Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Sweets: Ribbons and Lace

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This week I figured we'd take a break from the geek themes and instead feature some Sweets that showcase amazing piping skills. This kind of cake art is becoming pretty rare in these days of all-fondant cakes, so it's nice to be reminded of the painstaking talent that a lot of the more traditional bakers possess. The designs can be deceptively simple, but it takes a practiced hand and a lot of patience to get results like these.

First, let's start off with some lovely scroll work and piped pearls:

(Made by Yukiko, aka Rosey Sugar.)

Gorgeous.

Here's a fondant-free example:

(Submitted by Amanda T. and made by Das Meyer Fine Pastry Chalet.)

That's all hand-piped! Here, check out the detail:


This next one contains some mind-boggling string work. (String work uses royal icing, which hardens after it dries.) Just look at this:

Those triangular pillows on the side were made by layering royal icing in a lattice pattern. It's incredibly fragile, and there's no room for error. That goes double for that astounding bottom ruffle of strings. Each strand is piped individually, and is literally suspended over thin air. Look how perfect the spacing is:



I love the color on this next one:

(Made by Annie K. of Annie's Art Book)

Orange and white - awesome! Love the ball and the butterflies, and the way this baker used the molded lace edging is really unique and modern:

Doesn't it look like crochet? Hard to believe it's actually icing.

And last is the most technically difficult of today's bunch:

(Also by Rosey Sugar. Thanks to Donatella for the link!)

What makes this cake so impressive is the icing drop strings and the hanging scroll border. For the strings, each strand was in effect piped in mid-air. The tip is pulled away and placed in the same spot, hopefully leaving an unbroken string. Then, to really show off her mad skilz, the decorator did a second tiny loop inside of the first one:


For the scroll border, royal icing is layered on a flat surface, dried, and then carefully adhered to the base with more icing. Have I mentioned that this stuff is incredibly fragile? 'Cuz it is. I've been told that for a cake like this, you have to do the string work onsite; the slightest bump or jarring would cause them all the break right off.

Well, hopefully you have a better appreciation for piping art now! Thanks to today's bakers!
Anonymous said...

AMAZING! I've never wanted to get married but now I do just to order a cake like these. Such skill and talent.

Vickie said...

It's already Sunday night on my side of the world (I live in China) and I've been waiting for Sunday Sweets all evening long! I'm always so amazed at the artistry involved. That last cake . . . oooh la la (kissing fingers and waving them in the air)!

BTW, I really had no clue there were fund raising teams on breast cancer, thus my confusion on a "team" cake with a breast cancer ribbon on it. (This was a few days ago.) At least I understand the concept now . . . just not the writing on the cake!

Channie said...

These are all awesometasticness! I imagine that stringwork must be SOO frustrating to perfect!
I think my favorite would be that fondant-free one. The orange and white one is lovely as well, but I would much prefer A&M maroon (whoop!)

BeantownBaller said...

a mid-air loop WITHIN a loop? oh my god, amazing.

Knitty said...

Those are truly beautiful. I am not dismissing fondant art, but too often the result is a pretty cake without tasty icing. A feast for the eyes is lovely, but cakes and their decorations should always be delicious as well.

CarmenT said...

I'm in awe. These people are artists.

pharmgirl said...

Yowza!

Marianne said...

these are fantastic! just...WOW!

Lauren S. said...

WOW. Jen, thank you for showcasing these beautiful, intricate works of art. Not only have I never seen these types of piping before, but you also educated me about them in the process!

Now, THAT is sweet! :)

Kelly said...

These are some of my favorite cakes! They're absolutely gorgeous!

I hope this means that the fondant-royal icing pendulum is swinging away from the ubiquitous fondant decorating. Fondant is beautiful, but it just doesn't taste very good.

frigglesnitz said...

I am in awe, as my air loop skill level stops at the I-can-tie-my shoe level.

Just gorgeous. (going back for another look)

WV cheds- Variety of cracker: you've got your salts, cheds, wheats, and the ultimate, chiken in a biskt.

That Kind of Girl said...

Oh my gosh! My eyes are popping out of my head! I always thought of traditional wedding cakes as stuffy, stodgy, and unattractive, but looking at the creativity and talent (and all the friggin' WORK!) that went into these cakes, I think my opinion is turning around!

I've so decided that when it comes time for my own wedding, I'm going all buttercream. Life is too short to eat fondant!

