Let me preface this post by saying: I am *the* worst baked good decorator on the planet. I think it’s a lot of fun, but I just don’t have that skill. I can barely icing a cupcake without it looking it like someone smushed it on the floor.
Second disclaimer: This cake is completely egg/dairy free, but there is a LOT of sugar. It’s a special occasion, and we rarely ever have sugary treats in the house, but I still feel guilty for having the center of a birthday celebration be a sugary slice of cake. I stand by that there are way healthier ways to celebrate, and most of the time I try to make a more wholesome “cake” or treat. That being said, I bough a can of pressurized green frosting to create the grass of the cake. Yum, lots of artificial colors and crap. I *hate* using food coloring! Now that I’ve beaten myself up enough about it, let’s move onto the cake!
I like to make a cake a few days ahead of time and freeze it. Mostly, because it’s something I can do ahead of time and not worry about it last minute, but it also makes it easier to ice. Be sure to let it thaw completely before icing it.
I defrosted (organic) strawberries in the fridge, and sliced them up real thin for a middle layer. I was kind of nervous that it would get funky, or ruin it somehow, but it came out really good. I could’ve done a better job slicing more evenly, and then I could’ve probably added more.
I used crushed up (organic, vegan) chocolate sandwich cookies (think Oreos) for the dirt path. I put a thin strip of icing down under it to help it stick.
Then I used a can of Wilton decorating icing for the grass area. I considered dying coconut green, but I’d still be using artificial colors, and not everyone likes coconut, so I stuck with the icing. It was really, really easy to use.
The most enjoyed part of the cake was the BMX toy. The requested cake was supposed to be a “bike” cake, because my (now) 6yo just started riding his bike without training wheels. I could not find a normal bike toy anywhere, but luckily I found this at Target for 6 bucks. Despite loving anything sugary, I think this was his favorite part of the cake.
Frozen cakes, thawed.
Layer of mostly thawed strawberries. The bottom layer was cracking, and I used the strawberries to paste it together a little bit.
I made sure the strawberries were on the cake with no icing underneath them, so the cake would absorb any liquid. This worked out really well. I put a thin layer of icing on top (a little bit more and more evenly then shown here).
I iced the sides and then put a strip to hold the “dirt” on.
Crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies, and the start of the grass.
Finished cake, sans BMX dude.
Super cool BMX dude.
I used tooth picks to hold him in place on the cake. I tried to write “Happy Birthday” but the icing wasn’t as thick as the grass and just kind of dissolved. No one noticed.
Sometimes vegan cakes don’t hold up well, and even with this one, one layer was a little more crumbly than the other, but overall it turned out great.
Do you have any tips for decorating baked goods? Are there any more natural or healthier options out there?