Simi Cakes & Confections, LLC


          We had a wonderful time at the ICES 2012 Convention in Reno, NV last week.  We enjoyed meeting up with cake friends we have met at other shows, meeting cake friends in person that we only knew on the internet, and meeting so many new cake friends from around the world.  The ICES Show Cake was spectacular!  Marsha and Roland Winbeckler created an amazing monument to the old west and our new convention.  Check out the pictures at the bottom of the blog!

 The convention was held at the Grand Sierra Resort and spread out over 2 floors.  The Cake Room, Vendor Hall, Registration, and Ballroom were on the main floor with the classrooms on the lower level.  It was very easy to get around even with it being so big.  You just had to wear comfortable shoes!  Big thanks to Icing Images and Get Sassie! for inviting us to demonstrate at their vendor booths and to Jackie Coughlin for all your help with my cakes!  My first ICES Convention demonstration class was very exciting and I received great feedback from the audience.  It was an amazing experience and we can’t wait until next year. 

     Next year the convention will be held in Lexington, KY and I hope that all of our east coast friends will be able to make it with it being so centrally located.  I have heard rumors that it is going to be huge!  The website is:  http://www.icesconvention.org/Welcome.html


Upcoming Classes


Last Call!

Aug 23 Thursday-Panama City, FL info@simicakes.com to sign up
4:30-5:30-     Gumpaste Water Lilies
5:30-8:30-     Fondant Animal Figures

Last Call!

Aug 25 & 26-Gulfport, MS-2 Day Isomalt Class Series info@simicakes.com to sign up

9-11am-         Casting Gems, Icing Images, Molds, and Color
11:30-2:30-   Pulled Vines, Swirls, Roses, Calla Lilies, and Leaves
3-5pm-           Blown Bubbles, Hearts, Apples, and Spun Sugar
8:30-10:30-   Stained Glass Sugar
11-1pm-         Multi Colored Pulled Ribbons and Bows
1:30-5pm-     Blown Sugar Dolphin, Swan, and Hummingbird

Sept 9-11-Houston, TX-All Things Baking-http://allthingsbaking.org/ 
Isomalt Demos at the Icing Images Booth

Sept 17-19-Lancaster, PA-3 Day Isomalt 1 with Julie Bashore at Sugar Arts Institute http://sugarartsinstitute.org/  

Sept 21 & 22-Southbury, CT- Ladybug Cake and Candy Supply- http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/ 
Friday-Time TBA-Casting Isomalt including gems, molds, Icing Images, color and more
Pulled Roses & Blown Sugar Bubbles
Saturday-      Koi Pond Sculptures-Blown and sculpted Koi Pond with water lily, including airbrush class

Sept 23 Sunday-Colonia, NJ Sweet Treats Cake Competition  http://thejerseyitgirl.com/cake_competition_FORMS.html 
12:30-3pm     Blown Sugar Bubbles & Pulled Sugar Roses


Sept 30 & Oct 1-TBA Isomalt Class Series, Mobile, AL info@simicakes.com for more information

Oct 7-Palm Bay, FL at Simi Cakes  info@simicakes.com
Time TBA-     Basic Cake Decorating-Carving, Buttercream, Fondant, and Fondant Roses
Fondant Animals and Gumpaste Water Lilies

Upcoming Classes taught by our Sugar Friends

Aug 19-Cricut Cake Class-Cakes Etc West Palm Beach, Taught by George and Merrie Lee Reese http://cakes-etc.com/


Sept 29/30-Cookie Camp-Ocala, FL, Hosted by Ocala Cake Club http://www.facebook.com/events/306364379456012/


Tip of the Week

Stencil Fun!  One of my favorite spots to shop at the convention is at the Designer Stencils (http://www.designerstencils.com/)  vendor booth.  They have a large variety of stencils to choose from and I usually buy 2 or 3 each year.  For a fondant covered cake you can get a bold look using buttercream or royal icing with your stencil, but for a softer look try brushing petal, luster, or pearl dusts with your stencil.  You can vary your color and highlight more easily by how much you brush on.  It makes it much easier if you have a partner to hold your stencil in place so you can concentrate on the decorating.  

