as i mentioned in another post, july is a crazy birthday month. last saturday, i had the pleasure of making a smash cake for precious little (gigantic) greyson, my lovely friend erin's baby boy. erin created a cute circus themed birthday party for her lil' one year old man, and it was amazing! she asked for a chocolate cake with colorful dots. easy enough...
except that i am on a 'new kick' where i am trying to make more stuff from scratch. so the first thing i tried was fondant. i usually use the ready-made wilton stuff which is SO EASY to use, but it does not taste very good at all. so i found a recipe to make marshmallow fondant. it tasted good enough, but it was SO HARD to work with. so sticky. not easy to cut. not easy to form. basically, what's it good for then, right? ironcially, with my making things from scratch, i have bought more supplies so that i am free-handing less. strange.
anyhoo, erin's 'order' sounded so simple, but working with my new fondant was a pain in the butt. and i wanted to make a small, but not cupcake-small smash cake for greyson, so i used a meatloaf pan for the cake, cut the cake in half, and piled it up.it made for the perfect sized cake, but i should have cut the sides more to make smoother edges. and it didn't help that it was over 110 degrees here, and that i had to transport the cake to greyson's party. some of my dots were quite a few centimeters lower on the cake when we got there. it didn't look as pretty and polished as i had hoped up-close, but from afar, it looked ok. it probably looked the best smashed up on greyson's face though. he ate the whole thing up, so i am going to take that as a compliment from him :)
then today, we had a 'little' family party for my nephew corban. lindsay's been calling her little boy 'prince' because he likes what he likes and he really let's you know if there is something that he doesn't like. for instance, food. apparently he's a bit of a picky eater. and he doesn't like it when adults leave the room. and i feel like there's another reason she calls him prince, but i can't remember it right now. anyhoo, you can call him 'prince' or 'typical one year old.' 'prince' is kinda cuter. so we went with a prince-themed cake and cupcakes.
(the crowns on the cupcakes are made from melted white candy wafer-things that i bought at michael's, piped into crown-shapes, put in the fridge for 5 minutes to harden, and then they were ready to go. that was pretty easy.)
again, i had a vision for the cake and cupcakes, but using my new fondant that i hate to work with, made the process VERY VERY VERY annoying. and then i couldn't get the smash cake to cooperate with me while i was trying to ice it, so i legitamitely threw two cakes in the trash. fortunately they are pretty small cakes to begin with. i really wanted to have a fondant circle on top of the cupcakes, with a 'quilted' pattern, and then a crown or little dots on top. i thought i could roll out the fondant, cut circles, and place them on top. oh no. that would have been too easy. instead, i had to roll the fondant into a ball on my shortening-smothered hands, smoosh it ever so slightly, then place it on top of the cupcake, and then get my shortening-covered little rolling pin and roll the ball out to be a circle. if i could have taken video footage of the ridiculousness of the whole thing, i would have, but i didn't want to get shortening on my camcorder.
anyway, corban LOVED the icing (from betty crocker. so much for my trying-to-go-homemade stint) and got some in his hair, and on his face, but i think very little of the cake was actually consumed.
(ah, my beautiful nephew!!!! how i love this little guy.)
anyhoo, for all the hours and love and 'stress' (it's icing-a-cake stress, not i-can't-afford-to-feed-my-family stress) that went into these smash cakes, i had tons of fun, and i want to thank erin and lindsay for letting me and my sugar-offerings be a part of your sons' big days! love you guys!
and now i am thinking that maybe i should just make a little cardboard box cake-frame, and frost and decorate the heck out if, and that way it will look clean and crisp, and still do the job of overloading young children with way too much sugar. something to think about...