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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Flower Garden Birthday Cake

We just celebrated my sweet Tatum's 4th birthday.
This was the Flower Garden cake to top off her Fancy Four Affair.

Each birthday I try to make a special cake for my kids.  Though I love baking, cake decorating is not  my forte!
I found this fun idea in one of my favorite books, What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  I love this book because the ideas are fairly simple and the results are so impressive.  Here is how I made it, following the instruction from the book.



Supplies:
Yeah, this one had TONS of items on ingredient list.  However, that is mostly due to the fact that I chose to make a variety of flowers for my flower garden.  Here is basically what you'd need...
- Cupcakes (I'd go with homemade for a firmer cake to stick the flowers into, though not necessary.)
- Green Cupcake Liners (though again, not necessary)
- Tray, for your Flower Garden to sit in
- Pretzels, sticks
- Cookies (sturdy, flat and round work best), one for each flower
- White Chocolate Chips, about 1 cup
- Frosting
- Green Food Coloring
- Assorted Candies for Flowers, I used M&Ms, Mike & Ikes, Jelly Bellies, Gummy Lifesavers
- Assorted Green Candies for Leaves
- Assorted Green Candies to fill in around the cupcakes (optional)
- Marshmallows (for flower petals), I used mini and a medium-sized variety in mine
- Sugar Sprinkles (assorted colors), for the marshmallow flowers

... I added some cute butterfly picks that I found at Hobby Lobby, that I thought were a nice touch.

Directions:
1) Make your marshmallow petals.
Do this by cutting them on the diagonal as shown below.  Set them aside so they can regain their shape.

Choose some colored sugar sprinkles, and place them in a small dish.

Take each of your cut marshmallow petals, and press the cut side into the colored sprinkles until it is nicely coated.  I used two different sizes of marshmallows, and opted to use colored sprinkles to match the color of the marshmallow.  I really liked how the medium-sized marshmallows looked on the finished flowers.

2)  Create your flowers!
Line your cookies up on a try.  I had 20 cupcakes to decorate, so I chose 20 cookies.  I also found it helpful to pre-sort my candies by color so I could quickly grab what I needed before my chocolate had set.  Once I had everything ready....

... I put 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in a ziplock bag.  Place THE OPEN BAG in the microwave for 10 second intervals, mushing the chocolate in between each, until it is completely melted (may take about a minute).  Remove the air from the bag, and seal it.

Snip about 1/4" from the corner of your bag, and you are ready to pipe your chocolate!

See what I'm doing here?  Not a good idea.  I thought the chocolate would take longer to set than it did.  My recommendation would be to work on 2 or 3 AT THE MOST at a time.  One at a time might be a little too runny to easily decorate without your candies slipping out of place.

Pipe chocolate onto your cookie, and decorate it to your liking with your assorted candies and prepared marshmallow petals.  After a bit my chocolate was getting too "cool" and hard to work with.  I just popped it back in the microwave for 10 seconds, and we were back in business.

Here are my finished flowers.  Perhaps you can select some favorites from mine and copy them rather than experiment until you find one you like.

Note: I made the flowers the night before the party.  Cover them and hide them from the kids... :)

4) Prepare your cupcakes.
I know... I cheated.  I used store-bought frosting and added green food coloring to make it a nice, grassy green.

I frosted each cupcake, added some green sugar sprinkles to the top, and placed them on the tray.

Next, I filled in the gaps with all of the green candies I had stolen from my flower candy supply.

5)  Add your stems to the flowers.
The original instructions didn't call for this, but I happened to have some green candy melts on hand.  I chose to dip my pretzel sticks in the green candy melts.  I did this for two reasons.... 1, because I thought they would look nicer... and 2, because sticking a pretzel in a moist cupcake will cause the pretzel to get all soggy. Ick!

I melted my candy melts as directed on the package, rolled each pretzel stick in each, and let them set on a piece of wax paper.

Next, I melted another 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in a small glass dish, as directed on the package (in the microwave for 30 second intervals).  I found that it worked best to lay the flowers upside-down, roll the end of the pretzel in the white chocolate, and rest it in place on the back of the flowers.  I then added white chocolate over top of that to make sure it was nice and "glued" into place.  You may have to hold the pretzel in place for a bit to allow it to set... or find a crafty way to rest it in place while you work on the next.

I transferred these to the fridge to allow them to completely set, about 5 minutes.  Set these aside, and add to your cupcakes right before you are ready to display your cake.

6) Arrange your flower garden.
I used green fruit slice candies for the leaves.  They were a little thick, so I cut them in half.  They were a perfect shape, I thought.

Place a flower into each cupcake.  Add a leaf or two to the base.  I rested my leaves in the frosting at an angle on most.  I also added some cute little butterfly picks.  Isn't it pretty?


We added flowers directly onto our extra cupcakes.  Charlotte had fun designing some of these.

And the finished display...

I thought it looked so pretty on the table!

