My little girl is having a birthday party this weekend and has invited over a number of her friends to celebrate. I love throwing kids parties, well any parties, and the pinnacle of any birthday party is the cake.
Over the years I have made a number of interesting, time consuming and ultimately delicious cakes including a Choc Caramel Dora the Explorer and a 7 tier Castle complete with chocolate door and windows.
Decorating cakes is not something I am particularly good at, due to the fact that I lack patience and the ability to make things neat and perfect. But making kids cakes is something I love doing as they don't really cake about the little details (like the chunk taken out of Dora's chin) it's all about the cake on the whole, knowing that someone put a lot of love into something for them and the 'oh my god I get to EAT this' factor.
I let my kids choose their cake design and we usually spend a few weeks and a fair bit of consultation coming to the final decision. This year, my daughter decided she wanted a Super Sparkly Rainbow Butterfly Cake. Together, we picked colours, designed a pattern and created a plan.
Firstly, I decided to make the cake a rainbow cake; to match the beautiful sparkly rainbow wings. I bought six Wilton Gel Colours, 4 packet cake mixes and went crazy. I usually use packet mixes for kids cakes as kids are more interested in the look and the icing. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show the yellow or red too well, but they're there! Next I cut out a butterfly, using a template I made with baking paper. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of this.
Next, I made a white butter cream icing and did a 'crumb coat'. This is something my good friend at Project Cake taught me and is a thin coat of icing to fill gaps, set crumbs and create a smooth surface to work on. I used about 1/5 of the icing during the crumb coat, then spread the remaining icing over the top and sides in a smooth, even layer...well, almost. Then, using icing pens, I drew the outline of the pattern my daughter and I created.
My idea was to use sanding sugars for the wings to give them a shimmering look and chocolate sprinkles for the body to accentuate the sparkliness of the wings. Starting from the inside and working out, I used a few dozen mini patty cases and a fair few more skewers.
A few years ago, I read a trick for putting pepper into a pepper grinder without spilling it everywhere. The suggestion was to use a patty case. It works a treat, so I thought it would also be a good way to spread chocolate sprinkles and sanding sugar over a cake while staying in between the set outlines. After sprinkling the sugar I used the skewers to gently push the sugar all the way to the edges of each shape.
Lastly, I carefully shaded the wings in blue. After drawing some antennae and 2.5 hours, the Super Sparkly Rainbow Butterfly Cake was complete. I'm really happy with how it turned out! It's just what I pictured and I was not sure I was going to be able to pull it off.