Sofia's Dr. Seuss Cake

This weekend, Lauren and I spent some time constructing our greatest cake yet. The inspiration was Sofia's 4th birthday and her love of Dr. Seuss. Sofia is the daughter of our friends Peter and Rachel. About a year ago Lauren and I made a two-tiered fondant covered birthday cake for Lauren's friend Julie. In the 12 months since that cake we've been seeing all sorts of competive cake building competitions on Food Network Challenge. So back in March I emailed Rachel about doing a Dr. Seuss cake for Sofia's birthday. This weekend Lauren and I created and delivered it.

Now before I go any further I want to explain how our cake building partnership works. Lauren is undoubtedly the designer/architect and builder. At any point in this entry if you see the word "I" or "we", it almost definitely means "she". My role in this is basically engineer/bus boy. Like an engineer I occassionally provide some good advice on the cost, feasability and materials for the project and in exchange for that I don't always correct people when they assume the project was a 50/50 effort between myself and the designer/builder. 

Also, I wash dishes and mixing pieces/bowls, clear space on the counter and in the refrigerator and perform accessory preparation (i.e. knead fondant, mixing more icing, etc.) as needed so that we're never forced to bring the project to a screeching halt. 
After making the fondant and Rice Krispy treats Friday night, Lauren began the baking on Saturday. She first made a three-tiered funfetti cake using 9-inch round cake pans. Normally the directions would tell you that one box makes two 9-inch cakes, but knowing that she'd be cutting off the dome of the cake to make it flat and stackable, Lauren used one whole box per pan.

She then laid icing between each layer and stacked them up. Once that was stacked, we covered that in icing and covered the icing with yellow fondant.

In order to make the hat, we made 4 separate pieces of Rice Krisy treat, iced them, wrapped them in red and white fondant and then restacked them.

Lauren did an amazing job of shaping the Rice Krispy treat into the wobbly hat. The picture above is a very early, almost uncut version of the hat.

This is the near-finished version.
Next it was time to make our book. Rather than make a ridiculous amount of cake, we decided to make the book base out of fondant-covered styrofoam. The styrofoam also provided some extra support for everything above it. Though it is inedible, that didn't really make the styrofoam any easier to work with.

At this point Lauren started decorating and icing the cake. We obviously chose The Cat In The Hat for the book, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish for the cake.

Lastly, Lauren made the blue fish for the fish bowl. He was constructed out of the remaining blue fondant and some wooden toothpicks.

I feel like I don't yet have the words to describe everything that was done to make this cake. I may do a follow up as we get further removed from it because I feel like the words in this blog entry aren't doing it justice. Perhaps I'll reorganize my thoughts and type the descriptions in the style of a Dr. Seuss book.

If I can convey just one thing with this post, it is that this wasn't as easy it might look.


Anonymous said...

Ba and Lauren - you rock!! This cake is amazing! I'm so impressed! - Lynn

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt an awesome gift that made my daughter feel like the most special girl in the world. Nothing makes a Dad feel better than that. Thank you Lauren and Ba from the bottom of our hearts.

-The Sheldons

Rach said...

I still can't get over all the details that went into that cake. We still have the super cool fish. Sofia wants to keep it forever. I was so nervous carrying the cake from inside to outside! I kept thinking of those Food Network Challenges where they drop their food items during the 5 ft transport to the judging tables....which would have branded me the worst mother of the least.

Anonymous said...

Ba & Lauren

What talent and patience you both have. The Sheldon clan were very impressed! I have shown anyone who will look at my pictures - The Cake.. Grandmas, Moms and strangers on the street!! Very special, kind and thoughtful. Well done!

RC said...

Wow, that's pretty amazing! I am super impressed!!