Art of Pottery- An international cake art collaboration.

I think by now you are all familiar with the concept of a cake collaboration, but just in case you are just joining this blog, let me explain a little bit.

In the international world of the Cake Design , many times a year, artists and bakers from around the globe use the online tools to get together around a theme and create not a competition, but a collaboration showcasing their work that can be cakes, cookies, busts, figures and many more as long as it is edible.

This cake collaboration is one of the many amazing events of this year and the theme is about Pottery!

I had the great pleasure to be part of it, along with 64 artists that created pieces, cakes, cookies, modeling and so much more just beyond believe. They are just amazing.

Our dear host, Tasnuta Alam form Bangladesh who now lives in Aberdeen, UK came up with the idea to join cake artists around the globe, and together celebrate the Art of Pottery.

Why? I asked her.

“I do gardening and for small plants I like to use stylish pottery for home decoration.” – She said.

For Tasnuta, pottery’s color, texture, design, pattern attracted her so much. and as a cake artist, she got an idea!

Tasnuta Alam

She told me, “suddenly It came to my mind, what if we carry out the pottery ideas on sugar art, how will it be? As I thought, I started planning. But never imagine it will outbreak my expectation. The whole “Art of pottery” collaboration team has done outstanding work.” She replied.

And that is the absolute true, the work was beyond amazing.

My piece was inspired by Portuguese ceramic work from the north region of Portugal. The inspiration image was a holly water fountain from Coimbra. I just adapted the design of the cake from it, add a few colorful elements and raised the color scheme a little bit to make it colorful and shiny.

Cristina Arévalo

I must confess something. It was not my most thought work, I didn´t spend much time planning it and making it and it was not something I am used to as I work more with modeling and sugar dolls. However, it turned out amazing and the best part is the amazing welcome my cake had form many people and above all from my fellow cake artists. It was a very fulfilling piece for me.

Now, let me show you some of the amazing pieces of this collab and leave you with the link to the official Facebook page so you can enjoy all the details of their work. Art of Pottery- An international cake art collaboration

We are 64 Cake artists from 21 countries around the world come together to represent “Art of Pottery” an International cake art collaboration which is hosted by Tasnuta Alam. She is a Cake International’s representative and multi award winning cake artist. This collaboration is all about worldwide pottery’s art, texture, pattern, design and all. We have tried to carry out this inspiration to our work through wedding cake, cookies, cupcakes, sculpting cake, bust cake, figurines.

I can only thank Tasnuta Alam for curating this amazing collab, for inviting me and for giving me and many other artists the opportunity to push our creativity to new limits and improve our work, because at the end of the day, that´s what a collaboration is about.

And if you liked this post, don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

Eat the cookie dough!

Yes!

Who doesn´t make chocolate chips cookie dough and try it out and start eating it before baking?

We all do, but it is not right because of the raw egg in it, so I don´t know who came up with this recipe of edible raw cookie dough but whoever it was, thank you.

Chocolate chips cookie dough, ready to eat, no baking, just heaven!

I heard about it and had to research and try it out. I found some recipes online and I have to say that it took me some two or three to get the one that was easier to do and better to taste.
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I found this recipe on Pinterest, wish I could give credit to the author, but it wasn´t mentioned in the post,.The recipe was really good and I used it to make one of the fillings for a very decadent chocolate cake.

So here is the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 can of condensed milk

How to make it:

Mix together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and the condensed milk and last fold together the chocolate chips.

Very Important!, keep it cool!

It is necessary to refrigerate this dough for at least 24 hours before using it. You can either roll the dough into a cake an to make a thin layer to use as a cake filling or you can form little balls to later cover with melted chocolate and eat them as cookie bites, the important part is to refrigerate and keep them cool.

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Give it a try and don´t forget to tell me all about it.

Comment and like this post and remembers to subscribe and share!

Love,

Cristina.

 

 

 

Let´s play under the sea!

Cake collaborations are a big deal inside the cake decorating world and as you´ve seen my last two posts have been about them and this one is no exception.

With this year´s quarantine and social distance, most of us cake artists have turned into online work, groups and collaborations to showcase our work, meet new cake friends and promote our business. Also cake groups on social media platforms have been growing, giving us a big sense of community and providing amazing opportunities like working together on international cake collabs.

