Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Sweets: An Ostentation of Peacock

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I recently stumbled across a gaggle of peacock cakes... Gaggle? No, that's not right. {Googling...}

I recently stumbled across a muster of peacock cakes that were too beautiful not to share with the world. I also learned that there are a lot of interesting words that mean "a lot." Lets explore both, shall we?

This peafowl has quite the colony of tail feathers:

Beautiful elegance in a modern design.

This cluster of tail feathers is much more classical:


I really love the bushel of...uh...talent on display here:


And the hand-painted trees and tail are really fantastic.



This profusion of posies makes the perfect perch for a pretty peacock.


The gold detail in this litter of feathers is just enchanting:

By Highland Bakery

And the peacock is white chocolate! Mmmmmm... peacock.

Now for some abstract beauties.

The parcel of hand-drawn lines on this modern design is so intricate:

I want to throw this into an episode of Mad Men where they do a commercial for NBC.


This wedding cake doesn't have the skein of feathers that the other cakes do...

By One of a Kind Cakes

...but I love the sparing use of peacock detail.


The plethora of mosaic tiles here really sets this bird apart...


...and the cackle of tail feathers is abstractly beautiful.

This trio of cakes showcases some stunning Mehndi designs:


That peacock is pure beauty.


I'm totally in love with this wedding cake:


The menagerie of metallics is stunning.

And finally, just wait until you see the coterie of tiers this next cake has to offer:

That's a blown-sugar peacock on top. Let's take a closer look:


So frilly and delicate, it's more beautiful than a kaleidoscope of butterflies. (Yes, that's really what you call a group of butterflies. Awesome, right?)


Have a Sweet to suggest? Then e-mail it to us at Sunday Sweets [at] Cake Wrecks [dot] com.
Anonymous said...

Amazing! I had no idea there were so many gorgeous peacock cakes out there (okay, to be honest, I never really thought there were _any_ peacock cakes out there, eye candy or not). Thanks for filling my Sunday with such beauty!

And to add a bit of geekery, that white peacock cake reminded me of the albino peacock at the Malfoy estate in the last Harry Potter book.

Anonymous said...

OMG that white one looked like porcelin. They were all beautiful.

crydwynn said...

They're all pretty awesome but the second one is O. M. G.

Kristin said...

check out a series of books by Ruth Heller - one is called A Cache of Jewels and it shows all kinds of collective nouns - some are really strange! (first time poster, but I have followed you from the beginning and am eagerly awaiting your second book, thanks for the smiles!!)

Leslie said...

I didn't know that "pulchritude" was a word that could be used to mean "a lot." Maybe it means "a lot of pretty things"?

At any rate, those cakes certainly are all very pulchritudinous. Pulchritudinous Peacock Pastries.

abi said...

A kaleidoscope of butterflies! That's so vivid! Words are awesome, y'all.

Amanda Mac said...

I'm not a fan of peacocks... or birds in general. But these cakes absolutely blew me out of the water. Especially the second one. That is just unreal.

I had that same thought about the white one being like the Malfoy's albino peacock...

Anonymous said...

And I always thought cakes came in bunches, who knew.

JKS said...

I am totally blown away by my favorite animal in cake form! Thank you for making my day!!

Anonymous said...

These are astounding. How did anyone actually cut into these to eat them?? And your commentary was wonderful as well.
Thanks to Kristin for mentioned "A Cache of Jewels" which I'll have to look for now. I want to recommend James Lipton's classic book "An Exaltation of Larks" which is another collection of, er, collections.

The Alphabet Gang said...

"Would you say that I have a plethora of pinatas?"
"A what?"
"A plethora."
*big pause* "....Oh yes, you have a plethora."

Senora, you certainly have presented a plethora of pulchritudinous pastries in your post. Plaudits to you!

;)

Carmen, the Un-Stalker

J Franklin Evans said...

Wow. These are incredibly beautiful. Thank you for posting them--I'm going to share this with my friends.

Lura said...

According to my research, the proper collective noun for feathers is a "tickle of feathers". Which is just adorably cute when you think about it.

mamaJem said...

I didn't show the post to my four year old until the last one and she knew it was a peacock right away! I've never been a big fan of peacocks (to many bad childhood memories of being chased by angry ones) but these are beautiful.

Kaaren said...

