To celebrate, we had a costume party. He planned to dress as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, until it turned out to be 95 degrees in October. Most of his friends came in costume anyway, but thankfully stripped down to the shorts they wore underneath before they sweltered in the bouncy house. We decorated with Iron Man, Spider Man, and Batman tablecloths, and I even braved my first superhero cake. (I've sort of been dreading this, as drawing is not my strong suit. Since I wasn't willing to tackle full body renderings - including a flying Superman - headshots had to suffice. Luckily he's easily impressed.)
Zap! Boom! Bam! Pow! Pop!
Gotta tell ya, as soon as I was done making the fondant superheroes on Friday, I was seriously excited! (Perfect busy-work during conference calls, by the way!) I printed out images in approximately the right sizes, colored the fondant, and sort of freehand rolled, cut, and layered together the pieces to get the shapes I wanted. Batman and Superman actually have peach-colored fondant under their costumes... less for authenticity, more so I could get the shapes right. I didn't think I could cut fine enough pieces of black for Spidey's web, so that's actually piped with black decorator frosting. And if someone wants to give me a tutorial on fondant eyes (for Superman), well, I'm all ears. His eye was probably my least favorite part (but I do love how the curve of his ear came out - I used the back of a paring knife to make the indentations!).
I had planned to pipe the "Happy birthday" message onto the speech bubble, but when I started doing the lettering for the sides of the cake, I knew it was the right look for the happy birthday letters, too. I did those freehand, and they took a while. Suffice it to say, letter cookie cutters would have been handy, but it was fun figuring out how to get the shapes I wanted. I cut equal height strips of fondant so the letters would be approximately the same height, and that seems to have worked well. Speaking of the traditional superhero words on the side, those were an extra touch I threw in at the last minute to kind of bring the cake all together, and I thought they looked really fun and kind of pop-arty. Josh helped me decide what words to use. (I nixed "shazaam!" for being too long.)
The recipes are from my usual arsenal. Boy-o is a chocolate fiend, though he did ask specifically for chocolate cake, chocolate frosting on the outside, and vanilla frosting on the inside. I used Martha's one bowl chocolate cake, chocolate fudge frosting, and vanilla buttercream, plus plain ol' Pettinice fondant.
I think this cake is making me brave for years of superhero cakes that are sure to follow. Whoohoo! Wake me in April to see if I'm up for Hannah Montana yet. Oy vey.