Saturday, June 19, 2010

Preschool Dragonfly Themed Graduation Cake

Preschool Dragonfly Themed Graduation Cake

Here's a long, intensive but fun thought & design process made short ... how to ensure a cake pictures graduation, the end of pre-schooling years, dragonflies ... and also tastes ooey-gooey good (in the mind and on the taste buds of discerning five year olds).

The challenge with this cake order was to it neither looked like a wedding cake, nor a typical college graduate cake. I wanted the cake to emphasize on elements depicting the tender age of five and their early learning experiences through colors and pictures. I decided to hence, eliminate the graduation cap and scroll, but keep the stack of books. Most preschooler books are slim colorful picture books. In my opinion, no other book could illustrate the preschool theme better than the all-time children favorite "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. In his book, however, the caterpillar turns into a butterfly ... not a dragonfly. Now that I was getting closer, I introduced the idea of frosting the dragonfly pages from Eric Carle's "The Very Quiet Cricket" on top of the book-cake stack. I eventually came up with this cake that pictures a box of children picture books featuring Eric Carle's art and one of his stories involving a dragonfly. As much as I love, respect and appreciate two-dimensional children art, I could still not resist the temptation to make some elements look realistic- (call it my Signature) . I ended up hand-crafting a few edible dragonflies flying out of the book and (sort-of) "congratulating" the Dragonfly-class.

I ensured all the fruits eaten by the caterpillar were two-dimensional (not 3-D figurines) to capture the art and style of Eric Carle . The white box is decorated with hand-made edible "stickers" of fruits (with the holes) eaten by the caterpillar from Monday through Friday.
The cake was a 3-layer chocolate-strawberry (made with real fresh strawberries)-chocolate cake to please both youngsters and adults. I also made assorted eggless caterpillar colored cupcakes (not pictured here) for children with allergies.

Open book design : extract from Eric Carle's "The Very Quiet Cricket". That's the page when the cricket meets a dragonfly ... " Good Evening" whirred a dragonfly gliding above the water . The little cricket wanted to answer ... " - in the book, nothing much happened. In the context of this cake, the dragonfly turned to "life" as 3-D edible dragonfly. I hand painted the pastel colored dragonfly hovering over the blue\teal colored water background just as is from the "The Very Quiet Cricket" dragonfly page ... I did not paint the little cricket and saved the "empty" spot for an edible 3-d dragonfly.

The book in orange binder is the "Good-Night Owl" by Pat Hutchins - which was a variation-theme of the play performed by the preschoolers on the graduation day. The purple book is Janin Cain's "The Way I feel" - a very thoughtful gift the teacher gave to the kids as part of her lessons about feelings and expressing them.

Caught on camera ...this picture was taken while I was piping the name of the graduates. You can see my original "cake-architecture" diagrams in the background.

I have to say, this cake merged the best out of me - my love of painting and my passion for cake decorating.
June 2010

Cake Type : Themed 3-D - 40-50 servings.
DeliSWeet Treats donated 100 % of the cake value
to the BCC Castle Project fund.

This was a Non-Profit venture By DeliSWeets Treats

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes for a Rainy Day
Carrot Cupcakes ( you can easily tell from orange tint of the fresh carrot dye on the cupcake liners) with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Not much to tell except for the fact that I managed to pull it together in about an hour just before stepping out for the event for which those cupcakes were made. It was the most humid & rainy day of the month of June. I thought a little bit of color would help brighten the day.