Deanna said...

Beautiful! I love the nostalgia of this seemingly lost art! Thank you for sharing. :)

laura killian said...

Thanks for crushing my dreams of becoming a professional Cake artist. I love to do on the side and arent the best right now but getting better. But that I will never achieve. I had bad eyesight, shaky hands and I'm left handed LMAO.

Thank God I'm in School still because Sun Sweets has crushed my dreams..

Anonymous said...

What incredible workmanship! Absolutely lovely!

Laura said...

I read your blog every day (and I love it!) but I rarely comment. I just had to say that these cakes are amazing! Wow.

Spicy said...

I've always appreciated piped cakes. That's decorating a cake. Using fondant is just carving and molding, and you really don't have to be a baker for that.

I hope to someday open a bakery/cafe something where I focus on non-fondant cakes. I wanna do that someday!

zebe912 said...

Wow, my hand is cramping up just looking at a couple of those. I can only imagine how perfect of consistency the royal would need to be to get some of those effects to actually work. I like seeing that there are still people working in icing. I got tired of fondant a long time ago.

Terry Lee said...

i'm lucky to get the entire cake smeared with canned icing without it falling apart. so i'm easily impressed.

but after these beauties, i have a totally new appreciation for the talent of cake artistry.

amazing.

Amanda from Kokoro Photography said...

I'm completely geeking out that our submission is featured today! It was so much fun to email our bride and groom and let them know that it's not just their photographers who think their cake is gorgeous!

I feel a bit like I've eaten all that royal icing.

Vashti said...

STUNNING all of them. My fav is the orange one...so amazing!

Muum said...

wow, nice!

Ms Avery said...

Wow.

Melissa said...

I've done royal icing tiaras before and fragile is exactly right! Even with 3 layers of icing I still broke my first two just removing them from the parchment paper...
Beautiful cakes!

Anonymous said...

Hey, for the last picture, you ask "anyone know who made this cake?" But in the commentary you say "...to really show off HER mad skillz..."

Are you saying that a male is not capable of decorating like this?

sugarbabies said...

These cakes are indeed amazing and these designers have crazy skills...I hope they charge accordingly!!

As for the people who have commented on here that think fondant takes no skill and that it doesn't taste good...that is ignorance in its most blatent form. Fondant can taste absolutely horrible, but it can also taste like white chocolate and other yummy flavors. Trust me, as someone who does both buttercream AND fondant over-the-top cake designs that my elite clients can't get enough of, I don't feel like I'm a "fraud" or a "non-baker" when proclaiming that I'm a cake designer...and a darn good one that cares about what I attach my name to!

Dea said...

GORGEOUS!!! I can't believe people have that steady of hands - or that much patience!!!

Anonymous said...

Simply amazing. These make the wrecks look even more awful.

Susie said...

I am awestruck! Just gorgeous work!! Really, really great!!

Amanda P said...

That is AMAZING!! You've got quite the touch. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Kailah said...

That is amazing! Now I'm totally intimidated about making my sis's wedding cake in January, lol! Although now I know how I can make snowflakes for it! Thanks for the Royal Icing "lesson"!

Cake_or_Death said...

Wow. Just wow - in an extremely awed and reverential voice. Stunningly beautiful.

I'm in the process of deciding what to order for our wedding cake. We already knew we wanted fondant-free and it's good to know there are still those who appreciate the art of piping and the luscious taste of buttercream. I just don't know if I could cut into one of these works of art!

WV -- apharad - apharadly someone was paying attention in piping class

Janella said...

Absolutely AMAZING!!!

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Anon @ 10:56,

Yeah. That's exactly what she's saying.

Actually, for years, the pronoun to use when dealing with unknown persons was "his." Jen thought it was time for a change. I think we should start using her/his. It sounds awkward but I think it's more chivalrous, don't you?

john

Claire said...

Wow, I didn't know it was even possible do do this with sugar!
Those mid-air thingies are just mad!

katekinners said...

My mother had a cake business from home when I was a small child. We used to watch her make these massive wedding cakes with iced flowers and all the types of piping as seen on today's Sunday Sweets. Just last week I was talking with my mom about fondant (I had never seen fondant until the reality cake decorating shows and this blog) and we were discussing how piped iciing is a lost art now. I am *thrilled* to see today's cakes - it really brings back happy memories from my childhood and focuses on how much talent it takes to decorate a cake "old school style."

hollymac79 said...

