Henna Tattoo Inspired Cake for Emily's Birthday

Madie (my future sister-in-law) wanted to order a cake for her boyfriend's sister, who would be celebrating her 38th birthday with family, friends, and a henna tattoo artist.  How cool!  I was so on board.  Madie asked for the same chiffon cake with whipped cream and chocolate frosting that I did for the cherry blossom cake. I pinned some photos on my pinterest inspiration board to help the cake vision develop.  Mostly, I was looking for colors and henna patterns.

Source: flickr.com via on Pinterest

Source: travel.nationalgeographic.com via on Pinterest

I fully soaked up all the the color inspiration and drafted up my color palate.

Screen shot 2011-04-28 at 2.13.02 AM

Screen shot 2011-04-28 at 2.13.02 AM

Then I realized I have my very own graphic artist "on retainer" to take care of the whole henna pattern thing.  So, my amazingly talented fiance Cole sketched up an original design for the sides and top of the cake in no time.

cole - sketches3

He then transferred his sketch over to Illustrator to make it even more impeccable.

COLE - indesign files2

I became increasingly intimidated by his perfect design with it's fine, straight lines and perfectly spaced dots.  Can't we just run a piece of fondant through the printer?  But, no.  I had to just do it, shaky hands and all.  Several colors of royal icing later, it was time to step up to the plate.  The cake plate.

I'm not gonna lie, I tried everything to psych myself up (read: stall) before touching the decorating tip to my blank fondant canvas.  I cleaned the whole kitchen.  I lined up all my pastry bags and emergency repair tools (vodka + rosewater extract, paintbrush, paper towels).  I tried about three different chair set ups as well as a standing position to determine which one was the most comfortable.  I practiced my piping on cellophane over Cole's printed design.  I listened to some "O Saya" and "Jai Ho".  Then I just got in the groove, working at a relaxed and steady pace.  I was glad I was able to make it look fairly close what Cole had designed.

Without further adeu, the end product -- a Henna/Mehndi Inspired Cake!


Here is a closer look at the top.


Not too bad for Ol' Shaky Hands Magee over here.


And the sides.  Those little pink lattice designs inside the quatrefoil bracket thingies were a doozy and I don't want to talk about it.


What I am extra excited to share, though, are pictures from the actual party, which Madie borrowed my camera for and returned to me afterwards.  It was the ultimate feedback!  If I could, I'd get that for every cake/cookie order that I send out.  I love seeing my stuff actually consumed and enjoyed!

A little girl glued to the dessert table?  CHECK!  That's success in my book.  (Reference this photo from Lucy's 1st birthday party.)


This adorable little girl -  by the way - is Emily's daughter Eva.


It looked like the henna tattoo artist did an amazing work on everyone!

henna tattoos

Here is Emily and Eva.  See the resemblance?  :)


I LOVE this picture of everyone's henna tattoos next to the cake.  So cute!


Diggin' in.


Looks like they made a good dent in that cake too.


Thanks, Madie, for giving me such a fun, inspiring job and of course...

happy birthday emily