My now 5 year old loves the show "Swamp People" that comes on The History Channel. So for his 5th birthday I decided that I would make him is own Swamp.
The Swamp water that is under the Gator is poured sugar that I added food coloring to, to make it turn out the right color. You can follow any rock candy style receipt and pour it out on something that is NON STICK I use the non stick aluminum foil that I folded the edges up on so that the 300+ degree sugar did not run off onto my counter top. Once cool you should be able to handle by hand carefully I ended up with the water being about ¼ of an inch thick so it was pretty sturdy.
The sand material that makes up the Bank the Gator is sliding off of is made from ground up cocoa rice krispies. The lily pads and the grass are made from fondant and the lizards, snakes and stuff are gummy critters the kids can eat later. The sign was made from fondant, dried, and says Zach's Swamp.
The Swamp Alligator 5th Birthday Cake itself measured right at 3 feet long and was made from 5 box cake mixes. The tail was made from 1 bunt cake cut into thirds. The legs were a second bunt cake cut into fourths. The toes are green wedge candies. The body is made from 2 sheet cakes that we stacked and carved into the proper shape. I used a long bread knife for all my carving work. The head was mad from a cake mix that I baked in a loaf pan and then carved into shape.
The eye brows on the head were made from some scraps that iced into place and then made the eyes from fondant. The teeth were made from white fondant and placed around the smile. We used a standard butter cream icing and a star tip to do the colors. With big icing projects like this one I keep all my extra icing in a metal bowl in the frigid so that the stars come out better. The heat from your hands alone is enough to make the icing hard to work with.
All in all it was not a real hard cake to make once I could see it in my head. My 5 year old threw a fit at first he did not want us to cut the cake he wanted to keep it forever.
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