Jungle Themed 1st Birthday Cake with Lions, Tigers and Bears

My Jungle themed 1st birthday cake with Lions, Tigers and Bears was for my grandson.  Being a new grandma inspired me to get back into cake decorating, reminiscent of when I used to sculpt cakes for my baby…who now has her own baby.  So, as always, my heart was shining through on this cake. The entire cake is edible…including the animals and palm trees.

I made chocolate clay (one part corn syrup to four parts melted colored chocolate wafers).  I laugh when I tell friends that the animals have gum balls for brains and spearmint gummy leaves for spines.  But I am not joking because I used the candy and gum to create an entirely edible structure.  The palm trees were made out of pretzel rods and also the chocolate clay.  Before I placed the fondant on the  cakes, I carved into the 10 inch cake a pond, so when I covered the cake with fondant it created a nice dip to fill with tinted blue piping gel.  And then surrounded the pond with rocks.  I even put a lily pad floating in the water.  Those little touches make for a very special finished product.

The palm trees were easy to secure because they were long enough to push into the entire depth of the cake.  The top cake was a kidney shaped cake which worked well because it hugged the pond below and gave me enough room for all of my sculptures. The cake was a labor of love for a special little boy that I adore.