Everybody needs a BFF and I’ve got a fabulous one named Wendy. Here we are at the Brimfield Fair a few weeks ago
Since Jared’s birthday is in July, and Maggie’s is in September, every few years she and her husband have a joint cookout/birthday party in their yard. They get a bouncy house, have lots of food, and when night falls, there’s a big campfire. Also, they show a movie on the side of their house “drive-in” style for the kids to lay on blankets and watch. It’s always a great time.
This year, I saw a tutorial on Pinterest (actually a few of them) for making a supercool campfire cake and asked Wendy if I could make one for the kids’ party. A couple of the links I referenced can be found here and here.
I’m not going to give a full-on tutorial, but here are a few of the steps I took, and managed to capture with my camera.
A few days before the party, I made the fire part of the cake. I feel like a caveman when I say that like there should be a swell of dramatic music while I say “I MADE FIIIIIRE!!!”. I did sort of a combination of different methods for this. I crushed butterscotch cookies and sprinkled them onto a foil lined cookie sheet. I then crushed cinnamon candies (the hard disc kind) and dropped them into a few “holes” I made in the butterscotch crumbles, and sprinkled more around the edge. After I melted it for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven, I took it out and quickly dragged a knife through it in a wavy pattern, making a marbleized fiery pattern.
The next day, (the day before the party), I made the rocks. These I made with marshmallow fondant using the video I found here. Then I divided it into two hunks and colored one of them gray and the other brown. When I mixed in my food coloring, I stopped blending it before the color was uniform. Having done this, the rocks looked more naturally multicolored.
So now, onto the cake. I asked the two birthday kids what kind of cake they wanted. He wanted vanilla, she wanted chocolate so in the end, I made a two layer 9×13 cake, one layer chocolate and one vanilla. I used Duncan Hines box mixes in case you care to know. I then whipped up a big batch of buttercream frosting, reserved a little white for lettering, and dyed the rest of it grass green. I’ve mentioned this in earlier posts, but Americolor brand food coloring is the best I’ve found. Deep vibrant color and it doesn’t water down your frosting. Here’s the cake frosted smooth in green…
Now the fun part. I laid out some of the rocks into a ring, then filled in the circle with crushed chocolate wafer cookies. Next, I arranged some halved Pirouette cookies (from Pepperidge Farm) to look like logs. Next came the fire shards. I piped on some “grass” and added some of the extra rocks and logs on the short sides of the cake. On the long sides I put the kids’ names and ages. Finally, I added a few mini-marshmallows on toothpicks and Voila! we have achieved cakeness!
It was my first attempt at piping grass, and if I had to do it over again, I might use a stiffer frosting like royal icing so that the grass wouldn’t look so shaggy and floppy. Either way, I’m satisfied with the final product and the kids loved it. They even dug right in and ate both the fondant rocks and the cinnamon butterscotch fire. Go figure!
My review of the project would be that while it wasn’t very hard to do, it was time consuming. I would recommend that you plan on spreading out the steps over a few days, so that you won’t be in the mad rush that I was on the day of the party.
Good luck with your own campfire cake!