Keep Life Sweet,



email: info@simicakes.com

phone:  321-543-3492

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simi-Cakes-Confections/121435164568456

Twitter: @Simicakes


March 1, 2012

Simi Cakes
& Confections, llc

    We had an exciting and productive trip to Austin, TX, for “That Takes the Cake” Show and Competition!  I did demos all weekend at our vendor booth and met so many wonderful people from Texas and around the world (Hannah from Singapore-we can’t wait to see how our Isomalt works there!).  I got to try out wonderful products in our molds from Satin Fine Foods, Icing Images, Get Sassie, Cake Play, and disco dusts from Cake Carousel.  We were lucky enough to meet incredible sugar artist Peggy Tucker and her fashionista sister Sally who create tailored chef coats.  We are measured and can’t wait for them to come in!  The cakes in the show were phenomenal!  The theme this year was the Renaissance and it didn’t disappoint!  I’ve added many pictures of cakes at the bottom for you to see.  There were huge dragons and castles as well as upright motorcycles and gelatin paintings. Next year the theme will be “Wings”.  There were great classes, it was awesome  to get to meet my favorite stars in the sugar world, enjoying the beautiful cakes, and shopping at over 60 vendors.  Thank you to Jennifer for a great show, to Kyla for inviting us and then getting us a microwave and chef torch and I love your special energy, and thank you to all the incredible volunteers who worked  with a smile to make sure we were taken care of at all times.  It was a huge amount of work and we know how many hours went into putting it on and it was a huge success!  And a very special “Thank You” to our beautiful new friend Brenda Byrd for all your help and driving to get us to and from the show with all our supplies.  You are truly the kindest angel and we will see you in Reno!  We can’t wait to come back next year for the show!http://thattakesthecake.org/index.php/main/
            Now we are so excited to get to the Florida ICED Cake Competition in Ocala!  It will be March 31 & April 1 at Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala, FL.  If you haven’t heard, this years theme is Masquerade Ball!  I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!  Have you gotten your registration in yet?  There will be divisions for Masquerade Ball Theme, Accessories, and Edible Images Cakes.  There will be 4 categories for each division: Youth, Novice, Advanced, and Professional.  There will be celebrity judges, great demo classes, live challenge, cakes, vendors, kids corner, and so much more.  The prizes are huge!  You have to check them out at www.floridaiced.com .  We hope to see you there!
    In my next blog I’ll be interviewing Tami Utley after her tutorial on CakeFu!  Tami will be back at Simi Cakes in Florida in November and we’ll have all the details soon.

    If you have an event you would like listed on the calendar please email us.  Also, please follow us on Face Book at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simi-Cakes-Confections/121435164568456 and Twitter @simicakes!  And if you take pictures of your cakes/sugar pieces that you used our molds and equipment we would love for you to share it with us!
Tip of the week:  Never use water on your gelatin creations, it will dissolve!  Use more gelatin to glue pieces together, plus it adds strength and stability. 
Class Schedule
Additional Classes will be added soon.  Check back for updates.  If you would like to host a class in you area please email us at info@simicakes.com
March 4-Sunday-Ocala at Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern
10-12pm-      Henna Cakes-Learn Henna Techniques to decorate ornate cakes
12:30-5:30-   Topsy Turvy Cakes-Build a 3 Tier Topsy Turvy Cake with a Cherry Blossom Theme-5 hours
March 11 Sunday-West Palm Beach at Cakes Etc with Sidney Galpern
Advanced Airbrushing-Creating stencils and a dragon head
March 15-Thursday-Daytona Beach at Sweet Beginnings Cake Club 7pm Billows with Sidney Galpern
March 24 & 25-National Capital Area Cake Show Annandale, VA-Isomalt Demos in the Vendor Hall  http://www.cakeshow.org/March 31 Ocala-Florida ICED Cake Competition-

  www.floridaiced.comApril 1     Ocala-Florida ICED Cake Competition www.floridaiced.com

