Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ladybug Party

I ran into my friend Kelly at the grocery store on Valentine's Day.  We started talking about her daughter's upcoming 1 year old birthday party and she asked if I could help her with the cake.  Help with a cake?  Of course!  She was unaware of this blog, so I shared with her that she is actually featured in my blog.  She's the one who gifted me my favorite chocolate cookie recipe.  I used to work with her husband and he was like a brother to me and uncle to my young kids.  I don't see them much anymore, so I was delighted to help.  Except for one thing...

My new range sitting in my hallway had not yet been delivered.  The last time I had fired up the oven to bake my son's birthday cake, the gas was not dissipating.  I turned it off, called my dad and asked him to preheat their oven to 350F at 8:30pm (not in the plan for late night cake baking/decorating).  The gas company came out the following day to break the news that I'd have to repair or replace the range.  Yahoo!  I have been wanting a new range for a while.  Bad news, I had to special order this range and delivery ETA was 2 weeks.  I sent Kelly to my Igloo cake post and left some cake pans and the glass bowl at my front door and she handled the baking.
I arrived to her house at 8pm with a 6" round and 5" dome cake ready for decorating.  I also instructed her to pick up the ingredients to make fondant (bag of mini-marshmallows, Criso sticks and bag of powdered sugar...instructions can be found in this cake post) and I got started on making fondant while she mixed a batch of buttercream frosting.  I explained what crumbcoating is and we crumbcoated the cakes.  After making the fondant and mixing red food gel into the fondant, I rolled it out to cover the ladybug (dome).
I mixed black food gel for the ladybug details and used the fat circle of a Wilton piping tip for the ladybug circles.  The bottom 6" cake was piped with green grass.
 View of the backside of the ladybug:
 The eyes are circles of fondant.  The antenna in the first photo is a piece of spaghetti covered with black fondant and then inserted into the cake before party time.
 I had a great time explaining the cake decorating steps to Kelly as she took notes.  We agreed we could make a pretty good team.  She can do the baking and I'll do the decorating.  We used the remaining green colored buttercream to frost the tops of the cupcakes and the rest of the fondant to make little ladybug cupcake toppers.  Similar to these bumble bee toppers I made in the fall.
Take a round ball of red fondant and a smaller ball of black fondant for the head.  I like to use the round tool and press it into the black so the red attaches easier to the black.  Roll a thin strip for the middle of the ladybug and then press tiny circles of black for the spots and white for the eyes with black in the center.
 I made 5 and left the rest for her and her 4 year old daughter.  I love her daughter's ladybugs (top left of the photo labeled toppers...go back and check them out if you missed them the first view).
 This is where I left that evening...
 Here is the party Kelly created for her daughter:
So cute!  I love ladybugs.  I have loved them since I was a small child and even had a large ladybug blanket as a baby.  I was so happy to have the chance to make this cake for little Avery.  Kelly also make the cute heart shaped ladybug sugar cookies.  She sent me the first and last photos of this post in a text today to let me know a couple of my tools were returned to my front door with a sweet card and giftcard for my time and instruction.  I'll do it again anytime, Kelly!

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