Monday, May 25, 2009

It's a Swamp Thing!!!

Sharon Zambito and Dena Bryngelson will be teaching a 2 day class August 22-23, 2009 in Kenner, LA (suburb outside New Orleans).


We will be doing a large 3D swamp scene including a 3D gator, tree stump with turtle, and other little thingies. (Photo of full class project coming in a few weeks.)

Only 15 spots available.

$250 for 2 days, at least 10 hours per day, or until we finish.

You will need to bring basic supplies i.e. cake, board, fondant, tools.

Detailed supply lists to come later.

Lunches will probably be provided.

Dena is an exceptional 3D cake artist and a wickedly good teacher. See her work at

Here is the exceptionally talented Dena with one of her gator cakes. Our class cake will also include a 3D tree stump, a little turtle, and some other surprises as time permits.

Deposit of $125 to hold spot; non-refundable. Balance due one month before class.

Email me with questions or to reserve your spot.

Hope to see you there; it is going to be crazy good!


The Most Beautiful Cake I Have Ever Seen

I have seen a lot of incredible and gorgeous cakes in my day. But last week I saw one that is by the far the most beautiful I have ever laid my eyes on. It took my breath away really, and brought tears to my eyes.

Honestly, have you ever seen a cake more beautiful? Look at those shell borders. The perfect writing. The flawless fondant. I am still awe-struck.

This was the birthday cake my son J made for me. He really does love to bake, and he got very little help from me. He baked the cakes, iced and stacked them, rolled and applied the fondant, and piped all the decorations by himself. All I did was knead the fondant for him and color the buttercream. The rest was all him. Those of you that know J know that this is really a wonderful accomplishment for him, and I am so very proud I could just burst. But I won't, cuz that would be gross. So I will just bask in my motherly pride, and feel the love my sweet boy gave to me on my birthday.


Totally Topsy Turvy DVD Give-a-way Winners!

You thought I forgot, didn't you? You guys have been waiting by the computer since midnight waiting for me to post the winners, huh? 6 AM....10 AM..... lunch...... still no post. You guys were sure I forgot today was the day huh? Well, I would never forget you guys! I just slept late! Because Heather and I were up till 3 AM finishing the DVD cover so I can get it to the printer!

I like it! Do you guys like it? Poor Heather. What I put that girl through. Cover looks simple enough, yes? You have no idea how many hours it takes just to get that simple little thing right. Not because of Heather. She is a crackerjack in Adobe. It's my pain-in-the-ass, can't make up my mind, over-tweaking self that tortures the poor girl. But she never complains. She just forges through and redoes it as many times as I ask, until we are both happy. I could not live without that woman. A better friend could not be had. Love you, H. And thank you from the bottom of my tweak-happy heart.

Well, you guys have a nice Memorial Day. Don't eat too much BBQ and I will see you in a few days!

Happy caking,



You thought I forgot again, huh? Tee hee hee. I love messing with you guys.

We had so many entries, I picked 2 winners!

Susie Q


Yo, Jennifer... you did not leave an email address, so you need to email me if you want this fabo prize! Here is your post:

Jennifer said...
Thanks for taking me step by step through the cake assembling. I've always wondered how stable those kind of cakes are. I would love to win a copy of the topsy turvy DVD!
May 22, 2009 2:29 PM

Ya'll, the editing is done and we are going to the presses. I hate to brag, but I have to tell you I am very proud of this DVD and so excited about it. You guys asked to see everything, and see everything you will. Every last cotton picking detail from start to finish. This sucker is long, so get your refreshments and settle in before you watch it. I might say it is our best DVD yet! And I love love the music on this one. It just makes me happy! Let me know if you like it too!

Thank you all for your business and support!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graduation Wedge Cake

Hello everyone!

Good gravy have I been busy! Running pillar to post. Burning the candle at both ends. Nose to the grindstone. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Burning the midnight oil. OK, I will stop. You get the idea. I bet you guys have been busy too since it is graduation time.

