A luau-themed birthday party is getting thrown at our house. The birthday-ee is into cake decorating, and made a lego-cake for the most recent birthday in the household.
I couldn't help myself.
I turned this:
I had a bunch of leftover fondant, so I made lettuce to hide my powdered-sugar mess:
1. Get a cake mold vaguely resembling what you want to make and make a cake. I bought some pretty good cake release from the craft store, and it made it REALLY easy to get the cake out. In fact, all I had to do was turn the mold upside down and it just slid out. Instead of greasing and flouring the pan, just squirt some cake release in and brush it around.
2. When the cake is done being baked (and this will probably take A LONG TIME if you have a deep mold), let it cool for about ten minutes, then cut off the curved top. This top is going to be your bottom, and it needs to be flat to sit right.
3. After the cake has cooled, carve your shape. My cake ended up being in the oven for about an hour and a half, so it was nice and hard and easy to carve. Try to be as neat as possible.
4. Ice it! All the "cake decorating" instructions I found said to use butter cream. I don't even know wtf butter cream really is, I just made some icing: 1/4 cup margarine, 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, and about 2 TB soymilk, along with a splash of vanilla extract (since I was making vanilla frosting). Use a thin layer, and spread it as evenly as possible. Use the icing to smooth out any cake blemishes.
5. While letting the icing set, get your FONDANT. You can get sugar fondant from a craft or baking supply store. I bought white, because I wanted to color it myself, but you can buy it pre-colored. A little bit of coloring goes a long way, and all you need to do is knead it in. When the fondant is the right color, get a rolling pin and roll it out so that it's slightly bigger than the surface of your cake (include the sides when measuring), and so that it's about 1/4 inch thick. Use powdered sugar to "flour" your surfaces so the fondant doesn't stick.
6. VERY GENTLY place fondant on the cake. Smooth it out, make sure you don't have any air bubbles, all that good stuff. When you have the fondant on your cake all nice, carefully cut along the bottom to get the excess off.
7. Use the excess to make embellishments, and use your icing to "glue" them to the cake.
Don't let this seem overwhelming if you want to give it a try! I'd NEVER done something like this before, and without even a tutorial it was pretty easy. Fondant is VERY forgiving. So if you want to try, DO IT!