These are all so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Tickle of feathers, Kaliedoscope of butterflies!! I love collective nouns and I LOVE these cakes. It is a sin against art to cut into them!

wv: voloidi Cake wrecks are hilarious but voloidi-ting them

Juno said...

I had no idea there was even such a thing as blown sugar! Beautiful!

smscott said...

I tend to agree that the 2nd one is eye-poppingly beautiful , and I'm thoroughly excited to see other harry potter people lol. That last one though, the blown sugar? just ... well for lack of a better term right now, it blew my mind.

The Boob Nazi said...

Oh wow! That glass-blown one reminded me of, um, the Loch Ness Monster in "Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" haha. They are all beautiful!

Mamakitty1978 said...

I love your blog but I do have to say (I might be berated for this but I have my opinions) There were one or two peacocks on these cakes I was not too impressed by, the rest were gorgeous however. And one correction you called the first cake a peafowl however given the blues used in it and the amount of tail feathers it cant be a peafowl. The females are usually gray to brown in color and dont have extensive tails.

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Mamakitty 1978,

Nobody's gonna berate you for that. You're all nice and well-spoken and stuff and you are entitled to your opinion. I do, however, have to take issue with your correction. The term "Peafowl" is used to describe the type of bird as a whole. Peacock is the male and Peahen is the female. I think you might have meant that the first one is not a Peahen, which is true.

I think.

But what do I know?

Wreck On!

john

A Paperback Writer said...

I like the top one best. :)

Maddie said...

BEAUTIFUL cakes, but I looked up "pulchritude" and it says it means "beauty"--not "a lot". Does it have two meanings???

Anyway, in non-nitpicky comments, my favorites were the first one, the white/gold one, and the mosaic!

Queen Julian XIII said...

Those aren't posies! They're daisies. :D

Anonymous said...

Mamakitty1978, in an attempt to be pedantic you have confused the word 'peafowl' with the word 'peahen'. Oh, the horror.

Clearly your bedroom friezes were not as educational as mine!

"Goodnight peacock. Goodnight peahen. Goodnight peachicks. Goodnight peafowl.

"Goodnight cob. Goodnight pen. Goodnight cygnets. Goodnight swans."

Etc.

Caitlin said...

Lovely! Although Cake number one has some unfortunate initials on it. D&V... on a cake? really? lol

Lulu said...

I really loved all the cakes. Birds have never really been my thing, but the peacocks brought some beautiful treasures. And of course, my mind went the opposite direction and started to imagine how easy it would be to wreck these cakes.

And confession: I thought misread "muster of peacocks" as "munster" Which made me thing of The Munsters. Cue theme song.

Katherine said...

I'm planning my wedding to be themed around peacock feathers...this post just boosted my morale about it. A couple people I've mentioned my ideas to have said it's a nice idea that won't actually work. But now I'm determined to have a cake as beautiful as these at my peacock wedding!

Becky said...

Beautiful cakes, but I'm fairly certain that a good number of the vocabulary words in this post were used incorrectly.

Mamakitty1978 said...

Yes I was mistaken, and correctly corrected. I did confuse peafowl and peahen.

finallygettingfit said...

I love the mehndi design peacock cake and it's companion cakes. The piping is so intricate and beautiful. That is so difficult to do and do well. Kudos to the designer.

Sharon said...

How cool! When I saw the pictures of the first peacock cake, I thought, "I should send in the picture of my peacock cake". Then, there it was...Kristopher Sillers cake from Kake Bakery. This design was learned in a cake decorating class Oct. 2009 in Tulsa, OK right after the Sugar Art Show. The class was held by Food Network Cake Challengers James Rosselle, Joshua John Russell, and Jason Ellis. It was called The 3 J's. 51 people took the class and only about 3 men decorators were there.

The design is a mosaic pattern and James Rosselle taught us how to do the flowers and cut leaves for the feathers. Joshua did the intricate piping.

It was an awesome opportunity to spend time with these 3 talented cake decorators. I learned a lot in their class, and they are very warm, caring people, just like you see on Food Network.
On top of that, Kerry Vincent (Sugar Art Queen) dropped in to see how we were doing.

Sharon's Edible Art

Smellyduck said...

Although I've been a fan for years I have never posted before, but that first cake is so beautiful I just had to sing it's praises.

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL! That sugar peacock is amazing.
We actually spent a rainy vacation day this past summer looking up the names for groups of animals.

Headless Mom said...

These are REALLY AMAZING!!!!!!

CHRISTINA ARMSTRONG said...

