Saturday, April 2, 2011

1 Cake, 2 Cake, White Cake, Blue Cake

My friend Beth approached me a few months ago asking for some cake advice. She was throwing a Dr. Suess party for her soon-to-be 2-year old daughter, Jillian. She wanted to create a Cat in the Hat HAT in cake form. I gave her some well-thought out advice, or at least I told her what I would do if I were making the cake.

Then the call came. Beth asked ME to make the cake for her daughter's party. She is one busy Mama with 3 kids four years and younger. Plus, she works. When on EARTH would she have time to make the cake? she called me and I was more than happy to help out!

The good news is that I already had the design done. But you know something? I wanted to do something different. Just the Cat's hat wasn't enough. I wanted to do more and thought that this may be the perfect opportunity for me to attempt a topsy-turvy cake. I'd always wanted to try. A big risk, mind you, having never done one before, but Beth had to approve anyway.

So I asked her if we could scrap the hat idea and if I could try the topsy turvy cake. I explained that I'd like to incorporate more of The Cat in the Hat story and bring in Thing 1 and Thing 2, the goldfish and kites. Beth was excited by this an also asked me to incorporate "Happy Birthday Jillian", the number 2, the actual Cat in the Hat(because that was Jillian's favorite Dr. Suess character), and have it match the outfit Jillian was going to wear the day of her party.

She attached a picture of Jillian's dress. Isn't it the cutest?!!!

I took a few hours and created the characters from gum paste. Here's what they looked like when I was [almost] done. (All of the marking, by the way, is done with a food marker. Edible. Very important!)

Then, it was time to bake the cakes. For the bottom tier, Beth wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling. The top tier she wanted marble cake with bavarian cream filling. Well, the bottom tier went together without a problem. It was awesome. I baked three 10-inch cakes and filled and stacked them, and then did the carving, crumb-coating and covered it in fondant. No problem whatsoever. Life was good.

Then, the marble cake disaster occured. The cake itself was too moist and crumbly and it quite literally disintegrated when I attempted to put it together. Marble cake was not going to be an option. So, I baked some yellow cakes instead. Those went together MUCH better. The topsy turvy cakes need to be firm, dense cakes, and the yellow cake worked out MUCH better than the marble. It started to collapse in the fridge, but I was able to fix it, cover it in fondant and move on with the rest of the decorating.

Because this cake had to travel a good 45 minutes, I wanted to make sure that it would travel well. So, the top tier of the cake, the Cat himself, I made out of molded Rice Krispie treats covered in buttercream and fondant. That made the cake a little lighter and I was able to sculpt it much easier. So, when you put it all together, this is what Jillian's cake looked like:

I cut out the letters in gum paste using a Dr. Suess font I printed out.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 are running in opposite directions on the cake, dragging kites behind them. The poor fish...all stressed out.

Because Jillian's dress had the infamous word "BUMP!" on it, I also wanted to include that on the cake. I found the perfect spot!

My favorite part of this cake was the drop-off. Beth is a teacher at a school a few miles away from where I live. She figured it would be easier for the two of us if I just brought the cake to her school and she would drive it home. So, as a special treat for her class, she had all of her students come out to the front of the school to see the cake. How fun!

Here's 2-year old Jillian with her cake! LOVE IT!!!

I understand that Beth was serving Green Eggs and Ham among other "Suessical" things at Jillian's party today. I sure hope they had a fantastic time! I'm so sorry I missed it! Happy 2nd Birthday Jillian!!! I'm so happy I got to be a part of your special day!


  1. Amazing job, Sis. Whimsical and certainly Suessical.

  2. Can't tell you enough how perfect this cake was! Adults and kids alike enjoyed looking at and eating the cake. Jillian chose to eat Cat's head...very fitting I must say :) The kids also LOVED eating the fondant balls. Can we start planning Jameson's cake????!!!!??? Your talent amazing me!

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