Baby 1st Birthday Cake
by Brandy Brozny
When making this baby 1st birthday cake, I decided to start a couple days before I needed the cake. The little Baby TV characters need a little time to dry if you are making them out of fondant.
If you use gum paste, you can make them the day of the party and they will be dry within a couple hours. I prefer fondant though as it doesn't get so hard and the kids like to eat it (it is just like a little candy)!
To make the characters, I started with the monkey on the top of the cake. I decided to make the present out of rice treats because you can shape it so well. I let it harden for a couple hours and kept pressing it square.
After it was hardened, I rolled out some purple fondant to about 1/4" thick. I used a ruler to measure it so it would fit. I then cut 5 squares and formed it around the rice treat "cube".
Next, roll 2 balls of brown fondant for the monkey's body. One will need to be about 1 1/2" for the body and the head will be about 1". The body piece should be shaped almost square and the head can be more oval shaped. Let dry separately for about 3 hours.
As they are drying, you can make the legs and tail. You can also make the ears. You may place these pieces on the body and head while you are waiting for the body and head to dry a little.
Take a little piece of skin colored fondant and roll it quite thin. Cut it into an oval shape and place it on the monkey's head. This will be the face.
You can roll a very tiny piece of brown into a smile shape. Also add the eyes at this time. When the body and head are dried sufficiently, you can add a little bit of piping gel and stick them together.
Now you can roll out some arms and glue them on with some piping gel. If you like, you can make a ribbon for the present and also a little birthday cake for the monkey to hold.
The snail is pretty simple. Roll out some blue fondant for his body and roll it into his shell shape. Take some orange fondant for his body and shape it. Add some eyes and he is done!
The butterfly is simple shapes as well. Just look at the picture and cut out the pieces accordingly. They should be glued together with piping gel also to make sure they stick.
For the giraffe, you will want to make the body and let it dry laying down for a few hours. Also, it is best if you can place a popeye stick or toothpick in the neck. Let it stick out 1/2" so it can stick into the head. The head will not be stable enough if you do not.
When you place the head on the body, make sure you put piping gel on also (just for extra stability). Shape some little legs and you can use piping gel to place them on the cake when you attach the giraffe. With the same brown as the monkey you can make some spots. Add some ears, eyes, horns and a nose and he is done!
It is now time to bake your baby 1st birthday cake. You can use a great recipe you already have, or just use a box cake mix. You will need to double the recipe to make an 8" and a 6" cake.
Once the cakes are done and cooled, you can frost them with your favorite buttercream. It should be smooth, but it doesn't have to be perfect. The cake will need to be on a cardboard round circle the size of the cake.
Now, take some fondant. You can buy some pre-packaged fondant (which I recommend if you have not worked with fondant before). Take about 450 grams of blue to cover the top 6" cake. Make sure you work it up well.
You will need to rub some Crisco on your hands and on your clean work space to keep the fondant from sticking. Roll it out to about 1/4" thick.
Once you have it rolled out to about 14" round, you can take your rolling pin and just start rolling the fondant over the rolling pin (this is a good way to pick it up without stretching it too much). Gently and quickly place the fondant over the small cake.
Start on the side closest to you and set the fondant level with the table the cake is sitting on. Gently place the fondant over the cake and begin to smooth. You should work the fondant in a little bit at a time and keep going around the cake until the fondant is smoothed down. Once the fondant is smoothed down, you can now cut off the excess with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
Repeat the steps above to cover the 8" cake with green fondant. You will need about 600 grams of green to cover an 8" cake. To cover the 8" cake, you will need the fondant rolled out to about 16" round.
When the cakes are smoothed to your satisfaction, you may now stack them together. I highly recommend purchasing a fondant smoother. They are inexpensive, and very useful!
Now, you can take some darker green fondant and cut it flat on one side and in a grass shape on the other. For the 8" cake you will need it to be about 24" long (keep in mind that it will stretch as you lift it, so you can make it about 18-22" to start).
If you like, you can use a cutter to cut out some orange, red and yellow flowers. Roll some little pieces for centers of the flowers.
Add all your pieces (grass, flowers and characters) with piping gel and a small paint brush.
There you have it! A very cute baby 1st birthday cake!