Thursday, January 27, 2011
Hi guys! I made this cake and cupcakes for my little cousin Nick’s 9th birthday party last Sunday (1/23). He had his party at Main Event here in Austin, which is this awesome place that has an arcade, glow-in-the-dark putt putt golf, laser tag, bowling, and of course rock climbing. The theme was “Nick’s Rockin’ Birthday,” and it was a blast. My aunt Vickie asked me a week or so before the party if I’d make cupcakes for it. I had originally just planned to make cupcakes with grey frosting and some sort of candy on top to look like hand and foot holds on a rock climbing wall. Once I talked about it with my mom, however (who by the way is a creative genius), we had a completely different plan. She wanted to make an actual wall to place the cupcakes on, and have the cupcakes act as the hand and footholds on the wall. I told my aunt about the idea as well and agreed to make a small cake along with the cupcakes so Nick could have some candles to blow out. I think both the cake and the cupcakes turned out wonderfully, and the kids loved them. It was my first time really trying hard on a layer cake, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
My mom made the wall out of styrofoam bricks and painted it grey with a small bucket of oops paint we found at Walmart.
I added a pennant at the top I had printed out on the computer as well as some rope to the wall.
The layer cake is three layers of rainbow chip (from a box mix) covered in vanilla buttercream. The “rocks” are actually large jelly beans. The letters are just some candy letters I had since I didn’t want to ruin the cake with mediocre piping.
The birthday boy about to blow out his candles.
Since both cakes were made from a box mix, I’ve got no recipe to share with you, but I do have some process pictures.
Mise en place the night before baking.
Here is the rainbow chip cake batter divided amongst three cardboard pans that I bought from All In One Bake Shop.
Here are the layer cakes fresh from the oven. My oven tilts toward the back, so the cakes are all lopsided, but I was going to level them anyway so it didn’t matter. I just leveled them by sticking them in the freezer for about 45 minutes (covered in plastic wrap) and then sliced them level with a large knife.
Here’s the cake with the first layer of frosting. I don’t own a turntable yet, so I used an upside down bowl with a plate on top instead.
Here’s the cake after the first smoothing. I used a smooth paper towel and a scraper after the frosting had crusted to achieve this.
Here’s the cake after the second smoothing and decorating.
For the cupcakes, I mixed up the cake batter (just plain vanilla) and divided it evenly into three bowls.
I then added Americolor gel coloring to each bowl to dye it red, yellow, and blue.
I used red, yellow, and blue cupcake liners as well.
Once frosted (I used my standard buttercream recipe and a jumbo 8B piping tip), the cupcakes and the cake went in the fridge to chill until the party the next day. I topped the cupcakes with Pop Rocks before setting them on the wall.