I’m so excited to bring you the first of many posts about the outdoor play themed party I just organised. There are lots of crafty details I’m waiting to share but I need to break them up into ‘bite sized pieces’, lol. I thought I would start at the top; the birthday cake. Don’t be fooled though, there are other just as cute ideas to come. For the outdoor play theme I made a sand box inspired birthday cake as this was a popular backyard activity for the kids at the party. One adult at the party thought I had just placed a bucket of sand on a pedestal, haha; perfect! Here’s how I made this no cook cake.
Firstly, I made the fondant pinwheel and bunting a week before the party so it had time to dry out, but I will talk about how I made them after I’ve talked about the cake construction. I essentially made this cake as a trifle, hence the no cook method. I made it in a new beach bucket that I washed and dried thoroughly. I used a bought sponge cake, set jelly that I had made the day before, whipped cream and some treaty treasures to ‘hide’ in there for the kids to dig for. I layered the sponge, cream, jelly and chocolate in layers and repeated finishing the top with some cake and a thin layer of cream. Now for the sand! You could use a food processor for this but I just used good old elbow grease. I crushed a packet of golden Oreos, half a packet of milk arrowroot biscuits and sieved it into a large bowl to get out most of the large chunks. I put back a few of the chunks though just to keep it realistic. I then mixed in some raw sugar until I was happy with the sandy consistency. This sand mixture was spooned generously onto the top of the bucket of cake (that sounded terrible!) Now you could call it done here and it would look totally gorgeous with some paper bunting and a paper pinwheel. That would also make it one of the easiest birthday cakes ever…..but….. I just have to challenge myself.
Here’s how I made the striped fondant pinwheel and bunting. The bunting was actually harder than the pinwheel. As with all my posts, the photos are a really important part of the explanation. The other thing that you may notice about my blog is that I really try not to use many specialised tools and keep things possible with everyday items (when I can manage it). I kneaded my white fondant icing as well as kneading food colouring into my blue and yellow fondant. I needed mostly blue, then white and a bit of yellow. Please refer to the tips in this post about working with fondant so it doesn’t dry out etc. To make the button, I got a small ball of the blue and squashed it to about 1cm thick and 3cm wide. Using a toothpick, I gently ‘stippled’ a line all the way around inside the edge and then made holes for the button and put it aside. I then rolled out the white and most of the blue fondant to about half a cm thick and then layered the white on top of the blue and rolled it again to make them adhere. I rolled thin snakes of yellow and lined them up on top of the white and then squashed them in by rolling them onto the white, making very cute white and yellow striped icing. I cut a square out of the layered fondant about 12cm wide. Just like making a paper pinwheel, I cut from each corner almost to the centre and then folded the corners in and gently pressing to secure. I gently pressed my premade button onto the front of the pinwheel making sure it was secure too. Once this was done I very gently pushed a wooden skewer into the centre of the pinwheel. Still with me??????
To make the bunting I used the left over fondant colours and hand cut out triangles for my flags. I used a toothpick again to stipple the letters for ‘happy birthday’ onto each flag. Also with a toothpick I pushed a hole through the top part of each flag for twine to go through later (this requires patience and a bit of practice). The key is to keep the flags thin enough that they won’t be too heavy to hang later but thick enough that they can cope with the toothpick. Leave them a few days to dry out. If you can find a needle that will take twine through it, then perfect, because that is the easiest way to thread the string through each flag. Otherwise you can try feeding it through, but I didn’t find that very easy. I snipped the top of my paper straws and ran the ends of the twine through the slits a couple of times, wrapping it around the straw and tying it off. I put skewers into the cake at the angles I needed and then fed the straws over them; this really helps to support the bunting.
I pushed the skewered pinwheel into the sand at the front and then sprinkled left over biscuit sand around the base of the bucket. I also used a lolly buffet spade that I bought from The Princess and the Pirate here. There it is! What do you think? I would love to know. I know this is a long post but I wanted it all to be in one place, instead of it being frustratingly broken up into smaller posts around the blog. Is that OK?