It seems like just yesterday we were baking for Roxana and Al’s baby shower. Now the baby is celebrating its first birthday! Oh, how time flies.
The birthday party theme was based on the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed nursery rhyme. While I didn’t grow up with that song, there are plenty of cute videos on Youtube and lots of photos online of cakes based on that theme. It was a fun to imagine and create my own version. I don’t typically make fondant decorated cakes, but I enjoyed the challenge!
For this cake, I made a buttermilk vanilla cake, with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream filling. All of the decor was made with fondant, with tiny amounts of royal icing where needed to glue items together. I switched to the higher quality Carma Massa Ticino Tropic fondant for most of my work on this cake, using Les Chocolats Roxy & Rich Fondust (amazing stuff if you haven’t tried it before) to color the dark brown and orange. Carma fondant is much more malleable and moist than, say, Satin Ice fondant, making it more forgiving and less prone to elephant skin, and thus providing a longer time window to work with. In retrospect, I probably would use Satin Ice or something stiffer for the monkeys so that they hold shape better (without any sag), but I made the monkeys a few days in advance and was able to have them dry enough for assembly.
The flooring is a fondant covered cake board, scored to give detail to individual wood planks and wood grain. I then painted them with black, brown and gray petal dust (mixed with Everclear). The natural pooling and wetness of the paint helped create the wood grain colors, and made the flooring a lot easier to accomplish than I originally imagined. The headboard for the bed was the same idea.
With stiffer fondant, I might have attempted a monkey doing a headstand, but with the Carma fondant, I settled for 4 sitting monkeys and 1 standing (which required overnight drying before assembly of parts).
One of my favorite details on this cake is the underside of the quilted comforter, which was a windowpane design painted onto white fondant.
For the baby’s smash cake, I made a banana cake, using honey instead of sugar, and frosted with honey-sweetened Greek yogurt. With a monkey face of course 🙂