The Making of Anya’s 7th Birthday ‘Rapunzel’ Cake!
[Somehow more and more teeth fell out closer to her 7th birthday, hehe. She's lost a total of 6 teeth so far.]
Okay. I need to warn you. This is a LONGGGG post! =)
About three weeks before Anya’s 7th birthday, she asked if I could make her birthday cake with fondant this time round (since we had no oven last year and I experimented with ’steaming her birthday cake’ and used fresh cream on it =)
When I asked if she had any particular ‘theme’ that she’d really like (provided that I could make it, of course!), she replied, ‘Hmm, Mommy, can we have Rapunzel? You can make the long hair with fondant and have it all around the cake’.
Obviously I had NO idea how to make such a cake, let alone a RAPUNZEL theme! I mean, the first and only time I made anything out of fondant was when I made Vai’s birthday cake last year. That’s it. So, as I was about to throw the idea out the window, I casually shared what Anya said to me on Facebook.
And guess what?
Quite a few people left encouraging comments, and in the end I decided to just give it a go anyway! (Yes, I know, I was a little ‘mad’, I guess. Haha.)
I thought I should just share how I planned and made the Rapunzel cake with you today.
The stuff I learned and the mistakes I did.
So. Here goes.
After I decided to go for the ‘challenge’:
1. I browsed the internet for ideas. Then, I drew a rough sketch of what I ‘HOPED’ the cake would look like.
I know. I’m an ambitious amateur. Haha.
(When attempting to do something, I often aim for the ’sky’, because I thought … worse comes to worst, at least I should reach 5% of what I initially aim? =)
2. I decided that I’d make Marshmallow Fondant again (like what I did for Vai’s 4th birthday cake last year!)
Btw, click HERE to read the step-by-step instructions on how you can make your own Marshmallow Fondant.
And, here’re my mistakes!
I should’ve made the fondant (from scratch) at least 5 days BEFORE the celebration, so that there’s enough time for the fondant to ‘dry up’ (I made it only 3 days before the day! Bad planning!)
After making the fondant and cutting them in shapes (ie. before leaving them in the open to ‘dry up’), I should’ve made sure that it’s not too ’soft’ (ie. I should use more icing sugar).
As you can see, the purple ones on the plate were rather … ’shiny’. They’re too soft (My mistake too that I made these too CLOSE to the birthday date!)
In the end (thanks to some friends who left their comments on my Facebook!), I resorted to brushing plain flour on the ones that I needed to dry up a little better! (eg. Like the purple ‘roof tiles’, the ‘tower’, etc)
I forgot to SIFT my icing sugar in my 1st batch of marshmallow fondant! As the result, I had COUNTLESS little white balls ALL OVER my fondant surface!
I spent an hour or so HANDPICKING the bigger balls of icing sugar OFF the fondant (like, some 200 of them!). AND, even after doing that, there’re still little white dots on the fondant’s surface! Ugh. In the end, I chose to not waste the fondant anyway and just use it!
[The next time I'm making a cake with fondant again, I think I'll get a ready-made rolled fondant. I was told that the brand 'Bakels' has a rather nice taste]
3. Making different ‘parts’ of the cake
These were the main parts of the cake:
- Butter cake as the round base
When I browsed for ideas, I saw many using ‘ice cream cones’ as the roof of castles. So I thought, okay, I’d use ice cream cones too then.
And I initially thought of using toilet paper rolls to create the ‘towers’! [Luckily I scrapped that idea, haha!]
As I churned ideas in my head, I opened my kitchen cabinets and … I decided to just use my Tupperware, wrap it with fondant, and use THAT as my tower!
To create the ‘bricks-look’, I used a knife.
And, since the fondant didn’t seem to dry up, I brushed the surface with plain flour! [Which helped a bit]
Since I decided to use a Tupperware as the ‘tower’, I could no longer use an ice cream cone as the ‘roof’! It’d be way too small!
So I made my own ‘roof’. Out of paper carton! Haha.
[It was like my little experimental arts and crafts session!]
