Last week Julie did a great post on birthday cakes. Since then, my daughter, Elizabeth, turned ten. One of the traditions in our family is that we have a big birthday party for every child for their tenth birthday. Elizabeth was very excited about this and wanted to have a special cake for her party. She had a few ideas of how she wanted it, so we did some brainstorming and some window shopping to see what we had available to us, then we made a plan and gathered our supplies. Here is what we did:
Supplies we used:
2 large, 1 medium and 1 small cake pans
3 white cake mixes
1 tub of premixed decorating frosting
1 tube of sparkling black frosting
2 sheets of rolled paper fondant
1 sheet of rolled black paper fondant
Green and red food coloring
Pink and white animal cookies
1 cake decorating bag with a medium sized border tip
Two plastic toy Zebras
Cute birthday candles
I used 4 round cake pans; 2 large, 1 medium and 1 small. I used 1 full cake mix for each of the large round pans and 1 cake mix that I split between the medium and the small pans.
I was very careful to grease and flour each pan thoroughly so I would be able to easily remove the cake from the pans after they were cooked. I have found that it is easiest to take the cake from the pans if I let them cool off for about 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven.
After I removed the cake from the pans, I sliced the round top of each cake so that they would be flat on top. (This allowed me to stack them on top of each other when it came time to decorating the cake.)
I put the cakes in the freezer overnight to make them easier to work with the next day.
Now the fun begins.
Layer 1: I took a serving tray and frosted a small round circle in the middle of it. Then I set the first layer of cake on the frosted circle. The frosting secures the cake to the tray so that it doesn’t slide all over when it gets moved. I frosted the top of the first large cake and put the 2nd large cake on top of the bottom layer so that my first layer to make 1 large thick layer.
After I put the two layers together to form 1 large layer, I frosted a thin coat all over the whole thing. This is an important step which is called the crumb coat. This keeps the crumbs locked in this layer of frosting so it is easier to do the final layer of frosting or fondant without having to worry about all of the crumbs.
Layer 2: I put my medium sized cake on top and to the back of my first large layer. The thin coating of frosting that I put on the large layer now secured my middle layer to the bottom layer. I frosted another thin crumb coat on this layer as well.
Layer 3: I just repeated the steps for the other layers. I put the small cake on the top and to the back of the middle layer. This allowed me to have some room at the front of the cake for decorating.
At this point, my daughters Julie, Kimberly and Natalie took over for me. They measured and cut a piece of the rolled paper fondant, They frosted another layer of frosting on the top and bottom layers of the cake then put the paper fondant around the sides of both of them. The fondant sticks easily to the wet frosting. They did a second coat of frosting on the middle layer as well. I didn’t have enough of the zebra striped rolled fondant for all three layers, so for the middle layer, they broke small pieces off of a piece of solid black rolled fondant paper and stuck them all over the sides of the middle layer. This turned out cute because it gave the middle layer a little different look than the top and bottom layers.
They added some green food coloring to a small amount of the white frosting and frosted the top of each layer with it, They were trying to make the green frosting look like grass, so to give it some dimension, they took the flat side of a butter knife and pulled the green frosting up by touching the top of the green frosting and pulling up. They continued to use this up and down movement all over the green layer until all of the green frosting had the appearance of grass.
They mixed some red food coloring to a little bit of the white frosting and, using a decorator bag, they made a border around each layer of cake. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my decorating tips, so they did the best they could do with only the hole in the bag which is why the border looks a little messy. Thank goodness we had some of the frosting in the little black tube to cover some of the flaws. It worked anyway and my daughter didn’t notice any of the flaws.
Elizabeth wanted animals on her cake and I didn’t want to make them myself with gum paste, so I bought some toy zebras to put in the grass on the top of the cake. Also, keeping with the animal theme, one of my sons came up with the creative idea of putting pink and white animal cookies around the middle layer. This was an amazing idea! The bright pink and fun shapes really finished the cake off nicely!
After a few hours of work the cake was finished. It turned out adorable and was very simple and fun to make, It was the main attraction at the party. Elizabeth and all of her party friends loved it!