Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hawaiian Theme Birthday Party: The Cake

Ah, the cake.  As I was getting ready to work on this, I think I figured out that the last time I decorated a cake was about 4 years ago.  Some things that became very apparent to me: 
1. That's way too long between cakes
2.  Marshmallow fondant is VERY sticky
3.  Having 'help' isn't always helpful
I was able to muddle my way through it all and still got a huge thumbs up from the birthday girl.  First thing was to make a colorful cake on the inside.  How to do this?  Just figure out how many colors you want, divide the cake batter into that many containers, color each bowl and then put all the colors into your cake pan.  The batter is thick enough to keep from running together and will bake up just fine.
Colored cake batter and some of my 'help'
 This is a picture of the cake pre-baked.
 This is a picture of the inside after baking and leveling.

Decorating the cake really didn't take that long.  The hardest part was figuring out exactly what I wanted to do.  (Too many ideas warring in my mind.)  

Even though the fondant didn't work for me, (or rather, I wasn't able to manipulate it like I wanted) I decided to go to plan 'B'.  So, I baked a cupcake (red of course), inverted it, cut a notch out of one side and then covered it with buttercream.
 Close up.
The 'sand' was made from crushing Nilla Wafers and then sifting out the large particles.  Very simple.  I wasn't too worried about smoothing out the buttercream all over the cake.  At 2:30 AM I was past being a perfectionist.

I did have fun doing the cake and learned a lot.  I learned that I need a grass tip if I ever decide to do grass again.  I learned that I really do like decorating cakes.  I learned I need to make more icing so I have extra and not just enough.  I learned that I still detest doing the crumb coat and also icing corners (just can't seem to get those right).  I learned that I need to decorate cakes more often and play around with it more when there isn't so much pressure - maybe take another class or two (last one was 6 years ago).  Guess making more cakes will help me keep some weight on, but that probably isn't the best way to do that.  Also, Cake Central is a great resource for all your cake decorating questions and curiosities.

So.  Do any of you decorate your cakes or do you just do like I should have and purchase them?  I might find a new resource in all of you for the next time I go to decorate a cake.


  1. Love the volcano and the waves, and the lettering is so very neatly done! Lucky kid. Here's to two a.m. creativity. (clinking coffee cups)

  2. Looks great Jessica! I really enjoy cake decorating. My best tip for smooth buttercream is Viva paper towels. After it 'crusts' the paper towels do a nice job at smoothing it out. I had heard of brown sugar for sand, but I like the Nilla wafer idea better.

  3. Would love for you to link up your hawaiian themed party ideas in my linky party. it turned out so cute:o)


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