I was struggling with what to do for my son's first birthday. I looked on several websites, and decided to combine several ideas. This Barnyard Cake with Animal Cupcakes was my practice cake.
This is a 9 x 13 inch white cake shaped like a barn. I used a toothpick to lightly etch the shape, and then used a large serrated knife to cut the cake. I use strawberry icing for a crumb coat. I used Wilton's no-taste red gel to color buttercream icing for the barn. After icing the cake, I used a flat spatula to make 'planks' in the icing. I dipped the spatula in piping hot water between icing each 'plank.' in order to make the job a little neater. I used a graham cracker for the doors and windows. I used a star tip to pipe the border around the barn and cream cheese icing for the top of the silo. I used the same tip to do the grass, so it would have some texture.
For the cupcakes, my plan was to do momma and baby animals. For the party cake, I am going to do just mini-cupcakes as babies. One, the proportion will be much better with just the mini-cupcakes. Plus, the smaller ones are more forgiving. I am still not happy with the sheep, so I may do just chicken and pigs.
The pigs were white cake with strawberry icing. The snout is half a pink marshmallow. The ears and nostrils are cut out of fruit-roll ups. The eyes are chocolate chips.
For the chicks, I used the ready-made easy-squeeze icing, but I didn't like the texture. So for the party cake, I am going to make my own with gel food coloring. I tried piping the chicks, but it didn't really look right. So, I forked over the piping trying to make it look like feathers. The eyes are chocolate chips. The beak is a candy-covered mint cut in half. I will probably use M & M's for the party cake. I also took some of the left-over red icing to make the comb.
The sheep are covered in cream cheese icing and then marshmallows cut in half. The eyes are chocolate chips. I used some of the strawberry icing to make the snout, and then a red mini M&M's for the nose. I took a butter mint, cut it in half, and used a little bit of icing and a toothpick to stencil in some pink on the 'ear.' But like I said, I am not sure that I will do the sheep for the party cake.
For the party cake, I will use potato sticks to make hay piles. I will also do enough of the baby animals for about half of the guests, so around 20. For the sake of time, I only did a few for the practice cake.