Beginner Custom Cakes
From a cake maker in training!
With big shoes to fill, and a lot of apprehension, I decided to try fondant. That's right. Fondant. The culinary band-aid. I resisted as long as I could, but I caved and purchased some pink fondant for my daughter's fabulous fifth birthday cake. I really wanted to impress her, so I pulled out all the stops!
Let's back it up a bit. I've seen these barbie cakes in the window of our local bakery. Admittedly, I thought they looked ridiculous at first. Then I had a babygirl, and nothing, I mean nothing, seems ridiculous anymore. So when it came time to decide on a birthday cake, I thought back to those crazy looking cakes with the torso and head of a doll sticking out the top. Creepy? Yes. But I saw potential.
So I did my research, and came up with a game plan. First, I found the main character, the doll. This particular doll isn't barbie brand, so it was cheap, and it had pink sparkles in it's hair! (Kinda jealous!) Then I made some cakes. I use boxed cake mix, it's delish, and I made four 8 inch circles, and I used a whole box to fill a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup. Yes. If you are careful, and take some precautions, you can bake a cake in pyrex.
Ta-da! This will sit atop the round cakes, and serve as the upper part of the skirt of the gown. I put all of the cakes in the freezer (for a couple of days), and when I was ready, I removed them and layered them with frosting. Then, I cut down the sides a smidge to shape the ball gown! At that point, I was feeling optimistic!!
Then it started to go downhill....fast. I needed to cut a hole in the middle of the stack of cakes, big enough to shove the doll's legs in (which I had wrapped in plastic to keep them together). Using a tiny knife and spoon, I cut a cylinder shape in the middle of the cakes. It took forever...
Next, I did a crumb coat (thanks Dr. F.) and then pink frosting, fondant and embellishments. The white flowers are actually "wafer flowers" so they are edible! But where to put the birthday candle? We have to have a birthday candle....what if the doll is carrying a little cake with a candle for the birthday girl? Brilliant! Finally, I used some candy melts, a stencil and handy dandy parchment sheets to write "happy birthday", and make some roses. When it dried, I was able to stick it right on the skirt! Too cute.
Not too shabby for my first try, eh? I mean, I've made cakes for my daughter for years, and I always avoided fondant. But fondant gives cakes a finished look, a super impressive look. So Dr. F., you were right. Fondant is not evil. But it does taste terrible! I might just stick to my canned icing method.....
Side note: the 5 year old princess was not impressed. She said, "I wanted a strawberry cake! That's what I told you!" no joke. But she came around, and once her friends started to oooo and ahhh at it, she was all for it.
So thank you Dr. F. for giving me the background and foundation to be able to build this cake. After years of gingerbread houses, royal icing, piping bags and tips, I did pretty well. Looking forward to the next custom cake adventure!
These special cakes have been hand crafted by the amazing and super talented Dr. F. Elementary school principal by day, magical cake maker by night.
Let Them Eat Cake Blog