The Tree Frog cake became an instant classic in our house (and neighbourhood). I was in heavy cake mode that week. I had agreed to make a grad cake for the school for gr.6 graduation, and my son's birthday was the same week. We did double duty. The grad cake was my first attempt at a multilayer cake and seeing as how I don't have those fancy cake dowels and platform things I had to improvise. I used plastic plates and wooden dowels wrapped in saran wrap. Here is the grad cake. (It's a little lobsided but not bad)
The scrolls and hats are made from marshmallow fondant found in This recipe for a ladybug cake.
Using the same hexagon pans we decided to try the Tree Frog cake. My son adores frogs, any frogs but especially tree frogs. He takes sheer delight in catching them at the cottage. I decided for his 12th birthday to make the Tree Frog Cake. I saw some pics of different tree frog cakes online and played with the concepts of what I would do. The inspiration for this one came from one I think I found on the Wilton's Cake decorating forum.This cake is pretty labour intensive but so worth it if you are looking for some WOW factor or just fun with the kids for a couple of days.
We begin with a basic white cake. Use any recipe you desire. Given the time constraints that week I used box cakes but added a package of pudding to each mix, also replacing the water with buttermilk. I used the Wilton's Medium and extra small hexagon pans for this cake. They come in a set of four, so I used the smallest and the second largest one. Be sure to spray the pans very well with Pam spray before baking to ensure easy release.
While the cakes are still a little warm. Slice the tops off the cakes to make a flat surface. Take a jar of apple jelly or apricot jelly and put into the microwave for approx 1-2 minutes or until it has turned to liquid. Be careful removing it as it will be hot. Brush the liquified jelly over the cakes generously to seal the crumbs as well as the moisture in the cake. Let cool completely. I brush the jelly over the entire cake (including underside). Alternatively you can wait until the cake is completely cooled and place a thin layer of buttercream icing over the two cakes, cool for half an hour and finish icing after that. This is all just to seal the crumbs to ensure a nice finish.
This part now you should begin the day ahead. Make the marshmallow fondant linked above. Mold your frog bodies, arms, legs, and eyeballs. Let them dry completely overnight and paint them with food colouring in the morning. I use Spectra food colouring gel. To paint these I take a drop mix in some water and play.
You will also need to roll out your fondant and cut out leaf shapes to paint as well. Often if I need alot of one colour fondant I'll mix some colouring in while I'm making it. Alternatively you can use some ready made fondants. Personally, I'm not a big fan of fondant flavour but the marshmallow one (according to my kids) tastes like oreo cookie cream. It's really easy to work with. Below you see our frog bits in pieces drying on the cookie sheets. I suppose if you were to use ready made you could probably mold/paint and place all on the same day, but this is the route we took.
Now you are ready for the cake assembly. Ice with your favorite buttercream icing, and ensure you have a little bit left to do the piping for the trees and edges if you desire. Using a regular round tip and icing bag pipe the trees on and add the leaves as you go along.
Play with your frogs until you find some patterns you like. The nice part of this is you place the arms and legs
wherever you and they will stay with the buttercream below.
After it's all finished take lots of pics and wow the kids with this fun creation. Yes it does take time but it's a wicked cool cake. If you do make any of the cakes I’ve written instructions for I’d love to see pics of them. Email them to me and I’ll post them on the blogs.