40 Cakes & Counting!

Wowza….! What an incredibly busy April this has been! A few months ago, I was contacted by a family friend, Mary, that is on the committee for the Big Stone Health Care Foundation, her husband is physician known by many as Dr. Bob :), and she asked if I was interested in making centerpiece cakes for the foundation’s 2015 Gala. She said their table count would be around 35 tables so 35 CAKES! I was so incredibly honored to even be asked to be a part of such an event! Mary informed me that their theme for this year was “Swinging London” complete with tons of Beatles decor, British flags, and etc. She had even found a cake idea on Pinterest that would be perfect!

Click here for the cake inspiration.

Instead of the 3 tiered cake, we would do the top tier only as a 6″ square to serve the 8-10 people per table. In order to get the rest of committee on board with her idea, she ordered a replica to take a serve at their next meeting. Mary is so creative and actually brought me a prototype of the cake made of cardboard complete with construction paper stripes! This was a HUGE aid in helping me figure out what size my roller spacing needed to be for the various widths of the stripes. Then when discussing cake flavors, I mentioned how fun it would be to cut into a beautiful Red Velvet Cake interior to this bright red, white, and blue cake! She agreed!

Red Velvet

The day I was told that the doctor had found a gallstone and would need surgery to remove it, was the day the committee excitedly agreed with Mary to bring me on board to make 36 cakes for their Gala! My eyes filled with tears. I could NOT believe that they wanted my cakes for such an extraordinary event! After a few deep breathing exercises and a call to my mom and husband, I said YES! 🙂

All hands on deck!

The next few weeks were filled with lots of doctor appointments, intertwined with current cake orders, homeschooling, and caring for my 4 little monkeys passed so very quickly. Thankfully, I was able to have my gallbladder removed laparoscopically a month and a half before the Gala event on April 25, 2015.

My husband was now in the thick of tax season and working 60 plus hours while I recovered and my cake orders were scaled back to 1 a week and maybe 2 if I struggled to say no 🙂 That RARELY happens! Riiiiiiight……. I’m learning!

April 1st came and feeling much better since my surgery, I began making list upon list for calculating what I would need to make all of these cakes. Batter, frosting, and fondant all needed to be figured. Did I mention that 6 months prior, I had a wedding cake consultation for a 3 tiered cake? Yep. The wedding was the SAME weekend as the Gala. Yikes..God give me strength!

Union Jack Flag Cake Prototype

I knew I had to be even more organized down to the day for 1-2 weeks prior to the gala and would need to do as much in advance as possible. Baking of these red velvet beauties began 2 weeks ahead because in order to bake this many, I would need several days of baking. Baking was completed as I was putting my last 2 cakes in the fridge before heading to the freezer, I was 2 cakes short. I could not believe this! I was POSITIVE I had figured correctly so with a frantic call to my superhero, I mean my husband, Jeremy ran to the store for more supplies and we baked up more cake. Once these were baked, I went back to my cake fridge and running out of space, I opened a drawer to put these 2 6″ square cakes in there and there were the missing 2 cakes that I KNEW I had baked! Jeremy had put them in the drawer so I never counted them!

Now I had 2 extra cakes, bringing the total to 38. What on earth was I going to do with 6″ square red velvet cakes?! Jeremy suggested I hang onto them in the freezer in case something catastrophic happened and I needed back up so in they went.

1 day later, I received a call from the BSCHCF chairperson, Sally Rakow. They’d had a tremendous response for this year and asked if it was possible to add more 2 more cakes. I began laughing and told her of my story of the missing cakes and that I already had 2 EXTRA cakes baked so YES, I gladly added 2 more to the total. So 38 cakes to decorate!

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The week prior, I had a super fun 2 layer “60” John Deere farming theme cake for a surprise party so once all the red velvet cakes were baked, my hubs helped me bake up 4 9×13 (1/4 sheet) cakes to use for the John Deere number cake. With that cake picked up for the weekend, we began mixing our 9 double batches of cream cheese frosting. I have never seen so much frosting! Haha

Monday came and I received another phone call 🙂 It was Sally again, after reading my Facebook post (Click here), she said she was hesitant to call but……she needed to add 2 more cakes if this was possible. This was going to be the largest attendance the foundation had hosted. God grant me serenity! Ha! Breathe. I truly always want to help anyway I can and we could leave 16 people without cake. That is SO wrong! Hahaha! An adrenaline-pumping “yes” came out of my mouth, giving me a kick in the rear to get back at it, and I said I would do my best to get it done and this would be the last ones I could add because we were T-5 days until event day. She agreed and was so appreciative that I knew this was the right decision. So onward, I baked..chilled..frosted..repeat 🙂

Wednesday: All cakes were frosted and 8 double batches of royal blue fondant were made. Each supplying 7-8 pounds of fondant. Around that’s 64 lbs. of fondant! Yowza!

