Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Charlotte's Web Birthday Cake

This weekend was our daughter's 3rd birthday! We had a great time celebrating, and I especially had fun making her special birthday cake. This year I asked her what she would like on her cake, and amid the dozen or so different ideas, she kept coming back to "animals". 

I looked at a bunch of different animal cake ideas online, and while a bear or a monkey or a fish were all cute (and I'm sure she would have loved it), I wanted to do something a little more specific and personal. I found a video with instructions for a barn cake with farm animals on Betty Crocker, and the idea was born...Charlotte's Web!

We read Charlotte's Web aloud this past year and she really enjoyed the book. I made a special Wilbur cupcake for her. (I made the cake from scratch using this chocolate cake recipe from the Frugal Girl. And I bought canned icing...priorities!)

I made a number of changes to the instructions to make it fit our needs, specifically I omitted all of the coconut! Instead of coconut hay and grass, I just used colored sugar sprinkled on the barn. I also added a spiderweb to the open door of the barn, along with a secret message from Charlotte...can you see it?

The barn was simple; I made 4 cuts in the cake to create a slanted barn roof. Then frosted the whole thing and dragged my offset spatula from top to bottom to create a slat effect for the barn. The red frosting was a little tough to get right. I used a red gel in white icing and followed the tip in the video of adding a little cocoa powder to get a better red color. It was a little more of a faded red than I had hoped, but it still worked well. I used graham crackers for the roof and the barn doors, and pretzels for the doorframes.

For the pigs, I used pink M&Ms in the snout, chocolate chips for eyes, and rolled out fruit leather cut into triangles for the ears.

The sheep were supposed to be covered with mini-marshmallows that were cut in half. My cutting in half didn't work great so I opted to squish them flat instead. I also squished marshmallows into rectangles for the sheep ears instead of gumdrops.

The chicks were rolled in yellow sugar...I love the sleek and clean way they look! I used an orange Starburst candy for the beaks - flattened some with a rolling pin and then cut into little beak shapes. Chocolate chips for the eyes again here.

Check out last year's cake also...cupcake train!


  1. This is so cute BethAnne! You are so clever! I admire your handiwork. Hope you all had fun and HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!



  2. Thanks! It was a lot of fun to do, although I did freak out about half-way through that I couldn't pull it all together. I love the end result now!


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