Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dragon Cake: Mountain Mama Guest Posts!

A dear friend in Colorado sent these pics and directions for making dragon cake (her little guy just had a birthday) and a description of her kiddo's green birthday party. They were so cool that I just had to share. I am always on the lookout for eco-friendly and flat-out fabulous party ideas.

Mountain Mama: "Mountain Daddy and I stayed up pretty late the night before decorating his cake. I had them baked and cut the cakes earlier in the day but we started decorating pretty late at night and it takes time. But we were both so proud of the cake.

Everyone said the party was great. We held the party at a really neat playground. We reserved a shelter in case of rain. The rain was a close call--it rained all day Friday and all Saturday night. We had a husband-wife team put on a 40 minute interactive show--kind of like Jim Carey doing comedy and theatrics for 6 year olds. It was very interactive--Mountain Boy was sweating from all the jumping around. That went over very well!

The toy exchange went fine. The kids brought wrapped things (mostly used toys). I put all the toys in a duffle bag and just handed each kid a toy as they left. We asked politely but firmly for the kids to open the presents in the car, not at the park (that was key!). At one point, I was surrounded by 8 kids wanting gifts. Yikes. I told them they would each get one when they left the party. So I think some kids went and found their parents so they could leave! Which was fine. After 2 hours...I was used up! One kid didn't want the wrapped gift I gave him--he wanted to pick. I said this was the way we were doing it today.

I also bought compostable plates for pizza and cups for lemonade. We used "Preserve" washable plates for cake and used up old plastic forks. I took all the waste home and sorted it--compost, dishwasher. It was interesting--all that I threw away was leftover pizza and cake. I did take a marker and write their names on their lemonade cups.

This cake was mostly organic, except the fruit-roll-up wings, and some natural candies. We used natural orange dye made from turmeric (smile).

For the dragon cake, we made THREE batches of Fannie Farmer icing. A DOUBLE batch that we tinted with a lot of natural orange dye. We made a THIRD batch that we didn't tint (ran out of dye)--we used this white frosting as the "glue" to hold the legs, tail, head and belly together.

Decorations - we used natural raspberry licorice for claws, chocolate covered almonds for nostrils, natural fruit chews for eyebrows, Paul Newman's organic chocolate cookies that we cut into triangles for back scales, marshmallows w/chocolate chips for eyes, fruit roll-ups for wings (you have to wash scooby-doo printing off with wet paper towel). Put wings in cake at party.

1st Tip - Cut cake into dragon pieces. Then put on wax paper and freeze. Ice after frozen. Crumbs weren't a problem during icing.

2nd Tip - Cut scraps of wax paper to slid under all cake parts. Then ice cake. Remove wax paper. Voila! Clean cake board.

3rd Tip - We don't have a big fridge. So we put the dragon's body on our big cutting board (dragon's butt right up to edge of board). Then we put the tail on a smaller cutting board (tail base right up to edge of board). When we presented the cake, we put the two cutting boards together--tail base to dragon butt. Voila! Full dragon.

Cake Mix: Whole Foods organic yellow cake mix

Frosting: Confectioners' Frosting II (The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham)

* makes about 1 cup
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (we used butter)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar, approximately (I sifted--better results, no lumps)
2 tablespoons cream or milk, approximately

Cream the shortening and the salt together, then add the sugar and stir briskly. Stir in the cream or milk and beat well, adding more sugar or more milk if necessary to get an easily spreadable consistency. This is enough to frost an 8-inch two-layer.

*Here's the recipe for the dragon cake--read comments if you make it (we bought a yellow cake mix from Whole Foods--tasted great! We made 3 batches of buttercream frosting from Fannie Farmer's cookbook--awesome too: butter, powdered sugar, milk, cream of tartar).

* Slightly bigger photo of the same cake."

Thanks, Mountain Mama! You and Mountain Daddy rock and I bet your little guy was so thrilled with his cake. Give him a birthday hug from us.


Mrs. G. said...

The cutest cake I've seen in a long time. I love that it is not a Disney character.

Green Me said...

Nice. Very nice. This post is definitely going in my cake-baking archives! Dragons! Organic! Oh my!

eco 'burban mom said...

Cutest.Cake.EVER! Fabulous!!

Susannah said...

Memo to self: Starting working the Obi-Mom-Kenobi magic on my kids to suddenly fall in love with dragons so I can attempt this cake! It's incredible. My best attempt ever was creating "baseball cupcakes" last year (just white icing with red "stitching").

Lisa Sharp said...

Very cute!! And yay for natural dyes. No hyper active kids due to dyes. :)

Tech Savvy Mama said...

What an awesome cake! Can't wait for the next birthday to make it! Thanks!