Fantastic cakes! Love all the intricate work that was shown!!

Anonymous said...

That is so beautiful! My hands would have fell off doing work like that. Absolutely stunning!

Lucille Ball Jr. said...

AMAZING!!!!! i am proud of myself if after i ice a cake i is some-what-smooth!

Amy.mangos said...

Das Meyer is making our wedding cake, and I am more excited than ever after seeing them on Sunday Sweets! We picked them because they are one of two bakeries in the area that do fondant-free unless you make a special request, as opposed to using fondant unless you tell them not to :-) After a couple tasting and interviews, it became clear that they are also extraordinarily talented decorators!

Their cakes are delicious, too! We're offering four flavors: Orange Blossom, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Texas Pecan, and white cake for the more boring relatives.

Just have to share, since they're literally the first vendor we booked- a year in advance! If you are in the metro Denver area, be sure to check them out!

The one with the hanging icing is so impressive, I can't fathom the patience that takes!

Thanny said...

The his/her thing is an annoying shortcoming of our language family (and many others). Though it's interesting that there apparently was a gender-neutral pronoun or two in Middle English that didn't survive.

As for these cakes, what I'm in awe of is what I imagine the size of the bill to be. That kind of work cannot be cheap.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Wow. I wish my wedding cake had looked like that!

Julie said...

Our cake was the submission from Das Meyer and we loved it. Amanda did a beautiful job of capturing the beauty of the cake on film (thank you!), and we're delighted that she passed the photo along. Someone mentioned cost and their hope that the bakers were charging in accord with the skills required. To Das Meyer's credit, we chose them because we loved what they had to offer, but their prices were better than those of many bakeries we considered. Das Meyer was a success all the way around!

Leah said...

Sweet ZOMBIES, those are freakin' AMAZING!

diddleymaz said...

incredible and soo pretty!!


WV = flojoy!

jackie31337 said...

Those are so beautiful I wouldn't want to eat them. I'd feel awful about ruining such exquisite works of cakey art.

Ryan, Corrie, and Max said...

Holy COW! My hands are cramping just looking at all that piping work!

Marji said...

WOW!

Kisa said...

Oh wow! Breathtaking!
As someone who doesn't like Fondant I love to be awed at those who can pull off amazing feats of cake artistry without it!

I want to get married and have a beautiful cake with detail like that!

step0nmi2 said...

Jenn, I'm so glad that you posted cake like these. I know I am a more modern baker doing fondant work and sculpted cakes and these cakes are the ones that get 1st prize at the cake shows. I really do hope you find out who the other cakes belong to because they deserve the credit. String work is not a lost art, yet, but decorators need to try their hand at it. (I know I do)

Karen said...

Julie @ 12:13 - I kept waiting to see the price in your post. I'm still curious!

Is it bad form to say the price?

Kristen said...

And now I'm off to lumpily frost my son's lopsided Lego cake...

Deray said...

wow! On the last one they made the icing look like jewels, truly impressive!

diopsideanddiamonds said...

I'm always surprised at how few fondant cakes do much piping work. I'd've thought the smooth surface would be perfect for showing off that sort of skill.

I love good pipe-work. It can be intricate and beautiful, or funky and modern. I've always been disappointed that my hands aren't steady enough for it.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I'm a bit of a traditionalist, so these just make my heart sing. :) Love the second one.

-kate

Debbi said...

WOW. Just WOW. Just when I think my own cake decorating skills are pretty good, I realize that, no, they are so not! These are absolutely amazing works of art. Thank you, Jen and John, for sharing.

WV: subooner. My skills are very subooner.

Flvolgal said...

I love these so much more than the fondant cakes. You can really see the artist at work here.
Thanks

togetherforgood said...

Wow, these are amazing. My mom used to decorate cakes from our home so I have a little experience with royal icing (my valentine's box in second grade was covered in royal icing LOL), and it is just amazing to see these. :)

Redheaded Mama said...

Thank you for showing off traditional skills. Fondant is nice, but piping skills are so key and get ignored because of sculpting nowadays.

Linds said...

Wow- AMAZING and beautiful cakes- hard to believe that it's icing and not lace.

Rebecca F. said...

I can't believe they put that beautiful cake in front of the horrid strawberry table cloth.

Katy said...

Wow. Those cakes are beautiful!

