My daughter wanted a "space" theme for her 4th birthday (where in the world she gets this stuff... sometimes I just don't know!)... and of course, a "space cake" to go with the party.
I racked my brain for what seemed like forever, not really knowing how to go about the whole thing. I showed her various pictures online of other space-themed cakes, and she seemed to like just about everything I showed her, but the stuff with the stars and galaxies were clear winners. The topic of "space" is a little broad, so I think that's was where my lack of inspiration began.
I had plenty of time... several months, really... then it was down to weeks... and then only days... and all of a sudden her party was *ACK* in less than 24 hours, and still I had NO CLUE how I was going to make her cake. I talked to my mom on the phone and kinda brainstormed with her, and finally figured out what I was going to do for this cake. I bought some necessities at Michael's, and stopped at the grocery store for the cake ingredients, and came home intent on getting this cake DONE!
First thing's first... the plan... using the ball pan, 2- 6" rounds, 2- 8" rounds, and 2- 10" rounds (note that I only have one of the 10" pans- hmmm... oh well- it all has to bake in batches anyways- my oven is not NEARLY big enough to handle everything at once!!)
About 4 hours later, all the cakes are done... the 10" and 6" cakes were chocolate, the 8" cakes were fudge marble, and the ball halves were lemon.
Time to start decorating... first up, the "sun", since it will need to fully set in the fridge for added stability... it will get a little airbrushing of red/orange highlights later...
All the complete layers, each slightly different aspects of "space"... I give Duff's coloring gels (black this time) another A+++ :):
And lastly the final product, after transporting to the party location, where I assembled the whole cake :) Note the hand-painted planets orbiting around the sun (notably, NOT edible... out of concern for weight, I opted for styrofoam) :) Still fun... and Laura will get a mobile of the planets as a keepsake in her room :) There were elements that I would have liked to have added, but having my self-imposed time restriction due to procrastination, there simply wasn't enough time to do everything I wanted :( Boo... maybe next time!
And what you DON'T see here is my look of panic worrying about the whole thing toppling over (we had a near miss with the sun trying to roll right off the top... whoops). After the near miss, I was a little obsessed with keeping the kids away from the cake, and I kept hearing "Mayhem" chanting.... "Cakey, cakey, cakey!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CocgDJJCBFI)
All said and done, decorating the cakes took 6 sticks of butter and 3 pounds of powdered sugar for the buttercream, and an additional 2 pounds of marshmallows, 3 pounds of powdered sugar, and at least a stick and a 1/2 of butter to make the fondant. Healthy stuff, huh?? And just think - I only use the "good" stuff (no Crisco!). Still... I only ate one piece, and I think I need to go to the gym now...