Icing Smiles – Nick’s Birthday Cake

Rhonda Bakes - Fondant Covered, hand-painted, fishing theme, icing smiles, angelfish

In my fledgeling career as a baker/decorator of custom cakes, one of the things I’m most proud of is my involvement in Icing Smiles!  Yesterday, I had the honor of delivering a celebration cake to Nick for his birthday.  This was my first cake for the organization and I admit, I was so incredibly nervous (Andy can attest, I was an absolute bear while we were packing up things to leave for the 1.5 hour journey to St. Pete!).

Nick is a fan of Cake Wars and other cake-related shows, so he had a good idea of what he wanted from the beginning!  This was great for me, because it gave me a great jumping-off place.  He requested a Vanilla cake with Raspberry filling (yummy!) and since it’s my favorite flavor combination as well, I was thrilled to oblige.

He also let me know that he preferred a fishing theme, and I really wanted to deliver him something special. Typically, when donating a cake for Icing Smiles, the servings are limited to about 40. This lets the organization set realistic expectations for their recipients and helps the baker/decorator to accurately design for the family.

Because Nick was such a fan of the cake decorating process, I wanted to deliver him something special for his celebration.  I worked to think of elements that I knew that he’d appreciate – In order to do that, I got just a little creative with some of the elements of the cake and finalized a design with a 14″ x 14″ square dummy tier for the water and a 10″ x 6″ cake tier for the land.

Rhonda Bakes - Fondant Covered, hand-painted, fishing theme, icing smiles

Celebration Birthday Cake by Rhonda Bakes – Icing Smiles – Vanilla Cake with Raspberry filling, covered in Fondant, Fishing Theme

I also went completely out of my comfort zone on this cake by deciding to model a figure for him.  I don’t think I did horribly for my first attempt, and I believe the little fisherman really added the finishing touch.

All cake deliveries are nerve-wracking to be sure – the transportation of the cake alone can be enough to make a baker a nervous wreck.  This doesn’t even compare to the “I hope they like it” thoughts that are running through your head for the entire trip.  Andrew was my co-pilot, as usual and he keeps me grounded during the delivery process – Have I mentioned lately that I adore this man?!

Rhonda Bakes - Fondant Covered, hand-painted, fishing theme

Celebration Birthday Cake by Rhonda Bakes – Icing Smiles – Vanilla Cake with Raspberry filling, covered in Fondant, Fishing Theme

It took us a little while to find the Ronald McDonald House – but find it we did!  Nick was in the lobby, so I got to meet him right away – What a kind and sweet boy he is!  The kind ladies from the desk went off to find his mom, Julie, and we took a few pictures before transporting the cake to the area where the birthday celebration would be held.

They loved the cake and were so excited to have a special celebration cake for the Birthday Party – I left feeling warm and fuzzy and the entire experience solidified my commitment to this terrific organization.  I can’t wait for the next one!

If you’re looking for worthwhile charities or donation opportunities, please consider contributing to Icing Smiles or the Ronald McDonald House – Both organizations are superb, and they show a true commitment to caring for families.

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Rhonda Bakes - Buttercream covered, chocolate fantasy flower

July is awesome!  Not just for Independence Day, but because one of my dearest friends birthday is actually on July 4th.  We share a birthday week, we’re just two days apart and this is always fun for me since I get to make her cake every year and I can experiment!  I love to experiment with new flavors and designs, and this year there was a combination that I just had to try – A pink champagne cake, with watercolor effect pink champagne Italian meringue buttercream!  Oh dear… » Read more

Happy Holidays! – Part I

This week, I hosted my annual Holiday party for my closest lady friends.  It’s something I love to do each year, since it gives me a chance to do my two favorite things – Spend a great night visiting with all my pals, and bake my butt off!

First, let me say that it became apparent that I am not a master of the the art of fondue.  Thankfully, we had a ton of other goodies to eat,so the gelatinous goo that was supposed to be a delightful cheese fondue was not really missed.  I may try it again sometime, but I believe I’ll probably just put down the whisk and concentrate on making the perfect poinsettia or beautiful sugar flowers instead –

Rhonda Bakes - Cake, Fondant, Poinsettias

Christmas 2014 Cake

Lots of food, lots of wine and great desserts made for an entertaining and relaxing evening among friends – The lady posse was out in force, and we did miss some folks, but we soldiered on and drank their share of the wine and ate their share of the cake!

The cake was a 3 tier, covered in red fondant with poinsettias and snowflakes – it turned out so pretty, it was a shame to cut into it.  I had made some Christmas tree cake pops earlier in the week for a friend’s birthday, so I held on to some of them and served them as well.

The cake pops were whimsical Christmas trees – chocolate with a candy coating and then sprinkled with nonpareils.  They were cute, and I’ll definitely be making them again in other shapes and designs.  They were just the right size and tasted quite yummy!

Now that the party is over, it’s time to concentrate on getting my goody trays ready to deliver.  Each tray is being delivered to an area business with which I have a relationship and will include a mini-cake and several different types of cookies and candy.  Took the day from my real job on Thursday to deliver them, so my early mornings, lunch hours and early evenings are going to be quite busy over the next three days.  I’ll post the details on Friday along with some pictures on how they turned out – I’m excited – this is the first year I’ve done something like this and I’m looking forward to seeing and thanking all of the people who have been so good to me throughout the year!

Rhonda Bakes - Cake Pops

Christmas Tree Cake Pops

In the meantime, I’ll be making macarons, frosting sugar cookies and covering / decorating 10 mini-cakes!  Lots of fun in the next few days :)

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