Simi Cakes & Confections, LLC

Hello everyone,

It has been a very busy few weeks on the road!  It was wonderful to make a stop to see our incredible cake friends at Icing Images and they took us apple picking at Rinker Orchards in Winchester, VA.  It was a great fall adventure where we picked the apples right off the tree and ate them as we walked along the rows.  The trees were full because it was the first weekend of the season.  The best part was that we got to spend time with the whole Coughlin family-thank you sooooo much for your hospitality. 

It was too short a time before we had to hit the road again.  Next we were off to work at the new Sugar Arts Institute in Ephrata, PA.  The new school is located a few miles outside of Lancaster and is shaping up to be a tremendous school.  I’m told that eventually there will be 10 classes going simultaneously.  Julie and Bucky Bashore have a wonderful vision for the new school and its future in offering a degree in Cake Decorating.  We enjoyed working hard at the Level 1 & 2 Blown and Pulled Sugar Classes.  The facility was fantastic to work in with heat lights that retracted into the ceiling and huge kitchens where you had enough counter space for everyone to spread out.  We enjoyed meeting students from all over the world and seeing cake friends from the US that were taking classes as well.  I’ll be back in March to teach blown sugar again-I think it will be a little cooler then!

After that we were off to the New Jersey Sweet Treats Competition in Colonia.  It was a small new show, but we were able to connect with many cake friends, teach a wonderful group of sugar students, and enjoy the beautiful cakes in the competition.  Thank you to Get Sassie! for sponsoring our classes. I was proud of all our students for their beautiful bubbles and roses and their winnings in the cake competition.  We hope to see you again soon.

The weather was beautiful while we were in the Northeast and the leaves are beginning to change.  We visited family we don’t get to see often enough and snuck away to New York City and enjoyed shopping, great food, visiting the 911 Memorial, and the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy.  We stayed with our cousins in NJ and played with fondant, edible glitter, and markers (shh….don’t tell their dad about the glitter).  We managed to wipe up the evidence pretty good and head out back to roast marshmallows on the new fire pit and watch the many deer that would hang out in the back yard.  

We are home for a few weeks to work with our homeschool cake class and I’ll volunteer at the Brevard Zoo all month for their Boo at the Zoo events.  We will be back on the road to teach isomalt at Ladybug Cake & Candy Supply in Connecticut on Nov 2 & 3 and then to Maryland to teach Holiday Isomalt hosted by Teri Tarbox and the MD ICES.  Can’t wait to see all our northern cake friends soon!  And then off to Europe…but more about that next time!

The Big News is the Florida Mini Classes coming to Daytona, FL on January 18, 19, and 20!  I’ll be teaching with an amazing cast of decorators including Merrie Lee Reese, Kathy Wyatt, Gayle Hewitt, Pattie Ames, Mercedes and Alex Strachwsky, Lucinda Lawson Olds, Carol Webb, Kathy Scott, Kelly Lance, Geraldine Randlesome, and Norm Davis and Zane Beg!  It will be held at the Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center.  I’ll have classes in the mediums of isomalt, fondant, and gumpaste along with dozens of other great classes by these gifted artists.  The show is hosted by Kathy Wyatt, AWK Sales formerly A Wedding by Kathy, and Gayle Hewitt, owner of Gayle’s party Cakes & Supplies in Daytona Beach.  There will be a large vendor area, a banquet with a white elephant trade, and we are happy to announce that our wonderful sponsor, Icing Images.  I have been asked to be the Student Ambassador for the show and will be visiting high school and culinary colleges in Florida to demonstrate the sugar arts and bring awareness to the field of cake decorating.  The website will go live on Oct 15 and I’ll publish all the details as they come available.



