Just this past Monday my oldest daughter turned seven. We threw a party for her this past Saturday. It wasn't a big party, just very close friends and family. I planned a smaller cake than I normally make and added cupcakes to make up the difference.
I am so excited because this is the first cake I have made since starting the blog that I knew to try and take good pictures as I went. This is your warning that this is a picture heavy post, but I show you nearly every step I took. You may notice red numbers in parenthesis in the post, I assure you I will tell you the meaning before the post is over.
This is my mixer. I use this baby to make my cakes and my icing. It has definitely been a good investment.
I told you guys last week that I hadn't even thought about what I was going to make as far as a cake goes. Well, Thursday (1) I decided I was going to do a tower from the movie Tangled. I pulled out three of my cupcake pans in standard, jumbo and king. I also grabbed a six inch round pan.
I pulled out my stash of cupcake wrappers (this is only half my stash).
I baked up 16 standard cupcakes, 2 jumbo and 4 king. Oh, and my six inch round. The Princess chose strawberry cake so that is why they are all pink.
Want to know my secret for keeping my cake from sliding around on the cake board? Put a big swipe of icing right in the center.
Then put your cake right on it. I didn't level the round cake, I thought it looked a little like a hill (2).
I iced the entire round with leaf green tinted icing, than slapped it with the flat side of my spatula to make it appear more like grass.
I used some straws for support of the first cupcake, to keep it from sliding around.
I stacked three leveled king cupcakes together and put a straw right through the middle to hold them all together. These are the extra long straws you find in some places. I cut some more straws to help stabilize the jumbo cupcake I was putting on top, since the green straw was too short (3).
I then iced the tower thus far in plain buttercream. See that stick in the top? It was leaning a bit so I gave in and put a cake dowel down through the center (4).
I used a sugar cone to help make the roof of the tower.
I covered it in a layer of purple icing. I wasn't concerned with how smooth it was going to look because I intended to make the icing look like shingles.
I used a narrow basket weave tip, but I used the flat side out.
Okay, this is were it got interesting (not). As I was putting the shingles on the roof I kept noticing that it looked like it was still leaning. I kept straightening it up and readjusting the supports but it still had an obvious tilt. I watched helplessly as the tower leaned over and disintegrated on me. The only thing left in tact was the jumbo cupcake from the top (on the plate), and it fell apart a few minutes later, and the base. See that bowl in the front? It is full of my tower remnants. I couldn't save any of it and I was very frustrated at this point.
I decided to level off the round and save it for later.
By now, it was near midnight and I was too tired to work on it anymore. Besides, I really didn't have enough extra to try again.
Early Saturday morning I assessed the damage and realized where my mistakes were. Those are those numbers in red you saw. The points where I should have planned better. I guess this will teach me to just make a cake on the go from now on. I also knew I still needed a cake for my daughter's birthday.
I went out to Hobby Lobby and walked around the store, trying to figure out how I could save the day, and my little girl's feelings. Inspiration struck! I bought a 12 inch round styrofoam and three packs of 3 inch styrofoam rounds. I bought a 14 inch hard cakeboard as well as a 6 inch. I grabbed some cream satin that was on sale (half a yard) and a spool of yellow ruffled ribbon.
When I got home I had still had a long list of things to get done. I knew that the cake would be tight to fit in, but I put off working on it for a bit. When I finally had time to start working on it again, it was two hours until the party started.
I placed the 12 inch round in the center of the table.
I tested to make sure it was stable enough to put the 14 inch round on. It was! Yay!
I cut a square of the satin just big enough to cover the cake board and taped it down with packing tape. I did the same to the six inc cake board.
Here it is, wrinkled. I wasn't worried about that at this pint because I knew I needed to hurry.
I stacked the 3 inch rounds into a column.
Remember those U pins I used to make that rainbow cake board tutu? They came in very handy again.
I used them to hold together the rounds, putting each one in at an angle into the next. It was very solid.
I wrapped my new column in satin. That top edge got trimmed level before this was over.
I used double sided tape to put the ribbon around the edge.
Here it is finished. That clear plate does have a purpose.
See, it is the base for the remaining jumbo cupcake. Using another sugar cone I turned it into a tower top.
This is a closer shot of how the shingles looked when finished. I just staggered that basket tip all the way around it.
I used a Wilton 1M tip to make roses on the cupcakes I had made the day before.
The Jumbo was carefully set atop the stand. Those pieces were not hooked together so we couldn't bump the table.
Are you wondering what happened to the six inch round? I made roses on it also and used it for the candles.
I had also punched out some little sun toppers that were from Paging Supermom.
Here is what my tower looked like in the end. I finished it all in an hour and a half, just enough time to grab a shower before guests arrived.
How do you think it turned out?
This cake was featured at
Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post. Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.