Monday, May 30, 2011

Rose of sheer perfection or Pollyanna in that flag costume? Eh, it's up for debate.

I suppose that one of the upsides to being without a job is that I've had more time to indulge my crafty side. Back in December, I pimped out half of our back room to make it a space that has become pretty much irresistible for me.

This room gets the best light in the house and, to me, it's the coziest. Creating this space has been one of the best gifts I could have given myself. If you're crafty and creative and have been thinking about doing something like this, DO IT. You won't regret it.

After a lazy Sunday morning, I indulged my inner Martha Stewart and tackled two tutorials I've had bookmarked for months. The first was this gorgeous Rose Cake made by i am baker.

image by: i am baker

Our small group got together for dinner tonight and when I was given the dessert assignment, I decided to finally try out this cake. I went with a two layer red velvet cake and the buttercream icing that i am baker recommended. Normally, I would use Paula Deen's red velvet cake recipe but to save time and money, I just went with the Duncan Hines box version. A year ago, I would've aggravated myself and our budget by insisting on making the cake from scratch and I would've spent all afternoon in the kitchen. Now, I realize that going with what's simple is perfectly fine.

I like to call that growth, y'all. My husband calls it "I don't have to come down to the kitchen and talk my wife off a ledge."

Once the cake was baked and completely cool, I shaved off the tops to make sure both layers were level.

Oh, I forgot. It's always helpful to have your kitchen assistant handy in case any crumbs hit the floor.

Next came the layering.

Then the crumb coat as a sort of base for your cake canvas.

i am baker's description of the rose technique is spot on. I prepped my frosting bag and took a practice run at a rose considering this was pretty much the fanciest thing I've ever attempted with icing.

Okay, easy enough!  It took me maybe ten minutes to work my way around the circumference of the cake and then cover the top. I added in some swoops to fill in the empty spots and voila!

The rose covering was crazy easy to do and will definitely be my go-to for when I need a gorgeous dessert. As evidenced by my Twitter feed and the feedback at small group, you are guaranteed to win tons of compliments with this one. I can pretty much go to bed feeling like a baking diva.

A few tips/observations:

- If you use the buttercream recipe i am baker recommends, you definitely want to make a whole recipe of it. While I still had some icing left over, a half recipe wouldn't have been enough.

- If you're able, use a cake pedestal whose surface is completely flat. I didn't realize it until I started, but our cake pedestal has a curve to the edge which made getting those circumference roses on a little tricky.

- It's a lot of icing for a cake, so make sure you use an icing you really like. I discovered I'm not a huge fan of buttercream icing. It was actually kind of tortuous for me to make a red velvet cake with something other than cream cheese icing. The fact that I've had red velvet cake with cream cheese icing for every birthday since I was about seven may have something to do with that.

After I finished the cake, I headed up to my happy place and went to work on this skirt tutorial from Freshly Picked. Due to my inability to follow measuring directions, I ended up with a very cute skirt (with pockets!) made from red striped seersucker that was about two sizes too big. Sigh. My three minute solution because I really wanted to wear it today? Cut off about five inches from one side, sew a new seam and BAM, that sucker was done. I'm going to mess around with this one some more and post pictures once I'm happy with it.

I'm also going to wear something other than a navy top with it so I don't look like an American flag. Hooray for Memorial Day!

Now, who wants to lick the bowl?


  1. I've wanted to try this cake decorating technique for a while too...I think you've just given me the push I need. :) And I'm glad you've made yourself a crafty space. Isn't it wonderful?!

  2. I'm totally impressed with how that turned out - it looks gorgeous AND delicious! :-)

  3. Shut up! You made that cake? Why am I surprised? Once I get out from under this moving pile, I'll send you the race pics I took. xoxoxo

  4. What a lovely creative space! I want a piece of that too-pretty-to-eat cake in that sweet room while you and your freckled doggie entertain me. Mmmkay?

  5. ha, i have been wanting to make that cake too! yours looks fantastic, i'm gonna have to give it a shot. long time no it is summer and i can catch up. can't wait to see you in less than 2 weeks. YaY!


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