Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby Under Construction

I had so much fun making this cake for my friend Marci's baby shower. A few of our other friends threw the shower for her, using this theme: Baby Under Construction. When I heard what the theme was, the wheels in my head started turning, and this cake is pretty much exactly like my original sketch.

I had two tiers: a 12" square base and 6" square top. I cheated and only did rice crispy treats for the bottom tier (that would have been way too much cake for us to eat). I knew that I needed some brown and black fondant. I didn't have either on hand, nor did I want to run out to the cake supply store and spend a fortune on it, so I decided to make up some marshmallow fondant. I had found a recipe online for chocolate marshmallow fondant, that promised I could get very black fondant from it by only adding 1-2 tsp black food coloring. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical--true black is usually so hard to get--but I was very pleasantly surprised. I'll post the recipe for it at the bottom of this post.

I put one recipe of the chocolate fondant to use by covering both tiers in it, them my second recipe (which I turned black) I used for my caution tape bow and band as well as the road. Who would have thought that caution tape would bring so many smiles to my face?!

Here is the fun part--adding all the detailing . . .
road closure signs made out of fondant + gum tex

and the cute little orange cones--can't have construction without those. And around here they seem to leave them up on our streets even when they aren't doing construction!

And of course some trucks doing all the work. (I know--I cheated and just bought these rather than trying to make them out of gumpaste. I can only get so much done now with a needy toddler and 30 weeks pregnant. )

this one is plowing the Famous Amos cookie crumb rocks off the road.

and the hazard signs. These were the most fun to make.

My husband and I kept coming up with other ones too:
Caution Wide Load
Road Closure 6 Weeks
Detour Ahead
Bumpy Road Ahead
Watch Shoulder
We laughed so hard thinking these up.

Well, the party was amazing. I have such incredibly talented friends, who put together an adorable baby under construction themed shower for Marci, complete with table runners, dump trucks, caution tape, matching candy, and so much more.
It was a wonderful shower with wonderful friends.
Congratulations, Marci!

Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant Recipe:
6 oz. of semi sweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 of a bag)
1 bag of mini marshmallows
3 T of clear Karo syrup
3 T water
1 1lb bag of powdered sugar
gel black food coloring (if wanting black fondant)

1. Put your marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl, add the water, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir mixture, and microwave for another minute. Stir again (marshmallows will be very hot).
2. Immediately add your chocolate chips and stir until the chips are all melted.
3. Add Karo syrup and stir again, this time with a butter knife, making sure that all the syrup is incorporated.
4. If you want black fondant, this is the point when you would add your coloring. I used about 1 tsp and it was very black.
5. Place 1/2 of your powdered sugar in a pregreased Kitchenaid with greased dough hook attached. Pour marshmallow mixture over top (and scrap out all using a spatula). Knead fondant on medium speed. Continue adding powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until fondant is not sticky. By the end I usually have to knead a little bit more sugar in by hand on a well-greased surface. The amount of powdered sugar you need may vary depending on the humidity of where you live.

It should be done when it is pliable and non-sticky. I like to wrap mine in a couple of layers of saran wrap and let it rest for a couple of hours before using it. It can be stored for at least a month if coated with a thin layer of crisco, wrapped tight in plastic wrap, sealed in a ziploc bag, and stored in an airtight container.


  1. WOW! You did an amazing job!!! And the shower looked so fancy.

  2. I'm such a fan of your work, you are truly an artist with cake. I have one quick question for you, how do you make your fondant bows that top some of your cakes? They are gorgeous and all mine seem to do is lay flat, I can't get them to stand up like yours. I too make cakes but so far just for my family I'm hoping to make them for others as soon as I can. Thank you for all of your tips, especially the one on black and brown fondant.

  3. I like to make my loops a couple of days ahead of time, so they have enough time to dry. I add a little gum tex to my fondant so that it will dry quicker and harder (or you can use gumpaste). I use 2 different techniques for drying them. One way is to dry them up on their side with some rolled up paper towel sticking out of the middle to help them stay open, or I'll dry them with the bow loop sitting normally (like the bottom tier of loops do on top of a cake) and either put rolled up paper towel or cotton balls inside to keep the loop full looking until it has dried. Then I just pull it out when it is ready to go on my cake. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. My sister is getting ready to throw me an "under construction" themed baby shower! I love your cake and the decorations. Where did your friends find the table cover? Is it something they put together or something sold online somewhere? It is super cute, but yet not too much for a baby shower. You do great work!

  5. Joanis: If I remember right, the orange part of the table cover was a cheap plastic tablecloth, the polka dot was fabric she got at joanns, and the brown with the little tools all over it is actually scrapbooking paper she got at a craft store. I'm not sure if the yellow was paper or fabric. I hope that helps. Congratulations on the baby on the way! I just had my second 2 weeks ago. Newborns are so wonderful! Enjoy every minute!

  6. I was wondering if I still added chocolate chips to the fondant recipe even if I wanted it a color other thnak black.

  7. Hi Ashley,
    Adding the chocolate chips will give you a brown chocolate fondant. If you want a different color besides black or brown, I would recommend just doing a basic marshmallow fondant recipe and dyeing it the color you want (you can find the basic recipe here: http://pattycakesbakery.blogspot.com/2011/01/amaretto-truffle-icing-and-fondant.html).

  8. This is beautiful and would be great for my sons birthday. How do you make the milti color bow on top?

    1. I mixed some gumtext with yellow and black fondant, then rolled out the yellow, layered the black on top, and cut strips that I pinched into bow loops and let harden with some papertowel through the hole to keep it open. Then I just stuck all the bow loops on top of the cake in a dollup of frosting.