I love it when someone comes to me with a really fun idea but then says do whatever you want. How about a play on words like instead of winter wonderland....Winter ONE-derland for a one year old's birthday. This project was one of the most challenging but also one of my favourites to date.

The cake is three tier. A ten inch, two layer chocolate cake on the bottom. Next up is an eight inch, two layer vanilla cake. The top tier, the igloo, is a six inch, single layer chocolate cake - that I only shaved the edges of a little to make the dome shape. All layers were covered in vanilla buttercream and then fondant.

I made the penguins and lone snowman out of fondant. I made these about a week ahead so that they would have time to dry and harden. The pearls are a candy covered chocolate bead from Caljava which I added using royal icing, the snowy candy on the top tier is a gummie type of candy from Sweets Galore and the base detail is just white fondant rolled to a bumpy finish then "glued" on with water. I added only the simple detail of snowflakes to jazz it up...and that was enough!

Winter Wonderland cake penquins snowmen snowflake jellybeantrail dawn garnette.jpg

I used my regular recipe for the sugar cookies and covered them with royal icing. I first used Sugarbelle's recipe and then used my own recipe.The design evolved over the week. The final design was large snowflakes with sanding sugar at the tips. Blue with white polka dot squares that I added a white on white snowman design. Blue and white snowflakes on a square cookie. Polka dot number 1's. One that had the birthday boy's name on it. I originally made a dozed small square cookies with penguins on them which were not destined to be part of this party. The first round fell on the floor and broke. The black icing was bleeding onto the base layer for the second batch. 

Winter blue and white theme birthday caske jellybeantrail.jpg

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Well, except for maybe the cake falling to the floor. But the cookies did...fall to the floor. The black icing ran on the second round of cookies. I ran out of supplies (which NEVER happens). Toothpicks popped through penguins heads. Spatula's broke. Gah! It was a battle to the finish.

sugar art cake topper penguin

BUT..... when I look at the finished design and see how happy it made mom, dad and baby...I'm not complaining. These things happen. I think this is why so many people shy away from trying to make their own cakes. It can feel overwhelming. 

All you have to remember is it will be worth the effort!