April 14 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-      Airbrushing 101
12:15-2:15-   Henna Cakes
2:30-4:30-     Elegant Chocolate Garnishes-Fans, Curls, Carnations.  Fun with a Pallet Knife and Tempering Chocolate the easy way.
April 27-29-Orlando-Festival of Chocolate  www.festivalofchocolate.com

May-TBA-Greensboro, NC-2 Day Isomalt Class Series with Sidney Galpern
Class 1-Cast Isomalt including gems and color
Class 2-Pulled Sugar Garden-Vines, swirls, leaves, roses, and calla lilies
Class 3-Blown sugar bubbles, hearts & apples and spun sugar bowls
Class 4-Advance blown animals-Dolphin, swan, and hummingbird
Class 5-Stained Glass Sugar
Class 6-Isomalt ribbons and bows
May 6 Sunday-Ocala-Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern

10-1pm-        Blown Sugar Animals:  Create Beautiful Dolphin, Swans, and Humming Birds-Advanced  Sugar Class
1:30-6:30-     3 Tiered Pillow Cake-Carve, decorate, and assemble a beautiful 3 tier pillow cake

May 19 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes
-12pm-         Advanced Airbrush-Creating your own stencils and create an airbrushed fondant dragon head
12:30-5:30-     3 Tiered Pillow Cake-Carve, Decorate, and assemble a beautiful 3 tier pillow cake
June 3 Sunday-Ocala-Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern
10-12pm-       Fondant Dog Figures
12:30-5:30-    Carved Dog Cake-Carve, stack, and decorate a 2 foot 3-D dog cake
June 9 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes
10-12pm-      Edible Origami and Gelatin Bows
12:30-5:30-   Topsy Turvy 3 Tiered Cake with a Cherry Blossom Theme
June-TBA-Lisa Menz of the Florida ICED will teach Sugar Veil Shoe at Simi Cakes in Palm Bay
Summer TBA-Isomalt Class Series-Tampa, Fl

Aug 4 Saturday-Reno, NV-ICES Convention www.ices.org
12:30-1:30-   Blown Sugar Dolphins, Swans, and Humming Birds by Sidney Galpern

Aug TBA-Gulfport, MS-2 Day Isomalt Class Series with Sidney Galpern

                        Class 1-Cast Isomalt including gems and color
Class 2-Pulled Sugar Garden-Vines, swirls, leaves, roses, and calla lilies
Class 3-Blown sugar bubbles, hearts & apples and spun sugar bowls
Class 4-Advance blown animals-Dolphin, swan, and hummingbird
Class 5-Stained Glass Sugar
Class 6-Isomalt ribbons and bows
Nov TBA-Palm Bay-Tami Utely returns to Simi Cakes in Palm Bay!
Keep Life Sweet!!
Sidney & Michelle


Hi Everyone!

I am so excited I got to do an interview with the very talented Lisa Menz,  founder, chairwomen, and organizer of the fabulous Florida ICED Cake Competition in Ocala, Fl,  along with making her own cakes and teaching classes.  I have known Lisa for a few years though FLICES and other events and classes around Florida.  Last year we were a vendor for the show and this year we are the Outreach Liaison (we spread the word) for this Masquerade Ball themed competition.  During the show there will be many demo classes, vendors, a kids corner and even a live challenge just to name a few, so it’s sure to be tons of fun.     


Sidney- How long have you been cake decorating and how did you get interested? 

Lisa– I have been cake decorating professionally for 18 years. I was always artistic, as a child.  I would rather be drawing then doing my homework. Then when I got married, I was trying to find someone to do my wedding cake, other then a traditional cake.  At that time I couldn’t fine anyone.  I didn’t know where to look.   I did not like my wedding cake at all & told myself, I can do this and I started taking classes, and then moved on to Mini- classes &  Conventions, to learn my art from the best.  I always loved to learn new techniques.

