All posts tagged white and blue

Nautical Baby Belly Cake

My family is about to get bigger… My son and his wife are expecting a little baby boy in about six weeks!

My daughter-in-law’s sisters are giving her a shower and have asked me to make the cake. They sent me a photo of a cake they saw on Etsy. It had a wild zebra print dress over a pregnant belly, with a baby footprint under the dress.

Well this baby shower was to be a nautical one and I thought immediately of a sailor collar dress. White dress, red and white striped insert and blue tie. I see it in my head, now to make it a reality.

Baby Footprint on Nautical Belly Cake

Tiny “embossed” footprint is just too cute!

Since I already had the dome cake mold I would use that for the belly. But what to use for the boobs? I looked through all my assorted pans and oven-safe bowls but found nothing that would work. After a trip to the local Michael’s store where I found the perfect pan, called the Wilton Mini Wonder Mold, I was ready to bake the cakes for this shower.

Lemon was the requested cake flavor. The belly cake portion of the cake was a lemon cake. But, because the guest list was going to be more than just the belly cake would serve, I made a larger rectangle cake for the base of this cake. For this I made a white cake with lemon curd filling. Both were frosted with lemon buttercream frosting. Sounds light and refreshing for what the weatherman is promising to be a hot day. I try to do any baking early in the day and early in the week. That way I can freeze the baked cake ahead. It helps with the leveling and layering the day before the event.

My sister has perfected the recipe for marshmallow fondant. Since she is one of those people that doesn’t measure anything, I’m finding that she needs to be the one to make the fondant. This can be done a week ahead of time. Marshmallow fondant needs to rest at least overnight, so planning the timing is crucial. She’ll come back to help put the cake together.

Two days before the shower and I check my list…

1. I need to color the fondant. A little red for the striped section and dark blue for the sash. Both these colors will intensify as they rest and the fact that I will be working with mostly white fondant, I wanted to do this coloring early. I would need flesh color too.

2. Defrost the cakes, remember to level before they are completely defrosted

3. Tort the base cake

4. Fill and layer the base cake

5. Crumb frost all the cakes and put in refrigerator overnight

I’m still not sure of all the details. But, that is sometimes part of the fun doing cakes. I get an overall idea in my head and I have learned that up until the last finishing touch, ideas can change. Stay loose and open to the possibilities.

Day before the shower…

I covered the sheet cake with white fondant first. No problems.

My sister is here. Thinking out loud helps at all times in the creative process, but when you’re under a time crunch it’s nice to bounce ideas off someone.

Next step was to figure out the placement of the belly. I wanted the dress to drape over the bottom end of the sheet cake. So I went with just off-centering the belly portion towards the bottom. Time to drape the dress. But wait! I forgot the little footprint underneath!!! Okay,  I’ll wing it… I rolled out a little white fondant and cut a baby foot shape. Next, I rolled tiny graduating sized balls of fondant. Making sure the foot is on the correct side of the belly I set the pieces of the foot on the frosted belly and pressed slightly to even it out. Whew!

Time to drape the belly with the white skirt of the dress. I was going for a little more ruffle but then nothing really ruffles over a belly at that stage. At this point it just looks like a large sea of white. I’ll think on that as I work.

Covering the boobs with flesh colored fondant was easy. I placed the two boobs with bottom edges touching the belly and each other in the center. Now, onto the the striped portion. Red background and thin white horizontal stripes. That had to be sized so that the tie and collar would later cover the edge of the insert. I rolled out the white fondant, then cut very thin strips with a pizza cutter, and glued the white stripes on the red triangle of fondant with a tiny bit of water. I set that aside for a few minutes while I figured out what I was going to do with the rest of the cake.

Take time to think ahead! The order of decorating does take some time to think of, so you save time in the long run. There’s no sense in re-doing something if you can visualize the steps ahead of time. Famous last words…

First to make the red neck tie. I rolled out long red strips that I could lay over the dress bodice and gather at the center tie. I had to have these ready so I could put the bodice on and lay the tie before the collar dries too much to drape nicely.

Red tie, white collar and blue sash on Nautical Baby Belly Cake

Close up of the tie and sash detail on belly cake.

To make the bodice I rolled out two squares of white fondant and laid it over the outside edge of each cone. I could trim that later. The trick was to get the collar to fold over the tie. Before I could do the tie though… I had to cut the dark blue sash and put it in place. This sash covered the joining of the cake pieces and created the shape of the dress.

Now to add the red tie. I laid both the ties on either side if the bodice and folded the collar over them. Then I gathered the ties together and place a square of red fondant over to look like it was tied. Drape the ties so it looks like it has some natural movement.

Now that the cake is all put together… there is too much white. That is when I remembered I was going to make the base cake blue!!! Next best thing. Make it look like water. I used some blue dusting powder mixed with lemon extract to make a paint and brushed it on in a wave pattern. Really would have been easier before the rest of the cake was put together! Lesson learned.

After seeing the base painted with waves I think it needs a trim around the bottom. How about a rope? Glad I thought of it! Quick and easy too. This is where the staying open to new possibilities comes in! My sister helps with rolling out the rope pieces as I finish painting.

Fondant anchor detail on baby shower cake

Red fondant anchor with rope makes a nice detail on white nautical dress.

I absolutely love the tiny footprint showing through the dress! But still a lot of white. Thinking of the theme, and knowing that anchors were on the decorating list… I looked and saw that I still had some red fondant. I’ll make a red anchor and rope detail to add color to the bottom of the dress.

It’s done! Now, I can just get up in the morning and worry about what I’m wearing to the shower.

Day of the shower…

My other daughter-in-law along with my little granddaughters, picked me up and we headed to the shower. It was held at a small local winery in Livermore, CA. I walk i and see the table decor and breathe easier. I love when something I work on goes so well with all the decor that someone else does!

Time for the cake and as I cut pieces, for the guests, I look down and see that my two-year-old granddaughter is practically inhaling the anchor detail as I cut. I guess she liked it!