For the past 5 years, I've made cakes for the banquet, but this year since my son was graduating, I wanted it to be special. We had the group of boys over one night for a meeting, and let them design the cake themselves!
Years ago, back when they were all tiny 1st Grade Tiger Cubs, they named their den The Rattlers ("We're Den 3! We do our Besssssssssssssssssst!"), so that was their jumping off point. What they landed on was a wild west cake with snakes, barbed wire, and cacti. I was excited to do that theme, because to be honest I was running a little low on the basic blue and gold colored cake that somehow or other related to scouting. This was a very welcome change from the...um...dull-ish subject matter.
The bottom tier I wanted to make it look like it had been wrapped in rope. This was easy enough to accomplish - I covered the cake in fondant, and then twisted long strands of fondant together to make the rope, and then wrapped the cake.
The middle tier, though, is special. I found a shadow outline of some boy scouts hiking. I painted the tier to look like the sunset, using yellow, orange, and brown food coloring mixed with vodka. I then placed the cutout of the boys onto to it. Kind of cheesy, but it's the five scouts (same number we had) hiking off into the sunset towards their new adventures. Sniff.
The top tier is a Native American drum.
Not shown in these pictures is an arrow, supposed to look like the Arrow of Light. I stuck it through the middle tier. It was OK, but I didn't really like the way it looked overall, so I decided not to show it here, although it was present at the banquet. Some boys ate it when no one was looking, though.
Most of the decorations are modeling chocolate. All of the cacti were hand molded. The barbed wire is modeling chocolate I rolled in silver highlighter powder, and then used my clay extruder to make long strands before twisting the strands together.
The snake is also modeling chocolate. The scale texture was added with a piping tip, and I painted a diamond pattern on its back to make it look like a rattlesnake.
The cake board was fondant. I used a knife and a fork to make the wooden pattern, and then painted it with a mixture of food coloring and vodka.
All of the scouts in attendance fought over the chocolate decorations, but I hoarded them off the cake and secretly served them up to the graduating boys. :)
Congratulations to the Den 3 Rattlers! And best of luck with your new Troops. :)
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