Sunday, December 18, 2011

Emma's Chocolate Roses Baby Shower Cake

My beautiful niece, Emily, just had her second baby, little Bayze James Penn, this past summer. I really wanted to make her favorite:  a triple chocolate cake filled and iced with chocolate butter cream - but July is my super crazy time of the year, and I just couldn't swing anything very  elaborate.

With rosettes on the side and a fondant baby and blanket tossed on top, we barely made this a "baby shower" cake, but it served its purpose. Pregnant mommy got her heart's content full of chocolate cake and all was well with the world. 

Now, 5 months later, here is my darling great-nephew, Bayze, posing with the most adorable little girl EVER, his big sister and my great-niece, Heidi Marie. This is one of my favorite pictures of them - Heidi's pokey lip cracks me up. I love these babies and I love their momma! (And did I mention their momma loves my chocolate cake?)

Oven's on - be back soon!

~ Peggy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cake Tutorial: Watermark Your Cake Photos with Irfanview (Basic for Beginners)

Sorry for the horrible font changes and how tacky this tutorial looks, but I hope you can ignore that and get something from this!

First, download Irfanview from here.

Personally, upon install I like to select the option that allows all the pictures to open via Irfanview, but you don't have to go with that option.

Step 1: Using Irfanview, open the cake photo you want to watermark. If you’ve chosen at install to have all .jpg files open in Irfanview, this will happen automatically.

File/Open/Browse for correct .jpg file

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cake Tutorial: Smoothing Edges of Fondant Pieces!

Take 30 seconds and pat your finger over the edge of your fondant cut-outs. It will make a WORLD of difference in how “clean” your finished work looks.  A smooth edge is a happy edge!  :D

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Cake Tutorial: Perfect Fondant Bow

So, my newest cake features a fondant bow and I’ve been asked over and over how I make it. The answer is simple: for all my bows, I follow the tutorial of my clever, talented, cakey bakey friend, Lesley.  

Visit her Facebook fan page here. Be sure to tell her you came from the "Peggy Does Cake Blog." 

You can watch her video tutorial here on Youtube or you can see this tutorial (and others) on her Facebook "Notes" page here.  

Check out all of her tutorials; there are several already posted and more are being added all the time. You will love her generous spirit, but more than that, you will love her gorgeous work.

Oven's on - I'll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Red Roses (Cake) for Rosalie!

I thought I’d done this swirly rose cake in every shade imaginable; and then I was asked to do it in red (click photo for a mega close-up view). This rose-thing is my favorite “fast” decorating technique. A cake like this can be crumbcoated and fully decorated in less than half an hour. Be warned though, I have (at least once) had TERRIBLE (nearly tragic) problems with my roses not adhering to the cake “long term” – so a word of advice to anyone who tries this: roses MUST be piped onto a fresh, wet crumbcoat. Do NOT let the crumbcoat even partially crust before piping. 

I’ve raved about the 1M tip before (see that post here) and yep, it’s still my favorite tip of all cake decorating tips! If you don’t have one, spend the $3 or so it costs to add this to your toolbox. You you won’t be sorry.

Happy birthday, Rosalie! I’m so happy you wanted red roses, as I think this is the prettiest color this cake comes in!

Special shout out to "i am mommy/i am baker" for her original tutorial that started this whole swirly rose craze. You can see said tutorial here.

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cake Tutorial: Easy Way to Remove a Decorating Tip from an Icing Bag!

Ever finished a cake and then fought with a greasy icing bag, trying to get the tip out?  If not, you're miles ahead of me!
Here's a super easy trick: with dry hands, pinch the tip back into the bag, snip the plastic end with scissors, squeeze the tip out.  This works with a coupler, too.  Simple!

Oven's on - be back soon!
~ Peggy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Garrett's "Up" Themed First Birthday Cake!

Yes, I’m an adult. Yes, my favorite movie is “Up.” My very favorite movie! When it came to the local theater, I saw it twice. Once with my child, once without her (on a date with my husband).

