Thursday, 4 April 2013

Little Mermaid birthday cake

So once the invitations for my daughter's 5th birthday party were made and delivered, I turned my attention to what I think is one of the most important parts of a birthday party - the cake! Those who know me know that I enjoy decorating cakes, and over the last 5 years I've been able to develop my craft a bit with my kids' birthday cakes. Over the last few years I have made a butterfly, a teddy bear, a lady bug, a fairy garden, a chocolate present, and some number 1 shaped cakes. One day I will post some pics of them.

After some more time searching Google Images and various cake supplies store websites, I decided to do an ocean-scene cake topped with an Ariel figurine inside a clam shell. I couldn't find an Ariel figurine in a clam shell to buy so instead I bought the Ariel figurine and made the clamshell out of fondant (gum paste). I then made some little fish, seaweed, coral, two cute seahorses, a star fish, some pearls and a little octopus. I was inspired by this beautiful cake as well as some similar ones, but made some modifications for my end design.

I also wanted the inside of the cake to be a bit different, and after seeing a tutorial on Facebook by Rosie Cake-Diva, I decided to do a pink heart-shaped centre. You can see a picture of the end result a bit further down this post.
Here is a pic of the pink heart cut out before it went into the cake:
And here's a photo of the inside of the cake. The hearts were placed upside down on a layer of cake batter before being covered with the rest of the cake batter:

The night before the birthday party, I prepared myself for a few long hours of getting the cake decorated. In the past it has taken me a long time to get the icing even and smooth on my cakes. I had already baked the cake earlier that day, complete with pink hearts inside, so I made the butter cream icing and set to work. To my complete surprise, I managed to cover the entire cake in icing within about 5 minutes - this is the fastest I've ever done it, and I'm not sure if its because I used a round cake (as opposed to a square cake or odd-shaped cake as I have done in the past) or whether I'm just getting better at it with a bit more practice under my belt. And if I do say so myself, it was pretty neat, with only a few minor blemishes which would soon be covered by the decorations.

With a little bit of help from my husband, who is very arty and has a good eye for balance and placement, I added the fondant decorations and in less than 30 minutes my cake went from nothing to this:

The Ariel figurine and clam shell couldn't go on until we were at the park for the party as they wouldn't have fit under the lid of the cake carrier. You can see a pic of the finished cake a bit further down. For now though, here are some close-ups of the fondant critters I made:




And this is the finished cake just before it was eaten:

And now for the big reveal of the hidden hearts. Until I cut the cake I had no idea how it would look inside, but I was pretty happy with this for my first attempt:
I also made some other food for the party to continue the ocean theme ...
Jelly cups with white chocolate shells or starfish

and apricot and white chocolate fish
Plus I also made some choc-coated banana pops:
The end result was a colourful and yummy table of food:

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