I had some cake pieces, frosting and fondant leftover after the T-Rex cake last week. We ate some of them just on their own, but the rest I decided to make into little treats to celebrate a couple birthdays in the daycare.
I crumbled what cake was left, mixed it with what frosting was left, and shaped them into bite sized cubes – about the size of a two-bite brownie. Then I rolled out some fondant and wrapped each one, hoping to make them look like little presents. The fondant was a bit bulky on the side folds, but I wasn’t going for perfection here, I mostly just wanted to use everything up.
I cut out some flower shapes for a decorative topper and stuck them on with some ‘meringue powder glue.’ They remind me of a less refined petit four – a cute little bite of dense cake with a yummy, decorative coating. A new variation of the popular cake-pop, perhaps?
Well, here it is, as promised. There was great excitement at the birthday party over the weekend as the much-anticipated T-Rex was unveiled. It took awhile to think through just how I was going to do it, but as the brainwaves circulated, one idea led to another, and I think what I ended up doing worked really well.
After doing some image searches for T-Rex cakes I was originally going to try making a head and claws coming out of the top of a cake, but as I narrowed down my method I decided to do a whole dino.
After considering a few options, I went for a cake pop style. You remember cake pops? (click here for a refresher) Crumbled cake mixed with frosting, shaped into balls and dipped in candy coating. But instead of shaping it into balls, I molded it into a T-Rex; and instead of candy coating, I made fondant. I formed the dino on top of parchment paper so that it would be easy to get off when I needed to transfer it onto the cake. I put it in the fridge to chill so that it wouldn’t get squished when I put the fondant overtop. It all worked really well, although the fondant looked a bit rough around the bottom edges where it had to get tucked into tight places (mouth, arms and legs).
I made a regular cake for the base, frosted it with chocolate frosting, laid the finished T-Rex on top, and surrounded it with those little chocolate stones. There was A LOT of chocolate in this cake! I was pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think the birthday boy was too!
For my dad’s birthday this year I decided to make him a cake that would look like a kayak, representing one of his pastimes. I have some oval cake pans that I thought would be good to use, and could easily trim down to a boat shape without too much waste. And then I thought, I could just use that ‘waste’ to make into little kayak cake pops, fulfilling a wish I had ages ago of trying to make cake pops from scratch.
I made two vanilla hot milk cakes, and cut out a kayak shape from each. Then I crumbled the trimmed bits, made some buttercream frosting and squished it all together. I found the cake a bit harder to crumble than a boxed cake, but once the frosting was in, it formed a dough just as pliable as the ones I’d made before. I shaped several little kayaks, using my thumb to imprint a seat shape, and chilled them before adding the sticks. I had a bag of green candy melts for coating them, and discovered that, yet again, with another colour coating I had another different consistency to deal with. The green was very thick; so thick that I wasn’t actually able to dip the pops. I had to spread the coating on with a mini palette knife, and they ended up not looking as nice as I had hoped. But the taste was still good.
As for the main cakes, I made some buttercream, colouring half yellow and half green to reflect the colours of Dad’s and Mom’s kayaks, and iced the two boats. I made a marzipan figure to look like each of them and sat them in their respective kayaks – which I was quickly informed were backwards when I arrived at the party; Dad’s is green and Mom’s yellow, so I just switched the figures before presenting them. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make any natural colourings for this project, but it’s still fun to be creative with the supplies I already have on hand.
I recently participated in a cake-pop workshop. I must admit, when I first heard about cake-pops from a friend last year I thought they sounded disgusting, and looked like way too much work for such a small treat. But, as someone interested in baking, I thought I should at least try them since they seem to be all the rage right now. I was definitely surprised! Who would have thought crumbled cake mixed with icing and dipped in candy coating could be so good? It is definitely a sugar rush, but because they are bite-size, it seems to be just the right amount.
At the workshop the base of the pops were pre-made by the instructor, so we just got to decorate. She didn’t have any specific instruction on decorating, but she had lots of different candies, sprinkles and treats to choose from, as well as several shades of candy coating. I think it would have been helpful to get a design demonstration at the beginning, and then let people’s creative juices flow, but it’s fun to learn by trial and error too. Continue reading “Cake-Pop Skeptic”→