My beautiful and sweet niece graduated from high school last weekend, and I made her a special cake. I wanted to try the tilted method using wedges. I had not done that before. It was really pretty easy.

I wanted to of course use her school colors and mascot, but also incorporate little bits of her life, while making it fun and whimsical.

The grad hat was a styro ball I cut and carved a bit and covered with fondant. The mortar board was a square of fondant with tylose, dried ahead and glued on with chocolate. I used a 4 inch ball and a 5 inch square in this case. The clay gun was used to make the tassel.

The scroll work was done with a cutter set available here.

The paw prints were stenciled on, and represent LSU, where she is going to college. I used the alphabet tappit cutters for the LSU letters. I used the funky alphabet cutters for her name.

The initials in the heart are of Paige and her boyfriend, Chris.

I did not have time to make the flowers, so I purchased them, and dusted some to add color.

Here are the flowers I purchased:

Cally lily spray
Rose spray
Large roses
Blue roses

The graduation figure was made with a chocolate mold. I used fondant with tylose in the mold, let it dry firm, and then airbrushed it with super pearl luster dust.

The fork represents the restaurant where she works as a hostess. That thing was quite a challenge to make. I was so engrossed in trying to get one of those suckers to come out right, I forgot to take photos. But here is how I did it:

I rolled out a piece of gumpaste and pressed it between 2 plastic forks that were stacked on top of each other. I squeezed them hard together to make the impression of the handle and the 4 tines into the gumpaste. While they were sandwiched together I trimmed around the outside of the fork edges with an exacto knife. Then I took the top fork off and let the cut out gumpaste sit atop the bottom one for a good long time. After it dried a good bit, I took that gumpaste "fork" and laid it on the table and trimmed to the exact outline of the impressions made by real forks. The handle was easy peasy, but trying to cut the tines out made me curse and throw things. And curse some more. They kept breaking off or were just crappy looking. After creating a graveyard of about 12 reject forks, I decided to go with shorter than real-life tines, and got one fork that was decent. I put that back on top of the plastic fork to get the proper shape and let it dry a day or two. Airbrushed it silver after I added the letter D on the top of the handle. I just knew I was going to break it, but God was smiling on me and it made it to the cake. Whew!


Here are some photos of the construction. Please forgive the terrible quality of these photos. I was very pressed for time as my power had gone out for quite a while and put me behind schedule. On top of that, I was working with a heavily bandaged finger after slicing it it open cutting the Styrofoam wedges with a very long, very sharp knife. I think I needed a stitch or two, but no time for that!

I put the ganached tiers atop a Styrofoam lift, so I would be able to tuck the fondant under the cake and foamcore board under it for a clean bottom look.

Here is one tier after it was covered.

I had topsy turvy dummies laying around, which worked out great, because the top slant was already cut for me. I just had to trim them down to the height I wanted. (Note: to be considered food safe, you need to cover your wedge and board with something appropriate.)

I attached a piece of thin foamcore to the bottom of each styro wedge with white chocolate. This would prevent the supports from going into the styro under the weight of the cakes. I doweled the bottom cake as usual under the wedge support.

I used melted chocolate to attach the wedge to the lower tier, and more melted chocolate on top of the wedge, then placed the middle tier in place and held it there until the chocolate firmed up. Then I drove 2 wooden dowels down through both tiers.

I repeated the same process to apply the top tier. I wanted the top tier to have more of a tilt to the opposite side, but I miscalculated my slant, so it basically came out straight. Oh well, live and learn. (Dagnabbit!) After the top tier was in place, I drove one large wooden dowel down the middle of all 3 tiers.

That cake was very stable and did not budge. Cutting and serving it proved to be a little bit messy, as the melted chocolate between the tiers did tear off some of the fondant when I disassembled it. But I guess that is the price you have to pay to get this look and have it be super stable. I guess you could try to do it without the melted chocolate, but I felt better having it there as glue.

I cut apart all the purchased flower sprays and arranged them on the cake, using royal icing as glue where needed. The fondant dove is the school mascot.

