academy. Unfortunately, that’s all I remember about it. (Pre-gf)
I can’t remember if the bride was gf or not. I do remember that I found that not only is fondant hard to work with, it is also extremely disgusting. I made this cake for my little brother’s wife’s bridal shower. It’s the Wonder Doll mold from Wilton. You could make something like this without it, though, by baking a cake in a bowl. However, the Wilton pan for this has a tube that runs through the middle to help the middle cook. This doll was just a half doll with a pick (from the cake pan set). You decorate her body with the icing, too. This cake required three different types of icing: the fondant, the buttercream, and a royal icing (I think) to make the flowers. Those I made ahead of time and let dry, and then pasted them on with the buttercream (including for her hair and bouquet). I have since said if I ever do one of these again, I will either make bumps on the skirt out of buttercream, or find some candy to make them out of and then cover with buttercream. But this was such a beautiful cake, it was a shame to eat it anyways.
Now, I know this one isn’t gluten-free, because it has Oreos and Twizzlers on it. But, it could be made gf, with Mi-Del gf chocolate sandwich cookies and some gf licorice. This was the last birthday of 2004 that I made a cake (Andy ends our streak in July). I started really baking gf that fall, and it didn’t take long before I considered myself fairly proficient at gf baking.
I made a gf red velvet cake for my Grandma in January of 2005. Unfortunately, I only have pictures of us consuming it, lol.
Bob the Builder was gluten-free, as are all cakes from here on out. Bob took me 4 hours to decorate by myself. It was the last time I made a cake that I had to pipe a thousand little stars.
And because Bob wasn’t enough cake for everyone, and my mom loves chocolate cake, I made another one for that party. Not fancy, but I made ocean waves out of the icing and put Shark Tale sprinkles on top.
2006 – I took the more laid-back approach to cake decorating. instead of spending 4 hours making a Thomas-shaped cake, I bought (for a couple of dollars) a Thomas train on a track from the Wal-Mart bakery. So, totally cool, right? A toy on top of the cake. Also, the tradition of Peeps on Braden’s cake was born. You will also notice a sun made out those candy orange slices.
I made my own baby shower cake. Not very exciting, but I was 9 months pregnant. It’s decorated with gummy bears and pacifiers.
We held Carter’s 1st birthday party at the fire station, because Andy was working that day. This is one of those peel-apart cupcake cakes. It didn’t really take that long to decorate, because I was not concerned with making perfect stars (like I was with Bob or Blues Clues). I saved some more time by decorating with Skittles.
Now that Carter is a little bigger, and “helps” me in the kitchen, I have a little more time luxury than I had last year in creating cakes. Also, I had a dream (in January) detailing Braden’s birthday party, including the cake. That was nice – I was creative in my sleep. On Saturday, I realized there might be too many people for the 2-layer 9×13 cake I had made. So at 11:00 am, Braden and I raced to the kitchen and made a 2-layer 9 inch round cake (this one chocolate). We thought we would have enough time to let it cool for awhile and then decorate it before heading to the park to decorate for the party. Well, not so. My oven was being totally stupid, and I had to bake the cakes for an extra 25 minutes! So, we took warm cakes to the park and I iced them there. About a half hour into the party, I decorated the cakes (there wasn’t room for the decorations with the lids on). I’m well pleased with these cakes. I had bought some pirate toys from the Dollar Tree, and made eye patches (with chocolate fudge frosting) on the Peeps. So, I had Pirate Peeps! They were a hit, and so were the cakes. When Roben Ryberg’s new cookbook comes out, you will want it. These cakes are from that book. And let me tell you, they are the best cakes. The only reason people know they are gluten-free is they know I wouldn’t be making something that isn’t.
It’s surprising, to me, how many times I have failed to take pictures of the cakes before they got eaten. There should have been lots more to show you, but I think you’ve gotten the idea. Anyone can decorate a cake. You can do a lot or a little – have fun and use your creativity. If you’re making the cake for a child, utilize his or hers favorite candies or a toy on the top. Even some adults love toys (my husband included).