Emergency Ombre & Monogram Adventures

Welcome to The Buttercream Tales! I’m Alex, a singer and pastor’s wife turned cake decorator. I have always placed great emphasis on good atmosphere and making things pretty, so it was only a matter of time before I started decorating cakes. A little sibling rivalry helped too. Check out my little sister, Morgan’s creation for my wedding last year:WillAlexWedding-461


I’m just girl who loves icing cakes and learning as I go. So, let the romantic comedy begin!

Fancy is the only way to go for a birthday. This is especially true for my sister, Jen, a girly-girl college senior. I based the cake on a Wilton design, but added a monogram to the top. Here’s what I learned from this cake:

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Emergency Ombre: It’s a thing.

Make enough icing. Make too much. Then make a little more. I thought, “Surely a full batch of buttercream will be enough.” Wrong. Since I assumed one batch would cover the cake, I also tinted it in the mixer and started icing. So, when I got to the sides and had no more icing I panicked a little. “You’ll never get that color purple,” my husband said. He was right, so rather than cover it up, I ran with it. Emergency ombre turned out pretty well in the end.

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Don’t be too cheap for cardboard.

I’m working Dave Ramsey’s baby steps so, admittedly, I can be cheap sometimes. I just have a hard time spending the $2-$5 on a piece of cardboard to put my cake on. I mean, it’s cardboard. For my last cake, I cut apart a box and covered it with aluminum, which worked, but I wanted to be a little more classy this time. Straight on the glass cake stand was a great plan until I needed to add a border. It was a tight squeeze, so I chose a small star tip and crossed my fingers. It wasn’t a total disaster, but there were definitely a few stars with “tails!”

Mongrams aren’t for sissies (Unless you mean your sister.)

The monogram turned out great! I used PhotoShop to print a mirror image of it, traced it with piping gel on wax paper, then transferred it to the cake. Most of the gel stuck to the paper, but I had enough to be a guide. This is by far the most intricate thing I have done with icing, but it was fun making something so pretty!

Comstock is awesome.

I had never heard the word comstock until I got a coupon for free cake mix with the purchase of comstock. Jen wanted a strawberry filled cake, so I decided that anything reading “pie filling and topping” was probably ok. All I did was spoon it out of the can, but man was it good. Classic yellow cake with strawberry comstock is amazing. Just take my word for it.

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