Sidney-  How did you decide to start the Florida ICED Cake Competition?

Lisa– ICED was started by a conversation at Florida Mini-classes with Grace Jones. I always wondered whyFlorida didn’t have a big show.  We have some of the most talented cake decorators, right here in our backyard. So I said I was going to do it and then Melanie Judge said she wanted to be part of the Co-chairing on the show.   It took off from there.

Sidney-Did you have any idea it would be such a huge success?

Lisa-We knew people were hungry for a good show & excited to have it here inFlorida. Really we thought it would be well attended, but we were really stunted and excited when we got the turn-out we did.  We were not expecting that huge of a turn-out of people, but glad it happened.  It just showed us, how much people really wanted it.

Sidney- How did you come up with the Masquerade theme for this years event? 

Lisa– We made out themes to be voted on by the people attending the 2011 show. Masquerade Ball was my theme idea. When it won, it was the best! I knew it would make for a great theme. Bright, festive, colorful.

Sidney– What should we look forward to seeing at the Florida ICED Cake Competition this year?

Lisa- We have tried to add so much to the 2012 show, so everyone feels included and not left out. We wanted all ages & levels of your profession to have a place to come and not be intimidated to compete. We have great demo class teachers, judges (local & judges from Ultimate Cake Off), sponsorship (big prizes), vendors, Kid’s Corner, Live Challenge contest.  We most of all want everyone to look forward to having fun and making new friends and learning. This show is for all.  Decorators & spectators as well.

Sidney– You have some incredible sponsors this year along with great prizes! Tell us a little about them.

Lisa– Wow, where do I start?  We have so many top awards. Some of the ones I will mention are a Cruise by Icing on the Cake. Marivi Bassabe is giving away 2- individual mentoring packages to Overall-Youth division winner & The Shelley Robert’s Award ( both worth over $800.00 per).   A Kitchen Aid for Overall People Choice Winner. A $600.00 Wilton Student package from Simi’s Cakes & Confections.  The list is long of all the amazing prizes that have been donated to the winner’s & the raffle table charity cause.

Sidney- It seems that the Florida ICED is a year round job; do you have time to work on your own cake projects?

Lisa– (Laughing)- This is a great question! Most of the time ICED has consumed me for 2 years.  You finish one show and then it’s off to planning the next one.  ICED or any major event is so much work and time. It does cost me sometimes with taking wedding cakes, or wanting to go teach others & wanting to take classes for myself to improve & keep up with my art. I try to fit it all in. It does get hard to do.

Sidney– I know the wonderful girls from the Ocala Cake Club are volunteering their time, but Florida ICED  wouldn’t run without a great deal of help.  What volunteer positions are still available and why volunteer their time? 

Lisa– I have to say volunteers & committee persons are very important key to ICED.  No show is ever great without the help of many. As far as positions needed still?  We need some more for the demo class areas. You will get to sit in for free in these classes if you help in this area.  Also contact our Volunteer coordinator Kristin Nast, for all position available.  KNast7@gmail.com  Plus you get free shirts, masks, beads & some goodies from our sponsors & free entry into the show.

Sidney– What themes are you considering for next year?

Lisa– We will have a place to drop your votes for next year for our 2013 theme.  Some that we have come up with are, Paris Couture, Greek Mythology, Purses & Shoes, Child’s World, Tropical Florida.  So it will provide us with another exciting and creative year, depending on how the votes go.

The Florida ICED Cake Competition will be March 30 and April 1 at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala, Fl.  Make sure to get your registration forms in as soon as possible for a spot to compete and to secure a seat in the demo classes!  You can find out more and download the registration forms at www.floridaiced.com .   Here is a link to Lisa’s website, http://cakesbylisa.net/, and for more information on the Ocala Cake Club email  OcalaCakeClub@gmail.com.   We will be at the show vendoring, teaching, and judging, so please stop by and say “Hi”!!    

Keep Life Sweet,