Each cake is like a new adventure for me. I usually have weeks or even months advance warning about the cake and my subconscious is often thinking up ideas. Then when I have the picture in my head it is a big adventure getting that out in real life. The day or two before the cake is finished is the fight scene of the adventure, where I battle cake mixture, work, fondant, dermatitis, food colouring and tick tock…. time! I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! The climax is seeing the kids faces when they first see the cake.
A couple of months ago my niece Aimee rang to tell me about some exciting news (she’ll hit me but I can’t remember exactly what the news was – she has done so much already this year!). Then Aimee began to tell me about her birthday cake and how it was going to be Olaf (from Frozen) and how he is going to be holding a microphone with 1D (One Direction) on it! And that the cake is going to be rainbow coloured. Then I ask her in a serious voice “So who is making this Olaf Cake?” and she says in an extremely loud excited voice “YOU ARE!”. I just laughed, how can you argue with that! The story doesn’t stop there, a month later she was over visiting and she tells me how she saw these snowflake cutters and that I need to buy them for her cake because they are awesome! I must admit that since last Christmas I really wanted some snowflake cutters… so I was secretly pleased to have an excuse to buy them! Oh, and I was also very happy to finally be able to watch Frozen! I just hadn’t had the chance yet, but I had to find out what Olaf was all about
My sister let me know that Aimee’s birthday party was going to be held on Friday night and that Sean’s birthday party was going to be on the Sunday (I was happy with some time in between so it was less stressful!). I asked my sister what cake Sean would like and she said Adventure Time. I’m like what? So I Google Adventure Time and see this funny yellow dog and a boy/monster guy… My sister convinced me to watch a couple of episodes and said it was pretty good. So I taped (Do you still say taped! I guess the younger generations wouldn’t know what “taped” is! So I recorded…) some episodes on Foxtel in preparation.
The next time I saw Sean I asked him if there was any specific characters he wanted on his cake – especially after the specifics his sister gave me. He just shrugged and said “just Adventure Time“. However that day he was wearing a Jake beanie so that did give me some insight into who he liked! The last time I saw Sean before his birthday I asked him what flavour cake he wanted and he said fruit cake! I was so impressed! I know he has had my fruit cake when I have made my younger sister birthday cakes and also at Christmas last year, so he must have liked it! I also know that not too many people like fruit cake, so I was definitely not going to discourage him, but I suggested that I made a special layer just for him and a chocolate layer for his friends and he seemed happy with that!
I had the picture of the cakes in my mind and I was ready to make them and it wasn’t until I had baked some of the cakes did I start questioning the challenge I had set myself for the Olaf cake! I had Googled as per usual and found this great video on how to make a standing Olaf cake by Ann Reardon. She made the Olaf cake look so easy and the two things I was going to change was: I was going to use fondant instead of meringue; and that he was going to hold a microphone! She’ll be right – right? So I was all prepared the Thursday night and just needed to put the cake together on Friday, but I decided to dream that the cake wasn’t ready by Aimee’s birthday party, how I had totally let her down and how I shouldn’t have thought I was capable of doing a standing Olaf cake!
During the day Olaf started taking shape and I was happy with how he was looking. The 1D microphone looked great. The snowflakes (that were airbrushed with pearl and baby blue metallic paint) were looking good and I had even covered the cake board! But as I put on his head he looked a bit wonky and I just wasn’t convinced his head would stay on! I even had a massive blonde moment and had forgotten to put his mouth on! So I had to cut away at fondant and cake to make room for his mouth! I was happy with the way he was looking, but I was no way near confident that his head would stay on! So his head came off and that was the way I was going to transport him!
Transporting Olaf in two parts was the best decision I have made! He still looked good when I arrived and everyone oooh and ahhhed over him. Plus his head does come off in the movie, so it wasn’t the worst way he could look. I decided to leave his head off and maybe this was the best decision I have made, because I didn’t factor in the surroundings – the party was held at an indoor pool and it was extremely humid inside! When fondant is cold it tends to stiffen. When it’s warm it gets soft and droopy. When it’s humid, sticky. So guess what warm and humid means – soft, droopy and sticky! When it came to put Olaf’s head on for singing Happy Birthday and cutting the cake, his head almost started sagging straight away. I also got black all over my hands from touching his mouth – that should not happen! But I got his head on and the candles lit!