Oct 12-Palm Bay, FL Homeschool Cake Decorating Class at Simi Cakes  info@simicakes.com
1-3pm-         Buttercream Borders and Icing Tips

Nov 2 & 3-Southbury, CT- Ladybug Cake and Candy Supply- http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/
6-8:30-         Casting Isomalt including gems, molds, Icing Images, color and more
9-11:30-        Pulled Roses & Blown Sugar Bubbles
12-6pm-        Holiday Isomalt Fun Making Blown Sugar Snowmen, Penguins, Bows, Icicles, Snowflakes & More…

Nov 4-
Waldorf, MD Holiday Isomalt Fun  info@simicakes.com
10-5pm-        Isomalt Snowflakes, Icicles, Blown Sugar Snowmen, Penguins, and Bows

Nov 9-11-
Birmingham, England-Cake International at the NEC- http://www.ichf.co.uk/

Nov 17  & 18-Lelystad, Netherlands at Cake Atelier with Sidney Galpern  http://www.cakeatelier.nl/workshops/isomalt-simicakes/
8-12pm         4 hour hands-on casting and isomalt demo class
1-5pm          4 hour hands-on casting and isomalt holiday demo class
9am-6pm       Casting Including Icing Images, Stained Glass, Flowers, Blown Bubbles & Hearts, and more

Dec 2-
Palm Bay, FL Holiday Isomalt at Simi Cakes   info@simicakes.com
11-5pm-        Hands-on poinsettias, snowflakes, icicles, penguins, blown sugar snowmen and more!

Dec 8-
Jacksonville, FL Holiday Isomalt   info@simicakes.com
12:30-6pm-   Hands-on poinsettias, snowflakes, icicles…and demo on blown sugar snowmen, penguins and more!

Dec 9-
Brevard Cake Artists Holiday Gathering  info@simicakes.com
1-5pm-         Games, Food, Fun, and Friendship!

Jan 12 & 13-Connecticut ICES Isomalt Classes information to come

Jan 18, 19 & 20-
Daytona Beach, FL, Florida ICES Mini Classes- Classes & Vendoring Website TBA
8-11am         Gumpaste Water Lily
12-2pm         Basic Fondant
2:30-5:30      Blown Sugar Dolphin and Bubbles
8-11am         Elegant Pulled Sugar Multi-Color Ribbons
2:30-5:30      Stained Glass Sugar Butterflies

Tip of the Week

Taking Care of your Silicone Molds

Did you know that your silicone molds don’t need any prepping?  For isomalt and chocolate just pour your ingredients in and let dry!  For fondant and gumpaste they release as well.  If you ever have trouble you can pop them in the freezer for a minute and your decoration will release.  As for cleaning all you usually need to do is wipe them out.  If they get very dirty you can place them right into the dishwasher.  Did you know you can bake cookies or little cake in your silicone molds?  Silicone molds can take heat up to 395 degrees.  You should always store your molds as flat as possible to keep their shape.  If you take care of your molds they should last ten years or more!  

Did you know there are 19 tutorials on our website?  Check them out and then “Like” us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simi-Cakes-Confections/121435164568456 and Follow us on Twitter @Simicakes.      

Until next time-

Keep Life Sweet,





Simi Cakes & Confections

Hello everyone,

Thank you to our amazing students in Panama City and Gulfport, MS for hosting Simi Cakes Sugar Classes last month!  We had such a great turn out even with the threat of Hurricane Isaac looming in the background!  We were so glad to hear that your areas didn’t sustain any major damage.  We will be on the road again starting next week to the northeast and we can’t wait to see all our northern cake friends next!  Thank you to Icing Images, Satin Ice, and Get Sassie for supporting our classes.  We couldn’t do it without you!

We filmed our first DVD this month and hope to release it in the fall.  A huge thank you to Chris Kridler for her amazing photography and videography.  We had quite a fun day of filming trying to work through a huge rain storm with rain hitting a skylight, the weather alarm going off, and thunder in the background!  Chris can work her magic in editing and we can’t wait to see the final project.  You can follow Chris’s exciting adventures, and I mean EXCITING, on her blog and website:  http://www.chriskridler.com/

Have you checked out all the tutorials on our website?!?  I just put the new Spun Sugar Bowls tutorial I wrote for CakeFu.com on there today.  There are more than 12 tutorials to check out.  See them here:

http://www.simicakes.com/Tutorials.php and check out the new one here:  http://www.cakefu.com/quick-and-elegant-spun-sugar-bowl/


Up Coming Classes


Sept 21/22-Southbury, CT at Ladybug Cake & Candy Supply http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/


6-8:30pm-Casting Isomalt including gems, molds, Icing Images, and more! 


