Since Sarah’s accident, I’ve been really taking time off to try and rest and focus on my family, but this past weekend I had a couple of cake orders and I really wanted to share them with you. First, this Under the Sea Cake with Gold Seahorses & Coral. Details on the cake are all the way at the bottom.
But first… a little update on life.
What’s been going on in our life…
Last September, when we signed the contract to buy our new house, I immediately made plans to stop taking cake orders. Since I’m usually booked out four to six weeks in advance, I didn’t want to have dozens of cakes to decorate in the middle of us moving or when we were remodeling the kitchen in the new house.
Well, things haven’t gone exactly as planned. I have taken a lot of time off from cakes… as of today (March 10), I’ve only made 11 cakes in 2018. That’s about one per week, but honestly, many of those have been doubled up and I’ve had a lot of weekends off.
That’s exactly what I intended. But I thought the time off would be spent getting a new kitchen done. Well… as of now, we’ve mostly moved but made zero progress on the new kitchen.
We decided to first finish doing some repairs and updated on our old house and get it on the market before we started work on the new house. But thanks to the flu hitting our house twice in December/January, plus strep, plus the holidays and other random activities and then Sarah’s accident… the old house is still not finished.
Which means my new kitchen is still not started. 🙁 No one is more disappointed by this than I am, but I know we’re doing the right thing. If we started work here while we still have work there, our whole life would be chaos and I just couldn’t deal.
And I fear we’d never finish either of them. By forcing ourselves to wait on the work here, in theory, it’ll motivate us to finish out there sooner. At least that’s the plan.
We were actually almost finished with one room at the old house the week Sarah had the accident. Richy had planned to finish the floors out there that very day. Since Sarah is doing so well, we’re hoping to get back to it next week.
My Current Kitchen
Anyway, all of that to tell you that this cake… it was a labor of love. Actually any cake that I do in this new house is a labor of love. With virtually no counter space, even the smallest, simplest cakes are a challenge.
Ya’ll, I love this house more than I could possibly put into words. The yard. The property. The pond and lake and deer and flowers… it’s all so perfect for us. But the kitchen. While it’s in great shape, it’s terribly dated and has NO usable counter space for cakes (see above – that’s it!). The tiny counters that we have are tiled (ie., not smooth) and with cabinets above, it’s pretty much useless.
I have to work on temporary work tables (that wobble) and use workshop lights to see (the lighting in the kitchen is also bad). I have to bake the cakes in one small wall oven (also see above) … which takes so much more time than I’m used to. In the old house, I had two ovens – one of which was full-size.
Also, my cake supplies are everywhere. I have boxes and shelves in the garage. I have cabinets with supplies in the laundry room and the kitchen. I have more boxes in the formal dining room (on the floor) and I even still have a few things out at the old house.
It’s a (cake decorator’s) nightmare.
I have no organized space and it’s driving me completely insane.
Anyway… when I finish a cake like this one – that I love so, so much, and then I get a client response like I did today… it makes the headache all worth it.
And it reminds me that I still love doing what I do… even if it’s in less-than-ideal circumstances.
So here are the details on this sweet Under the Sea Cake with Gold Seahorses & Coral.
- The cakes were 5″ and 7″ round (2 layers on top, 3 layers on bottom). I baked them in my favorite Magic Line Pans. I have a (very dated) tutorial for how I stack cakes here.
- The flavor was white almond sour cream with vanilla buttercream.
- It was decorated with homemade marshmallow fondant.
- The board was decorated with gold glitter paper and pink ribbon. I have a tutorial for that here.
- For the bottom tier I used Electric Pink gel color to get the pink and then faded it to very light at the top.
- Electric Blue is the color I used for the top tier, but I only used a tiny bit.
- I sprayed both finished tiers with Pearl Spray to give them a shimmer and sparkle. It’s not super noticable in the picture but it really added a little pizazz in real life.
- I used Regal Purple mixed with Electric Purple to get the algae color. It was made with gum paste. I rolled it out thin, poked holes with a tiny round piping tip, then wrapped it ar0und skewers to dry in the curls.
- I made sugar glue to attach them to the cake.
- The small shells were done with a mold like this and the large shell on top was made with this mold.
- The seahorses were done with this seahorse mold. I pushed the homemade marshmallow fondant into the mold, trimmed it smooth on the back, then popped the whole thing in the freezer for a few minutes. Once it was hard, it was easy to get them out of the mold.
- The coral topper was done with this Wilton mold. I made 3 of them from gum paste, let them dry hard, then “glued” them together with melted white chooclate. The coral was then attached to a lollipop stick with melted chocolate again. I pushed the whole thing into the cake to stand then painted it gold.
- Everything painted gold on the cake was done with Imperial Gold Dust mixed with Lemon Extract. These are my favorite paint brushes.
- The “4” was made with a mold similiar to this one.
- I used gold sugar, sugar pearls, and white sixlets for the pearls all over the cake.
And I think that’s it… every detail I could possibly share with you about this cake! But if I missed anything, leave me a comment and I’ll answer if I can.