Ok now onto the details.
Nearly two years ago, I was playing around with this idea in my head of making a plaid pattern in cake form. This was back before plaid had hit as a really big trend but being from Oregon, it’s basically a staple look and I’m also a 90’s kid so there you go. Plaid is my thing.
My tutorial school, Sugar Geek Show was still in it’s baby stages and I was still learning what made a really good tutorial. I decided on a whim one day to go ahead an experiment with my plaid plans. I sketched out maybe… 5 or 6 different plaid templates. Measuring pans and mocking up blocks in photoshop. Trying to wrap my mind around that whole 3 colored checkerboard pattern. I promptly made WAYYYY too many cakes but managed to get my experiment finished. I also made a plaid square cake with my leftover pieces. I’ve never shared this info before but there it is. Not really that impressive.
So I filmed my process and to my GREAT delight, this random experiment turned out very very well. I did a little periscope of the live cutting and I was amazed at how clean and perfect the squares and plaid pattern where. This is when the plaid cake was dubbed the lumberjack cake. Now before you say “now liz, plaid cakes and checkerboard cakes have been around FOREVER” let me tell you, I did my due diligence. I searched HIGH and low through many a pinterest board for an actual PLAID pattern inside a cake. Not just a checkerboard pattern. None existed that I could find. Now maybe one exists in some magazine long before my time, I wouldn’t be surprised but for once in my life, I managed to think of something that had not been done before.
I added a gravity defying axe on top of the cake because I’m Liz and I like to make things more difficult than they need to be. That’s just who I am lol.
I snapped a quick pic of the lumberjack cake, posted it to instagram and went about my day. I didnt’ even finish my board!
For some reason, the internet went crazy for this cake. At first I didn’t notice. Then bigger and bigger pages started sharing the cake. Then celebrities. Then major pages like buzzfeed and bored panda. It just went nuts aka viral. I’ve had other cakes go viral like my burrito cake and the zombie cake but nothing to this level. It was pretty incredible. It felt pretty good to have made something unique and be recognized for it.
Of course with any type of acknowledgement in the industry, soon came the copycats and the ripoffs. (Shame none of them could actually get the “plaid” part correct. Funny thing is, it’s a lot harder than just cutting a bunch of circles and switching them around. Trust me, I can still remember the migraine trying to figure that one out.) If you where one of the “lucky” ones to be involved, well you might have seen that it got pretty ugly. I admit that I let it get out of hand. I had never dealt with someone completely re-making a design and releasing it for free. I did the wrong thing and vented about it public ally and you know what happens next. So the only thing to do was to just back away from the whole thing, swallow my pride and move one. The great thing about that experience was that I really learned that no matter what, no one can take my creativity and my ideas. They are mine and other can copy me all they want but in the end, it doesn’t affect me at all. I’m the original and I know that.
One of the highlights of this time was getting together with some of my dear friends in the wedding industry and putting together a lumberjack themed wedding shoot. So fun! We had s’mores, beautiful models who have since married for real and now have a baby boy, baby goats and the PERFECT cabin venue, beautiful flowers, vintage rentals, makeup, invitations and even chalkboard signs. It was a really fun day that still holds a lovely place in my heart. You can see all the amazing photos from the lumberjack wedding shoot on the blog post here.
I made a wedding lumberjack cake version with white ganache instead of brown and a mini version for the groomscake complete with tiny axe and more of a tree stump look than slice of wood. Still pretty darn cute.
photography credit hazelwood photo
Here we are two years later and this lumberjack cake just wont die. It continues to go viral every six months. People constantly tag me in articles and blogs and videos of new videos that have gone lumberjack and I just have to ignore it all. I still love my lumberjack cake, I feel like it’s almost a part of my identity now. Will I ever make anything that surpasses the lumberjack cake in fame? Probably not. But that’s ok. What I got from that cake was pretty valuable, just please, don’t tag me in any posts, trust me, I’ve already seen it.
Yes. even this one.
Photo credit Jenny’s Cookies