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View Full Version : Help! I need to make cool-looking cakes for a 'cake walk'



HRJ
05-18-2008, 07:25 PM
I volunteered to make cakes for a "cake walk" fundraiser, part of the Spring Fair at my DS's school. I'm told by a friend who has done this in the past that the cakes that do the best are those that are decorated in ways that really appeal to kids.

Problem is, cake-decorating is not my forte (well, there was the train cake I made for DS's class holiday party, but I don't have that kind of time now). But I'm not particularly artistic and I'm not all that great in the fine-motor-skills department.

Does anyone have any ideas for simple, but impressive, decorations for kids' cake?

TiA

Helene

Terri_A
05-18-2008, 07:43 PM
What about simple iced round or square cakes covered in fun colored "polka dots" or stripes? If you don't want to pipe them on with icing you can use a round candy for dots and stips of licorice for stripes.

Vinca
05-18-2008, 08:08 PM
I am not sure if this is what you would be interested in but I always thought the Monkey cupcakes looked fun. My coworker made them for her son's b-day and she said they weren't that difficult. Her son and his friends loved them!

http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?t=114681&highlight=monkey+cupcakes

HealthyinMN
05-18-2008, 08:23 PM
No decorating required with this one... and IMO it is pretty impressive to look at in person.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_J-s7w5-Rv84/RvHNKjTduNI/AAAAAAAACQ0/MkpTVn3ulUA/s400/BirthdayCake-6.jpg

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/2007/09/very-special-treat-day.html) (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

http://bp1.blogger.com/_J-s7w5-Rv84/RvHM-TTduJI/AAAAAAAACQU/XbaczPFoAfg/s400/BirthdayCake-4.jpg

For the cookie dough

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

For the frosting

40 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

To make the cookies

Preheat oven to 350

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar - mix until combined. This will most likely look dry and not creamy as you would expect. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined after each. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the cream. Stir in the chocolate chips.

You need to make 5 cookie layers for this cake. Drop about 1 cup worth of batter on a piece of parchment paper - use an off-set spatula to spread the mixture into an evenly round 8" circle. Bake one at a time and keep the rest of the cookie dough in the refrigerator until you make the next round.

Bake until the edges are a rich golden brown and the center looks lightly golden on top, about 18 to 24 minutes, turning around halfway through. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough until you have 5 rounds.

To make the frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Spread mixture onto 4 of the giant cookies. Stack the cookies on top of each other and place the final unfrosted piece on top. Cover and place in the refrigerator to set the cream cheese, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

misskitty100
05-18-2008, 09:13 PM
For some reason I cannot post a picture, but here is a cake topped with M&M's and surrounded by Kit Kat candy bars. I think this would be a huge hit with kids and no decorating skills required -- you would just need scissors for opening the bags of candy!

http://twopeasinabucket.kaboose.com/mb.asp?cmd=display&thread_id=2561008

LA98
05-18-2008, 10:01 PM
Helene, can it be cupcakes instead of a cake? Didn't you buy that cool car pan from WS? Or would that be too labor-intensive right now?

The cake Misskitty posted definitely looks kid appealing!

KristaMB
05-18-2008, 10:59 PM
Helene,
I have made two cakes that were surf/ underwater themed and they were really simple to put together. One was for my son's preschool graduation, and the other was for my daughter's birthday. They were both very well received. I got the idea from Family Fun, here is picture that helped inspired me: (Editing- the picture won't show up, here is a link http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=50216)

The first cake I made was more surf themed. I made a cake in a 9x13, frosted it blue and covered about a third of it with crushed graham crackers to act as sand. I put down Fruit Stripe gum as beach towels, and made a few bathing suit clad frosted Teddy Grahams to lay on the towels. In the "water" part of the cake I scattered gummy sharks, Swedish fish, and cut a few fruit rolls to make seaweed going up the sides. I think I may have also made a Teddy Graham surfing on a surfboard cut out of gum.

When I made the second cake I was shorter on time and skipped all the Teddy people, the sandy shore and the surfboards. I made this cake from 2 rounds, and had a lot of fruit roll seaweed going up the sides, with sharks and fish stuck on the top and around the sides. I also cut an octopus out of a fruit roll and had him swimming on top.

