Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pulling from the Archives


I hope your season is going great and you guys are having lots of fun. What a busy time of year this is! I am so buried in work that I am not making any Christmas goodies this year. So I thought I would pull from the archives and give you guys the links to some older blog posts relating to holiday yummies. Maybe these will refresh your memory and spark some creative ideas you can try out this year.

I wish you all the very happiest of holidays, a blessed time with family and friends, and hope all of your wishes for the new year come true.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Name the DVD Contest!


We are in the final editing phase of our next DVD and we really need a name for it! So let's have a contest!

Hint about what the theme of the DVD is:

You can sleep on it, write on it, or decorate it.

Some of the topics it will teach include:

Run Sugar
Buttercream Transfers
Royal Icing Transfers
Chocolate Transfers

Buttercream borders
Fondant borders
Two tone icing

Basic airbrushing techniques
Fondant flowers
And more!

So put those thinking caps on and come up with a great name for our new DVD and post it in the comment section below.

If we choose your entry, you will win a free copy of the DVD when it is released in early 2010.

In addition, we will include all entries into a randwom drawing for more winners.

Have fun!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fondant Camo Hat

Camouflage: No easy way out.

Raise your hand if your arms and wrists start to ache the minute you get a camouflage cake order.

Yep, I am seeing quite a few hands going up. Doing camo in buttercream is a rather tedious process. Piping blobs of icing in alternating colors, smoothing, repeat, repeat, repeat.... till either you finish your cake or your arm falls off. Whichever comes first.

A while back I got an order for a camo fishing hat for a little boy's birthday. I wanted it to look very realistic; like a real hat. I did not think buttercream camo would give me the look I wanted. So I started to brainstorm about a way to do it in fondant. An easier and less painful way than buttercream.

Guess what. It wast not easier nor less painful. It was more so. It took for-ev-er. My children had birthdays that I missed in the time it took to do this hat. It was very tedious and labor intensive.

BUT..... it looked friggin' awesome man! It looked like a real fabric hat! People were amazed that it was cake. The press came to my house to report about it. The President called to congratulate me. They put up a plaque in my honor at the Wildlife and Fisheries Museum here in New Orleans. Yes folks, it looked just that good.

Oh wait, none of that happened. That was the exhaustion induced dream I had that night.

Anyway, let me show you guys how to do this technique if you ever lose your mind enough to give it a try:

First I carved 2 layers of round cake to have a slight taper up the sides. I also carved some small indentations into the sides to give the look of rumpled fabric, like a truly worn hat. That was crumb coated and covered with a very thin layer of white fondant.

The camouflage layer was made by putting "puzzle pieces" of the colored fondant together side by side. First I penciled the camo pattern onto a piece of paper, marked them the color I wanted each to be, and then cut those pieces out. Each piece was used as a template to cut out the corresponding color of fondant.

Each piece of colored fondant was stuck to a thin layer of white fondant underneath with a little water. This under layer of fondant was there to ensure that the pieces stayed together and did not fall apart when I picked up the larger finished piece. I kept the whole piece under plastic while I was working on it to prevent it from drying out.

When I got one piece big enough to cover the top of the hat, I used a slightly fabric textured mat on it to give a little bit more of a fabric look. That piece was then glued to the top of the hat with water. And the excess hanging over the sides of the top of the hat was cut off with an exacto knife.

The same process was followed to make a piece to apply to the sides. I used two pieces to wrap around the sides, and covered the side seems later.

Here is one side piece in place and the top edge trimmed flush with the top of the cake.

Here is the 2nd side piece in place, about to be trimmed on top.

The same process was done to cover a cardboard cake circle, which served as the brim of the hat. The cake part was put on top of this cake circle.

Then I used strips of green fondant, and some strings from the clay gun to finish off the cake and hide all of the seems. My stitching tool was used to put a stitching effect on the wider strips of green fondant.

The fishing lures and dog tags were made of gumpaste and painted silver.

I doweled the base cake and put the camo hat on top.

And here is the finished product:

Ta dah! Pretty cool huh? It really did come out great and had a very realistic and clean look. My client and I were both very happy.

