Cakes for Grace

These are some cakes I've made for my friend's little girl, Grace. My friend likes to pick out the napkins and party plates first, then has me design a cake to match. I like the creative challenge, the hardest part for me is matching colors.
I hesitate to charge for making cakes because I'd feel obligated to make it perfect, so for now I do it for the practice.

1st Birthday:
It is easy to see why I stick with fondant, my piping skills need a lot more practice. At least I spelled her name right-that's the most important part right? I used the Wilton flower cutting set to make the flowers and free-handed the butterflies. I pressed them a little so they wouldn't lie flat and let them dry.

2nd Birthday:

I found a Pooh coloring page and used it as a template to cut out the red and yellow fondant. It needed a little something more, so I etched the lines in with a small knife and painted them in with some food coloring. For the sides I rolled long snakes of each color and cut them to roughly equal lengths. I lined them up and rolled them flat. Maybe there is an easier way to do this, they weren't as straight as I'd hoped, but it worked out well enough and I loved how the colors turned out.

3rd Birthday:
This one was fairly simple, I used the flower cutouts and butterflies again. Note to self: some of the Wilton's purple gel food coloring turns BLUE if transported in a warmish car.

4th Birthday:

I love how curly Grace's hair is and had the idea of making a little princess topper when I saw the princess tiara napkins. I copied the tiara onto the front of the cake and made a mini one to go on her hair. The girl is all fondant except the hair, which is colored royal icing I piped into ringlets. I used white fondant for the skin and star, then colored it in with non-toxic chalk. It made the rosy cheeks easy.

Haha, ignore the dishcloth in the background, I just noticed it was there!

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