I have added a tute!!!!!! It's below the pictures - -
Ok, this was such a ton of fun to make:http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j131/Sheli1cp/000_2785.jpg
This was for a Hawaiin theme wedding. It's seven layers high. The frosting is dark chocolate - from a can - I decided to spend my time on the actual cake instead of trying to concoct a dark chocolate frosting - then I covered the frosting with chocolate cookie crumbs - I bought 4 oreo cookie crumb pie crusts! The "lava" is hot fudge! I bought a big gallon can from the wholesale food place.
The huts are cupcakes, upside down and covered in frosting. The sand is brown sugar!! heehee
Here's the mechanism I made for the smoke:http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j131/Sheli1cp/000_2783.jpg
The cooler has a bunch of dry ice in it. The small container (a storage container with a screw on lid that I got at the dollar store heehee) to the right of the cooler is half filled with hot water then the dry ice is dropped into it. The lid is screwed on as quick as possible. I cut a hold in the lid and duct taped a rubber tube to the top. The tube was layed on the cake then concealed with frosting. At the top of the cake, there was a 'hood' of foil duct taped to the top of the tube to make the smoke go down the cake and not shoot straight up - it was a last minute device that was made when we put everything together and the smoke shot up about 2 ft into the air! Not quite what we were going for LOL.
It was a blast to make!!!!
OK, So, here's the tute! Including a really sophisticated set of diagrams I made in paint! LOLhttp://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j131/Sheli1cp/volcanocakeconstruction-1.jpg
First of all, this can be any size you want, it depends on the pans you use. The bigger the cake, the more layers you'll want. The pans will need to graduate to different sizes (Diagram A).
My cake was 7 layers and the bottom layer was 16 inches. I think the top layer was 6 inches and I was able to find 7 different size pans around my house since cake is what I do. You can get creative with the pans you use - my top layer was a small metal mixing bowl. So, any oven safe receptacle can become a cake pan.
If you want to use just one cake mix, 3 layers should do it. Use a 8 or 10 inch layer for the bottom then find 2 smaller pans to go on top of it.
Whatever size cake you have, you'll want to support it well. (Diagram C - my diagrams are not in sequence. LOL)
You'll need wooden dowels cut to the depth of the cake layer. To measure it, stick the dowel in the cake layer - WITH THE TOP FROSTED - and move it back and forth just a teeny bit to get a little bit of the frosting on the dowel. This will be your cutting mark. Cut 4 dowels the same size. Put the dowels in the cake and make sure they are close enough together that they will be covered by the next size layer. Put the next layer on a circle of cardboard just barely bigger than the frosted layer. Put this on top of the bottom layer and do the dowel thing again. The layer at the very top won't need to be supported by dowels so, if there are 3 layers, you will only need dowels in the bottom layer. If you are going to make the cake more than 4 layers high, you're going to want to support the whole cake by putting a dowel in the center, through all of the layers. To do this, take a long dowel and 'sharpen' one end - with a paring knife or pocket knife or something - so it looks like a pencil. Start at the top of the cake and put the dowel in. When it reaches the first cardboard, tap the top of the dowel with something hammer-like until it goes through the cardboard. Do this for each layer until the dowel is through all of the layers. Then, without taking the dowel back out, cut the top of the dowel flush with the top of the cake.
OK, now you're ready for fun stuff. heehee (Diagram B) Start carving the edges off the cake to make the cake into a pyramid shape. Don't get too exact on this because you don't want it to look like a cone. You can make hills and valleys. I really liked this part. You may want to use the cut pieces on top of the volcano, to make it higher or more pointed.
After the cake is the shape you want, it's time to frost it! I decided to use ready-made dark chocolate fudge frosting because making chocolate frosting can be a bit of a challenge.
Applying the frosting can be done many ways. I prefer to use Wilton's 18 inch bag with the frosting spreader tip. It can handle 2 cans of the frosting and I was able to apply it quickly and evenly.
After the frosting is on, sprinkle chocolate cookie crumbs all over the cake to look more 'earthy'. I think this step is optional. I used 4 Oreo pie crusts and just took them out of the pan and crumbled them.
I had the cake frosted BEFORE I put the hose on the back of it. I laid the hose on the frosted cake then took a frosting spreader and covered the hose with frosting.
The hood (Diagram D - not done too well, sorry but I couldn't figure out how to make it look right) was made of part of the tin from the pie crust. I cut a rectangle out of it and bent it so the smoke would go horizontal. If I were to do it again, I would duct tape the back of the hood to the hose. I didn't do this and the smoke kept seeping out the back of the hood, making a crack in the frosting and was very annoying.
Now for the lava! I used Hot Fudge topping! I got one of the huge gallon size cans you can get at restaurant supply companies or places like Sam's or Costco. I put it right on top of the hood and kind of spooned it at the top and let it ooze down as it wanted. That part was fun too.
I think the dry ice thingy is pretty self explanatory but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Ask me anything!!