Friday, March 15, 2013

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

I made a cake last week for my friend and yoga teacher. Her daughter turned 6 and wanted a Hello Kitty cake.

I had the perfect idea in mind for the cake. I wanted to try and do an icing transfer! I keep trying new things, because i like to push myself to see what i can accomplish and this seemed like something i could manage.

I went to the store and found a very cute Hello Kitty coloring book. I planned out a 9" two-layer cake, so i found an image in the book that would fit. I took a cookie sheet and put the coloring page on it, already taped to the back of a sheet of freezer paper that i cut to fit. Then i taped both pages to the cookie tray so it wouldn't move around.

When i have seen transfers done on the internet, i have mostly seen buttercream icing transfers, but i wanted a glossy flat look for mine. So i made a batch of royal icing and i portioned out some icing of piping thickness into bowls and colored them black (for the eyes and whiskers), a bit of yellow (for her nose), some pink and blue (for her jumper and shirt), some red (for her bow), and i portioned out a good amount of plain white (for her body outline).

With my remaining icing, i added a bit of water to make some icing of a flooding consistency and colored portions as i did for the outlines.

This was nerve racking for me, honestly. I hadn't had time for a test on my method, and the flooding icing took ages to set. I was terrified she'd crack and i'd have to start over.

I let it sit overnight and went to bed with a bit of a prayer on my lips.

Now, when i do something for the first time, i always learn something important. In this cake, i learned that i CAN make this method work, but i originally imagined i'd use the side against the freezer paper as my "up side". But when i peeled the paper off of my transfer, i learned that it doesn't work quite that way. The paper side of the transfer wasn't perfect. There were a couple of air holes and it was far too flat and not very glossy and a little... grainy for lack of a better word.

So i had to improvise. I went ahead and laid her, flat and grainy side up, on the cake. I took my icing bags and piped my outline all over again and filled her in. I heaved a huge sigh of relief that that part was done and moved on.

I bought pre-made Wilton posies because i don't have the tools to really work with flowers yet (or any experience in making them for that matter) and arranged them on the cake.

I decided she would look really cute with stars around her, and so i used my freezer paper method and made some stars. I made 7 (the little girl was turning 6 and i wanted an extra one in case one broke) and my daughter poked her fingers in 2 of them when i wasn't in the room. So i placed 5 dried stars on the cake and i crossed my fingers and piped the bottom one directly on the cake. Stars are HARD.

It was a fairly simple design, but it certainly did turn out cute! My little one asked if i would make a cake just like this for HER birthday! She'll probably change her mind before August, but  maybe not.

You can't tell much in the photos, but there are tiny pink candy beads around the bottom of the cake. I need to learn to pipe shell designs. I'm hoping to take some Wilton classes this spring or summer, so i will have some actual training under my belt. Being a hobby baker is hard in the respect that you're constantly teaching yourself and crossing your fingers in hopes that your ideas will work. On the up side, every time i complete a cake, i feel very accomplished. And that's a pretty awesome feeling!