First up is the one my friend Uttara asked me to bake for good family friends of theirs who just had a fourth baby. Congratulations are definitely in order! Uttara requested bright colors, whimsical, and kid-themed, so we chose fondant bugs and balloons. She also asked me to incorporate the main character from the award-winning children's book written by the new dad: a super-cute, pants-wearing bear named Gary. Here's the cover of the book
And here's the fondant Gary cake topper:
Isn't his face sweet?
I had fun mixing and marbling colors for the butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars, and bees:
Angel hair pasta colored with a food-safe marker make great antennae.
When I put it all together, the top of the cake was too crowded, but it was definitely fun and playful. If their older kids are anything like mine, they had a field day eating the fondant bugs (which, for the record, are the only kind of bugs I really condone eating).
I especially liked the balloons. Rather than doing 3D orbs, I cut out flat fondant circles so they wouldn't outweigh the skinny floral wires. The wires were twisted together like the strings of a real balloon bouquet and inserted into a hidden plastic straw to keep the inedible stuff separate from the part people eat, just for safety. Next time, I'd try to vary the height a little more, but I liked how they swayed gently when the cake was lifted.
The cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and I'm happy that it was a hit with the family. Life is so hectic with a new baby and older siblings; it's a treat to take a little afternoon cake break. Welcome to the newest addition!
Print chocolate cake recipe.
Print vanilla buttercream recipe.