Those are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

sugarpunk said...

Wow, wow, wow. This makes me want to hang up my decorating bags and go home (I won't, but wow). Stunning.

Rae said...

These are gorgeous! Plus, I didn't know that blown sugar even existed or that a group of peafowl was called a muster. Thanks CW!(everyday reader, first time poster btw)

Arianna said...

I catered the wedding that the fourth cake was made for! It was even more amazing in person. It was also VERY tasty....

Emily said...

Ummm...Wow. I'm speechless. And drooling.

Rebecca said...

Usually the Sunday Sweets is full of cakes that are beautifully made. I can always appreciate the talent, imagination, etc. but wouldn't necessarily want but maybe one or two of the cakes for my wedding/anniversary/whatever. Not so this week! I would be ecstatic to have any one of these beauties. I can't possibly even pick a favorite. They're all so unique. And to think I could have gone my whole like and never seen them. I wouldn't have known what I was missing. This and Epbot are the two best blogs ever. You rock!

mickeyp415 said...

wow... those are amazing. i love the very modern "drawn" design and that blown sugar peacock -- like a dale chihuly glass sculpture.

Rapunzel210 said...

You might have gone with a "myriad of mosaic tiles" (for alliteration's sake) vs a "plethora," but still an awesome collection of collectives!

militarymommie said...

I personally hate peacocks (noisy nasty birds) but those cakes are amazing!

andygirl said...

"This profusion of posies makes the perfect perch for a pretty peacock"

alliteration makes me all gooey inside.

Anonymous said...

posy [ˈpəʊzɪ]
n pl -sies
1. a small bunch of flowers or a single flower; nosegay

So yup, even though they are daisies, Queen Julien, they are also posies. :)

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Becky,

You have to be more specific with your gauntlet.

john

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for these excellent images as well as stretching language into less used modifiers. ~ Lyza

Connie Moreno said...

WOW!!

Anonymous said...

Those belong in an art gallery, not a reception hall...Absolutely, incomprehensibly beautiful...

Anonymous said...

A - Thank you for the lovely peafowl

B - Thank you for the amassed bundle of group words.

If it's a tickle of feathers, does that make it possible to have a tickle of Elmos?

~~Di

Mare said...

Stunningly lovely. Creators are truly amazing artists!

Patti said...

Those are way too beautiful to contemplate eating...

Kellie Jensen said...

How Animalia of you. :o)

CookieMonster said...

Niiiiice!

Sweet!

I like!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, loving those cakes! My last name is Peacock.

Anonymous said...

How do I post a picture on here? I had a peacock cake for my wedding 4 months ago and it's completely different from the ones on here...they are mostly beautiful.

Katie said...

The word for a group of ravens is "murder," As in a murder of ravens. But I doubt very many people make raven cakes.

Suzette said...

Oh, wow! I had already decided I wanted to do a peacock cake for when my boyfriend and I get married (that's assuming we can still get around under our own steam by then!). I had already found some of these, but a bunch of them are brand new to me. And they are AMAZING! Thanks for bringing them!

tiny purple elephant said...

mendhi and metallic are my favs....

Lori said...

Holy Peacocks, Batman! Those are gorgeous. I especially like the second one, even going so far as to link over to the website to find out how much one of these beauties would set me back!

Ang said...

Admittedly, these cakes are beautiful and very well done.

BUT I don't care how beautiful or intricate these designs are--they might as well have been decorated with intricately detailed spiders, slugs and maggots. ANY bird or feather + cake = shudders of revulsion from me.

Ang said...

Not to be a pain by posting twice, but I just had to share that after 10 minutes of being away from this site, my heart is still racing from the anxiety caused by imagining birds sitting on top of cakes. OK. Deep breaths. In. Out. Aaaand, still grossed out. :-)

KarSen said...

I wish these were posted in June! I just got married in July, and peacock feathers were all over the tables, in my hair, and on the invites. When picking out our cake, I briefly mentioned this theme, and the baker showed me a picture of a peacock cake she created. The result was horrifying enough that if I had it, the pic would have been sent in to CW! Kinda gave up the peacock cake idea after that.

ashley said...

*Mehndi... I think. But a beautiful post!

Arlene said...

Wow I now know how beautiful peacocks look on a cake. Makes me want to run out and buy those yummy creations. As for cutting into one not to fond of that so I hope whoever gets these takes tons of pics!

Miriam said...