I hope they tasted good too. ;)

CanadianChick said...

oh, thank you!!! I really love to see fine examples of piping technique, being a fondant-hater...

that lambeth work and string work is incredible - I do NOT have the steadiness of hand for that!

Amanda said...

Holy cow, those are incredibly beautiful!

mn_me said...

just awesome - i kept looking at the cake with the suspended strings and pillows and thinking about how long that would have taken! I bow in awe to all of those cake artists who can do this. My hand aches with the thought of doing all this - Just lovely work. I can't imagine trying to do this work on site at a reception.

My Feet Hurt said...

Gorgeous cakes! The new site layout looks great too... love the blue.

Cat. said...

Quite the extravagance. I've always found wedding planning to be such a bother, but I would go through with it without complaint if I could have a cake as wondrous as any of these. (^o^)/

Sara said...

ahhhh! beautiful! i would lose my ever loving mind trying to do that though...the patience these people possess is astounding.

pam said...

The one 9and ONLY) thing that Hubby and I agreed on for our reception cake was that it must be fondant-free (to us fondant is artificial-looking and tastes nasty). Luckily we found a local small European-style bakery who does fantastic piping work. While not quite as elaborate as these, we thing it turned out quite lovely. Was quite tasty, too.

http://picasaweb.google.com/pdianne/WeddingReception#5155079826074632594
Alpine Bakery in Concord, CA

Let's support our local *real* cake artists!

Liz said...

Holy frickin crap! That is amazing! It just blows the mind how a baker has not only the talent but also the patience and steady hand to execute such amazing work.

holly said...

These are just beyond beautiful. I'd never seen fondant until reading this blog, it's not something used much around here (and I've never eaten it, so can't speak for the taste - never been on a wedding cake I've eaten). It's a different form of artistry, more sculpting and molding but I am just in awe of this fine, delicate work shown today. Like beautiful lacework. Another artistry form.

steeple333 said...

I did henna for the first time this weekend. After doing some very basic shapes for a coupla other people (this was a very casual setting with friends - I didn't have a booth or anything like that), I was comfortable enough with my pastry bag that I tried to do my own hand.

I had joked that I could decorate the hell outta a cake now, but your examples completely overshadow my efforts. The midair loops and lattice work is truly exquisite.

Kelly said...

I am absolutely in awe. I could only hope to be 1/100 this good! I was just telling my husband the other day how I'm not very good at the detail piping like this and these cakes just prove it!

Smokiechick said...

OMG. Those are just exquisite. As much as I love laughing at the cakes all week, I'm starting to think I make myself look at them every day so that Sunday is that much sweeter.

I am so impressed...

Alexandra said...

Okay, those cakes just blew my mind.

BiteMeCharlotte said...

Wow! The orange and white cake was sooo amazing!

Aimee said...

How refreshing. I really enjoy the pop culture-themed cakes, but it's really amazing to see these. It takes a different type of artistry and skill to make these!

Anonymous said...

Omg. Stunning. Wow. I want to eat them all.

Yes, fondant doesn't have to taste bad. Although it frequently does. It should taste like sugar and flavoring, not playdough. And it is more difficult than (a simple) buttercream work.
My first fondant cake was much harder to execute than any iced caked I've done.

@Anon 10:56 and John - I agree, his and hers about an unknown person can be tricky. Although it breaks the rules, I like to use "their" instead. Much less awkward than the combo, and consistent. There are other pronouns that blend gender and singular/plural, like "you", "your", and the royal "we".
And I also choose to break the rule about punctuation inside quotes, because that's just a silly rule that causes confusion.

Oh, and slow blackberry update! I fixed it by turning off scripts and setting images to low resolution. I'm not sure what scripts I'm not running now, but it appears I can comment.

Alex (almost forgot to put name!)

Bridget said...

I love, love the traditional cakes and for me they show more skill and talent than the fondant cakes. I am getting tired of seeing cake, after cake just shellacked in fondant. It takes artistic talent to make those cakes, but to me it just looks like- wow those people really made some cool stuff out of fondant and the cake is just missing. I like these cakes because its more like wow look what was made out of cake. I don't know if I am making any sense. But these cakes were intricate works of art, time, skill and LOTS of patience. Thanks for showing us the more traditional cakes.

archersangel said...

amazing work!

Nancy said...

Beautiful work. The one with the string work is my favorite. It must have taken hours and hours.

Angie said...