9-11:30-Pulled and hand sculpted Isomalt Roses & blown sugar bubbles

12-6pm-Koi Pond Sculptures-Blown and sculpted Koi with pond and water lily, including airbrushing isomalt class


Sept 23-Colonia, NJ Sweet Treat Cake Competition http://thejerseyitgirl.com/cake_competition_FORMS.html

12:30-3pm-Blown Sugar Bubbles & Pulled Sugar Roses


Sept 29/30-Mobile, AL 2 Day Isomalt Class Series www.simicakes.com


9-5- Casting gems, molds, Icing Images, & more!  Pulled sugar garden sculptures.  Blown sugar bubbles and spun sugar


9-6- Hand pulled, multi-colored ribbons and bows, Stained glass sugar, blown sugar dolphins, swans, and hummingbirds.


Oct 7-Palm Bay, FL at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com

10-2-Basic Buttercream & Fondant Techniques

2:30-6-Gumpaste Water Lilies & Fondant Figures


Nov TBA UK Isomalt Classes-More info Soon!


Nov 17/18-Netherlands Master Class-Isomalt Techniques  http://www.cakeatelier.nl/international-masterclasses/isomalt-simicakes/


Dec 8-Jacksonville, FL-Holiday Isomalt   www.simicakes.com

12:30-6pm-Poinsettias, snowmen, snowflakes and more!


Dec 9-Palm Bay, FL at Simi Cakes- Holiday Isomalt  www.simicakes.com

1-4pm-Poinsettias, snowmen, snowflakes and more!


Tip of the Week


This week’s tip comes from my wonderfully sweet and talented Wilton Instructor, Betty Redd:

If you want an ubber delicious pineapple upside down cake, use virgin coconut oil to substitute for equal amounts of whatever fat the cake calls for.

Here is the recipe I used to hand out when I sold Princess House.  I modified the recipe so that I used ½ cup virgin coconut oil instead of 1 stick butter.  Then I replaced the stick of butter in my boxed cake mix with another ½ cup of coconut oil.  I think this will work for any recipe. 

What’s nice about this covered casserole dish is that it keeps things from sticking.  However it took my cake over an hour to bake.  I don’t think the given recipe bake time is correct.  It is a dense cake, so it took almost 1.5 hours to bake in this casserole dish.  If you use a regular cake pan, make sure you prepare the pans as usual.  Enjoy-Betty





1 stick of Butter

1 20 oz. Can Sliced Pineapple (drained)

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 Yellow Cake Mix


Put melted butter in 3Qt Fantasia Covered Casserole. Drain sliced pineapple and place slices in bottom of dish.  Sprinkle brown sugar over pineapple


Prepare cake mix according to package directions using pineapple juice in lieu of water.  Pour over pineapple and brown sugar. Cover


Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.


Until next time,

Keep Life Sweet!







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


Simi Cakes

  & Confections, LLC  

Please join me for the next CakeFu Master Training on Tuesday, July 10 at 10:30pst where I’ll be teaching an isomalt water lily and will also show it in gumpaste. It’s a free webinar, but you do have to sign up. If you miss it, they post a link and you can watch it anytime. http://www.cakefu.com/next-cakefu-masters-training-sidney-galpern/  I’ll be having a giveaway too, so hope to see you there!


