My daughters are big fans of the movie Rio, so when my oldest daughter’s birthday rolled around, she requested a Jewel from Rio birthday cake.
When I first started making cakes for my kids, I used to stress out about finding a cake pan that would work with whatever character they wanted for their birthday. Then a friend gave me this tip: Search online for a coloring page of whatever character they want on their cake. Scale the coloring page to fit whatever size pan you plan to use (I have Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which makes that process easier).
Depending on the size you need, you may need to email the file to a store that can make larger prints, like Office Max or Kinkos. Cut out the character and place it on top of the first layer of icing. Trace the outline onto the cake with a toothpick, and then cut out the other details of the coloring page and trace them onto the cake, too. Once you’ve traced the outline onto the cake, I pipe over the outline and then fill in each section with colors appropriate to the design, using a star tip. This method is SO easy and really creates unlimited options!
Back to the Jewel cake. Squeezing a billion stars onto a cake is not my idea of fun, so I decided to save myself some work by making the background look like sand. I simply crushed Nilla Wafers and pressed the crumbs into the icing layer of frosting, and then frosted the rest of the cake with only four colors: white, black, blue and coral.
While I love chocolate cake, my favorite flavor combination for my kids’ birthday cakes is white cake with the basic Wilton butter cream frosting. The flavor ratio I use for a double batch is 1t vanilla, 1/2t butter flavor, and 1/2t almond extract.
The cake was a huge hit among my daughters’ friends. Try the coloring page method. You’ll never buy another specialty cake pan again!