Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sugar Zoo

Today's post is a little less "this is how I did it" and a lot more "this is what I've done". I'd hoped to have a post about the making of a Scarlett O'Hara cake, but the fickle Miss Scarlett cancelled her party. Well fiddle-dee-dee. I was going to do the green gown, but now it's curtains. (I posted that line on Facebook, and I think everyone missed the joke, but I'm not giving up...), and alas, there were no cakes these past few weeks which I would like to show you the making of. There was another Gucci purse with a yorkie, this time it had hundred dollar bills in its mouth and bursting out of the purse. I love you all too much, and frankly, I can't really explain that one.

But it did make me reflect on animal cakes I've done, and this brings me to today's post. Animals are one of the most popular themes for cakes. Everyone wants their dog made from something they can cut into and eat. I guess. No one ever asks for their cat. Now there's a subject to ponder...

This is the first dog cake I ever did. It was a groom's cake. The day of the wedding and the reception, the actual dog ran out into the street and got hit by a car. But he's fine!!! I have a picture somewhere of the dog in a leg cast, laying next to the cake.

Here are a few more dogs...

Fluffy dogs are the hardest, I think. Fluffy fur is not easy to recreate in sugar. That is unless you use a COTTON CANDY MACHINE like I did in this one...

YAY! This one was for Food Network's Cake Challenge: Best In Show Cakes. Joshua assisted me and WE WON! 

I'm glad this was shot in Denver, because that cotton candy would not have lasted 5  minutes in the moist Atlanta air!

That one was fun to do, but this next cake was a dream come true for the girl who had Elton John posters all over her wall as a little kid...

That's right! Sir Elton John's birthday cake! No, I didn't get to meet him, but it's probably better, because my face gets all red and my eyes get puffy when I burst into tears, and I just wouldn't want Him to see me that way. But Elton, should you be reading this, I'm available around Christmas to do a first birthday cake...but you should book now.

Moving on, I really like making wild animals. It's more fun, because with a dog, someone is looking for their exact pooch. With wild animals, a rhino is a rhino. And speaking of...

I have recurring dreams about rhinos. Have for years and years. I told my then 5 year old daughter this on the way to the zoo one day, and when we came upon the rhino exhibit, the rhino was sleeping. My daughter looked up at me and said "Maybe he's dreaming about YOU!". She's a funny kid.

Speaking of zoos ( the segues are abundant today), I did this cake for Zoo Atlanta's annual benefit "Jazzoo". It's a really fun event, and I look forward to it every year. Each year they pick an animal to focus on. This is the cake I did for the Year of the Lion...

The top piece was a pyramid, depicting three lions, as there were three new baby lions that year. Here are the other two faces...

It was a particularly humid night, and by the time I served the cake, it was shiny and sticky and a little melty. But it tasted great!

Here's another groom's cake. This groom is a chef, who's passion is charcuterie. His fiancee insisted the pig be labeled with the French cuts...

I was asked to do a Crab for a groom's cake (well, not really a groom exactly, as it was two women getting hitched). I enjoyed making this one!

That's a half sheet of cake just for the body. He was a biggun'.
Another sea themed project was actually not a cake, but a Gingerbread House...

That guy on top looks familiar...I did this for The Georgia Aquarium. They held a Gingerbread House contest, but no one else showed up. So it was more like "The Highland Bakery Gingerbread House Exhibit". Again, lots of fun!

Some cakes are more conceptual, like the Peacock Wedding cake I did a while back. I've done another version of this cake in full color, but I like this one, too...

And lastly, I did a Mouse House cake, and I think it qualifies for beastie cakes...

I learned how to make meringue mushrooms while making this cake. Even more impressive, I learned how to SPELL meringue! I can make it, I can dance it, and now I can spell it! Thanks spellcheck!

So that's it! 
What? Ugh...Oh okay. But I'm not showing you the one with the hundred dollar bills...

My apologies to Gucci. And to yorkies. 

Can we end on a better note? How about mythological animals? Like DRAGONS!

That feels better.

And there you have it, my Sugar Zoo! Some of the exhibits are closed to the public, and some are yet to be displayed, but thank you for visiting today. Now please proceed to the Gift Shop...


  1. Your work amaze me!!! you are a great artist!!! ;)

  2. My favorite type of cakes to make too! You bring an entirely different world of artistry to your work. I'm so glad you decided to bring your MAD SKILLS to the cake world. You are such an inspiration!

  3. Can i say again how much i adore and admire your work and every single creations that you have made? They are all so amazing and so life like! Looks more like a sculpture than it is cake! I always look foward to seeing your creations on flickr as well as on your blog! :D I agree that you are not just a great artist but truely an inspiration!

  4. love your sugar zoo!!!! x x x x

  5. Just incredible sugarwork Karen!

  6. How did I not know you had a blog?? I love your work and I will certainly be following you and your cake adventures from now on!!

  7. did i know you had blog...i like to learn you work...please tell jenniffer said...because some of my inspiration come from youtube...

  8. WOW...I mean WOW..LOVE IT ALL!!

  9. You are truly an awesome artist! I admire you and your work..!