Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tank Cake


Remember when I made those toy soldier cupcakes?  Well I also agreed to make a tank cake for my friend Karen's wedding rehearal dinner.  I have made thousands of cupcakes, but the number of cakes that I have baked I could count on my fingers.  It didn't seem like it could possibly be THAT hard to make a tank cake.  To make things a little bit more stressful (besides the fact that it was for a rehearsal dinner), I was out of town for residency interviews until the night before the cake needed to be completed.  That gave me about 14 hours to make 3 dozen cupcakes and the tank cake.

I found this great tutorial online on how to make a tank cake.  I think it was meant for people with more cake experience, because it estimated the amount of time to make a tank cake as a mere 45 minutes and then you finish up with airbrushing.  At any rate, it was a good start.  I made two 13"x9" yellow cakes.

First, I frosted one:


Then I put the second one on top and cut it a little to give a more "tank-like" shape.  I decided what was "tank-like" not based on any experience with tanks, but thanks to Google Images.


And frosted that:


If I did it again, I would spend a little more time to go over the frosting and smooth things out.  I did a little bit, but not enough.

And then the fondant.  This was only the second time that I had worked with fondant.  I used Wilton moss green gel food coloring for the color.  It was my first time working with the Duff (of Charm City Cakes) Fondant that they sell at Michaels.  I didn't like that you had to heat it in the microwave to get it to a workable consistence.


OK, so not the smoothest cake.... but I was still happy with it :)

I made the cannon by covering a pourette cookie in fondant.  I just sort of made little decdorations to give the tank some character, which were loosly based on pictures of tanks online and my imagination.  And voila! Tank cake:


It wasn't perfect, but overall a success.

 Carlene, posing with the cake and cupcakes

Congratulations to Karen and Owen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Toy Soldier Cupcakes


When my friend, Karen, asked me if I would make cupcakes for her wedding rehearal dinner, I excitedly said yes.  Her fiancee, Owen, attended West Point.  She wanted to surprise him with cupcakes with toy soldiers on them and a cutting cake that looked like a tank. 


The cupcake part was easy.  Owen's favorite cake is yellow (it has always seemed weird to me that a flavor is a color) so I picked out Martha Stewart's Yellow Butter Cupcake recipe.  It had some yummy ingredients (namely butter) and also makes the perfect number of cupcakes that Karen requested (36).


The cupcakes were topped with vanilla buttercream frosting.  I used crushed pirouette cookies to make it look like the soldiers were on dirt.  It also made the cupcakes a little crunchy.  The toy soldiers were from a local dollar store and washed in warm soapy water before placed on each cupcake.


The cupcakes were a cinch to make (especially compared to the tank cake - great pictures of that to come) and well received by a surprised groom.  I feel so lucky to have been part of such an important event :)


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