My son (who is Victor's age) helped me decorate each cake, and had a lot of fun with it, so it might be a fun thing for you to do together.

PurrPg
05-19-2008, 12:52 AM
This month's RR Magazine has about 12 different cool looking cakes. Gives real clear directions. My twins birthday next weekend and I might try one. Like RR I'm a cook, not a baker.

doggerham
05-19-2008, 09:18 AM
I made Joe's Giant Chocolate Chip cookie cake for an auction last fall, and it was a hit.

To make it easier, I traced a circle template, so all the cookies would be the same size. I would also suggest weighing the dough, so they are all the same size. I did not do that part, but weighed them after baking and stacked them with heaviest at the bottom.

misskitty100
05-19-2008, 09:26 AM
I made Joe's Giant Chocolate Chip cookie cake for an auction last fall, and it was a hit.

To make it easier, I traced a circle template, so all the cookies would be the same size. I would also suggest weighing the dough, so they are all the same size. I did not do that part, but weighed them after baking and stacked them with heaviest at the bottom.

Joe or doggerham,

What is the texture of the cookies? Are they soft so you can slice them like a cake?

sneezles
05-19-2008, 09:37 AM
I recently made the monkey cupcakes for the VFD's fund raiser and boxed them up by a dozen each box. They were a huge hit! Plus I have this book Hello, Cupcake! (http://www.hellocupcakebook.com/) which has tons of great ideas for decorating with kids in mind.

These Westies were great fun to make but I only did the white ones.

http://www.hellocupcakebook.com/images/tack_cupcake.jpg

I wasn't able to get the circus "peanuts" in time to do the horses but next year...

Beth
05-19-2008, 01:59 PM
I wasn't able to get the circus "peanuts" in time to do the horses but next year...


If I'd only known -- I saw some on clearance for something like 22 cents a bag recently. :D
Looks like a fun book.

I made the giant cupcake for a recent cake walk at our school. My son told me one of the girls said "I'm getting that one" as we walked in before the event had started. I also did a giant brownie in the shape of Texas decorated with a star (western theme for the dinner)

Every time I have seen one of these events, brownies and chocolate chip cookies have done well, and anything with M&Ms sprinkled on top. Probably anything decorated with candy in general. Also, anything with the school name or mascot. Ladybugs and watermelon slices are easy to do with a cake or cupcakes and are usually popular.

HRJ
05-20-2008, 11:02 AM
Ah ----- thank you all!! *These* are some cool ideas that I think I can actually do, even with my limited skills! (Except for the Westies -- Sneezles, I *dream* of being able to make cupcakes like that -- it's literally one of my life's goals, no exaggeration -- but I just can't see it happening. I can't pipe frosting well *at all*. Just can't do it. But those cupcakes are sooooo beautiful. )


Lori, I thought about the race-car cupcakes, but I just don't have the time for something like that right now. I think what I'll do -- maybe! -- is make a batch of those to bring to Victor's classroom for his in-class birthday celebration. (They are going to celebrate summer birthdays in his class during June.)


Thanks again!!! I'll try to post pictures when I make the actual cakes. :)

Helene

Linda in MO
05-20-2008, 12:09 PM
Watermelon Cake...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Watermelon-Cake

This Caterpillar Cake looks easy...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Caterpillar-Cake

Here's one decorated with fruit roll-up stars...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Sweet-Stars-Cake

Candy Land Cake...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Candy-Land-Cake

Ladybug Cake...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Ladybug-Cake

Pool Party Cake...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Pool-Party-Cake

doggerham
05-20-2008, 12:48 PM
You know, I don't know how my cookie cake cut, as it was sold at auction. However the texture of the cookies was such that I think it could have been done with a serrated knife.

lisas3575
05-20-2008, 01:50 PM
Hi Helene! What about a cut up cake (http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/recipedetail.htm?recipe_id=57450&ctx=)? They are easy to do and really cute for kids. I found this one doing a Google search. I have an old Baker's Coconut booklet that has a ton of animals-- teddy bear, fish, giraffe, elephant, etc. We're in the middle of moving or I'd offer to scan the pages for you. :(

HealthyinMN
05-20-2008, 02:34 PM
Joe or doggerham,

What is the texture of the cookies? Are they soft so you can slice them like a cake?

