Jungle Themed First Birthday Cake


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After making her daughter’s fishy cupcakes for her 3rd birthday, my friend Becca was so kind to give me an encore to make her son’s 1st birthday cake :).  She requested a strawberry cake with blue and green colors incorporated.

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Cake toppers for inspiration.

She sent me a picture of a few jungle animal toppers that she wanted to incorporate.  With that, I thought a great way to get the colors in was to do a blue buttercream all around the cake, with green detailed in the shape of grass!

So I baked up two strawberry cakes, 8″ round.

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Then leveled and cut each cake in half, and started layering them in the same fashion I always do.

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I decided this cake was as good as any to try playing with modeling chocolate.  With a mixture of white chocolate, corn syrup, and food coloring, I rolled out some green modeling chocolate to 1/16″ thickness, on a sheet of was paper greased with shortening.

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Then I used a sharp scalpel and cut out the silhouette of the grass.

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And carefully pulled off the excess chocolate.

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And brushed a layer of sugar syrup on top.

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I then pressed the grass around the cake bottom using a fondant smoother.

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Then I slowly peeled off the parchment paper and used my finger to smooth away any of the shortening residue that was on it.

I have to credit Jessica Harris for her awesome technique on using this wax paper transfer method to transfer modeling chocolate/fondant details onto a cake without worrying about guidelines and placement!  Using this method made it really easy to line up the grass without worrying about ripping or stretching my modeling chocolate.

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I then made some yellow modeling chocolate, rolled it out, and imprinted a chevron pattern into it.
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I then used my scalpel and cut out some letters to spell out the birthday boys’ name, Ace!

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Because I wanted them to firm up before applying them onto the cake, I covered part of my 8″ round tin with wax paper, and placed the letters on there (with some shortening on the back so they would stick to the paper) to let them firm up, while still maintaining the curvature needed to apply them to the cake.

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While those firmed up, I used my scalpel to cut out a number 1, to go on top of the cake.

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And to bring in some of the brown found in the features of the animal toppers, I to used an extruder to make a border around the 1, as well as around the bottom of the cake.  I made a long strip of it and cut it to the appropriate length and applied each strip individually.

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And then the bottom of the cake.

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Once the letters hardened, I applied some sugar syrup to the backs and gently placed them along the side of the cake.

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And the finished cake to bring to Becca (pre cake toppers).

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And a quick picture of the adorable birthday boy, looking a little confused at what was going on :).  However I think they enjoyed the cake all the same.photo

Happy 1st birthday, Ace, this is just one of many great birthdays to come!!

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