Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Make a Fake Cake

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As a portrait photographer, I often take children's
birthday portraits and that usually involves some kind of
I was really getting tired of ordering and picking up the cakes
and paying for them...especially after the pretty yellow cake in
these portraits cost $50!
I figured it took the cake artist a lot of time and
thought, so along with the was
worth $50!
I loved it so much, I wanted to keep
the $50 cake forever...SO...
On an impulse..I decided to SHELLAC the cake!
My high school friend Wanda was visiting me that week and
helped with the photo shoot.  She suggested I let the cake
dry out a bit before I sprayed it.
But I am SO dang impatient...I simply started spraying.
I actually had TWO cans of in each hand and was
really spraying it on THICK!
No drying between coats...I'm way too impatient for that. 
Aren't you glad you didn't hire me to spray paint your house?
Look at all the fumes:
Two hours later I rushed out to the backyard only to
find that the icing had slid off in big chunks.
I was especially bummed because not only could I not
preserve the $50 cake....
I didn't even get to eat it!!
This cake debacle must have really stuck in my mind because,
oddly, I had a vivid dream where I was sitting at a table with an
elaborate cake.  I was in awe of the cake.
A man's voice said, "You know, that cake is FAKE!"
I woke up and bolted out of bed at 4 am.  I have had this type
of dream guidance before, and it's usually for some kind of craft project.
Why can't this crafty dream guide sneak me  the winning lottery numbers??!
I knew the dream was telling me that I no longer had
to buy real cakes...I could get FAKE CAKES!
So I went on Ebay and found the adorable cake I
used for this tea party a week later:
This is a 6-inch cake and I got it for $22...half the
price of the real $50 cake.  Isn't it adorable? 
I can use it over and over for different photo shoots.
I also found a vast array of fake cakes, cookies, candies
and cupcakes on Etsy at great prices.
I still wanted a larger cake, so my artistic friend Wanda
She started with a small 8-inch hat box she found at a craft store.
She coated it with drywall compound and let it dry overnight.
Next, she mixed pink craft paint into the drywall compound
as if it were icing and coated the cake in pink.
Then she put the colored compound into a decorating tube with a
flower tip and decorated the cake as if it were a real cake.
It was taking a long time to dry, so Wanda turned the oven
on low to 200-degrees and "baked" the cake for about 45 minutes.
She left it to dry on the kitchen counter overnight and had this in the morning!!!!
I felt she was VERY patient...I would have had the whole thing painted
and decorated  in one hour with no drying
between coats, and cranked the oven up to 350 to dry it faster.
I am SOOOO happy about the cake.
Wanda had so much fun, she's going to make more fake cakes.
After it was totally dry, she coated it with polyurethane.
Thanks, Wanda for documenting the process in pictures
 for others who want to make
fake cakes.  I hope this helps other photographers.
Can't wait to use my pink cake in a photo shoot!
So, now I have the cake,
but wish I could EAT it, too!  : )