Saturday, May 17, 2008

I got in over my head, a bit...

Another cake! This time, I planned something not only fairly complicated and detailed, but big. I kind of got in over my head and had to spend most of the last week working on it, neglecting my kids and my exercising in the process, and staying up really late too many nights in a row. Since I promised a cool cake for the preschool's party celebrating the purchase of the building, I thought how cool to make the cake look like the building. But the building is itself is pretty boring, so how about the building and the grounds, too?? I wanted to include key elements of the playground -- the tire swing, the play house, the climber, the swings, the trees, the sandbox.... I used six boxes of cake mix, eight lbs. of confectioner's sugar, a dozen and a half eggs, ... well, you get the idea. Just all the baking and mixing frosting took a lot of time. Then I had a lot of pieces to try to prepare for final assembly, without really knowing how they would work out. Anyway, here are some photos:

Aerial view:

The swing sets and tire swing turned out very fragile, and though I got the tire swing to work (thank goodness because that's Owen's favorite) I only got one of the two sets of swings on there and part of it was replaced with a toothpick. I wanted two trees (because there are two on the playground) but really only one fit. The climber, which I made out of royal icing, had to be created in two-dimensional pieces and assembled at the last minute. I didn't know if it would fit together and work at all, but it turned out to be one of the best parts:

The climber:

Here's the real climber:

Also, the mailbox, one of the simplest pieces on the cake, which I created on a whim, added a charming detail that everyone loved.

And the number one question that people asked me about the cake: "How long did that take you?" And the answer: I don't want to think about that!!

It was a huge hit, to say the least. I'm pretty proud of it, but I don't think I'll do a cake that big and complicated again until I hone more of my skills AND have a much bigger kitchen to stage all the pieces, if ever.


Susan Z said...

The cake is fabulous! Worthy of a Food Network Special (if you haven't seen Ace of Cakes still you have to watch...). That is very impressive.

Jill in MA said...

Yes, I've finally seen Ace of Cakes (because everyone kept telling me to.) Ironically, I watch it while I work out. Doing this cake gives me a whole new respect for those guys. (Although, I'm sure it's much easier with 10 people and a huge kitchen and the proper tools for mass production.)

Ann in NJ said...

Having the right tools and an assistant makes everything easier. I'm so impressed/jealous! Wow! And you did it all by yourself!