A few months ago, I purchased a 53 piece cake decorating set from Michaels. Since then, that 53 piece cake decorating set has moved from place to place around my house, not really serving any purpose....until this weekend. This weekend, cake decorating was in order. And what better way to make use of all the lovely tips that came in the set than by making a quilt cake?
Even though that's a rhetorical question, the answer is there is no better way. Although I had already worked with most of the tips I used for this cake, I did get a chance to work with some new tips, like leaf tip #67, which is officially my new favorite tip, and drop flower tip #129, which I need some more practice with. Apparently, drop flowers aren't as easy as they appear to be, but my frosting was getting warmer/runnier towards the end, so that might have been why I had some trouble.
I also got to work with couplers, aka God's gift to cake decorators, in the making of this cake. I never truly appreciated them until now. They are legit. I encourage everyone to go pick one up from their local arts & crafts store, maybe even two. Because a lot of the rectangles on the quilt had a pattern with two icing colors, I used a coupler for each icing bag and was easily able to switch tips for each pattern. It was great. And it definitely helped that I had purchased some Wilton tips separately beforehand because I was able to use two of the same tip with each bag at the same time, rather than use the tip for one bag, clean it, and then use it for the other bag.
Besides working with new tips and couplers for the first time, I achieved something else extremely incredible when decorating this cake. So incredible, I think it deserves to be called a milestone. I wrote on the cake freehand, with an actual piping tip, for the first time. I didn't even use a toothpick to trace out the letters beforehand. I just went for it...and it came out so well!(Alhamdulilah) I was so nervous at first and I practiced on a piece of wax paper a couple times before, but it's obviously not the same because you have more control over a piece of paper on a table. Still, I think it gave me an idea of what I was getting myself into and how much pressure I should apply to the icing bag.
It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies though. I did end up messing up on one of the letters in "Welcome" but the great thing about letting your cake chill before writing on it is you can easily wipe the letter off and try again. And that's exactly what I did. That part wasn't really that big of a deal. What was a big deal was the fact that the following morning, I discovered the frosting had completely dried out and formed a really hard crust. And not only that, but when I lifted the cake board to transfer the cake to somewhere else to take pictures, I didn't support it correctly and the frosting ending up cracking, in several places--something that wouldn't have happened if the frosting wasn't so dry.
Since the only thing I did differently with this cake was leave it out overnight in a different environment than I usually leave my cakes in, I'm assuming that's the cause. Perhaps the climate was too dry or the cake was exposed to too much air. Either way, I certainly won't be making the same mistake again. Lesson learned.Fortunately, the cake wasn't really ruined by the overly crusted frosting. It did soften up a little after a while and it was really just the surface that was dry. I was definitely pleased with the results of this cake and I can't wait make a baby girl version. Who knows, you might even see one on the blog soon :) Stay tuned!