Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Flower Pot Cake For Garden Themed Birthday

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I wanted to do something special for my daughter's first birthday. I decided that I would make a potted plant cake. 

I knew what I wanted to do, but had no idea where to begin, or how it would work out. That didn't stop me though, I just started putting all the elements together and 'problem solved' as I went along. I should probably point out, I didn't even know what fondant was called when I made this. I just referred to it as... 'that white icing you can roll out, like they use on lots of wedding cakes'. 
I was gobsmacked when some guests couldn't find the cake on the table. They kept trying to look behind the flower pot...
1st Birthday Cake
While sugar flowers can look AMAZING, I have no idea how to make them (I will learn one day). Fresh flowers seem to make a regular appearance on wedding cakes, so why not on a birthday cake? I found these gorgeous orange double gerberas that had a bit of shine to them. Mixing them with some greenery really finished off the arrangement and wrapping the whole thing with floral tape held them nicely in place. 
Once the cake is made you can just push them into the center of the cake and the cake holds them securely in place. There is no need to cut a hole or anything. Just make sure there is enough stem on the flowers to reach the bottom of the cake.
The 'pot' was made from a single chocolate mud cake. I didn't use any filling layers as the cake is very yummy and moist on its own and I was scared it would move or be unstable. I put double the mix into the cake tin. To ensure the tin was high enough for the extra mix, I lined it with baking paper, so the paper was double the height of the tin. I used two layers of baking paper for a bit of extra strength.
The 'pot' was going to just be covered in fondant. However, I realised that the crumbs falling from the cake as I carved away, looked like dirt! What a great find. Once I put the flowers in and sprinkled some 'dirt' on top of the pot, it made the whole thing look much more real.

As we cut into the cake, it started to look a lot like a broken pot, with all the dirt falling out. This is definitely one of my all time favorites!

Fondant can be very forgiving. If you get any tears or holes when covering a cake, you can patch it up with some more fondant of the same colour and rub the edges until it joins together. The thicker it is the better this works. Patching won't look as smooth as getting the fondant on all in one piece, but you can always arrange the cake so that the patch ends up at the back or hidden by a decoration (eg one of the leaves could be hanging down in front of the pot hiding a mark in the fondant).
You can also 'patch' it by cutting a feature shape out of a contrasting colour and sticking it over the top.

I wish I took more pictures of the process to share with you. If you want to ask me any questions about how I made this cake, I will do my best to answer them for you.

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