Easy Vegetable Garden Cake

My 8 year old daughter loves to plant things in our teeny, tiny backyard, so I decided on a vegetable garden cake for her birthday.  Since I only had a week to plan two parties (my son’s too), I needed the easiest cake possible.  The cake ended up serving over 30 people (generous pieces).

How I Made My Vegetable Garden Cake

  • I baked two 13 x 9 cakes in the oven at the same time. I made gluten free chocolate cake from scratch, since some of the guests ate gluten free.  My pans weren’t exactly the same shape (one’s a cake pan, one’s a casserole pan), so I just had to trim the sides when I stacked them on top of each other.
  • I torted (sliced) each cake horizontally so I could fill the insides with frosting. I ended up with four thin layers sandwiched between white buttercream frosting.
  • I tinted the rest of my buttercream frosting green and frosted the entire cake. Only the sides had to be smooth, because I covered the top with garden-type stuff.
  • I made dirt out of gluten free vanilla wafers mixed with cocoa powder and some leftover chocolate cake crumbs.  Chocolate cookies would have been faster but I didn’t have enough.  I whirred the whole thing in the food processor. To cover the top of this cake, I only needed about 6 wafers and 1/4 cup of crumbs, with about 1 T cocoa powder.
  • One tube of marzipan was used for the decorations.  Fondant would have worked too but  I was lazy and didn’t have time to make some or run to the store. It worked perfectly and stayed soft, instead of getting hard like fondant. I followed the instructions on the tube for tinting it and was able to make all of the decorations in about one hour. My daughter helped too. It’s like working with playdough. I used yellow starburst to make the corn because my daughter insisted, but everything else was marzipan. Marzipan is a nut product, though, so make sure your guests aren’t allergic.
  • Chocolate graham crackers were used for the signs. I broke each cracker into quarters, and attached a pretzel stick to the back using royal icing. The words were royal icing too.
  • I piped green grass around the entire cake, to cover my errors in frosting and make it more festive.
  • I froze the cake with its decorations until the day before the party; then I put it in the fridge to defrost.
  • I put the signs on the cake the day of the party so the crackers wouldn’t get soggy.

The guests raved about the cake and it looked perfect when we served it in our backyard next to my daughter’s carrot garden.  Enjoy!