{Portfolio} Emma’s Cake

Excuse me for just a second while I grab a box of Kleenex. It’s been on of those days where I can’t turn the waterworks off. You could maybe blame it on the pregnancy… it’s certainly not abnormal for me to cry at the drop of a hat these days, but today something extra heavy is on my heart. Today I handed off a cake to a family to take to their sweet little girl’s memorial service.

Icing Smiles 1

I was recently contacted by a recruiter at Icing Smiles Inc. asking if I would be interested in becoming one of their “Sugar Angels”. I had never even heard of Icing Smiles, but immediately dug into their website and was so impressed with what I saw. A non profit organization that partners with bakers across the country in order to provide free cakes to critically ill children and their siblings. I always love blessing friends and family with cake and cupcakes, especially in times of need, but I never thought I’d be able to use my caking abilities to bless my community in a larger sense. I was sold.

A couple weeks after signing on, I received my first “Call to Action”, as they call them. It was a request for a “zebra and pink princess cake with a ninja turtle tier” for little Emma’s memorial service. Sweet Emma was a fighter, but passed away when she was about a month old. This weekend her family celebrates her life on what would have been her first birthday. Her momma requested I include a ninja turtle layer in the cake as well, I believe for Emma’s big brother to enjoy.

Since the family asked me to pick the flavors for them, I wanted to give them something telling them what each tier is for reference. Normal people would have written it on the box. I’m not normal people. I’m the kind of person that takes 2 hours to design a custom cake menu… and it was too precious not to share.

Cake Anatomy

So, yes, a very emotion filled weekend but I truly do feel so honored to be able to bless the family in this way. I hope the cake brings them some joy! And if you know of anyone you feel may be eligible for an Icing Smiles cake, please check out their website here!

Stacy

Lately

Yep… the blog as officially taken a back seat. More accurately, the trunk behind the back seat… because it’s pretty well fallen off my radar. I’ve been so busy chasing my little guy (who is two in less than a month!!), growing this lil’ babe, putting together a big boy room, putting together a nursery, planning birthday parties, planning vacations, playing with my little Etsy shop (Land of Mae!)… and you know, little things like laundry, dishes, meal planning and the sort. OOF! I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way, but yes… I have not posted in a long time :) So I thought maybe I should just check in, say hey, let you know we are still around and maybe post a couple pictures of recent orders.

The Welch Cupcakery: Gold Polka Dot and Coral Cake

The Welch Cupcakery: Safari Cupcakes The Welch Cupcakery: Safari Cupcakes The Welch Cupcakery:  Safari Cupcakes

The Welch Cupcakery: Lady Bug Cake

The Welch Cupcakery: Rustic Wedding Cupcakes

The Welch Cupcakery:  Thomas the Train Cake

The Welch Cupcakery: Polka Dot Smash Cake

The Welch Cupcakery: Succulent Wedding Cake

The Welch Cupcakery: Sesame Street Cupcakes

As I said before, I’ve slowed down on my cake orders to focus on some other aspects of life right now, but I have a lot of stuff coming up I’m super excited about! I’ve recently volunteered with Icing Smiles, an incredible organization that organizes bakers to  provide free cakes to critically ill children and their siblings. I actually have my first Icing Smiles cake this weekend, so be on the look out for that. I can’t believe I had never heard of their organization before, especially being in the business I am! So if you know of someone who may be eligible, check out their website for more information! They are nationwide! http://icingsmiles.org/

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Stacy

{portfolio} tim+leah

I spend most of my cake making nights making bright colored, fun kiddie cakes (which I love!) but I get reeeeeally excited when a elegant wedding cake order comes my way! (…although I’m not taking on any more wedding orders) This was today’s cake. A gorgeous four tier, soft, elegant and understated cake. *swoon* And because making a 4 tiered wedding cake and two sheet cakes in 36 hours with a toddler is, in short, exhaaaaaaaausting…. my brain can’t come up with any more full sentences right now. So I’ll leave you with a few pictures. :)

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{portfolio} what a week!

