Sunday, March 24, 2013

Curious George Birthday Cake

My baby turned 3 this weekend :( I feel like every other parent who just cannot believe it when their kids grow up. Time really does fly people! On to cake before I start crying again...
When I saw this Curious George Cake on Pinterest, I KNEW I had to make one, but I still wasn't sure. My son loves so many things, it was going to be hard to narrow down a theme. I was on the fence, so I posted all the possibilities to our Facebook page and the commenters seemed to agree that George was the way to go.

The above is how I posted it to Facebook. I ended up making some minor changes. I forgot that I wanted to incorporate some airplanes (another one of my son's favorite things) as well as the number 3 candle. So it ended up looking like this:

I'm notorious for complaining about my work. I'm just not a good decorator. I frequently tell people that I don't do pretty, I do delicious. But this time was a little different. I made tons of mistakes and as usual, I'll go on about most of them, but I was still happy with how this turned out despite the fact that it wasn't necessarily what I was going for. 

So here's how it came together. The recipe is one of my favorites from Sweetapolita. Just the cake. So moist and delicious. I have tried and cannot make swiss meringue buttercream so I stuck with a basic buttercream recipe. Butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. I didn't do much measuring, so I'm no help there, but it might shock you to know that I used a grand total of 10 sticks of butter in all the frosting I made today. Yikes. 

I couldn't find a Curious George font, so I just used something called "Dancing Script" in Google docs and printed off what I wanted. I also printed off a Curious George face from PBS kids. I taped these to my counter and then taped parchment paper on top. My plan was to add Wilton food coloring to candy melts and make it so I could peel them off and stick them on the cake. I dipped my first bit of black dye into the candy melts and it immediately hardened. I stared at it for a bit, then put it back in the microwave. Still hard. I added shortening to it and microwaved again. Still hard. Texted my blogging partner in crime to complain about this. She responded that they have separate dye for candy melts. Of course they do. I need to start filing my questions with her PRIOR to taking on big projects. 

I ended up using the black coloring to make the smile and nose and hoping it worked. Luckily George is brown, so I just had to add chocolate candy melts to the white ones I already had. I also wanted to put the face on the side of the cake like the inspiration photo, but that didn't work out. Not a huge deal though. 
I also wanted to use an aqua color to pipe next to the red border, but it turned out more green than aqua. And that was the last of my buttercream, so I decided that the cake was good just red and yellow :) And since I couldn't put red tint in the candy melts, I ended up having to freehand the text. It actually turned out alright despite not being able to trace.

All in all, not what I was going for, but the boy was very pleased. He walked up to it and said "It's amazing". After that, I couldn't think it was anything but perfect and worth every bit of effort put into it. Happy birthday kiddo!

~ Brandi