Friday, March 9, 2012


When Jessa asked me if I was up for the challenge of making a surprise birthday cake for her daughter Kiah, I was all for it.  Kiah loves Build-a-Bear and has a special favorite she has dubbed "Rosie".  Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a bunny.  I immediately started thinking about how to do this cake.  


When I first get an idea for a cake, I think about it great deal.  Usually at night when I can't fall asleep or when I'm procrastinating doing something else or driving around town doing errands.  If you have ever seen Cake Boss - they usually show a computer model of how he imagines the cake he is going to make.  That's kind of what goes on in my brain.  I also look for similar cakes to see how other people have already done it.  But I couldn't find any pictures of how I wanted to do this cake.  (Most bunny cakes are for Easter).  So I decided to just make it up as I went along.

Everything was yellow cake.  I baked two 6-inch cakes, one 8-inch cake, two wonder molds and a little bit of the soccer ball pan to make a dome.  I had a tiny bit of batter left over and made some cupcakes which my family gobbled down.  

I put the dome on top of one of the 6-inch cakes to make the face.  I wanted to face to stick out past the body so it would look like a stuffed animal.  I cut the sides off of the 8-inch cake to make a narrower body and I used the cut off parts for the arms.  I just rounded the ends off a little bit.  I cut up the other six inch cake for the legs and used the wonder molds as the feet.

Everything but the legs is cut and ready.
I put the body and legs together first.  I wanted to add the fondant dress on before I put the head, arms and feet on because I knew it would be easier to cut and adjust that way.

Once everything was dirty iced, I rolled out the pink fondant and added that for the dress.  Then I cut out little yellow dots and a yellow ribbon for the dress's accents.  Once the dress was added, I began piping the fur on the legs, feet and arms.

Building the bunny.
I used the grass tip to make it look like fur.  I was pretty happy with the result.  It doesn't look like real fur, but turned out pretty well for stuffed animal fur.  Once I finished the arms, I piped the head and added that as well.

Now I had to face the ears.  The ears were definitely the hardest part.  I decided to simply cut out pink fondant in the shape of an ear (or what I hoped was the shape of a bunny ear).  I laid the ears down on the cake board before I put the head on.  Then I curved them up and stuck them into the head.  I had to put some cotton balls in there so that the fondant would dry that way and the ears wouldn't fall down.  Then I piped the "fur" onto the ear!  Brilliant!

I realize there is no mouth on the bunny.
But if you look at the original build-a-bear bunny picture at the top,
you'll notice it does not have a mouth either.
For the final touches, I made a head band with a flower (one I had made already in one of my classes - yay for advance flower making).  I brushed a little glitter dust on in a few places and voila - a build a bunny cake was born.

I had a lot of fun making this cake.  One of the reasons was my five-year-old nephew Peter.  He's like my own personal cake cheerleader.  For example - I showed this to my mother 

and she said, "What's it supposed to be again?"  (Perhaps a valid question, but that is not the point).  Peter looked at it and said - Yes, I saw the beautiful bread and cupcakes!  So, if I need some affirmation on how my cake is looking, I know where to go.

Peter always wants to help me make the cakes, but I can't really let him help with the decorating.  So instead, he sat at the table watching me.  He had the picture I had drawn of my design and he kept informing me of what I still had to do.  As I was piping on the fur for the bunny, he kept up a steady stream of comments like, "That is so pretty!", "You are almost done Aunt Joy!", "That looks so yummy!", "The cake is looking good", etc.  Like I said - personal cheerleader.  Everything I did was so cool to him.  I don't know how long he sat there, but it was a very long time.  He also asked lots of questions - which, if you know Peter, is not unusual.

Now usually when people watch me make a cake I get all nervous and tense and I don't really like it.  But having my nephew sit there and tell me how everything was so wonderful was pretty nice.  He also kept wanting to taste the cake.  He was so excited about it.  He had to take his shower and get ready for bed before I was done, but he informed me that he would be coming downstairs afterwards to check out the cake.  "And don't forget to fix that one part," he said for the millionth time as he disappeared up the stairs.  Thanks Peter.  

We talked about how the cake was a surprise for Kiah and that he shouldn't even mention the cake to her when he saw her at church.  He looked at me and said, "What does don't mention it mean?"  I told him it meant he shouldn't even bring it up.  "Oh, I know what don't bring it up means," he says.  "That means you don't even talk about it."  And he even managed to keep it a secret.  (Well as far as I know).

I heard the cake was a big hit at Kiah's party.  Peter informed me that it tasted very good.  As always.

Boxed up and ready to go.

Happy Birthday Kiah!


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