Feature Friday- Brady Bunch Cake


My sister-in-law just recently had a birthday and we decided to throw a huge surprise party for her.  The theme?  Well, the Brady Bunch of course.  You see, growing up that was one of her favorite TV shows.  I have to admit that I personally have seen every episode at least 10 times. Not only is the show a classic, but there is so much you take from it as a party theme!  I was happy to volunteer to help out.

And then I was assigned the cake…
You have to understand, that the kitchen and I do not really get along.  We are basic acquaintances.  The kitchen is where I breeze through a few times a day, microwave the crap out of a few things and go on my way.  To me, it is a pit stop on the way to the craft room.  And now I have a cake to make. 

So I pulled a few recipes for fondant off of a website, bought some supplies and went for it.  Because, really. How hard could it be?  

The fondant recipe seemed easy enough.  If you are interested- it is here.  I watch lots of Food Network cake challenges and it looked so easy on TV.  Just put a ton of powdered sugar on the counter and roll it out. They don’t mention that it is sticky.  Really sticky.  

I started an assembly line of cake making, fondant making and sugar gum paste (I bought a mix for this).  You see, I had in my head this amazing creation including a vintage TV set and lots of Brady-like props.  As you can see, the mess was already starting.

I colored the fondant with gel coloring.  Hint #1– It takes a whole bunch of brown food coloring to make brown fondant.  A whole lot more than you think.  There is nothing worse than a skin-colored TV set.  Just saying.

Hint #2– Do not pull the humongous cake out of the oven and flip it over to cool without trimming a bit off the top.  (Note the emergency cell phone – just in case I burned the house down). 

Hint #3– Do not make your sugar gum paste too thin if you are wanting to make anything larger than a flower. Take my word for it.  Unmolding these pieces was an adventure in itself.

Hint #4– A good support structure is necessary for a tall cake.  Most of the websites I looked at recommended structural support for every 4″ of cake.  I made this four layers high, using wooden dowels, I supported it on four corners, with a tall one in the middle.  Then I cut a small piece of cardboard to lay over the first two layers, cutting a hole in the center for the center dowel, and added four more dowels to the top two layers.  It would have been helpful at this point if I had trimmed all layers to be even. 

Hint #5– Ice the crap out of it with a handy dandy “Bucket ‘O Icing” from the local craft supply store.  That way you don’t have to make more messes on your counters trying to fool with icing recipes.  

Hint #6– Have a good idea how much cake you might need.  Two extra sheet cakes is way too much extra cake.  My husband and I are caked out.  We each took two huge containers of cake into work.  My coworkers fussed at me for making them go off their diets. His coworkers have no idea there was cake.  He apparently ate it all himself…

Hint #7– Fondant looks a whole lot easier to roll out on TV.  Seriously. The aspirin bottle on the side is no mistake…

Hint #8– Cover up all major fondant flaws with strategically placed flowers.  Nobody will ever know.  

Now lets make some Bradys!  

And a few Brady accessories…

And there you have it!  

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Brady Bunch, or those that are like some of my family who needed an explanation as to what the heck that was on the top of the cake.. 
From left to right- TV antenna, creepy Hawaiian necklace from the Hawaii episode, broken vase (Mom always said not to play ball in the house), and “porkshopppes and appleshaushe”.

From left to right- one of Marcia’s many major trophies, the Bradys (my daughter wanted to know who the man in the middle was- It’s ALICE! Arrgghhh), and the silver platter.  

So there you have it.  Possibly a good candidate for Cake Wrecks.  But at least I spelled “Birthday” right.  

Hint #9– Practice.  I just got volunteered to make my daughter’s wedding cake.  I am stocking up on aspirin already.  sigh…

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • salma August 18, 2011, 5:59 am

    AMAZING!! I have to admit I've never seen the Brady Bunch – but can still appreciate the effort that has gone into this cake and how fabulous it looks! Great job!!!! that is the most creative cake .
    send gifts to pakistan

  • Tanya Anurag August 18, 2011, 12:29 am

    That is the most creative cake I have ever seen. Awesome job!!

    We have a link-up party going on – Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.


  • Carolyn August 16, 2011, 4:17 am

    I love it, what a fantastic idea!

