Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Woodland Owl Birthday Cake

Sweet Kaeley is one of the only kids I still make a birthday cake for these days.  Her mom is a vendor and sends me lots of business, so it is pretty cheap pay for an unofficial outside sales person.  This year's party was at the Chattanooga Nature Center in their "Tree House" and they were having a real owl come to the party.  Birthday parties were not that cool when I was a kid.....jealous ,  I am.

I love it when  I'm given a few parameters and let to go.  A "fairy, owl, woodland, princess theme" is what I was told.  I didn't want to use "traditional" forest colors, so I went with a silver bark bottom tier, purple owls and mushrooms and bright green leaves!  That's the kind of world I want to live it!   I finally got to use a tree bark impression mat that I just love.  I 'm sorry to say, they don't make it anymore :(

My "lesson" on this cake is to tell you about over building or cake insurance.  When you have any type of heavy fondant figure or item, like my owls, put a wooden skewers up the middle with plenty of skewer to go into the cake.  All my mushrooms and letters/circles have thick floral wire in them.  For the cake support there are big straws in the 11" tree trunk to hold up the top tier.  It was only two layers. The 7" tier was four layers with a cardboard cake board under the bottom two layers and one under the top two tiers.  There are also fat straws supports in the bottom two tiers to hold up the top two.  I used four skewers through all those layer to keep the tier straight and stable.  After I stacked them, I ran a sharpened master dowel through the whole cake.  I never let  a cake out the door without a center dowel.  It's a great insurance policy in itself.  When you drive up a mountain to deliver a cake, nothing is going to move if you build yours in this way.

Unfortunately there are times when all your over building can't stop a bigger problem.  As is the norm, I was carrying the cake to the customers car.  I have four steps to go down as you leave my shop.  I was watching Kaeley and her mom and lost count of how many steps I had already taken.  As I took the last step I realized there was still another step.  I went SMACK on the concrete and so did the cake.   As stupid as I felt, I was more worried about poor Kaeley because she was looking at me with a look of horror.  The first thing she said was "Are you OK?" and then "Is my cake ruined?"  Oh, I hurt but I wasn't going to let her know that.  I said "It's OK, I can fix it.  You are just going to have to stay a little while longer".  She was happy because I have a pink kitchen and edible glitter :)  I gave her and her Mom some fondant and said "help me by making a few butterflies".  That was good because it's hard to work when everyone is looking at you and thinking "How is she going to fix that?" 

I'm truly lucky that I caught the top tier so it didn't land on the ground and because the cake was super cold.  Since my buttercream is all real butter, it's get really hard in the cooler.  That is great for traveling with any cakes.  It took me about 20 minutes to fix the cake, but it felt like two hours.  I am also grateful that the customer was a fellow vendor and she has seen a lot go wrong during wedding set ups and is cool as a cucumber.  She was much more worried about me than the cake which I so appreciate.  I was too busy being embarrassed.  At the end I told Kaeley that the fixed cake has lost all it's glitter and I needed help to get it sparkly again.  She was a big help!   I think all the after boo boo glitter really helped!  (The smaller picture is the "after".  Take my word for it, there was a lot of glitter!"

Kaeley and the "After" Photo!


  1. This so so cute! I love all the girl owl themed stuff that is trendy now!

  2. I love this cake and how you put her name. Nice save!


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