As my group hosted their first cake collab last month, my dear friend Gerardo Zarco´s group Sugar Mad also hosted their first one and here I´ll tell you all about it.

Sugar Mad Group

Gerardo Zarco, an amazing Mexican chef and sugar artists came up with the idea of a Mermaid theme collaboration when he was still member of another group, but with the opening of his new group ,Sugar Mad, he decided to make this collaboration as their first major activity in a way of bringing his community together, which has been his goal all along.

Gerardo , alongside his great friend, also an amazing sugar artists Daniela Cabrera Godinez, decided to co-host ” In the Realm of Mermaids a Journey Through the Fantasy”, an international cake collaboration which I was part of along with 54 great sugar artists.

As Gerardo told me , the idea was to present to the world of cake design his new group and to showcase the amazing pieces of his great cake community.

He started with 80 subscriptions and received a total of 54 pieces, all mermaids and merman, under the sea scenarios and fantasy all around.

His idea has always been to support each other as a big cake community and to see their members happy doing what they love.

It was a great opportunity for new artists to work on their first cake collaboration and showcase their work to the world as well as an opportunity, and I have to say an excuse, for many of us to get into the magical world of Mermaids and let our creativity run free.

Here is my Mermaid, Amethyst Coralie a bas-relief piece I made using sugar paste, modeling paste, gelatin paper and rice paper sails. Of course, she had to be purple and I just love how she is emerging form the waves. I used an illustration as inspiration for this one.

I can only invite you to check out all these amazing pieces and to get to know the artists by visiting the official Facebook Page and sharing your support with us

Link Here: https://www.facebook.com/Sugarmadgroup/?hc_location=group

Check out some of the great work by these artists

I realy hope you enjoy all of these amazing pieces and this small post to celebrate another great cake collaboration and one amazing group.

So, don´t forget to like this post, comment, share and subscribe.

Stay Creative!

Love,

Cristina

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

Yes,

Big Potterhead in the house!

Guilty of loving all the Harry Potter books and movies. So, being me and having the most amazing group fo cake friends in our Facebook group Cake Friends Stay Creative. I decided to do a very fun activity with our group to celebrate Harry Potter´s birthday.

It all started just a few months ago and with the idea of a cake collaboration. We didn´t have too much time to make a big cake collab in just two months so I decided to run a cake collaboration for next year about Harry Potter. However, I asked in the group if anyone would be interested in participating in some live demos for July 31st ( Harry´s birthday) and the answer was so overwhelming that me, being me, decided to make a big event in our group that included: A full day of live demos, a mini cake collaboration and the share of Harry Potter edible creations in the group. And it was fantastic!!!

I can go on and on about how wonderful it was, about the help I had from amazing cake friends, about the enthusiasm and love from my fellow cake artists to participate but this post is really about showing you our ” small” but FULL of talent cake collab and to showcase my fellow cake artists amazing work and to tell them how very proud and grateful I am for each one of them.

I have no words to describe the talent, my heart is full of joy for their commitment and participation, and I humbly thank them for going along with my craziness and be part of this celebration.

So, without further ado, let me show you our Harry Potter Birthday Celebration- International cake collaboration 2020 edition

Meet my witches and wizards!

Aleja Jijón 

Angel Torres

Carolina Lopez

Cristina Arévalo

Doaa Ahmed

Vanesa Graneros

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Eva Jimenez Garcia

Gerardo Zarco

Maythe Del Angel

Melissa Ramirez Galindo

Sabrina Mattia

 

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Sofia Silva

Tanjia Rashid

Umme Kulsum

Yerka Germion

 

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Please follow our page and like the amazing work of these artists as well as getting to know them and follow them on social media.

Harry Potter Birthday Cake Collaboration on Facebook

This is just the beginning for these cake artists and many more will be part of next year’s BIG celebration and a Harry Potter Magical Cake Collaboration 2021 edition.

For now, don´t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

 

Steam Cake International Collaboration 2020 edition.

It´s being a crazy year so far, we all know that, but in the world of cake design and artistic cake decoration, one of the things we artists look forward to is the international cake collaborations.

Usually are organized by fellow cake artists, picking a theme and inviting cake designers from all over the world to create an artistic edible piece and participate.

Some people from our community have mixed feelings about collaborations. It is a demanding and expensive experience, that for some points of view don´t bring many benefits to the artists.

For me is absolutely the opposite. It is time-consuming and can be expensive, but very rewarding.

