This past weekend was my 1-year-olds birthday party, and I had picked out a pan for his birthday cake around six months ago. I had done a monkey cake pan for my first son, and wanted to stick with a similar theme for the second, so I had picked out an elephant cake pan. Well, when it had come to make the cake, I decided to try two other things as well.
First, I was going to try working with fondant for the first time. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of fondant, as I think it often doesn’t add much to a cake besides providing a smoother finish. However, I have another project coming down the pipeline where I’ve been asked to use fondant, so I thought I’d at least try it out first.
Second, I wanted to make a regular yellow cake recipe, just to keep things easy, but I wanted it to be more fun. So, after I mixed the batter, I decided to split it up into 4 bowls and color it.
I then added it to the cake pan, one at a time right into the middle, and shaking them even a little bit with each layer.
After baking, it looks a little funny as a blue cake, but you can see some of the other colors poking through while it was cooking before I got a chance to level out the back.
After the cake was fully cooled, I went to work on the decorations.
I first made up a batch of my basic buttercream frosting, and applied a thin layer over the cake to help the fondant stick when applied.
I then rolled out my fondant with a fondant rolling pin, and then flopped it over on the cake. I then smoothed it to the contours of the cake with the back of a spoon, and then trimmed the edges at the bottom of the cake.
Once the cake was covered, it was time to break out the coloring for the remainder of my buttercream and the piping kit to do the decorations. Here is a shot of my work in progress:
And finally, the finished product…
…which was adorable on it’s own, but there was an audible “WOW” when the cake was cut and served.
All in all, it turned our pretty awesome. And it was really pretty easy to do (even if it did require a little extra clean-up), and well worth it the extra little effort in the end. Everyone enjoyed it, and we barely had any left when all was set and done.
The only thing I’d make sure to change next time would be to roll out the fondant a bit thinner. I used the medium rings on the rolling pin, and it was easy to handle, but it was a tad thick for the cake. So, either stick to the really thin fondant (maybe trying the Fondarific as suggested by Jen at Cake Wrecks in her twitter feed), or just stick with the buttercream.