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Sand CastleThis is an ice cream cake. To make this, you will need a clean sandcastle mould, a beige ice cream such as butter pecan, maple walnut or French vanilla, sand-coloured cookie crumbs, shell and/or rock candy, optional: candy clay to make starfish embellishments.
Start by softening (not melting!) your ice cream just enough so it can be pressed into the sandcastle mould. Refreeze until firm, then invert onto a prepared cakeboard. Sprinkle on the cookie crumbs, especially along the bottom edges. Add shell, rock and starfish embellishments as desired. The starfish can be made using a small star cookie cutter or by hand. Try using pink and purple to mimic the colours of the more common types of starfish. You can also use green ribbon-shaped licorice or fruit roll-ups for seaweed.
Sprinkle into individual clear plastic cups a thin layer of "sand coloured" cookie crumbs. Add any shell and/or rock-shaped candy on top of the crumbs. Prepare blue gelatin or agar (plant-based gelatin) to pour into cups (let it cool a bit before pouring into the plastic!). If it is not flavoured, prepare it with white grape juice instead of the water, and add a few drops of blue colouring.
Fill each cup about 1/4 full and let set. Add a gummy sea creature (fish, whale, octopus, shark, etc.), then add another layer of liquid and let set, add another creature, etc. until the cup is nearly full. Consider embellishing with a swimmer or two, or make a large bowl of this and add a toy duck and/or boat on top.
For this particular cake, I scooped off the excess icing (crumbs and all), and reheated it until the colour darkened slightly. The crystals in this were now larger, and I spread small clumps on various parts of the cake to add texture and make it look rockier. We also added some toy animals for decor. Some cone trees would also set it off nicely.
I chose the rich caramel icing for the main icing, and spread marshmallow fluff where the lake would be. I then made the fruity sauce, using blueberry jam and fresh blueberries and a few drops of blue food colouring. I poured this over the marshmallow, then sprinkled on cookie crumbs to make the beach. I prefer the President's Choice Funshine cookies (just toss a few into the chopper or blender to make crumbs), but any plain cookie will work.
Then I made the campfire, and the campers, followed by the sugarcone tree and candy rocks. If you have a larger cake, you may wish to add a tent, which can be made with rectangular cookies (to form a simple A frame) and fruit roll-ups to cover them and make tent flaps.
Once you have chosen and baked your cake, freeze it. While still frozen, cut a lengthwise, diagonal cut from the upper long edge to the opposite bottom long edge. Using a thick, spreadable icing (buttercream or similar), attach the top and bottom sides together to make an A-frame tent shape. Decorate the cake by covering in a rolled or poured fondant icing. Once that has set, make 2-3 camper "heads" as directed under "campers" and arrange them along one end where the door would be (so they appear to be peeking out the door). Use a knife rinsed in hot water to score the door seam above and below the camper heads. Pipe or roll skin-tone icing to form a hand holding the tent flap "open" just beneath the top camper's head. Embellish with pretzel "stakes" along the sides (just use a small bit of icing and insert pretzel stick).l
Start with your favourite sheet cake. We actually once made this with a pineapple-upside down cake that we left unflipped. Chocolate cake will lend itself to excavation.
Spread a very thin layer of brown icing over the entire cake.
Now you can get creative! Is it aroad construction, or a new housing survey that is under construction? Use the following items to create your custom construction scene:
Flatbed: fill loaf pan 1/4 full and bake a shorter cake. Add 3 small chocolate "roll" cakes on top as "logs", kept in place with black licorice rope "chains".
Caboose: Freeze baked loaf cake. While frozen, cut out a section from the top end corner about 1/2 way down the cake so that you leave behind the little "porch" at the back of the car. Cut the removed piece in half and arrange on top (fastening in place with icing) to make the top viewing window. Create a railing ising firm licorice sticks, candy sticks or pretzel sticks.
Tank Car: Use a loaf-sized jelly roll, or bake a loaf cake, freeze, then trim to make it cylindrical. Add a licorice ladder up the side if desired.
Pipe car: bake regular mini loaf cake, add candy sticks as pipes, and pipe an icing frame around the cargo
Coal car: bake regular mini loaf cake, pipe a thick icing outline on the top and add either black coloured sugar, dark chocolate chips (or any other candy) inside the outline.
Engine: for a modern diesel engine, bake a regular loaf pan then ice it to look like your favourite engine line. For a steam engine, bake a regular loaf cake, freeze, then round out the top edges to about 2/3 back to make the boiler shape. Add another 1/4 to 1/3 section of cake to the back top of the engine. On top of the boiler, add a small stack of lifesavers candy (or marshmallows) to form the stack, then add your choice of smoke (see clouds, below). Ice as desired, and add a camper (head only) to each engine window (this will be your engineer). Use a Gold or silver Hershey's kiss for the engine light, and don't forget the engine number!
