A Pile of Books Cake

I always found it remarkable during my early baking years to see photos of cakes that don’t actually look like cakes. I finally achieved that with this one – a graduation cake shaped like a pile of books! Reportedly during the graduation party, the mother of the graduate asked, “who is going to pick up the cake?” She didn’t know that the pile of books sitting on the counter WAS the cake.

This tiered celebration cake is a vanilla cake in disguise, with raspberry filling and buttercream. The hat is a chocolate cupcake in disguise. While the pages of the books and cake board are covered with a white fondant, the covers are a contrasting chocolate fondant that smell a bit like a Tootsie roll. The books and hat are then decorated with both hand painting and applique to achieve the final detailing. A special shoutout to Skylar for suggesting the second book be modelled after the CISC Handbook of Steel Construction, 11th Edition. Clearly, a Civil Engineering special.

A pile of books cake

Congratulations to Bikram on graduating from Civil Engineering! It was a pleasure to create this special tiered cake for you.

Sugar Lace Cakes

Flexible and edible, sugar lace has amazing detail. For quite some time I have been in awe of this decorating medium, and recently I finally got the chance to make some of my own. How it works is you mix up a paste and apply it to a silicone mat with the lace impression. Then you scrape away the excess and let the lace dry for a few hours (or speed things up by baking the mat in the oven on low heat). Once set, you remove the lace and get an intricate lace piece that’s completely edible.

Flexible sugar lace

I followed this up on a couple cakes. The first features a toasted coconut chocolate cake, decorated in edible lace, pink sugar carnations, and a big floppy bow. The result is fantastically elegant.

A modern lace cake

For my sister’s birthday, I experimented in creating a more playful design with a chocolate raspberry cake that features a layering of bright colours, Antwerp lace, and applique flowers.

Layers of bright colours, Antwerp lace and applique flowers
Antwerp Lace birthday cake

Queen of Sheba Chocolate Torte

The Queen of Sheba Chocolate Torte is sure to please any chocolate lover. It contains a lot of chocolate, but actually only a couple tablespoons of wheat flour. (Almond flour is used instead). Meringue is used to make it rise, as there are no chemical leaveners (baking powder, baking soda). The texture is crumbly and moist with a slightly gooey centre.

This unique type of cake (Reine de Saba) was first made by Julia Child in her book The French Chef. I used this recipe from famous baker and chocolate expert Alice Medrich, in her book Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker’s Guide to Chocolate. See my final cake below.

Queen of Sheba Chocolate Torte
Queen of Sheba Chocolate Torte

This beautiful torte is decorated by first crumb coating with a thickened (slightly cooled) chocolate glaze. Then the glaze is reheated to a liquid consistency and poured over the cake. Milk and white chocolate, as well as a bit of the reserved dark chocolate glaze are drizzled over the top. Finally, toasted almonds fringe the bottom edge of the cake. I love how the milk and white chocolate drizzle matches the colours of the almonds exactly.

Voila! We have an impressively beautiful decadent chocolate cake. 😀

Chocolate glaze and drizzle
Chocolate glaze and drizzle
Side view of the Queen of Sheba with almond fringe
Side view of the Queen of Sheba with almond fringe

Cascade of Balloon Hearts – Wedding Anniversary Cake

This whimsical one year wedding anniversary cake is a combination of buttercream with fondant applique. This white cake is coated in a fluffy Swiss meringue buttercream to match the request for the client that the cake be not too sweet. The couple as well as a multitude of hearts were cut from fondant. Then, these were all hand painted in a rainbow of colours. The little heart balloons cascade off to the right and down the side of the cake. Here are some pictures:

The cascade of balloon hearts cake
The cascade of balloon hearts cake
Hearts on the front and side of the cake
Hearts on the front and side of the cake
More colourful little fondant balloon hearts
More colourful little fondant balloon hearts
A bit of a side view
A bit of a side view

1920s Murder Mystery Cake

This was the first first cake order I fulfilled with Amanda Selene!

The finished 1920s murder mystery cake
The finished 1920s murder mystery cake
mmmmmmmm.... blood!
mmmmmmmm…. blood!

This cake was for a 1920s murder mystery birthday party. We baked a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, covered in fondant. We drew inspiration from 1920s art deco style, and created applique designs in gold and black. The cake was then finished off with some fake blood splatter to give it a more sinister look. 🙂

Blood dripping down the side of the cake
Blood dripping down the side of the cake
Art deco and blood splatters in all their glory
Close up :)
Close up 🙂