Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coming Soon!

Updates are coming I promise.
This has been a crazy busy year for cakes...
that is until I broke my elbow in September... and then on came the holidays.
I have updates for the blog, but have yet to get them posted on here.
Since my last posted cake I have decorated:
A Wedding Cake
A Grooms Cake
A Dooms Day Cake
An Iron Man Cake
... and completed about a million other projects that are uncake related.
Stay tuned, there is more to come.
I'm looking forward to a fantastic year of cake decorating fun. I hope you'all come back for more!!
Merry Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Root Beer Float Cake

I thought I'd share a recipe today. I made cupcakes last night to use up a bit of frosting I had left over in my fridge, and I wanted something a little different for my cake flavor. And since Monday (August 6) is National Root Beer Float Day I figured I'd do my own little celebration... 4 days late. The cup cakes were rather delicious so here is how you can make them too.

Root Beer Float Cake Recipe


  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cups cold root beer *
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1- 2 tsp root beer extract (for that extra root beer-y flavor)


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1-1/4 cups cold root beer, oil and eggs. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes or stir by hand for 3 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan bake for 30-35 minutes
  • 24 Cupcakes 18 – 21 minutes 
  • Or following baking suggestions on the box.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

The recipe suggests using a whipped cream topping or you could make a yummy vanilla butter cream.


* Cold root beer works better than room temperature for some weird reason.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

How Can You Reach Me?

To contact me specifically regarding cakes you can now email me at:

lizevansmakescakes (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, July 30, 2012

All Drains Lead to the Ocean

My nephew turned 1 in June. His mommy asked me to make his cake. (Which I have recently learned are called "Smash" cakes. I didn't know that before.) I was told to make a fish. So I did.

How do I make my Cakes?
First off I start by making a mess...

And then I make art...

I also made a cake for the big people to eat.

Cooper enjoyed his cake.

Even mommy had to have a taste.

I've Got Butterflies

The same weekend that I made Darth Vader an old friend of mine called from out of the blue and asked if I could/would make a butterfly cake for her oldest who was turning 5 that week. Being the sucker that I am I said yes, and set myself up for a weekend of busy cake making.

 This is the first cake I ever made  from scratch.

It turned out well.
  I was told that it tasted really good, but I didn't get to try it because it was full of milk.

The frosting job turned out good too. The group of 5 year-old girls thought it was amazing.
I think it turned out pretty, don't you?

That's my curious cat trying to see what I was doing.

I Am Your Father.....

Our friends came to visit from St. Lewis in June. We always love to see them when the come by. This time they showed up around their son's birthday. And who would they ask to make his birthday cake?
That's right. ME.

They've trying to teach him to appreciate Star Wars so I was asked for a Star Wars themed cake. I happened to have a cake pan that fit the situation.


Teach Me Something New

Me & My Big Sister
Back in May I decided that I wanted to take a class on cake decorating. Mostly just too see what there was that I didn't already know or hadn't figured out for myself. Being the shy girl that I am I had no desire to walk into a class alone with a bunch of strangers so I invited my sister. It wouldn't hurt us to have some girl time together, we haven't done that in a very long time. I signed us up for the Wilton Cake Decorating Class and that's what we did every Tuesday night through the month of May.

We had fun participating. I learned all sorts of things I didn't know, and some things I did know.

  • Stuff we learned in our classes:
  • How to Bake a Great Cake
  • Buttercream Icing
  • Using Decorating Bags and Couplers
  • Icing the Cake
  • Leveling and Torting the Cake
  • Using the Star Tip
  • Drop Flower, Rosette
  • Dimensional Decorating
  • Shell
  • Pompom Flower, Leaves
  • Filling and Icing a Cupcake
  • Guidelines for Elementary Cake Design
  • Printing, Writing, Rose Base
  • Piping Gel Pattern Transfer
  • Ribbon Rose
  • Guidelines for Decorating Your Cake

This is my first cake I made in the class.

