by Mindy Valerioti
This picnic cake was made with traditional buttercream icing and yellow cake. I used three round cake pans to make the three size tiers.
The picnic blanket was made by rolling out red and white fondant and weaving cut strips together to form the checkerboard pattern.
To make the ants, I lined up three peanut M&Ms and used black icing to make their legs. Red and Green Candy fruit slices were cut and put together to make the watermelon slices for the ants to carry.
The bumblebees are also made from from peanut M&Ms. I striped them with yellow icing and attached almond slices for their wings.
The ladybugs were made from black licorice medallions and rolled red Laffy Taffy, cut into half circles. Black icing was used to make their dots.
The flowers on the outside of the bottom tier and on the top tier were made from store bought cookies, small and large. You can use whatever size and type of cookie you prefer, I used oatmeal. This part of the cake took the most time for preparation and construction. I would recommend making them in advance to allow the icing to stiffen, for placement on the cake without the risk of petals falling off.
The petals were made by cutting mini marshmallows in half, diagonally, with a scissor and dipping the sticky surfaces in various colors of sugar crystals. Multi-colored nonpareils also make beautiful petals.
Once you have all of your petals ready, use icing to cover the surface of the cookies, one at a time, and begin placing the petals, colored sides up, in a circular pattern beginning in the center and working your way to the outer edge. Pastel colored licorice candies were placed in the centers of the flowers to complete the look.
Once the icing had stiffened up, the petal covered cookies were attached where desired, using icing. This was the last step for me on the decoration of the picnic cake.
This cake took me a lot of time and preparation but was a huge hit at the party. After taking a few hundred pictures and shedding a few tears, I finally agreed to let the cake be sliced and eaten. Happy decorating!