I made this Jungle cake for a 1-year-old birthday boy. His parents wanted a jungle themed cake and left the ideas and designs up to me. I came up with the idea of making a waterfall in the center of the jungle cake. I never had any formal training in cake decorating. I learned through Youtube and different websites like this one. I did a lot of prep work before making this waterfall in a jungle cake. Oh, and I wanted everything in the cake to be edible.
Making the Jungle Cake
First, I started making the animals: lions, giraffe, elephant, monkey and some birds, some flowers, and a butterfly. Then I started making the palm trees. For all of them, I used fondant. Animals were made with a mold, and I colored the details with edible colors. Same with the birds. I was so excited to see the animals come to life. My boys were also very excited to see the animals, so they took a couple of monkeys and ate them :). I ended up making more because of them!
The Fondant Alligator
A jungle cake is not complete without a reptile. I made a fondant alligator. First, I started with a log of green fondant. I shaped the fondant to form the alligator’s head. I slightly flattened and elongated the mouth so that the eyes would be slightly higher. Then I slightly flattened the middle of the alligator to create his back, so it’s slightly wider than the head. For the texture, I used the Wilton round tip and pressed half a circle throughout the body and the feet.
Next, I used a lollipop stick to create the nostrils. Then, I took a knife and gently sliced through the fondant for a mouth. I kept a paper towel in the mouth and let it dry for a day. To add a touch of color, I used red fondant for the tongue. I used white and black fondant for the eyes. The alligator came out great. My boys loved it, my younger son wants one also for his birthday!
The Fondant Palm Trees
Next challenging thing I made was the Palm trees. First, using a fondant leaf cutter, I made leaves in two sizes. Then I made a circular shape about ½ inch wide from fondant. This helped support the leaves on the top of the tree. Using water I attached the leaves to the round fondant and let them dry for 3 days. For the trunk, I covered ¾ of a cake pop stick with fondant. I stuck the cake pop in a Styrofoam block and let it dry. I cut circles of fondant using the round cutter.
Then, I cut it in half which gave me two pieces to work with. I brushed the tree base with water, then started attaching the half circle fondant. I overlapped them and covered both sides of the base. I let it dry for 2 days. I made 4 trees.
After everything dried, I applied a small amount of melted candy at the top of the tree base. Then put the leaves on top of the melted candy. Candy melts are a great glue for attaching fondant pieces together. It holds really well.
All decorated items were made beforehand so that it would have time to dry proparly.
Making the Waterfall
I made a 10-inch and 6-inch double layered cake. I inserted a Dowel rod to secure the pieces. I covered the entire cake with green buttercream icing, then I drew an outline for the waterfall. I made a blue buttercream frosting for the water. First I made the waterfall and then rolled a brown fondant like a log and put it around the waterfall. I used white icing to create the foamy effect of the waterfall. Then I filled the entire cake with a grass design using the Wilton grass tip.
I put the alligator in the water. For the elephant splashing the water, I connected the splash drops together using melted chocolate and I connected it all to the elephant trunk.
Decorating the cake with the animals was the most enjoyable part. It gets more creative once you start decorating. That’s how I ended up adding fondant rocks.
I placed all the fondant decorations except the top trees with birds and grass surround the cake board. So the delivery went very smooth. Thanks to my wonderful husband who drove me to the venue. I added the final parts at the venue, I placed the top trees, candle and finished the cake board with grass.
The event manager called and said that the client was very impressed. They loved the cake more than anything. Overall it was a great experience making this cake. I was very pleased.