Tag Archives: cake decorating

Multi-Tasking!

12 Jul

For Father’s day, one client ordered creative cupcakes for her husband. She wanted all the brands that her husband uses. This was a fun project because I was working with three things I love: baking/cake decorating, painting and shopping! (Well, not exactly actual shopping…)

Talking about things I love, I’m reminded of a thought I had while baking this cake. That weekend was another packed one. Which I am very grateful for, that I got to do the things I love all at the same time…not to mention that my kids were also in the same room where all of that was happening. Talk about MULTI-TASKING!

I was used to having a lot of free time to myself. I used to have my time for baking, my time for painting, my time for playing with the kids, my time for foot spa, my time to read magazines from cover to cover, in short, I was bored and had nothing to do. Hehe. I am not whining about the things I don’t have now, I actually feel the opposite. Before, with all of the free time to myself to do whatever, I was not content. I am so grateful that amidst all of the chaos, I am now so fulfilled, fulfilled because I am doing things that I love, surrounded by people I love, what more could I ask for?

Advertisements

Treasure Chest Cake

25 May
I got quite a lot of compliments for this Treasure Chest cake. It always makes me happy whenever people appreciate my work, and it is a lot of work. This cake was no exception as I was faced with the challenge of turning a soft and spongey cake into a gleaming treasure.

 

Some people have asked me why I like to share how I make my cakes and even recipes sometimes. Isn’t that bad for my business? I’ve found the opposite to be true. The more I share, the more people order! Isn’t that wonderful? I’m not really a business person but something bothers me whenever people are obsessed with money money money. I know it’s important but not as important as the love, trust, and company of great people and a good name. How I wish I understood this when I was younger!!!

 

Anyway, back to our Treasure Chest Cake!

 

The base of the treasure chest is made of cake and the cover is made of styrofoam. I covered both with brown fondant and drew lines across them to have the illusion of wood grain.

 

Front view
Back view

 

I drew each and every line which was tedious but I’m happy with the result. For those who want an easier way of doing this, I found this site online, Sugarcraft, that sells woodgrain mats. These are mats used on fondant or a crusting buttercream that will leave different kinds of impressions.  What a great invention! (For cake decorators at least.) You should check out their site. They have most, if not all of the baking tools you’ll ever need for cake decorating. It really is a Baker’s Paradise, as their motto says.

 

Different kinds of Impression Mats from Sugarcraft, Inc.

 

For the sand, I added tan buttercream icing plus muscovado sugar (a type of unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor) around the treasure chest. For the treasures, I just added gold chocolate coins, gold chocolate nuggets, and mini-M&Ms to add color. And lastly, I situated Lucas’ name, covered with metallic dust, in front of the treasure chest and the gold coins to make it seem like its a treasure waiting to be discovered.There you go! A golden treasure waiting to be eaten.

 

Speaking of treasures waiting to be discovered, let me end with this story. As I was searching for pictures of treasure chests in Google, I typed the word treasure chest and somehow I came across this website, Bible Treasure Chest. I clicked on it and the first thing that caught my eye was the story of the Faith of a Little Child.
The story talks about the faith of a little child who wanted to have a green trike. Because of his and his mom’s prayers, it was given to them. I know it’s a simple story, but it really touched me. (Of course this is coming from someone who cries in every movie!) It touched me because it reminded of the many answered prayers I’ve had the last two years, specific prayer requests answered at the right time. As I mentioned in past blogs, being a single mom includes a whole lot of juggling, and there really is no way to make this work without God’s faithfulness. He is faithful even when we’re not. That is God’s treasure for us all, His faithfulness.

 

Treasure Chest Cake for Lucas

Why You Should Do What You Love

10 May

This is a long one. I’m warning you. But I hope you take the time. For Part 1 please read Why I Bake.

“Flying is not what you think up here, (pointing to the brain), it’s what you feel in here (pointing to Blu’s heart). And when you feel the rhythm of your heart, you fly. (Takes off flying.)

-Rafael (the Toucan, RIO the movie)

For many people, doing what you love is a luxury. Not many people have the privilege of finding their passions and living them out. I recently watched the movie RIO with my boys and what I thought was going to be a funny, relaxing movie turned out to be an emotion packed, tearful one. Maybe it’s just me, but many times I find myself relating to the characters in movies intensely. And for this movie, I was BLU, the macaw for the full two hours.

I saw a few parallels between my life and Blu’s character. Blu, a rare macaw, is domesticated and flight-challenged. He is perfectly content being Linda’s pet. He lives in a cage in a small town in Minnesota, does his own chores, has a daily routine, and is totally ok with not being able to fly. I was like that once, content in my insignificant routine, but not realizing my life was full of lies.

I don’t want to ruin the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it, but there’s a part where Blu realizes his passion, what he really loves, when he learns to fly. He never needed or wanted to fly. He was completely satisfied in his tiny, little cage. But something inside of him was unleashed when he experienced flying. I was bawling behind my 3D glasses when the scene of Blu flying came out. What a sight! My son was looking at me like I was a martian. It was a kiddie, happy movie and there I was crying my eyes out. To me it wasn’t simply about a blue bird flying, it was about discovering who you’re meant to be in the process of doing something you love.

That’s what Coco Cakes has been for me. Like I said in my About Me page, it’s more than just mixing flour and putting it an oven, it’s more than just a way to support my family. By working on Coco Cakes, I found my passion (aside from my children, who are my absolute priority), and that passion is to make things more beautiful for people. Every cake is an effort to make the moments sweet and memorable. Every cake is an effort to make something beautiful.

I’ve always loved prettifying (is that even a word?) things. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to create something pretty out of ordinary ingredients. I love the feeling of turning simple things into works of art that people can enjoy. I’ve always had that in me. With all the hobbies or businesses I’ve gotten myself into, the common denominator has always been this desire to make something beautiful. I guess the reason why I like that so much is because that’s how I feel God is with me. Somehow, despite all my mistakes, he’s been taking my ordinary life with all its imperfections and making it beautiful more and more. It reminds me of a verse I in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (I had to google that one up, hehe):

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

I believe that everyone was made beautiful by God, but many of us, like Blu and I were, are ok with living in a cage. The problem with that is, no matter how comfortable our cage is, it’s still a cage, and we’re still missing the joy of soaring while doing something we love.

I don’t have a lot of the comforts my cage used to have. In fact, in many ways, my life is more challenging now. It’s not easy being a single mom to three beautiful but hyper kids while running a growing cake business. But at least I’m flying now, I’m really flying, and it feels great! I can really feel God making my life more beautiful.

Baking and decorating cakes for me is not a job. It’s my way of expressing my passion for making things beautiful. And I’m very grateful I get to do what I love. I hope you find your passion. I hope you escape the cages people put on you. I hope you find that life does get more beautiful. And as you soar, I hope, you take a Coco Cake with you.