I made this Wailing Wall cake to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day for my daughter’s kindergarten.
Background for Jerusalem Day
Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. Jerusalem is a beautiful and ancient holy city in Israel.
The Old City of Jerusalem has significant importance to different religions. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. the Temple Mount and Western Wall (also known as the Kotel) for Jews and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians.
Making the Wailing Wall Cake
My daughter’s kindergarten teacher asked if anyone would make a cake for Jerusalem Day. As every working mother I know, I always feel guilty when I can’t volunteer for kindergarten activities. I love to make cakes but it’s hard to justify the time I put into it. However, in this case, I knew my daughter would feel special all day if I made this cake.
For the cake design, my daughter and I brainstormed ideas. For her, Jerusalem means the Western Wall, so we wanted a cake that focused on that. She drew a very complex picture of how she wanted to the cake to look (because her mom can do anything, right?!) but we tweaked it to something more reasonable.
I really wanted to carve cakes into the two digits of five and zero. Due to the fact that there are 29 kids in my daughter’s kindergarten, I thought it would be easier for her teacher to divide it up if they were cupcakes.
The five cake is made up of chocolate cupcakes and the zero cake is made of vanilla cupcakes. I generously iced them in my famous homemade vanilla buttercream frosting, because most kids I know consider that to be the most important part of a cupcake.
For the actual Wailing Wall, I rolled out white fondant and placed it over the cupcakes. I then used a sharp knife to cut away the excess fondant.
Finally I got to the best part – decorating my Wailing Wall cake!
Decorating the Wailing Wall Cake
I used a Wilton roller to score lines in the fondant. Then I mixed brown food coloring gel into vodka. I used two different food safe paint brushes to paint the walls.
First I went over the scored lines and then I used a larger brush to create the wide brush strokes of the stones. I used a little flower cutter for the grass growing out of the wall.
It is tradition that when people go to pray at this holy site, they place notes inside to God. So you can see little piece of white fondant to symbolize that.
My daughter wanted me to create a figure placing her own note in the wall, so I did that as well. This was the last part I worked on, which for me means it was too late to be awake any longer! I let my perfectionism slide and reminded myself that the kindergarten kids would not care if she was a little lumpy.
In real life, when you watch people come to pray at the Wailing Wall, it’s very spiritual. People come from all over the world with handwritten notes that are shoved into every crack of the ancient stones. Knowing people are there with a real longing for a spiritual connection, is a very humbling experience. It is a truly holy and exceptional place.