J informed me he wanted a lemon cake shaped like a Shine Sprite from Super Mario Sunshine for his 6th birthday. Since he doesn't ask for much (materially anyway), and the design looked simple enough to duplicate, I told him yes.
Yup, I agreed, despite the fact that the dishwasher was pulled out by the destruction crew to check for water damage then left sitting in front of my pots and pans cabinet and silverware drawer. Why wouldn't I just buy a store bought cake you ask? I am a mother, silly! And a little bit crazy to boot.
I crawled over the dishwasher to pull out my mixer from that counter then set about finding a tried and true lemon cake recipe. I asked Carol at The Pastry Chef Baking if she had a great recipe and she told me to try her Lemon Drop Cake. This is the picture that greeted me when I got to her blog:
Luckily, we have been friends since the seventh grade. Carol would never steer me wrong on something this important. She insisted the taste was great even if the results were, uh less than spectacular looking. Besides, I just wanted the cake part, not the lemon curd filling and cooked lemon frosting - but I admit they do look tasty. I used a simple lemon butter cream frosting, because I don't make cooked icing. Just swap lemon juice for the milk in your butter cream recipe.
If you want the recipe for the Lemon Drop Cake go over to her site and follow the instructions EXACTLY! Especially the don't overbeat the eggs part and be sure to remove the cake as soon as it is done. The cake turned out dry for me, but I am sure it is either the egg or overbaking that did me in. And I have "oven thermometer" on my grocery list because this isn't the first thing to come out of that oven dry recently, so I suspect of the accuracy of my oven.
Enough of that, on to decorating. Here is the inspiration. To create that I made two 8" rounds plus a dozen cupcakes (of which I was using only using 3). One cake was the center. The other I sliced into 8 wedges. Then trimmed the top of the wedges with a biscuit cutter so it would fit alongside the center better. Stuck 3 cupcakes on the top rays and dirty iced with the lemon butter cream. Mix in a bunch of yellow gel food coloring to the white fondant then roll out and cover the cake. Then I mixed a bunch of other colors (red, green and blue) into a scrap of the yellow to come up with a dark gray for the eyes. And then I popped it in the fridge and ran to go pick up the birthday boy from school and listened to him ask me about the cake the whole walk home. And I mean the entire 15 minute walk home.
I think he liked it a little bit.
Until next time, happy eating.