These are some of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen. The people who decorated these lovelies are some VERY talented people. Just to think of the amount of patience they have. WOW!

Kay said...

WOW! I've never seen cakes so beautiful!!!! That is absolutely amazing! I actually didn't know icing could be suspended like that. Thanks for posting these!

Bree said...

Where I live, we have a family-run bakery named Goll's that does all buttercream wedding cakes. They do a fantastic job and my brother and fiancee are getting their wedding cake from them. The icing is delicious, but so sweet it could put you in a diabetic coma. It's one of those once-in-a-blue-moon tastings.

I'm also happy to report the cake I ordered for my future SIL's second bridal shower (yup, second) turned out great. The colors of the roses were exactly what I wanted and the spacing and spelling were correct. You can get decent cakes from a supermarket bakery sometime.

I really like today's selection. Those all-white, simple-looking but really not cakes are gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

When I get married (not that I'm engaged. Or even have a boyfriend. Or am even out of middle/high school) , I TOTALLY want one of those people doing my cake-a different flavor of cake for each tier, and ALL MAD PIPING SKILLZ, ALL THE TIME! I've never actually had fondant, but I HAVE had frosting, an irreplaceably magical substance. These are true Sunday Sweets.

BTW, Jen? After seeing this post, I decided to revisit some past Sweets, and discovered that I could only see one page (through May of 09). I've been a loyal Wreck fan for years, and I KNOW there are more. Is it just my computer, or is there something wrong with the site? Or...OR...*conspiracy-theory-creating mind at work* ... uh, I got nothing.

- Eliza

hoppytoad79 said...

The days you post cakes like this, it should be 'Sunday Stunners' because the cakes are gorgeous, stunningly so in the case of the ones you posted near the end. My hat is not only off to the artists who decorated these cake, I'm on my face before them paying homage to their genius. I don't want a cake this gorgeous when I get married because I'd never want to cut into and destroy such a work of art.

stella said...

wow! that is unbelievable! those cakes are goooorgeous and truly works of art.

jo said...

I had beautiful lace work like that on the bottom of my wedding cake, that is until someone put their thumbs through either side when they moved it...boo hoo.

The Stringham 4 said...

Those are specacular! Wow! If only I could be that talented, my daughter would have THE BEST birthday cupcakes in the preschool class on Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

@ jackie31337 (12.31pm) and other posters who occasionally say they couldn't bear to eat a beautiful cake: I'm nowhere near today's category of sheer awesomeness, but when I make a cake, its purpose is to be eaten. It has to be both as lovely as I can make it (unintended wreckiness aside) and as delicious. I sit back, love looking at it for a while, take some photos, and then enjoy watching the recipients enjoy it with all their senses. Ours is an ephemeral art.

Regards

MC from NZ

WV: propo - today's examples show propo dedication to the craft

Kelly said...

beautiful! i wish i could make cakes like that....so much practice!

Just Me,Pilgrim said...

This is incredible artistry. I hope the people that do these amazing cakes got paid a lot of money for all their hard work!

Michele said...

These are beautiful!

I am a believer in ending the fondant craze (if it should even be called that). I'll have to think of a better term, but the point is to stop the careless and thoughtless use of fondant!

Sariah said...

And this is why it's worth it to pay thousands of dollars for a wedding cake. BEAUTIFUL!!

brenkachicka said...

Oh wow.

:::b r a n d i::: said...

Wow, those are simply amazing. Fondant is cool, but these bakers REALLY have talent. Thanks for showcasing!

Ann said...

I had to laugh after you said that it was a geekless day; when I looked at the ball and butterflies on the top of the orange and white cake, I thought, "quiddich snitch!"

You can take the geek out of the cakes, but, apparently, not out of me.

Beautiful cakes.

CharmCitySugar said...

If that "loop" artist had messed up, it would have been a "Loopy Fiasco!"

Get it? like rapper Lupe Fiasco? No? Sigh.

Oh well. I thought it was funny...

Cyndi said...

Who would want the responsibility of delivering one of those cakes to the reception? Not me!

Etiquette Bitch said...

Oh, eff, now I wish I'd had a beautiful wedding cake. Crimony. I think for our 10 year I'm going to have the "wedding" complete with a competent DJ and a gorgeous cake, inspired by Sunday sweets.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. When I first became interested in baking, I was taught that this is the real deal and that fondant was taking the easy way out and was the step-child of the real artists who do this kind of work. I appreciate someone drawing attention to the skills that are becoming harder to find, because my mindset has been hard to change, although I've developed an appreciation for some fondant work.

