Birthday Cakes – Phillip, Aged 6

FinnPhillip went through a brief obsession with the cartoon Adventure Time and it was during this that he requested “Finn from Adventure Time” as his birthday cake.  I was briefly worried but the cartoon is fairly simply drawn and I didn’t think I would have too much trouble approximating something.

Sure enough, this was a pretty basic bake of which I took few photos, unfortunately.  I baked a couple of square cakes, stuck them next to each other to make a rectangle which I tidied up and squared off with a bread knife.  I shaped the top of the head, cut the rectangle down so the body was in proportion and rounded off all the edges.

I had bought fondant icing in a range of colours.  I made my own once and decided life is too short; then I started buying white icing and colour pastes with which to colour it, which I still do when there’s only a small amount needed (for example, I would have coloured some white icing black for the shoes, if my cake board had been big enough for Finn’s feet to fit on it).  Now I pop round to my local sugarcraft shop (Surbiton Sugarcraft) and pick from their wide selection of coloured icing packs, although I still sometimes need to adapt the colours slightly.

First I covered the entire cake with the same “marshmallow” from a jar I used to stick the individual cakes together.  I will not be using that again.  Ever.  It was so unbelievably sticky as to be completely unforgiving with placement, it got absolutely everywhere, was almost impossible to tidy up off the cake board when I’d finished and it oozed out from under the icing.  I’m sorry I was unfaithful, buttercream; I thought I could replace you, but I was wrong.  Please forgive me?

I stared at my reference picture for a good five minutes, trying to work out the proportions needed for the shorts; t-shirt and hood.  I started at the bottom and worked my way up.  The dark blue went on first.  The top edge I left rough as the t-shirt would go on top of it and I would do the neat edge there.  If you’re going to do the same it’s worth rolling the rough edge a little thinner to create a tapering effect so the double layer of icing isn’t so obvious.  I cut the bottom corners so that the “seams” were at the bottom of the cake, where the legs would be and tidied up the edges with a small knife.  I rolled out the light blue for the t-shirt and cut the bottom edge straight.  I had to be more careful with the top edge of the t-shirt as the face was where all the detail was going to be.

I rolled out an oversized oval of skin-toned icing for the face then the white for the hood.  I cut an oval out of the white and oh, so carefully laid it over the face.  This was a little tricky as I’d left the bit under the face a little narrow but I managed somehow to get the hood on with no real issues.  I had to make a couple of cuts to fit the icing around the horns on the hood and got stuck a couple of times on the marshmallow (there was swearing).

The rucksack straps went on next: I made a semi circle of both the light and the dark green, stuck them together with a little water then cut the circle the other way to get two two-tone semi circles which I stuck to the side of the t-shirt, again with a little water.  After that I just had to roll sausages, trim them and stick them on for the arms and legs.  As I mentioned, the feet didn’t fit on the board.  Finally I used my trusty edible marker pen to draw on the face, proportions again being more important than artistic ability.
Finn Cake
Given the complexity of some of the cakes I’ve baked I didn’t expect myself to be quite so chuffed when this one turned out well, but it’s hard not to smile when your children make it clear that, for that moment, you are the most wonderful person they have ever known and they will love you forever.

Love,
Jen

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