Exactly one year ago, I was finalizing plans for my daughter’s volcano birthday cake. Little did I know that signing her up for hula class would lead to a luau-themed party complete with erupting cake.
In hula, all dances tell stories, and, of course, the volcano dance made a serious impression. Since I’ll spend the coming weekend working on entirely different cake for her seventh birthday, l need to write about the erupting volcano cake now, or I probably never will.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. 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.
The Rice Crispy-marshmallow combination provided the perfect medium for mountain building. After getting the shape just right, I shoved a test tube into the mountaintop. Next I covered two sheet cakes with a base layer of frosting and then covered them with blue fondant. Atop my sugary sea, I added a layer of sand colored fondant that would serve as the island from which the volcano rose.
Since volcanoes are generally rough and rugged, I didn’t worry about folds as I covered the rice crispy treat volcano with brown fondant. After making a hole in the top to uncover the test tube, I added fondant lava, and then set the volcano on top of the prepped sheet cakes.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.
I don’t know if Orca whales hang out in Hawaii, but since they’re regulars here in the San Juan Islands, I couldn’t resist making one for the cake.