Sunday, June 3, 2012

From Pilot Mill to Chapel Hill

I love when I can make a cake tell a story.  This one charts the educational path of Elise, a recent graduate of Raleigh Charter High School.   The school has recently moved to a new location, but started out in the historic Pilot Mill in downtown Raleigh.  In the fall, Elise is headed to UNC Chapel Hill.  She has a classic, modern style and I wanted the cake to reflect that style.

I used this beautiful watercolor painting by Jeff Pittman as inspiration for my cake and created the buildings in this same style.  The cut the shape of each building out of gum paste and hand painted the details with edible food color paints. 

A yummy arboretum surrounds the back of the cake.

Elise loves monograms and Lilly Pulitzer prints, so I tried to incorporated both into the design. The flowers on the cake and the colors are a nod to the vibrant colors you find in classic Lilly prints. I tucked a tiny monogram into the seal at the top of the sign on the front of the cake.


  1. Love, love, love it Marj!! absolutely beautiful just like everything you do. Your artistic abilities are amazing!
    Quick question: how did you make those cute trees and the grad cap?
    Thank you Marj and have a wonderful day :)

  2. Thanks, Rosalinda! The cap is a 5" round cake covered in fondant. The top is a 7" square of fondant that I made several days in advance and allowed to harden. I attached it to the cake part and then made the tassel of fondant at the end.

    The trees are fondant trunks attached to the buttercream icing with buttercream leaves piped over them. I used two colors of buttercream and two different sizes of leaf tips... Wilton #349 and #352.

  3. Thank you Marj, you rock!!! :)
    Have a blessed day always!



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