Coolest Sunflower Cake
A few months before her third birthday my daughter, Kaitlyn, and I started discussing themes. She decided on a flower party, which could not have been more simple since her birthday is in the summer and gardening supplies are in abundance at the store.
I was all set with the decorations, favors, and party activities centered on flowers; however, I was at a loss for how to decorate her cake with this theme. I eventually came across a “sun-sational” cake in my Family Fun magazine. It was the perfect fit since the guests would be planting sunflower seeds in a pot as part of the birthday activities. Although the directions can be found on the Family Fun website (http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=50348) I am including my version here for convenience.
So for my Sunflower cake I started by baking a vanilla cake in a 9.5 by 13 inch pan, which I topped with white frosting. Using the yellow and orange Starburst candies, I created the flower petals. This consisted of placing one candy in the microwave at a time for approximately 8-10 seconds to soften slightly and then rolling it out with a rolling pin between two pieces of wax paper. I set these aside for 24 hours to harden (otherwise they are too soft and sticky to work with).
In the meantime, I broke several blue-tinted Necco candies into various sizes and used them for the design of the vase. Cutting a plastic party cup in half length-wise and “stamping” it on the iced cake created the outline of the vase. The center of the flowers was also created in this manner, using a small disposable bathroom cup (3 ounces). I used both the top and bottom of the cup to for different sizes.
I cut the Starburst petals with a kitchen scissor (1-1.5 inches long) and pinched the bottom of each to create the raised appearance of the petal. Using the circle as a guide, I placed the petals on the cake, alternating between orange and yellow. Mini-chocolate chips filled the centers of each flower.
I then used green decorators gel for the stems and yellow/orange gummy bears to accent the border and sides of the cake for the finishing touch. It was a huge hit!