Spring-Theme Forest Cake
This three-layer cake is the perfect welcoming for spring. The little blue birds really pop against the bright white birch trees. It looks as though the sun is rising through a lively birch tree forest.
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What You'll Need:
- Classic Vanilla Cake recipe
- Buttercream Frosting recipe
- One package of mini marshmallows
- 16-ounce box of powdered sugar
- Three 6-inch round cake pans
- Waxed paper
- Blue food coloring (liquid or gel)
- Metal spatula
- Rolling pin
- Small clean paintbrush
- Yellow food coloring (liquid or gel)
- Small piece of angel hair pasta
- Piping bag fit with any small round tip
First, you'll need to prepare your cake pans. Trace around the bottom of the pan over three layers of waxed paper and cut out the circles. Grease the bottoms and sides of the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Place a waxed paper circle in the center of each pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the cake batter according to the recipe directions; divide between the three pans. Bake the cakes and remove from the oven when you can jiggle the pan and the cake no longer wiggles, or test by inserting a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick is clean when you remove it from the cake, the cake is done. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack before removing from the pans. To remove the cakes, run a knife along the edges of the cake pan and turn the cake pan upside down on a cooling rack. Peel back the waxed paper.
Prepare the Buttercream Frosting and stir in a small amount of the blue food coloring. Add a little food coloring at a time for the desired hue. If you prefer a brighter blue backdrop for the trees rather than the pale blue backdrop, add more blue food coloring.
To layer the cakes, place one cake layer on a cake plate and spread frosting across the top layer. Stack the next cake layer and spread frosting across that layer. Now it's time to crumb-coat. The crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting spread across the top and sides of the cake. Crumb-coating keeps crumbs out of the final layer of frosting and helps seal the moisture into the cake.
You can use a metal spatula dipped in hot water to smooth the buttercream. Set the frosted cake aside.
Now it's time to make a very easy marshmallow fondant for the details on the cake. Place one package of mini marshmallows and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 30-second intervals and stir until the marshmallows are melted. Grease your mixing bowl and paddle with shortening. Combine the melted marshmallows and 1 pound of powdered sugar in the mixing bowl.
Once the melted marshmallows and powdered sugar are combined, remove from the mixing bowl to a greased surface for kneading.
Knead the fondant until it has a smooth texture. Add a little powdered sugar to your surface and rolling pin for rolling out the fondant. Roll out a large portion of your fondant (saving the other portions for the birds and the sun) into a 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick sheet.
Using a cake decorating tool or sharp knife, slice the fondant into tree shapes. To achieve the birch tree look, make tiny triangle cuts on both sides of the tree.
Form bird shapes out of the remaining fondant and let the fondant details sit to harden. You can either color the fondant before you form the birds (just knead in a little food coloring until the color is even) or use the plain white fondant and then brush food coloring onto the tops and sides with a small paintbrush (pictured). Dab the brush in a little water and then a little food coloring, then apply to the bird.
While the trees and birds continue to harden, we'll make the fondant sun cake topper.
Take some of your remaining fondant and knead in yellow food coloring until the yellow is an even color. It helps to grease your hands with a little shortening to prevent the fondant from sticking, and the added shortening helps create a really smooth, shiny surface on the fondant.
Shape the fondant into a flattened circle, then slice down the middle with a sharp knife. Pull apart pieces of the fondant from one half of the circle to make the sunbeams.
Shape the sunbeams by rolling into a cone shape and then flattening the cone. To secure to the sun, stick a small piece of angel hair pasta into the base of each sunbeam and insert the beam into the sun.
Tip: To prevent the sunbeams from sagging once you've secured them to the sun, you can place a few folded-up paper towels under the beams until the beams harden enough that they keep their shape. You can place the fondant pieces next to a fan to help speed the hardening process.
When the trees are firm and ready to apply to the cake, pipe a strip of frosting onto the back of a tree and press the tree to the side of the cake. Continue adding the rest of the trees with different spacing for a natural look.
With the trees standing tall, it is time to place the little birds on the trees. Add a dab of frosting on the back of each bird and secure it to a fondant tree. Set the sun topper in the middle of the cake to finish.
Get the Spring Theme Forest Cake Recipe!
Carrie is the author, artist, baker, crafter, DIYer, and go-getter behind Worth Pinning. She initially created her blog as a way to reference her favorite recipes. Worth Pinning has grown into sharing her detailed sweets, parties, crafts, and projects to be used by others as a source of inspiration. She has a full-time dream job as an activities director for a private country club in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where she guides hikes, group snowshoeing, and member ski days; teaches yoga and swim lessons; and manages the on-site spa. After "work" hours, you can find her at home with her two equally creative and adventurous kids, whipping up treats or crafts and then heading outside for a Little League game or a family bike ride. Carrie believes in finding what you love and going after it. "We all have ways in which we can inspire others. What inspires you? Find it. Do it. Pin it."