Wednesday, March 13, 2013

African Animal Baby Shower Cake

I have many friends in the zookeeping world, so maybe it's not too odd that a couple weeks ago someone said to me, "Hey, could you make an aardvark baby cake? Maybe one where the mom is holding a baby but the baby head is an aardvark?"

Yes. I could.

I had a lot of angst preparing for this cake because I was trying a lot of new things. I'd never made a stacked cake, covered a cake in fondant (except to make it look like a tablecloth, as in the tea set cake), made figures out of fondant or painted on a cake. Sooo...there were a lot of ways this cake could have gone wrong!

Fortunately, the cake turned out like this:

My largest challenge was actually covering the cake in fondant. I didn't have a rolling pin, which made rolling it out quite a chore. I used a drinking glass. The fondant got all bunchy along the sides of the cake, but I don't know if it was because I didn't roll the fondant into a big enough piece or didn't roll it flat enough...In any case, painting the cake covered HUGE errors.

Here's an embarrassing photo of the covered cake as I'm starting to paint.

It's also clear that the stacked cake is not exactly level; this, too, seemed to be somewhat remedied by adding the figure and paint.

I used food coloring gel and water to paint the whole cake and then used some icing for the clouds.

It is supposed to be a progression of day into night going from the bottom to the top, but I'm not sure if that idea comes across.

I worked on the fondant figures ahead of time so they would be dry in time for the baby shower and they were pretty fun to make. I used animals from the mom-to-be's nursery mural, which has an Africa theme. The animals on the mural are: an aardvark, a hornbill, a hedgehog, a serval and straw-colored fruit bats. The aardvark is on top of the cake with the figure of the mom.

She looks like this without the aardvark. I made them separately and stuck them together at the last minute.

The fondant white-bellied hedgehog and hornbill looked like this:

The straw-colored fruit bat is there too; I also made her from fondant, but instead of sitting her next to the cake or suspending her, I just made her very small and adhered her to the side so she can "hang" from the tree.

The serval was tricky because I had no fondant of a color that would work and had to paint white fondant and use an edible marker for the details.

And the final product, displayed here at the baby shower, ended up looking pretty good!

I enjoyed the painting part--it was like watercoloring! But it would help to know how to do water color... And I'm definitely going to have to do some research on improving my fondant covering skills. Youtube, here I come!

1 comment:

  1. At least you tried....The finished cake looks good!!!