Wheels: use any dark round cookies; make a larger set of wheels for the engine with a larger cookie type. Join steam engine whees with a licorice or other candy stick. Optional: glue with icing a small round candy at the centre of each wheel.
Ice cream version: Soften (do not melt!) your choice of ice cream (use several flavours in layers for greater effect) and press into your moulds, which are a large bowl and a small bowl. Let set in the freezer again. Meanwhile, prepare your lava. For the molten lava, combine equal parts marshmallow fluff and strawberry fruit sauce (see recipe below). If you want it an orangier colour, use 1/2 apricot jam and half strawberry for the fruit sauce. The marshmallow and fruit don't need to be thoroughly mixed. For lava that is cooling, use a hot fudge sauce, or a chocolate magic shell topping.
Next, invert the larges bowl of ice cream onto your cake board (I suggest using a tray that has a lip around the edge to contain overflowing lava and melting ice cream). Invert the smaller bowl on top, pressing it down firmly. Seal any seams with additional ice cream and smooth to desired shape with a spatula. Press a small indent into the top of the volcano. Return to the freezer if necessary.
Now add the cooling lava, followed by the hot lava and fireballs. Serve with a small sparkler in the top, or put all the candles at the top.
For lava bombs, use tiny round chocolate donuts with white sugar coating, and roll them in orangy-red coloured sugar as well and arrange along the sides and bottom of the cake.
Cake version: Use an angel food cake (or any cake that is that shape) and a small (16 cm/ 6") round cake to build this cake. Ice the top only of the angel cake, and place the round pake on top. Carve a small pit through the centre of the round cake (this will reach to the bottom of all the cake). Insert a small yogurt container down the centre to be sure it will fit, then remove until all of the icing has been applied. This will hold the dry ice, should you care to use it.
Make up a batch of spreadable (buttercream or similar) icing, tinted to the main colour you want for your volcano base, and ice a very thin layer over the entire cake.
Make up a batch (or 1/2 batch--you will only need about 1/2 cup total for this step) of pourable icing and divide it into two or three parts. Colour each part a suitable lava colour. Optional: make up some fruity sauce using strawberry and apricot jam. Mix a few cake chunks and crumbs from the section you cut out earlier with the darkest colours of lava. Pour the different lava colours from the top of the cake and down the sides randomly. Add a few chocolate candy rocks here and there as desired.
When it is time to serve the cake, insert the yogurt container into the centre of the cake, and using gloves and tongs, add a couple of dry ice pellets to the container and use a turkey baster to add some warm water to the dry ice. Add a sparkler on top for a more explosive effect (the dry ice "smoke" will roll down the sides of the cake so the sparkler will still burn).
This is best made in clear glass or plastic containers. You can make one large group serving, or individual dirt cups.
There are many versions of this dessert available.
For the layers, you will need an assortment of ingredients (choose at least two of the following):
First add any cookie or cake crumbs, in layers. Next add the ice cream or mousse, again, in layers. Follow this with any sauces, then sprinkle on more crumbs, powder etc. Lastly, arrange gummy worms and garnishes as desired. Be sure to push a few gummy worms down the sides of the container so they show through.
If you make a large serving of this, you can also garnish it with sugar cone trees on top.
Choose one (or more) of the graves to "haunt" by piling dark cookie crumbs in front to make it look fresh (or even dig a hole in the cake if you are feeling especially morbid, and pile the crumbs as dirt beside the hole). Make a white candy clay "ghost" by rolling a ball then elongating it to a point at one end; add facial features with a toothpick dipped in food colouring or a melted dark chocolate chip, then insert just behind and peeking out from behind the tombstone, or attached to the back of the tombstone using icing.
Additional details you may wish to add: candy pumpkins, traling vines and weeds (piped on with green icing), candy black cats and/or bones, icing or cake sprinkle flowers at some of the graves, candy clay barren trees, and paper "beware" signs (paper on a toothpick).
This is a simple, but effective cake. Start with a round cake, single or multi-layered. Make a slight indent on either side of the area that will be your stem, and cut a tiny wedge on either side to round out the area beside the stem. Ice the stem a light brown, light green or beige colour as desired. Ice the rest of the pumpkin with your favourite spreadable icing, tinted orange. Smooth the icing by dipping a spatula in warm water, and make the natural "bumps" you find on a pumpkin. From a sheet of yellow fruit leather, cut our Jack O' Lantern facial features. Place these in position on the cake. Use the end of a butterknife to gently press the edges into the icing so that the features are set in a little. You may wish to trace around the features with some contrasting piped icing, but it is just as effective without this as well.
