Monday, March 25, 2013

Kenna's Birthday Cake

This cake comes to you by way of a vision. Unlike John the Revelator, Kenna's vision contained not multi-headed beasts...but butterflies.

She literally had a dream, in which she was talking to Auntie Kari, and she described, in the dream, what her birthday cake would be like. Upon awakening (this happened in about Sept), she informed me of the plan. It's pink, black and white. She took to drawing it for me. By this, I mean that no less than 72 reams of paper have been dedicated to the planning of the precious cake. Just to make sure I got it right.

It's 3 tiers, it's covered in butterflies, and it's entirely that black and white damask type pattern.

I was able to describe to her what was actually feasible, in real life. This is not the stuff dreams are made's a cake. Her expectations have been quite dashed, and we've been having quite a few conversations about gratefulness and expectations. It's such a learning curve, being 7, and having so many grand plans;-)

That being said, I am quite pleased with the way it turned out! I think it looks quite lovely and is definitely the essence of her dream cake, while not being an exact replication.

I saw this zebra pattern cake thing on pinterest, check out the link for the how to's. Very easy peasy to do, and added some pizzazz to the inside of the cake! I dyed vanilla cake pink, I did not use strawberry cake mix.
One layer, done baking. When you stack them all and cut into it, you get a "zebra" styled print!
I tried to do a very careful job of everything this time, from leveling to the dreaded crumb coat. And it all went very well!
bottom layer is two 12" rounds, I used an entire cake mix (Duncan Hines) for each layer.
Every layer is filled with raspberry filling. I usually don't take pics of my entire process, so here are a few, for the curious. Sometimes I only do the "fruit" on one layer, but this time, I did all of them.
I make a stiff buttercream and create a "dam" around the edges to keep the filling from oozing out. I used seedless raspberry preserves, mixed in with just a touch of regular raspberry preserves (I like a few seeds in there, but not too many) and then a little lemon juice (cuts some of the sweetness a bit). That's it. No recipe at all, just a simple and delicious filling!
Top layer crumb coat also went really really well. The icings consistency, as well as my skill level improving with practice are making doing the sides of these high cakes much easier for me to do quickly, neatly and nicely!!
Side tracked: I made gluten free cupcakes for Brooks to have some cake too. I used the leftover raspberry filling mixture and filled the cupcakes with it. Then a tried a new method for a flower on a cupcake I saw online. I think I need MUCH more practice before I break this one out on anyone, lol!!
I made my own marshmallow fondant. Here is bottom layer, covered.
For the pink butterflies, I needed to dye the fondant pink. As I was kneading the colour smooth, I decided to leave it a little marbly looking - thinking it would give nice texture and dimension to the butterflies. It worked! I love how they turned out!
Ok, here it is!!!
The black and white stuff you see is sugar paper - Wilton brand I think. I had been worried, thinking I would have to hand-pipe on some type of pattern like this...and then I saw the sugar paper at Walmart, so I bought 1 sheet ($3), and called it a day...

Ok, the colour is actually a brighter/hotter pink, like in the first pic, but I was getting a glare in shots with the flash on, and without the flash the pics looked better but the pink looks peachier than it really is.
Butterfly close up! I love how the marble look turned out with them!
To make the butterflies, I bought a fondant "cookie cutter" set from Wine & Cake Hobbies. It cuts and embosses the fondant very easily. It was my new addition to my cake decorating supplies this time (I like to add a new item to my stash with each cake:-)

So sometimes, you know how a cake has a "back" side, because you messed something up and the back looks yucky? Well...yah. In fact, this time I didn't really have any yucky spots. My fondant was pretty smooth, everything was very level...Then I cut and applied my sugar paper. I should have bought 2 sheets, not one. Oops. I didn't have enough to finish the band on the top layer. So there is definitely a back side to this cake!!
The back side. See the missing black & white band? I tried to cover it up with some visual distraction...using up all my extra butterfly cut outs:-)
The zebra insides

The visionary, and her cake!

It's the happy birthday song!


  1. You did a great job on the cake! It looks amazing!

  2. seriously it's amazing! It looks gorgeous! Glad i could help with the inspirationg ;) haha!

  3. Showing Mattea Kenna's cake...

    Mattea: "Oh Mommy, that's it! She did it!"
    Mommy: "she did what"
    Mattea: "Kenna! She did it! She chose my cake FOR me!"
    Mommy: "that's the cake you want"
    Mattea: "yup! exactly the same as hers!"

    Lol....THANKS ALOT for making it look so I have to go and try to make it!!! Let's hope she sees some easier cakes before her birthday rolls around;-)

  4. Hilarious. Kenna's vision inspires another vision!! Haha!! if we come to canada in the summer, I'll bring you the butterfly cutters!