Cake Utopia

All Occasion and Custom Cakes in Kalamazoo Michigan by Nicole Kalmbach

Oh, what a weekend! October 19, 2010

Filed under: What's new? — Cake Utopia @ 10:06 pm

Last week/weekend was a crazy, crazy time in this baker’s life! I started baking for the super secret surprise birthday on Wednesday. Mind you, this surprise was for a friend on facebook, who closely follows Cake Utopia. Ultimately meaning that I had to be Absolutely silent about mentioning anything related to this Surprise. That, in itself, was hard!

The baking went pretty well. I baked the 12″ chocolate on Wednesday night, the 16″ marble on Thursday night, and the 8″ yellow on Friday. I was really feeling tired by Friday, but I pushed on. I should mention here that my mom arrived from Frankenmuth on Friday, and she was a Huge help. She actually came for our fall family party on Sunday (which I will get to in a minute – of course additional cake is involved). Anyway, mom was a huge help in keeping my kitchen clean and the dishes and utensils washed.

The frosting was fairly “smooth” as well. Though, I did have to make a last minute frosting batch late Friday night.

To put things in perspective, I purchased (and used) 4 dozen eggs for the cake and frosting. That is a lot of eggs!!

By Saturday morning, all of the cakes were frosted, and I just needed to put together the decor. Bob’s daughter had requested that the cake be colors similar to the invitation and “something fun”. Fortunately, the cake matched all of the decorations perfectly. I cut out probably 100 or more fondant stars of all shapes an colors. Rolling, cutting, coloring, glazing, dusting, rolling, cutting fondant is rather time consuming, but well worth the time!

Man was I nervous when Steve (my husband) drove the cake to the party. I asked Steve to come along to carry the bottom layer in, as it sat on a 20″ glass table top and probably weighed 50 pounds (glass and cake combined). I breathed a huge sigh of relief as we jetted away from the venue after a successful delivery!

We did actually attend the party later in the evening. The guest of honor, Bob Foster, absolutely adored the cake and even managed to embarass me in front of 120 of his friends and family! Click on the picture below to see more photos of this masterpiece!

Bob’s party was really just the beginning of the weekend. Each year, I host a fall party for my mom’s side of the family. There were 9 of us all together, including my mom, my cousin, her kids, my brother, and my aunt and uncle. We all had a great time and ate this beauty for dessert:

This cake is pumpkin molasses drizzled with caramel frosting and adorned with caramel cut-out leaves and acorns. Click on the picture to see additional photos.

During the party, the kids frosted pumpkin cupcakes (that I made last weekend). They had a great time and did a great job. I was especially happy wih the bright, fun, Halloween colors! Click on the picture below to see more photos of our beautiful work!

All in all, it was a crazy busy weekend, but a great time!

This weekend I am working on pre-baking some wedding cake cakes, and then, of course, the big day is quickly approaching. Less than 2 weeks remain!

 

Cupcakes with a Sprinkle of Fall October 10, 2010

Filed under: What's new? — Cake Utopia @ 9:25 pm

If you stepped outside in Michigan today, the only way that you might know that it is October is by looking at the trees.  That’s right, it has been over 80 for the last two days and possibly tomorrow too!  Let’s hope for 80 on October 30th (Jack & Karen’s wedding), too! 

Even though it didn’t feel like Fall today, I thought I would try my hand at cupcakes with a fall decor. I learned a few lessons.  1.  Good cupcake pans make baking cupcakes easier!  I ordered new ones last week and I’m really happy I did.   2.  Getting a cupcake to mound just slightly at the top, but not over the paper is really not that easy.  3.  That there is no one “right” amount to fill cupcake liners. 

That being said, I was really pretty happy with the way they turned out.  They seem to be moist, but not too dense.   The lighter cupcakes are pumpkin and the darker variety are pumpkin molasses.  The pumpkin molasses need a bit of work as the molasses is Very strong, almost overpowering.  Next weekend I will be making mini pumpkin cakes, so I will have a chance to try the pumpkin molasses again.  The frosting is cream caramel (cream cheese frosting with caramel mixed in).  The leaves, acorns, etc. are fondant and/or gumpaste dusted with edible sparkles.

It’s really a lot of fun to just see what you can do with no pressure.  But now, what am I going to do with all of these cupcakes???  Click on the picture above to see more pics from the days adventure.

 

Amazing Amazon.com October 7, 2010

Filed under: What's new? — Cake Utopia @ 6:47 pm

Got a shipment today from Amazon.com:  Cooling racks big enough for 16″ cakes, new muffin tins, and fondant alphabet cutters.  This can only mean one thing.  A busy weekend of cake creations is nearly upon me!  Can’t wait to put these latest and greatest tools to use!

 

Hello world! October 3, 2010

Filed under: What's new? — Cake Utopia @ 9:00 am

WordPress.com gave this very first blog the default title of “Hello World.”  It’s quite fitting since this is Cake Utopia’s debut to the world!

Two things to know about the soul baker at Cake Utopia:  I love art and I love baking!

I was talking to a friend the other day about my passion for baking and cooking and realized that I never recognized the passion until a few years ago.  I suppose it has always been with me, bubbling just below the surface.  I took a few cooking and cake decorating classes in 4-H, some 18+ years ago, and I suppose that is where my talent first surfaced.  I cooked/baked a bit in college, but never really got into it until I started growing fresh vegetables and herbs after I got married.  I first loved to cook, and then, somewhere along the way, my passion took root in baking.  And so, I may not have realized it, or known its final form, but somehow, Cake Utopia has always been with me.

Cake Utopia really began at the celebration of the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday on February 23, 2010.  During an intense wedding planning conversation, on a whim, I asked friends if I could make their wedding cake for October 30th.  I knew if I was going to start, and really grow into, this business, that THIS would be the perfect jumping off point.  I couldn’t ask for a better couple to be my wedding cake virgins.  The bride is an artist and the groom is a computer guy.  The artist leaves much up to interpretation and the groom leaves much up to the bride.  So, you see, I have much confidence that the bride will not notice the inevitable imperfections (they Are inevitable as this IS my first venture) and the groom will only be noticing the bride!

Since I committed myself to the wedding cake, I have been practicing, practicing, practicing.  This means making cakes of all shapes, sizes, flavors, frostings, and decor.  I have even taken several Wilton classes. 

Since friends and family have seen my work, they randomly started asking if I would make cakes for various events for them.  When the orders started coming in, I realized that I might actually be able to make a business out of this passion.  And so, Cake Utopia was born!

I have discovered along the way that cake baking and decorating allows me to fluidly combine art and baking (as I mentioned these are two things I have great passion for!).  I love that I can bake and then turn whatever I have baked into a work of art.  And, sometimes (hopefully more frequently now), sell that work of art!  It is a truly satisfying hobby!!