Monday, September 30, 2013

Icing Smiles

Icing Smiles is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide critically ill children and their siblings with custom celebration cakes.  As a fellow baker, Tracy Quisenberry (Executive Director) recognized the impact that a custom cake can have on a child.  She started Icing Smiles to share that wonder with kids who can't take for granted the everyday experiences of childhood, especially birthdays.

Icing Smiles delivered their first cake in January 2010 and has partnered with volunteer bakers in all 50 states!  Bakers range from home/hobby bakers to industry greats such as Kate Sullivan, Anne Heap and Elissa Strauss.

We invite you to visit their website ( and their Facebook page ( where their mission comes to life.  As a volunteer baker or "Sugar Angel" for Icing Smiles, you will join a nationwide movement to create positive memories for these families during a very difficult time.  Memories have magical powers.  Long after the cake is gone, the memories linger - memories of the kindness of a stranger, the art of the design, the sweet smells of a special treat, of the smiles and laughs of a normal childhood experience so often stolen from these children. These memories are why we say, "it is so much more than a cake."

To access the volunteer application, please go to their website at and click Create a Smile.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wafer Paper Flowers for Fall

Jeannie Gearin does it again with another amazing blog post.  This time it is a great idea for a beautiful fall cake!

Wafer paper flowers offer an alternative to gumpaste flowers. They have a light and airy quality to them which makes for a beautiful cake design.

I learned a new technique from Lisa Berczel at the ICES Convention this summer, molding wafer paper flowers. The tools needed are pictured here. Plastic tweezers or silicone tipped tweezers are necessary for handling the wet wafer paper. Make a pattern for the petal shape that will fit into the mold, taking into account there will be some shrinking of the shape once it gets wet. Cut wafer paper petals using the pattern. Dip the petal into water by holding it with the tweezers. Lay the petal onto the mold and brush gently into place with a damp brush. 

 Leaves are made the same way. Brush the wafer paper onto the veiner to achieve the impression you want.

 Craft punches can also be used to make flowers out of wafer paper.  These punches were purchased at Michael's and Archiver's.

 Flowers can be shaped by laying on a former and brushing lightly with water to take on a curved shape. The single layer flower is fragile and does not need to be dipped in water.

Plastic formers of any type may be used, but make sure they do not have a hole at the bottom or the wafer paper will also get a hole.


The fastest way to dry the wafer paper is under a heat lamp. I found my sugar box worked great for this. Leaves and single layer flowers dry in about 15 minutes. Multi-petal flowers take at least 30 minutes to dry. It is easy to see when they are no longer wet and ready for the next step.

Make centers for the flowers with gumpaste or a 50/50 mix. I mixed yellow and green together to get a more natural looking center.

 Airbrushing is the best way to color the flowers. Hold the flowers with tweezers so they don't blow away! Add the color in layers and take care not to add to much because the moisture can distort the flower shape.

Attach the centers to the flowers using piping gel. Allow to dry and then attach to the cake with more piping gel, holding in place to set.

Play around with the layout of your design before attaching to the cake.

Wafer paper flowers are fun to make. I am looking forward to experimenting with this technique for butterflies and feathers.

Vendor Credits:  Party Styling and Desserts by Jeannie

DTC Products Used:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

SugarEd Productions Sugar Art School

Have you seen the new Sugar Art School started by Sharon Zambito at SugarEd Productions?

SugarEd Productions is your one-stop hub for cake decorating instruction.  Founded in 2007 by Sharon Zambito, a pioneer in cake decorating video instruction, SugarEd has earned a stellar reputation the world over for offering top-quality instructional DVDs and supplies, along with excellent customer service.
Head over to
And customers wanted more.  More videos.  More tutorials.  More answers to their questions, and more opportunities to talk about all things cake with others in the business.

Head over to

So SugarEd has expanded into a comprehensive online sugar art school.  Here members will find an ever growing library of exclusive content, including:  full length instructional videos by both Sharon and guest celebrity instructors; detailed photo tutorials from some of the best talent in the industry; informative articles pertaining to decorating, running a business, food safety and cake photography; a large printable recipe bank; and a chat forum to interact and have fun with Sharon and other members.

Head over to

Members can share their own recipes, photos and tutorials in our friendly and helpful community.  Join the fun by participating in the games, contests and other interactive activities.  From cakes to cookies, from candy to desserts (and with everything in between), we bring it all together in one convenient and happy place.

- Learn at your own pace 24/7
- New content added weekly
- As low as 27 cents per day!
- Interactive community: share and learn
- Videos optimized for mobile devices

And every one who joins now will get a charter member badge for their profile

and an extra free PDF tutorial for this cute elephant figure.

SugarEd Productions has partnered with Decorate the Cake!  SugarEd Productions will be using some of our molds in their videos and tutorials.  Head over now and see which ones you can spot!

psst.....why are you still here?  Get to school at SugarEd Productions!