Royal Blue Fondant Swirls

In order to achieve more royal blue color, I use Americolor Royal Blue mixed with a small part of Americolor Purple which creates a beautiful, deep blue.

Time to bake the wedding cake let’s not forget! This was not a quick bake job either. The lovely couple wanted some different flavors in each tier that would compliment each other so this is what I needed to bake:

1 -6″ round strawberry

1- 6″ round chocolate fudge

1- 8″ round white

1- 8″ round red velvet

1- 10″ round strawberry

1- 10″ round chocolate

strawberry w choc, white red velvet

Because there would be extra batter left over from the 6″ and 8″ cakes, the bride-to-be agreed to take the extra as cupcakes for a baby shower she had the Friday afternoon before her wedding day so I baked all the cakes along with 5…dozen..cupcakes that came from this order. In my growing weariness, I mistakenly poured my white cake batter into a 6″ round and cupcakes instead of an 8″ round with cupcakes. Ugh! So she ended up with more than 18 cupcakes of white due to my error but was still so awesome, gracious, and thankful for these treats. I think she was totally OK with it 😉 😉

Friday arrived and boxing began at 8:30am and we finished loading my GMC Yukon at 10:57am. Hallelujah! I even got to hug the bride-to-be on the day before her wedding and say blessings over her marriage! How awesome is that?!! How many people, let alone their cake decorator, get the priviledge of seeing the bride before her big day?! This was exactly the blessing I needed to fill me on Friday morning when she picked up her cupcakes as my amazing parents helped me dust cornstarch off cakes, plate, and box the 35 completed cakes. I still had 5 more cakes that needed white stripes before they were finished. Feeling completely rejuvenated from this beautiful woman’s hug and praises, I headed back to the kitchen to complete the Gala order.

40 Cakes & Counting

My parents have to be the most amazing parents a girl could ask for! As my mom headed off to an appointment she had to get ready for, my dad & I headed to the Sioux Historic Pavilion in Ortonville, MN to deliver the final count of 40 cakes! Tucked with blankets cuddling them to prevent shifting as we drove the 38 miles.

I was amazed walking in the doors to the Sioux Historic at the amazing detail of the extent of their decor! It literally caught my breath as I walked under several large hanging Union Jack flags.

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Amazingly awesome art wall by Kris Ninneman!

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Working with 2 carts we loaded their coolers with cake, which I’m sure they had to refigure because they had LOTS of wine bottles that needed to share the tall coolers. 🙂

I was short 1 white Better Homes and Garden square plate so I was able to plate that final cake at the venue and now we had a cake open and ready for pictures!

Union Jack Flag Cake

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I was even able to convince these beautiful ladies from the Big Stone Health Care Foundation Gala Committee to take a few quick pics with me passing off the cake and express my gratitude for this incredible opportunity. Hopefully, next year I will be in attendance for the 2016 Gala without dance recital conflicts! 🙂 It looks like quite the party!

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After gazing at the wet fields on the drive to my parent’s farm, I dropped off my dad and drove the last 12 miles home to face the next feat. The 3 tiered wedding cake! This needed to be done in just 2-3 hours so that I could pick up the kids from a friend who was my acting daycare for the day (thank you LISA!) and feed them before my daughter’s dance recital that night. Can you say CRAZY?!

I took 20 minutes of quiet to eat my lunch and pray for the Lord to give me strength to face the second half of my day. God met my every single need! After committing to Lisa that I’d pick up my 4 kids at 4pm, I set to work filling and crumb coating the 3 cakes. At 3:15pm I pulled out the white fondant and skillfully rolled and covered these cakes. After decorating 40 cakes with fondant, this wedding cake was done in record time. At 4:07pm, all 3 tiers were all covered with fondant and I would leave the stacking, adding the camo ribbon, and fondant details until tonight after Isabel’s dance recital.

Thankfully, my in-laws had visited last weekend, and I had spent last Saturday afternoon cutting all of the fondant details (leaves, branches, and acorns made from modeling chocolate) while they occupied the kids.

The first of 3 dance shows was done and back home we went! Out come the cakes! Stacking went quickly then on to placing the leaves in clusters and by 10:30pm, I was FINISHED!

After 2 more dance recitals, Jeremy and I set up the camouflage wedding cake at the venue with adding the final touches of more leaves and acorns around the base of the cake and take a gazillion pictures! I LOVED how this rustic camo cake turned out ♥

So at 6pm Saturday night, my week of 40 cakes & counting was COMPLETE! Whew! Keep watching for Part 2 to see the Camoflauge Wedding Cake reveal!

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I hope you LOVE! Find out more about the Big Stone Health Care Foundation on their website HERE and “LIKE” their Facebook page!