A magnificent cake, created for a magnificent client, celebrating this magnificent city. What an honor to have had a small role in celebrating the revitalization of Cincinnati Music Hall!
Made all out of sugar, this order was not for the faint of heart. Dimensions of the cake were approximately 44" in length, 40" wide and 16" tall. Every detail and sugar piece was custom made out of simple ingredients: egg whites and powdered sugar, for making our own sugar paste and white chocolate with corn syrup, for our own rolled chocolate recipe!
Our challenge was to represent the magnificent exterior architecture and sophisticated interior detail of this landmark building We presented our design to the client, were we proposed to create a long tier that would be adorned with replicas of key interior features, and that would receive an upper tier, representing the beautiful architecture. Our client loved it right away, his "this is brilliant!" email of approval sealed the deal. Now we had to figure out... how to make it happen.
You may know by now, that I am an architect by trade, with many years in the practice of architecture. So, this is certainly not my first sugar "model". In my sugar kingdom, we have been blessed with other sugar model challenges; we have made Chinese pagodas, iconic Museum Buildings and even Carrousel cakes! However, given the size and level of detail, this order is for sure, the most ambitious order of all!
Blueprints of the building were shared with us. Given the thorough $135 million renovation of this landmark building, lack of detailed information was not a problem at all! Our challenge was to determine, how to realistically develop a plan to complete an order like this in a timely manner!
The devil is in the details. We custom made sugar paste of three colors, and were careful to get the right hues, as close as possible to the real colors of the building. A personal favorite, is the texture of the shingled roof, which was made by pressing a piece of tulle fabric, into freshly rolled sugar paste! This is a technique that we have used before in many wedding cakes:)
Not only is the exterior architecture of this building magnificent, but it's interior architecture superb!
The space of the orchestra room is simply breathtaking. There is a humongous chandelier surrounded by a gorgeous hand painted ceiling detail, which we humbly represented with rough strokes!
A constant feature of the decorated ceilings of the building is the prominent quartered moldings that surround gorgeous rosettes. One key feature of the revitalization of the building was the change of it's color palette. A new beautiful taupe paint, replaced the aged burgundy color that decorated many details in the building.
There were infinite sources of inspiration, but one prominent detail was a stunning trellis detail that adorns the sides of the proscenium. Below is our take on those gorgeous designs.
This order could have never had happened without an AMAZING client, who believes in the value of craftsmanship. Planning, organization and commitment were also necessary to complete an order like this. We feel so fortunate to have had a tiny role in celebrating Cincinnati and it's special people!
Since opening in 2010 in Cincinnati, Venezuelan born Ileana Saldivia’s studio, Sugar Realm has become a preeminent wedding and celebration cake design boutique. In 2018, due to her husband's job, Ileana and her family relocated to Philadelphia, and so did her Sugar Kingdom. Sugar Realm’s cakes and confections are known for their sophisticated flavors, unique designs, artistic sugar flowers, innovative techniques, and architectural compositions. The studio’s wedding cakes are regularly featured in leading bridal, lifestyle, and cake decorating magazines. In the December 2015 issue of “Cincinnati Magazine,” Sugar Realm was named “Best of the City” and featured on the cover. Saldivia’s blog “Life in a Sugar Kingdom” is regularly visited by hundreds of cake enthusiasts and professionals.
Our online cake decorating class "Make-ahead techniques for stunning cakes", covers ileana's favorite cake decorating techniques, as well as the recipe of her signature Rolled Chocolate and her favorite tools and resources.