Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maybe They Should've Registered For HIS & HERS... - February 2008

This is the 4-wheeler themed groom's cake that I made when my sister, Casandra, and my now brother-in-law, Joe, got married.

4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake 1
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake 2
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Logo & Topper
Joe's 4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Topper 1
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Side View
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Back View
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Angled View 1
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Angled View 2
My sister, Valerie, took the picture below - thanks!  :)
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Topper 2
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake 3
The story behind the cake is: Joe had been riding 4-wheelers for quite sometime.  When Casandra started dating Joe she joined in too and really enjoyed it.  When they were making wedding plans Casandra came across a wedding cake topper online that had the bride trying to pull the groom away from his 4-wheeler.  She laughed and showed it to Joe.  He said 'You'd never pull me off my 4-wheeler' and Casandra said 'Only so I could have a turn'.  Then she thought that it would make a cute cake to have it with a little sign above her talking about wanting a turn riding the 4-wheeler.  They decided they wanted the topper on a tabletop jump with a logo that Joe and his two friends had created on the side of the jump.  Now to find someone to make it... :)

So, they asked me if I could make the cake for them.  I was honored that they asked me, but since I was one of the matrons of honor, Ronnie was singing in the wedding, Cara and Carissa were flower girls, and Caleb was the ring bearer, I was hesitant because I didn't think I would be able to do it well within the time constraints or, you know, without going crazy.  :)  I actually told them I didn't think I could, but then my mom and I came up with me making a dummy cake that would look like what they wanted, and then they would just order a sheet cake or two from somewhere to actually serve.  It was still a bit crazy getting it done, but at least I was able to work on it a larger span ahead of time without worrying about having to keep the cake fresh, remember I'm still a beginner too.  :)

So what would be the cake is actually styrofoam.  I took a long piece of styrofoam (I think it was originally 4"x12"x36") and cut it at a few inches more than half.  I stacked the two pieces and adhered them so I could carve the shape of the tabletop jump.  Now, why I started carving on the approach side of the jump (having never worked with styrofoam before) instead of starting on one of the other sides, I don't know.  I ended up making the approach too steep and there wasn't much I could do about it :( .  I could go into a long explanation of different options at that point and why I did or didn't do them... but I won't :) , let's just say 'on I went'.  :)  I finished carving the shape of the jump and adhered the jump to the foam core base board.

The next thing I did was cover everything with brown fondant.  (Normally I would put a layer of icing on before fondanting, but since it was styrofoam and no one would be eating it I just used water on the styrofoam to help it stick.)  Now I had NEVER come even close to covering anything that large with fondant, so, needless to say I underestimated how much I would need.  So, I decided to just put the fondant on in pieces and then just smooth the seams together... that didn't work.  :)  I mean it went on in pieces, but it didn't exactly smooth together like I thought it would.  So, I thought 'it looks fine with some seams, it's dirt after all, it kind of looks like cracked earth... muddy :)  Right... right... '.  Okay, we'll come back to that later.  :)

4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Logo with TemplateI took a break from the 'cake' and started to work on the logo.  This was an important part of it for Joe, so I wanted to make sure it really looked good.  The letters on the logo stand for Joe, Travis, and Matt, which are Joe and his two friends who have been riding 4-wheelers together a long time and created this logo to represent it.  Joe provided me with a couple drawings he did on the computer of the logo and how he wanted the colors on it.  I printed one of the logos off the size I needed it and laid it on top of a piece of white fondant I had rolled out.  I poked a pin through the paper logo lines every so often into the fondant underneath.  Then lifted off the paper and cut out the flames and rest of the outer outline of the logo by just cutting along the pin holes that had been made in the fondant.  I used the knife to cut into the fondant (but not all the way through) for the inner outlines of the logo (the JTM).  I used red and yellow food coloring to paint the logo's flames, blending them where they met to make the orange, then I used black to outline the JTM. 
So, now I was back to the 'cake'.  It was time to start on the grass... there was a lot of grass.  :)  I made the grass with buttercream icing using a grass tip (which is a just a special multi-holed decorating tip).  Before I put much of the grass on the front side of the jump I had to adhere the logo to the dirt fondant. I used some water and some buttercream icing to stick it to the fondant, but the logo had other plans.  The logo was about 8" long and fairly thick which made it heavy, so at first it wanted to keep sliding down the face of the jump bit by bit.  Grrr...  Finally after messing with it a while (and some patience) it stayed in place, hooray!  Now I could go back to filling in the grass.  The only place I did not use the grass tip was around the logo.  I had to use a regular single-holed tip for that to be able to get in all the nooks and crannies.
4-Wheeler Themed Groom's Cake - Close-up of Logo

