I bake and decorate cakes as a side business, mainly through word of mouth. My customers have normally been friends, family, and local inns in our area who request cakes for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, etc. I pride myself in making cakes that taste delicious so I am very particular about the type of ingredients that I use. There is nothing worse than a beautifully decorated cake that tastes terrible!
Normally I only get stressed over wedding cakes due to the logistics of transporting it to an event. The only other stressful event was once when I had made a huge Super Bowl cake which I had sitting in my entryway that I hadn’t boxed up yet. Unbeknownst to me, I had accidentally locked my cat in there as well! Needless to say, the cat licked off part of the football field and the cake was to be delivered within half an hour before I discovered it!!
I work at a very fancy B&B and our General Manager asked me to make his daughter’s birthday cake. I was going to do this for free as payback for his giving my brother’s family a room and breakfast at the inn one weekend. But then he told me she wanted a Polar Bear themed cake. I had never had a little girl request Polar Bears for her cake and hadn’t the slightest idea what I was going to do! I stressed more over this cake than any other I had ever done! I just couldn’t figure out what I was going to do! We live in rural Vermont, so running to a store which would have the decorating accessories I would need was not an option, and I didn’t have enough time to order from one of the large baking companies.
Normally I bake 2 days ahead and decorate one day ahead, in the event that something goes wrong and I have some time to fix things. Well, I kept procrastinating because I just couldn’t decide what I was going to do! So finally the day before it was due, I baked a yellow sheet cake mixed with blue sprinkles. The next day it was going to be picked up at 3 pm. I got up that morning, went for a run, cleaned the house….anything except decorate the cake! Finally at noon I started panicking and decided I had to get decorating.
I made up my signature butter and cream cheese frosting, and suddenly thought of adding an igloo to my cake for the Polar Bear’s home. So I baked some oversized blueberry muffins also. I had gum paste which I had never used before and began modeling bears. I frosted the cake, frosted a muffin, then attached the muffin to the cake with a couple of small dowels. I then shaped the muffin to look like an igloo, cut in the lines for the bricks, and sprinkled with sparkling sugar to look like snow. I then placed the bear family ( mom and dad together, and the two “kids” together) on the cake. I added the claws, eyes, mouths, and roses for mom and daughter, snowflakes for dad and son, and sprinkled sparkling sugar on the rest of the cake. The final touch was a gum paste sign with my manager’s last name which was placed on top of the igloo.
I was quite pleased when it was finished, but you never know how a customer will react. Well, they absolutely LOVED it! So even though this was one of my most stressful cakes to make, it turned out well and everyone loved it. And now I can add Frosty Polar Bear Cake to my repertoire!