Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Introducing Towel Cakes!

One item that I seen starting to pop up is towel cakes. For quite some time now I've been interested in making them but haven't really had the opportunity to try it. My favorite gift to give it wedding is towels and this is most commonly where you see towel cakes given, but I don't seem to have too many friends planning their nuptials these days. There are, however, other opportunities and recently I found one where I could try my hand at it. A friend of mine just recently found out that she was pregnant, so, I decided I would make her a little spa gift to help to pamper herself and find ways to try to relax and feel better in early stages of pregnancy. Thus, I developed my very first towel cake.

I started out trying to nonchalantly probe her with questions regarding her bathroom. I wanted to make sure that the towels I chose would at least coordinate with her current color palette. After succeeding in my task, I began to gather items that I felt would be good to help an expectant mama relax and pamper herself. A jar of coconut oil became the main structure for the the cake. Coconut oil is commonly used as a skin moisturizer (among other things) and used by some as an alternate to cocoa butter to help with stretch marks. This was the personal choice for my friend so that's what I decided to use for the cake. I then began forming the rest of the cake with various sized towels and wash cloths that coordinated with her bathroom. The other touches added to the cake were some LED flame-less tea lights, some morning sickness herbal tea, and a bath pouf.

The cake turned out adorable. It was basic with a very clean look to it. I would love the opportunity to make some more cakes similar to this one as it was such a joy to make. It also was a fantastic surprise to my friend who was really feeling the negative effects of the early stages of pregnancy. Similar cakes could contain any number of other spa products that an expectant mama may like. The options for personalization of this type of cake are endless just as they are with diaper cakes. I can't wait for my next towel cake opportunity!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Naked Cake!

One of the things I always prided myself in when making my cakes was the number of baby items I included in the cakes. I always used blankets or towels (or something similar) and added toys, wash cloths, utensils, etc. to accent and decorate the cake. I loved providing a beautiful cake where my customer could appreciate the value included. I never considered making a cake with no blankets. I figured I could if someone asked, but my default was to always have a covering for the diapers. And then I got that request.

My customer wanted a cake that was simple and clean. She wanted baby blue accents but nothing flashy or too showy, so a "naked" cake was just the thing she needed. We had some discussions back and forth and she had a picture of a cake she liked.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. After all, to have the diapers exposed meant that special care was needed. The diapers selected needed to be white, or at least the color on them needed to be easily concealed. When building the cake, I needed to be sure the spacing of the diapers was even - this is a lot harder than it sounds. In my opinion, a spiral style cake looks great for a "naked" cake, so that's the style I did (although, regardless of this, I'm moving more toward that style in most cases anyway). For this cake, I also wanted to go big, so I opted for a 4-tier cake. The nice thing about not having a large quantity of baby items, blankets, and accents is that price-wise, you can often trade up for a bigger cake. I found some baby blue ribbon and accents including wash cloths, baby spoons, and baby powder to complete the cake. I finished it off with a large looped bow on the top and several smaller bows applied to the ribbon around the cake. A previous cake I had done included lettering of the baby's name which my customer loved and wanted incorporated into this cake as well. Finding the letters that coordinated was no small task, but I made it work.

In the end, I actually love the final look of the cake. I have to admit, I've always been slightly prejudice against "naked" cakes, but I find that this one quickly became one of my favorites. There is a lot to be said for the simplicity and clean look of the cake. It certainly is one I'm proud to brag about and it definitely raises my confidence in my ability to create a cake that I feel is so exposed (as in, you can't hide and defects in "craftsmanship"). Of course though, and most importantly, my customer loved the cake, and that is what I feel truly makes it a successful venture.