The Sugar Skull Bakers is a collaboration of cookie, sugar, cake decorators, and artists from around the world honoring the 3,500 year old Mexican holiday – Dia de los Muertos (aka The Day of the Dead).
The group, founded in 2013, by cake artist Berenice “Berry” Rabago, of Berry’s Sweet Studio and graphic artist Yuki Navarro, is comprised of artists who work with edible mediums. Their skills and expertise range from hobbyist to professional. Some have competed worldwide and have even appeared on National American television network programs such as Sugar Dome, Cake Wars, and more.
For the last week, Between the Pages has been featuring many of these gorgeous creations.
This gorgeous Poodle / Day of the Dead Cake was made by Sharon Kaufman Athanasiou from Not Your Average Cupcake, Having the poodle white and the cake board black allows the vibrant colors to really stand out. The result is a cake that is absolutely beautiful.
Here is Sharon’s description of her cake:
My piece is called "Bouffant Poodle." Poodles are such intelligent, beautiful, loyal, and well-groomed creatures. And this poodle wanted her hair done up extra-high and fancy, and her coat specially coiffed, to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. My creation was done to honor my current poodle, Fluffernutter, as well as my late poodle, Bettie (named after the famed pinup star Bettie Page, of course!).
This lovely Day of the Dead figure was made by Pauline Po Soo from Pauline Bakes The Cake!. I love Isabella’s dress. The flowers on the shoulders and bodice are lovely and I really like the pleats in the dress.
Here is Pauline’s description of her piece:
On this day of celebration, the dancer Isabella puts on her candy blue skull makeup and smiles wistfully as she remembers her dearly departed dance partner and the love of her life. She yearns for his presence and misses him so. Although she will dance solo today but she has hope and the promise that they will be dancing together again when this earthly life fades away and the new everlasting life begins. Yes, today, she will kick up those heels and send the ruffles in her skirt swirling through the air to celebrate "Dia de los Muertos"!
This is my contribution to the Sugar Skull Bakers 2015 and my first time joining this awesome group of Sugar Skull Bakers which was founded in 2013. The colors used in my piece play a significant part to explain my interpretation of death and the after life. The black and blue in Isabella's dress signifies death and the mourning that we go through when someone we love dies. The red in her hair signifies the blood of sacrifice that redeems us from our sins and the orange tone in her hair signifies the hope that we have in everlasting life after death.
Isabella is entirely modeled from gumpaste from the waist up. The top of her bodice is decorated with a row of miniature wired gumpaste roses dusted with blue and black petal dust. Below her waist, her skirt and the shape of her leg is carved from Styrofoam and covered with white gumpaste. The bottom of her skirt is then airbrushed with sky blue for brilliance and the rest of the skirt is airbrushed with light blue sheen to give it some highlight and an overall sheen. The areas around her 'leg" and the folds in her skirt are airbrushed with black for added depth and to accentuate the shadows.
This colorful Chihuahua / Day of the Dead Cake was made by Cheryl Moseley of Sugarpatch Cakes.
Here is Cheryl’s description of her colorful cake:
When I read more about the day of the dead I noticed that the people also celebrate the lives of animals that have passed. This was the inspiration behind my piece. As the festival is filled with bright colours and flowers I also wanted to incorporate those aspects into the design to show this is a celebration of life. It's not something dark or scary but a happy event.
I think Cheryl did a wonderful job expressing the joyful side Dia de los Muertos. Her Chihuahua is smiling. There are flowers everywhere. The cake is bring and colorful.
This cute Day of the Dead / Cat Cake was made by Angela Morris from Blossom Dream Cakes. I like how the cat is decorated for Day of the Dead and how bright and colorful the cat is.
Here is Angela’s story behind her piece:
Created to remember a much loved family pet. After discussion with my children (who didn't want to eat her!) she was constructed from rice crispie treats covered with modelling chocolate and then fondant, with gumpaste roses. She now sits in a cabinet at home where she can be seen and talked to.
This lovely Day of the Dead Cake was made by Nichole Stiglich of Nichole Stiglich Cake Design. I love the use of color on this cake. The cake and cake stand are black, so your eyes are drawn to the colors. There are only three colors – red, turquoise, and gold. All three of these colors are associated with The Day of the Dead. These colors are used on the flowers, the skull, and the trim of the cake.
Here is Nichole’s description of her lovely cake:
It was requested that this year's creations have a lot of flowers. Well, I'm not a flower person and have only ever made one or two. That was a big reason I decided to take part, because I knew the design I had in mind and that it would force me to challenge myself and learn something new. And I couldn't be more proud!!!
The middle tier is based off of an image I found and immediately fell in love with since red and turquoise is my current favorite color combo. The skull is all hand-cut, layered fondant and some gold sugar pearls.
The skull, flowers, and gold trim are lovely.
This elegant Day of the Dead Cake was made by Sam Hebel from Saima Sugararts Studio. Sam based this cake on the costumes and bold colors associated with Dia de los Muertos.
The flowers on the top of the cake are stunning.
The hand painted girl decorated for the Day of the Dead is wonderful. Notice the black and gold roses at the bottom of this layer.
The red ruffle and gold flower trim at the bottom of this cake is gorgeous.
This stunning Day of the Dead Cake was made by Elena Pelizzoli from Il mondo di ielle – Top4cake.
I love Elena’s description of her cake:
The work represents life and death. Which side is life, and which death. Half white, half black, or both? Maybe life is the white side, but is destined to expire, so will become death. So death is black side, but will become “life after death” … feliz Dia de los Muertos!
The white side has a white kitten who is asleep and a white candle that is completely melted.
The black side has a black cat who is awake and a white candle that is still burning.
The detail on the face is terrific.
This stunning Day of the Dead Cake was made by Nadia Flecha Guazo from ChokoLate. Nadia used vanilla cake, chocolate ganche, gold rice paper, and wafer paper to make this masterpiece.
Here is a close-up of the girl decorated for the Day of the Dead. I love how Nadia uses the mirror ganache, so that the background is completely black. It makes the fair skinned girl stand out even more. The girl’s face, hair, and flowers are absolutely amazing.