We spent the weekend celebrating Tinker Bell's 12th birthday. I have to say...I cannot believe my baby is 12. It takes my breath away. And to top it off she woke up seemingly more mature than the day before. She is a sweetheart, though. Without a shadow of a doubt she is the kindest person I know. Okay, before I cry...I surprised her with a penguin cake. She recently painted a mural on her wall of disco dancing penguins, so I knew she'd love the cake. Like the wolf cake, I didn't take step-by-step pictures. Sorry. :)
But first, we spent the day at Longboat Key on the gulf coast of Florida. It was about a two-hour drive. Crystal clear waters, white sand. We were greeted by two dolphins as soon as we stepped onto the beach. We also saw two sharks (little guys, couldn't have taken more than a couple of fingers), a sea turtle, and many, many fish. Some of the littler guys liked to swim around our legs and tickle us.
The penguin cake was pretty simple. I made two full batches of Martha Stewart's white cake, since that is Tinker Bell's favorite flavor cake. Each batch made two large 8-inch rounds, so four total. I stacked them with buttercream between each round, wrapped them in foil, and froze them. I carved them into the shape of the penguin's body--basically just carved narrow at the top, wider at the bottom. I used the carving pieces to make the head. I just glued them together with more buttercream.
The black frosting was incredibly easy. I used this chocolate frosting mixed with a 1-oz container of Wilton's Black Gel Icing color. I did not need to adjust the wet or dry ingredients of the recipe with the addition of the gel coloring. But the frosting had the most incredible consistency. It almost turned into a softer, less sticky gum paste. Really neat. I frosted the back, sides, and head with the black frosting (and it was perfectly black) and then used the remaining frosting for the flippers. I just picked it up and molded it into the shape of the flippers and it stuck right to the rest of the frosting without slipping. I was so surprised! I even used two small pieces for the eyes.
As for the white front and face...I used 7-minute frosting using marshmallow fluff because the kids had devoured all my mini marshmallows. I couldn't figure out how to get the frosting so perfectly white with just buttercream. Even with my clear vanilla, the buttercream just wasn't white enough. It was my first time with 7-minute frosting, though, and I didn't end up getting it as stiff as it should have been. So, the orange buttercream beak kept trying to slide down the penguin's face. All in all I think it came out great. Tink was super surprised and absolutely loved her cake. She also loved that I let her use her fingers to eat the beak before it slid down to the penguin's belly. :) Neither one of the kids could keep their fingers out of the marshmallow frosting.
We stuck the candles right onto the top of the penguin's head and called him punk.
Tinker Bell declared it her best birthday ever!