Cake Decorating: Captain’s Hat 40th Birthday Cake!

A few months ago my friend Emily enlisted my help in throwing her fiancè Anthony a surprise 40th birthday party.  She just asked me to help set up beforehand, but I offered to make the cake as well.  Even though I wanted the opportunity and asked for it… I was a little nervous.  Apparently she had faith in me and entrusted me with the task.  They love to take their boat out in the summer and Anthony wears his captain’s hat so that was her idea for the cake and also inspired the nautical theme for the party.  Sounded easy enough!

In the back of my mind was the possibility that it would not turn out exactly as planned.  Luckily, it turned out great!  They were happy with the result and so was I.  It was extremely satisfying having finished something I wasn’t quite sure I could do.  And it did end up being simple to make… although a little more time consuming and tedious than I thought.  {It was my first time working with fondant, otherwise I think the process would have went a little faster.}

For the cake, I used a total of four 9-inch round cakes.  Three were stacked for the height, and the other one I cut for the rim of the hat.  Using a bread knife, I cut the top layer of cake and angled it downward.  Then I took a 9-inch pan and used it as a guide to cut the rim, and angled that as well.  I put a layer of buttercream over all of it and then topped it with the fondant icing.

I molded the life preserver, number 4, and anchor for the cupcakes from the fondant.  They need to sit out overnight to dry and harden.

If you’ve never worked with fondant before, it is so much fun!  It’s a lot like molding clay and is easy to work with.  Just don’t let it sit out and dry, but keep it covered in plastic wrap when you aren’t using it.

And as for the party, Emily did a fabulous job!  Everyone had a great time and Anthony was truly surprised.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time and I met some really great people that night.  For some reason I always forget to take pictures of people with my camera, which is really the most important part, so I don’t have anything but the cake to show you.  Note to self for next time!

Also, thanks to mom and Jeremy for helping me with everything!

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  1. Erin- You did such a great job on that cake, everyone was so impressed! Thank you so much for being such a great friend! xoxo!

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