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Ingredient: oz. powdered sugar

Building Block Baby Shower Cakes

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by one of my son’s former daycare teachers to make cakes for his current teacher’s baby shower, which was this past weekend.  They wanted me to make a cake similar to this Martha Stewart idea.  Never one to pass up a challenge, I accepted.  In fact, this is why I initially created my son’s first birthday cake using pre-packaged fondant, as I had never worked with fondant before. The only problem with that initial fondant experience is that I hate the taste of standard fondant, which can probably be most closely compared to already-chewed bubble gum.  So, as I was searching for tastier pre-packaged alternatives, my wife found a “recipe” for marshmallow fondant on pinterest, and I decided to give that a shot. Since that recipe page didn’t give exact measurements for the fondant recipe, here is what I used to make a lemon-flavored fondant for my baby shower cakes:

Building Block Baby Shower Cakes
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An adaptation of a recipe found here:
Building Block Baby Shower Cakes
Print Recipe
An adaptation of a recipe found here:
  1. Toss marshmallows with lemon extract and water.
  2. Microwave in 10-30 second intervals until marshmallows melt and are easily stirred.
  3. Add food coloring as needed.
  4. Fold in 3/4 of the powdered sugar in with marshmallow mixture.
  5. Knead in remaining powdered sugar until fondant is slightly tacky, but not dry or sticky. Use more powdered sugar if too sticky, or knead in butter if too dry.
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If you need to store the fondant, the Clockwork Lemon blog suggests that they be wrapped in greased plastic wrap and stored in a large ziplock storage bag.  I used the fondant the same evening I made it, so I just used a little plastic wrap to keep if from drying out as I made several batches to make different colors. For the actual cakes, I used my standard yellow cake mix, but doubled and baked in a large cake pan so I could get block-looking shapes.  I then cut them into 2.5″x2.5″ squares as Martha suggested, dirty frosted them with some buttercream frosting, and then placed on the fondant. Lastly, instead of creating royal icing (which I found as an odd choice for a baby shower cake or a first birthday cake, as the site suggested using it for, since as their royal icing recipe points out: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised.), I used the remainder of my buttercream and colored it to decorate the blocks. After much work, these were the results:

Last 12 Months - 0372

Last 12 Months - 0371

Last 12 Months - 0374

Yes, she’s having a little girl. And yes, I have yet to earn my Master Piping certification, especially when it comes to free-hand drawing, though my wife did have fun asking me what everything was on the way over to drop them off.  Yes, the one started out as a moon, but it didn’t look right and “evolved” into a cloud and snowflakes (which is appropriate because it was snowing for the shower, OK?).  Oh, and lightning bolts are indeed girly.  I thought everyone knew that. Anyway, I’m my own harshest critic, and I know I have some practice to do to make myself a better decorator, but I didn’t think they turned out too badly.  Besides, they tasted amazing…or at least I’ve been told since I neglected to keep a sample for myself.  I’ll just assume that they were right, because I’d hate to think that they weren’t great with all the effort I put into them! So, it was fun, and very challenging.  Definitely something I’ll need to work on to improve my skills for the next time I attempt something similar. But I’ll leave this post with a challenge for you:  Can you name what all of my little drawings are supposed to be???