I really wanted to make a special cake for my mother's birthday, but I was struggling to think of things that she likes that could be converted into cake. After some careful consideration, I realized that the thing she loves most is spending time with her grandchildren. :-) Fortunately, my two-year-old niece, Lily, was spending the day with me so I got to use her creativity for my mom's cake.
I knew that I wanted to incorporate Lily's artwork somehow, but I was reluctant to let her just start coloring all over the cake... Yikes! Luckily I had some wafer paper left over from another cake project, and I always have edible markers on hand, so I put Lily to work. She ended up coloring three different pictures, which gave me lots of fabulous material to work with!
For the design of the cake, I used some inspiration from two different tutorials that I recently saw online. One was for the template that I used to cut the wafer paper (from jessicakes.blogspot.com) and the other was for the confetti/streamers (from nyccakegirl.com).
For the circumference of the cake, I wanted a design that would cover a lot of space (and use lots of Lily's artwork), but I didn't want to just wrap the cake with wafer paper. A couple of months ago, I saw a cake tutorial that I loved on http://jessicakesblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/maddies-fashion-birthday-cake.html that had a great template, so I decided to use that template to cut out Lily's artwork. I ended up downloading the template from her blog and resizing it to fit my six-inch cake. I printed out the template, traced it onto the wafer paper and cut out the design. Then I brushed a thin layer of piping gel onto the back of the wafer paper and pressed it onto the cake, smoothing it out with my fondant smoother (I ended up applying it in two sections).
Next, I used a thin brush and applied a small amount of piping gel onto the cake, just above the wafer paper. Then I used my clay extruder to extrude a long strip of fondant onto a piece of wax paper.
Once I extruded a piece of fondant that was long enough to go around half of the cake, I lifted it up and applied it to the cake, just above the wafer paper. To make the loops on the top, I added a little bit of piping gel to make the loops stick to the cake. Then I repeated the same process for the second half of the top, and for the bottom of the cake, just below the wafer paper.
Next, I brushed some piping gel in random spots on the top of the cake and along the base and added some confetti sprinkles. Then I dug through my fondant graveyard (leftover fondant from previous cake projects) to find lots of different colors to make the ribbon/streamers). I rolled out a small amount of each color, cut it into thin strips of various lengths, and curled the fondant around my pencil. After letting it dry for a couple of minutes, I removed the ribbons from my pencil and curved them. Then I placed them randomly on the cake. Once I got the ribbons the way that I wanted them, I attached them with piping gel.
And that's it! I wonder if Lily will recognize her artwork tomorrow when she sees the cake. :-)