Here’s what I did:
a) Measured the diameter of the Tupperware (so I could ensure the roof’s diameter is ‘bigger’)
b) Drew a circle, cut it out, cut a line (half way towards the middle), created a ‘cone shape’, and used scotch tapes to stick it together!
c) As the paper carton’s surface was smooth, I covered it with crepe paper, just so that my ‘purple fondant tiles’ would (hopefully) stick better!
d) With liquid glue, I stuck the ’tiles’ onto the paper roof. The purple fondant tiles tended to ’slide down’ though (because they’re NOT dry / hard enough!). So, I decided to just make TWO roofs, covered half of each with the purple tiles, and left each one to dry in a slightly ’slanted’ position.
[I also dusted plain flour onto the 'roofs' and 'combined' the two halves together the night before]
Note: This part of the cake was obviously NOT meant to be eaten! =)
Anya specifically asked for butter cake (since she doesn’t like any other cake much). So, thanks to a friend who gave me a butter cake recipe, I tested the recipe one week before her birthday, shared it with our church friends, and went ahead with the recipe for Anya’s actual birthday get-together.
[I used the same butter cake recipe to make the cupcakes, which we gave out as simple 'goodie-bags' to her Sunday School friends]
[Made the cupcakes in the morning of the birthday]
I baked the cake the night before, covered it with buttercream frosting, and put it in the fridge. On the actual day, I covered the cake (with the hardened frosting) with the marshmallow fondant.
More of my mistakes:
- I forgot to buy the cake’s base (you know, that ‘aluminium-foil covered wooden base’), so I used aluminium foil and covered my plastic turning table instead!
- I forgot to buy the carton box for the cake! So in the end, we took a taxi with me holding the cake with Rapunzel on it in one hand, and the tower in another (I placed the tower on the cake only when we reached our church)
- I only checked the ‘expiry date’ of my ’self raising flour’ BEFORE making the cake. Bad, bad planning! Because only then I realised one pack was already expired, and that’s why I only managed to bake the cupcakes in the morning of the actual day! (Thanking my hubby for going to the supermarket that morning to buy some flour for me!)
- To cover the ‘unsightly vertical line’ on the ‘tower’, I used green-coloured fondant as the ‘vine’.
- To create small ‘bushes’, I pushed two balls of green-coloured fondant through a strainer
- When combining the two ‘roofs’, there’s apparently NOT enough purple roof tiles to cover all surfaces, so I errr … used pink tiles instead, hehe.
- Two nights before Anya’s birthday get-together, I realised I could NOT have Rapunzel looking out the window (since I’m using Tupperware as the tower).
So I made some last minute changes to the initial idea and sketch.
I created a window and had Rapunzel sitting just below the tower instead, hehe. And, her hair could then go all around the round cake!
[I created the 'hair' by individually hand-rolling the yellow-coloured fondant, because I could NOT find the kids' playdough tool that can make 'long noodle shapes'!]
When Anya first saw ‘Rapunzel’ on our dining table, the first thing she innocently asked was, ‘Mommy, why is the Rapunzel chubby?’ Haha. I told her it’s because that’s the only way I could get Rapunzel to ’sit down and NOT fall’. AND, it’s because this Rapunzel stayed in the tower for too long and didn’t get to exercise much. Haha.
Here’re some photos of Anya’s 7th birthday get-together that Sunday, March 6th!
[Just in case you're wondering, Anya was sitting down and Vai was standing up in this photo, hehe]
The cake had many flaws, dents and imperfections, but I was just SOOO glad and thankful to God that everything was okay overall =)
Friends who ate the butter cake and cupcakes shared with us how the taste was nice too (PHEW!).
I’m glad too that I went ahead with the ‘challenge’ and learned SO many things along the way!
And finally, I’d just like to say:
- I personally wouldn’t put in this much effort if it weren’t for the kids. My hope and prayer is for our children to always know in their heart that we love them very much, and that we always will.
- I hope by sharing the whole process (and the mistakes I made), you’ll get more ideas, improvise and create much better works than what I made! =)
Here’s to MORE family adventures! Jiayou! =)