I used the school logo clip art that I got off their website. I made little icons with edible icing sheets backed with white fondant, to put between the diamonds. The school initials, SSA, were impressed into the diamonds using the JEM alphabet cutter set.

Paige just loved her cake and thanked me over and over and over. Everyone at the party went nuts over it; it was very good for my ego, LOL! I have 4 more nieces coming up behind her, graduating from the same school, so I better start thinking of more design ideas soon! Oy vay. I'll think about that later.


Totally Topsy Turvy is almost ready! Just a few more tweaks in editing and we are going to the presses! I am really proud of this one; I think you guys will like it too. I take you through every single step of making this cake from start to finish. No stone is left unturned. And there are a few fun surprises thrown in there too.

I am so happy with this DVD, I feel like having a give-a-way! (The crowd jumps to its feet and roars!) To enter, just leave a comment below, and you will be entered into a random drawing for a free copy of Totally Topsy Turvy! I will draw the winner on Monday.



Monday, May 18, 2009

A note about emails

Hey guys!

I just wanted to make a note about my answering email questions and private messages that you guys send me. I am more than happy to help, and do answer every email I get. However, if I am swamped, it might take me up to a week to answer. If you do not get an answer from me within one week, please resend the email. I have been known to lose track of them sometimes.

The other issue I am having is that in answering some emails,they are bouncing back to me as undeliverable. That makes me fear that some of you think I am ignoring you, because I cannot get in touch with you. If you send me an email, please make sure that you make my return email address an accepted one to your account, so it will not bounce back as spam.

Currently, I am trying to answer Dawn and Jen and Jan, but the emails will not go through. If you guys could email me once more, we can try again.

Thanks so much!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Readers' Cakes ...Take One

Hi Sugar Peeps!

I have gotten a great response to my request for readers' cakes made using the techniques taught in our DVDs. You guys have blown me away; your cakes are awesome! It brings me joy to hear that our work is truly helping you guys with your cake skills. Please enjoy this first installment of eye candy brought you by SugarEd clients!


Hey Sharon,

I made the design on this cake using that special cutter set I bought from you. God gave us a sweet tooth!! Eat more Cake!!


I am attaching a few of my latest cakes as requested in your blog. The blue one is smooth as a baby's butt, thanks to your first video and the impression mat with pearl idea from your fondant video lagniappe. I made the hydrangea and lady bug out of gumpaste. The chocolate cake is copied from your blog. My son dipped the strawberries in chocolate and I made a gumpaste butterfly. Vicki :)


Yomomma says: Hi Sharon, This is my first and only wedding cake, that I made after ordering and watching (many times b4 attempting) your stacking and fondant dvds. I give you full credit (plus prayer!) for the end results. Thanks for your thorough teaching on your dvds.


Kari made this cake based off of the Boxes and Bows DVD:


I have attached one picture that utilizes the bow that is first taught on your "Boxes and Bows" DVD. LOVE IT!! My new favorite-I'm pushing that one on all my clients!
Nicole O. A Slice Of Heaven, LLC


I did these two after watching your fondant freaking best fondant jobs ever and I'm ever so grateful to you, darling!!!!
And if anyone wants a good laugh, they can check me out at


Hi Sharon! I wanted to share a picture of my FIRST wedding cake! I made this right after seeing your flawless fondant DVD, and I must say I amazed myself by how smooth my fondant looks. I love your idea of chilling the cakes before fondanting. I also love your idea for covering the cake board. Genius. Anyway, this cake is a 6,8,10,12" with gumpaste roses and hydrangeas. My flickr site is at http://www.tishperez.comthanks/! Tish


Smoooooth buttercream, with fondant accents. That bow is the best so far!! Thanks Sugarshack!!
I have your Perfecting the Art of Buttercream, Successful Stacking, and Boxes and Bows. Love them all, and have watched them several times.
Thanks again.


