Great Big Birthday Cake!

May 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, layer cakes, sweet things | 20 Comments

tiger's first birthday cake!

I spent most of this rainy afternoon decorating a birthday cake for a friend’s little guy.  A fun project, but glad it’s behind me.  Doing something like this just seems so much harder at home than at the bakery…not enough space, not enough bowls and, most importantly, no one to wash the dishes for me!  

It’s a simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, but I’ll post recipes when I assemble a small cake I plan to make with the leftovers.  The tiger face was made with white chocolate, and was by far the part that made me most anxious!


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  1. that’s so adorable! i’m sure the tiger was hard to make but it looks perfect.

  2. that looks fantastic Stephanie! You are very talented

  3. This cake looks fantastic. You did such a great job with it.

    • its cute you must have worked so hard

  4. this looks great! the little guy must have been so happy 🙂 I hate washing up. Especially when the whole kitchen is overflowing with bowls

  5. Wow, that is terrific, wish I could do something like that for my sister with her school mascot (she’s a cheerleader)

    • Mermaid– It’s really not too hard…if you want me to walk you through it, let me know. Basically it’s just tracing an image in colored white chocolate.

  6. What a cute cake! I hope it isn’t the one he “destroys” for the traditional 1-year picture.

  7. That’s very impressive – the tiger looks awesome, I can’t believe you made that from scratch.

  8. You are so talented. It looks so cute.

  9. Simple but perfect looking birthday cake! I’m envious of your writing skillz! 😀

  10. Lucky little boy! The tiger looks amazing!

  11. Love the simplicity of the cake, some people go over the top trying to make big fancy cakes but yours is 10 times nicer by being so simple an elegant!

  12. That tiger face is totally impressive! I’m sure the birthday boy loved it. All that butter cream look soooo good, too. I don’t think I could stop myself from sticking my finger into the frosting.

  13. I can see why the tiger made you anxious, but you obviously deal well with pressure! It’s adorable!

  14. Yeah, It’s really big, I also like to buy one like this, for me.

  15. I assume you place wax paper over the paper image and then trace in melted chocolate? Can I use candy melts? Let it sit and then peel it off?

    • hi Deb. I used parchment paper and melted white chocolate with food coloring and a drizzle of vegetable oil (just enough to keep it fluid), but I think waxed paper and candy melts would work fine.

      here’s what I did: I knew I’d need to be able to move my image to the refrigerator, so I took my flattest sheet tray, turned it upside down and taped the image and parchment paper to it to keep it from curling or shifting.

      I then got all my chocolate melted and colored and had a separate parchment cone for each (you could probably also use squeeze bottles or disposable bags with fine tip). I began by doing all the details (like the whites dots on eyes and nose, whiskers, etc) that I wanted to show through and then tracing the major outlines. After that, I filled the rest of the large color blocks in.

      In order to keep the separate colors “stuck” together and to provide some extra reinforcement for the piece, once it was semi-set and I knew it wouldn’t smear, I flooded the back side with white (or orange, I don’t remember). It looks a little gloppy on the back, but won’t affect the front.

      I don’t know whether candy melts set up quickly at room temp, but I needed to put my finished design in the refrigerator to fully set. Chocolate can begin to curl off the paper in the fridge if left too long, so I kept a close eye on it. You can peel it off easily as soon as it’s set.

      Keep in mind that you are making a mirror (reverse) image when you do this and flip over your transfer to the nice, smooth side. So if you have writing on your original image or you need the design to face a certain direction, you’ll need to flip it.

  16. Wow, thanks for the detailed information. You’re a peach!

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