Then there was the fun of cupcakes. See those awesome rose swirls.

 And we learned how to make some flowers with frosting.

This is my Final Project Cake.... Mostly done.

I added a few extra details.

 And this is my sister's Final Project Cake. Isn't it cute?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Time And Relative Dimension In Space

I have fallen behind on my cake blogging. It has been a crazy summer so far and it seems like I’m making at least one cake a month if not two.

Here we’re going to transport ourselves back to May 6, 2012 with this fabulous TARDIS cake I completed for a friend of a friend who has a Doctor Who obsession.

Now, granted this isn’t what I’d put on my list as a “Great Job” but considering the circumstances I made it under (a bad reaction to new medication, and a 100 degree fever) I’d say it’s pretty darn good.

The Black and White wavy lines around the outer edge are to make it appear as though it is traveling through space.... oooo.... ahhh.... Nice.





Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Edible Grandma

Back in April I was asked to make a cake for my husbands Grandma's 90th Birthday party. I was given a few weeks advance notice. Easy enough, I thought to myself… HA.

It came down to the final week, and I still had no idea what I was going to do. Would I make a round cake, a square cake, a rectangle cake? What color? What design? I had no idea.
One week before the cake was due I made an attempt at flowers with the frosting tips I had on hand… This didn't work for two reasons.
1) Never done it before
2) Kitty foot prints

Yes, Banjo decided she needed the tooth picks that were on the table. When I turned my back she climbed on up and left her mark.. We'll needless to say between the kitty prints and the lack of anything recognizable as a flower they all got thrown away.
After this failure I ordered a nice gum paste flower spray from The Baker's Kitchen which has become my go to for random baking needs… I figured that if anything I'd use the gum paste flowers if I couldn't come up with something else.
Three days before the cake was due I decided on the shape. I figured just a 9x13 would be good for a family cake. It was chocolate. It had fluffy white vanilla filling. It was like a giant SuzyQ I haven't had one of those in years. It was tasty.
I was inspired that I wanted to do it a nice light blue. I had browsed through several cake decorating books that had nice light blue cakes and I saw several that I could have tried.
Two days before due date I decided to have an edible picture of Grandma made to put on the cake and I'd do some sort of decoration around that. I had no idea that finding a bakery to print an edible picture for me would be so difficult. Finally I found someone, but the person who did it was only going to be in until 2 pm one day and 12 pm the next day and no weekends. UGH! Okay. After a call to my mother-in-law who was unavailable I called my sister-in-law who was. She was able to go to the bakery with a nice picture of grandma that she had handy and get the photo copied and printed for me. Okay. Panic for that was over.
Friday night came along and it was time to really get down to decorating. I had the frosting mostly made when I realized that I had no white food coloring. I also had run out of shortening. AH! Trip to the Hobby Lobby. And then a trip to the grocery store where I was hit on by a funny geek guy over the fact that my license plates say TARDIS on them. Ha ha. Then it was back to the cake.
I did the base frosting in light blue. I didn't do a crumb coat and kicked myself for that later. I could not get the icing smooth to save my life. It was driving me crazy. (insert trip to hobby lobby here.) After a short break I tried again and got a semi smooth outer layer.
Time for decorating. (insert trip to grocery store here.)

SIDE NOTE: I decided to take the Wilton Decorating Class at the local(-ish) Michael's and to take this class they require you to buy this Decorating Basics Student Kit that has some tips and stuff that I mostly didn't already have.