So when I got the call from our long-time family friend, Leigha, asking if I could make an "Up" themed cake for her darling son Garrett's first birthday, I’m pretty sure I literally jumped up and down.  I had a full-on BLAST making this cake. I struggled with Russell - and 4 heads later (3 of which ended up in the garbage can), I finally just decided I'm quite rubbish at sculpting. There will be no "close up" shots of Russell on this post, that's for sure. Carl, on the other hand (pictured to the right), was super easy. Although this cake ranked somewhere among the top 5 most time-consuming cakes I’ve ever made, it's probably the one that is the most near and dear to my heart. Part of that is because of how much I loved the movie and part of that is because of how precious this family is - and what a joy it was to bake for them.

Look at Leigha and her adorable little man. I want to say he's a doll, but then I want to say so is she! I've known her since she was just a little girl. I can't believe the babies in my life have babies of their own.

I wish I could have tweaked the things I screwed up while decorating this cake because I wish it could have been as perfect in real life as it was in my MIND. I blame it on being so new to all of this. I wasn't unhappy with the end result, it was just so stellar in my dreams.

Happy birthday sweet Garrett. I hope your momma picks another Pixar movie for your next birthday and calls me to make it for you!  ;)

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon.

~ Peggy

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rett's Circus Birthday Cake! (Click any photo to enlarge it!)

This was one of the most challenging cakes I’ve ever made. Based on a story book called “Monster Birthday Party,” I was asked to recreate the monster's cake (which wasn't anything to do with monsters at all, but rather had a circus theme). The cake featured animals parading around the base of it, clowns marching around the tiny top tier (each holding a candle), and had sparkler-type “fireworks” spewing out of the top (which I was asked to somehow include). At the same time that I was given a theme to go by, I was also given creative freedom and so was allowed to bring this cake to life in any way I wanted - and that made making it a total blast. 

I hand-painted the 2D animals on the side (lion, elephant, giraffe, camel, and tiger) and spent way too much time nitpicking over the clowns, which I also spent way too much time designing!  

The “fireworks” are royal icing flowers piped onto pre-shaped floral wire. I filled a drinking straw with royal icing, poked the “bouquet” of wires into the straw, and after it dried, I insert the straw into the cake – tada! No wires touching cake!

Look at this angel face! This melts my heart and reminds me why I love making cakes for my sweet friends and their sweet friends! Happy birthday to little Rett! I’m so happy and grateful his mom had the creativity to dream up such a clever, fun idea for his cake - and that I was the one who got to make it!

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon.

~ Peggy

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And We Have a Winner!

I know you'll join me in offering congratulations to my big “Fan Appreciation” giveaway winner, #133, Misty McMahon.  

Misty chose as her prize a flouncy apron from Swanky Aprons (great choice!), and as soon as I notify her and she decides which one she wants, I'll share with you.  (Remember the contest rules said if you chose the apron as your prize, you could have any apron Swanky Aprons sells, and they are adorable!)

Here are a few of the many samples Misty will have to choose from:
Need to see more, you say? 
I'm in no way affiliated with Swanky Aprons, I just love them and wanted one sweet fan to have the chance to win one.
Thank you so much to all of you for making this giveaway possible!   

Watch my blog for more giveaways coming SOON!!  

(Pssst, hey, why not be a blog follower if you aren't already so you don't miss anything?)

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon. Congrats again, Misty!

~ Peggy

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fan Appreciation Giveaway: Cake Decorator's Dream Prizes!

Click HERE to see the fabulous prizes!

Click HERE to enter the drawing!  Everyone is eligible, regardless of region.

Hurry!  Deadline to enter is this Sunday, August 28, at noon (central standard time).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tutorial: How to Cover a Square Cake Drum with Scrapbook Paper



Good luck! If you try this, I’d love to see your work. Feel free to leave a comment here and link me, leave a message and/or link via Facebook by clicking HERE, or email me at to share your masterpieces with me!

Oven's on - I'll be back soon!

~ Peggy 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meg's Wizard of Oz Cake!

Now that I’m in my 2nd year of cake decorating, I’m experiencing something new – repeat business.  

I made little Meg’s “princess” themed cake last year (see it here) and recently I was asked to do this year's cake - with a “Wizard of Oz” theme. Right away I began to think of all the cool stuff I could put on this cake - the ruby slippers, the emerald city, spooky "bad witch" legs poking out from under a shattered house, glittery "good witch" pinkness, munchkins, lollipops, a little dog in a basket...