This makes me want to have another wedding reception... 3 years after our wedding! :D Soooo pretty!

Wolverine Girl said...

These are all amazing but I think I loved your parliament of collective nouns the best. I was laughing out loud by the time I got to "cackle." Kind of appropriate, when you think of it.

Anonymous said...

I especially like the one with the tail made of daisies.

Margie said...

I really do <3 cake wrecks and I check it every day so as to not miss a single one. But I have to admit that I do look forward to Sunday Sweets the most. :D

Margie said...

I really do Love the wrecks on cake wrecks and I check it every day so as to not miss a single one, but I have to admit that I lok forward to Sunday Sweets the most. <3

Invi said...

I chose to read this post without the "pea"... Great fun.

EG said...

Now I want to get married again (to the same guy, you know) so I can have a peacock cake!

Aliza said...

Wow, these bakeries sure strut their stuff ;) (Sorry, couldn't resist a pun). I'm not a huge peacock fan, but I am a fan of any bakery that does something truly beautiful... and the talent involved with some of those designs is just fantastic-- the handpainted peacocks and trees were gorgeous, the hand-drawn lines was precise and really neat, the mendhi was beautiful, and wow, that blown sugar peackock-- WOW!

dharmamama said...

Year ago, I was at the beach with a boyfriend, and we were standing at the end of the pier, watching the fish and jellyfish.

It was quiet and romantic, and he said, "You know what you call a group of jellyfish?"

"Um, no... what?"

"A smucker."

Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Quiet, romantic mood ended, but the laugh was worth it.

Jan said...

This is the first time I've commented on your wonderful Wrecks, though I've been a regular peruser & chuckler for a year or so. I don't know why I haven't let you know! Maybe because you have SO many followers. Thanks for the "pretty" Sunday sweets, the peacocks. We don't need pretty every week, but once in awhile it's nice.

Anonymous said...

I love the wedding cake with the single feathers. Gorgeous. But did the artist actually write her website on the cake, or is that just for the photo? I can't tell whether it's really talented photoshopping or really tacky advertising or maybe the cake is for a bakers' fair?

-Holly

dessertschick said...

The blown glass reminded me... Everyone has by now heard of the documentary "Kings of Pastry," yes? I figure Jen & John have, and probably several zillion times over...
Anyhoo, I highly recommend seeing it! Kinda re-defines Sunday Sweets in an extraordinary French way.

Aliza said...

I loved the post, but I do agree that there were some word-usage issues. I don't want to be nit-picky, so am not sure if I want this published. I loved that you sent even those of us who knew the words scramblign for our dictionaries to see if our "huh? that's not quite right?" instincts were correct!

Cluster was ok, since the word refers to a grouping of similar things (in this case, feathers). Plethora was brilliant, trio makes it a three-peat, and profusion is abundent and that's apt. You successfully parceled out new words to expand people's vocabulary (ie that one was fine, too). And kaleidoscope took a bit of Googling, but turns out that's the collective noun for butterflies, which is just a beautiful use of language (I actually thought that was a perfect Jen&John-ism!).

But here's the ones that were a bit off:

Colony is a grouping of people, plants, germs... not sure if it can be applied to inanimate objects (feathers)

Bushel is a measure of capacity... technically doesn't work with talent, but I do rather like it ;)

Litter is either an untidy gathering of articles or is a number of animals born to an animal at once. Neither definition works for lovely feathers!

Skein is referred to thread or wool-- it is "a lot" but of a specific thing (and not feathers).

Menagerie is a collection of animals-- not sure if that works for inanimate metallics (and was there more than one metallic used?). But if you'd said it was a menagerie of peacock cakes, that would have been perfect!

Coterie is a small group of people with shared interests (e.g. Cake Wrecks fans!)... again, not sure if that could apply to tiers of a cake since they're inanimate

Sorry to suddenly turn all nit-picky on you!

Heather D. said...

OMG, great sunday sweets post! My fav so far! Loooove the henna peacock cakes!

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Aliza,

Your comment is awesome! Of course I posted it. We actually put a bit of foolishness in there intentionally but you nailed a couple that I hadn't researched thoroughly enough.

I gotta say that I think it's a shame that these beautiful, interesting words come off as highbrow when used in normal conversation. Wouldn't it make our language just a little bit better if we added some color now and then?

And Aliza? I hope you have a splendid evening!

john

aimee_not_amy said...

