Monday, May 15, 2006

Pool Cake

N turned 4 today. I think he had a wonderful day, topped off with his requested "pool cake."

I saw the idea in a Woman's Day magazine last summer, so I had someplace to start from.

I did run into a few problems, though - which I thought I'd share in case anyone else wants to make a pool cake!

The magazine recipe suggested freezing the cake, to make it easier to carve out the "pool." I did that, but since I used 8" pans, I had a nice crown on each cake. Usually, that's not a big deal, as I just push them together, and they give. BUT, since they were frozen when I was trying to frost -- there was no give. In the future, I would slice off the crowns so they were flat. By the time I figured out I should do that, it was late and I decided to make it work.

I carved out the spot for the "pool, and got the cake frosted. I took the pieces I cut out and used them around the sides to fill in the gaps. The recipe suggested frosting the entire cake, including the hole and then pouring blue jello into the hole. I did that, made the jello, and began pouring.

And watched as the pool emptied. The jello soaked right through the frosting and into the cake. And, as I watched, the side sprung a leak and blue jello began oozing out the side.

Ummmmm. . . . what to do now? B suggested using blue frosting, but I really liked the idea of the blue jello look!

So, I found a small tupperware container that was the right size, and poured the jello in there. (well, it was the right size when I stuck it in the top of the cake and carved out more cake!) I greased the container, chilled the jello and the cake, and went to bed.

Today, I tried to un-mold the jello and it came apart in 4 pieces. I carefully fit them together and decided it looked like there were waves in the water. (it did, really! Click on that pic and look!)

The fun part was putting together the scene on top. I used smarties candies to make the tile around the "pool", and decorating icing to paint swim suits on the teddy grahams. I included a snack table with 2 of N's favorite snacks (hamburger and pizza). He had seen the animal picks from the baby shower last weekend, and requested they be at the pool - so there is a lion, zebra and elephant joining in the fun.

It actually came out pretty cute (if I say so myself.) Nate loved it and that's really all that matters! And, it tasted fine, even with the soaked in blue jello and the tons of frosting holding the cakes together.

I'm not sure what next year holds . . . C had a volcano cake, now the pool cake . . . who knows what the next cake will be?

(edited to add: If you wanted to see the volcano cake, click here!)

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