  • Terri @ A Creative Princess August 14, 2011, 11:50 pm

    Here's the story, of a lovely lady…..

    It looks awesome!! Move over Cake Boss! Thank you so much for linking up, Suzi! That really means the world to me!

  • Kassi @ Truly Lovely August 12, 2011, 10:59 pm

    Oh goodness!!! You put a lot of work into that!!! Definitely recognizable as the Brady's!!! Well done! Thanks for linking to Fancy This Fridays!!

  • SewHappyGeek August 12, 2011, 10:44 am

    I just wanted to let you know I've featured your cake link today on SewHappyGeek!
    Thanks for linking up!

  • Danee August 11, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Ok, so first off- I think your characters are spot on especially the kids and I could totally tell that was Alice!

    Second-I made my own wedding cake. it was the first wedding cake I ever made. In full disclosure I will say that am fairly good at baking from scratch. There is NEVER a box mix in my house and I have made many cakes from Chocolatier magazine which included many layers usually soaked with some sort of yummy liqueur, ganache, handmade buttercream icing, chocolate curls.

    I first tried to make fondant. Keep in mind this was pre-WWW (World Wide Web) so I had no place to go for advice. What I learned about fondant is 1) it is indeed a sticky mess 2) it tastes TERRIBLE 3) there is so much sugar in it that it is almost bitter and 4) it wasn't worth the effort. This was of course before Buddy and Duff showed us how cool fondant can be. In those days it was just a smooth surface.

    Plan B involved Martha Stewarts newly published "Martha Stewart Weddings" BOOK (The magazine was not even in the womb 17 years ago).

    My point in all this, aside from commiserating about your fondant inexperience, is to point you toward a yummy and much easier cake experience. I made the Chocolate Almond cake which was truly more like a brownie in texture- YUMMM-O with the Grand Marnier Buttercream frosting. Seriously super good tasting food. You can always make a fondant covered grooms cake much smaller and easier. I decorated the cake simply by icing it very smooth (Martha has all sorts of how-to's to make it look fabulous as well as how to estimate how much cake you need). Tips to avoid the cracking, the evenness of the cakes how to crumb coat etc.

    I decorated it simply with small little dots in sets of three, white chocolate curls and fresh raspberries on the horizontal surfaces. so yummy and i had so many compliments on the taste. I made my friends cake and decorated the wedding cake with sugar frosted rose petals and beautiful ribbon bows and the grooms cake was carrot cake – you could do a fondant decoration for that one.

  • Tricia @ SweeterThanSweets August 11, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Wow-I'm impressed with the painting. Great job! Thanks for sharing your fails/mistakes with us too. =)
    (via Glimpse Inside)

  • Amanda Dale August 10, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I LOVE it! So fun! Can't wait to see your daughter's wedding cake!

  • idesign August 10, 2011, 12:26 pm

    this is the best cake ive ever seen!! lol i love it! amazing


  • Handy Man, Crafty Woman August 10, 2011, 11:41 am

    How fun! You did a great job! Thanks for linking to Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

  • Ginger@gingersnapcrafts August 10, 2011, 4:49 am

    Wow! Turned out great. πŸ™‚ Love the Brady Bunch. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. Hope to see you there. {I’m a new follower, too.} Cute blog!


  • the cape on the corner August 9, 2011, 3:00 pm

    oh my gosh, that is flippin hysterical! i think alice really looks like her! love the details, like the tiki. and you say you and the kitchen don't get along…yeah right!

  • Cherished Bliss August 9, 2011, 2:28 pm

    How creative! Thanks for linking up to Craft and Tell!


  • Sam August 9, 2011, 11:22 am

    That cake is fantastic!!

  • Jamie August 8, 2011, 5:28 pm

    What an adorable cake. I love the brady bunch!! If you get a chance I would love you to link your cake up to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to stop by. See you there. http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/

  • Becolorful August 8, 2011, 2:58 pm

    I am speechless. Serious admiration here. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for linking up your amazing cake on Motivated Monday at BeColorful

  • Jill August 8, 2011, 10:19 am

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  • AmieAnn August 8, 2011, 8:49 am

    Looks like it was well worth the time and the effort.. if not the aspirin! Looks amazing! You and the kitchen should play more often! Thanks for sharing with my Pink Hippo party!