Give it a try if you have a chance. If you are like me, you will do it once because the cake artist in you must conquer it. Then you will never do it again. LOL

Seriously, I hope you guys try this. It was time consuming, but very fun to watch it all come together. Be sure to send me pics if you do!

Happy caking,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winner and News!

Hello Sugar friends!

Thank you all for the wonderful testimonials. They are going to be a great addition to our new SugarEd Website.

Along with working on the new site, and editing the new DVD (for early 2010 release), we are also cooking up some new exciting projects to offer you in 2010 and 2011. We have a lot of things simmering on the burners, so stay tuned for more info to come!

The winner of the testimonial drawing is:

Morsels By Mark said...
I have all of the SugarEd Dvd's. Sharon is an informative teacher and very fun to watch. I look forward to purchasing each an every dvd she puts out! Her customer service is bar none and she is one of the fastest shippers! Other cake instructors should follow her lead!

Congratulations! Please email me to claim your prize!


I also have exciting news to share with you guys! I have been invited to return to TLC's Ultimate Cake Off for season two! I cannot disclose any of the details yet, or the Cake Off Police will come arrest me and throw away the key. And that would not be good. So for now I must be quiet.

I will be spending a large portion of the upcoming weeks in work mode, so please bear with me if my blog posts are a little bit more infrequent than usual. I am very excited, and more than a little bit nervous! I do know, no matter what happens, it will be a great experience and a lot of fun to spend time with my teammates, who I will introduce you to later on.

OK kids, be back tomorrow with a tutorial!

Happy caking,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Free Shipping at Flour Confections

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you all had a great turkey day! Mine was very nice; wonderful day with family and friends. I am stuffed and pooped!

I wanted to let you guys know about a great Canadian cake decorating supply shop, Flour Confections. Great selection of items, fast shipping and top notch customer service.

They are running a free shipping special to all of North America on Monday. What a great deal!

Check out the details here.

I am going to spend the weekend sleeping off the rest of the L-tryptophan I consumed yesterday, and will check in next week with a fun tutorial post!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Testimonial Contest!

Greetings Sugar Buddies!

I am so very excited that SugarEd Productions is in the process of getting a whole new revamped website! It is going to be awesome!

It will be easier on the eye, more organized and user friendly.

I am in need of some customer testimonials for the site, so if you are a happy SugarEd customer, and would like to proclaim it to the world, please leave a cleverly crafted testimonial in the comment section here.

All entries will be put into a random drawing for a $20 shopping spree at SugarEd!

Thank you in advance for helping me out!

Happy Caking,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New DVD Teaser Pics

Hi Sugar Peeps!

We are starting the editing process on our next DVD!

It is chock full of all kinds of great techniques!

Three cakes start to finish plus a lagniappe cake!

Wonder what it is about!

We are hoping for an early 2010 release.

If you think you have an idea, put your thinking caps on. We will be having a name the DVD contest soon!

Hang tight for more details!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Free Gift from SugarEd


Make the holidays special by creating an endless assortment of snowflake
cookies with this 5 piece set!

Decorate with royal or glace icing, fondant, modeling chocolate , colored sugars or sprinkles.

You can also use them to cut out shapes from brownies, bar cookies, or sandwiches

Use to cut fondant or gumpaste decorations for your holiday and winter cakes.

This set of cookie cutters comes in a reusable storage tin.

Set of 5:
3 snowflakes (4¾", 3¾", and 2¼" diameters) and 2 cutout shapes.

Free gift with purchase of $50 or more before shipping.

Happy Holidays from SugarEd!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Surfing Skeleton

When my niece in law asked me to make my nephew's 30th birthday cake, I said of course! He is not only a wonderful guy, but my godson too. Nothing is too much for my Adam. So I asked her what she wanted, or if she had a theme, and she said, "Since Adam loves surfing and his BD falls near Halloween, how about a surfing skeleton?" "Sure!", I said. "Sounds great!"

Then I hung up and thought: How the heck am I going to pull this one off?