Use your favourite white cake batter, and slightly underfill the cupcake sheet before baking. Let the cupcakes cool completely. Add a round scoop of vanilla icecream on top of each cupcake, then add three mini chocolate chips for buttons, five for a mouth, two for eyes and an orange Hershey's mini kiss for the nose. Add two pretzel sticks out the sides for arms, and serve.
Ice the cake in either green icing, or white if you prefer a snowier Christmas tree effect. For the green tree, sprinkle on some coconut grass to simulate needles if desired. Decorate your tree with your favourite candy. Foil chocolate balls and bells, mini candy canes, and round gumdrops are especially effective. Don't forget to add a star (cookie, foil, candy, candy clay or a small sparkler) to the top of your tree!
Along the outside of the cake, press in plain rectangular cookies to make walls. Create a diving board using a wafer cookie, and add an icing or licorice ladder up the side leading up to the board.
Make swim noodles using lengths of coloured licorice, and rings using lifesaver candy. Insert gummie bears or bear cookies as swimmers, or use a camper's head (see campers below) on top of the ring. Make a buoy line using a length of shoestring licorice and lozenge-shaped candy distributed over it along its length, or just pipe white icing and add icing floats.
To make a tiled deck, use Chicklets-style gum or other tile-shaped candy around the sides. Add a gummy shark and/or whale for fun.
You will need:
a cake for the base (any plain cake will work)
flavoured agar or gelatin mixed and ready to pour
1 teaspoon of sugar
Use a fork to pierce holes all the way down through the cake, evenly over all the cake surface. Pour on the agar or gelatin mix and refrigerate until it has set in the cake. Whip the cream with the sugar and spread evenly over the cake surface. Embellish with toy airplanes, hot air balloons and birds as desired.
Pour 1/2 cup of grated coconut into a closable container. Add a drop or two of green food colouring, seal the container and shake. Add more food colouring if desired. Sprinkle on your choice of icing before the icing sets.
Or, use green cake sprinkles for grass.
The easiest way to show these is to use cotton candy. You can also use marshmallow fluff or popcorn balls, or thread popcorn on a wire. Cotton candy and fluff can be used on both 2-D and 3-D style cakes; popcorn is best left for 3-D cakes.
This needs to be assembled in place.
Sprinkle some cookie crumbs in a circle the size of your fire. Cut up a few yellow, orange and red jujubes or gummy candies and arrange in the centre; these are the flames. Arrange several pretzel sticks in a teepee formation over the flames. Insert a single yellow birthday candle (which will look much more effective than the striped one in the picture!) in the centre through the middle of the flames. Circle the entire fire with chocolate rock candy.
Take a fig cookie and, working parallel to the rounded edges, cut out the middle 1/3 of the cookie. Press the cut sides together to form the sleeping bag. Decorate the sleeping bag with icing or candy clay. Use any round skin-toned candy for the head. Use icing or candy clay to form hair around the head, then paint on a face with a toothpick dipped into watered down food colouring.
Rich Caramel Icing
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar and milk in saucepan, cover and heat for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and cook without stirring to 238-240 degrees Farenheit. Add the butter and remove from heat until it cools to 110 degrees Farenheit. Add the vanilla and beat the icing until it reaches a good icing consistency. If it is too thin, refrigerate for a short time, then beat it some more. If too thick, add a little more milk and beat.
No-Fail Cream Cheese Icing
This easy icing adapted from "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron, has the consistency of buttercream icing, spreads well, and tastes fantastic.
3/4 package cream cheese, softened (this equates to 6 ounces or 61 grams)
4 tablespoons softened butter
1-1.5 teaspoons lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
4 cups icing sugar
Cream the first three ingredients together, then slowly mix in the icing sugar. If you wish to thin the mixture, add a few drops of milk.
This is best if it uses jam made with sugar rather than corn syrup (aka glucose), but any kind of jam will still work. Into a small saucepan, add 1/2 -1 cup of your favourite jam, and about 1/4 that amount of water (more if the jame is expecially thick, less if it is a bit runny). If the jam has large chunks of fruit in it and you desire a smooth topping, run it through a blender with the water before heating. Bring the jam and water to a slow boil for about one minute, then turn of heat but let the pot remain on the burner for another couple of minutes. Remove from the burner, cover and let cool to room temperature. Stir the mixture well before using on your cake or dessert.
Combine: 4 tablespoons thick yogurt (or regular yogurt plus 1 tablespoon powdered milk), 1 tablespoon blueberry jam and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice; add fresh berries if desired. Blend in blender or food processor until smooth. To thin add a few drops of water; to thicken add powdered milk.
Perhaps it would be misleading to call a birthday cake healthy, but there are some steps you can take to add nutrition without sacraficing flavour.