This tutorial is written by my sister Lynda. She is my guest crafter here today on Feature Friday. Lynda was blessed with the gene that makes her a great cook. Unfortunately, I missed out on that one. I’m usually the one that is asked to bring the napkins and paper plates to family gatherings. Ha! The family tends to go to her when they want something tasty and fun. So without further ado, here’s Lynda!
I decided I wanted to make my mom a different kind of cake for her 70th birthday. She wasn’t really that excited about the big 7-0 so I thought, well, I will make her something special then.
If you know my mom then you know she loves those sugar coated marshmallow peeps that come in the shapes of bunnies and birds around Easter time, in a rainbow of colors too. I’ve caught mom sneaking some peeps now and then. She tries to hide the wrappers under the seat of her car but I always notice the wrappers sticking out.
Mom loves peeps so much that when we were kids and Easter rolled around, she would buy big packs of those crunchy “so sweet that your teeth hurt” marshmallows and open the packs up, separate the peeps and place them in our Easter baskets. The next morning of course we pull our peeps out of our baskets with Easter grass sticking to them and they are hard as a rock. We think mom did this so that we wouldn’t want them and then she would just have to eat them all.
You can’t waste food ya know. Getting back to this cake, I had a picture pop into my mind of a birds nest sitting in a tree. Hmmmmm. This had cake possibility written all over it!
For my Peep Cake I used:
1 box white cake mix (prepared)
Small pretzel sticks (Mr. Salty brand)
4 cans of white frosting
I started by baking one white cake mix in two round cake pans. Remember to tell your husband not to go slamming doors are talking loud while they are in the oven. The last thing you want is a flat cake. By the way, I also think husbands do this so they can eat the fallen cake since you can’t use it then.
My husband likes to trim the top of the cakes up to make them flat. This is his job. No one else is allowed to do this. If you even look like you are getting a knife out to trim the cake you will have to fight him for it because whoever trims the cake gets to eat the trimmings. At least I know I’m a good cook anyway.
After you wrestle the cake away from your husband you will need to cut both cakes in half and make four layers. I used a bread knife for this. Make sure the cake is nice and cool before you do this too or you will end up with just a bunch of crumbs.
Put about half a can of the frosting into a bowl and tint it with about 4 drops of red food coloring and 8 drops of blue. I like to use the color paste you can buy at hobby stores or specialty stores. After you get a nice purple color, frost the bottom layer, not the sides mind you, just the top.
Carefully lay the next cake layer on and tint another half can of frosting yellow.
Again, lay on the next layer and tint another half can of frosting pink. Put the top layer on. Next, mix up about a whole can of frosting blue. Frost the entire cake now.
Set the cake aside for now. We are going to make the sticks for the nest. Lay some waxed paper out and melt your chocolate. I like to use the microwave to do this. Coat the pretzel sticks with the chocolate and lay them out on the wax paper to dry.
You must be very careful when you leave the chocolate sticks in the kitchen to dry because I was sitting in my living room and I hear my son in the kitchen say “mmmm, these chocolate sticks are really good!” You may want to consider putting up a “do not touch” sign or something. If your kitchen is anything like mine, if there is food sitting out, it doesn’t sit for long. Luckily I didn’t hear “mmmm, this cake is really good!”
Now that your sticks are dry, assemble them into a nest on top of the cake by poking them into the cake and laying them about. It may help to whistle a tune or something while doing this to get into that “I’m a bird making a nest” feeling. Ha!
Lay out some more waxed paper and melt some more chocolate. We are going to make some tree branches for the side of the cake now. I used a Wilton decorating bag and tips to shape the melted chocolate into branch shapes on the waxed paper but you can also put the chocolate into a ziplock bag and cut a corner off and squeeze it out that way.
After your branches are dry, peel them up and place them on the sides of the cake. Put some plain white frosting into your decorating bag and using small tip, make little circles like knot holes and lines on the branches. Next, mix up some green tinted frosting for the grass. Again, put some green frosting into your bag with a grass tip. I call it a grass tip but it’s the one with a bunch of little holes in it. Make some grass all around the bottom edge of the cake.
Open your pack of peeps and put them in the nest. Yes, they will probably be a little hard by the time you actually eat them but who the heck really likes peeps anyway?
There it is, you are done. Now give any leftover frosting to your kids so it doesn’t temp you to eat it and wipe the frosting off your face because I know you were sampling it. He he he
Yes, I got caught. My husband came in and started laughing and said I had something blue on my face. And green, and yellow, and pink. Oops!
Thanks so much, Lynda for sharing this tutorial with us!! Next week, I have a unique project to share with you involving popsicle sticks. Stay tuned!
If you enjoyed this tutorial, well I really don’t have anything quite like it on my site, simply because my idea of cooking involves a can opener and a can. But, you can certainly check out my Ukrainian Egg tutorial. Making some very detailed and one of a kind colored eggs.
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