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For those who have been waiting to be able to take little kids to a cake decorating class, or for me to offer classes in my flexible, edible stained glass technique, your wishes are now granted!

Dates, cost, other details, and registration

If the classes fill up or at least do well, more will be offered later.

 

I’ve posted a slightly updated version of my gummy tutorial/recipe on my food blog (it used to just be on my website), including a photo-free version for easier printing.

Basic Gummy Recipe and Tutorial

 

Whether it’s this week, next, or just after Labour Day, kids in North America are heading back to school! Here are some fun goodies to inspire you for back to school treats of your own.

First up, two book-themed cakes by Sprinkle Bakes: a gorgeous one called Words Take Flight and then a Birthday Trip To Narnia with the White Witch plus a recipe for Microwave Turkish Delight.

The Decorated Cookie Blog also takes a confectionery trip through literature with Harry Potter Painted Marshmallows and applies the same technique to some First Day of School Marshmallow Pops.

Hungry Happenings did some experiments to find a non-corn-syrup-based modelling chocolate recipe and discovered that, when combined with some fruit leather, she’d made tasty and adorable little books. Check out her recipe and tutorial here. She’s also got a round-up of some of her other school-themed treats here, some of which I think I’ve featured here before.

For a tutorial on making little monogrammed fondant books, check out this post by A Baked Creation.

The Sugar Turntable shows you how to make Chalkboard Cookies (via CraftGossip).

If your favourite student is into puzzles and you dig a bit of a baking challenge, go for this Rubik’s Cube Battenburg Cake by S’tasty.

It’s not just kids going back to school. If you happen to know a grown-up heading off to train for cop duty, you’ll definitely want to make these Police Academy Themed Cupcakes by Bake Happy. Even if you don’t, check out the creative use of parts of cutter shapes and texture pins.

 

The Central Texas College is holding their Geekfest 2011 at the Mayborn Planetarium and Space Theater in Killeen, TX on August 19th – 20th.  If you’re into gaming, science fiction, zombies, cosplay, and other geeky things, you won’t want to miss out.  This year they’ll be sporting their very own cake competition!

“The Cake is a Lie” contest has 3 categories: cookies, cupcakes, and tiered cakes.  Entries must be “geek” themed.  Get your registration in by August 12th!

http://www.starsatnight.org/geekfest/decoratingcontest.html

 

Apparently it’s National Strawberry Shortcake Day! I didn’t have links gathered for that, but luckily Yum Sugar has a post full of strawberry shortcake recipes for you to try.

If you’re in the Austin area, come to the Capital Confectioners’ Club meeting tonight! 7 pm at IHOP (South Mopac), 1101 S Mo Pac Expy Austin, in the back meeting room. We alternate our monthly meetings across several north and south locations to accommodate members from the whole area.

Our meetings start with club business (this month will feature a lot of discussion about our classes and the upcoming Day of Sharing), and then a member gives a demonstration of a decorating technique. Someone always brings an awesome dessert as well.

We don’t charge for meetings although if you come regularly, we ask that you officially join the club for $24 a year. So come on out and see what we’re up to. We’re very friendly. You can even bring the family, especially if you’ve got older kids who want to learn about cake decorating.

Hope to see you there! Tell your friends!

 

I went on a serious hunt for Fathers’ Day stuff that wasn’t ties and sports, mostly since my husband still resents the ties he had to wear to school every day growing up in Australia and isn’t interested in sports unless it’s cricket (well I did find some adorable cricket and soccer cupcakes via The Cupcake Blog but that’s not what I was searching for). Turns out it’s really hard to find Fathers’ Day stuff beyond the standard stereotypical male interests. Here are the results of my search:

If any of our readers or members have other Fathers’ Day ideas, either standard or unusual, share them in the comments!

 

I find donating to Bake A Wish Austin allows me to experiment with cake decorating without my family having to eat all of the results. The recipients appreciate the effort, I have an excuse to bake and play, so it’s win-win.

