Deck the Halls!

5 Dec

I always enjoy decorating for Christmas. There’s just something about it that really makes my heart smile. You know what else makes my heart smile? Decorating cakes, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ For this week’s special Christmas treat, I decided to decorate a cake that is decorating for Christmas. Wow, that sentence was even more confusing than I thought. Here, I’ll show you what I mean.

*Warning* This is not a cake that you want to try to make in a small amount of time. Unless you’re very talented, that is. For some experienced bakers this would be easy as pie. For me, it was as easy as 2 1/2ย  hours ๐Ÿ™‚

I started by baking a chocolate cake in a Wilton “Sports Ball Pan.” Basically, there are two cake pans in half sphere shapes. You bake a cake in each one, and then stack them together using a layer of icing to holdย  them in place. Like so:

Next I covered it with buttercream. This icing will not show on the finished cake, so it’s ok if there are crumbs in it and it’s not totally smooth.

Then I tinted a big piece of fondant blue and rolled it all out. This was some serious work. I could really use one of those nice fondant sheeters that you see on the cake decorating shows. Except that they cost a couple thousand dollars. I guess what I actually need is just to roll it out by hand and give my arms a workout. ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course the next step is to get this fondant onto the cake. That wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I’m still working on covering cakes with fondant, and this reminded me that lots of practice is still in order. Of course, the good thing about this cake is that it’s going to need lots of details, so I can easily cover up any crack and mistakes in the fondant.

A pizza cutter makes a perfect tool for trimming off the excess fondant once you’ve finished smoothing it to the best of your ability. Now, right about this point in the decorating process I realized that I was getting short on time. I started slacking off on taking pictures because I needed to be finished by the time for the FSU game to start. So I’ll have to walk you through some of this without illustrations.

I tinted and rolled out some red fondant and used the pizza cutter to cut it into a cone shape. Then I wrapped the large end of the cone around the top of the cake, pinched the seam together in the back, and folded over the top flap. This was the best way I could think of to make a santaย  hat. It took a few tries, but it wasn’t too bad. Good thing you can re-roll the fondant and try again. ๐Ÿ™‚

See the waves in the bottom edge of the blue fondant? These were really starting to bother me. Lucky for me, I had some shredded coconut left over from another baking project. I mixed this with a little buttercream icing (just to make it sticky) and pressed it onto the cake board all around the edge of the cake. It looked a lot like snow, and covered all those icky fondant creases. ๐Ÿ™‚ I forgot to take a picture of this step, but you’ll see it in the grand finale picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next I started working on facial details. Again, no pictures. Sorry! Next time I’m going to do a better job of the picture part. This little guy’s face was actually very easy. If you have circular cookie cutters in several sizes, use these to cut out white and black circles to make eyes. Then just make a little moon shape for a smile. To make his letter m, I traced an M&M package on some parchment paper. Then I cut this out and placed it on top of some white fondant. I (very carefully!) cut out the pattern and added it to the cake using a small paintbrush and some water to make it stick.

Ok, now I’m finally back to where I took a picture. Remember that I said my cake was going to be decorating for Christmas? Of course it’s absolutely necessary to put out Christmas lights when doing any serious decorating. So that is exactly what this little guy is going to do. I made some Christmas lights using different colors of fondant. I simply rolled them into a ball and then pinched one end together. Then I used a bit of green fondant and rolled it into a skinny rope for the cord.

I added this around the edge of the snow and was very happy with the end result! I wish I’d had more time to take pictures of the process, but at least I got a good shot of the finished cake.

I hope he makes you smile! I had a lot of fun with this cake. I hope youย  have started some Christmas baking of your own. You just can’t beat spending a relaxing weekend making Christmas treats!

Next Up: Candy Cane Cheesecake

Random Thought of the Day: How much Christmas shopping have you finished? I am somewhere around halfway done. And the stores are getting entirely too crowded! I need to work on that more before it gets even worse!

The End. ๐Ÿ™‚


3 Responses to “Deck the Halls!”

  1. Jessica Llanes December 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    He’s so cute! I want to bake some Christmas treats this afternoon myself, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time because Rafy has enlisted me to help putting up a few lights. I’m sure we won’t have half as many as Eric though, or even a fourth!

  2. Mom December 11, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    I just LOVE your M&M cakes. They are so cute!

  3. Melanie Baggett December 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    This cake is so cute! I don’t see where you get your ideas from. You are so creative.

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