Gardening Birthday Cake

So, you remember how last time I said that the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” cake started it all?

Well, a few days after the wedding I got an email from the maid of honour.  Her boss was throwing an 80th birthday party for her dad that weekend, but the person she’d had lined up to do the cake was pregnant and had delivered her baby early!  Needless to say, she was looking for new cake arrangements, and fast.  The maid of honour passed my info on to her boss, and I was happy to do it.  Cakeless crisis averted, and I was thrilled because I had another cake to work on!

The birthday boy’s name was Stan, and his family wanted to incorporate some of his favourite things on to his cake:  he’s an avid gardener, he loves reading (his favourite book is “Marley & Me” by Josh Grogan), he’s a big fan of Volkswagen, and his best friend is his Golden Retriever named Hogan.

This is what I came up with:

gardening birthday cake

Look like another grassy cake we’ve seen recently?  The theme just fit so perfectly again for this second request!  The cake flavours are the same as Katy’s: top and bottom tiers dark chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream, and the middle tier carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

Here’s a close-up:  The “dirt” in the garden is chocolate cookie crumbs, and the “rocks” are actually candy covered chocolate (I can’t take credit for them, though – I bought them).  Cool, huh?  The tiny flowers are made from fondant and all other decorations are gumpaste.

After making the cake, I had both batter and icing left over so I whipped up a batch of mini garden cupcakes.  I love my mini muffin pan – it’s perfect for things like leftover batter, and the little bite-size cupcakes are super cute and just the right amount for a sweet little snack.  I didn’t pipe the cream cheese icing on the mini carrot cupcakes as grass – I thought weird albino grass might not look so appetizing, so I just went with a classic swirl on those ones.

Yum.  🙂