Really trying to keep it simple this time for an adult birthday cake for my friend. I still spent probably about four hours on it, in part because I decided to try to make swiss meringue buttercream from a recipe in The Confetti Cakes Cookbook (which I frugally and very uncharacteristically checked out from the library). I usually use cherry or raspberry pie filling or opt for the safer and time cutting store bought icing. The store bought icing is super stable and you don't have to worry about it melting, plus you don't have to clean up bowls and beaters. I'm not a fan of the cleanup process. On the down side, it's made up mostly of hydrogenated vegetable shortening and various preservatives.
Anyway, the recipe promises the swiss meringue buttercream is great for sculpted cakes and very stable. You can even leave it out at room temperature for two days! I was convinced to try it. It's made with sugar, egg whites, and unsalted butter. So I tried it, but I did not find it to be stable at all. It was a bit thin and fluffy. It tasted great, but I was afraid it would get runny. It was fine, but I'm still not too confident with it.
It was nice to not have to make any decorations in advance and wait for them to dry; and also not have to worry about stuff falling off. I like these casual and simple ribbon style rolled flowers. They are super fast and easy. Although, coloring the fondant red is fairly difficult to achieve. I still wanted to try, but I would definetely buy premixed red next time if I really needed something to be red.
For the birthday celebration, we went out to eat at Olive Garden. When everyone was getting close to being done eating, I sent my husband out to get the cake as it was kind of a surprise (the cake, not the celebration). He came back much faster than I thought. He proudly reported that he parted the seas with the cake as he re-entered the restaurant, doors were opened for him and people moved out of his way with "oohs" and "aahs".