Let’s get honest. Fondant is expensive and time consuming! Ok, maybe I’m just scared of new things. Anyway, you can make a memorable cake like me…EVEN if you have FOUR KIDS ages FIVE and UNDER and you dont want to try fondant. That’s right people. Do it in stages. Freeze it. Cut it. MAKE YOUR OWN ICING (so it won’t run) Use Wilton Colorsl, and BUY THE FIGURES. I give the figures as presents to the kids for their birthday. I bought the “firepower mario” which my 4 year old son HAD to have for $5 on ebay. And got the other figurines from a friend. They are $15 on amazon. Great price to double for toys he plays with almost every day!

I am a stay-at-home mom, so you would think I would have all the time in the world to make cakes….unless YOU are a stay-at-home mom of toddlers. Then you know there is ZERO time to concentrate on cake-making! But, my kids have come to look forward to their “surprise theme cakes” my 2 1/2 year old has been asking for a Batman cake ever since I made this Mario cake. If I can do it, so can you.

#1 Use box cake mix and follow the directions. If you mix it for the length of time they suggest, it turns out great! Bake 2 9 inch squares (one box) and 2 “bowls” (second box) I used a small bowl that was oven-proof I just found in my cabinet. Perfect size! You can eyeball it. I’m sure you have a set of three of these bowls. Use the smallest one and bake TWO of them. Use Yellow cake…this is for the mushroom. If you want chocolate cake, do that in the square pan. So this is the second box of cake. I used the remaining yellow cake to make mini cupcakes…with mini marshmallows halved to make the mini mushroom cupcakes.

#2 Freeze the cakes. Wrap each layer in tin foil. This way it will cut very easily. And it stays fresh. Always cut the top off of anything you layer. It makes it flatter. So cut  the top off both the square cakes. Use wilton green. Ice a “crumb” layer. I always thought that was a waste of time but it actually saves time and your sanity. Cut the “mushroom stem” just a touch smaller than the “cap” which is the small bowl. You will see they set on top of each other perfectly. Also cut the bottom of the “mushroom cap” so its flat.

#3 Make your own icing. If you search online make a 1/2 buttercream 1/2 crisco version. Easy to do and worth it! most icings (especially canned) run once you mix in the colors. Get a variety pack of wilton colors, bags and tips. You won’t be disappointed. I don’t know the ratios off hand but you need butter, crisco, milk, vanilla, and confectioners sugar. You will need green, yellow, red, and black icing. I make them one at a time and do one layer at a time (as I have time, during naps, movie time etc) then I just throw it in the freezer til I can get back to it.

#4 Dont forget the SUGAR SHEETS. Okay, so I don’t use fondant but sugar sheets are cool! they are a little pricy. Buy one white and one green. FREEZE THEM AHEAD. if you dont the backing won’t peel off and there are no directions to tell you that! Once they are frozen, draw (I use a pencil) clouds, bushes, and dots for the mushroom cap. Cut, peel, and stick to fresh icing! So cool! you can make whatever shapes you want. I added white icing dots to the bushes.

#5 Assemble and free-hand the stars with black eyes and the eyes on the mushroom stem, and the name.

***Just a note, all the kids wanted a piece with the star on it! who knew! I gave the whole mushroom to my son. He only took a few bites but was elated! I bought STAR CANDLES. Really finishes the look. Happy Baking! May have taken three days a few hours at a time. So worth it. My kids really feel special and cant wait to see their unique creation! My advice is to check out this site and put together all the ideas you like in one to make yours one-of-a-kind!