So, now we get back to the dirt.  I was not liking the way the seams looked.  It did not look muddy or like cracked earth, it just looked like a big seam that did not smooth together, to me at least.  I mean you could see much less now with the grass on, but there was a seam on each slope of the jump, and they were just too noticeable.  So, I took some of the leftover pieces of fondant that had started to dry out and crumbled them up.  I sprinkled them onto a part of the dirt and thought that it looked good; it gave it a little texture on the path like a coarse dirt.  Once I decided that I wanted to make the dirt that way I decided to put the fondant pieces in the food processor instead of crumbling them.  I liked that look much better.  Of course I only had so much fondant that was already dried to that point, so for most of the dirt I had to make new fondant just to let it dry out to get ready to put it in the food processor.  If it wasn't dry enough it would clump together and not give the right texture or size.  Now, here's the thing, when you don't want fondant to dry out it seems like it happens so quickly, but when you are waiting for fondant to dry it seems like it takes forever.  Some of the fondant was still a little too moist when I put it in, but it was close enough that I could make it work.  To adhere the 'dirt crumbs' to the path I just brushed the fondant path with water and sprinkled the dirt over it, filling more in here or there, to make it look consistent.  Since there was brown fondant along the edge of the cake where I decided to not take the grass totally to the edge I also sprinkled the dirt there to give it the same look.

For the bride and groom topper I covered the white base of it with brown fondant to match the dirt so that when I put it on the cake it would look cohesive, like they were standing on the dirt instead of just a topper stuck on the cake.  I had to wait to sprinkle the dirt on though because I wasn't actually putting the topper on until I got to the church.

I made the caption out of fondant, painted the words 'Come On, It's My Turn' with black food coloring, and hit the edge with some gray to make it stand out more.  I wanted the caption to be part of the topper, not stuck into the cake.  I wanted it to look as inconspicuous as possible so I decided to run a wire holding the caption up along one of the creases of the bride's dress on the back of the topper.  Now I needed a wire that would do this.  I needed it to be thin, flexible, but sturdy enough to hold up the caption.  This proved more difficult than first thought, but after trying different things I came up with stripping the plastic coating off of a twist tie.  This left me with a thin, but somewhat stiff, wire.  I ended up using 4 of them and twisting them together to make them sturdy enough to hold up the fondant caption without bending.  Now since the topper was made of plastic I couldn't just stick the wire into the topper.  So to actually secure it I put a thin bit of white fondant up along the bottom part of the crease.  Then I ran the wires up along that crease and covered the bottom part of them in white fondant.  This little bit of fondant at the bottom inch of the wires was enough to secure it to the topper.

Once I got to the church I set the cake on it's table and positioned the 4-wheeler topper and the bride and groom topper in their places on the cake.  I tried to get the bride and groom as flat with the top of the cake as possible, then I wet the brown fondant covering the base of the topper and sprinkled the dirt crumbs over it.  Voila!

Joe and Casandra had taken a picture of them acting out what the cake topper was going to be with Joe's  4-wheeler, and they placed that near the cake.  It was cute.  I suggested beforehand that they also put a picture each of them riding so that people could actually see that it is something Casandra enjoys too.  So those pictures were near the cake as well with their names written on the pictures.

Their wedding was beautiful!  I was really pleased that they liked the 'cake' and were really excited about it [even with the jump approach too steep; which, yes, he did notice, but was gracious and liked the cake just as well  :) ].  Another good thing about it was that since it was made from styrofoam they were able to keep it and use it at another reception that they were given a couple weeks later out where Joe's family lives.
Andrea - Animated Name


  1. Do you know where the cake topper was bought at? ??

    1. Hi Pamela! Sorry it took me awhile to answer your question. The cake topper is two different pieces. They bought the bride and groom piece at Wal-Mart, although I have seen it at various other places that sell wedding supplies as well. The 4-wheeler part of the topper was something that my brother-in-law already owned before he met my sister. He said that he bought it at Wal-Mart as well. I hope that helps. :)



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