Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jilly's 2nd Birthday Cake


Jilly's actual birthday was earlier in the month but since they live in another town we decided to have a 2nd party for family and local friends here this weekend. She's lovin' Mickey Mouse these days so it was easy to come up with a theme and I knew pretty quickly what I wanted her cake to look like!

This chocolate cake is filled and covered in vanilla buttercream and decorated with red and black fondant strips and marbles as well as yellow and black "Mickey Ears" out of royal icing. The Mickey Ears hat is also made of fondant and is not filled with cake but hollow like a real hat. We did get photos of our grandaughter wearing her fondant Mickey Ears after cutting the cake and she just loved them!

The Cake Table

The cake is a simple 3 layer 8x3 chocolate cake. What makes this cake is all the details. From the different width stripes to the handrolled marbles of fondant to the Mickey Ears that spell out her name around the cake base to the Mickey Ears on top. Even the cake base is covered in blue embossed fondant and trimmed in red fondant squares with yellow dots. None of these details are particularly hard. They just take time and planning. The Mickey Ears hat started out in a half ball pan that had been lightly smeared with crisco and then the black fondant smoothed into the pan. I let that set up for a day then popped it into the freezer and gently, using an offset spatula, removed it from the pan and very gently turned it over onto a wire rack to keep drying for several days after. The ears were cut out using a round cookie cutter, flattened along the ball pan on one side and then dried on a slightly concave flower former for several days. I made the red/white/black emblem on the hat using circle cutters stacked on each other and glued together with water. I let them set up that way on a wire rack for several hours the adhered them to the hat while I could still mould it to the shape of the hat. When all the pieces were dry I used black royal icing to "glue" the ears to the hat and then let that dry another two days before it was time to decorate the cake. At the same time as I moulded the hat I cut out the Mickey Ear shapes so I could spell out Jilly's name. I let them dry for 3 days on parchment then piped her name in yellow royal icing onto the shapes and let that dry until cake decorating day. About midweek I covered the cake base with the blue fondant and embossed it using round cutters, making sure not to cut all the way through the fondant to the base. Then cut out little red squares and adhered them with water to the blue fondant and finished it off with yellow royal icing dots. It was important that there be at least two days of drying time for the base so that when I placed the cake upon it there would be no marks left from the spatulas used to place the cake. If the fondant is too soft still it will imprint easily and mess up the look of your base.

When it came time to decorate the cake I smooth iced it and then let that crust up for a couple of hours. Then I cut out the stripes and added them to the cake using water to adhere them to the icing. Then, after rolling out the marbles, I used water to adhere them around the cake. This is easier said than done since, well, being marbles, they want to roll right off so it takes more time than you would think to get these all the way around the cake! Then it was time to add the royal icing black and yellow Mickey Ears between the stripes. Quick and easy! The very last thing I did was to place the Mickey Ears on top and then using water and royal icing, adhered the Mickey Ears shapes that spell out her name to the cake base. I let this dry for a few hours before I even considered moving the cake so that the hanging letters could dry solidly. Obviously the round cake base is on top of another cake stand to give it enough room off the table for the hanging letters. The only nonedible piece is the Mickey Mouse Candle.

So, as I said before, it's not hard to do, it all just takes planning and time. But I simply love how it turned out and so did Jillian. We had a wonderful day today celebrating her turning two. I know I'm getting myself into trouble...making elaborate birthday cakes for her at this age....can you imagine what she'll want for her wedding day!?! But I can't resist...especially for my grandchildren!

This week brings a grown up birthday cake! I'll share that with you next Sunday!


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