My ssssson requested a ssssnake party for his 8th birthday. He asked if I would make him a ssssnake cake and if I could make it look like a real ssssnake. I told him, “no promises but I will try. ” My only previous experience are the other birthday cakes I’ve made my kids, sssso I am not a professional by any means! He requested a viper (he likes their head ssssshape) and ssssshowed me a photo on the computer of one he liked. Again, I told him I ‘d try. SSSSO….I tried! Here ‘s how I made this cake:
I made 3 bundt cakes. I used a cake mix (you can use whatever recipe you want). For my pan (pictured), I used 3.5 cups of the batter sssso I wouldn’t have a big “muffin top “. You can make the cakes up to a week ahead of time and then wrap them with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. I ‘m all about trying to do as much as possible ahead of time and away from the birthday prep insanity. Plus, the cakes are easier to frost and cut (if needed) when frozen.
Another part you can do a few days ahead of time is make the icing. I used the Wilton Butter cream recipe (easily found by ssssearching online). Yes, you heard that right…I used BUTTER CREAM! I have never used fondant before and I have found that butter cream will work with most designs and it tastes better. If you are a fondant wizard, by all means, use fondant! Just know that you can use butter cream and it can look just as nice. I made 4 times the amount the recipe called for just because I didn’t want to have to make any more when I was trying to decorate. I did end up with quite a bit left over.
I colored the icing with IVORY AmeriColor food coloring. I stored it covered in the fridge until a hour before I wanted to use it. Then I took it out so it would warm up and be sssssoft when I tried to use it.
I made the ssssnake head and tail out of rice krispy treats. Here ‘s the recipe I used: melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add 4 cups of mini marshmallows and melt over low heat while sssstirring. Once melted put it in a large bowl and ssssslowly add 6 cups of Rice Krispy Cereal, mixing as you go. Wait about 15 minutes for it to cool and then form the ssssnake head and tail. My sssson wanted me to make a Viper snake specifically because of the head sssshape; so I knew I had to get this part right. I looked online at their head sssshapes and tried my best. Then, I cut up the bundt cakes to make a sssssuper sssslithery sssssnake ssssshape I wanted and added the head and tail on (pictured).
I piped icing on with a Wilton 12 tip (big circle) and then ssssmoothed the best I could with a butter knife. Every ssssuper ssssnakey cake needs sssscales, am I right? So, I found a bag I used to use to take to the pool. It was a ssssort of mesh type of material. After the icing had sssssome time to get “crusty” and had dried for about 2 hours or so, I used this material to make the sssscale texture. I just gently pressed it onto the icing and ssssort of ran my finger over it to sssssmooth any bumps.
To make the pattern on the ssssnake, I used WARM BROWN & CHOCOLATE BROWN AmeriColor food coloring. I ssssterilized a paint brush and painted these colors on. I used sssssome vodka on the brush and then dipped it in the coloring and paint. The vodka helps the food coloring dry more quickly and helps the icing not get mushy when painting. The vodka evaporates and just leaves the color behind. The pattern I used is a result of my trying to copy the pattern from the sssssnake my ssssson sssshowed me. I used jelly beans for the eyes and just painted some of the food coloring on to make the eye sssslits. I painted the head with the WARM BROWN food coloring.
My ssssson didn’t ssssee it until it was completely finished and he was so thrilled! He ssssaid it was perfect and was sssssso excited! Every guest that came in the door was immediately escorted by my ssssson to sssssee the cake! Definitely made all the hard work worth it to see him ssso excited about it!
All of the guests thought the cake was the best they had sssseen and they were very impressed. There were a lot of comments on its texture, ssssso I think the sssscales really added an extra element of realism. I ssssent a photo to a friend and sssshe didn’t realize it wasn’t a real ssssnake until a while later when it came up in conversation! I didn’t know how it would turn out but I tried and it turned out better than I expected. All you have to do is TRY! You might ssssurprise yourself!