My sister’s co-worker asked me to make a birthday cake for her 18 year old son who was a firefighter. She originally sent me a picture of a helmet cake that she had found on line but told me that she really was open to something else if I could come up with a cool design. The hardest part of making the cake was definitely finding that cool design as I really like to have something to look at and go by. After about a day of searching I came up with the idea of the firefighter’s jacket. I asked for pictures of the actual coat and then went from there.
I started out by baking an 11X15 sheet cake. I then took the same size paper and drew a jacket to use as my template. After cutting the shape I then put on a layer of butter cream, adding extra to where the “wrinkles” would be. I whipped up a batch of marshmallow fondant that I had learned to make on YouTube and then rolled it and covered the cake. Next came the reflector strips which I made using gray and orange fondant. I finished up by adding the name and US flag and then it was ready for the final detailing.
I brushed on black powdered food coloring into the wrinkles to add shadowing and smoke stains. At this point I thought I was finished but it was just missing something and that’s when I thought of cutting some fondant bricks to lay on the cake board. When I stepped back to look at the final product I was amazed, it was truly one of my most realistic creations and I couldn’t wait for the birthday boy to see it.
My sister picked up the cake and took it to her friend so I didn’t really get to see anyone’s reaction to the cake which by the way is always my favorite part of baking. I waited until Monday morning and then called to see how they liked it. I was told that the cake was a huge hit and that many people had asked who made it and wrote down my name and number. Within a week I had been contacted by the wife of a captain from the same fire department asking for a special cake because the jacket cake was the most awesome cake they had ever seen and they were still talking about and showing pictures of it.
The lady said, “whoever would have thought that all these manly men would get so giddy over a birthday cake.” I was so honored to be able to touch a special place in their hearts and I hope to make many more cakes for them.