In the mean time you can check out my new tutorial on you tube making a beautiful isomalt broach utilizing the Get Sassie! SassieShot Sugar Melting Gun:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYNdAed0dXQ&feature=plcp 


Here is my product review of the new sugar melting gun:  I just love it!  Not only does it fill molds quickly with no mess and a short time heating up, I can attach all my fondant pieces to my cake in a few seconds.  It’s even faster and sturdier than royal icing.  And I can use a clear color to attach my pieces and it’s invisible!  The guns have been on back order, but believe me they are worth the wait.   You can check it out on the Get Sassie! Website: 



Tip of the Week

With guest Sugar Artist

  Norman Davis  


Norm Davis is my guest Sugar Artist this week offering great advice on a subject that involves every cake decorator-How much is your time worth?  It is something every sugar artist must answer for themselves.  Norm just got back from Dubai and Africa, but was kind enough to offer his tip of the week: 


Norman Davis Tip:  Stop giving your cakes away, when you have a friend/family you give a flat 15% or 20% fee.  That is all, you are in this to make money and your time is worth something!  We all need to make an hourly wage. What type of discount do your friends give you? I would have to say nothing. Start treating what you do as a real business whether it is part time or full time. Shop your competition and know what others are charging and be in the same range. We in the cake world need to have basic guide lines and stick to them!


Words to live by! 


Norm’s cakery, The Sweet Life, is located in Annandale, VA, just outside of Washington DC.  He is an award winning pastry chef, baker, chocolatier, talented sugar artist, amazing teacher, Food Network and TLC celebrity, and really great guy!  You can check out his website at:  http://www.thesweetlife.com/



Upcoming Classes and Events


July 15 NextSunday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes Advanced Isomalt
9:30-11:30    Multi-Colored Hand Pulled Ribbons and Bows
Stained Glass Sugar
Blown Sugar Dolphins, Swans, and Hummingbirds

July 21-Closed Booked with Private Class
12:30-6pm      Isomalt

Aug 4-Reno, NV-ICES Convention www.ices.org   
Blown Sugar Dolphins, Swans, and Humming Birds
Demos with Icing Images, Sugar Arts Institute, and Get Sassie! All weekend

Aug 18 & 19-Bedford, PA-Cove Country Cake Show-Isomalt Class Series http://covecountrycakeshow.webs.com/ 
Beginning Isomalt Techniques
Advanced Isomalt Techniques

Aug 23 Thursday-Panama City, FL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Fondant Animal Figures with bonus class Gumpaste Water Lilies

Aug 25 & 26-Gulfport, MS-2 Day Isomalt Class Series
9-11am-         Casting Gems, Icing Images, Molds, and Color
Pulled Vines, Swirls, Roses, Calla Lilies, and Leaves
Blown Bubbles, Hearts, Apples, and Spun Sugar
Stained Glass Sugar
Multi Colored Pulled Ribbons and Bows
Blown Sugar Dolphin, Swan, and Hummingbird

Sept 9-11-Houston, TX-All Things Baking-
                        Isomalt Demos at the Icing Images Booth

Sept 17-Lancaster, PA-6 Day Isomalt 1 & 2 with Julie Bashore at the Sugar Arts Institute 

Sept 21 & 22-Southbury, CT- Ladybug Cake and Candy Supply- http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/
Advanced Isomalt Classes

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

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

Nov 9-11-Birmingham, England-Cake International at the NEC- http://www.ichf.co.uk/ 
                        Isomalt Demos with Sugar Arts Institute

Feb 23 & 24, 2013
-Austin, TX -That Takes the Cake Show  http://thattakesthecake.org/index.php/main/

March 16 & 17, 2013-Ocala, FL-ICED Cake Competition http://www.icedcakeshow.com/

April 6 & 7, 2013- Annandale, VA-National Capital Area Cake Show http://www.cakeshow.org/ 

May 4 & 5, 2013-Westminster, MD-Great American Cake Show  http://greatamericancakeshow.com/ 


Until next time…Keep Life Sweet!



Website: www.simicakes.com

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

And Twitter @Simicakes   


Sidney  & Michelle Galpern

Simi Cakes & Confections, LLC