Charlotte’s 3rd Birthday Cake

My little niece Charlotte turned 3 last week, and all summer I’ve been asking her what kind of cake she wants. The answer has included the following: Cookie Monster, Grover, Clifford, and “big greeney-blue cake”. I researched her first three choices at Bulk Barn, checking out the cake pans for rent after the Elmo success last year. Yeah, so that would be 0 for 3. Wilton makes a big dog cake pan, which I saw online that people used to make Clifford, but I didn’t see that one either. Big greeney-blue cake it is!

I used this recipe from Anna Olson, omitting the espresso powder as a precaution against hyping up under-5 set with even a trace of caffeine.  I just bumped it up by an additional 50% because I wanted three layers. I also used my standard Vanilla Buttercream Icing recipe, and my gel food colouring to get the right shade of greeney-blue. What can I say, she loves greeney-blue. Also, butterflies and flowers. You can see where this is going.

So I am normally pretty anti-fondant. Yes, it looks nice, but it doesn’t taste anywhere as near as good as a buttercream or ganache frosting, so why bother? But I wanted to decorate Charlotte’s cake with butterflies and flowers, and thought it might be a good time to experiment. Alexis alerted me to the fact that you can buy pre-coloured fondant at Michael’s, so using this as a guide, I started to make a plan. Usually I’m too excited when I start a crafting or baking project and I just jump right in, but I thought I would take Annie’s advice and actually make a little plan. I used a butterfly cookie cutter for the outline, and actually made little stencils out of construction paper for the butterfly wings, head, dots and body. The flowers are just a small cookie cutter and the bottom of an icing tip for the centre.  Overall, I think everything turned out alright, except perhaps I should have bought the ‘pastel’ package of fondant colours instead of ‘neon’.

Charlotte loved her cake and even ate the fondant – and after she finished her piece, she kept going around to everyone’s plates and sticking her finger in their icing. Too cute :)

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