We meet people and fellow artists from around the globe, the sense of friendship makes us not only praise each other´s work but share it to audiences from every corner of the planet.

We are inspired to be better, we learn from other cake designers, our work is placed amongst great artists and it is the perfect excuse to push our limits and create very artistic pieces that our regular clients won´t even dream of ordering.

And, amongst many, and believe me when I say, many cake collaborations there is one in particular that holds a very special place in a lot of hearts.

The Steam Cakes International Collaboration

Why?

Well, first of all, it is run by great artists and human beings that happen to be Portuguese and represent the great talent of our country, Carla Rodrigues, amazing sugar artists, teacher and award-winning cake designer from Portugal and her dear husband João Pimentel, a great video maker and multimedia artists, both of them create the perfect match to make possible this amazing Steam Cakes International Collaboration, that already counts with many editions and happens to be the winner of the 2018 cake collaboration award at  Cake International.

After last year´s pause, it came back as strong as ever, counting with 129 artists from all over the world that created the most amazing pieces all around the topic of Steam Punk.

It is for everyone to enjoy, Steam Punk lovers and not only so.

 

I happen to be part of it for the second time and I have to say that I went far and beyond with my piece.

I not only created a sugar modeling piece, but I also created a story, a part of me went to this sugar dolls, and to prove it, let me share with you the video I made introducing the characters of my work.

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I will write the whole story off this Steam ( Freak) Circus in another post just for you to enjoy it.

For now, I can only invite you to check out this amazing collaboration with great artists and amazing sugar work.

link: Steam Cakes- Steampunk Collaboration

Don´t forget to leave some love for them on their Facebook page and remember to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe to my blog.

Love,

Cristina

What to post during this quarantine for your cake business.

Fellow bakers, cake artists, cake designers, and cake decorators; these times have been hard for us. This forced isolation has made us face our fears, live in uncertainty, and wonder about our future and the future of our business.

Only one thing has remained true during this time and even better than ever and that has been the Internet and Social Media.

We have faced this 30 days so far ( for me) of quarantine, without work or just some few loyal clients, but in the other hand filled with new friendships from around the world, days full of tutorials and live events on Facebook and Instagram, learning for free from the best in the business and trying to keep ourselves busy and entertained so we can focus on the positive instead of falling into depression.

We have seen a rapid increase in live tutorials and online classes. Everybody is going live and teaching something, but why? Maybe in the desperate attempt to keep our business alive, our just to keep ourselves busy, maybe because possible future customers are online more often and have a better chance to see our products or maybe because we are bored and need something to do.

All the reasons above are more than valid and I can only encourage everyone to do it.

However,

These are sensitive times and we don´t want to be just selling when maybe our friends or customers are having a hard time with this virus, are sick or have lost someone. We cannot escape from that reality as much as we want to.

So, here comes the title of this post: what to post and how to post it during this quarantine.

I´ve been reading a couple of articles on digital marketing where I got inspired for writing this post, but I wanted to give you an input form a cake business point of view.

We should be communicative, talk about what you do, show your product and don´t stop marketing. It will be a waste of an opportunity now that more people are online every day. However, don´t expect a lot of sales, instead let´s focus on growing your community, help your clients, offer solutions and build a relationship.

For our cake business, this will translate on keep showing your wonderful cake art, even if you are not doing anything new show your older pics. Mention that special client, tell the story behind your cake, find new friends online with your cake passion and things in common, offer your clients to reschedule their orders and maybe send them a cookie or a treat to tell them that you are thinking of them.

Watch the tone of your posts, remember that people are more sensitive than ever. We need to be more human, be empathetic, offer compassion, provide value to your audience and even ask for help.

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Post positive captions to your pictures but without forgetting the current situation. Share positive posts and be there to help others.

Try to be empathetic, I know we are in the middle of a hard time, but you can´t ask a client to understand that you can´t cancel an order in a harsh way and from your desperation and fear. When you empathize with your client situation, this person will feel appreciated and will listen to your option to reschedule instead of canceling and order.

