Sunday, December 9, 2012

 Happy Sunday! Today's cake is a very special one since it's for my Mom. Friday was her 71st birthday and we did go out and celebrate together but the family couldn't get together until today so I put a hold on the cake! We have a family gathering each year at this time and the "theme" this year is snowmen but instead of doing an average snowman cake I decided it would be much more fun to include the playful penguins!

The cake is Coconut cake with lemoncurd buttercream filling. The frosting is vanilla buttercream topped with white shimmery sanding sugar. This is the easy part of this cake. I just made the cake, filled it and then crumbcoated it as always. Since I wanted it to look like swirled snow I just, pretty much, slapped the buttercream onto the sides and top. But here is a little tip. I used a 1M tip in a bag filled with the frosting and did a swirl on top and a zig zag on the side. Then I used an offset spatula to swirl it. This mean that I had a more even amount of frosting to deal with when it came to texturing. After the swirling I just sprinkled on the sanding sugar around the bottom edge and on top. Keep in mind that sanding sugar IS gritty so you don't want too much of it on top of your cake. Go lightly at first and add a bit more here or there once the figures go on top.
And speaking of the figures! I have to say that making little figurines is one of the most fun things to do. It's like playing with edible clay. I, literally, take a blob of fondant and roll it around in my fingers till I get the shape I want and then use fondant tools and scissors to make the marks I want. 

I will tell you that the first time I did this I was totally intimidated. I really didn't think I would be able to make much of anything but blobs of fondant which didn't resemble anything. What I found is that it is ridiculously easy to make these little cartoon characters as well as being so much fun. 

For the penguins I made little oblong egg shaped balls of white fondant. Then I rolled out the black fondant, cut circles out with a round cutter and then rolled those out to an oblong shape as well and folded the black around the white. I then stuck half a tooth pick in the top and rolled a smaller black ball of fondant for the head and stuck that on top. Next came the wings. I rolled out little tiny egg shapes from the black fondant and then flattened them, pulling one end to a rounded point. Then I used water to adhere them to the body. At this point I positioned the wings and tips. The eyes are just little white flattened balls with smaller black flattened balls on top then stuck on with water. The beaks are cones of orange that I used scissors to cut apart. Some of the penguins are talking so the beaks are apart and some are not. The feet are just like the wings, egg shapes that have been flattened. I then used scissors to cut the tips and then pulled on the tips to make the claws. Brushing with water to hold the body and feet together was the last thing I needed to do to finish the penguins. You may notice that one of the penguins is on the snow hill on his belly. I just used folded up Press and Seal wrap to hold him at this angle while he dried. 

The snowmen are just white fondant. I was going to use white chocolate but found out that the white chocolate is actually more yellow and we all know we don't want yellow "snow". So I opted for fondant instead. Black fondant for coal and orange for the carrot nose. A strip of red with tassels cut into the ends made the two scarves and I just formed the hat and brims from black fondant pieces. One of the scarves I draped over the penguins wing while it was still soft and the other I curled up on the mat so I could drape it on a wing after it was dry and it would hold it's shape. 

I had originally thought to put an igloo on the cake but found that on this 8x3 inch cake there just wasn't any room. So I opted for a snow block wall instead. It is just a rectangle of white fondant that has had lines scored into it, gently curved and set on the cake then sprinkled with sugar. Some fondant "snow balls" that had been rolled in the sugar completed the cake. 

What is fun is that this cake would work for any age. In this instance it was for a Senior but I happen to know a little girl turning 2 this week who is having a penguin themed birthday party and this cake would fit right in! So Happy Birthday Mom and Lyla! Hope you both had SO much fun celebrating!


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