My dear friend Kim linked me to a cake by another artist that was the perfect inspiration for the wave scene. Thank you Kim! You saved my booty!

Then I had to figure out how to make the skeleton.

I knew I needed an armature of some kind to mold white modeling chocolate over. PVC pipe was too thick. I tried Tinker Toys but they were too thick and bulky as well. Double thickness 18 gauge wire wrapped in floral tape did the trick. (You see two in this picture because I did not like the first rib cage I made and started over.)

It was sturdy enough to hold the weight of the modeling chocolate. When I formed him out of the wire, I left about 5 inches of extra wire below the feet, which went down into the dummy while I made him. That extra wire later went thru the surf board and down into the wave to anchor him in place.

I then molded the modeling chocolate around the wires to form his body parts. After he was firm, I used petal dusts to give him some creepy color.

The surf board was cut from thin Styrofoam. I printed out a paper template of the board using clip art. You see the reject skeleton lying there because I used him to help determine the size of the surfboard.

After I cut out the styro, I rounded the sides of the boards with another piece of styro , using it as sanding paper. (Learned that in a Colette Peters demo.)

Then it was time to form the wave out of modeling chocolate. I used both white and dark chocolate paste, because I had both on hand. It weighed a ton too! Again I used the reject surf board and skele to help me determine the size and shape of the wave. I made the wave on top of a thin piece of foam core board.

Another view of the wave. It didn't look like much of anything at this point and I was a tad worried if I would get the wave to come out looking right.

The sheet cake was then covered in white fondant, doweled well, and the wave put on top.

To make the palm trees, I used plastic hidden pillars and wrapped them in brown fondant with tylose added.

I scored the sides with a skewer to make the palm bark look, and threaded them over another skewer to let them dry firm.

I airbrushed them to give them depth of color. They were not as dark as they are showing up in these photos. The palm leaves were made from fondant using a generic leaf cutter. Each was individually wired, then wired together in a bunch, and then that was threaded down into the hole of the pillar.

I rough iced the wave in blue buttercream, and then came back with very thin white buttercream and brushed it on with a small fan brush to create the foam of the crashing wave. Processed graham crackers were glued to the white fondant with piping gel. The skewers are marking the holes I dug down into the modeling chocolate. Once I arrived at the party, I put the surf board on the wave, and threaded the skeleton's leg wires down thru the board and into the wave.

It was a big hit at the party; everybody loved it, including Adam. Mission accomplished! YAY!

I love these kinds of cakes. The ones that are different and challenging and fun. And I especially love the ones for family cuz there is not so much pressure. If I screw it up, I know they will go easy on me! LOL

Hope you all had a great Halloween! Now it is time to start thinking about all the great Thanksgiving treats we are gong to make. What do you guys have planned?

Happy Caking,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Behind the Scenes at DVD Shoot


That was a wild two days! 27 hours of filming to get 7 hours of footage. It was long and hard, but also tons of fun and worth every minute. You guys know Wendy is the unsung hero of shooting these DVDs. The behind the scenes work she does cannot be described. I literally could not do it without her. And of course, the great video team of Trish and Todd from Video Specialties.

Here are a few snapshots taken on Monday and Tuesday:

Here we are playing back a scene to check it.

Center camera from behind.

The Monitor.

What did we use these for?

And these?

Working on something..........

What the heck am I doing?

Wendy assisting me with scene prep.

Part of the aftermath. And only a small portion
of the carnage is shown here.

Tired girls.


Now on to the editing phase! I can't wait to see it come all together.

Now I am off to join the witness protection program, because Wendy is going to hunt me down and kill me for posting those pics.

Happy caking ya'll,


Sunday, October 18, 2009

DVD Shoot

Hi friends!

I have been working hard these last 2 weeks getting ready for our new DVD. We are filming tomorrow and Tuesday. Wish me, Wendy, Todd and Trish good luck and pray I do not screw up anything!

I am very excited about our new project, and will give you more details later. If you received our newsletter a while back asking your opinion about the next two DVD topics, I can tell you it is one of those two topics. And we are going to have a Name the DVD Contest in the upcoming weeks so put your thinking hats on and start coming up with fun creative titles for those 2 topics. You might win a free copy of the new DVD!