Some ideas for your Social Media Posts and where to post them

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Older posts or pictures
  • Baking at home
  • Creative work
  • Offer help on a topic (like a recipe or a decorating tip)
  • Educational videos, lives, Instagram lives, IGTV or stories
  • Update your profile accounts: New pictures of you, location, links, about page
  • Share some awareness of the virus situation, without going too deep into the negative and keeping the prospective of your cake business.
  • Help others selflessly: help your client or share a fellow cake artist´s work.
  • Be there just to talk and keep each other company
  • Join groups related to cake decorating and baking and interact as much as you can.
  • Meet people from around the world, comment and share their work.

And most importantly, remember we have more time! Use that to your advantage: Learn, think, create, reformulate your business, see things from a different point of view, enjoy what you were missing when you had your busy schedule and stay active in social media, you never know where that can lead you in the future.

I really hope this post has helped you and that you have enjoyed it because I loved writing it for you.

Stay safe, stay home and stay creative.

Don´t forget to like, comment, subscribe and share.

Love,

Cristina

 

 

 

“Ponqué” or Pound Cake?

Venezuela, my home country has a very special and important cake recipe called               ” Ponqué” and recently I found out something quite funny about this recipe. 

My great grandmother, Cecilia, also known to all of us as ” Pitica” had a very special recipe called ” Ponqué Delicado”, written by hand on my mom´s recipe book, has been the cake recipe to go to any time we have a celebration at home and ended up being one of the recipes that I use the most for my cakes.

The funny thing is that a while ago, I was watching TV and the recipe that was on the cooking channel was a Pound Cake recipe, and looking at the ingredients and the preparation, I realized it was practically the same as my Great grandmother´s recipe!

What?

Light bulb on top of my head!

” Ponqué” is just a lost in translation word for ” Pound Cake”. All our lives we have been baking a Pound Cake, believing that it was a very ” Venezuelan” thing and happened to be just this, Pound Cake. However still very good, and I, of course, have to say that my Great grandmother´s recipe is the best!

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So, let me share with you the recipe so you all can be the judge of that!

Ingredients:

250 grams of butter

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

1 cup of milk

3 cups of self-raising flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

How to make it:

  1. Mix the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Add the eggs mixing well after each addition.
  3. Mix the milk and the vanilla extract
  4. Mix the flour with the baking powder ( swift it)
  5. Add the flour and the milk.
  6. Bake at 180 ou 200ºC for 35-40 min

And, if you like a more detailed recipe and step-by-step video, please join for FREE my online school and check out this ” Ponque” recipe.

Follow this link to my online school, enroll in it for free and check out some videos and classes I have for you:  ” The Art Cake Experience School”

Or go directly to this video for the complete ” Ponqué” recipe How to bake a cake from scratch!

In this video, I´ll bake with you my Great grandmother´s recipe from scratch!

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Remember it is absolutely FREE!!!

” The Art Cake Experience School”

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By the way, this is my beautiful great grandmother ” Pitica” she lived till the amazing age of 99 always sweet and baking for all of us!

Sharing with you this recipe is a nice way to keep her memory alive and close to us.

I hope you like this cake as much as we all do in the family.

And remember like, share, comment and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

Social Media, cake designers, and quarantine?

The world has stopped for almost two weeks or more in different parts of the planet due to a virus. The last thing we thought could stop us has done it. However, somehow this amazing humanity finds its way to stay together more than ever, and in the most creative ways.

My community, the cake artists, cake designers, gelatin artists, bakers and more, has really stood up for the task, and from my point of view, has really understood the importance of being supportive, of caring for each other and of truly share and make our community strong.

I never thought, me, sitting on my couch, writing from my home office, will be part of this movement. I actually never thought I could call ourselves a “community” but it happened and I can proudly say that I make something happened.

A little background…

A friend, a fellow artist had to endure this quarantine alone at home, no husband, no family and the thought of that made me create a group on social media to keep her company and to keep us sane in the middle of this madness.

This tiny idea, this Facebook group has grown to more than 100 members in less than a week and has become a source of entertainment, creativity, company, fellowship, friendship and for me even more, the proof we are really not alone in this and that there are amazing human beings capable of truly being there for each other.515435ed2f662ed04c19140c83c9bab5

I made new friends, have met people from all over the world, have shared more work; mine and from other artists, this week than in the last month altogether. My heart has been filled with love and support and I only want to keep the chain going strong.

But, my dear friends, be careful, social media is full of everything, the good and the bad, the positive and the negative. My advice is this choose your battles on social media, decide what do you want to see, when and how. Don+t go for everything or you´ll go nuts!