My cakey bakey brain was immediately slammed into overdrive. Actually, I had been fantasizing about making a Wizard of Oz cake (yes, sadly, that's what I fantasize about), so this request was kind of like winning the lottery for me. I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to come up with a more clever theme, although last night someone asked me if I had ever made a "Gone With the Wind" cake, so yeah, that's a pretty close tie. 

Cake was WASC with vanilla butter cream filling and icing. All décor is fondant and everything is 100% edible.  Yes, I need practice with my fondant characters. I can make an excellent monkey; but it's a crying shame that all my fondant people end up looking like monkeys!  I suppose as long as you can tell who they're supposed to be, it's ok.  I'd just rather knock it out of the park every time, and I know that if my "Dorothy" were sitting on a shelf, far away from a cake, it would take some great stretch of the imagination to be able to guess correctly who she was. Ha!

Luckily, her ruby red slippers give it away.  I wanted to give her slippers a bigger high heel (although you can't see it, they DO have a heel), but really, these things were about a 1/2" long and it becomes difficult and a bit silly at that size to get too particular.

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon.

~ Peggy

Coloring Instructions for Fondant, Icing, Frosting, Royal Icing, etc.

This information has been gathered from several places, it is by no means original. I have, however, added a few notes and changes to the colors, based on things I've learned the hard way. (You don't want to know.)

Remember that icing colors tend to change in time. Butter cream icings tend to deepen and become richer in color, and other mediums, like color flow and royal icing, can actually lighten. Ingredients can cause color changes, too. So be expecting that when using extracts, lemon juice, cream of tartar, etc. (even water).

I’ve read that if you dissolve brown food coloring in 1/4 teaspoon water before adding it to icing, you will eliminate the odd “greenish” undertones you sometimes get with brown icing.

Now on to the good stuff:

  • Antique Gold - Golden yellow with a very small touch of leaf green.
  • Apricot - 2 parts orange, 1 part golden yellow.
  • Aqua - 5 parts sky blue, 1 part leaf green.
  • Avocado - Use moss green paste or 4 parts lemon yellow, 1 part leaf green, and a touch of black. 
  • Black - Black paste color or royal blue, Christmas red, orange, and lemon or mix all leftover icing you have been using and add black to it
  • Burgundy - 5 parts rose pink, 1 part violet
  • Chartreuse - 6 parts lemon yellow, 1 part leaf green
  • Copper - 1 part golden yellow, 1 part brown, and 1 part Christmas red
  • Coral - Creamy peach paste and a touch of pink or orange and a touch of pink or 3 parts rose pink and 2 parts lemon yellow
  • Dusty Rose - 2 parts red, 1 part brown, hint of orange
  • Flesh - Add just an extremely small touch of copper to white icing or light pink with a small amount of brown
  • Gold - 10 parts lemon yellow, 3 parts orange, 1 part red
  • Grape - 1 part sky blue, 6 parts rose pink
  • Gray - Add just a touch of black to white icing
  • Hot Pink - Rose (do not use pink or rose petal pink, as those are orange-based and will never attain a “hot” pink)
  • Hunter Green - Kelly green with a touch of black
  • Ivory - Hint of brown
  • Jade - Leaf green, royal blue, and a touch of black
  • Lavender - 5 parts pink, 1 part violet
  • Lime Green – 4 parts leaf green, 1 part lemon yellow
  • Marigold - Lemon yellow and orange
  • Maroon - 4 parts red-red, 2 parts burgundy
  • Mauve - 5 parts pink, 1 part orange, 1 part brown
  • Misty Green - Leaf green, royal blue, and a touch of black
  • Moss Green - Moss Green paste or 2 parts violet and 3 parts lemon yellow
  • Mulberry - Rose with a touch of royal blue.
  • Navy Blue - Royal blue and black or 1 part sky blue and 1 part violet
  • Periwinkle - Royal blue and violet
  • Plum - 1 part violet with a touch of Christmas red
  • Raspberry - Pink and red-red or 3 parts rose and 1 part Christmas red
  • Ruby Red - 1 part red-red and a touch of black
  • Rust - 8 parts orange, 2 parts red-red, and 1 part brown
  • Silver - Hint of black to get gray (for fondant, paint afterwards with silver luster dust mixed with vodka)
  • Teal - 9 parts sky blue with a small amount of lemon yellow
  • Turquoise - 6 parts sky blue and 1 part lemon yellow
  • Warm Gold - Golden yellow with just a touch of brown
Oven's on - I'll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Fondant Review

Cake makers are always asking me questions about which fondant I use for what purpose.  I put together this little overview table that shows exactly how I personally use which fondant brands.  I included categories like taste, value, where I personally shop, and how well the color lifts (for example, FondX white will never lift to more than just a soft pastel).

