Happy Blog-iversary Cake (and a “Thank You” Apron Giveaway!)

This month I am celebrating so many things I felt it necessary to make myself a cake and have a party, with you! As you all know by now it is my blog-iversary, but it is also my birthday in a couple of weeks, the first anniversary of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (75,000 in print, oh my!), the election is FINALLY here and this just happens to be my 100th post! To say the least November is a BIG month for me!

The very talented and generous folks at Crooked Brook, where I get all of my chef jackets, sent me a wonderful apron (see picture below) to give away! Leave a comment and I’ll pick the winner next Sunday and send it off, just in time for Thanksgiving!

I know my blog-iversary cake seems to have gone on and on and on, with the baking of the Génoise, making of the rolled fondant, filling it with Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse and covering it in a layer of Cinnamon Buttercream. Here are the final touches; rolling out the homemade fondant and creating a few simple gum paste roses.

Assembling the cake:

What you will need:

Homemade Rolled Fondant or prepared Wilton Pure White Rolled Fondant (Wilton is easy to work with, but you DO NOT want to eat it. I only use this if the person I’m making the cake for intends to peel off the fondant. Yes, you just peel the entire layer of fondant off and reveal some delicious icing underneath. I’m suggesting you start with Wilton’s product just because it is so easy to use.)

Food Color Soft Gel Paste (Use the gels, not the water based kind you get at the grocery store.)

Food Service Grade Disposable Latex Glove (This will protect your hands from the food coloring.)

Heavy Gauge Clear Vinyl (This is the clear sheet that I roll out the fondant on. Nothing sticks to it and you can lift it up easily and move it around. you can also use a Roll’Pat Pastry Mat, but it is much more expensive.)

Rolling Pin

Kitchen Shears

Pastry Wheel (For trimming the fondant around the base of the cake.)

Fondant Smoother

Corn Starch

Corn Syrup (to adjust the consistency of the fondant, read on)

Start by adding the color to your fondant. As you can see I mixed the color into my homemade fondant in a stand mixer. If you use Wilton fondant, it is a lot gummier and easier to add the color by hand as seen here.

Between two layers of the clear Vinyl, sprinkled with cornstarch and roll the fondant out to 1/8″ thick.

As you can see the edges of the fondant were cracking almost like a pie crust. It happened because I let the fondant sit for almost a week wrapped, at room temperature and it dried out slightly. Have no fear, you can fix that!

I just put it back in my mixer and added a tablespoon of corn syrup. Voila it was…

nice and smooth again!

Be sure you are rolling it out so that the fondant will hang down beyond the bottom of the cake.

Press the fondant to the cake and then trim off the excess with scissors and smooth is with your fondant smoother.

I picked up the scraps and added more color to it in the mixer. Roll this out to 1/8″ thick. Using a metal ruler press and cut off a 1/2″strip that will be laid onto the cake to create the stripes. Obviously you can make them as thick or thin as you like! Or create polka dots with a round cookie cutter.

Once all of your strips are laid on you may need to add a very tiny amount of water to glue them down. Make sure your pastry brush is just barely damp, you don’t want water dripping down your cake.

To make the gum paste flowers, use a prepared gum paste product and roll it out as thin as you can, using the same technique as you did for the rolled fondant. Gum paste is so strong that you can get it almost as thin as a piece of paper. It also dries incredibly fast so be sure to keep it covered as you use it.  Cut it into 1″x4″ thick strips. Starting at one end begin to roll and crimp the gum paste to create a rose. You will want to stretch it slightly as you roll, to create the look of petals as you go.

Now you can arrange the flowers on your cake.

The “1” was made in the same way I created the “C” for Claudia’s cake.

Thank you all so much for visiting Zoëbakes during the past year!  I love having a place where I can create pastries and share the things I have learned over the years. As a small token of my gratitude I’m giving away this lovely unisex apron that Crooked Brook made specially for this occasion. It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many of you through blogging and Twitter! Thank you to the many food bloggers who have been such an inspiration to me!

Leave me a note below and win the apron! For those of you who want to purchase an apron you can contact me!

Don’t forget to VOTE!!!

125 thoughts to “Happy Blog-iversary Cake (and a “Thank You” Apron Giveaway!)”