Jeff said they sliced it just as you would a cake at the office and it was easily done.

jellyben
05-20-2008, 04:07 PM
How about a Dirt Cake? It's made in a little bucket and served with the shovel! And it has gummy bears 'crawling' out of it! My DS won a cake decorating contest with this a few years ago.

http://www.kids-party-paradise.com/oreo-dirt-cake-recipe.html

Donnaluv2cruise
05-20-2008, 04:43 PM
I've made giant chocolate chip cookies in a 12" cake pan quite a few times. I use the good old Toll House recipe. You could use maybe 6 or 8" pans and get 3-4 per recipe. They'll fit nicely on paper plates to bring to the cake walk. Every kid loves a giant chocolate chip cookie!:D

Melman
05-21-2008, 07:12 PM
Hi Helene! What about a cut up cake (http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/recipedetail.htm?recipe_id=57450&ctx=)? They are easy to do and really cute for kids. I found this one doing a Google search. I have an old Baker's Coconut booklet that has a ton of animals-- teddy bear, fish, giraffe, elephant, etc. We're in the middle of moving or I'd offer to scan the pages for you. :(

Wow! That brought back old memories!!! We grew up with that cookbook! As I read each animal type, I immediately remembered the pictures. :D I know my mom decorated several birthday cakes based on that cookbook. I made the teddy bear for my son's first birthday (24 years ago!!) Thanks for the fun memory!!!!

Jazzmatazz49
05-22-2008, 07:17 AM
[QUOTE=Linda in MO;1377989]

Candy Land Cake...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Candy-Land-Cake

That is adorable!

BeachBum
05-22-2008, 08:27 AM
I don't have cake decorating talent either (no westie dogs here!). So what I've found is that cakes that are "cut" in to shapes that can be smeared with regular icing work best for me.
I made an adorable "pirate" cake using 2 round cakes and some candy (eye patch, eye, striped shirt) for decorating. I got the recipe from a magazine I picked up in the grocery check out. I think it was Better Homes and Gardens. There were tons of cute ideas in that magazine that were in my ability level.

Beth
05-22-2008, 10:49 AM
For some reason I have this burning desire to make a giant cupcake (the 2 part pan) with rice lrispy treats and decorate it. No baking -- just fun. Would that be nuts?

I have a popsicle pan (any one who saw my post about the 2 part ice cream cone cupcake pan will see a "cool" theme here) and I have done those with the marshmallow treats too.

misskitty100
05-22-2008, 03:54 PM
For some reason I have this burning desire to make a giant cupcake (the 2 part pan) with rice lrispy treats and decorate it. No baking -- just fun. Would that be nuts?

I have a popsicle pan (any one who saw my post about the 2 part ice cream cone cupcake pan will see a "cool" theme here) and I have done those with the marshmallow treats too.


What a neat idea!! How would you decorate the giant cupcake? With sprinkles, frosting or both?

Off to look for popsicle pans.......:D

Beth
05-22-2008, 10:23 PM
I was thinking of just a little piped icing to highlight the edges -- kind of like you see on the treat cutouts -- and sprinkles, of course. But you could really do anyting that you would with a cake. I also thought about making the bottom bare and frosting the top.

I've seen the popsicle pans on Amazon. I can't remember where I ordered them from -- somebody's catalog.

LA98
05-22-2008, 11:54 PM
Off to look for popsicle pans.......:D


I've seen the popsicle pans on Amazon. I can't remember where I ordered them from -- somebody's catalog.

I've seen them in the Current catalog. (http://www.currentcatalog.com/079171.html?AS=1&keyword=baking)

cocoa'smom
05-23-2008, 08:47 AM
[QUOTE=Linda in MO;1377989]

Candy Land Cake...
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Candy-Land-Cake

That is adorable!

I love that Candy Land Cake - really clever!