I was lucky to be the chosen one to bake cakes for all my friends birthday in Dallas. Usually a week before someones birthday the flavor of the cake was chosen and like a typical birthday cake I made a round cake with few suitable decorations on top and sides. Everyone liked it!
Just like always a week before the birthday I spoke to the birthday guys wife. She very sweetly let me decide everything. Choosing the flavor was very easy. It had to be Mango! I have made this cake so many times that I decided to add a theme to the cake so that this one stands out as a “birthday” cake. Birthday guy likes being outdoor.. skiing…camping! So his cake had to carry that theme.
If you search online you will see many cakes with this theme but all of them are round cakes with camp site decorations on top. Finally i stumbled on this picture of cake which was in the shape of the tent. I loved it but there was no tutorial, no reference notes, nothing found with this picture. In fact I am not even sure if it was really a cake. Nevertheless I decided to make it.
Step 1 was creating the decorations which would go on the sides of the tent. Think about campfire, ice box, burgers, cola, etc. It was a fun midnight exercise. They were pretty simple to make. I just used my imagination.. no tutorials referenced.
Step 2 was preparing the cake board. I could use either green or brown but since I had green fondant handy I chose that. Once I put the green fondant on I let it harden up a bit so that I don’t accidentally leave fingermarks on it when trying to lift it up.
Step 3 is the cake. The tent was supposed to be the main cake. Without planning ahead I just baked the mango cake in round pans (because the cake tent had roundish top). After the cakes were ready I realized I should have baked them in square tin. It would have been easy to carve and plus less wastage (carved crumbs). Sigh! So I prepared a rough template of how the tent would look from the front, sort of semi oval shape and cut all my cakes in that shape. Then it was time for fill, crumb coat and chill! After the crumb coat was stiff I turned the cake on one side (on the base of the oval) to look like the final version of tent. It is so difficult to describe this process. I wish I had taken pictures then. (Who knew that in few months time I would be working on a blog 🙂 ). Now instead of having horizontal layer with buttercream in between , I had vertical layers with buttercream.
Step 4 was covering the cake with fondant. I placed the cake on the fondant covered board in its final position. Covering a semi oval cake is so much easier than covering a round cake. Did I mention this was my first cake covered with fondant? I had my laptop in front of me the whole time. Lol! I think I did a fairly decent job of covering the cake without any tears or elephant skins.
Step 5 – Make that oval cake look like a tent 🙂 To give a finishing touch to the base of the tent cake, I rolled thin layer of black fondant , cut it into a 1/2 inch wide ribbon and put it around the base. Then using the rigged (stitching) wheel of Wilton cutter embosser, I created the stitching effect on the “edges” of the tent. I made the door and the windows using grey fondant. Then I placed a thinly rolled yellow fondant in rectangle shape on the top of the cake and used a floral wire on all the four sides as the strings/rope as tent harness. After the tent was set, I placed rest of the decorations on the board. Then I cut the candle into half and placed it in the campfire pit. It looked brilliant when the candle was lit before cutting the cake.
And there it is. My first fondant covered cake and first carved cake completed with success. The birthday boy was thrilled to see this cake. He was just not ready to cut it. Lol!