Friday, July 6, 2012
Angry Birds Cake
Whenever I think about how I got started in allergy-friendly baking, my first thought is...it all started with a cake. My oldest son was just about to turn two years old when I found out he had multiple food allergies. I remember thinking, "How am I gonna bake him a birthday cake if I can't even use eggs, butter, flour and milk?" That was five years ago and I still can't believe I figured out how to make him an allergy-friendly cake in time for his birthday. He's since outgrown his wheat and dairy allergy but I still have to avoid dairy for my youngest son. Every birthday cake I've made for my boys have become milestones, each one symbolizing another year that they've been able to enjoy life despite their food allergies. So I try to do my best to make each birthday cake as special as they are.
My oldest son absolutely loves Angry Birds. He loves playing the games and collecting all things Angry Birds. He even loves drawing all the characters and making comic books. I guess he's a little chip off the old block, huh?
When my friend Fahra asked me to make an Angry Birds cake for her nephew CJ, my son immediately fell in love with the cake and asked if I could make the same exact cake for his birthday. I said, "Of course!"
Not too long after I made CJ's cake, my friend Marquet asked me to make the same Angry Birds cake for her family. So by the time my son's birthday came around, I had plenty of practice making this cake. The only problem now was making sure he didn't see his cake before his birthday. I stayed up a few nights baking and decorating his cake, waiting until he fell asleep so he wouldn't see it. When I finished, I put it in a cake box and taped it shut so he couldn't peek inside :-)
To make this Angry Birds cake, first I baked my son's favorite vegan chocolate cake. I filled it with chocolate frosting and let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours before covering it with white rolled fondant. To add color, I mixed together some sky blue icing color and vodka then used a paper towel to dab the color onto the rolled fondant.
For the sides of the cake, I used a pizza cutter to create the mountain slopes out of green fondant and used a green edible marker to draw on the grass. Then, I used a round cookie cutter to make the sun out of yellow fondant and used the pizza cutter again to cut out some rays. I used kitchen scissors to make the clouds out of white fondant and alphabet cutters for the word "PLAY." I outlined the letters using a black edible marker then attached everything by brushing a little water on the sides of the cake.
For the top of the cake, I cut two free-formed shapes out of green fondant and placed them on the cake. To make the slingshot, I rolled some brown fondant into a log and cut one end into two. I smoothed out the sides and gently formed it into the shape of a slingshot. To help the slingshot hold its shape, I inserted some toothpicks into each end. Next, I rolled a long strip of black fondant and wrapped it around the two ends of the slingshot. I used more toothpicks to stick the slingshot into the cake. For the wooden logs, I used a paring knife to cut rectangular pieces out of brown fondant. I dragged the dull side of the paring knife across each log to create the bark-like texture then inserted toothpicks into each one to help them hold their shape and attach them to the cake. I rolled small pieces of gray fondant to make the rocks. For the frying pan, I used a round cookie cutter for the base and black fondant for the handle. Last, I used three small pieces of white fondant to make the eggs.
To make the red angry bird, I took some red fondant, rolled it into a ball and attached two small pieces on top. I used a small round piping tip and white fondant to make the eyes. I colored in the irises with a black edible marker and rolled two small pieces of black fondant for the eyebrows For the beak, I rolled a small piece of orange fondant into log, folded it in half and cut a little bit of the folded end then attached it to the bird. I attached a flat piece of white fondant to the bottom of the bird. I used a toothpick to poke a hole in the back of the bird and stuck three pieces of black fondant for the tail.
To make the yellow bird, I took some yellow fondant and shaped it into a pyramid. I used the same technique to make the eyes and beak as I did for the red bird but used brown fondant for the eyebrows instead of black and a darker orange fondant for the beak. I attached some black fondant on top of the bird and used kitchen scissors to snip them into three pieces. Last, I attached a triangular piece of white fondant below the beak and tucked it to the bottom.
To make the pig, I rolled some green fondant into a ball. I attached two small pieces of round fondant using a ball tool to make the ears then I colored in the center using a black edible marker. I used the same technique to make the eyes and used small pieces of green fondant and black edible marker to make the snout.
For the little green pig's helmet, I shaped some gray fondant into an oval and attached it to the top of the head and stuck two strips of brown fondant on each side.
To make king pig's crown, I rolled some yellow orange fondant into a cone and small scissors to make two cuts to create the top of the crown. For the jewels, I attached four tiny pieces of blue fondant around the sides of the crown. I also drew on some eyebrows for the king pig.
When my son saw his cake he just couldn't stop looking at it. "Wow! Is this really my cake?!?" Even though he's seen this same exact cake before (twice!), it didn't seem to matter. He was just so happy to have his very own Angry Birds cake.
Here's to another milestone and to more birthdays :-)