It's your child's birthday, and you spare no expense in celebrating it. Invites, decorations, food, pinata, party gifts and lets not forget cake.
The cake! How much did you spend on your little kid's last birthday, honestly??
I'm not saying cakes are not worth the money, by all means cake business needs clients too. All I am saying is that your kid would be much happier with a home made cake. You can create lovely unforgetable memories of you and your child putting together a cake.
And that's what I make every year for my son, a home made birthday cake.
This year I have gone for an Octonauts theme cake. I had decided on the last minute to give him a party, so I had no time to go buy lots of fondant, so I used what was in the pantry.
My little girl was going through a teething phase too, and that means I needed to spend more time with her, conforting her, hence less time for fidling with cakes. Long story short, it was a mud cake with dairy free frosting inside.
Giving cakes a shape is not that hard, you need to decide on cake base. For building it is easyer if you have a denser and heavyer cake, like a mud cake. You can even use boxed cake mix, bake the cake, then assemble it.
This one was assembled like this: 2 packs mud cake mix, batter spread between 2 x 15 cm round tins, and 2 x 20 cm round tins.
The filling was dairy free (see my other post for recipe).
Then you need to cut 1/3 of the top half so it looks like the submarine deck without a window. I did not take photos of all steps, sorry, I get so absorbed into the cake that I forget.
With serrated knife, carve the cake to give rounded edges. Keep cake scraps, you might need them.
Put small cake on top of big cake, then use frosting to 'glue' cut pieces of cake to form side wings/fins and tail.
Then cover the whole cake in thin layer of frosting (crumb coating) and refrigerate.
Roll out fondant in a thick layer, otherwise it breaks. Do not forget to measure the cake with a string over it to see how wide the fondant needs to be.
Cover with fondant, smooth out, cut excess bits, then decorate with more fondant figurines or toys, depending on skill.
On a cake board or plate (same size or bigger then the cake, which is 20cm), put 1 x 20 cm cake layer, add frosting, put second layer, put frosting on top.
On a separate plate put together small cake layers, just filling in between.
Cut to oposite ends of the cake, about 1/4, keep on the side.
It's probably much easyer to do 2 cakes, base and top, then cover each piece with fondant, then put them together with frosting in between as a glue.
If unsure about a process, master Google and teacher Youtube have unlimited sources to learn how to do things.
Your kid will always remember this cake, no matter how crooked or gritty the frosting :).