Birthday post #2: SAMMS cake commission

So I've been commissioned to make a cake for a classmate! This will be my last (commissioned) cake until I graduate b/c even though I love it I just spend too much time on it.

Anyways, a few of my classmates started this interdisciplinary program called SAMMS: the Stanford Association for Multi-disciplinary Medicine and Science. Next week they're having a poster/powerpoint presentation event that they got a bit of funding for. So they wanted me to make cake for it. They even named it Pastries, PowerPoint, and Posters (and put some of my previous cake pics on the flier!)

For the purposes of the event we determined it'd probably be best to make cupcakes instead of cake. Each cupcake will have a separate biology/chemistry/bioinformatics/medicine related logo. In addition I'm also going to make a small 6" cake which will have the SAMMS logo on it- basically the "centerpiece" of the pastry spread.

The event isn't until next week, so I'll post completed pictures then, but I was just sooooooo pleased with how the chocolate decorations came out I had to share!
 Yes, it's chocolate. Delicious and beautiful chocolate....

Wanna see what I actually DID with this chocolate??

The way these chocolate decorations are done is in reverse. I'll post more pics of the process in my follow-up post, but basically the surface on the table is the front of the decoration. So you have to pipe things in reverse and build colors as you go.

For example, to make the radiation logo I piped out the black part first on some parchment paper.

Then I piped on the yellow to flood in the gaps and "glue" it all together in one piece.

Alien faces

Look how funny they look!!! Like angry, tired, surprised and contemplative little yellow aliens! It's always a bit of anticipation as you wait for the chocolate to harden to see what how they'll turn out.

But when you finally flip them over, it's seriously magical...

 Radioactive cupcakes!

How awesome is that!?!? I love this technique. The only downside- my apartment/hands get pretty freaking cold so I had to make a million trips back and forth to the microwave. But its such a powerful technique that allows super detailed and complex decorations. (I'd never quite want to do this, but you can even paint portraits using this technique.)

I kept it pretty simple because I had to create ~40 decorations, but that doesn't mean they were super simple to pipe out. I loved the way my medicine logo came out; even better than I expected! At front we have the first step: pipe the logo. In the background we have the second step: the logo covered in white chocolate to hold the decoration together.

Sommer, when you getting this tatoo?

When all the decorations were done (~4+ hours later) you get this:

100% awesome, 100% edible

The first seven rows are the cupcake decorations. From top to bottom: beakers, benzene rings, mousies, graphs, radiation symbols, medicine logo, microarrays.

The acronym (SAMMS) and the three circular pieces at the bottom (SAMMS logo) are going to be on top of the 6" centerpiece cake.

Can't wait to see how they all turn out!!



  1. Jackie, those decorations are AMAZING!!! SAMMS, here I come (:


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