Hand-Painted Cherry Blossom Cake for Maria and Patrick's Birthday

Vale asked me if I could squeeze in one more little order last week.   I was oh so happy she did.   She ordered a birthday cake for Maria and Patrick to bring to their usual Friday wine+cheese/playgroup date.  Maria and Pat have back-to-back birthdays, thus the joint birthday cake.  I asked Vale to throw together an inspiration board for me for the cake design.  (Vale can do those in her sleep, so it wasn't an extraordinary request.) Here's what she came back with:

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The primary concept of the cake design was inspired by Pat and Maria's wedding stationary, which incorporated this japanese paper from Paper Source with beautiful cherry blossom branches silkscreened in strawberry, gray greens and gold.

Here's some of the "cake in the making" shots.

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fondant work

Then it came time to paint!  I made these pink "edible water colors" with a little food coloring (liquid or powder), vodka, and rose water extract. The vodka is used so it will evaporate off the fondant and just leave behind the color.  The rose water extract is to cover up the smell of the vodka, and also evaporates relatively quickly.

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I pressed tiny apple blossom cutters from the Wilton Flower Kit into the fondant to give the blossoms a slight embossed look.  I painted on the branches with freehand brush strokes, using an olive green color with a shimmer of gold (a luster dust powder mixed with a splash of vodka + rosewater).  I added little marigold colored dots to mimic the japanese paper.

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And the finished product:

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I loved getting the feedback from Vale about how happy Maria was and how yummy they thought the cake was.  My favorite part, though, was that when Oscar showed up to Maria's house, he immediately delivered the surprise news when Maria opened the door.  "There's a cake."  I can just hear him saying that.  Love it.