This is not intended to sway anyone; I’m just sharing my personal preferences for those who have asked.  I value your opinion and feedback, so please leave a comment or ask a question!
(Click to enlarge chart)

Oven's on - I'll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peggy Does Cake (and prizes!) Fan Appreciation Giveaway!

Thanks for your support of Peggy Does Cake! You deserve this "Fan Appreciation" giveway and I'm thrilled to be hosting it!

Your comment must be submitted no later than Noon Central Time, Sunday, August 28, 2011, to be considered a valid entry in this giveaway.

* One comment per person (must be 18 or order).
* Yes, you can get your husband to leave a comment, but it's up to you to take the prize from him if he wins. ;)
* Winner will be selected using
(See more details below.)

ENTRY RULES:  Easy as 1, 2, 3!

1) Leave one comment on this post including which prize you want and why you want it. Only one comment per person please! 
2) Make sure you include your full name. 
3) Email me at my special "prize" email address and include your comment number as the subject line of your email. You'll see your comment number after you submit your comment. Submit your comment number to
For a recap of prize options, including photos, click here.

I'll post the winning comment here on my blog in 2 weeks (see details below) and winner will have 7 days to contact me.

Good luck!  I can't wait to see who wins!

Rules are boring, but necessary! By participating in this giveaway you are agreeing to my rules, privacy policy, and disclaimers as spelled out here:

• One entry per person per household
• Must be 18 years old to be eligible to win
• Giveaway is open to everyone regardless of where you live, as long as I can ship your prize via UPS Ground. If UPS Ground cannot deliver to winner's address, winner will either be responsible for shipping arrangements or will have to forfeit and an alternate winner will be chosen.

• This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.
• As winners you are providing your information to me and not to Facebook. I respect your privacy and your personal information (full name and email) will only be used for contacting the winner.
• Although I am facilitating this giveaway, I am not affiliated with, nor am I endorsing, any of the companies who make the prizes, nor am I endorsing their products or services, unless otherwise indicated. 
• This is my first giveaway and I'm only human. I will attempt to run this smoothly, but bear with me if there are snags.

• Comments must be submitted by giveaway deadline to be considered valid entries.
• Giveaway deadline is Noon Central Time, Sunday, August 28, 2011. 
• Any comment received after the giveaway deadline will be deemed invalid.

Winner Notification, Prize Acceptance, and Confidentiality
• Winner will be selected at 2:00 P.M. Central Time, Sunday, August 28, 2011.
• Winner will be selected using
• Winner will be granted the prize they requested in their entry comment. No exceptions to this rule.
• Winner will be notified via a shiny new blog post AND a personal email on Sunday evening (Central Time), August 28, 2011. (I will make contact by replying to the winner's email.)
• I will announce on Facebook that a winner has been selected, but I won't be able to announce who the winner is on Facebook. Facebook has stern rules about promotional use of their site, and their stipulations prohibit me from announcing my winner there. I will direct you here to my blog for all details regarding winner.
• It is up to winner to respond to my email and blog announcement by sending me an email (not via Facebook or via blogger) to either or to claim their prize. If an email is not received within 7 days of announcement, winner will forfeit their prize and a new winner will be chosen.

The Prize Delivery
• Your private information will be used only for prize delivery and will NOT be shared with anyone.
• Prizes cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.  If winner cannot provide a valid mailing address (USA) or UPS ground deliver address, winner forfeits and an alternate winner will be chosen.

Alternate Winner
• An alternate winner will be selected using the same method as the original winner, if the original winner forfeits their prize.
• The same rules as stated above apply to alternate winner.

What do I need to do to be sure I'm not disqualified?
1) Include your full name in your comment.
2) Include which prize you want and why you want it in your comment.
3) Including a VALID prize.
4) Email me at with your comment number in the subject line.
5) If you're the winner, contact me within 7 days of your name being announced.
6) Have a valid mailing address (USA) or UPS Ground delivery address (other countries).

That's it!  Good luck!
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