This last week was probably the busiest my little business has had to date. I most definitely am not in the market to sell anything but cakes and cupcakes, but this last week I not only took on all my cakes but tackled decorated sugar cookies, lemon bars and macaroons as a favor for an old sorority sister of min. As fun as it all was, I sure have loved my down time since! There was a lot of playing at the park and Frozen watching going down today :)

First cake up to bat won’t make a photo appearance… because *I* didn’t decorate it. My husband did :) One of his friends had a birthday this past weekend and he thought it’d be funny if I made him a black fondant covered cake and let him go to town on it. I must say, he did well!

Then we have my niece’s smash cake. My sister ran across a similar cake, only in chocolate, on pinterest and asked me to whip one up for my niece’s smash cake photo shoot. Jeanne Hansen Photography did an INCREDIBLE job capturing that little cutie pie digging into her cake! Check out a sneak peek here!

The Welch Cupcakery: Sweet Pink Smash Cake

The next cake I made was for a dear friend of mine. Her church was having a women’s retreat this last weekend and she wanted a cake for a table centerpiece. The theme of their table was “Our Lifesong Sings”, from the Casting Crowns song “Lifesong”. She saw a picture of another cake I was to make last weekend and knew a variation of it would be perfect!

The Welch Cupcakery: Gold and Pink Lifesong Cake
The final order I had was for a darling 3rd birthday party: lemon bars, macaroons, sugar cookies, a two tiered cake, a one tiered cake and individually boxed cupcakes favors for the party’s littlest attendees. The boys got bowtie cupcakes and the girl’s got high heeled cupcakes. I forgot to get a picture of the lemon bars but… they look like lemon bars. Nothing fancy! Here is the lemon bar recipe I used though.

The Welch Cupcakery: Gold, Pink and Orange Cake

Crown sugar cookies! I love this recipe! Per the reviews, I added a cup of powdered sugar to them and also a tiny bit of lemon zest.  If you want to learn how to decorate them, this is a great tutorial! There are a lot of tutorials out there showing you how to outline with a thick icing and “flood” the cookie in with a thinner icing but I’ve found it leaves a border around the cookie… which isn’t bad, but I prefer them without a defined outline. The tutorial I linked above allows you to do the outline and flooding all at once with one consistency of frosting and you avoid a hard outline! Win win!

The Welch Cupcakery: Crown Cookies

The high heeled cupcakes! I’ll have to do a tutorial on these someday. Once I figured them out they were pretty easy to make (and to make sturdy!) They are basically just a cupcake, milano cookie, pirouette cookie all stuck together with chocolate and decorated with buttercream icing.

The Welch Cupcakery: High Heeled Cupcakes

Sweet little bowtie cupcakes in the party colors- I love making these!

The Welch Cupcakery: Bowtie Cupcakes

Finally the macaroons… these aren’t THE macaroons because I forgot to get any pictures of them too, but I assure you I made these :)  This is the recipe I have been using for them. I will warn you, they are TEMPERAMENTAL! There is no real set method of making them because they are so effected by humidity, heat, you name it. Just an extra turn or two of your wrist when folding the ingredients together can ruin them! So… there are hundreds of ‘tricks’ and ‘tips’ out there but when it comes down to it you just have to experiment until you figure out what works in your kitchen with your climate and your oven. This website is also a great resource for trouble shooting.

The Welch Cupcakery: Raspberry Macaroons

And that’s that! I hope your weather is as beautiful as ours is here in Iowa! Happy April!!

{portfolio} jungle cake

Oh dear has this been a busy weekend! I turned on my oven at 7am on Friday and here I am, 30 hours later and I’ve made, delivered and set up 350 mini cupcakes as well as pulling together this sweet, three tiered jungle cake! Oof! This is my favorite time of the week though. Bring on the family time!

The Welch Cupcakery: Jungle Cake

This was such a fun cake to make! I love the patterns and how cute is that little lion? There really isn’t much out of the norm on this cake to talk about.  The bottom tier is vanilla bean, the middle is chocolate and the top is carrot.  I covered it in homemade fondant and made all the decorations out of homemade modeling chocolate.

