This is a cake that I made for one of my friend's retirement. She worked in the early childhood ed - parent ed industry (at the school where my toddler and I go) and served for about 20 years. Eventhough we were not her colleagues, we thought of honoring her since the last class that she would ever teach was to us. I volunteered to bake the cake and this is the one I made for her.
I took the easy way out by buying a cake mix (yellow moist cake) and some store-bought frostings (#1) and (#2). I baked the cake in an 8" by 3" round baking pan according to package directions (but in the 3" deep pan, I had to bake the cake for about 50 minutes), torted it into three layers and stacked the layers by applying a thin layer of raspberry jam in between the layers. Then I applied a crumb coat on the icing using store bought vanilla frosting (#1). In the meanwhile, I divided the store-bought icing (#2) - Wilton's decorator's icing into a big white stock, and one batch of tinted pink icing and just a bit of tinted green icing. Once the crumb coating was dry (crusted), I frosted the sides with the frosting (#1). I tried to smooth it out as much as possible, but the (#1) kind of frosting is not that good for decorating. I used this because I knew that Wilton's icing (#2) would not be enough to decorate the entire cake. Once it was crusted (it wont be completely dry), I applied #2 (thinned down to spreadable consisitency using milk) on the top of the cake and smoothed out the top. when I saw that I had some left over, I applied a thin layer of #2 icing on the side too. Again, I left the cake in the freezer for quick-drying the icing. Once again the cake top was smoothed, using a paper towel.
While I waited for the frosting to crust, I piped four roses using the tinted pink icing (#2) with the flower petal tip and left them in the freezer to set. (Use a piping bag with a coupler since we will use the same frosting for other decorations too). Changed the tip on the decorator's bag to open star tip. Then I piped a round of shells around the upper rim of the cake and a rim of stars along the bottom rim. Finally I changed the tip to plain round tip to pipe pink dots around the side of the cake.
When the roses are set and somewhat solid, transfer the roses to the top of the cake, arranging as you would like. I piped her name using the plain round tip. Then came the not-so-good idea of piping drop flowers at the intersections of the shell border (**GROAN**). I think it looked better without the drop flowers. I also added a few drop flowers in the space between the roses (since I wanted to try out the new drop flower tip)(**SHEEPISH GRIN**). The leaves were piped using a leaf tip and the tinted green decorator's icing (#2 tinted green).
Finally, I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave, put it into a sandwich bag, snipped off a corner and piped the messages "Happy" and "Retirement" onto a piece of parchment paper. Kept the paper in the freezer to solidify the chocolate. But as you can clearly see the "Retirement" didnt turn out very well, so after I took the pictures, I actually changed the chocolate message and piped "Retirement" using the pink decorator's icing with the round tip #3.
And this is how I finished the "Happy Retirement" cake for our friend Linda (Wohoooo!!). We also got her a card and all the moms signed it. Linda was completely surprised when we presented the cake to her. She was teary eyed when she thanked me for the decorations and the cake and it moved me! I've got her reaction on seeing the cake on video and it was a very satisfying one (GRIN). Hope she has a good time, as a talented teacher who loves to paint!
Hope you all enjoyed reading the instructions. Please do leave comments so that I can improve myself. If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them. Happy day to you all !
#1 and #2 are just numbers that I put for the two different icings and do not refer to any quality assignments.
#1- Vanilla frosting.
#2 Wilton's decorator's pure white icing.