  1. what a fun cake! looks like a bit of work, but an payoff and a great way to commemorate the blog.

    congrats on the anniversary!

  2. Congratulations on one year! I love reading your blog! I recently made the Apple Pumpkin Cake and it was delicious. I am hooked on “Artisan Bread” . . . just bought ten more individual brioche tins today to add to the six I have so I can make a big batch at once. Thanks for all the photos, too.

  3. Hi Zoe and congrats on your year blog-iversary…I owe you big time for all your help and advise in my beginning bread making months…I hope you sell a miilion more copies of your great book!! Sue in Atlanta.

  4. Great work. Hope to be as talented some day. I love working with sugar and chocolate, artistically and to eat.
    Congrats on all fronts… Bday, book, blogiversary.
    Hope you have many more…

  5. Happy Blogiversary! That apron is stunning – and so is your amazing cake!

    BTW, your book came on Friday . . . I’m so excited! Not sure what to make first! 🙂

  6. Wow! That is a spectacular cake!

    I am going to go make the olive oil dough right now.

    I make absolutely everything from the boule recipe. Even my own hamburger buns and hot dog buns.

    I adore this method!

  7. I use you book everyday and am so pleased to have met you. happy everythinganniversary! You deserve only the best! Many
    thanks again for your book! Would love to taste that cake!

  8. What a gorgeous cake!

    It’s been a great year with your blog (and with your bread!), and I hope you have a very happy birthday!

  9. Hi Zoe,
    As always the cake is gorgeous and you have inspired me to try working with fondant again.The apron is very stylish. Happy Blogiversary. I can’t wait to see what is next.

  10. congratulations and well deserved applause…brava & bravi (the 2 of you) for a great book that gives joy to everyone,

    S & S

  11. Thank you for all your tips and information. I really have used quiet a few in starting my own Bakery. You are truly an inspiration. Happy Birthday, Blogiversary, Bookiversary, and Voting Day!

  12. great to see the rest of the steps for creating your blog-iversary cake … and such a nice apron to give away…

    Your blog is very educational and inspiring!

  13. I just stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago, and the reading has been entertaining and inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to explain the things you do.

  14. LOVE the cake, Zoe, and so enjoy every one of your posts. Happy birthday in a few weeks! (What day is it? Mine is in November also. I never liked having my birthday on Thanksgiving every few years because I end up working too hard that day. But thanks to Artisan Bread in 5, at least I won’t have to slave over the bread!)

  15. Congratulations, Zoe, on all of your milestones and successes!!! I have to say that your cookbook has changed my life more than any I have ever picked up – and I am a compulsive cookbook collector! It has been so much fun to bake bread I think I have you to thank for a few extra pounds on my body (but some culinary admiration from my friends!) I’d love to win that apron!!!I have an apron from the days of FoodFest in Rochester which was autographed by all of the visiting chefs over the years. I would need your autograph too – wish me luck!
    Thanks for all you do!

  16. Congratulations on your one year Blog-iversary! Amazing cake:) Thank you for always taking the time to post the beautiful pictures. Have a wonderful Birthday!

  17. Congratulations on your year! I got the cookbook for Christmas last year, and eleven months later, it’s still my favorite gift – the one that keeps on giving!

  18. Congratulation Zoe! Wow! great steps to a beautiful fondant cake!

    I did another wedding cake last weekend but a smaller one with lots of petite flowers and just posted on blog yesterday, let me know it is!

  19. Found your book at the library which is what drew me to locate this blog. Have had a great time baking bread and will now need my very own copy of the book.

    Congrats on year 1 – the cake is too pretty to eat!

  20. Happy Birthday and Congratulations Zoe!

    I am a very happy owner of your book – Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – and it has changed my life. Thank you for that and very best wishes for many more great years of baking and blogging.

  21. Congrats Zoe-
    I enjoy your blog and of course the book. I am waiting for the next book to come out. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  22. That cake is absolutley beautiful! I am moving in a couple weeks and can not wait to have a kitchen again. One of my first goals is to use fondant on a cake. It looks so fun to do. I hope it comes out even a fraction as well as yours. I love the colors.

