Thursday, April 10, 2008

3D Fish Cake

Finding it easy to make the dinosaur cake for my daughter's birthday, I ventured into another project for a family members birthday. I was given a task of making some kind of fish cake, along the lines of a bass fish or fishing cake. Originally they had asked for a basic sheet cake with some sort of fishing theme related to bass fishing. I was able to come up with the bass fish itself looking at a picture of one and building the cake around that image. Using the same basic principles as the dinosaur cake I was able to move the cake sections around to the shape I wanted and used frosting to create the details of the fish. This one was a little more difficult to frost, and the pictures were taken before completed with all detail, but you can pretty much see the outcome. In the end, I had a lot of fun doing it, despite being up late that night and ending up with the full blown flu the next day, my family members got their cake on time!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Easy 3D cake

Making a 3D cake at home is not as difficult as it sounds. Using a regular boxed white cake mix, and making a few changes to the ingredients can give you a wonderful tasting and sturdy cake to mold into the shape of your choosing.

For my daughters 4th birthday, she wanted a dinosaur cake. I couldn't find a suitable dinosaur cake for a girl anywhere locally, and turned to the internet for inspiration to make the cake myself. I found several sites with detailed instructions and tips that were very helpful. I didn't want anything scary or extremely masculine for my little girl, so I decided on a baby dinosaur.

I sat down and drew out on paper the basic shape that I could start with, keeping in mind the shape would come from cut round or rectangle cake, since I didn't have any other shaped pans besides a small egg shaped pan. I then baked my cakes, starting with 3 round pans and a rectangle pan and using leftover batter in the egg shaped pans. Changing the indgredients up on the cake mix instructions, gave me a lighter, spongier cake that was much easier to cut and hold up to manipulating into different positions on the cake board without falling apart. This was as easy as leaving out the egg yolks and just adding 3 egg whites to the mix and I replaced the water with milk. I love the texture that this turns out, it is almost like angel food cake. Eating the cutouts while making the cake is a weakness.

After the cakes are totally cool, I cut 2 of the round cakes into halves. Taking 3 halves turn them up where the cut side is down on the board. I place 3 together to give fullness to the middle. I then cut the 3rd round in half and cut these into smaller halves. I used 2 of these for the head with cut side down and rounded side up. I decided to use the egg shapes for the legs. For the tail, I just cut a half moon shape from the rectangle cake. I placed all the shapes where I wanted them on the board. I moved them around until the shape was exactly what I wanted, then I used buttercream icing to stick them together and put a crumb coat on the cake.

The icing for the cake was simple buttercream icing colored with gel coloring. I used a #16 star tip and regular round tip for small detail. The icing is the most time consuming part of the process and you can get as detailed as you like.

The end result was a very happy little girl and a great cake to share with family and friends. This was loads of fun and including my little girl in to process made it a very special part of her birthday. I wonder what it will be next year?