Sunday, September 18, 2011

Camouflage Deer Cake with Autumn Leaves

Every couple of months I get a huge urge to bake and decorate a cake,  so I was rather excited when some friends asked me to make the cake for their son's first birthday.  They love camping, hunting, and the outdoors in general.  Their adorable son is a hunter in the making, and this was the perfect cake for him.  It was a big hit and I tried a few things I had never done on a cake before.  I'll show you how to make the leaves and camouflage as well as a few tips along the way.  

For decorating my cakes I use Marshmallow Fondant.  Everything on the cake is made by hand except for the deer which I bought for fear of trying to make one look real out of fondant or modeling chocolate.  

To make the leaves, I used 4 different colors of fondant: Red, Orange, Yellow and Green.  I rolled the colors into thin logs, twisted them together, and started mixing them until the colors were slightly blended.
Then roll out fondant and use a leaf shaped cookie cutter to cut out leaves.  
Use a fondant ball tool to shape edges of the leaf, slightly thinning edges.
Use a pointed or knife-like tool to make lines in the leaf.
Lay the leaves on crumbled aluminum foil (which gives the leaves shapes and curves) and spray with colored mist.  This blends the colors together. Spray lightly!
Next, use a powdered shimmer such as this Wilton silver shimmer and add some to a small bowl.
Use a small brush to add powdered shimmer to the leaves.  Start in the middle and work your way out using less shimmer on the edges.  Focus on the creases and curves of the leaf.  Allow the leaved to dry slightly to hold their shape.
Arrange leaves on the cake as desired.  I used balled up pieces of aluminum foil to help hold the shape of leaves that weren't completely dry so they wouldn't break.
Next I stacked the rest of the cake. 
For the camouflage, first roll out the darkest brown fondant into a long strip.  Drop pieces of the other colors randomly and in different sizes onto the rolled out fondant.
Add powdered sugar to your roller and carefully roll over the strip to blend in the other colors.  
Use a fondant ribbon cutter, or a ruler and pizza cutter, cut the fondant into one long strip.  Carefully roll the strip up like a fruit roll up, and make a straight edge at the end.
Brush a small amount of water onto the cake where the camouflage strips will go.  Starting at the back of the cake, roll out your roll of fondant all the way around the cake being careful to keep it at an even height.  When you get to the back of the cake again, cut the remaining end of the strip off to form a straight seam.  
Use letter cutters to cut out the "Happy Birthday" message in alternating colors.  Use a small brush with a little water to attach the letters to the cake.  I also cut out a small sign and a bow and arrows.  On the top of the cake are two trees.  These are also made out of fondant.  Use a dowel stick and form the tree around the top of the stick leaving plenty of room to stick in the cake to hold it up.  Use scissors to form the bushy look of the tree by just cutting slits in the sides of the tree from bottom to top. 

Store the cake in the fridge until it's party time!  Give it plenty of time to come to room temperature before serving.  

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