Circus Cake

Featured
Circus Cake

Circus Cake

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!

Elephant Chocolate Topper

Elephant Chocolate Topper

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!

Monkey Chocolate

Monkey Chocolate

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!

Seal Chocolate

Seal Chocolate

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!

Elephant Chocolate

Elephant Chocolate

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.

Top of Circus Cake

Top of Circus 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!

 


Mickey Mouse Rocket Cake

Featured
Disney Rocket Cake

Mickey Rocket Cake

We just returned from a family trip to Disneyland and it reminded me of a special cake I made for my nephew’s 4th birthday.  My nephew, Cavan, had finally gotten to the age where he was able to tell me what he wanted for his birthday cake, and it was a Mickey Mouse rocket cake.  Of course I had heard of Mickey Mouse, but never a Mickey Mouse rocket ship, so I had to do some investigating to see what it was all about.

Mickey Rocket Cake

Mickey Mouse Rocket Cake Bottom

Luckily I did my research, because the Mickey Mouse Rocket has a very specific look with bright colored horizontal stripes wrapping around the rocket.  I decided to make the rocket out of cake and set it on top of a cake planet.  I used my upper and lowercase tappit sets to make the letters for this cake. The tappit sets are handy because they allow you to add a quick professional looking letters to your cake in a hurry!  I generally use gum paste to make the letters, but if I am in a hurry and only have fondant I will just roll out my fondant and let it set out a few minutes before cutting the letters. This allows the fondant to firm up a bit so that the letters are more stable and easier to cut and handle.

Side of planet

Side of planet

I got the idea for the texture of this planet from the Debbie Brown book, Cartoon Cakes.  I love all of Debbie Brown’s books and this one is fun just to look at even if you aren’t interested in cake decorating.  It is a whole book of wonderful cakes featuring Warner Brothers cartoon characters.  The cakes are expertly designed and decorated by Debbie Brown and they are truly unbelievable.  There is a really cute Marvin the Martian cake, and that is where I got this planet idea.

Mickey Mouse edible figure

Mickey Mouse Gumpaste Figure

The Mickey figure is made of gum paste.  When making a small figure like this, I have to use gum paste because fondant is just too soft and I can’t get the small details. At the same time that I was making this cake, I was looking for a present for my nephew and I came across the perfect a toy called Fisher-Price Disney’s Mickey Mouse Space Rocket.  It was Mickey Mouse with the very rocket ship that I was making in cake! With the cake and the rocket toy I was hoping to be number one Auntie!

Mickey gum paste figure

Mickey Mouse gum paste figure

It’s always a lot of fun to make cakes for children because they have such fun and over the top reactions!  This ended up being a great 4th birthday cake that Cavan loved. I was happy to be able to make Cavan’s birthday extra special, and I am so lucky to have such a wonderful little nephew!


Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Featured
Scuffy the Tugboat

3-D Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Do you recognize this little tugboat?  If you’re like me and have a fondness for the Golden Books of your childhood you do!  It’s Scuffy The Tugboat from the beloved Golden Book.  The book is a classic that you shouldn’t miss out on, so if you haven’t read it yet go out and find a copy.  It is a beautifully illustrated and written book to share with your children and grandchildren.

Book and Invite

Children’s books offer great inspiration for birthday parties, and  I thought Scuffy The Tugboat would be a perfect party theme for my nephew’s 3rd birthday!  Also it was a great excuse to make a Scuffy cake.  At the time, I thought that everyone knew exactly who Scuffy was, but at the party many people thought the cake was just a tugboat.  I couldn’t believe they had never heard of Scuffy!

Fondant Scuffy Eyes

Scuffy’s Eyes

I knew I had to get the eyes right for the cake to truly look like Scuffy.  The eyes always bring a character to life, and it’s exciting when you get to the eyes, because once you put them on you can tell if everything is going to work.  You can have everything else right, but if the eyes aren’t spot on, you may have to try again.

Scuffy Closeup

Scuffy

Side of Scuffy

Scuffy Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally I wasn’t sure if I would use piping or fondant for the details on this cake.  I tried piping, but the result was not what I wanted, so all of the details are fondant and gumpaste.  The cake itself is just cake (no rice krispies) and though it is a 3-D cake, the shapes are not difficult, so it is pretty simple (as simple as 3-D cakes get).

Tugboat Bow

Bow of tugboat

The tool I use most often for wood grain is a plastic ruler.  I use the edge of it, and drag it across the fondant to make the pattern.  I brushed this wood grain with brown gel paste to bring out the grain.  I love to do fun cake boards, and this is one of my favorite. I went around the cake board with some red grosgrain ribbon and added yellow rick rack on top of that.  I think it is a cute detail for a child’s birthday cake.

3-D Scuffy Cake

Scuffy The Tugboat Smokestack

Scuffy Smokestack

Scuffy Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most challenging part of this cake was definitely the smokestack.  I didn’t know how to make a hollow gumpaste cylinder, so there was a lot of experimenting.  Finally I wrapped a very sturdy paper cylinder from a roll of plastic wrap in parchment paper.  Then I rolled out a rectangle of blue gumpaste.  I cut the gumpaste to the exact size needed to cover the roll, and wrapped it around.  I sealed the seam with a bit of water and let the cylinder stand upright for a couple of days.  Once the gumpaste was dry, I slid the paper roll out and was left with a hollow gumpaste tube.  My previous trials taught me that the gumpaste will stick to the paper tube if you don’t wrap it in parchment.

3-D Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Scuffy 3-D Cake

Well that is the Scuffy cake!  I hope you are inspired to read the story and maybe make a Scuffy cake or cupcakes of your own!

Scuffy Book

Scuffy The Tugboat Golden Book