Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm a Little Teapot Cake

We celebrated our daughters' second birthdays with Tea for 2. Emma's playful personality inspired the sweet shoppe theme we used for her recent party, while a more formal tea party suited older sister Mary Ashley's feminine nature.

To make Emma's whimsical teapot cake, use a Wilton ball cake pan kit. Prepare cake batter and pans according to cake pan directions. The ball cake is actually baked in two half-sphere-shaped pans, then the two halves are joined with icing after the cake has cooled.

Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake layers to cool in the pan, then ease a long serrated knife across the top of the pans to level each layer. Carefully remove the first cake layer, and place it rounded side down on a plate. Place a generous mound of icing on the top of this layer, and smooth the frosting to the edges of the cake. Carefully remove the second cake layer, and place it rounded side up atop the first layer.

A cake pedestal that swivels is really helpful for decorating this round cake. Frost the cake with a thin layer of icing, called a crumb coat. While the crumb coat sets, cut a handle and spout from card stock or a foam plate. Use a wooden skewer to draw a circular lid in the top of the cake. This can be accomplished by holding the tip of the skewer in the icing and turning the cake one revolution. Insert the handle and spout into opposite sides of the cake. This cake was decorated quickly and easily with only a large star tip. First, pipe stars to cover the cake, handle and spout. Then pipe a shell border around the bottom of the cake and top of the lid. Pipe a reverse shell border around the lid. Complete the look with gumballs and suckers.

To make Mary Ashley's cake fit for a princess, use a Wilton doll cake pan. Prepare batter and cake pan according to package directions, and bake until skewer inserted into the thickest area of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool, then use a serrated knife to level the cake as needed. To remove the cake, ease a knife around the edge of the cake to be sure it will release from the sides. Then, place your cake plate upside down over the top of the cake pan and flip it over. Place the platter on the counter, and gently lift the pan away from the cake.

Cover the cake with a quick crumb coat, and allow it to set while you cut out a handle and spout from card stock or a foam plate. Frost the cake again, making this coat as smooth as possible. A glass of hot water helps with this step. Dip your icing spatula into the water, and the moisture and heat will help your spatula glide across the cake. Next, insert the handle and spout into the cake, and cover them with icing piped on using a star tip. The body of the teapot is covered with cornelli lace, a technique using thinned icing to cover areas with curves that do not cross. Use a skewer to draw a lid on the top of the teapot, and cover this with a ruffle of icing, then pipe on delicate beads. Use a star tip to pipe a swirl of icing to the top of the cake for the lid handle, then pipe a reverse shell border around the bottom of the cake. Embellish the cake with pink rosebuds and curvy green stems and leaves.

Candy cake photo by Nathan Prichard

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Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Melissa, those cakes are adorable! I have both the ball pan and the doll pan - I may have to try a teapot cake for one of my girls sometime. You really have a knack for making fun parties! Didn't we host a bridal shower together for my sister Michelle at that historic home on Lipscomb's campus? I seem to remember something with a "Melissa flair!" (Maybe it was a baby shower for Jennifer - or maybe both...) Anyway, kudos on the adorable cakes. (I'm still working on that chore email - I got sidetracked by a migraine today, sorry.)

Three plus Me said...

Beautiful cakes! Did you take a cake decorating class or are you just self-taught? Anyways, they're great and look yummy!!

Melissa Lester said...

Thanks, Julie! I took all three levels of Wilton's cake decorating classes, which I highly recommend. Joe says I got my PhD in cakes!

The Nester said...

Girl, that looks so wonderfully delicious! I think I wouldn't have had the heart to eat that masterpiece!

I love that you love hosting birthday parties! I LOVE home parties and think it's such a lost art!


Anonymous said...

these are sooooooooo adorable! I think my daughter's 3rd bday party is going to be a tea party! Oh I can't wait! I don't want her to grow up but I want her birthday to come faster than it is:) thanks for the GREAT idea! you also have the most gorgeous pictures on your page!

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