The Welch Cupcakery: Jungle Cake

Now to go enjoy this incredible weather! Have a great weekend!!

{portfolio} woodland cake

The Welch Cupcakery: Woodland Cake

I have been eyeing woodland themed cakes for a while now. There is something about the “rusticness” combined with whimsical colors and characters that gets me every time, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to design one this week for Sophia’s 2nd birthday! Sophia’s momma sent me a link to the adorable invites and thank you notes they got for the party as inspiration.

woodland-thank-you-notes
(Source)

I was instantly drawn to that amazing gingham print around the outside. I have a slight gingham addiction…(as I write this post curled up with a gray gingham quilt I made my son) so I knew that had to make its way on the cake! And of course the stump adds such a beautiful, rustic element I wanted to make sure that played a role as well!

To show you a little of my creative process, this is the sketch I drew up while planning the cake…. which was not intended for any eyes but my own.   I think I stayed mostly in the lines. As you can see, many elements didn’t make it on the final cake, but that’s just how this business goes some days! Some elements just work better on paper. For example, the weight of balloon nearly pulled straight through the top tier… and there was no way a hedgehog or bird’s nest would fit on those edges! I’m so thrilled with the outcome though. Such an adorably rustic and fun cake.

The Welch Cupcakery: Woodland Cake The Welch Cupcakery: Woodland Cake

Oh! And I used homemade modeling chocolate for the first time! I’ll have to do some posts on that soon, because that stuff is AMAZING! The raccoon is made completely of it!

A big happy birthday, to the birthday girl! I hope you have a great one, Sophia!

{portfolio} teenage mutant ninja turtles cake

What a busy weekend! Lots of cupcakes, some more test batches of macaroons (I WILL figure you out!), and three cakes in a 24 hour period! Oh, and a teething little boy. Oof! Things were so chaotic I didn’t have a chance to take any tutorial pictures this week, but looking at my calendar, there will be plenty of opportunity to do some tutorials soon!

We have now reached my favorite time of the whole week though- cakes are gone, kitchen is clean and family time is about to  commence. Nothing on our schedule for the rest of the weekend outside of church and watching the Super Bowl. Such a blessing after a hectic few days.

My last cake of the weekend was a teenage mutant ninja turtle cake… and boy. was. it. FUN! I really enjoyed making the cake board into a pizza. It turned out so great!

The Welch Cupcakery: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cake

The bottom tier is chocolate cake with cookie dough frosting and the top tier is vanilla bean cake with cookie dough frosting.

The manhole cover was fun to make too! It is just a couple 6” cake boards hot glued together, covered in fondant and painted with silver luster dust. It worked out so perfectly!

The Welch Cupcakery: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cake

Have a great weekend! We’ll see you next week :)

-xo- Stacy

{portfolio} whitney + mike

I had the honor of setting up cupcakes as well as a cutting cake at Sticks today for Mike and Whitney’s special day. I had never been to Sticks before but it is SO neat! It’s always fun for me, after so many hours in the kitchen, to have my completed work set up and looking beautiful in a beautiful venue with beautiful decor. It heals a weary baker’s soul after she stayed up a little too late making sugar flowers… again.

Priebe Wedding 2

I ended up making 220 cupcakes in three flavors: peanut butter cup, raspberry truffle and wedding cake (almond). The cutting cake was coconut cake with a coconut cream filling and vanilla bean buttercream.

Priebe Wedding

I wish I had a picture of the tables. They were stunning! I replicated the black and white pattern of the table linens on the cake. For having no clue how I was going to do it I started it, I think it turned out well!

Priebe Wedding 1

I am finding weddings to be more and more challenging to bake for with a 1 1/2 year old, so I suppose now is as good of time as any to tell you that I am no longer accepting wedding orders. I do have quite a few on my calendar for 2014 already, but my husband and I decided I will wrap those up and call it quits for a while. I so appreciate all the business weddings have brought me thus far and am so thankful for all the referrals! I really do have the best customers.