Friday, March 13, 2009

Teddy Bear Cake

I've made cakes in large quantities before, but nothing compared to this cake order. :) Last month, Ellen called me about making the cake for Baby J's first birthday. She had seen some of the fondant cakes I made and asked if I could make one for her baby boy. It's such an honor for me... I'm a novice at baking and even more with fondant, but to be given the opportunity to explore and learn, I am really grateful.

We spent some time discussing how the cake should look, the theme of the party, and the flavors of the cake. As we keep in mind that little children will be consuming the cake, we can't have any alcohol in the cake. So, tiramisu is out and so is black forest cake (my 2 favorite cakes). We also can't have cakes with caffeine, so coffee and mocha cakes are out too. Green tea is not quite good for little kids too, so it's out. *sigh* We finally settled on good old fashioned vanilla chocolate cake for the 8" round cake and chocolate vanilla cake for the half sheet cake.

In terms of design, Ellen wanted a teddy bear themed cake with blue as the background color. I think I managed to hit the high points in the request with this cake. :) The idea for the cake started with the desire to make a teddy bear birthday cake that is unique but at the same time, kid-friendly. I've seen a lot of teddy bear cakes and they are all cute and adorable, but I wanted to make one that's slightly different. So I thought of Care Bears (a cartoon I watched growing up) and I thought that bears sitting on a cloud would be cute. Alvin further expanded the idea to include rainbows with Baby J's name on it to make the cake merrier.

The half sheet cake was supposed to be a simple buttercream cake but as I'm in a fondant mood and the fact that I was running out of unsalted butter to make the second batch of IMBC, I decided to make this a fondant cake. However, this cake was a LOT of challenge for me.

First of all, the cake was huge. I've never had to cover a cake this size with fondant before and I had a lot of trouble trying to roll out the fondant quickly enough before the fondant dried out. I was also difficult to roll out even thickness of fondant for such a big cake. I also felt that I burned lots of calories just rolling out the fondant - this is good for me. :)

The original thought for this massive cake was to make it into a gift box for Baby J. I guess the creative mind was redirected to bees during the process. :p

There were times when I was feeling frustrated with the cakes because decorating cakes is really not my expertise. I can say that I am not a creative person. But a wise advise from Bertha for me was to take it easy and enjoy the process. :) I'm really thankful to have friends that encourages me! Thanks, Bertha!

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