My son wants a safari/jungle cake for his 5th birthday. I have no idea how it will turn out, but i plan to try. I have gotten many ideas from pictures on cakecentral-- thanks to all who have posted them. I am going to do either a 10 inch round with 6 inch round topper and some kind of waterfall or a 9 x 13 with a 6 inch top tier. I have never tried stacking, so I guess I'll just put in a couple of dowels (and a cardboard round under the 6 inch) and hope for the best.
My questions since I have never made a cake like this:
1) Any advice on fondant animals?
2) How far in advance can I make these animals? I know I won't need a lot of the fondant in any one color and mixing it will be hard. I can do that, but I want to start soon since the party is July 13th.
3) Any other general advice? I plan to use buttercream on the cake and BC and fondant for the other decorations. The writing may be on the cake board, which is probably going to be of foam core board unless someone has a better suggestion.
4) I need the cake to serve about 40-45 people, probably. Will the sizes I mentioned above work?
I just posted my daughters Zoo cake which was a 10" round with 6" top tier. I tried making fondant animals but they were taking me so long I went to Michael's Store and bought the animals there. You can see it in my pics. The top tier was supposed to represent a waterfall. There is a cardboard circle wrapped in plastic wrap under the 6"cake. I used bubble tea straws for dowel under the 6" before I stacked it.
Oh the 10 and 6 should serve 38 people if you go with Earlenes chart and your tiers are 4" deep. you could do a 12 and an 8 for more servings but that will put you about 60 servings. Which might be just about the right amount if you have big cake lovers in the family.
I did a farm cake for my little boy's second birthday. His party was on June 10...and I started making the animals several weeks in advance. I added Gumtex to bigger animals, especially if I had to attach a large head (cow, pig). I also used uncooked spaghetti to attach head and legs. Also used an small artist brush dipped in a small amount of water to help adhere various body parts together. To let them dry, I put them on a high shelf, away from little hands, and placed each animal on wax paper. As for the size of your cakes...well, that really depends on your guests. I made a 10inch square and a 9inch round...had about 30 guests...and by the end of the night, there was no cake left! (BooHoo for me...as I was seriously hoping for leftover cake!) My guests are huge cake eaters, many had two pieces.
you can start making the animals as asap, fondant animals will take a while to dry through and they last for ages, just keep them out of direct sunlight.
Adding cellogen/gum trag to the fondant will help it keep its shape and dry faster. raw pasta (bucatini is best as its quite thick) can help support the head and body.
use pieces of foam to support any positions as the dry.
Thanks to all who have responded. Any more ideas?
Hi, If you haven't done any modeling before, I would suggest that you use CMC (Tylo powder) added to the fondant instead of gum traganth. It won't dry as quickly or as hard, giving you ample time to make adjustments. Knead in about one quarter teaspoon per 100 grams of fondant. It can be used immediately, but I like to wrap it and let it sit overnight. When you are ready to use it just need until it is nice and pliable. The dry spaghetti is very helpful for support.
I just posted a jungle cake that I had made for a baby shower. I made three animals for it. I looked on CC for ideas and they it did help have a picture to go by, but in the end they didn't really look like the picture. The loin was my fav to do, I used the daisy cutter (lg and sm) for the mane. I also made plam trees. Good luck
Love the idea that you posted with the waterfall etc!
As far as the animals go, I agree with the previous posters - you can make them from now on with no problems. I found the best idea if you are new to figure modelling is to try not to have too many pieces to stick together as you risk them falling off!! So, for instance, if you wanted a lion - colour up the fondant and add cmc. Take a piece slightly larger than you want your lion body and shape it into a cyclinder (think potato croquette!). Then gently pinch out 4 legs underneath. You can pinch quite a big bit, then mould it with your fingers until it is in proportion with your body. Do the same with all 4 legs - dont make them too long or it might fall over. If they seem to be too bendy, push a piece of raw spaghetti up them. For the head use the same principal - bigger than you need then pinch out a long trunk and 2 ears and then mould into position. You could probably make various animals with this method. Once you have your head, push a piece of raw spaghetti in the underneah at an angle then push it onto the neck. You don't need to leave it there to dry but obviously now you've made a hole, once the head is dry, you can attach it easily.
Hope that helps!!
Great ideas. I hope this works. The waterfall may become a watering hole, but the basic idea will be the same. I do plan to limit the number figures I make-- and what is CMC?
CMC is Carboxy Methyle Cellulose, a stiffening agent similar to gum traganth (the agent in gum paste). It is used extensively in both food and pharmaceutical production. I've seen it sold under the names CMC, Tylo Powder and Tylose. It's great, it can also be used to make edible glue (mix 30 parts water to 1 part CMC.)
another name its sold under is cellogen. i also use it for glue and it is very effective.
I haven't seen that, but I have seen gum paste mix and glucose. I know I can get those. Thanks.