Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Adidas Shoebox Cake

My friend and fellow design classmate Maria Tully is THE biggest Adidas shoehead I know. She even works at the Adidas Outlet Store in San Diego. So I wasn't surprised when she wanted to order an Adidas cake for her birthday. Maria decided on a small Adidas Originals Shoebox cake to feed about 10 people. There's not much artistic licensing that went on with this one, just craftsmanship and precision to get it as accurate as possible.  I think Run DMC would be proud :)

After completing my due diligence, I had a better understanding of how to tackle this cake challenge.  After all, I would be making an Adidas cake for someone who probably understands the brand more than anyone....I had to get it just right for her approval. I printed out some logos and labels to use as my template and guides.  First, I tinted some fondant to get the signature "blue" color, or at least as close as possible.
I set the fondant aside to allow the color to reach it's maximum vibrancy. In the meantime I worked on the cake.  I baked the cake in my square pans, then cut, stacked, and frosted the cake to get a size proportional to a real shoebox.
While the cake was chilling in the fridge, I worked on the fondant sides.  I decided to panel each side in order to get very flat edges and sharp corners just as you would see on any regular shoebox.  I added gumtex to the fondant to stiffen it...this way the box would be flatter and more stable as they rested and dried. A ruler was used to get straight uniform panels. 
The cover of the shoebox was next. This part needed to be very precise in order for the corners to match up just right and have that shoebox cover quality. I used an x-acto knife to cut out the one-inch corners.
The box was completed and ready for some branding and labels. The stripes were first. I used my pastry cutter to get a squiggly edge...looking back I maybe should have used my pinking shears for a more accurate Adidas stripe, but my pastry cutter would suffice. 
The application of the stripes could be a little tricky.  Since this would be the main design component of the cake, I needed to get their angle just right or it would look off.  I even busted out my protractor and 30/60 triangle to help guide me! (Whoever asked "When do we ever use Math after High School?"....this is when! ;P)
All that was left to do was add the Adidas Trefoils along with some customization. I used the shoebox label to personalize this cake for Maria. Instead of shoe sizes, I filled the spaces with Maria's birthday and age. I also added my own little personal message where the shoe description would be.
Adidas Trefoil. Not the easiest logo to replicate.

I was happy that this cake had a very stable form....no extra tiers, no extruding pieces prone to destruction....just a flat rectangle shoebox shape. This eased my mind as I had to make a 2-hour delivery to Maria's favorite pizza spot in San Diego. It was a lovely day to make that drive and get Maria's reaction.  She even had some mini Adidas shoe toys to add as a cake topper. They completed the cake perfectly!
Maria was kind enough to treat me to a yummy BASIC Pizza...she suggested the mashed potato and bacon. I ate it while we did a little bit of catching up.
Based on the pictures Maria posted, I know she had a very fun 29th Birthday. Although I didn't stay to celebrate, I am honored to have been a part of it in some way.  I asked Maria to send me pics of the cut cake. Here's what she came up with...looks like she had a little too much fun with it! But it added a lot of personality and I just love what she did! enjoy ;)
I would like to thank Maria for being such an awesome client! She is a fellow creative thinker and customizes Adidas sneakers on the side. Check out some of her work here and hit her up if you're interested. Thank you for stopping by!

~Abs of Cakes~

Monday, March 7, 2011

Danica's Minnie Party

As far back as September, I was approached by my friend Melissa to make her daughter Danica's 1st Birthday cake. Talk about planning ahead, right? She and her husband, Mark knew exactly what they wanted, which made my job a whole lot easier. I had plenty of time to plan and come up with design ideas (five months to be exact).  They decided on a Minnie Mouse theme with zebra print and pink colors.  This was by far the best cake table set up I've had to work with and really enhanced the look of the cake and cupcakes and made for wonderful photo ops.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Lorico
 This was Danica's invitation and my inspiration
Mark and Melissa requested for a cake and cupcakes to feed 150 people! That's a lot of people to feed, so I really needed to step up my game. Organization and preparation was important to get everything done. I drew my game plan on a butcher-paper-lined table. This is where my production started.
I used Walt Disney's signature font to create cupcake picks specially for Danica's party.
I came up with two different designs for 50 cupcakes.
This was the concept for the cake, but some changes were made and the design evolved a bit.
I worked on the cupcakes first. Fun cupcake liners were used that really added to the theme of the party....a pink polka dot liner and a zebra print liner. I decided that the pink polka dot liners would be perfect on the cupcakes with the Minnie ears and bows to resemble Minnie Mouse herself. The ears were made out of chocolate fondant cut out in perfect little circles. The zebra print bows were hand painted using black icing color on white fondant.
50 circles were cut out, molded, and left to dry in plastic wrap-lined egg cartons.
25 mini zebra print bows were meticulously assembled.
The cupcakes were dipped in chocolate and ready to be decorated with the ears and bows.

The zebra print cupcake liners were used on the next cupcake which were a little easier to put together. I piped on some cream cheese frosting in a ruffle design using a #104 tip. The concept was to give the look of Minnie Mouse's dress. I designed a graphic to make some one of a kind cupcake picks to stick on top. 
I used my Adobe Illustrator skills to create this special design.

On to the cake.  It had three tiers...the first tier resembled a Minnie Ears hat which I had attempted in some of my earlier work but didn't quite work out as I wish it had. This was my shot at redeeming that vision. The second tier was covered in plain white fondant to create some balance from the busy patterns and colors. The bottom tier was covered in pink fondant with some white polka dots with a white ruffle border.  
I frosted and covered a hemisphere of cake in chocolate fondant for the top tier Minnie Ears hat.
Here's what I used to create the white ruffle border to the bottom tier.
A toothpick was used to add some frills.
I added a piped pearl border above the ruffles. A zebra print ribbon was used to decorate the cake board.
A Minnie Mouse cake is not complete without some polka dots.
Here's the naked cake that needed some final touches.
The ears were molded and ready to be added.
Danica's Birthday greeting.
The big zebra print bow
The back of the cake, just like an embroidered hat from Disneyland.
Voila! The final product ready for a fun party.
I got to the party early to help set up the cake table. Melissa was very thoughtful by providing some wrapped boxes and a cupcake stand to place all the yummy treats on.  I felt my interior design skills kick into play...I was able to play with different levels and heights creating depth and visual interest. Here are some photos provided by Mark Lorico and Nicole Virtucio...
 Melissa and Mark got some other yummy treats from a few of their friends to add. It really completed the look of whole cake table.
Yummy cake pops provided by CakedLA
Rice cereal treat pops by Natasha Burgos
The happy Lorico Family :)
Cutie pie Danica enjoying her 1st Birthday Cake! This picture makes me happy :)
I truly enjoyed working with Mark and Melissa. Danica's party was very inspiring and I had a fun time! I hope I helped make her first birthday a memorable one.

I have sooo many fun cakes to share with you, but I've been really busy lately and haven't been able to update my posts...so please bear with me. Thank you again for stopping by.

~Abs of Cakes~

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