  23. Your cake is ‘to die for’ beautiful! Well, maybe to injure myself slightly for, haha!

    What a talent you have, Zoe – an artist in icing!

    Ummm – can’t I have the CAKE? lol! If not, the apron would be PERFECT for the demo’s I’m giving of your bread this month!

    Thank you for sharing!

  24. Beautiful cake Zoe! Congratulations on your 1st blogiversary and your 100th post- both excellent milestones- along with the well deserved success of your book 🙂 Best wishes to you!
    Gabi at The Feast Within

  25. congrats on all your yearly news, but that cake is the real stunner here! i love your flavor combo and to see the finished product is beautiful! i love how you share your step by step pics, makes a novice think they have a fighting chance in the kitchen!

  26. Wonderful cake and happy 100th post! Interesting timing for my first visit here because November 1st is my 1 year blogging anniversary as well, although I’m only at about 90 posts, I need to catch up!

  27. What a wonderful baking & blog year. I must say, I took a quick look at the photo of you with your apron and I thought it was Sarah Palin. I guess that I have watched far too much campaign coverage and now it’s time to return to the basics — BAKING! Congrats on your first.

  28. Hi Everyone,

    Thank you so much for all of the incredibly kind comments about the cake and I’m so glad you like the apron! 😉

    Happy blog-iversary to so many of you! It is exciting times for us food bloggers, a great group!

    Happy Birthday to all the other November babies! 😉

    Thank you so much to all of you bread bakers! It is such a compliment to know you are still baking bread and enjoying the book!

    This has been a fantastic year and it just keeps getting better!

    xo Zoë

  29. Thanks Zoe for your fabulous website. I love to read it and am thankful for your “how-to” pictures. It inspires me to be creative, even though my creations never look anything like yours!

  30. You look so beautiful in your apron! I love your bread book, love the cake, and would love that apron! Steph

  31. The cake is adorable. I had to show my mom, too, and she agrees. I am inspired to figure out when my blogiversary is so I can make a special cake for it. 😀

  32. That cake is so adorable, Zoe! I love the color palette you chose. Also, I have definitely enjoyed following you on Twitter, especially when I found out you actually lived here in Bakersfield at one time! Happy Blogiversary 🙂

  33. Happy Anniversary. Gorgeous cake. I’m looking forward to taking your class tomorrow at Cooks of Crocus Hill.

    Carol

  34. Beautiful cake! Happy blog-birthday and happy (early) birthday! Fondant is my next cake decorating task to attempt. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

    Love the apron!

  35. Hi Zoe! Thanks for bread baking class today at Cooks of Crocus Hill – me and my girlfriends had a great time!

  36. Hi Zoe, I was in your class today and I had a wonderful time. It was fun to get to meet you and I thought that all of the breads that we made tasted wonderful. I am a true convert to your idae of artisan bread in five minutes!! You are a very good teacher, and I thank you for sharing your expertise with us.
    If I don’t “win ” the apron, I would be interested in buying one:-)

  37. Congratulations Zoe, on your blog, the book, your birthday and the election too!

    I thought it was quite a stretch when I read that purchasing your book “changed my life”. But I really believe it now. The main recipe is so versatile and the whole book so user friendly, it’s no wonder this book makes such a big impression!

    Congratulations again!

    Tora in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

  38. What a gorgeous cake! Congrats on your anniversary, birthday and milestones! I “won” your book in a little drawing an online friend had. Priceless!!!

  39. Geez, Zoe! If Martha Stewart ever decides to quit the biz, I think we’ve found her replacement! Nice photos and story! CONGRATS on your 1 YEAR anniversary!

    Glad I follow you on Twitter!

  40. Thanks for the great class yesterday. Congratulations on your anniversary and birthday. I have 2 loaves of bread baking right now.

  41. Congrats on your blogversary! The cake is absolutely stunning – love the colours, ans lovely little flowers.

    And way to go for being #9 cookbook on Amazon! 😉

  42. Please pick me… I cook all the time, everything I own gets messed up, believe it or not I have never had a apron and I’m a grandma.. I know right! Now I live on disability so there is no money for extravagant things sorry to say that’s my budget now .. Thanks for your blog.

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