It is difficult to miss the proliferation of cake decorating shows on TV these days because they seem to be on every channel. As a cake designer and baker I find it difficult to tear myself away when I come across any show featuring cake design, sugar work. There are many types of shows from reality TV featuring cake and cupcake shops, cake decorating contests of all types, simple tutorial shows and everything in between.
These shows can be invaluable to showcase different design techniques and provide inspiration for your own projects. They can also highlight what you should not attempt with sugar and cake although watching hours of work topple over because of too little internal support or soft icing is tragic. My kids are even hooked on cake decorating shows and always want to try the recipes and piping work pictured up on our screen with varying success.
Some of the best cake decorating shows are:
- Fabulous Cakes
- Amazing Wedding Cakes
- Cupcake Wars
- Planet Cake
- Cake Boss
- DC Cupcakes
- Food Network Challenge
- Sour Cream Vanilla Cake
- Paleo Carrot Pineapple Cake
- Fresh Peach Cake
- Maple Carrot Cake
- Pink Lemonade Cake
- Hummingbird Cake
- Caramel Cake
- Sweet Potato Cupcakes
These are not cake decorations in the shape of insects like ladybugs, grasshoppers and butterflies but rather cake decorations printed on a 3 dimensional printer using "insect flour". 3D cake decorations are not really a new innovation using printers although it is not a mainstream technique due to cost and the fact most home cake designers don't have three dimensional printers. So ground up insects won't replace fondant decorations any time soon.
Ground up insects such as mealworms mixed with fondant make great material for the printer as well as dung beetles and crickets. You might wonder why someone would do this for cake design and if this is a new trend. It is an experiment called insects au gratin and a London South Bank University is piping futuristic designs with the sweet mixture. Insects are an incredible source of protein and other nutrients so this insect flour might be the solution to a growing food crisis. So if these potential cake decorations sound unappetizing, don't worry because cakes covered with these insects are still far in the future.
Wedding cakes in past decades were often monochromatic or all white with simple elegant design work. The cake was never supposed to be the center of attention but blend in to the theme of the event. This has definitely changed as couples became very individual and cake decorating techniques have grown in leaps and bounds. There is really nothing that a talented or amateur designer can't do with icing, fondant and a little patience.
Wedding cakes in 2014 are colorful with blocks of rich color in purples, blues and pinks. They also feature metallic shades and sequins for couples looking for sparkle and a unique color palate. Navy blue is a lovely alternative to brighter colors and black. Navy fondant ribbons, bows and swags are appearing on many cakes in 2014. So whateb
It is very strange when your child suddenly towers over you. Suddenly you are left wondering who this young man is and where that tow headed little urchin who wanted to help make cookies went in the last few years! This child is the one who wanted to use my piping bags to make mud cakes, had to smooth out any imperfections (usually caused by his fingers!) in my cake icing, made flour mountains and would sit for hours molding fondant like it was play-dough. Other parents often wondered why he thought real play-dough was so disgusting.
I have created 15 cakes for this charming young man, from Transformers to construction scenes to a lovely sugar waterfall with a kayak on it because he could envision them and I could make them. This year he has no design in mind and like the glorious homemade Halloween costumes, all my sugar work and chocolate will not be needed. I hope when he graduates and leaves home there will be a time again that only Mom's cakes will do for a birthday or someday (far in the future!) a wedding.
People fall into two different camps with respect to Valentine's day: they either hate it or love it. This romance based day can cause stress because expectations can be high and disappointment might be around the corner. Food is often the centerpiece of the evening because couples can bond and create memories over a lovely meal. The exclamation point of this romantic moment is of course dessert.
Valentine's Day dessert should be rich, decadent and luxurious. It does not have to be chocolate but this ingredient is often the first choice. Fresh berries, whipped cream and cheesecakes also make the list of Valentine's Day desserts. Cakes and pretty cupcakes are easy impressive desserts when you want to make a great impression. Try different types of decorations to get exactly the right look for the desired ambiance.
This weekend is Superbowl Sunday and all over North America and other places people will be cheering on their favorite team., as long as their favorites are the Broncos and Seahawks. In my house it is Broncos all the way and I am afraid an orange cake or cupcakes are in order. Beyond orange there are several fun and fantastic choices for a Superbowl cake design such as :
- A football shaped cake created using an egg shaped pan
- A slab cake with a football field on the top
- Create the team logo to place on the cupcakes
- A stadium shaped cake
- A cake shaped like cleats
- A cake shaped like helmets
- Football jerseys cut out of fondant
The best part of Superbowl cakes and cupcakes is that the cake flavor can be anything you want from Broncos orange carrot cake to deep dark chocolate.
In the world of cake design nothing is really off limits or surprising but every once in a while a design comes up that makes people stop and take notice. This can be a new type of base cake like a delectable raw or vegan cake or a fantastic design. This happened recently at TV star's wedding when a lovely wedding cake was posted on Instagram...upside down hanging from a chandelier.
I don't even want to consider how they cut the cake because the construction and execution of this sugary creation boggles the mind. I know how I would have suspended a cake but this is so cleverly done it is a bit of an optical illusion. Since this presentation is now the trend, at least among Kaley Cuoco's fans, I guess cake designers need to up their game a little!
There are some absolutely enchanting cake trends for weddings in 2014. It would seem like there is romance in the air with lovely lace, flouncy ruffles and cascades of pretty flowers. Creativity and unique designs will run rampant at receptions all over!
Of course there are still those couples that favor simplicity over excess so monochromatic cakes or all white designs will also be on display. Whatever your preference and taste make sure your cake reflects your personal style and makes a statement about what kind of couple you are to your guests.