Suzanne Dargie said...

Oh yeah! It's so nice to see there are still some people out there WORTHY of the title, Cake Decorator. These are absolutely STUNNING examples of the craft!

John and Sarah Sperry said...

I LOVE traditional wedding cakes that are done well. Just gorgeous! One pet peeve, though, what photographer decided that to be cool he/she should photograph a cake at such a neck-crunching angle. It's so overdone and annoying as heck when you're trying to view the mind-blowing skills of the ACTUAL artist.

Amy said...

Awesome work. Very delicate and time-consuming, but beautiful.
~Amy B

84 said...

Would anyone here be willing to share their royal icing recipes or know where i could get some?
I really want to try scroll work with that now.It looks fun,even if my hand tends to shake a bit.
Ha!My word verification is "kings"..

Anonymous said...

These are amazing cakes. Thank you for sharing them. If I ever get married again I want one like the orange and lace. I love it!!

I can't tell you how much I love your blog. I was having a really bad day and decided to look at my favorite blog and some of the cakes that you posted made me laugh so much. It's been a long time since I laughed that hard. Thank you.

ziagrrl said...

How in the world were those cakes transported safely to their location?!? I can't bring home groceries without there being a mess in the boot. The icing drops are spectacular!

Dana said...

Those are sure some BEAUTIFUL cakes! I love the look of the crochet cake.

SiressYorkie said...

I am SO glad you showed the skill of piping. All this fondant work makes me wretch sometimes. That's all I see over here in Germany...fondant fondant fondant. Drives me nuts.

I did a stint as a cake decorator and used to look at stuff like this as aspirational. Lovely, lovely things!!

The Black Dog said...

WOW! I have got to hire one of these bakers when I get married. I would rather pay the extra cash for a baker that can do hand piping like that than for a cake with that icky fondant.

Grove Designs Co, aka Kriskropmemories said...

Those cakes are fantastic, I am not a cake artist but I can only imagine the time and patience that must go into such designs.
My favorite is the first one posted.

Jessica said...

simply amazing!

Summer said...

The bakers who just did those cakes. You are so AMAZING! Love all of the cakes. =D

Summer
A Writers Den
Brown Mestizo

12 hour pills said...

That cake with the string work...how amazing! Absolutely amazing. I could stare at it for a few hours, maybe....well, if I had nothing else to do. It just seems too perfect.

Julia said...

We got our wedding cake from Das Meyer... in addition to being drop-dead beautiful, it was crazy tasty too!

Rachael said...

these are so beautiful, I would feel guilty eating any of them!

Anonymous said...

They're beautiful. :) however, I was really hoping for some Patriot themed sweets. I'm sure there's some beautiful America Cakes out there.

LaurA

Alyson said...

Gorgeous. Beats the crap out of fondant.

Havard said...

And how about some buttercream that is actually made with butter? Oh, and colored buttercream where the coloring is mixed with the frosting rather than airbrushed on in such a disgusting quantity that you can actually taste it.

Jolene said...

These are the cake decorating skills that literally take my breath away.

Jolene said...

PS I know, because my mother is a wedding cake decorator who decorated in that style and I have done a little of it myself. I KNOW how difficult it is to get it right.

turbidity said...

Das Meyer did our wedding cake, which turned out great. When you're out here in Denver on tour, it'd be worth your while to visit, especially if you make it when they have free cake tastings. Not only do their cakes look awesome, but they are the best tasting cakes I've had, and I include ice cream cakes in that statement.

Evalis said...

The only way i can see somehow 1-upping these cakes is if we somehow got Willard Wigan into cake making.

And if you don't know him, google him, please - if only so you know what i'm talking about. (keep in mind all his work is done BY HAND, so we would be beyond mad skillz and into godhood level stuff)

diopsideanddiamonds said...

After reading through the comments, I do want to add:

These are the sorts of skills I could see paying $$$ ... $$$ ... $$$$$$$ for with a cake, be it buttercream and amazing piping, or fondant and amazing sculpting.

I think what gets me about the fondant (aside from the general taste) is that there are bakers who base their prices on buttercream vs. fondant with fondant costing two, three, four times as much, but with no particularly higher skill set in either medium.

