Tea Party Cake
by Shannon Vautour
(East Templeton Massachusetts)
A Fairytale Tea Party Cake
"Mom of two teenage kids, a wife, an Auntie, a sister and friend, little bit of a perfectionist, that likes to bake?".. well who better to volunteer to make this Fairytale Tea Party Cake!?
My little beauty Hayden (my niece) was about to turn 3, so my sister in law started telling me all about her plans for a fabulous, fun and fancy, fairytale tea party.
As she went into the details: individual glass tea cups and saucers painted to look like each individual girl, tiny sandwiches, bubbles, balloons, I started thinking how cute it would be to have little individual birthday cakes or something fun for dessert.
She came up with the idea to have a teapot shaped cake as a center piece! Although I have made a ton of birthday cakes in my day, I have never attempted a "shaped" cake before. The challenge of doing something different was what excited me the most and I immediately volunteered to make one and started searching the web for ideas...
Hayden loves strawberry cake, so that was simple, the cake itself is two 9 inch round strawberry cakes filled with buttercream, stacked, and a third cake baked in a round pyrex bowl stacked on top of that.
Shaping The Cake
Once chilled I carved it down to a round/ball like shape, crumb coated it and covered it in white fondant. I used Rice Krispy treats to shape the spout and also covered that in fondant, used two wooden dowels to attach it to the base so it was sturdy and wouldn't fall off. I shaped the lid out of fondant, let it dry and then attached it to the top of the cake with just water.
Tea Pot Handle Ideas
I had a bunch of different ideas on how to make the handle. My first attempt was to pipe out two swirling mirror image meringue handles on parchment, baking it until firm, then I was going to attach them together and then to the cake with royal icing, only to discover that they were much too delicate and fell apart once I tried to glue them together. Snack number one for my teenage son Owen.
Then, I figured I could shape a swirling handle out of Rice Krispy treats and then cover it with fondant and attach it, only to not like the overall look of that handle because it looked to boxy (this is where my perfectionism kicked in) so I tossed that idea. Snack number two for Owen.
Piping and Decorating
So I gave up on the handle for a while and started decorating. I used colored buttercream frosting to pipe flowers onto the sides of the cake, then used a paint brush to blend colors. I used some left over fondant, colored pink, to make a swirling number 3 and attached it to the side of the cake with water. "Hayden" was spelled out in icing on the opposite side. I brushed the entire piece with luster dust to make it shine.
Now, the tricky handle. I was down to the wire, the party was a day away. I used up the last of my white fondant and rolled it out, shaped it into a pretty swirl and left it to dry overnight, praying that it would dry and keep its shape, because I had to drop the cake off the next morning.
Luckily it worked! I used plain water to attach the handle to the cake, secured it with two small wooden candy sticks bend to look like staples.
I dropped the cake off a couple hours later and could not be happier with the way it turned out! Hayden was thrilled! She was so proud to tell all her friends that it was HER party, and that was HER cake that HER Auntie made for her. My sister in law and all her friends loved it!
I am so happy that I tried to make something out of my comfort zone, and now it has me thinking about all the other things I would like to attempt to make in the future. Hubby's birthday is coming up.. hmmmmmm...