Most of the social media platforms work like this; the more you share the more you are seen and if you like, share and comment on positive and creative posts, that is what is going to show up on your feed, so do the math is very simple.

More shares ( yours or others) = more views  

The more positive and creative post you share or react to = more positive and creative posts on your feed

 

That being said, the best way to stay away from negativity is to help others and to be positive, simple!

My cake design community has taken a lot of lost in this period, bakers live from what they make every week and have bills to pay and cancelation after cancelation has brought them down. My work now is to fight this by staying creative and positive for as long as we have to stay home and safe. Our life´s work depends on creativity and if we stop, going down with the negativity, our work will not only be affected now but in the future as well.

My dear friends, life is giving us the amazing opportunity of truly help each other by the simple act of staying home, has given us the time to be with our family and be with ourselves and has done it in the era of the Internet, where we can use our good human skills for a good purpose.

As always,

Stay home

Stay safe

Stay Creative!

Love,

Cristina

 

 

So we are in quarantine…

My sweet and dear friends, I live in Portugal and now most of Europe is undergoing a quarantine period due to this COVID-19 disease.

I believe this is to be taken seriously and with all the care possible, not just to not get sick but to stop it from spreading and our health care system from collapsing.

For this reason, I join so many others during this quarantine period. I and my family will stay home for as long as it is needed.

But, me being me, I decided to face this the best way possible and want to invite you to do the same.

I created a group on Facebook for all bakers, cake decorators, sugar artists, and creative beings to stay creative. So, let´s change the message to staying home as a mandatory and awful thing, to let´s stay creative and productive even if we are at home. In this group, me and my cake friends would like to share ideas, recipes, tutorials and more in order to keep our minds occupied and bussy so this time will pass the best way possible.

Let´s take a deep breath and think that life is giving us the opportunity to slow down, be with our families and loved ones or just to be by ourselves and live a little appreciating life as fragile and beautiful as it is.

I can only wish you all to be safe, to stay healthy and at home for as long as possible, to stay creative and be positive.

Here is the link for the group in case you are interested: Cake Friends Stay Creative

Lot´s of love from me over here

#staycreative

Cake design vs Cake decorator

So, which one am I?

I have debated with these two terms for a while, and I´ll explain why; I understand that to talk about the world of cake decorations we call ourselves ” Cake Designers” to give us a sense of belonging to a specific group.  But how many of us really ” Design” their cakes? How many of us are absolutely 100% unique and original?

I´m not a 100% original!

I have done some original work, but not everything that I do is 100% mine.

Please, don´t take me wrong, I don´t think that being the opposite is bad. I believe there need to be a fair number of great ” Cake Decorators” and also a great number of ” Cake Designers”

Here is the thing and I don´t know if you´ll agree with me.

We all start as Cake Decorators, we simply go and do what the client wants, we might even copy parts of other cakes, we might copycat a full cake because that is what the customer wants and we bake really well and have to pay the bills at the end of the month. Is that bad? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

As long as you do not intentionally make other cake designers work and sign them as your own and you give credit to the original artist, our daily work might just be to decorate cakes with the customer’s ideas.

However, one day, after you have practiced a lot and have become absolutely confident in your work, it will be you who sais to the customer what to do. You´ll sit down with a piece of paper, or a little notebook and design that special cake with your own ideas.

You´ll challenge yourself to do new things and will be amazed. That day my friend, you will be a Cake Designer.

To go even further with this idea, the other day on a FB group I admire and which I am part of was placed a question by one of the administrators of we are real bakers or just sculptors or artists wich decided to use sugar and edible materials as their choice of expression. I debated with this question for a while, then my simple and humble answer was. I am first an artist, my choice of material is sugar paste and gelatin but I happen to bake quite well. I am a Cake decorator some times and a cake designer when I create my modeling pieces. I am just proud of everything that I know and I don´t need the title to do it, I just need to be confident!

My point with this post is to name things by their own name, is to be proud of whatever stage you are in your baking business, is to be true to what you do and what you can do.

Let´s respect everyone´s work, let´s praise the achievements of our colleagues and get inspired. Let´s challenge ourselves instead of bringing others down. Let´s start this year with great intentions and most of all respect and admiration for each other.

Hope you´ve liked this, I would love to hear your opinion. If you liked it, please,

comment, like, share and subscribe.

Love,

Cristina