Thursday, September 8, 2011

Decorating My First Official Cake!

So I have been M.I.A. in the last week which I am sorry for.  My head is completely full of school and already I'm exhausted.  There's so much to share, not just school stuff, but a friend's wedding, beautifully crafted by herself and her hubby, and other design tips!  But right now, I'm going to share with you a new project in our classroom:  the birthday cake program!  Each month, we will be celebrating all the birthdays that fall in that month (students, teachers, E.A.S).  On the first day of school, we were celebrating July and August together.  I put my head together and decided to do a pool themed cake for two of my girls.  With research, I put a plan together and this is how it turned out:

Not bad for a first time cake eh?

Supplies I used:

  • one professional quality square bakepan (I had picked this up probably close to a year ago at Home Sense; it was a very high 7 1/2 inch pan with removable bottom)
  • 2 Betty Crocker Cake mixes plus the needed ingredients for it:  water, oil, and eggs
  • Scribblers mini icing tubes
  • graham teddy crackers
  • gummy rings
  • 3 blue raspberry Jello packages
  • 1 large bag of icing sugar
  • 1 package of lard
  • almond flavoring
  • Pepperidge Farms chocolate goldfish crackers

Step 1:  Bake your cake

I had to make two cakes, which I let cool and then scooped out the "pool".  I first scored the area that I was going to scoop out with a knife.  Then, using a regular spoon I scooped out the pool being sure to only go to just above the middle of the cake.  I then placed the cake in the freezer as I was given the tip that freezing is best to ice your cake. 

Above; you can see where I am scooping out                                              Finished pool; ready to ice!

Step 2:  Get Your Icing Ready!

I have a great icing recipe that I had to doctor up as it was a holiday and in my area, there is nothing opened on a holiday.  You would have to drive 1 1/2 hours to get to the nearest opened store!

Traditional Royal Icing:

1 cup margarine
1 cup shortening
4 to 4 1/2 cups icing sugar
almond flavoring
milk, if needed

Cream margarine and shortening.  Gradually add icing sugar until nice and fluffy.  If too thick, add a bit of milk.  Add almond flavoring to your taste.

My doctored Royal Icing recipe:

2 cups lard
4 cups icing sugar
almond flavoring

Same directions

It was a little stiffer, but the recipe tasted alright.

In order to prevent the Jello from seaping through, I covered the entire cake with a layer of thin icing.  I also attached the two pieces by icing them together.  Despite freezing, I still had some crumbs come up as you can see in the picture.  Freeze.

Step 3:  Jello Jiggler Time!

Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water to 3 packages (4-Serving) of Blue Raspberry Jell-o.  Stir until dissolved.  Place in fridge until soft set.

Step 4:  Jello and Cake Together

Take iced cake out of freezer.  Pour soft set Jello into "pool" area.  Place in fridge until Jello is completely set.

Step 5:  Icing Time

Completely ice the cake.

Step 6:  Decorating Time

With the scribblers, I iced the graham teddy bears so they looked like they were wearing swim trunks, bikinis, bathing suits, and little speedos...I think they turned out adorable!  The scribblers are awesome to work with as the tips are so tiny.

Some bears I placed on gummy rings as seen as above.  To secure them to the gummy rings, I placed dabs of icing on the ring, and then placed the teddy bear on top.

I placed them on the cake and then placed chocolate goldfish all around the outside of the cake.

Here's one of my girls with her cake:

The cake was a hit.  They loved the Jello part and loved the decorations.  I kept getting told I made a great cake.  The office even said to me when I brought it in, you make cakes?  Not bad for a first time!!


  1. yay it works again...thank you! As I was trying to say...I find that cakes made from scratch sometimes are easier to spread icing on because they're heavier...that was all! Cake looks so cute with the pool in the middle and the tiny swimmers...and I believe those are the chocolate gold fish..not teddy grahams as I mentioned earlier...duh on my part

  2. I know who anonymous is! It's interesting that you say cakes from scratch create less crumbs...good point to consider...this particular cake was a chocolate, which turns out that a couple of my kids don't care for chocolate! The next one I'll make will be a vanilla or something, but I'll have to try homemade next time! and you did say chocolate gold fish...they were perfect!!