X-Ray is a cake maker's son. Obviously, the pressure to pull out all the tricks for his 5th birthday cake was PALPABLE.
I have been planning and re-planning his birthday cake for months. It wasn't helped by his likes wildly oscillating between Paw Patrol, Ninjago Lego and Superhereos. Eventually, I managed to steer him towards Superheroes as it's a theme I've been so desperately wanting to flex my creative cake skills on.
But he didn't just stop at the Superheroes. He also wanted a rainbow cake, plus a mini rainbow cake JUST for himself, and a Pinata cake filled with M&Ms. And a chocolate cake with sprinkles. And all the Marvel superheroes. AND Batman.
It's a lot. Too much to cram in a tiered cake, hence I decided upon an epic cake-scape. For those who don't necessarily know what a cake-scape is, it's a term I gave to a cake design that incorporates multiple layer cakes on the same level, versus stacked into tall tiers. The increased surface area gives a lot more scope for decoration, and it is a stunning party centrepiece. Every cake-scape I have created has been met with open-gaping-mouthed gasps. They are extremely effective. Just look at the Under the Sea, Jungle Monkey, and Hungry Caterpillar ones! It's actually hard to pick a favourite.
They are however, also very labour intensive. For X-Ray's 5th birthday cake I first made edible fondant decorations - Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer, Hulk's fist, a crawling Spiderman and a Batman.
Then I began the epic bake of all the rainbow cake layers using our popular Hero Sponge recipe, and chocolate cake layers.
To make the Pinata cake, I cut out small discs from the lower layers of the rainbow cake and filled the well generously with M&Ms. I then frosted the cakes in rainbow and superhero primary colours. The mini cake was fully encrusted in red, blue and white strands to match Captain America's shield. And then there was the teeniest, tiniest rainbow pinata cake too!
I included a two-tier cake into the cake-scape for Spiderman. The bottom tier had a sprinkle fault line, and I stencilled the London skyline on the top tier.
It's difficult to envisage how the cake-scape will turn out in the end, until we get near the end of decorating. Only once I start putting the decorations on does it really come to life. I piped on some buttercream spiderwebs and started placing the edible figurines around the cake.
I'd initially placed Batman at the front. But I just couldn't follow through with leaving him there. I just couldn't bring myself to mash Marvel and DC so brazenly. So he got demoted to the back. WHICH is fine because X-Ray was going to stand behind the cake anyway and he would have his Batman figure in full view.
The cake took a lot out of me. But then there was the party which finished me. We threw X-Ray's first proper birthday party with all his friends in Twickenham and it was superhero themed!
The superhero birthday may have finished me, but wow, I have one very happy five year old boy.
Lots of love,