A couple of thoughts...
*   The candy flowers were very heavy.  Little, if any, of the pretzel stem was left showing, as I had to insert them fairly deep to support the weight of the flowers.  I am not sure if there would be a better option.... perhaps a thicker pretzel?
*   Next time I may use green food coloring in the cake as well....

Happy Birthday Tater-Bug!!


Linking up at TCB and THESE awesome sites.

50 comments:

  1. This is SO CUTE! Definitely bookmarking for later use. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Lucky girl! Those cupcakes are adorable!

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  3. I LOVE this!

    Megan
    mommyminded.blogspot.com

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  4. oh those are cute:) my mom always did super fun cakes for us too.

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  5. That is Adorable! You are so talented :)

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  6. You did a fantastic job! Looks so nice. I bet the children LOVED it!

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  7. G-OR-GEOUS cake! I just love what can be done with a few marshmallows and colored sugar...

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  8. This is gorgeous! So pretty and professional!

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  9. This is an unbelievable cake! What patience and creativity you have! Great job!!!

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  10. Those flowers are adorable! You really did a great job and the variety is amazing!

    Thanks so much for showing us all the tricks!

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  11. They are BEAUTIFUL and look absolutely professionally done. My cousin is a pastry chef. I'm sure he'd appreciate seeing these. :)

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  12. Lucky gals!! AMAZING job!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Here's my linky :)
    http://jandmseyecandy.blogspot.com/2011/06/gift-bag-redo-diy.html

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  13. There are gorgeous! They are too pretty to eat. :)

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  14. AMAZING! I found your blog through a link party and LOVE it! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!
    ~Alisa
    sweetpeasandbb.blogspot.com

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  15. That is so cute. I bet she loved it!

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  16. This is just gorgeous! Great job and a lovely departure from the commercialized store bought cakes. I love a delicious home baked cake and yours is just that!

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  17. Those are simply adorable!

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  18. Those are just too cute! It looks like a lot of work, but they’re just so pretty!

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  19. SUch a great time you had. Very creative idea. The cakes look so beautiful

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  20. WOW!! That is some IMPRESSIVE bakery work!! Amazing!

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  21. what a super cute treat love it great imagination and oh my super sweet come visit me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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  22. This is amazing please stop by and join our link party: http://fabricbowsandmore.blogspot.com/

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  23. I am totally stealing this for my daughter's summer birthday. Too cute!

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  24. such a sweet party! love the way everything looks, great job!

    found you over at someday crafts, stop by for a visit sometime :)

    Jackie
    http://jaclyndesigns.blogspot.com/

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  25. It looks fun and I really love those flowers. Very very pretty!

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  26. That is amazingly gorgeous!!! I am pinning it!

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  27. Omg!! Cant wait to make these also!!! Thanks for all the great ideas!!!

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  28. They turned out great, we made the same flowers for Mother's Day a couple of years ago. They never fail to look amaze me by how cool they look.

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  29. This is definitely a cute cake! Thanks for sharing!

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  30. Those are so much fun! Would love for you to join my linky party!

    http://www.inspiringcreationsblog.com/2011/06/friday-favorites-linky-party_09.html

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  31. This is TOO cute!! I'm featuring your garden party at our Saturday Shout Out party tomorrow! Thanks for linking up at Sassy Sites for our ffa party! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo!!

    -Marni

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  32. Way too cute! I will be sharing on this weeks Amaze Me Monday :D Thank you for linking up.

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  33. Those are FANTASTIC! Love how colorful it all is! Great job!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

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  34. Wow!! That is awesome and looks to be a little time consuming! lol Worth it though and it looks like she totally loved it! Thanks forl inking this up too!

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  35. Wow Amazing Blog!!
    simplythankyou deals in wedding flowers, romantic flowers, celebration bunches and anniversary flowers.
    You can find different flower sections for each occasion.
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  36. simplythankyou deals in wedding flowers, romantic flowers, celebration bunches and anniversary flowers.
    You can find different flower sections for each occasion.
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  37. Thanks for taking the time to create such a wonderful page on your amazing garden cupcakes! I was looking for a creative flower/butterfly idea for my daughter's 3rd birthday which will be at a botanical garden and your idea is perfect. What fun! :)

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  38. You are awesome. What a wonderful and special way to invest in your daughter....she'll never forget it. :)

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  39. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs,
    ~*~Wendy~*~

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  40. It's beautiful... what a great idea!

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  41. uuuuuuuuuuuuah, it is amaising!!!!!!

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  42. So colourful and perfect for a little girl's party. Thank you for sharing and for the tutorial.

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  43. How great! What a neat idea.

    I'd love for you to stop by and link this to our Crafts for Under Twenty Somethings link party. It's a blog party dedicated to all things kids and teens, so you post would be perfect! It runs through Saturday- hope to see you there!

    Melanie
    http://bearrabbitbear.blogspot.com/2011/08/crafts-for-under-twenty-somethings_17.html

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  44. Amazing parties for kids, great ideas,i like it very much. i with make it for my kids... thanks for sharing

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Wowww these are so amazing especially the cup cakes are looking fantastic.order flowers here

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