Mommy can I have a Rapunzel tower cake too? That’s what I get for looking at cake pictures with Rowan sitting next to me.
Rowan’s party was pretty simple because we held it at Marbles Museum in downtown Raleigh. This is probably one of the best kids museum I’ve been to and it was Rowan’s first choice for her party location. Now originally I was thinking we’d have a small party at home but Rob thought this would be easier and in all honesty, it was. I never thought we’d be one of those parents, but apparently we are :)The museum gave us a museum host who was awesome and helped out with so much. We ordered some Papa John’s pizza (another Rowan favourite) and then they ate cake, we gave them cookies and then we set them loose in the museum. No fuss no muss and the museum cleans up after! It was exhausting but all of the kids had a blast. SUCCESS!
Making this cake was truly an educational experience for me as this was the biggest, most designed cake I’ve ever made. Now that it’s finished, I only see the flaws of course. This morning I got a great twitter message from my friend Melissa of My Baked Equation of another blog post from Erica O’Brien about things she learned from making cakes and it snapped me back to reality. Thank you so much Melissa. I also posted my progress on FB and twitter and was given great encouragement from so many followers and friends. Trust me, I need and loved it! THANK YOU!
I also now know all the things I would do differently and I thought I’d share what I did and how I would do them next time. (IF there is a next time).
Here’s how I did it:
1. Get your handy friend or husband to make you a tower cake boards. I scowered the internet and asked fellow cake makers, who have undertaken this cake, and then had Rob make this. It’s a 20”x20” base board with 3/4” dowel screwed into the base and then a 6” top board screwed into the dowel. I covered the base a food safe foil wrap. I actually did this several weeks ago, but this was the second attempt at the party as we were all flattened with the “plague” and had to re-schedule.
2. Then I made cereal treats and made the 6” base for the tower house. I covered it in buttercream and white fondant.
3. I used brown fondant to make the wood details. I then used ice cream cones covered in buttercream and cut pieces of fondant for the roof. Rowan and I did this together.
4. I baked the cake, dirty iced and put in fridge over night. This was vanilla cake with lemon buttercream. Very simple.
5. I then made a lot of little flowers out of coloured fondant. Each had a silver dragee in the center. This was time consuming.
6. I made some green fondant and covered the dirty iced cake. In the cake board I put a hole the same size as the dowel.
7. I then took a dowel and pushed it into the centre of the cake and through the hole. I then placed the cake onto the main cake board by placing it onto the dowel from the top. Since it was screwed into the board, I couldn’t think of another way and since I made the hole in the paperboard, it worked quite well. I also added the cobblestone detail grey fondant. I really like these fondant mats for details. To get rid of the cornstarch I used a small brush and vodka.
8. I then took the cereal treats and using another piece of dowel I rolled them around it. I didn’t take a picture of this (sorry). I then slid it onto the dowel.
9. I then covered with buttercream and cobblestone grey fondant. I then added some rocks and grass.
10. This is where the first “almost” tragedy happened. I forgot to use a small cake board and dowels in the main cake to support the cereal treat tower and it started to sink. So I had to remove the tower and make the structure to prevent it from getting worse. Next time, it’ll be first. I also didn’t use the Tylose glue on the dowel, so as it settled it didn’t quite reach the bottom of the top board. I then grabbed some fondant and filled in the space. Next time I’d make the cereal treat tower longer than the dowel and let it settle. Now with all the oopsies, it actually gave the tower a well loved look. Like it was meant to be :)
11. I then added flowers, vines, hair and a few Disney character figurines and stuck it into the garage and hoped it would be still standing in the morning. The happy big sister. At this point of the day Rowan was too tired to want to have her picture taken.
Day Three (party day)
12. The cake survived the night, I then added some royal icing leaves to finish it off. I ever so carefully took it to the back deck to take pictures of it in the sunlight.
13. We then had to transport it to the museum. I sat in the back of Rob’s car and it was the most heart wrenching 25 minutes ever. The train tracks nearly killed me as it swayed back and forth and we lost some hair. We got to the museum and then had to take it it’s final 50 yards. The best feeling was several other patrons stopping and telling me how amazing it was! Yay me :)
14. Then the time came for destruction and you know what? it wasn’t as hard to do as I thought. Stress over :)
What I learned:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. You may see the flaws but no one else does.
- Take the compliments and be proud.
- Don’t transport with tower house attached. I did because I had such a gap between the cereal treats and the tower board so I had to fill it in and then had to hide the mistake with the vines and flowers.
- Make the dowel bigger and probably square. It needed a bit more stability for my sanity.
- Enjoy the ooohs and aaaaahhs :)
I also made cookies as party favors because I don’t do loot bags. Maximus was my favourite!
So over the last three days I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I nearly had a heart attack but all in all had a fabulous time watching my little 4 year old run around with a grin from ear to ear and be in true and utter heaven. So was it worth it??? Absolutely!
Thanks for looking!
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