I know that my last post was about a cake and while I hate to give the impression that it's all-cake-all-the-time here at `a casarella, I have to do another cake post. (Right. Now.)
I must admit, I'm kinda proud of this one. Anyone with an ounce of cake-decorating know-how is going to see it for the amateur effort that it is, but I'm going to ask that those people humor me.
You see, what my seven (soon-to-be-eight) year old wanted more than anything else for her birthday party this year was a sleepover. After watching her older sister host countless sleepovers and attend countless more, she decided she was ready.
After I agreed to her request, she went into "planning mode." My girls looove to plan themselves a party. In years past this meant poring over the Party City and Oriental Trading catalogs. Now however, they've turned to Pinterest. (They are their mother's daughters, after all.) The result was this board which my daughter populated with pins. Now obviously she wasn't going to get everything on her virtual wish list, but one thing that she really fought for was a cake based on this. (The source can be found here.)
To be honest with you, I was pretty certain that this little project would end in disaster. I even had a backup cake picked out at the store just in case. For these reasons I decided not to document the process for a tutorial. That's a decision I now regret.
At the very least I need to share some pictures with you, along with a brief description of how I did it.
|I hate to toot my own horn but isn't it cute?!|
First I need to say that there's something freeing about thinking you're going to fail. Somehow it gives you permission to go for it (and not worry about perfection, which can be an issue for me).
So here's what I did:
First I made a yellow cake in a 9x13 inch pan. I used this recipe from Bakerella. I skipped the step with the sugar water but I'm filing that idea away for the next time I make a layer cake.
After letting it cool overnight, I frosted it with vanilla frosting. (I used the boxed frosting mix from Trader Joe's which was pretty tasty considering it came from a box. Obviously you can use whatever cake recipe and frosting you'd like.)
Then I put five Twinkies in the center of the cake to make the bodies. (Upon unwrapping them my daughters announced, "We've never had a Twinkie before!" That's when I started writing my Mother-of-the-Year Speech. I stopped after browsing this blog and counting the number of sweets I've featured in the last six months.)
Now, the maker of my inspiration cake dyed her own fondant. And I'd like to congratulate her on her ambition. In the interest of my sanity, however, I chose to buy colored fondant at Michael's. I'm sure it doesn't taste as good as the homemade, hand-dyed stuff, but there's something to be said for having a sane mom running the house... Plus they have a whole "skin & hair color" fondant kit at Michael's and I thought that was kind of nifty.
So I made the heads out of some of the pinkish skin tone by rolling it into a ball. (Technical, I know.) My daughters, who decided the girls should be awake in bed--which, now that I think about it, was a lot like the actual sleepover--were on "smile and eye" duty. They took black fondant and made tiny spheres for the eyes and little "sticks" for the mouths.
Hair was my biggest concern. I warned my daughter that they might all end up bald. She was cool with that, and that made me relax a little. Basically I took a little piece of fondant (three yellow and two brown to reflect the actual attendees), mushed it on top of each head, and kind of played with it until it resembled hair. Am I blowing your mind with my precision and technical know-how?
The comforter is a big piece of pink fondant rolled out flat. My girls made the flowers using flower-shaped fondant cutters in different sizes. I basically just draped it over the pan.
The pillows are jumbo marshmallows cut in half so they would lay flat on the bottom. The heads wouldn't quite stay on top of the marshmallows so they're resting right in front of them.
And that's pretty much it. The end result is deceiving because it really wasn't that hard to do. (That seems to be a theme around here.) And, like the raspberry cake I wrote about last week, this one also got rave reviews. I think my daughter thanked me about a hundred times which, in the end, was all that mattered.