Our boy turned 8 last month - October 20, to be exact - and since skateboarding is one of his favorite activities, I had decided to make him a skateboard cake. I got inspiration from the Family Fun website.
But how to decorate it?
I scoured Cake Central for ideas, ones that would be simple (we do have a newborn baby around here, after all) but appealing to him. When I found this one, I knew it would be perfect, since he loves all things camouflage and it looked relatively easy to replicate.
I chose well, he absolutely loved it, and his friends were all very impressed as well.
Here's how ya do it.
1 13 x 9 " cake (I used chocolate)
1 9" round cake (I used yellow)
1 batch Buttercream Frosting** (recipe at end of post)
Heavy cream or milk (for thinning frosting if necessary)
4 small chocolate-coated doughnuts
2 Pirouette cookies
Food coloring - black, green
It helps to have the cakes baked ahead of time and frozen, that way they carve easier and you get fewer crumbs when icing the cake.
Cut the 9" round cake in half. Lay the 13 x 9" cake horizontally on the cake board and trim off a little of the sides, to give the skateboard some dimension. Place the cut halves of the circle cake on each end. Trim bottoms to make level with the larger cake if necessary.
I tinted my whole batch of frosting light tan with some sifted cocoa powder. Sifting is very important, you don't want clumps of cocoa in there!
I removed about 4 cups of frosting and divided equally between 4 bowls. One I added extra cocoa powder (plus a little cream) to make the dark brown. Another I added a little bit of green food coloring for the light green. Another I added lots more green and some more cocoa powder to make a dark green. The last I added more cocoa powder and black food coloring to make black. (It's much easier to achieve black frosting with chocolate in there!)
With the plain light tan frosting, I gave the cake its base coat. Then I used a toothpick to outline the design I wanted. You could skip that step if you want, I just felt more comfortable with having an outline.
Then I simply fitted a couple of pastry bags with small star tips (Wilton tips 17 and 18), filled with frosting, and went to work.
Interesting note: I only have two re-usable pastry bags that I like to use. Since I didn't want to wash them out between colors, I did the dark brown before the light brown and the dark green before the light green and just left the residue of the darker frosting in there when I filled the bag with the lighter frosting - it made the lighter frosting come out mixed and made the camoflaged appearance even cooler.
After the piping was all complete, all I had to do was stick a couple of the Pirouette cookies in between a couple of doughnuts for the wheels and axles and place them carefully on the cake. I made sure to have extra doughnuts handy for the kids at the party, because of course everyone wanted one.
The happy birthday boy.
1 cup butter, room temperature (salted)
1 cup shortening
8 cups powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream or milk (more if necessary for desired consistency)
1/2 t. almond extract (optional)
Pinch of salt, (if you used unsalted butter)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening on high (8 on my KitchenAid) for a minimum of 10 minutes. Reduce speed to "Stir" and add the powdered sugar slowly. Add vanilla and cream or milk. Whip until smooth. Add almond extract if desired. It gives the frosting just an extra "Wow" factor that I really like.
Linked to Birthday Cake Round-up