Hi Sharon,
I wanted to tell you I loved your last video, Boxes and Bows and I can't wait until I get to make one! I love your instructions. You make it look so easy! Oh, and here's one of my latest wedding cakes, I made the sugar flowers too! The couple's favorite color is orange!
Tracy ....My website is


Hi Sharon,
I just made my first butter cream cake using the techniques and recipe in your DVD. Your instructions made it so easy. My first creation didn't turn out perfectly perfect, but I am very pleased with it. It turned out looking better by far than the techniques I used previous to watching your DVD.
Thank you for providing me with easy to follow instructions. You possess a real talent for teaching!

PS - My Detective Sergeant just retired after 31 years and I've included a photograph of the cake I made for his party using your techniques.


WOW! You guys rock!
More reader pics coming soon!

Happy caking!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Remy Stirs the Pot

Hello Sugar Friends!

So sorry for the delay in posting. I have been crazy busy; and it continues through next week. Whew, this old cake chick is tired! I hope all of you are doing great, and your caking adventures are going well.

I am working on some things to post next week, so in the mean time I thought I would show this cute cake I made a few months back for the daughter of a friend. She was having her party at one of those little chef places, so the theme of the cake was just perfect! When the mom asked me if I could make Remy stirring the soup pot like in the movie, I said sure I can! Then of course, after I hung up the phone, my thought was : How the heck am I going to do that? The pot I can do, but figure modeling is not my strong suit. So I just jumped in and went for it.

I used a real chopping board for the cake base, and I love the effect that gave.

Here is the first body parts of Remy drying. I find this image quite disturbing. He scares me. But not as much as possums.

I put on his face and arms, and then used a bubble tea straw to simulate the spoon he would be holding on the real cake.

Hands make holding the spoon a tad easier for him. His little chef hat makes him official!

Here he is drying so he would have the proper body position for the cake. He no longer scares me. I think he is pretty dern cute now.

Here are 3 layers of cake iced with thickened ganache as I described in this post.

Here are the pot handles drying. An Aussie friend gave me the idea to use aquarium air tubing wrapped in fondant. I taped them down to the table so they would dry in the proper curve. I have no idea if that is food safe, so do some research before you do this.

Here I am working on the cheese and veggies, all made of fondant with tylose.

Cute little carrots.

Swiss and aged Gouda. Tee hee.

I wrapped the cake in white fondant, added the top trim and the handles, and then airbrushed it with copper luster dust. Buttercream makes the soup, with little fondant veggies sprinkled on top.

Despite using the straw to configure his arms, when I put the real spoon in the cake, I could not get it to line up with his hands correctly. After a few choice words, I just decided that he was shifting the spoon from one hand to the other, and my picture caught it mid-shift. Yep, I like that story.

I also chose to ignore the fact that he is walking on the soup more than he is standing on the edge of the pot. (Rat bastard.)

Sometimes things just don't go as we plan, and we have to suck it up. I hate when that happens.

But overall, I was very pleased with the cake, and mom and daughter went crazy over it. Mission accomplished!


Here is a cake I did last weekend before going to Texas using the run sugar technique. Is this something you guys would like to see on DVD?


Back from Texas

I had a wonderful time in Texas last weekend. The DOS and classes were a blast! I love traveling to teach and meet cake people. Cake peeps are the best on earth!

Check out this cake Sandy in Texas made in my fish class. Hers came out better than mine. She is banned from any future classes with me.

Check out Sandy's great cakes at:


Topsy Turvy DVD

Todd and I are working on the finishing touches for Totally Topsy Turvy. It's going to be close to 4 hours long. It will include a narrated slide show showing how to cut and serve a topsy, and also has some bloopers from the shoot! I love the music for this one; my favorite so far! Thank you for the pre-orders placed already. May 15 is the cut off to get the free recipes!


OK kids, back to my busy, crazy, wonderful life, and I will check in with you guys next week. This weekend is my 46th birthday, 24th wedding anniversary and Mother's Day. I got me some serious eating to do!

Happy Mother's day to you all! (Even if you do not have kids, you are still a mother to your cakes, so go celebrate!)