I posted this evening about my recent two donations and what I learned as I played around with piping to make game show cookies and summer cupcakes. Enjoy and donate a baked good yourself sometime if you can! It’s very rewarding.

 

I just posted a lengthy and picture-filled post on my own cake/food blog about some recent volunteer classes I did with kids and why it’s so rewarding to do so:

http://www.eat-the-evidence.com/2011/06/01/ace-cake-classes/

I highly encourage anyone with cake skills to donate some time to a local school. It’s good for warm fuzzies all around!

PS, Thanks to Irene for the second turntable and to Chris W. for the edible ink pens, both of which are now in the big bucket of kid supply stuff for the club. A lot of kids are going to benefit from those donated supplies for a good long time!

 

Today on Quick Bites: Memorial Day cakes that do not use strawberries and blueberries to make a US flag. That’s what half the internet will show you today, but at Capital Confectioners, we like to be topical and different at the same time!

  • US flag cakes are fairly common, especially on Memorial Day, but this one by Spring Lake Cake is very classy and elegant the way it translates the stripes into a bow atop a rich blue background with nicely-placed white stars. Even the surrounding cupcakes come across as respectful accents.
  • Kim C. (no relation to me but I dig her name!) posted three Memorial Day cake ball ideas: arranged as a flag, sprinkles, and drizzled. She’s also got some adorable Navy-themed cupcakes.
  • If you want to add some flag flair to you Memorial Day cake stand, or save it for the 4th of July later, check out these simple directions by Better Homes and Gardens. Also works for Bastille Day, Australia Day, or any other day celebrated by a nation with a red, white, and blue flag. Or use different coloured streamers to suit your needs. It’s all good! Via CraftGossip
  • Need to put together a quick cake for a pool party today? Got some candies on hand? Go for this easy and cute pool cake from Taste of Home. If you’re just hanging at home with the kids, get them involved and use it as an excuse to use up some of that leftover Easter candy to make your own version. Or if you’re like me and limit your kids’ candy, you might even have a stockpile going back to Halloween. Make a multi-holiday pool-party extravaganza cake and enjoy the day with creative cakey fun!
 

If you’ve never decorated cakes with little kids, you should. Give them the tools and let them go nuts with creativity and they will both impress and amuse you. Give them instructional guidance when they request it, but for the most part, stand back and let them go with their own flow. Sometimes they’ll develop new techniques right before your eyes, doing something you always thought was “impossible”.

They’ll come up with elaborate narratives, crazy amounts of detail, and mind-blowing concepts. And with most of them, about three solid inches of icing if they can get away with it.

Our club has recently started a roving version of the kids’ decorating table we feature at our show every year, so if you know of an Austin-area event that would appreciate having a cupcake decorating table, let us know! Ideally we’d like to charge a buck a cupcake to raise funds for our club.

Here are some photos of our grand day at the Austin Family Music Festival:

Cupcakes at the music festival

Kyla, Leslie, and Gwen help some older kids create their masterpieces.

Cupcake table at AFMF

Kyla and Ellen smile at little boys enjoying piles of icing.

Cupcake table at AFMF

Poof! Cupcakes gone before I could turn the camera on!

Cupcake table at AFMF

An impressive pile of icing squiggles!

Cupcake table at AFMF

CUPCAAAAAAAAAKE!

We’re working on starting a Family Club soon, so if you’re interested, be sure to leave a comment letting us know. In the meantime, I just posted the cake my five-year-old (a member of Capital Confectioners!) made for her Daddy’s birthday and in the next few days will post the results of the classes I volunteered to teach some middle-schoolers. I find it endlessly rewarding to cake decorating with kids and I hope these joyous photos inspire you to give it a try if you haven’t already!

Plus remember that kids can enter cakes in our annual show for free! 12 and under all get a little reward, and 13-17 year olds compete for awesome prizes! So if you know a young decorator, be sure to encourage them to participate in the 2012 show. You’ll see a lot more posts about that as it gets closer. Stay tuned!

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