Happy Sunday and Happy 11th Birthday to our son Jack! We had an Angry Birds Party for him at our local pizza place so I made an Angry Birds cake for him.
I sat down with him, like all of my clients, and worked out with him what he wanted and didn't want on his cake. Then I sketched it out for him and after a little tweaking here and there we came up with this design.
A word about copyright. Something like a Disney Character or, in this case, Angry Birds, is copyrighted material. This means that if I want to use the theme I have to purchase licensed merchandise to put on the cake. I am not allowed to make the character out of frosting or fondant or candy. Now here is the loophole. For my sons cake, because I wasn't selling the cake, I could have made the birds. The copyright law states that you can not make the characters FOR SALE. However, because I wanted to be able to share this cake with all of you...and clients who may want something similar to this...I wanted to make sure that everyone knows that I have to work within the copyright laws. The upside to this is the Angry Birds set that I found was actually keychains! I removed the "chain" part, cleaned the birds before placing them on the cake, and then after serving the cake I cleaned the birds up and reattached the chains and gave them out as favors! So cute!
Cakes like this are called "background" cakes and Supermarkets have been working inside the copyright laws for decades by making background cakes and placing licensed characters on top. With a custom cake we cakers like to take it a step further.
Instead of a sheet cake I built a scene around a sheetcake cake board instead. There were only to be 15 people at the party so I knew a 6x3 would be plenty of cake for everyone. So I made the round, covered it in the green fondant and placed it on one end of the cake board. Then, using KitKat candy sticks, my son's favorite, I built the shelters for the pig characters. I used melted chocolate as my glue for this because these had to be able to stand on their own and be stacked. They also had to be sturdy enough to make it to the pizza place without falling over. The melted chocolate easily made them stick together as one piece and to the board. Once these were built and on the board I used a grass tip and piped all the grass onto the top of the "knoll" and all over the board. This further braced the shelters.
Now to add the birds and a slingshot. I used plain white fondant with a bit of tylose added in to make the slingshot. I just moulded it by hand so it wouldn't have a smooth look to it. Then I used a fondant detail tool to carve the wood lines into the fondant while it was still fairly soft. Since I needed it to stand up to dry (laying it flat would mean one side would be flat) I inserted a skewer into the handle of the slingshot and then curved floral wire and inserted a piece in each side of the top prongs. I then took a small bottle filled with sugar and stuck the skewer into that and let it dry overnight. Then I started painting with brown gel color and vodka to create the wood look. This took several coats to get the right look. The trick is not to make the coats look even. You want a finish that is all different tones of brown. Pay attention to the lines as well when you are painting since real wood would be darker inside those lines. This took two days since the "paint" has to dry between coats.
One last tip on the slingshot. The handle was made longer than it needed to be in order to look real. This was so it could be inserted down INTO the cake and have the cake to brace it so it could stand up without toppling over. I trimmed the skewer and then a good two inches of painted slingshot were down into the cake. It never moved during the delivery!
I used toothpick pieces inserted into the end of the licorice whips and then into the handle of the slingshot after painting and then used a bit of bent floral wire to hold it down into the cake. I covered that with the "pouch" of black fondant then used frosting to "glue" the bird into the pouch.
The birds and pigs were either set into frosting or glued on with melted chocolate so that they wouldn't go rolling off of the shelters. They were very solid on the cake and on the shelters this way.
The last touches were piping the yellow wording on and adding a candle for the Birthday Boy to make a wish upon. The cake itself was lemon with vanilla buttercream...his favorite!
The Birthday Boy with his Birthday Pizza. He had a really really good time at his party!
Next week is an early Mother's Day cake! Can't wait to share it with you!