My wife wanted a Rubber Ducky theme for our son's first birthday. She told me that she had looked at all the Rubber Ducky Birthday Cakes in the stores and couldn't find anything she liked. Next thing I know I am knee deep in pound cake, fondant and icing.
The bottom cake is a single layer 9x13x4 pound cake (thanks to Fat Daddio's) made with 4 boxes of Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix, supplemented to make an Almond Pound Cake (extra egg, oil and addition of Almond Extract). Baked at low temp (325) for an even rise.
The Ducky is made with one box of Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mix, supplemented to be a Chocolate Pound Cake, in a Wilton's 3D Ducky Mold. After a couple of test cakes I noticed that just filling it to the rim of the bottom mold wasn't enough, they came out better if I syringed in a few more tablespoons into the mold steam hole once I had placed the top on and tied it up.
The decoration consists of Duncan Hines Buttercream frosting tinted yellow and blue for the stars and border; Orange for the beak; and left natural for the fill-in on the sides. The top of the bottom cake is covered in blue Satin Ice fondant (tastes much better than Wilton's Fondant). The Ducky's on the side are made with White Chocolate flavored Choco-Pan, tinted yellow and cut out with a little Ducky cookie cutter. The ducky's eye's are white and blue tinted Choco-pan.
The bubbles are all edible. The largest were made using melted white chocolate molded in two halves of a large ornament ball that I found. The next size were made using a lollipop mold, and the smallest are Choco-pan rolled into balls. (I cheated a little and did supplement some of the medium balls with yogurt covered malt balls.) All were dusted with pearl shimmer dust.
All told nearly 6 hours of chocolate molding and decorating. While not the first cake I've made, this is definitely the biggest. Everyone of course was blown away, but as I told them, for a child you do what you must. The best reaction came from my five-year old daughter, who exclaimed "Papa that is the most beautifulest cake ever!" when she saw it for the first time. And well my son, just ate it up... what more can you ask for.
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