Well, thanks to the Tips in this kit I was able to make some flowers and leafs that I previously couldn't. It has paid for itself already and the class doesn't even start until May 8th. Following some basic directions given in the Wilton Decorating Basics Lesson Plan I was able to create some cute rosettes and passable drop flowers. Add some squigglies and some leaves and abracadabra! There's a cake.
Edible Grandma was the final touch. I used a 5x7 picture oval I printed off the internet to cut the picture of grandma to the proper size and then cut a ¼ inch wider oval around the oval I used for the picture and used that for a template on the cake.
Icing Tips used: 16, 18, 2d, and 352

Everyone at the party thought the cake was fantastic. I received a lot of compliments. Funny thing was… when it came time to eat the cake the cutting started on the end without the picture and moved across the cake. When the pieces reached the edible photo the picture was very carefully pealed from the cake and set to the side. Maybe they didn't realize it was edible, or maybe it was considered a bad omen to eat Grandma for her 90th birthday party. Who knows.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bridal Shower Cake

I have decided that I need to hang a picture of my friend Holly on the wall of my kitchen with a big red sign that says "DO NOT MAKE CAKES FOR THIS PERSON!" since both cakes I have made for her have been my biggest stress makers. Silly me thought I'd try fondant for this one. Holly said "do it!"
I made my own marshmallow fondant to cover the cakes. It turned out alright, but not super fantastic... Once the main cakes were done I decided that I wouldn't try it anymore and went bought regular fondant for the dress that's on the top.
The cake was Vanilla, since that was the only flavor we had in our house (I know, I'm as surprised as you are.) The botom layer was a 9" round. The top layer is an 8" round. The top layer should have been cut down a bit,, but by the time I got to it I was *done* with this cake.
The dress form was made from rice crispy treats, and I used my standard butter cream frosting for the embellishments. 
After a few well placed magic words (which sound remarkably like swear-words to those uninitiated in the art of magic) this is what I ended up with.

Everyone at the shower loved it, and I got more raving reviews, but sometimes, that's not enough to make me pleased with the final product. I'm just a harsher critic to myself than I really need to be.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Orange Chopper

This one was quite a task. I hadn’t ever thought about motorcycle parts for cake before. But by special request one of the girls at work wanted a late Valentine’s present for her husband who was away for the holiday. Originally it was a toss up between a Skull and a Motorcycle… in the end it was the Motorcycle that won out.

It only had to serve 3 so that opened some options for me. I decided that I was going to do one layer with the cake built up on top of it. I built the bits of the chopper out of the scrap cake that was cut off the top (you know, the bulgy part that has to be cut off to create a pretty cake.) Now, don’t ask me to name the parts of the bike I build because I couldn’t name any of them to save my life. BUT, I got what I needed, tires, gas tank, engine block, rear fender… blah blah blah. I guess I’ve watched more episodes of American Chopper to know what I was doing. The tricky part come when I had to assemble the entire thing.

The picture provided to me of the motorcycle was orange with purple flames.

I decided that the base cake should be black, but upon completing the cake I have now decided that if I ever take up this endeavor again the base cake will be a different color so the tires don’t blend in so well. Perhaps green instead.

I had a difficult time putting a base frosting coat on the motorcycle pieces. I even froze them to see if that would help but it didn’t. Finally I just plastered them on and then starred the entire bike with the orange. The seat is a light brown chocolate frosting. And the bits and engine are silver. I had quite a time deciding how I was going to do the silver parts. Turns out you can buy “Luster Powder” in the cake decorating isle at the craft store. Mixing it with a clear alcohol based liquid will create a nice silver paint that you just use a little paint brush to paint it where you want it.

This was also my first try at using Royal Icing. I used THIS Martha Stewart recipe since I didn’t have any meringue powder, or powdered eggs that all the other recipes I Googled asked for. What an adventure. I think it turned out pretty good. The icing didn’t harden as much as I’d have liked it to, but it worked out well. I enjoyed eating all the left over broken bits. Mmm nom nom nom. I think I’ll have to try Royal Icing again when I’m not at crunch time or needing something to fix the issue right that moment.

All in all the cake turned out great. I think I lose a little patience doing decorating on a week night vs. just getting up on a Saturday morning and spending most of the day on it, but that’s okay. I’ll get there.

Another satisfied Customer:

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for the cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you,