Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ladybug Birthday

Mam decreed that this year would be a ladybug year for her birthday. Well, O.K., I thought. I had visions of an oval-shaped cake that I could decorate as a ladybug. That's a lot of red stuff. It's hard to color things red. It takes a lot of coloring. It took a long time for my vision of this cake to finally take shape. As always, it had humble beginnings.This was a white cake with strawberry filling...as requested. Naturally, upon actually tasting it, Mam decided that she doesn't like strawberry filling. Such are the whims of a 7-year-old.I wasn't so sure what color I wanted this cake to be either. I wanted it to be bright and cheerful. Ladybugs make me happy. I wanted this cake to have that same effect. After seeing Mam's rather extensive guest list, I also decided it needed two tiers.And now it was yellow. It wasn't quite the bright, cheerful yellow I'd been looking for, but I decided to go with it rather than doing anything rash, like making a whole new batch of fondant...because yeah, I make my own fondant and color it myself.I added grass. Lots of grass. As much grass as I thought I could add without turning it into a jungle cake. The grass is just rolled out fondant, cut with a pizza cutter. I added a leafy fondant border...because it just needed a border.I made daisies out of gum paste and let them dry so that they curved just so. I made ladybugs out of red fondant, rolled into egg shapes and cut in half...then added heads and spots with a FoodWriter pen.Last, but not least, of course, I had to add the flowers and the ladybugs to the cake. It was looking promising, but it was hard to know for sure until they were on.I always take a picture at this step because I'm so worried that I'll write on the top of the cake and that'll ruin everything. Honestly, the writing, while being elementary school perfect, turned out oddly centered. Fortunately, a few strategically placed daisies and ladybugs seemed to make up for it.I admit I was pretty proud of this one. It turned out every bit as cool as I'd envisioned. Mam loved what it looked like, even if she's refused to eat any of the leftovers. Of course, I don't want to be stuffing myself with them either. Maybe next year, I should just whip out the canned frosting and a box of cake mix!

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