Anyone who knows my family could tell you that the prospect of this cake excited my scientist husband more than soon-to-be-six-year-old Eliza. In fact, when she first requested the cake, he didn’t miss a beat: “If you can make the cake, I can make it erupt.” He had the details for our confectionery explosion worked out in no time. Dropping a few pieces of dry ice inside a test tube and then injecting raspberry Jell-O produces an instant, impressive, and crowd-pleasing eruption.
I wish I could say I figured out how to make the cake itself as easily. The idea of baking cakes, stacking them, and then carving them into a volcano seemed daunting. I puzzled over what to do until my friend Val suggested shaping a Rice Crispy treat volcano. I can’t stand Rice Crispy treats, so this never would have occurred to me, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I had the solution to my volcano problems.
Technically, we had our volcano cake, but it didn’t look finished to me. Clearly 3 am delirium had me in its grips as I started forming sea creatures, rocks, and plants for the island and cake base. My husband grabbed a bag of pretzels and formed some fantastic palm trees. One even included a sea gull.
Eliza loved her tropical volcano cake, and so did her friends. After the smoking, molten eruption, we witnessed a birthday party first. The kids didn’t want us to cut into the cake and serve it to them, they wanted my husband to make it erupt again. And so he did.