Recently I was asked to create a Pug themed cake for a going away gathering for a Nurse Practitioner. I spent a good few hours just trying to decide where to take that theme. I knew I wanted it to be fun and over the top but, I didn't want it to feel too goofy or like a birthday cake. I considered a few simple designs like a pugs face out of fondant stuck on a buttercreamed cake. I considered making a few fondant pugs playing on top of a cake. Then I came across an adorable sketch of a pug puppy in a coffee mug. That was it, that was going to be my inspiration for this cake.
This particular cake was due to be picked up on a Tuesday for a Wednesday gathering. This presented a few challenges. First; it would have to travel safely with only having a short spell to sit in the fridge. Second; time management would be key, I strive to provided the freshest cakes possible which meant baking, cooling and decorating this cake Tuesday morning. Oh and did I mention that my Husband would be working. Normally my 3 year old and 2 year would have someone else to occupy them while I work, but this time they would not. OK so time for some major planning!
This cake was going to take a lot of fondant, and I mean a lot, about 3 pounds to be exact. Luckily fondant can be made a few weeks in advance, so I was able to make the fondant the weekend before the Tuesday due date. The other fortunate design feature for this cake was the pug itself. I decided to construct the pug from rice crispy treats and fondant which can also be made about a week in advance. Now normally I prefer to make any fondant toppers or decorations the day before or on the same day I'm making the cakes or cupcakes, however, given the time constraints, other schedule conflicts, and the needs of my children, I decided to make the pug the Sunday before. When Tuesday rolled around I was up first thing, by first thing I mean before dawn, 3:30 a.m. comes way too early sometimes. With coffee started I began. Four layers of marble cake were soon in and out of the oven, and cooling just about the time my 3 year old was crawling out of bed at 5:15 a.m., fortunately my husband wasn't far behind him which gave me time to clean up.
As the day went on I made the chocolate buttercream and was able to get the fondant on the cake. I decided to let the cake rest for a bit before completing the finishing details. Plus I needed to get the kids outside in hopes of running off some energy. One of the benefits of our kitchen is I am able to see my kids in the dinning room while keeping a gate up so they can't be in the kitchen. So with lots of music, blocks, puzzles, and crayons, I was able to keep them entertained while working on the cake. After lunch is quiet time, so while the kids were settled in, it was time for the finishing touches. I attached the handle, made from rice crispies and fondant. I then placed the pug, who by this point had been named Dug, into his mu, and poured in some chocolate ganache. Once the cake had firmed up a bit I brought out the food coloring and food safe paint brushes. after a bit more time Dug the pug was ready to go!
Living on a shoestring and making the most of the lemons
Life is not easy, we all know this by now, but life is what you make it, no matter how corny that sounds (rhymes and all). Some days you can't wait for them to just be over and others, why can't they last longer. So let's make the most of it, make the shoe string budget as long as you can and make the best darn lemonade you've ever had!
I'm a baker, a crafter, a personal concierge, a website builder, Above all else, I am a mom to 3 rowdy boys. I'm not a stay-at-home-mom, I'm a Homemaker.
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