Back to work for me! I will try to post some behind the scenes pictures later this week.

Have a great week everyone!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Poured Fondant Pumpkin Cookies

Fall is here! Fall is here!

Don't you just love fall? It is my favorite time of year. More than Spring, more than Summer vacation, more than the Christmas holidays. I love the cooler temps and lower humidity (what little of that we get where I live, LOL.) I love fall colors , pumpkins and turning leaves. I love the promise of the time to be spent with family and friends during the upcoming months.

I especially love fall baking. I adore fall themed cakes, cookies and cupcakes. Just love everything about it!

Recently I used the pumpkin cutter set we featured in a SugarEd free gift promotion to make some cookies using poured fondant and rolled fondant. I cannot locate this exact set anywhere retail, but set 1872 here looks to be very similar.

After baking the cookies, I made poured fondant:

6 cups confectioners' sugar (I often add 1-2 cups more sugar to make it a bit thicker, optional)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract ,optional
1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

In a saucepan, combine confectioner's sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a temperature of 92 degrees F (33 degrees C.) Mixture should be thin enough to pour, but thick enough to coat cookie. Add food coloring to desired color and stir thoroughly.

Make sure not to overheat. Overheating will cause the mixture to crystallize and show sugar crystals once dried. It may also become too thick to flow well.

I take it off the heat to pour over the cookies. It will thicken up as it cools. If it gets too thick to flow well, gently heat it back up until it is thin enough again. Again, be careful not to overheat it at any time. If you do it will give you trouble. You will get mad. You will say bad words. You might throw cookies across the room. .....Just sayin'.

I hold the cookie in one hand over the pot and spoon the icing over it, allowing the excess to flow back into the pot.

Coat entire cookie. (I do normally wear gloves for this but was so excited to do this tutorial it slipped my mind.)

Let all the excess drip off and then slide your spoon under the cookie.

Slide the bottom of the cookie across the edge of the pot to scrape the excess off.

Lay it on wax paper or parchment. I do not like to put my cookies on cooling/cookie racks because the icing hardens and sticks to the rack. Then when you release the cookie from the rack it messes up your pretty cookie edge.

See that pool of icing? No worries. When it is all dry and hardened, you scrape that excess off with a palette or exacto knife and you end up with a perfectly clean edged cookie.

For the big kahuna cookies, the process is close to the same.

Use several spoonfuls to get the entire cookie coated well.

Let the excess drip back into the pot.

Hold the large cookie with both hands and tap the sides of your hands on the edge of the pot to get all the excess icing flowing off the cookie.

Slide the bottom of the cookie along the edge of the pot as you take it out to scrape off any more excess.

This is where you get so excited because you have this adorable Jack o' lantern cookie looking back at you! Place him on the parchment too and leave them alone for a while till fully hardened. I leave them for at least a few hours before I clean them up.

Rolled fondant covered:

Roll out your orange fondant and cut out the shape with the cookie cutter you used to make the cookie. Smear a little thinned buttercream onto the cookie to make it stick.

I used a large oval cutter to make indentations into the fondant.

I did this four times to make the indent lines that pumpkins have.


Airbrushing adds more depth and dimension and interest to your cookies. It is not necessary to do this, but I like what it adds to the look. I gave it a light overall coating of orange color.

Then I did more pinpoint lines in the grooves with orange.

I did the same thing on the poured fondant cookies.

You can vary the colors if you like. You can add some yellow to give it bright highlights or add some brown to make it more rustic.

Let that dry fully and then add your fondant leaves and arrange!

A beautiful bounty of fall pumpkins!

I love fall stuff!

Here is the fondant one. I even dusted just a tad of pearl dust on this one. Not too much or it will be ugly; trust me on this one.

Punkies, punkies everywhere!

Mr. and Mrs. Happy Patch

Mr. Grouchy Gourd

Cuteness factor overload!

Now go make some of these.



Then send me some.


Happy Fall!