We sang Happy Birthday and then around twenty 11 year olds started to scream “Don’t kill Olaf!” (I left their screams in the photo for you!). But my niece has an evil streak (must be from my sister!! LOL!) and cut him… or should I say butchered! Poor Olaf now looked like a “cake wreck”… but amidst the shrieks about poor Olaf came squeals of “he’s rainbow inside!”… The cake was a success! I could breathe! But I was still shocked to see Aimee eat the 1D microphone and then the nose! That girl loves fondant! And she then told me he was the “bestest cake ever!” and one of the other girls pointed to the ribbon around the cake board and said “I really like that ribbon” – how sweet!
My other sister had mentioned she had watched some Adventure Time too and that there was a rainbow unicorn in it. Knowing that I love unicorns and rainbows she thought that would be cool for me to make – or maybe she wanted it on the cake! hehe The characters I had chosen to make were Finn (the only confirmed human in the Land of Ooo), Jake (the dog) and the Ice King. My cake is loosely based on a cake I found on Pinterest (I’m on Pinterest now if you would like to follow me! Click here!), so the mountains were based on the other cake, but when I was watching Adventure Time I saw purple trees with blue trunks and just knew I had to have them on the cake too!
The Adventure Time cake was going very well and then I saw this episode about Lady Rainicorn and found out that she is actually Jake’s girlfriend and not only that, but she speaks Korean! The episode was so cute, Jake has lots of fun spending time with Lady Rainicorn and separately has lots of adventures with Finn, but he really wants to have fun with both of them. So he tries to spend time with both of them but Finn doesn’t understand Korean so they set out to find a translator that Jake threw into a deep lake (he forgot why he threw it in!). So they have an adventure together and Lady Rainicorn was pretty cool for a girl according to Finn and they find the translator. They fit the translator to her – but there were only 3 options on the translator – Nerdy Alien, Nightmare and Old Man. “Old Man” is the only option that actually sounds like English, but it sounds very odd having this beautiful rainicorn (Rainicorns are a species of rainbow/unicorn creatures that live in peace in the Land of Ooo!) sounding like an “Old Man”, and Finn insists on calling her “Old Man” and then Jake remembers why he threw the translator away! After seeing this cool episode I had to make Lady Rainicorn!
I was pretty happy with the way the cake turned out – all the colours look great (I’m a bright coloured girl, not a pastel girl!)! My sister had done an amazing job decorating their house and the cake looked awesome amongst all the bright colours! The cake was a huge hit and Sean kept his Finn, Ice King and Lady Rainicorn (I do wonder if they have been nibbled on by now though!). I also took a photo of a classic game of pin the tail on the donkey altered for the Adventure Time theme for you! hehe
Not only did Sean say “awesome” when he saw the cake and when I left he thanked me again for the cake (without any prompting! Even hubbie was impressed!), but my sister told me that one of Sean’s friends came up to her saying “that is the best Jake cake ever!” – that just makes it all so worth while! Yeah the cakes aren’t perfect and I know where all the imperfections are, but I enjoy the adventure of making the cakes and then the climax is all the kids wanting this or that piece of the cake! And yes I saw Aimee eat half a purple tree – where does that fondant go!
I am a very lucky sister to be able to make my niece and nephew’s cakes each year. Not only do I like the new adventure each time and the kids seem to love them, but I always get a special “lolly bag” after the parties! Its fun having naughty lollies every now and then (I do love bananas!) and this year I got a special wristband from the Love Your Sister (breast cancer organisation) – So sweet! I love my sisters!!
I cannot believe another year of niece and nephew cakes is over… and what will the cakes be next year? Will Aimee’s first suggestion of Twilight stand (she mentioned it a month before this birthday!!) or will a new interest come up? Only time will tell! See you next time after my next adventure!!