My favorite cake EVER!!

I was also commissioned to make the cake for the halloween themed baby shower I made the invites for. The mom and I searched for a while for the right cake and we found this one on Pinterest. Here are step by step pics and instructions (as best as I can do).
What do you need?
– 4 cake mixes (eggs, water, oil per mix requirements)
– Filling for between layers
– Small paring knife for carving cake
– Buttercream icing
– Fondant (whatever colors you want)
– Ribbon
– Deco piece/flower for embellishment of ribbon
– Exacto or craft knife- VERY SHARP
– Sheet cake pan
– Large bowl shape pan/metal bowl
– Small bowl shaped pan/metal mixing bowls
I own these and these, so I used those instead of metal mixing bowls for the belly and breasts.
Pick your cake flavors and fillers. Never rush into this choice and make sure you have it ALL on hand before starting! I used 1 cake mix for the round belly, 2 mixes for the flat base, and 1 more mix for the breasts, so 4 mixes in all. I also used strawberry filling for between the layers.  Bake cakes according to box instructions. I always add a pudding mix into the cake mix, even if it claims to already have one in it- it is better to be more moist than dry.
IMG_7865Once cakes are baked and cool, place sheet cake on your work surface and cover the bottoms of your “breasts” and “belly” with your filling and place “breasts” sde by side near top of cake, leaving a small–ish margin at the top for cutting. Gauge the distance between bottom of “breasts” and where you would place the top of the “belly” by just what looks natural to you. Mine is placed approximately 2 inches or so below the breasts. Once you are comfortable with the placement, carve the torso shape out of the base sheet cake.  You will carve the “sweetheart” neckline at the top to show the shape of the “breasts”, you will give the waist area some definition, and round out the bottom under the “belly”, leaving about a 2.5 to 3 inch margin around the bottom of the “belly”.
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Once this is done, get your buttercream ready to spread. It can be colored, especially if that is your top layer- plus flavor it to your liking. If you are not a fan of fondant, this is your top layer, so you would ice accordingly and then use the Viva method to smooth it.
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Now for the fondant- I can’t tell you exactly how much to use- You have to eyeball it and it may take a few tries, so don’t put the fondant directly on the buttercream until you know for sure that it is big enough. Roll out a good sized portion to cut a strip that is as tall as the base edge (should be about 2-3 inches) that will wrap around the entire circumference of the cake. Once that is done, roll out a piece that will be large enough to cover the “breasts” and carefully drape over them and manipulate to the shape so that it molds to them and drapes like a real top.
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The reason I do the “breasts” and the “belly” fondant separately is that it would have to be a huuuge piece and I don’t want to risk tearing that big of a rolled out sheet and getting bare spots.  I used to only use Satin Ice brand fondant and color and flavor it myself, but the last few years have seen Wilton step up their game with their fondant and it’s quality and flavor, so if I need rich colors I buy the pre-colored Wilton brand. This purple would have taken soo long to make on my own- the Wilton was the best option and it tasted great.  Once you get the “belly” covered, making sure to roll a piece out big enought to leave a “skirt” around the belly, draping naturally, cut off any major excess, making sure that the edge is natural looking and not a straight line.
IMG_7874The whole cake should be covered by fondant at this point. There may be a small gap between the “breasts” and the “belly” but that is O, as it will be covered by the ribbon accent.  I used a 3 inch wide ribbon that I believe I bought at Hobby Lobby on clearance several years ago. It was originally sold as Mardi Gras deco. It had a metallic green snake skin type of pattern on it and was wired in the edges. It was the perfect touch for this Halloween themed cake! The large purple daisy was a floral clip from Michael’s.
So…here’s the hard part. The baby skeleton. I dreaded this part for weeks. I finally conquered it, though. The way I handled this part was convoluted, but it worked. If you can figure a better way, please teach me!! I enlarged the image of the cake I had seen to the best size for me and printed just the skeleton. I used a ball point clay shaper/fondant tool and placed the printed paper on top of white fondant I had rolled out to about 1/8 inch thickness.  I traced the image over the paper, applying just the right amount of pressure to imprint the outline on the fondant but not so hard as to tear the paper- it was tedious and delicate work. That probably took more time that any of the other fondant work. Once I got the skeleton traced I let it sit for a few minutes to dry out for easier cutting. Using the Exacto knife I carefully followed the imprint from the tracing and cut the pieces of the skeleton out and out them aside to dry further. I actually cut this out about 3 days before I made the cake to make sure it would be good and firm when I was working with it.
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Once it was all dry and firm and the cake was done I attached the pieces using a small paint brush and vodka.  I added the ribbon with a small ball of pink fondant. Just make 2 triangles and soften them and add a small flattened ball in the middle, adding details to suit.
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And here it is- fully finished!
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This one wore me out and was a lot of detail work!!
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