  • Kelly August 7, 2011, 11:43 pm

    Suzy! What a great story! Loved reading all your hints! You're a doll for making a Brady Bunch cake, amazing job! Thanks for sharing over at Eat, Grow, Sew!

  • Jill August 7, 2011, 11:29 pm

    AMAZING!! I have to admit I've never seen the Brady Bunch – but can still appreciate the effort that has gone into this cake and how fabulous it looks! Great job!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  • Robin August 7, 2011, 6:49 pm

    I love those little fondant Bradys!! And all the details on your cake are amazing!

  • elliesbites August 7, 2011, 2:18 pm

    No, Fondant is NOT easy to work with (I think it has something personal against me) but you made it look FUN!!! And your cake turned out awesome! -Stephanie

  • La-Dee-da crafter August 6, 2011, 9:58 pm

    wow, all I can say is wow. This is incredible and I love the Brady's. You did a great job on each one.
    Love this and you deserve so much credit for a job well done.

  • Dream Catcher August 6, 2011, 7:05 pm

    When I saw the words "I pulled a few recipes for fondant off of a website" I was expecting a train wreck….er Cake Wreck, I mean. But it wasn't! Your cake is adorable, and a first attempt no less.

    P.S. I love your Van Gogh piece!

  • Molly Smith August 6, 2011, 3:53 pm

    This entire scene is AMAZING! My kitchen is a pitstop too, so I cannot imagine attempting anything close to this. Funny, funny story and I love it all. Giggling at the creepy necklace! Thanks for sharing, Suzy πŸ™‚

  • Becca August 6, 2011, 2:44 pm

    Ok, you've taken the whole "sitcom" thing to a whole new level! That is the greatest cake ever! Quick… name Cindy's favorite doll. One more… What was Jan doing when she figured out she might need glasses?

    Thanks for linking up with Home and Family Friday!


  • lallybroch33 August 6, 2011, 1:16 pm

    I loved the Brady bunch and loved your cake! I guessed every one of the accessories, except the silver platter… I thought it was a gold mining pan from their old west adventure! LOL! Wedding cake, eh? My mom was a professional cake decorator… I might have to email you her no-fail wedding cake recipe and frosting recipe! And a tip about brown food coloring… Use cocoa powder instead! Quickly colors up and tastes like chocolate…a win-win!

  • Katy Cameron August 5, 2011, 9:25 pm

    ROFL, love the story, but it looks fab regardless of how you got there, guess that's how you got 'volunteered' for the wedding cake… Try ibuprofen for that, it's often stronger lol

  • Lynda August 5, 2011, 6:57 pm

    I knew it was Alice…….ok, maybe just because she was always in the middle square, hehehehe
    by the way, I found Marsha sitting on the desk in my kitchen the other day amongst Nick's pile of stuff hmmmmm, maybe I don't wanna know, hehehehe
    Awesome cake though Susy, you did a really wonderful job on it.

  • lynne August 5, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Knowing your love/hate relationship with the kitchen I appreciate the absolutely AWESOME cake more than you know. It is without a doubt the best birthday cake I have ever had. No explanations needed for me to know what every single thing on the cake was. The cake and the party were fantastic. Now what kind of theme cake do you need for your big birthday next year???? πŸ˜€

  • chillin with Quillin August 5, 2011, 2:54 pm

    I agree with Tee,it made my morning, you put alot of hard work into it and it shaows, turned out great!!

  • Tee August 5, 2011, 1:21 pm

    This post is absolutely hysterical. Thanks for the early morning pee-in-the-pants.

  • Nicole@Thrifty Decorating August 5, 2011, 1:16 pm

    That is absolutely AMAZING!!! How did you ever make all of those Brady's?? Putting this on my FB page! πŸ™‚

  • kimberlyo66 August 5, 2011, 11:56 am

    You really did a great job with the cake yummy too. : )

  • Teddie Seeley August 5, 2011, 11:46 am

    Suzy, that is an awesome Brady cake. I'm sure your sister-in-law loved it too.
    Can't wait to see the wedding cake, throw some quilling in there somewhere.

  • Annika August 5, 2011, 11:37 am

    This cake is so rad! I love all the little details!

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