Whenever my boys have a birthday party at home, I've been torn over what to do about the cake. Go with our favorite bakeries, which have made us some amazing creations (lego-shaped cake, very hungry caterpillar cake, etc.) or make my own? The past couple of years, I've leaned more toward baking my own, and have so far made a few cakes decorated simply with vanilla or cream cheese frosting, and one Captain Barnacles face for my little guy.
This weekend, I decided to try something more advanced, and attempt a fondant cake that looks like Captain America's shield for my Avengers-loving son. I looked online for premade fondant, and everything I found was either sold in huge containers, contained nuts (we have a nut allergy in our house) or reviewers said the fondant arrived all dried out. While looking for other options, I found SuzDaily.com, which not only had a tutorial for making your own Captain America shield cake, but also how to make your own fondant out of marshmallow.
Here's how things turned out:
Not perfect, but a decent first try.
I made the cake out of boxed mix. Normally I mix my own (some of my favorites are by vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli, but since I had no idea how long the decorating would take, I thought I'd make things a little easier. For the icing, I used this vanilla buttercream recipe, but substituted 1/4 of the butter for shortening because it was pretty warm here and I wanted things to hold up. Also, I used a salted butter to help cut down on the sweetness.
The fondant recipe is great - super easy and only three ingredients. The only thing I would do differently next time is instead of mixing it together by hand, I would use the bread hook on my KitchenAid, because it was time consuming to knead food coloring into the fondant. Also, the tutorial recommends covering the entire cake in fondant, but I wasn't super confident that I'd be able to roll out a sheet that large without some serious mishaps, so I skipped that step. I bought a couple special Wilton tools - a fondant roller and some star cutters - which made things pretty easy. Sorry there aren't any pictures of the process, but the immediate area around the counter was completely covered in powdered sugar. :)
The buttercream recipe was fantastic - not too sweet, and it crusted perfectly. I barely needed to go over it again after the crumb coat.
I think I'd rate the cake a success.