I was excited when someone asked me to do a devil’s food giant cupcake that involved a sky diving theme. I immediately envisioned a cake done up like blue sky and clouds with a sky diver figure on top.
Obstacle #1 – Actually finding a nice sky diver figure. I thought it would be easy, but alas it was not. Luckily I had plenty of time before the cake needed to be done. I found a Donald Duck sky diving figure on eBay and bought it. It didn’t end up looking quite as clean and nice as I had hoped, even though it was in the original package, but it still worked.
Obstacle #2 – The Parachute. I had a brilliant and easy (so I thought) idea for how to make an open parachute over good old Donald. I thought that accordion-style tissue paper banner would be perfect and I thought I could find it easily. Ummm…not so much. I went to numerous stores and finally settled on a more flowery-style banner than I had originally planned. The other kind apparently doesn’t exist in this area. Still, I think it turned out okay and gave a rather fiery/dramatic effect to the parachute.
Obstacle #3 – Suspending the Parachute. Luckily, I’d just bought my daughter a new baby doll and there were a million of those plastic covered ties that toy makers love to use to annoy us when packaging their product. These little guys were just the right length and were free. I love free. I wrapped them around Donald’s middle and stuck them through the “parachute” along with one strung through the middle of the parachute to give it support.
Obstacle #4 – How to Make Clouds with Buttercream. Is used a #12 round tip and piped on the clouds over the blue sky. Personally, I think it looks more like suds/bubbles than clouds, but it turned out better than I had expected. Next time I think I might pipe the white on and then use a spatula to swirl the icing up so it is a little more cloud-like. Still, it was fine and it gave me an idea for a great baby shower giant cupcake. Now I just have to find a friend who is preggers and needs a shower cake.
Obstacle #5 – The Banner. I offered to add a personalized message to the cake…because I had another brilliant idea. Make a banner that streams out behind Donald like the advertisement banner behind an airplane. The gal thought it was a great idea, so now I had to figure out how to actually do it. I decided to try using gum paste, since I had some on hand. I rolled it out and cute the banner shape. Once it was dry and hard, I piped the message onto the banner and stuck the banner into the buttercream on the cake. And then I said a prayer that it would actually stay where I had put it (which it did, thank goodness).
Obstacle #6 – Piping the Message. I’m not very good with lettering. I don’t have much practice and my hands shake. However, this time I was prepared. I used a teeny little parchment paper pipe bag and added some Cairo syrup to the icing so it would flow better. Amazingly, I was able to pipe the message on the banner without any problems. What really amazed me was that I had to pipe one side of the banner while it was attached to the cake…and I didn’t mess it up!
I did manage to take a couple of pictures while I was making the cake batter, but I forgot to take a picture once the cake was baked and out of the pan. Oh well, maybe next time. Anyway, I used a from-scratch recipe for the Devil’s Food Cake that I got out of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking. Here’s what the batter looked like once I got everything mixed together.
Maybe it’s all in my head, but this batter rocks. It is so nice and smooth and fluffy. I don’t know whether it is actually that much better or if I’m just thinking it is because I went through the trouble to make it from scratch instead of using a box mix. Either way, I am terribly thrilled with myself when I make a cake from scratch. Maybe I’m just flying my freak flag a little…who knows!
Into the oven with you…Exciting picture, I know. But at least I remember to take it. And to end the post, here’s a picture of the full Giant Cupcake!