Birthday cakes to remember

cake

Fun with fondant

The sky's the limit when it comes to creating your next birthday masterpiece. Fondant is such a versatile cake-decorating tool. It can be used to cover cakes or make great little cake toppers. I personally call fondant grown-up Play-Doh because it can be so much fun to create different decorations that fit your theme. Cookie cutters and molds can be used to cut out a base for your fondant or gumpaste decorations. Wish.com, amazon.com and your local craft store are great resources for decorating supplies.

 

If you're not the most confident baker, that's okay! Here are some helpful tips to help you succeed:

Before you get started, be sure to read the recipe thoroughly. Baking is a science, so be sure to understand the directions.

Room temperature is best for your ingredients. Let your items such as eggs, butter and milk sit out on your counter for a couple of hours prior to baking.

Correct measurements are very
important! My advice? Before you start mixing, make sure you have all your ingredients pre-measured and ready to go. I use this practice in all of my baking.

Want a box cake to taste like it came from the bakery? Follow the directions on the box but add an extra egg, use melted butter instead of oil, and replace the water for milk. And don't be afraid to add a little flavoring like a teaspoon of vanilla or a touch of almond extract.

Greasing your pans is an important step! Butter is best, but a 1:1:1 ratio of oil, flour, and shortening (otherwise known as "cake goop") is also great. And if your cake doesn't release entirely from the pan, no worries! Wrap that cake up and freeze for cake pops later.

 

cake checker

 

Checker board technique

There are many different ways to create a fun birthday cake but one of my favorites is the checkerboard technique. And you can do this without having to buy expensive, fancy pan sets. All you need is some circle cutters that you can find at your local craft store. The one I use is by Celebrate Arts sold at Michaels stores.

The largest of these circles start at 5 inches, which is perfect for a cake that is 8 inches. I used 6 inch round cakes that I colored pink and purple, with one layer having some fun sprinkles it.  Start by cutting two circles out of every cake layer. When assembling, place a different color circle in each cake round until they are complete.

What's really cool about this technique is the reveal when you cut into your cake-it will have checkerboard appearance. And because I used three different colors instead of two, it added a little more dimension to the inside of the cake.

Beautiful, isn't it? And it's super fun when creating cakes such as unicorns, mermaids, or lumberjack themes. Give it a try using different flavors and colors. It will be a hit at your next party!

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