I recently finished several cake decorating classes and this is my first attempt at a specialty cake, on my own, for a friend’s daughter’s first birthday. I have learned some things. First, always, always make sure that the cake itself and the filling if you’re using one, is quite stiff. Anything less than will allow the cake to ooze and sink regardless of how much fondant is covering it…. and if it has to travel…. well… all I can say is even if it sits in your lap and you cradle it like a small child, the back and forth of the stops and starts will move anything that isn’t solid! Though my cake started out looking like this… by the time we drove it to the party house it’s foundation began to ooze chocolate pudding… a very unfortunate situation!
I made this cake using a gluten-free cake mix, my girlfriend has celiac’s and I wanted to make sure she could eat it too. So I made two cakes, the bottom layer is chocolate with chocolate pudding in between and the top layer is vanilla with vanilla pudding in between. Unfortunately the chocolate cake wasn’t as solid as I would have liked, and instead of switching it out I went ahead and hoped for the best…. NOT A GOOD IDEA… trust your gut I say!
The turrets are made from rice crispy cake cut out into cones and the tops are sugar cones with left over cake and pudding mixed together and stuffed inside. I stuffed them because I read someone’s blog and they mentioned several breaking when they were trying to cover them… stuffing them and leaving them for a bit allows them to soak up some of the moisture and they are no longer so fragile. This was one of my brainstorms that actually worked out.
I picked up some fondant impression mats to make a brick, wood and stone patterns but unless you actually roll the mat onto the fondant it becomes really challenging. And I’ve discovered that once you do roll it out it’s truly difficult to then keep from messing it up. Perhaps it was the temperature of the fondant that contributed to this challenge, it is after all summer. Maybe it’s just practice.
I made the flowers several days before and allowed them time to dry… I think I had about 70 of them… always have extra in case you break some picking them up… I decided to use royal icing to make the grass around the cake, to help hold it in place and that actually worked out well also.
Lastly…. yes… the flags should have all been going in the same direction…. my mess up… it’s funny how things come to you late in the game….
At any rate… Happy Birthday Mila… I hope you enjoy your cake… I suggested to your mother that she should just put it on the floor and let you have at it… what the heck… it was an experiment… and a trial… and that’s the kind of thing you can only do for so long!