Aug 29, 2011

Monkey Cake Tutorial

Welcome to Wendy Woo Cakes 1st Tutorial!

A few months ago I was asked to make a monkey and banana cake, with lots of bananas all over the cake. We made the cake and it was a huge success. The family loved it! Last week, we were asked to make the same cake for a baby shower, so I thought this time I would do a tutorial for the cake. Please let me know what you think, and if you have other topics you would like to learn about, I am always happy to share what I know.

All cakes, of course need to be crumb coated. This is the top tier which is Red Velvet cake with Madagascar Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream...say that 3 times fast:)

Smooth out the icing and place it in the fridge to chill. While it is chilling, cover your board in fondant.

 After chilling for about 30 minutes in the fridge your cakes are ready to cover. Just a reminder...your fondant will only be as smooth and flat as your buttercream and cake underneath. If the buttercream is lumpy, your fondant will be too.
 Cover the cake carefully and cut away the excess. I like to use a sharp steak knife that IS NOT serrated at all! Or sometimes I use an exacto knife. It depends on my mood.
 After your cakes are covered give them a few minutes (20 minutes) to sit and rest. The fondant needs a few minutes to start to harden. If you cover a cake then try to move it too soon, the fondant will slip, stretch, slide, or bunch and all of those things are not pretty.

I usually take this time to get my other supplies ready or make other decorations. Cut your dowels for your bottom tier. You will need at least 4 dowels inserted into your bottom tier to hold up the top tier. I forgot to take a picture of this step. If you don't want to use dowels you can also use large staws (Tea Straws) they can be found at craft stores or kitchen stores.
For this cake and most cakes, I also cut a long dowel that will run the height of the cake that can be hammered through all of the tiers to help with stability in transporting the cake.
For this I use my "gardening" shears, a utility knife and a hammer, all of which are only used for cake purposes and have never been used outside. I sharpen one end of the dowel with the utility knife, you could also use a pencil sharpener, just make sure it hasn't been used for pencils.

For this cake, make the dowel a few inches taller than the cake itself, so it can support the palm tree on top. Then using the hammer, pound the dowel through both tiers (through the cake board) and into the base. Don't be scared, it really will work and it wont hurt your cake. Although I will admit, it is terrifying every time you do it.
 After the cakes are stacked, decorate the cake the way you want it. If you look carefully you can see the dowel sticking out of the cake.
 For the top palm tree, I wrapped modeling chocolate around a large straw, then cut out tear shapes and started at the top of the tree and worked my way down, covering the entire tree trunk in "bark".
Now that it is finished, you can simply slide the straw over the dowel and down into the cake.
 After the trunk is in place I stuff modeling chocolate down the top of the straw. Once it hardens, it will help hold your wired leaves in place. The bottom trunks are made of all modeling chocolate with no straws or dowels. The leaves go on last. Leaves are a whole different tutorial:)
 The monkeys and bananas are made of modeling chocolate. I made the bananas the night before.  The leaves are made of gumpaste and were made the day before as well.

 I also used brown food coloring mixed with a little white coloring to paint the tips of the bananas to help them look a little more realistic. Add the leaves and viola!!! You have a super cute monkey cake!
Please let me know if you have questions.

Wendy Woo
email me at

Aug 16, 2011

Vroom! Vroom! Jeff Gordon!

Jeff Gordon's 2011 Cherry Red Car!

Happy Birthday to Phil, and a huge thanks to his wife Lori, who loves to challenge my abilities as a cake artist. She also ordered the Armadillo Cake. We love repeat customers!

The cakes was a Sour Cream Vanilla Cake with Almond Meringue Buttercream and Raspberry Filling. The cake is covered in fondant and all of the "stickers" are edible. The tires are gumpaste. The checkerboard is also done in fondant.
Phil loved the is what Lori emailed me after the party.
"It was AMAZING AND MOST MEMORABLE!!!! Phil was so very surprised and stood in awe of the race car actually being a cake.  He couldn’t wait to bring the boys to look at the cake when they first arrived at the house!  Pictures of the cake were sent all over cyberspace (Jax, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc.) by him showing everyone who wasn’t at our home and, of course, to all our race car fans!!!  The checkerboard board was a huge hit and again appreciated the effort and attention to detail!
    He did not want at all to cut it but to preserve it!  However, he finally relinquished and cut the cake in half lengthwise – he took the #24!  Of course, Jeff also came in second place at Brickyard!
Delicious and just over the top of any and all expectations.  Just know your name is out there now!  Can’t wait for the next “challenge” opportunity for a party and always let there be CAKE/an art masterpiece!

Thank you again to Lori and Phil!