The most challenging time of the year for any cake maker isn’t Christmas or Easter. It’s their kids’ birthday.
X-Ray has been planning his 6th Bespoke birthday cake literally the day after his last birthday (see his 5th birthday cake here)…for the whole year. His wish list was LONG. There were a few twists and turns in themes. We started with Ninjago, then turned to Sonic, then it started getting silly with a hybrid Ninjago-Sonic theme at which point I hit the brakes. Luckily, around this time, the new Super Mario Bros movie came out and it was all X-Ray could talk about. He was officially hooked on everything Mario. Which suited me just fine because I also happen to love everything Mario!
I remember playing Mario kart as a kid on my Nintendo games console. Yoshi was my favourite character, who sadly doesn’t make much of an appearance in the film, but I was determined to get it into X-Ray’s cake. Because if I’m going to spend days of blood, sweat and tears into this one cake I don’t even get paid for, there's gotta be something in it for me too.
X-Ray decided on Mario and Luigi, coming out of pipes. With a mystery box. And mushrooms. And the stars with eyes. Yup, cool. “But Mummy, also Bowser!”. Yeah okay…bit much…but fine. Let’s talk about the flavours though now. Chocolate? Vanilla? Cookies & Cream? Red Velvet?
“Mint choc chip, Mummy, I love it”. Eurghhhhhh.
I started on the fondant modelling two weeks before his birthday to spread the work over time, fitting them in between our orders. Mario and Luigi in pipes were fun to make. I actually made Mario with X-Ray in the bakery which was a really sweet few hours spent together. Then I embarked on Yoshi, mushrooms, stars and the Mystery Box of cake.
Two nights before the big day, I decided it was time to do Bowser. After 3 hours of wasting my life on it I was so frustrated rolling the smallest spikes that I took my frustration out on my headless Bowser and binned my wasted efforts. Bowser just wasn’t bowsering. Maybe I was tired, stressed, very possibly both. But we were going to have to do without Bowser and wing it with the rest the next day.
Now as I was vaguely planning out how to decorate this Super Mario cake with all these models, I realised there was no way they could fit on a single tiered cake. We also couldn’t do a multi-tiered cake as the boot of our car couldn’t fit it to take it all the way to Surrey…so it would have to be a cakescape. Which while may be more work…it meant at least I could include a delicious Mario primary-coloured rainbow cake because I just could not face feeding all our guests X-Ray’s choice of mint chocolate chip cake. And because I’m extra, we’ll make it a Piñata Rainbow cake!
Cakescapes are gorgeous because you can add so many varied elements to it. It’s a visual feast. Everywhere you look, you can find something new and interesting and it’s a real talking point. It’s also a cake you’re not going to forget about anytime soon. When creating a cakescape, it’s better to overestimate the amount of decor you need and budget for that. A barren cakescape looks terrible, and you won’t really know it’ll be barren until you get to decorating…by which time it might be too late to make and add any new decorative elements.
Since we were now without Bowser, I had to make something to distract X-Ray but also fill the void. On a whim I made little piranha plants. And dare I say it, they were my favourite details on the cake!
With X-Ray’s toothpaste flavoured, sorry, I mean mint choc chip cake, I made a dark chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and etched every single line for the brick effect. My back broke over this. I then assembled the 6” rainbow piñata cake with the Mario figurine and got to assembling the cakescape on the large cake board.
This is when it starts getting so fun! Adding all the elements in, like Yoshi, Luigi, the mushrooms, mystery box, stars and piranha plants just kept popping out of the cake. Everytime I make a new cakescape, I feel like it’s my new favourite.
How did X-Ray like it on the day?! Well, luckily he didn’t notice Bowser being missing, despite inspecting the cake for a good 15-20 minutes excitedly.
What was even better? He said, “Mummy, I think Mint Choc Chip is better as an ice cream”.
I hope you enjoyed following the making of this Super Mario cake as much as I did.