I love peacock feathers, and this post just made me love them more! I especially love the Mehndi design one. such gorgeous and intricate detail!

Anonymous said...

>>Skein is referred to thread or wool-- it is "a lot" but of a specific thing (and not feathers). Aliza<<

Ummm, not to be nit-picky in return, but a "skein" is also a group of geese, ducks, or other waterfowl in flight, according to Merriam-Webster. When you see a V formation of geese flying by... it's a skein of them. *S*

I just love odd words, don't you?

Merry at Annie's Book Stop

wv: awerserr - these cakes aren't just awesome, they're awerserr!

ellen said...

Number 1, you kill me. Very funny post. Mmmmmm....peacock. Cracked me up :-)

Anonymous said...

I liked them ..a lot.
Corina

chrisd said...

Spectacular!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for posting these! I love peacocks (was even known to stalk some in Wales on my honeymoon). Now I want a birthday cake like one of these. :)

Anonymous said...

OMG i love peacocks more than anything! these are awesome!!! thank you , thank you, thank you!!!

Kella said...

English nerd moment:

I think by lots of words for "a lot" you mean lots of synonyms for "collection" or "large quantity"....... :-P Yay peacocks! <3

Kristi Smart Romantic Fantasy Coats and Clothing. said...

john (the hubby of Jen) said...

Mamakitty 1978,

The term "Peafowl" is used to describe the type of bird as a whole.

I think.

But what do I know?

Wreck On!

john

---------

John. Not only do you have that wrong but you misss spelled it as well.
The word is Peefoul and it describes my cat.

Cake on!

Kristi

Lauren C said...

Thought you should know... I was shopping at my local Target yesterday, and I overheard a college-age girl telling her friends about this post, and how they HAD to go check it out. So, yeah... you guys? You're famous.

Jenna said...

FINALLY - wedding cakes that are not "wrecks" on this site that I actually like. Well, not the white and pink, though I like the design, and basically nothing that is mostly white, but the designs are gorgeous and not foofy and cliched. I like.

Such a relief. I was starting to feel a bit...irritated by wedding cake posts because I really dislike the usual girly flowery pastel and white foo-foo wedding cakes that are supposed to be "good". I found myself preferring the wrecks because at least they were interesting.

It´s good to see a post of good wedding cakes that tickles my fancy!

kohakuscorner said...

These are GORGEOUS! I adore peacocks!

Alejandra Valentina said...

OMG I love Peacocks! The first cake is to die for. I'm not big on over the top wedding cakes, but my goodness that was lovely. It gave me some wonderful ideas for my own wedding. Thank you!

Ellethwen said...

It has already been decided by a friend of mine that when (or if...) I get married, I need to have a peacock cake.

I really love the first one. I love peacocks.

Becci said...

I love peacocks! Usually I'm bored by the Sunday Sweets posts (probably my fault, not CW's!) but this one was just great.

deltoncraft said...

Stunning. I love the Mehndi ones...just beautiful.

Karen said...

Surely no one would actually cut into one of those - they are all way too pretty to eat!

Kyong Capwell said...

To Holly, who posted on October 4, 2010 12:18 PM regarding the company name on the single-feather wedding cake picture:

The company name WAS photo-shopped onto the image (but the "tacky advertising" idea is pretty funny, too!) :) Before we started adding these watermarks, we found more than a few of our cake pictures on other people's websites, as if it was their work! Not everyone gives proper credit to the artists, as was done here - (THANK YOU).

Because of a few "bad apples," we now watermark all of our photos that are posted online. It may seem like shameless advertising, but it's really more self-preservation! :)

This is a great site, and some great choices for showcasing peacocks!!

akukoomori said...

I didn't realize peacocks on cakes was such a motif...

I would imagine the current cake from the Advanced Baking Class in my program was inspired by it, but sadly it's not anywhere near as beautiful as these. It's nice, it's just... the specific position, and the look on it's face make me think it's.... "discussing country matters" with the cake.

Liz said...

This is coming a bit late, but there's an awesome wondermark comic on collective nouns, for those of you who geek out about such things.
http://wondermark.com/566/

Chula said...

Wow! I am so in love with peacocks. I just think they are the most beautiful creatures. If they didn't make so much noise they'd be in my yard. Anyway my 40th birthday is almost here and I've been searching for a cake. These cakes are so amazing. What amazing artists. The very first is my favorite but the others are fantastic too.