A few months ago, my husband’s family starting planning a celebration for his grandfather’s 90th birthday. I have been welcomed into the family and overwhelmingly loved by his grandparents from day one, so I knew when I volunteered to make a cake, it needed to be something great. I was brainstorming decorating ideas with my husband, Will, when he said, “It would be really cool if you were somehow able to put his picture on the cake.” I completely agreed and started working on a design plan.
I’m a terrible free hand artist, so I knew this one would be challenging, but not impossible. I enlisted the help of my talented step-mom, Kathy, for the artistic part. From a photo I took at Christmas, she made a sketch of his face that was simple enough for me to trace but still recognizable. From there, my plan was to use piping gel to trace the sketch then transfer it to the cake to trace with icing. Bad plan. Between realizing that it was just too detailed to trace twice and completely forgetting that I’d used all my piping gel, I ended up standing in my kitchen late at night in tears, begging my husband to just let me buy a cake at Wal-Mart. Lucky for me, he doesn’t give up as easily as I do. After I calmed down (only a little), I thought of one more idea: rice paper. I owe a huge thank you to my partner, Allyson who brought me some rice paper and saved the day!
With the miracle of rice paper, it only took about 20 minutes to trace the photo to the rice paper, trim it, place it on the cake, then trace in icing. I added a simple border and voila! The cake turned out even better that I had originally expected!