I would want the best skill my cake money could buy, and I think if you've got mad piping skillz, charge appropriately for that, and if you've got mad fondant skills, charge appropriately for that, but don't charge more based entirely on medium, unless your skills (or lack thereof, wreckerators!) in both are matched.

Sili said...

How does one even begin to learn to pipe icing?

I mean, I can sorta whip up a cake now, but I have no clue where to start on the decorating - I'm not artistic by nature - at all.

Nick said...

Wow . . . not other words are needed.

Katie Alender said...

If I were one of these bakers, I would make the bride and groom sign a contract promising not to smash my cake in each other's faces.

Our wedding cake was a simple but pretty buttercream affair with MUCH simpler detail than these... but looking at them brings back good memories.

True artistry!

dharmamama said...

I keep coming back to look at this! Thanks so much for posting these lovely cakes.

Lucifera said...

These are so beautiful. I love the one with the loops hanging down, they must have been so difficult to create!

Anonymous said...

hey! I just found your site, not kidding like a week ago and I have read all of your posts lol.... ok but anyways I just wanted to say that I think you're hilarious and I have a quick ??? why do people not like fondaunt (i know i spelled it wrong sorry) I have heard it does not taste good.... is this true? ok thats all and btw my fave is the orange and white one except I think blue and white would be cooler!

Amy.mangos said...

Das Meyer has quoted us just under $400 for 100 people, for those people who asked about pricing. That's low for our area, and buttercream designs are included! Fondant and sugar flowers etc are extra :-) but our design is very, very simple and we might pay more for something fancier now...
I hope it's not tacky to share pricing, but I do think that we're getting an incredible deal and am happy to pass along a great bakery, as they're so rare today!

bookbug said...

That last cake . . . woah. O.O

Anonymous said...

The first one is my favorite. My least favorite is the cheddar cheese wrapped in doilies.

Jenna said...

I have to say that while that piping shows some amazing talent, and it's really cool (especially the lattice pillows and lace on orange)...

...I would never, ever want any of those as my wedding cake. They look great but they're so stereotypically "Wedding", probably don't taste all that good and you'd feel bad cutting into them anyway because they look so great. Then you do cut into them and realize they taste like Styrofoam.

No thanks. I'm happy to look but I won't buy.

We're getting tiramisu instead!

Jenna said...

(...and I do realize that the icing is not fondant, just sayin' that the inside of the cake may not be all that great).

Lynn said...

Breathtaking cakes and a welcome reprieve from geek cakes !

Britt said...

WOW!!

Anonymous said...

The orange ball with the butterflies I thought was the golden snitch from Harry Potter, lol

cygirlkat said...

How incredibly elegant.

swoon....

Giusi. said...

wow! that orange cake is absolutely the most stunning cake i have ever seen!!!

Sr. Mina, BSP said...

My goodness! I'm stunned! I didn't know bakers still did this kind of work these days. I had thought it died off during the Industrial Revolution or something. Now I'm tempted to order one of these old-fashioned cakes. But you know what? They look too pretty to eat!

Thank you so much for applying an educational comment with each one. I'm literally in learning heaven! I wish you had more posts like this. Perhaps every Saturday? I've love to see the detailed and painstaking world of cake artistry.

Oh, and thank you for the special close-ups. They helped me see the detail. Its wonderful to know you take such great care to make these kinds of photos. My eyes aren't all that good, so its much appreciated.

Sr. Mina, BSP

Annie said...

Hi all, I made the orange with butterflies cake ( AnnieK and Tandoori, we are the same person :-) ) and wanted to say how happy I am that Jen posted my cake here and that there are so many people who like it and appreciate the amount of work that I've put into it.

I am not a professional baker and this was my first Royal icing ( and weeding )attempt and I did it just for fun, not for particular wedding. I just invited friends and neighbors to indulge ;-)

About fondant vs. buttercream thing,I just have to say that fondant cake doesn't equal less delicious one; however, it equals a decorator that knows what he/she is doing. I have never compromised the taste for the look and I really don't understand why people think that one excludes the other.

Thank you once again for the kind words! This is very motivating for a newbie like me!

mp. said...

late to the party on this one, but... are you KIDDING ME with that piping work? that is just beyond amazing!!

i love the look of a cake with the fondant -- it can be sculptural and all -- but these literally take... well, they take the cake! (yes, i went there.)

Anonymous said...

Incredible! My sister used to make cakes like this, not for a living but as a "hobby", but she never tried this as far as I know!