So this is my favorite cake. Yep, it’s really my very favorite cake (that I have made). It is even more extra special to me because I made it for my nephew’s 1st birthday! I had been wanting to make a circus themed cake, and I had a picture of this one in my head long before I started. It all began when I found the retro chocolate molds for the animals on the cake. The adorable elephant, monkey, and seal chocolate figurines were calling my name and crying out to be part of a fun, cheerful circus cake!
You may already know this about me, but I’ll say it again, I am a BIG fan of using chocolate on cakes! Especially now that I am a mom and have to try and squeeze in cake projects here and there, being able to make chocolate figures ahead of time is unbelievably convenient. When I saw the cute little retro elephant rocking horse chocolate mold, I knew it needed to be the center of attention on this cake!
The peanut border is a fun detail that reminds me of the circus. I made these with some peanut butter flavored candy melts, not for the flavor, but because the color was perfect. The yellow stars on the top tier are made of fondant using a pie crust star cutter from Williams-Sonoma. I love their pie crust cutter sets because they are so versatile. I end up using them for so much more than just pie crust!
The chocolates on the cake are pretty substantial, and I was worried that if I didn’t connect them properly they would just fall right off the cake. I whipped up a thick batch of royal icing and it held the figures on with no problems. Royal icing is such a lifesaver!
The scalloped red and yellow vertical stripes on this cake really bring everything together and give it that big top feel. I actually placed the vertical stripes on the cake and then cut the scallop pattern using a piece of cardstock and an x-acto knife. I had to be careful not to cut through the base layer of yellow fondant, but this method was much easier than transferring the individually cut pieces onto the cake.
The cake drum is wrapped with yellow grosgrain ribbon and blue rick rack. I think the rick rack adds to the retro style of this cake, and I love using it as an accent on cake bases. I always hot glue my ribbon to the cake drum. I have tried other methods such a double stick tape, and white glue, but I really want to know it is going to stay put, and hot glue is the only reliable method I have found. Thinking back on the making of this cake, it was one of the smoothest and easiest cake experiences I have had. Maybe that’s why it’s my favorite cake! Once I had the cake covered in fondant, all I had to do was pop on the chocolate figures, which had been made in advance. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Thanks for taking a look at this cake, I hope it inspires you to try a cake with chocolate details!