Last Updated 1/22/23
Often a cake is a big part of your party. It not only tastes good but is usually the centerpiece of your party. Bakery or Store Bought Cakes are costly and not as much fun as one you can make yourself. There are tons of recipes for cakes made from scratch available online. Lots of them probably are amazing. Most of the time, I prefer to spend my time decorating and not digging up ingredients, so I usually just use a box cake. 99% of the time it's Duncan Hines. I have compared and found the Duncan Hines cake mixes to be moister and very forgiving if you happen to over bake them a little. (Oops!)
Refrigerate Cake before frosting it
Cold Cake will be less "Crumby"
Start with a Crumb Coat (A thin layer of frosting)
Refrigerate again, then frost away.
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I love the look of Fondant but not a big fan of the taste.
The Marshmallow Fondant does taste better then the pre-made stuff you can buy and it's cheaper to make it.
16 ounces white mini marshmallows
(use a good quality brand)
2 -5 tablespoons water
2 lbs Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave. Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and put back in microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 ½ minutes total.
This is a good point to add your food coloring. You can add it later but it is a lot easier to stir it in now, rather them kneading it in later
Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until it gets so thick you can't stir it. This happens quickly. Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage!
Add the rest of the powdered sugar Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking.
If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.
Its best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.
Prepare the fondant for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic- type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks.
Most of my adult friends don't care for fondant of any kind, but the kids LOVE the Marshmallow Fondant.
So I try to use it mainly for decorations as opposed to covering the entire cake.
Use a cookie cutter to cut basic shapes.
Use several shapes to make almost anything.
I often use fondant like Playdoh. Although most prefer Modeling Chocolate the marshmallow fondant is easy to make and in my opinion, when thicken with a little more powdered sugar, it's easier to work with.
I used a 8" Round pan and a 6" round pan.
1 boxed cake mix to fill Both. $1.00
Oil and eggs $ 1.00
I simply cut the 6" cake in half and placed them on each side of the 8" to make the ears.
1 Chocolate, 1 Vanilla Canned Frosting $3.00
You don't even have to smooth it. I purposely swirled it in small strokes with a knife to give him texture. Add black food coloring to some of the chocolate for the eyes and nose. If you don't have decorating bags and tips you can cut the corner of a ziploc bag, fill it with the black frosting and use it to draw the mouth and eyebrows.
For $5.00 you have a cute, easy cake. However if you splurge for $2.00 more you can get the Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough, which I only used 1/2 of the package. (And yes I got the ones you don't even have to slice. just pop them on a cookie sheet and bake) Add chocolate frosting circles and now you have a whole display.
Add Toys to Decorate Cakes
For an inexpensive cake board I use cardboard covered with a plastic table cloth or foil (Either heavy duty aluminum foil or decorative foil ) Cut apart cardboard boxes you can get free at any store that is stocking shelves. I usually use at LEAST 2 stacked pieces of cardboard taped together so they are sturdier.
Fairy Wings and a Tiara from the Dollar Store can turn a small cake into a larger centerpiece
Adding a mask can make a bigger statement.
Toys from Happy Meals are inexpensive decorations and are usually following the latest trends
Transferring an Image onto a Cake
Choose an image. Cartoons are easy. Make sure you print the image so that it fits the size of your cake.
Trace the image on to wax paper. Place a piece of wax paper over your printed image, and trace. Keep it simple; detail doesn't translate in Icing World.
Cover the tracing with Icing. Tape the traced wax sheet INK SIDE DOWN on something flat - a small cookie sheet, a plastic cutting board, whatever. Pipe your design with icing, freeze it, then FLIP IT on to the cake. Put the design in the freezer for an hour an up to several days, but be sure to wrap it in plastic if the icing will be exposed for longer than four hours.
Assemble the cake. Cover the cake with icing of any color (store-bought if you want), and make the top as smooth as you can. Then place the frozen design on the cake and gently pull back the paper. Fill in with frosting.
Shape Cakes into Letters or Numbers
Combine Interests even if they don't usually go together
I once did a graduation cake for girl who liked cows and karaoke. Cake had a cow with a graduation cap and a microphone.
This one he liked Taz and Jeff Gordon
Think Outside the Box
Is it cake or is it Pi ?
Not a fan of fondant and most edible decorations, my husband wanted a plain cake with "No FuFu".
Pink Pajamas with Penguins on the bottom.
This was made for a person who delivers for a Pharmacy
Use Cakes as Your Theme
A Cake Decorating Contest is both a fun activity and a great way to decorate your table. I baked several 6" round cakes and frosted them with a thin coat of white frosting. You could just leave them unfrosted and have your guests frost them, I set this up the night before and didn't want the cakes to dry out. This party was also planned for guests of all ages so I wanted to keep the contest simple enough for all to enjoy. Sometimes trying to smooth out frosting is time consuming and can be frustrating. By frosting them ahead of time the guests could just do the fun part. I bought large round storage containers from the Dollar Store and flipped them upside down and used them as a cake holder so guests to take their masterpieces home with them. I filled several decorating bags with colorful frosting and a variety of tips, then added jars of sprinkles, eyes, candies, glitter etc.
For this party, we actually bought and served Cake Boss Cakes online. A little pricey but REALLY good.
Name That Cake Printable Game
Let the Kids Help
Even if it's Not Perfect
1980's - Animals - Barbeques - Bored & Party Games - Printables - Candyland and Gingerbread - Camping and Scouts - Chocolate - Dinosaurs - Disney - Disney Stories - Dr Seuss - Dragons and Wizards - Fairies - FALL for Thanksgiving - Farms - Gaming - Gnomes - Ice Cream Socials - Movies and TV - Animated Movies - Kid's TV - Music - Pirates - Planes, Trains & Cars - Princesses - Sports, Hunting and Fishing - Spring and Gardens - Steampunk - Summer and Beaches - Superheroes - Under the Sea - Unicorns and Rainbows