A friend’s 13 year-old daughter asked me to bake her birthday cake.
I was so excited. I bake cakes for my family, but this is the first time (well may be second) that someone outside the immediate family asked me to bake a celebration cake.
Here it is.
Ashlyn was very specific, she wanted a giant cupcake as her birthday cake. I went to Wal-Mart to buy Wilton's Giant Cupcake Pan
, but Wally-World wanted 30 bucks for the pan. So instead I went to Hobby Lobby and with my 40% off coupon snagged it for $18. (Call me frugal not cheap.) I also bought Wilton’s matching Jumbo Cupcakes Pan. Like the giant pan, the jumbo pan also bakes the cupcake in two parts. Don’t you just love matching stuff?
The information sheet that came with the Giant Cupcake Pan said that one box of cake mix wasn't enough to fill the pan, so I mixed up two boxes and filled the giant cupcake and three of the jumbo cupcakes. While baking, the batter overflowed the top of the pans so I probably should have filled all four of the jumbo cupcake wells instead of three. Oh well, live and learn. In the end I just trimmed off the tops of the cakes and munched for two days on scraps.
On Amazon a bunch of people have reviewed the pan, and some commented that the top and bottom sections do not bake evenly and the baked cake stuck to the pan. I didn't experience either problem. I filled the giant pan to capacity and baked at 325 degrees for 55 minutes (electric convection oven). The sides of the cake came out dark brown (like a bundt cake) but the insides were thoroughly cooked. At the party I sampled the top and bottom sections and both were fine. The top was slightly "dry" and the bottom was slightly "moist", so I just let people know ahead of time and they selected a piece according to their personal preference.
I also didn't have a problem with the cake sticking to the pan. I used Wilton's Cake Release and dusted with a little flour just to be sure. After removing the pan from the oven, I let it cool for three minutes and then flipped the pan over. The cakes slid out without any problem.
Next came the decorating. I did a search on the web, and found a few examples of decorated giant cupcakes. My absolute favorite was choo_silwhui's posting on flickr. I loved the colors and the daisies perched on one side. Too cute.
Here I am rolling out my gum paste and cut a few yellow daisies, some green leaves and confetti dots.
Then I started to ice my giant cupcake. Someone on Amazon recommended that you ice the bottom section before placing the top, so that is what I did. I piped one row using Wilton tip #12 (smooth round) and then a second row using tip 32 (fluted round).
Next I positioned the top.
I used the same Wilton Tip #32 and piped an almost continuous stream of teal icing around the top. After I finished I realized I didn't like my swirly icing job as much as I liked choo_siowhui's smooth top. I thought about scraping the icing off and trying for the smooth look, but in the end I left it the way it was.
Next I added the gum paste decorations. Sorry, I got into the groove and forgot to take pictures of my progress so here it is after all the decorations were added.
You might have noticed that the cake started out on a gold cake board and then switched to a glass platter. After I had the thing totally decorated I decided that the teal and yellow decorations clashed with the gold cake board. I don't like things that clash, so I carefully moved the cake from the board to the glass platter. I was lucky, no major catastrophes.
Finally I added a Happy Birthday and a few of the leftover flowers to the platter.
And here is the birthday girl, Ashlyn, blowing out her candles. I also decorated the jumbo cupcakes to match the cake. She really got a kick out of that.
Happy Birthday, Ashlyn.