Wind in the Willows Preschool Auction Cake!

Maria asked me to make a cake for Isabella's preschool auction and I -- of course -- was thrilled to do so.   She wanted a white cake with chocolate frosting and somehow we decided that we should also put in salted caramel buttercream too.   I'm happy to say that it came out great -- and when combined with the chocolate frosting -- it was the ultimate pairing. Here are some photos of the salted caramel buttercream in the making:



The trick to making the salted caramel is to get it as dark an amber color as possible without burning it.


I am so excited about the chocolate frosting that I made for this cake.  I took two recipes, modifying each one, and then combined them.  I'm going to do a separate post to share that recipe because it is a winner.



I made a white cake using King Arthur Flour's Tender White Cake recipe.  I made a separate batch of Caramel (Tartine recipe) just to spread between layer of cake, along with the chocolate frosting.


I iced a thin later of chocolate frosting around the whole cake.


Then added one more layer of caramel on the top to seal in the outer layer of chocolate (just seemed like a logical thing to do at the time).



Then I covered the whole cake with the salted caramel buttercream.

salted caramel buttercream

So that took care of the tasty, tasty cake.  Let's get to the design.

Maria showed me the school's logo...

...which I loved and really wanted to incorporate.  Here is what I sketched for the initial design for the cake.


And here is my design come to life:


I covered the cake with a sky blue marshmallow fondant.   The willow branches and leaves are also made with fondant.  I painted the leaves with a little food coloring and vodka/almond extract to give it a watercolor effect.  The vodka/extract evaporates on fondant and just leaves behind the color.


I made the gave the letters a "faux bois" effect so they would look like wood.  I also added in the little scroll above the letters because I felt like it needed some green up there and it would help frame the lettering.


Thanks, Maria, for asking me to do this project!  I hope everyone enjoyed the cake and I can't wait to hear who bid on the donated cakes too!