the sweet sixteen cake that almost broke me.

a few months ago, an old friend reached out to see if i would be interested in making her daughter’s sweet sixteen birthday cake. she said “delicious chocolate” and we had a deal. then, she sent me some inspiration photos i couldn’t help but think i had gotten myself in over my head. but, i am trying to get out of my comfort zone, so i charged ahead, with full confidence that i could make it happen.

as the date got closer, and i began procuring the necessary ingredients and supplies, things started to get a little crazy. firstly, it’s quite hard to find lavender macarons in ws/nc. after calling and stopping into a dozen or so grocery stores and bakeries, i found an acceptable purple hued macaron at waterbean coffee. the matter of the “happy birthday” cake topper turned out to be another ordeal. i thought we could make our own with our new silhouette cameo, but we couldn’t find heavy enough gold paper at a worthwhile price point, so i ended up ordering an acrylic one that i can reuse and loan out to other cake folk. problem solved. onto the cake drum purchase. when i couldn’t find what i needed at the local cake store, michaels or joanns, i resorted to amazon, where i spent waaaay too much time researching and reading reviews, before making my purchase. and then, lo and behold, the drums arrived, every last one of them warped.

at the same time i was nailing down all of the above mentioned details, i was also working at home to perfect my meringue kiss skills. the first batch was nice and smooth and shiny, but they were as non uniform as they come. then i made two grainy batches, but my piping got better and better each time. then, the last batch was perfect. and now i’m a pro.

but, enough about meringues. let’s talk about the ganache drip. first of all, i could not find lavender candy melts ANYWHERE. none locally and the amazon prices were jacked up. so, i decided to settle for making my own lavender and bought hot pink and light blue. then, while i was at joann’s for something else (probably related to this cake), i found lavender candy melts AND they were on sale. (so i maybe bought one of each color). hooray!!

ok. it was finally time to actually make the cake. and then things got out of control. it took me over an hour to just frost it. i don’t know what was wrong with me. it was like i had never decorated a cake before. i couldn’t get it smooth. or level. and the chocolate filling kept sneaking out and streaking my icing. but. eventually i had an acceptable base cake. i popped it in the fridge to chill and started on the candy melt drip, my sanity and confidence hanging by a thread, only to discover that what the candy melt bag called “lavender” was more like a slightly purple pink and was definitely a no-go. thankfully, i still had the hot pink and light blue and i was able to use all three colors to create the exact lavender i had hoped for. crisis averted.

at this point, i was able to take a deep breath and relax. i tidied up the ganache mess. the cake chilled. and i organized the decor items to prepare for the final cake assembly. that’s the easy part. i do wish my icing was smoother and the drip was more consistent, but given how stressed and frustrated i was during the frosting/drip process, i was pleased with how this turned out.

i added the acrylic sign for a few photos before i packed her up for delivery. the slow slow delivery.

one last photo. the best one. in the perfect lighting from the window of my quilt room. with a makeshift backdrop. and maybe a little extra exposure. 🙂

the family was super happy with it and i am super relieved it is done. i swore it was the last cake i would ever make, but maybe i’ll make a few more. 😉

One Reply to “the sweet sixteen cake that almost broke me.”

  1. This cake is stunning! Please make some more cakes. You are so talented!

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