So I planned a birthday party for my boyfriend [age 29 :-)], at the local rock climbing gym. Of, course, I immediately knew what cake I would bake/decorate.

I started out baking peanut butter cake: 2-9 inch squares and 1-9 inch circle. The glue for the cake layers was peanut chocolate ganache. Normally I wouldn’t cover this type of cake with fondant, but with a rock climbing wall, the peanuty unevenness made it perfect.

I cut the squares unevenly and stacked them on top of each other. The circle I cut into 3 mismatched pieces and stacked on the top. Held every thing together with 4 dowels to keep my cake from tipping over. It was still unsteady, but again a rock climbing wall theme is very forgiving. The flaws made it more believable.

I then colored my white pre-made Wilton fondant with dabs of black gel coloring and left the swirly unevenness to create a grey rock effect (again very forgiving theme). Made the multi-colored arm grips and shaped a little climber. Made eyes and smile with edible marker. Used chocolate fondant for the support rope.

By the time I was done with my mountain got lazy for the greeting, and used my edible markers to just write “happy birthday” on a rock and stick the candle in place.

Everyone loved this homemade rock climbing cake and actually thought it was just a centerpiece/decoration, not an actual cake. Hardest part was cutting it… sliced vertically from top to bottom, and just cut each of those slices horizontally in 3 pieces.

Rock Climbing Cake